a p r i l / m ay/j u n e 2 0 12
at w o r k w i t h c a n a d a’ s b u s i n e s s l e a d e r s
Not Just Another Lawyer
One-Day Painting The founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? looks to revolutionize the painting industry with his latest venture p. 74
Helen Fotinos, general counsel at Kia Canada Inc., shows how she is shaping up her company’s mind-set
At Your Service
How Sodexo provides multifaceted solutions to the world’s largest companies p. 80
A SLICE OF SUCCESS Boston Pizza > p. 18
SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING Aden Earthworks > p. 129
EXCELLENT EVENTS Spark Inc. > p. 144
Unifood Inc. Bringing Quality and Service to Your Table
Meat And Poultry Traders FRESH Beef, Chicken, Pork and Turkey FROZEN Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey and Lamb
CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org or 514-731-3401
Over 40 Years in Business
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to leave their vehicles. Companies can also implement rules for vehicle usage, as well as geo-fencing around speciﬁed areas, with alerts indicating non-compliance.
A specialty-delivery service that allows customers to order from 150 restaurants in Toronto and promises to drop off meals within an hour, has cut 8 to 10 minutes off delivery times and increased efﬁciency, with two dispatchers handling the same number of orders as three or four.
For management, the TELUS Fleet Tracker software offers a full range of customizable
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A seismic services company with over 100 vehicles travelling 4.5 million kilometres a year has reduced average vehicle speed by approximately 15 km/h, resulting in fuel and maintenance savings of 10%. These three companies have one thing in common. They all use TELUS Tracking and Dispatch solutions to track their vehicles, people and assets in real time.
Easy to deploy, easy to use. TELUS offers a number of different Tracking and Dispatch solutions. Whether it’s in-vehicle modems, GPS-capable mobile phones or smartphones, or asset tags attached to parcels or carried by employees, TELUS solutions provide real time and historical views of where each resource is and what it is doing. Communications are improved too. In-vehicle mobile Internet connections allow workers to receive and conﬁrm work orders or estimates, managers can review and edit documents on the go, stakeholders can collaborate on documents and more. All solutions are managed through the same easy-to-use, intuitive software. Dispatchers have access to any information, including real time location of resources on Bing Maps. They can monitor drivers and workers in the same view, tracking employees who have
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the real time location of your mobile workforce, while monitoring stop times and travel distance
it to improve customer service and scheduling by always knowing the location of your workforce
with HSPA and Mike® GPS-enabled devices
dispatch and task assignment abilities to Resource Tracker solution to manage your mobile workers by locating them, sending them work assignments and monitoring their progress
on CDMA, HSPA and Mike® enabled BlackBerry® device
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To learn how TELUS Tracking and Dispatch solutions can help your business and improve your bottom line, call 1-866-366-0229.
TELUS Fleet Tracker. Track and manage your fleet in real time. TELUS Fleet Tracker uses GPS technology to help give you visibility into the activities of all your vehicles. With real time information, up-to-date reports and high speed mobile Internet capabilities, TELUS Fleet Tracker can help to: Reduce
fuel costs. Monitor speeding and find efficient routes
efficiency. Mileage and maintenance reports
scheduling. Locate your resources in real time
communications. Dispatch jobs and collaborate in real time
To learn how TELUS Fleet Tracker can help your business and improve your bottom line, call 1-866-366-0229.
The Roundup grab bag
New must-have gadgets
inside look Talking craft beer with beer consultant Mirella Amato
industry watch Snapshot of Canada’s coffee industry
stat wall A look at the numbers shaping the nation
Off the Map
ingredients for success With a sound business strategy, Boston Pizza International Inc. looks beyond North America to make its brand an international entity
Meet the New Junk Paint Guy Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, has started yet another p. industry-revolutionizing company
26 a different kind of lawyer Helen Fotinos, general counsel at Kia Canada Inc., discusses life as a litigator
30 the perfectionist Speaking design with Debbie Brady, the founder of Graphically Speaking
32 honesty and integrity Proven strategies from Stephen Applebaum, president and CEO of Sherson Group
34 balance and resiliency Silver-Investor.com founder David Morgan shares some lessons from the metals market
37 consulting with the best A conversation with TMG International Inc.’s founder, John Bardawill
40 work you can enjoy
Jim Frise, general manager of Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, discusses doing what he loves
42 Winning the race Sound advice from Terry Hamilton, president and general manager of Battle River Implements Ltd.
46 worth a listen The gurus behind Akoostix Inc. are standardizing sonar technology for use across various platforms and industries
48 taking cancer to trial
Sodexo has become a one-stop shop for some of the world’s biggest companies, providing an array of facility operationand-maintenance services
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OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s new products could help mitigate the difficulty in treating rapidly adapting tumours
51 closing the gap Composites Innovation Centre brings together experts across industries to solve pressing technological issues
53 banking in blood Insception Biosciences’ pioneering medical practices are proving to be a solid investment for future health
56 paving the way
Complete Innovations’ courier software keeps some of the nation’s largest trucking companies moving forward
table of contents
58 Data Protection goes mobile Asigra Inc. safeguards mobile-device data with an inventive, cloud-based protection service
63 Alpine Water Systems Inc.’s hydration
technology 66 ATL Industries’ world-renowned brake-
caliper pistons 68 es3’s tube-transforming TV applications
70 Warman Truss’ engineered wood and
The Biz: Expansion
92 cooked to perfection The Holland College Culinary Institute of Canada cooks food fit for royalty
Sarah Skinner and her father, David Skinner, mark out a clear, green initiative for Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited.
95 A family foundation Archway Insurance Inc. has positioned itself as an industry leader, held together by strong family values
97 men of steel
118 a first nations enterprise
RHI AG’s refractory-production prowess comes to North America with RHI Canada
99 digital trust
Samson Management Limited doesn’t hesitate when it comes to growth
Adams & Knickle, one of Nova Scotia’s leading fisheries, has been growing with its community since 1897
104 from potash to profits North Rim Exploration Ltd. rides diversification to unprecedented growth
106 cerebral support Through smart acquisitions and steady growth, Brains II helps address any technological need
108 canada’s king of the hill Hill & Knowlton Canada’s commitment to intense, annual planning sessions keeps it atop the nation’s PR market
110 powered by its people Ingram Micro Canada may be an IT company, but it knows success comes from its employees
112 ‘til the cows come home Lakeview Insurance Brokers provides the farms of Manitoba and Saskatchewan a backup plan
114 riding out the recession Rideout Tool & Machine Inc. stays afloat thanks to new opportunities for future growth
116 surf, turf, glitz & glam Restaurant by day and nightclub at night, Peake’s Quay brings new life to the waterfront in Charlottetown, PE
Making connections is the name of the game for Beacon Sales Professionals
44 building & keeping a wide
base of customers
120 thawing out the cold call
NCI’s IT security has become the standard for police, government, and manufacturers
102 Working the waterfront
with CMP Plastics International inc.
60 assembling a lasting
125 cleaning up an industry Mercer International is bettering the paper-andpulp milling process
129 lessons in landscaping Vibrant designs meet the demand for sustainability, thanks to Aden Earthworks
132 easily sourced, renewable fuel Comcor Environmental Limited puts landfillgenerated gases to use
with BJ’s International Truck Centre
72 creating & maintaining multiple
divisions within one firm with Cybertech Group of Companies
122 competing in an
emerging market with Canadian Cloud Computing Inc.
144 orchestrating a successful
corporate event with Spark Inc.
134 sustainable apparel The women’s clothing from LUVLY in Lunenburg proves it’s fashionable to be green
136 eco-minded gadgets Meltech Thermal Imaging Inc. finds defects in the building envelope with military technology
146 How to Market with Little to No Budget tMedia’s CEO, Carisa Miklusak, offers essential advice on cost-efficient advertising and marketing plans for your business
138 a healthier workplace Through ergonomics, EWI Works International Inc. is enhancing work environments
140 making a corporate green plan For Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited, a sustainable agenda is best achieved one small step at a time
142 greener engineering The founders of Fortress Engineering Ltd. push for government incentives and public demand in order to better their industry
Find the digital and tablet editions of this issue at advantagemagazine.ca And follow us on Twitter @AdvantageCANADA advantage
a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
A t w o r k w it h ca n ada ’ s b u si n e ss l e ad e r s
editor-in-chief Christopher Howe
director of strategic partnerships George Bozonelos
guerrero howe, llc Pedro Guerrero,
director of sales Titus Dawson
managing editor Kathy Kantorski email@example.com
senior features editor Michael Danaher firstname.lastname@example.org
associate editor Sean Conner email@example.com
correspondents Matt Alderton Chris Allsop Thalia A-M Bruehl Ruth E. Dávila Sally Deering Tricia Despres Julie Edwards Christopher T. Freeburn Dan Harvey Anne Hedin Eduardo Jones Kori Kamradt Megy Karydes Kelli Lawrence Mark Pechenik Seth Putnam Brogan Russell Lisa Ryan Ovetta Sampson Julie Schaeffer Rita Smith Lynn Russo Whylly
Christopher Howe, CEO & Publisher
editorial research managers Anthony D’Amico Carolyn Marx editorial research coordinator Adam Castillo editorial researchers Ty Attiek Jessica Barker Fred Brown Ryan Castrellon Natasha Gambrell Wole Olupitan Robert Schy Natalie Taylor
Administrative controller Andrea DeMarte accounting assistant Mokena Trigueros hr generalist Greg Waechter executive assistant Ashley Bigg circulation manager Lee Posey
sales managers Stacy Kraft Krista Lane Williams sales representatives James R. Ainscough Emily Boyd Becky Cattie Logan Distefano Benjamin Fongers Matthew Hardy Michelle Harris Jessica Holmes Gianna Isaia Justin Joseph Rebekah Mayer Brittany Townsley Jennifer Ublasi senior account manager Cheyenne Eiswald account managers Lindsay Craig Amy Lara William Winter Ashley Zorrilla
receptionist Samantha Childs
Art creative director Karin Bolliger senior designer Ryan Duggan photo editor Sheila Barabad Subscriptions For a free subscription, please visit advantagemagazine.ca/subscribe. Reprinting of articles is prohibited without permission of Guerrero Howe, LLC. Printed in South Korea. Follow us on Twitter @AdvantageCANADA. Reprints For reprint information, contact Stacy Kraft at 312.256.8460 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Office 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200, Chicago, IL 60601
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Expansion is a key component of business.
Photo: Samantha Simmons
Whether it’s increasing your services, furthering your reach in the marketplace, or simply adding a few more employees to help with the workload, expansion usually means you’re doing something right.
This edition of Advantage is deeply rooted in this idea. From our growing number of featured companies (our largest issue to date) to the varied themes and anecdotes of growth and development permeating the following pages, we here at Advantage are proud to bring you our second issue of 2012—our second since our brand-new, redesigned, and expanded format. Given this scope, it’s only fitting that we explore the story of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s CEO, Brian Scudamore. Having successfully revamped the junk-hauling industry on an international scale, Scudamore is broadening his entrepreneurialism, delving into an entirely different industry. In “The New Paint Guy” (p. 74), we take a look at Scudamore’s new venture, 1-888-WOW1DAY! Painting, and how he is reforming yet another trade. The project stems from his seasoned and successful past, so all eyes are on him to see if this latest endeavour can replicate what his flagship company has already achieved. We also look at Sodexo (“At Your Service,” p. 80), a cafeteria- and food-services company that has amplified its repertoire to include maintenance, custodial, security, and reception services, among other areas of expertise, for hosptial, university, and corporate campuses. With these beefed-up offerings, Sodexo has transformed from a one-dimensional company into a multifaceted powerhouse. Also, Advantage has now expanded into a digital tablet edition, so our stories and profiles are always at your fingertips. And our overhauled website now allows for friendlier navigation. Furthermore, if you’re hoping to take your company to the next level, be sure to take a look at the Biz (p. 91), which illustrates how various businesses are striving to enhance their market reach and services. So turn the page, as there’s bound to be something here that inspires you to expand your business in its own way, big or small. Enjoy! Michael Danaher Senior Features Editor
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1/20/12 9:43 AM
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a collection of products and resources that are shaking up the business frontier
12 13 14 15
Grab Bag inside look Industry watch stat wall
Off the Wall The MiniDock is one of several unique gadgets in the Grab Bag that will streamline your work life.
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1. 3. 2.
Go-Go Gadgets Let these feats of engineering smooth out the friction of your workday
1. “lifeproof” design
3. higher-tech headset
5. wallet grooming
Motorola’s new smartphone features a scratch-resistant, dustproof, and water-resistant glass faceplate that’s sure to best whatever you throw at it. DEFY+ / $295.95 / simplyelectronics.net
Dual microphones prevent background interference on this headset, ensuring you can go about business uninterrupted. Discovery 975 / $99.99 / plantronics.com
The size of a credit card, this gizmo folds into both a razor and mirror. Carzor: everywhere you want to … shave. Carzor / $17.00 / infmetry.org
2. can you hear us now?
4. cut the cords
Compatible with most popular tablets, Jot returns accuracy to writing on a tablet interface. A clear disc provides a protective layer between the surface, giving unprecedented control. Jot / $19.99 / adonit.net
These earphones pack a punch. Granted, these are for the audiophiles, but Shure manufacturers several other options to bring your music up to snuff. SE535 / $499.00 / shure.com 12
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The MiniDock provides iPhone and iPod users safe storage for their pricey devices, mounting them upright on the original USB adapters. MiniDock / $19.95 / bluelounge.com
6. jotting in style
Crafting a New Business Mirella Amato turns her love of craft brews into a career
by Kori Kamradt
Photo: Mirella Amato
After graduating with a degree in vocal performance, Mirella Amato became an opera singer and headed off to Italy. Once there, however, she realized that while Europe was a wonderful place to visit, her place was back home in Toronto. So she turned her attention to her other love: beer. After months of research, classes, and visits to local breweries, Amato found a new niche: educating the masses about all the fantastic, but perhaps not widely known, craft beers. In 2008, Beerology was born, and today Amato finds herself leading more than 30 guided beer tastings, beer dinners, and even team-building workshops a year. In addition, Amato has recently launched consulting services for pubs and the hospitality industry. Below, Amato confirms that, yes, her job is as cool as it sounds.
pairing beer with food “Beer has very relatable flavours. There are caramel notes, chocolate notes, coffee notes, or maybe a nutty flavour. So if you’re presented with a cheese with a slight sweetness to it and a nutty caramel note, you can pair it with a beer that has those flavours.”
getting out of the comfort zone “I never understood why people aren’t more adventurous in the beers that they drink. A lot of people just have one brand, and they stick to it. A lot of bars are restricted in what they carry. Furthermore, I’m surprised to find out how many people don’t know that craft beer is even out there. It’s so delicious and fantastic. I don’t care what people drink as long as they try a bunch of different things.”
after a long day
“I have been known to crack open a beer at the end of the day, too. But if I’ve been judging a competition or trying a range of beers all day, sometimes I like to come home to a nice dry sherry.”
“I know it seems unrelated, but my opera career gave me the skills I’m still using at Beerology. My comfort zone is definitely live work in front of people. I love sharing everything I know and getting people excited about beer. Even when I’m preparing my guided tastings or organizing an event, I see parallels with how I used to prepare for shows.”
continuing education “The great thing about beer: there’s always so much to learn. You need to get into ingredients, understand the brewing process, and understand the history. When I do my guided tastings, I always frame each beer in the context of all of these things. You can’t really understand a beer unless you have an idea of where it came from, who brewed it, and what’s in it.” advantagemagazine.ca
art in many forms “I’ve recently started collecting contemporary art. Apart from collecting, when I travel I like to visit different art exhibits and contemporary art museums. It’s been fascinating. The other thing I really enjoy is stand-up comedy. There are a lot of comics in Toronto, and I try to attend as many shows as possible.”
amato’s Favourites Movie: Léolo Music: The Beatles Author: Michel Tremblay
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Elana Rosenfeld, CEO of Kicking Horse Coffee, discusses the marketplace as told to Ruth E. Dávila Coffee prices are at record highs, particularly for the “green” bean. Historically, we absorbed rising costs by narrowing our margins, to protect our customers from market fluctuations, but the current environment has made it impossible for our business to move forward without an increase. Recently, we raised prices for the first time in 15 years. It was tough from a personal standpoint, but business hasn’t declined, since cost-conscious shoppers tend to buy more in bulk when we run promotions. In general, rising costs are due to increasing demand coupled with supply and logistics issues. There are shortages in Indonesia and certain other regions. There has been speculation in the coffee commodities market. And gas prices have been up. All of these factors have caused a ripple effect. People are drinking more coffee than ever—and they’re getting savvier about good coffee. They expect better quality; they know the difference. Some are grinding their coffee fresh each day. They’re investing in fair trade and organic, too. We’ve spent years pressuring the Canadian coffee [industry] to go green. Fortunately, today, organic coffee is more readily available. When we started, we could find maybe one or two bean sources. Now the whole industry is moving in that direction—farmers, brokers, cooperatives. We have lobbied for green packaging as well, which is another consumer desire. We have talked with companies about recyclable solutions for packaging, but unfortunately the science isn’t quite there yet. A typical coffee bag is not recyclable, so we brainstormed alternative materials and came up with a tin can. Our cans for the Kick Ass line have turned into a collector’s item. Any way you sip it, coffee has become a part of daily life.
The best of the company’s brews, straight from the Horse’s mouth:
Hairo Noveau Syphon coffee brewer
This beautiful blend of art, science, and Japanese design is best for leisurely moments. Bodum Stainless-steel French press
When time is of the essence, this faithful companion is easy, foolproof, and always consistent. Coffee: A Celebration of Diversity by Fulvio Eccardi and Vincenzo Sandalj
Kick Ass [Dark] Sweet, Smoky, Audacious This cup of attitude mixes both Indonesian and Central American roasts to create a dark, flavourful creation guaranteed to kick some sense into you. Kicking Horse’s top blend.
Three Sisters [Medium] Smooth, Savoury, Seductive A triple punch of light, medium, and dark flavours comes together in this medley of Indonesian, Central, and South American roasts. The name plays homage to the trio of peaks just outside of Banff National Park, near Canmore, AB. 454 Horse Power [Dark] Velvety, Earthy, Spirited Easily the most powerful concoction Kicking Horse has created, this Indonesian, heavy-bodied coffee is rich with earthy and cocoa tones. The company’s lone female roaster took it upon herself to give the blend its now-infamous name, because this blend gets fired up to 454 degrees.
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This quick reference inspires and reminds me of the complexity of the product that we touch every day. Contigo KHC spill-proof mug
This trusty mug is my “go-to”—and yes, it actually works. advantagemagazine.ca
Canada’s Power Players
The giants of each powergenerating method
kilometres of high-voltage power lines in Canada (enough to wrap around the Earth four times).
Bruce Nuclear Generating Station* Source: Centre for Energy
Capacity: 7,280 MW *2nd largest nuclear plant in the world Source: CNA
Robert-Bourassa Generating Station Capacity: 5,616 MW Source: Hydro-Québec
National Production Capacities Power & Price by Province 47,013 MW @ 6.9¢/kWh
33,845 MW @ 12.6¢/kWh
Ontario British Columbia
Naticoke Generating Stations
12,596 MW @ 10.1¢/kWh
Capacity: 2,760 MW Source: OPG
5,620 MW @ 7.1¢/kWh Saskatchewan
3,902 MW @ 11.95¢/kWh
3,850 MW @ 11.2¢/kWh
Natural Gas & Fuel Oil
Lennox Generating Station Capacity: 2,100 MW Source: OPG
2,498 MW @ 12.9¢/kWh
Newfoundland & Labrador Prince Edward Island
2,278 MW @ 11¢/kWh
Melanchthon EcoPower Centre
328 MW @ 16.1¢/kWh Source: CBC
Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant Capacity: 80 MW Source: Enbridge (owner)
15,093 MW @ 7.8¢/kWh
Capacity: 199 MW Source: CanWEA
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off the map
ingredients for success The dough isnâ€™t the only thing on the rise for Boston Pizza International Inc. A shrewd business strategy has the company turning its eye beyond North America to bring its brand to the world. by lynn russo whylly
Boston Pizza has more than 340 locations in Canada alone.
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“We make sure we have the right people in the right job. My tendency is to give [employees] authority and autonomy and get out of the way and let them do their job; then I mentor and encourage them to be successful.” —Mark Pacinda, President & CEO
Proud Partner of Boston Pizza International
im Treliving is an entrepreneur at heart. In the 1960s, he fell in love with Boston Pizza, both for its food and the restaurant itself. The affinity was so strong, in fact, that he decided to leave a solid career as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer behind him and, in 1968, buy a Boston Pizza restaurant of his own. Then in 1973, George Melville left an equally secure job as an accountant with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. to become his business partner. In 1983, they sold their 16 franchises and purchased corporate ownership of the 44 original locations. They eventually franchised out all but one of these. Today, Boston Pizza stands as the largest casual-dining restaurant in Canada. With more than 340 locations throughout Canada, at which 18,000 employees serve roughly 40 million meals annually, Boston Pizza is more than twice the size of its next largest competitor. In addition, there are 50 locations in the United States and two in Mexico under the name Boston’s Gourmet Pizza.
Treliving and Melville serve as cochairmen of Boston Pizza (which was originally founded by Gus Agioritis in Edmonton, in 1964). The duo comes from a generation where most meals were cooked and eaten at home, and dining out was a rare treat. Today, however, with many families having two full-time wage earners, parents sometimes look to restaurants for meals six or seven times a week. To fulfill that need, Boston Pizza offers a casual-dining setting with more than 100 menu items, including the signature gourmet pizzas made with hand-pressed dough. The restaurant also serves a variety of pastas, appetizers, salads, entrées, and desserts. Adding to the ambiance, a sports bar provides big-screen TVs, while many locations also have an outdoor summer patio. This combination of offerings generates a great dining experience, and, as a result, system-wide gross sales exceeded $853 million in 2010, advantagemagazine.ca
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delivered to your door! ® McCain Foods Limited ©2011
As Canada’s leading foodservice distributor, Sysco offers much more than a complete range of top quality products to help our customers succeed. We are continually taking innovative approaches to common foodservice situations. Commitment to customer service remains our #1 priority.
We are proud to support
Since 1963, Rosina focuses
on the strengths of its mission
by providing its customers with high quality products such as fully cooked meatballs, frozen filled pasta, eggplant and pizza toppings. CONTACT:
Proud Partner to Boston Pizza
John Zimmerman, VP Sales & Marketing, Foodservice
off the map “We work hard to make sure we have the right strategy and that the business is focused on the right things.” —Mark Pacinda, president and CEO.
by the numbers
restaurant locations in Canada
restaurant locations in the United States
3 Photo: Ron Ng
corporately owned stores (the rest are franchises)
while same-store sales growth averaged 4.3 percent annually between 2001 and 2010. That growth is bound to continue. “We add about 6–10 restaurants a year,” says president and CEO Mark Pacinda. With major markets saturated, the company is looking at airports, universities, and an urban prototype. “We believe these opportunities will continue to shore up our leadership position as the number-one dining brand in Canada,” Pacinda continues. The company is also looking to expand outside North America and into India, China, and Brazil. In addition, one year ago Boston Pizza wanted to step up its delivery business. Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign, delivery is now up 20 percent. The company has earned dozens of awards as a result of its success. The company has been a member of Canada’s 50 Best advantagemagazine.ca
Managed Companies since 1994, and a Platinum Club member since 2003. “We work hard to make sure we have the right strategy and that the business is focused on the right things,” Pacinda says. “We make sure we have the right people in the right job. My tendency is to give [employees] authority and autonomy and get out of the way and let them do their job; then I mentor and encourage them to be successful.” To keep up with customer wants and needs, an annual usage and attitude survey is conducted with 2,500 people. In addition, inrestaurant advertising encourages customers to go online and answer a quick survey about their most current experience for an opportunity to win a prize. About 100 people fill out the online survey monthly, and individual franchises can log on daily and access their own results. The company maintains three locations for R&D and training—Toronto, Vancouver,
100+ menu items
40 million meals served annually
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Bringing exceptional solutions to the table!
Proud Partners of Boston Pizza
off the map
and Montréal—and the rest are franchises. A network of 25 field-service managers supports the franchisees, the purchasing-and-distribution group, and the training-and-development groups. Boston Pizza is also heavily involved in social media, with 26,000 fans on Facebook, a Twitter account, and all of its commercials posted on YouTube. Boston Pizza loves to give back as much as it loves to expand. Its largest philanthropic promotion is on Valentine’s Day, when the restaurants sell heart-shaped pizzas, and one dollar from every pizza sold goes to the Boston Pizza Foundation. Since its inception, in 1990, the foundation has raised more than $12.1 million for three charities: the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Kids Help Phone hotline, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Moving forward, Pacinda says that the next generation, which will have been raised on the midscale dining experience, will have higher expectations for healthy alternatives, of which Boston Pizza added eight this year, while maintaining a positive family experience. “People want to be around their kitchen table but still get a greattasting meal of value,” Pacinda says. Based on its success so far, there’s very little doubt that the company will be serving pizza and other great-tasting meals for many generations to come. _a
A message from mother parkers
Established in 1912, Mother Parkers is a fourth-generation privately held company that has grown into the largest private-label coffee and tea manufacturer in North America. But we didn’t do it alone. We’ve built our success on our people and our passion, always working with the best of the best to provide you a better beverage experience. And that includes better blends, better quality, better equipment, better product knowledge, and better customer service. Now you can do the same for your customers. A message from mccain foods (canada)
McCain Foods (Canada) is proud to be the supplier of quality potato products and appetizers to Boston Pizza International. McCain is the world’s largest producer of French fries and potato specialties. Our growth and success would not be possible without the partnership of outstanding organizations like Boston Pizza, which shares the values of good food, good people, and good business.
making the pie
Boston pizza through the years 1964
Boston Pizza is founded by Gus Agioritis
Boston Pizza debuts as the official pizza supplier of Expo ’86
The 100th store opens in Cold Lake, AB
Walter J. Treliving leaves his job as a RCMP and buys his first Boston Pizza franchise
George Melville leaves his job as an accountant and becomes Treliving’s partner
Boston Pizza receives the 25-year award from the International Franchise Association
1983 Treliving and Melville buy the corporate chain of 44 Boston Pizzas and sell all as individual franchises except one
The Boston Pizza Foundation is established
1994 Company is named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by the Financial Post and Arthur Anderson & Co.
Treliving and Melville earn the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
2003 2,200 pizzas are sent to Canadian troops in Afghanistan
Treliving becomes a founding partner in Canada’s Dragons’ Den reality TV show, in which successful entrepreneurs vote on and fund one great idea
2011 Boston Pizza is named Platinum Club member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for the 10th year in a row
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Proud Suppliers To
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Blackwood Career Apparel + Essentials 1428 Charles Street Vancouver, BC V5L 2S8 Phone: 604.872.5088 Toll Free: 1.800.325.2322 www.blackwoodapparel.com email:email@example.com
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A sculpture with a gas pedal. Introducing the all-new Kia Optima. Winner of both the Red Dot Design Award “best of the best” and the iF Product Design Award. Well-equipped from $21,995.* Optima.kia.ca
Hamilton Cooper Ashkenazy is a boutique law firm practicing in the areas of business law and commercial litigation. Servicing a range of local and national businesses, Hamilton Cooper Ashkenazy is focused on providing sound professional advice and cost effective representation to its clients. In particular, Hamilton Cooper Ashkenazy has developed expertise in representing various national automobile manufacturers and transportation companies. For further information please contact Stephen Ashkenazy.
*MSRP for 2011 Kia Optima (OP541B) is $21,995. Delivery and destination fees of $1,455 excluded. 2011 Optima awarded: the 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – visit www.iihs.org for details/2011 iF Product Design Award by the International Forum of Design – visit www.ifdesign.de for details/2011 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration five-star safety rating – visit www.nhtsa.gov for details/ 2011 reddot design award for best of the best – visit red-dot.org for details. KIA is a trademark of Kia Motors Corporation.
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Lessons of civil litigation a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
Switching sides in the career track
Becoming a corporate in-house counsel
Demanding projects advantagemagazine.ca
“You need to know who you are and what you want from life before you can succeed at anything.” Talking life and litigation with Helen Fotinos, general counsel at Kia Canada Inc. Interview by Christopher T. Freeburn
s general counsel at Kia Canada, Helen Fotinos smoothes the legal road for the fast-growing Korean carmaker, which sold more than 53,000 vehicles in Canada last year. With a career spanning personal injury, product liability, and franchise law, Fotinos draws on lessons learned during her time in private practice to guide Kia as it builds its business. Advantage spoke with Helen Fotinos about the steps that led her to Kia and how she envisions the general counsel’s role at the company, as it continues to storm the automotive market. Advantage: What was your early career like?
Helen Fotinos: Demanding but privileged. I started my career in the personal-injury and product-liability bar before moving to commercial and franchise litigation. The workload was heavy, and the hours were long, but the quality of work, the experience, and relationships fostered remain unrivaled. I’ve had the good fortune of working with premiere lawyers doing interesting, often precedent-setting work. How did civil litigation shape you as a lawyer?
It taught me to be organized, analytical, to advantagemagazine.ca
think strategically, and to always play to my strengths. Delivery is everything in litigation and in business. You need to know your audience: they need to respect and trust you, even if they don’t always like you. These skills are transferable to in-house practice and give you a leg up in a corporate environment where you are often called upon to quickly assess a situation, provide a risk-benefit analysis, and deliver a reasoned opinion in an effective, comprehensible manner. You considered changing careers at one point. What happened?
Helen Fotinos’s Career Milestones 2000 Receives law degree from University of Windsor Articles at McMillan Rooke Boeckle LLP
2001 Joins McLeish Orlando LLP as a product-liability and personal-injury litigation associate
2002 Called to the bar in Ontario
2003 After a soul-searching six-month vacation from the law, returns home and joins Sotos LLP as a commercial- and franchiselitigation associate
2007 Joins Kia Canada Inc. as general counsel
I realized that there was a huge difference between the study and the actual practice of advantage
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law. I grew disenchanted with the realities of private practice. So I took six months off, travelled through Europe, reevaluated my priorities, and considered my options—you need to know who you are and what you want from life before you can succeed at anything. How does your role at Kia differ from your previous experience?
In a corporate environment, things change constantly; you seldom have control of events. You have to work cooperatively with business units and understand their needs. Effective in-house counsel [is made up of ] both legal advisors and business people. Striking a balance and exercising good judgment is critical. My product-liability experience helps me keep Kia proactive in its riskmanagement practices, while my franchise experience allows me to contribute to the strategic development of our dealer network, helping Kia avoid some of the mistakes I’ve seen other companies make. What has been your most demanding project so far?
Photo: New Paramount Studios
We recently undertook the first major revision of our dealer agreement since Kia entered the Canadian market in 1999. This required working extensively with our business units, our dealer council, and industry associations. It required balancing interests that, on some issues, were inherently adverse in order to arrive at an agreement that could serve as the basis of a sustainable, profitable relationship for all parties. What values does Kia promote?
Kia’s public persona in Canada is still developing. However, the company has long espoused certain core values, which include unbridled ambition, an uncompromising work ethic, integrity, pride in accomplishment, and humility. Our dedication to these values is reflected in the innovative design and quality manufacturing of our vehicles, and in our commitment to excellence in customer service. Kia recently put these values into action in our Drive Change campaign, which partners Kia with community-based organizations and charities to effect positive change in local communities. The campaign has been hugely successful, and we are proud to be a part of such a positive message. 28
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How do you see your role going forward?
I didn’t join Kia to be just another lawyer. I’m always working on altering the perception that in-house legal departments are revenue consuming rather than revenue contributing. I want to expand the general counsel’s scope of responsibility and influence at Kia. I’m able to see the impact of my contribution to date, and I’m motivated by the opportunities that I still see ahead. It’s a great environment for creativity, learning, and sharing ideas. We have a vibrant, energetic team. I’ve never worked anywhere else where the future and opportunities are so bright and diverse. _a
A message from theall group llp
Theall Group LLP has worked with Helen Fotinos for several years and is proud of the productive relationship it has built with her and KIA Canada Inc. Helen is a tenacious lawyer who provides clear direction to outside counsel and demonstrates strong business acumen, making her a great advocate for Kia. We see only a bright future for Helen and Kia as they grow within Canada.
T HEAL L G ROUP L LP BARRISTERS & SOLICITORS
Trusted by clients. Recommended by peers. Proven by results. Lawrence G. Theall PARTNER
Lawrence Theall is the managing partner of Theall Group LLP. Larry practices commercial litigation, insurance and product liability (including class proceedings), and has appeared before all levels of the Ontario and Federal courts, as well as the superior courts of Manitoba and Alberta. He has acted as lead counsel in over 50 trials and hearings, all of which went to a final decision or verdict. Larry has extensive experience with interlocutory proceedings, including being lead counsel in arguing the disposition of more than 10 applications for interlocutory injunctions. Larry has acted as insurance coverage counsel to the Attorney General of Ontario, and regularly represents a number of publicly traded corporations and insurance brokers with respect to commercial insurance issues. Larry also has significant auto industry experience, primarily in the areas of product liability, dealer disputes, risk management and commercial insurance. Theall Group LLP 4 King Street West Suite 1410 Toronto, ON M5H 1B6
T 416-304-0115 F 416-304-1395 www.theallgroup.com
Professional Involvement Larry is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Defence Research Institute, and the Advocates' Society, and has been a speaker at programs of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall Law School, Insight, and the Canadian Institute on various topics relating to product liability, commercial litigation and insurance.
“I call myself a frustrated perfectionist. ‘Fine’ is never good enough; I’m always pushing myself to reach the next skill level.” Discussing design with Debbie Brady, founder of Graphically Speaking Interview by Kori Kamradt
Photo: Ann MacNeill
uring her third year of nursing at Dalhousie University, Debbie Brady was introduced to the arts, which she describes as an “eye-opening experience.” However, being close to graduating, she completed her degree. Twenty years later, as her youngest child entered junior high, Brady decided it was time to pursue her passion. After completing a twoyear program in graphic design at Holland College, which involved a two-and-a-halfhour daily commute and included winning an entrepreneurship award, Brady founded her own company, Graphically Speaking, in rural Prince Edward Island. Here, Brady shares the ups and downs of being a smallbusiness owner of a one-person operation.
Changing professions a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
Being your own boss
Networking outside the city
Social-media marketing advantagemagazine.ca
Advantage: Not only are you the sole proprietor, but you’re also the sole staff member?
Debbie Brady: Yes, but that works very well for me. Being the boss as well as the employee, I can be as hard on myself as I need to be. This makes certain that when I present creative solutions to clients they’re the best they can be. My clients really appreciate that, too. They also like knowing that when they call they’ll talk to me. Because I’m not a nine-to-five designer, they know I’ll get the job done for them. Is it ever tough to be the only person on the job?
Sometimes it can get pretty hectic, but on the whole, no. I plan carefully, so when I take on a project I can give it 110 percent. I also have an excellent network of resources that I can draw upon, mostly from other home-based business services such as web programming, photography, and marketing. This allows me to provide all the services people might expect from a larger business with a more physical presence in the city, but they’re getting the flexibility I offer. These associates refer projects to me as well. It’s a two-way street. Can you give me an example where you’ve worked on a project with someone else?
I was teamed with Scott Jay, [owner of ] Your Digital Coach, during a project where I was hired to design a website, and he was the programmer. Scott is so easy to work with, and shares passion and perseverance— two qualities that I’m committed to. Since then, I have brought Scott on board for any programming I need done. In turn, he brings projects to me that are looking for higherend website designs. How have things changed since you began the company?
When I look back at projects I did 11 years ago, I see that I’ve really been able to develop and refine my style: very clean and classic, yet mindful of current trends. I call myself a frustrated perfectionist. “Fine” is never good enough; I’m always pushing myself to reach the next skill level. As my 10th anniversary approached, my goal was to have a website—one advantagemagazine.ca
that incorporated social media. I knew that Twitter and Facebook were gaining immense business credibility. Being unfamiliar with both, I buckled myself in for the steep yet exciting ride along the learning curve. Has social media helped you reach customers?
Relationship building in today’s cluttered marketplace is extremely important. People, especially here on the island, prefer to know whom they are dealing with before doing business. Social media facilitates that process by making my physical location quite insignificant. Potential customers can objectively assess my skills and service. Social media allows me ready access to networking conversations. [I can] give updates about my business activities, promote clients, learn of new resources, and make and receive referrals. How else do you reach customers?
I’m a member of the Prince Edward Island Business Women’s Association and local chamber of commerce. Participating in Lunch & Learn sessions, workshops, and networking mixers has significantly helped me meet new customers. My network of resources I’ve drawn upon for projects has also been a great source of referrals. How do you begin the process with a client?
I am here to help them find a strong visual voice by guiding them through the creative process to get the results they need. They may not know exactly what they’re looking for, but I ask a lot of questions so that by the time I begin a project I have a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. For example, if I’m designing an ad, I would ask, “Who are you trying to reach? What message do you want to communicate? Have you had other ads? Is there going to be a call to action?” Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
Find something you’re passionate about and do your homework. If you make enough income to sustain yourself while doing something you really enjoy, and can delight your customers, it’s a plus-plus. _a
Debbie Brady’s Career Milestones 1998 Awarded the highest skill ranking attained by a first-year graphicdesign student
1999 Is the first graphic-design student ever to receive Holland College’s Glendenning Award, an award based on the student’s abilities in the areas of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship Graduates from Holland College’s Visual Communications Program
2000 Officially begins Graphically Speaking
2006 Coordinates first of three Prince Edward Island visual-arts festivals, completing graphics, press releases, and photography
2007 Acts as project coordinator and label and website designer for a Japan and Prince Edward Island joint venture presented at Foodex Japan 2007
2008 Achieves Licentiate Graphic Designer of Canada designation, becoming only one of four designers in Prince Edward Island with this designation
2010 Launches Graphically Speaking website and blog, which forms the foundation for a social-media strategy
2011 Creates a team from home-based businesses, and submits winning proposal for Inns of Distinction website project Nominated for the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce’s Excellence in Business Award
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“I realized I don’t have to be afraid. I have to say what’s on my mind and what I feel.” Lessons in success from Stephen Applebaum, president and CEO of Sherson Group Interview by Sally Deering
Learning from mentors a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
The business of fancy footwear
fter the death of his business partner and mentor, Stephen Applebaum dug in his heels to become president and CEO of Torontobased Sherson Group. As one of Canada’s leading footwear and accessories distributors, the company’s impressive portfolio features Nine West, Bandolino, Enzo Angiolini, Rachel Roy, AK Anne Klein, Easy Spirit, Nine and Co., and Mootsies Tootsies. In 1999, Applebaum took another bold step into the retail market and purchased five Nine West stores. Today the Sherson Group oversees 43 retail locations—31 Nine Wests, 9 outlets, and 3 Madison multibrands—and a staff of almost 500 associates. Applebaum recently talked to Advantage about forging his path in the footwear industry. advantagemagazine.ca
Advantage: How did you get your start in footwear?
Stephen Applebaum: My mother loved shoes, and since I was the youngest, she was always dragging me to shoe stores. When I was 16, I needed a part-time job, and she knew the manager of a local Town Shoes store—and I was hired. I discovered I had a real talent for selling and seemed to be drawn to the concept of success in sales. After high school, I attended the Schulich School of Business and graduated in 1981. Harvey Routbard, who was the president of Town Shoes, suggested I join their management-training program. What was it like going back to the company?
I was happy to get the job because I grew up there. I became an assistant buyer, worked temporarily in stores, experienced New York shoe shows, went to Europe with [the company], and through that I met my mentor and friend, Harry Sherman. He taught me the wholesale side of the business. Three years later, I left Town Shoes and went to work with Harry. How did you become president and CEO of Sherson?
In 1984, Harry and I started a company called Sherson Marketing. We developed and grew the business for three years, and our sales went from $1 million to $18 million. I was in charge of sales management, and Harry was in charge of sourcing and production. In 1990, he passed away. I was a young guy, 33, left with this business of which I owned a minority share, and his estate owned the balance. Fortunately, I had relationships with our suppliers and told them it was going to continue. The industry up here was skeptical—Harry was such a presence in the shoe business. As it turned out, I found a way to buy the rest of the company from his estate, and I was determined more than anything to make it happen, and I did. Can you describe your day-to-day overseeing Sherson Group? advantagemagazine.ca
I’m a hands-on owner and president. I involve myself in all aspects. I attend all of the trade shows in Canada and the United States. I’m involved in the buying end, the wholesale, and the retail. How did Sherson Group transition into the retail market?
Nine West chose Sherson to be the distributor of Nine West, Easy Spirit, Calico, and Enzo Angiolini, and then our relationship grew even stronger. Nine West had retail stores all over Canada and all over the world. They wanted to license the retail stores, and came to me in 1998 and asked me if I would be interested. I looked at the list of stores they had, and I was able to convince them that what they had were five or six good ones. We took over those, and since then we’re up to 43. That was my foray into retail, and at the same time we were able to manage our wholesale. Do you have a business philosophy that guides your decisions?
I do. It’s two words: honesty and integrity. Every decision I make is honest, and for every decision I make, there’s integrity in it. What do you think planted the seed for this business philosophy?
There was a time in my early years—I was working with one of Canada’s major department stores, and the buyer with one of the brands we had gave me an order that was huge. I was extremely uncomfortable because I felt she had bought too much; it did not sit right with me. I phoned her and told her, “I think you bought too much; you better buy less. As much as I appreciate it, it’s a new thing.” She said, “I can’t believe you’re telling me this—no one’s ever done that before.” She was so appreciative that I was honest and straightforward, and from that day on, I realized I don’t have to be afraid. I have to say what’s on my mind and what I feel. And for the record, I’m still very good friends with that buyer. That was a defining moment for me. I’m not a hit-and-run guy. There’s always the next season. _a
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“People need to do two things: be more self-reliant and be responsible for their own decisions. I stress balance … and accepting that change is a part of life.” Photo: Ellis Martin
Navigating the metals market with Silver-Investor.com founder David Morgan Interview by Lynn Russo Whylly
avid Morgan became enthralled with silver at the tender age of 11 and began investing in the stock market at age 16. While he focuses heavily on trends in metals, he considers himself a macroeconomist. Morgan teaches people to be patient and have conviction in their investment holdings, and his website, Silver-Investor.com, is an industry-leading resource. Morgan is a highly sought-after speaker worldwide, from Hong Kong to London to Zurich to the Canadian Natural Resources conferences. He is also the publisher of a monthly newsletter, the Morgan Report, and a book, Get the Skinny on Silver Investing. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, BNN in Canada, and numerous radio shows, many of which can be found on YouTube. Morgan has even been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Gold Report, among many other publications. Given his busy schedule, Advantage was thrilled to sit down with Morgan to get the skinny on his business and the current market.
The ups and downs of the metals market a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
The value of good service
Improving quality of life advantagemagazine.ca
NYSE: EXK TSX: EDR Frankfurt: EJD
Advantage: What is your mission?
David Morgan: To teach and empower people to understand the benefits of an honest financial system. Silver and gold are important because metals are one of the few instruments during monetary crises in which people can protect their wealth or savings. But I watch the global picture and all global markets, not just metals, because if I don’t look at the big picture, I could miss an important trend change.
SILVER PRODUCER FOCUSED ON
What do you make of all the ups and downs we’ve been having in the market lately?
I think they are huge indicators of uncertainty in all markets—stock, currency, metals. The reason behind it is that there is a breakdown across the globe in what this financial system is capable of doing, and more and more people—both analysts and the general public—are becoming concerned. There’s a mixed camp that says we’re going to get through this; the other camp says we haven’t resolved the underlying fundamental problems and, until we do, the economy is going to continue to degrade. I’m in that camp. What do you advise your clients to do in this market?
I advise them to be realistic. If things continue to deteriorate, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. We probably will get through this, but we may suffer more before we can meet the problem head-on and do something about it. If that’s the case, then I believe metals can protect people’s wealth. However, putting all of one’s money into metals is not prudent. There are always opportunities outside metals at all times. They may be hard to find right now, but they exist. What do you feel is the best decision you’ve ever made?
To follow my heart and do what I’m doing now. When I started the website, it was a research site for my own edification. I started getting visitors and that turned into a small amount of consulting. Then I started writing the Morgan Report, but I started out slow. I made $6,000 my first year. I built it up over 13 years through longevity and my reputation. If you provide a good service, your business is going to grow, and that has been the case for me.
ndeavour Silver Corp. is a mid-cap silver mining company focused on the growth of its silver production, reserves and resources in Mexico and Chile. Since start-up in 2004, Endeavour has posted seven consecutive years of aggressive silver production and resource growth.
What are the key philosophies you live
he organic expansion programs now underway at Endeavour’s two operating silver mines in Mexico, combined with its strategic acquisition program should enable Endeavour to achieve its goal to become a premier, mid-tier silver mining company.
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Mines Management, Inc.
by every day?
I try to learn something new every day. There is always something to learn about the silver market, such as new applications in nanotechnology, medical, and textiles. I think the highest aim one can have in life is to be of service to others, and because I’m helping people improve their quality of life and build their wealth, it’s very gratifying. Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would still like to do?
I’d like to see a leader, any leader, not necessarily the United States, stand up and speak
NYSE-Amex: MGN, TSX: MGT Unearthing Life’s Key Ingredients
MONTANORE Silver-Copper Project
PROJECT OVERVIEW David Morgan’s Career Milestones 1965 Begins investing in metals
1995 Starts consulting business
1998 Launches first website, a predecessor to Silver-Investor.com
2003 Begins speaking in public and private forums on precious-metals investing
2009 Wins the Silver Bull Award at the Silver Summit in Spokane, WA
the truth. These political leaders are trying to overcome a debt problem by adding more debt. I would like to see someone stand up on a forum like NBC or CNBC and really speak the truth. The deficit problem is hugely important, but the way we’re addressing it is making the problem worse, not better. If you could address the world, what would you tell folks?
People need to do two things: be more self-reliant and be responsible for their own decisions. I stress balance, being a lifelong learner, and accepting that change is a part of life. We’re facing huge issues in energy, food, water, and population. Because of those facts, we’ve got to prioritize our time—the most valuable commodity we have—and not waste it.” _a 36
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World Class Silver-Copper Exploration Project U.S. Based Project Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment Two current activities include: Preparations for u/g drilling & eval., feasibility study Final phase re-permitting process 43-101 In-situ Resource
Silver Tonnage Gr-opt Mil oz. Measured 4.0 1.85 7.5 Indicated 77.5 2.05 158.8 Inferred 35.1 1.85 64.9 Total 231.2 116.6 (millions)
Copper Grade Mil lbs. 0.74% 59.6 0.75% 1,162.2 0.71% 498.1 1,719.9
CORPORATE INFORMATION Stock Symbols: NYSE-Amex: MGN TSX: MGT TSX-Warrants: MGT.W.US Shares Outstanding: 28.6 Million Recent Share Price: US$1.72 Market Capitalization: US$49.4 MIllion OFFICERS Glenn M. Dobbs, President & CEO James H. Moore, CFO John E. Thompson, VP General Manager Mike G. Rasmussen, VP Exploration Douglas D. Dobbs, VP Corporate Development DIRECTORS Glenn M. Dobbs, Chairman Russell C. Babcock, PGeo Roy G. Franklin, CPA Jerry G. Pogue Robert L. Russell, PEng
“When it comes to consultancies, there are those who develop strategy and those who execute strategy. It is rare to have someone with both of these capabilities.” Consulting with the best: TMG International Inc.’s managing director, John Bardawill Interview by Mark Pechenik
y redefining the role of professional consultants in the 21st century, TMG International has developed a winning strategy that has propelled it into the top ranks of the consulting industry. Since opening its doors in 1998, the Toronto-based firm has reflected founder John Bardawill’s conviction that consulting should be more than offering advice. Instead, Bardawill and his partners, Pat Tremaine and Bill French, have championed a more active role for their consultants as business leaders. Advantage caught up with Bardawill to ask about his vision and how TMG is putting his strategies into action.
Seeing a strategy through to execution
Recruiting the top talent
Solving problems across industries advantage
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Advantage: You have been quoted as saying, “At TMG International, we don’t hire consultants; we hire business leaders.” Can you elaborate?
The partners at the helm of TMG International (from left): Pat Tremaine, John Bardawill, and Bill French.
John Bardawill: We believe that when it comes to consultancies there are those who develop strategy and those who execute strategy. It is rare to have someone with both of these capabilities. So we hire seasoned executives who encompass both of these skill sets. They cannot only develop strategies but also understand what is required to effectively execute those strategies to get results. What enables TMG consultants to carry out this full-service strategy?
We bring in seasoned business leaders, those who have held positions at the president, vice president, and director level, and have a track record of success. These individuals have consistently proven that they can put themselves into our clients’ shoes. They utilize their real-life understanding to not only formulate strategy but also to help our clients effectively implement planning and development. In short, they know what works. How does this difference enable TMG to be competitive within the consulting industry?
We’ve been competitive because our people have the ability to effectively leverage their knowledge and experience on behalf of our clients. And we’ve been successful because we help our clients succeed. Just as important, we love what we do—we realize an important sense of accomplishment whenever we help clients maximize revenues and profitability. In essence, our experience and passion are what make our firm so successful and effective, and are what keep our clients coming back. Can you provide some examples of this approach?
At a national franchisee retailer, we helped strengthen the quality of business planning at the store level and ensured that the brand experience was more consistent across the country. We did this by first conducting a thorough review and analysis. Then, using a rapid and proprietary retail-planning model, we were able to create actionable business 38
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plans through a three-day facilitated session. The result was an increase in sales and customer satisfaction. We’ve also done several assessments of call-centre operations for our clients. We first examine what is trying to be accomplished and the level of effectiveness. We then help our clients understand and prioritize the operational changes required in the areas of revenue, efficiency, and customer experience, to effectively drive change. Because we have done these and other types of engagements with clients in many industries, we have demonstrated the value of our consulting approach. Do your solutions differ according to industry or operations?
Yes. Our solution for each client and our recommendations for implementation are based on the specifics of their industry, their organization, and their customer requirements. However, our approach doesn’t change. We always take a customer-first view. What does TMG’s future look like?
We’ve experienced strong growth to date, and we’re likely to continue our growth by continuing to help our clients achieve their objectives. Given our successful portfolio, I’m confident that we’ll continue to see significant increases in customer growth and satisfaction.
John Bardawill’s Career Milestones 1983 Earns an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Western Ontario
1989–92 Vice president of marketing for Thomas Cook’s North American division
1993–95 As general manager of Thomson Newspapers, leads the marketing, circulation, and advertising departments
1995–96 As vice president of marketing for Southam Newspapers, Bardawill is responsible for marketing the two Vancouver dailies, the Vancouver Sun and the Province
1998 Founds TMG International Inc. to provide outside perspective and consulting on marketing, sales, general management, and strategic planning
2007 Pat Tremaine and Bill French join TMG as partners
2012 TMG consists of 20-plus people, including consultants, analysts, and support staff
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Photos: Brian White
“I can keep busy with other things, but I think it’s healthy to spend time working in a job you enjoy.” Jim Frise, general manager of Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, talks about dodging retirement to do what he loves Interview by Christopher T. Freeburn
Finding a career path a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
In and out of retirement
unning one of Nova Scotia’s most iconic rural resorts is the sort of challenge at which Jim Frise excels. After all, it’s his third time as general manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa. Built on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the 105-room lodge is located inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park and offers a range of activities during spring, summer, and fall. Frise, whose résumé includes some of Canada’s finest hotels, is a natural fit for the landmark resort. Here, he discusses the career path that led him to Keltic Lodge.
A rural wonder
Challenges at Keltic Lodge advantagemagazine.ca
Advantage: What motivated you to get into the hospitality industry?
Jim Frise: I started working for Canadian Pacific Hotels—now Fairmont Hotels—at Chateau Lake Louise during summers while in college. Later, I discovered that I didn’t really like college all that much. So I went back to my old friends at Canadian Pacific, and the career started from there. Tell me a little about your career history prior to joining Keltic Lodge?
I apprenticed at the Royal Oak Hotel in Toronto in the early ’60s. Then I spent the next few decades at various other Canadian Pacific properties, including the Algonquin Hotel and Resort and Chateau Lake Louis, where I was general manager for 15 years in two different stretches. I first came to Keltic Lodge in 1994 and spent five years as general manager. Then I retired. I settled in nearby Ingonish Beach in 2001, and worked for a private-property developer for five years and then retired again. In 2007, I returned for a year at Keltic Lodge and then retired once more. The lodge went through some challenging times over the last few years, and New Castle Hotels and Resorts, which operates the hotel for the province, was looking for someone who knew the property and could strengthen its position in the marketplace. So I came back. Though you retired on several occasions, you keep returning to work. Why?
At my age, I find that I need to have a few days a week where I have some workplace structure. I have enjoyed a few other things different than my career, and worked in
the building industry just to stay active. I can keep busy with other things, but I think it’s healthy to spend time working in a job you enjoy, but without major responsibilities. What keeps you coming back to Keltic Lodge?
The spectacular rural setting grows on you. I’ve managed both rural resort and city-based hotel properties, but I prefer resorts, especially in a place as beautiful as this. Keltic Lodge has spectacular countryside and oceanfront views and a really nice atmosphere. And I have found serving mostly individuals and families on vacation a little more rewarding than operating in the business community at city-based hotel properties. What differentiates Keltic Lodge from other rural resorts?
We have great sandy beaches, which people don’t expect to see this far north. For hikers, the famous Cabot Breton Highlands National Park, here on Cabot Trail, offers unique experiences. In addition to a highend dining room and a family-style restaurant, the lodge offers the Highland Sitting Room—a lounge area featuring nightly live entertainment, including music with our Cape Breton flare—and a 5,000-squarefoot AVEDA Spa. Adjacent to the Keltic Lodge is Highland Lakes Golf Course, an 18-hole championship layout. Most of the holes are in view of the Atlantic Ocean. We offer vacation packages for golfing, kayaking, mountain biking, whale-watching excursions, and romantic weekends.
What has been your most demanding project since rejoining Keltic Lodge?
Finding the right people for a seasonal operation is always a challenge, and more so in a tight economy. We hire the majority of our staff for just a six- or seven-month period. Finding skilled people willing to give up their current position for half a year and then risk not being able to find another position when the season is over is increasingly difficult. We establish good relations with colleges that offer courses in hotel management and have success recruiting from them. What does the future hold for Keltic Lodge?
We are hoping to soon begin renovations of many of the guest rooms and public spaces. It has been a few years since there was major renovation work on the property, and the facilities would benefit from updating. In today’s competitive resort industry, it’s important to keep your facilities fresh and abreast with current trends. _a
Jim Frise’s Career Milestones 1964 Joins Canadian Pacific Hotels
1971 Manages Flight Kitchen at Toronto Airport
1973 Is posted at the Algonquin Hotel
1980 Serves as general manager at Hotel Beausejour in Moncton, NB
1984 Returns to the Algonquin Hotel
1994 Joins Keltic Lodge as general manager
2001 Serves as general manager during development of Glenghorm Beach Resort at Ingonish Beach
2007 Returns to Keltic Lodge as general manager
2008 Retires again The AVEDA Spa at Keltic Lodge provides 5,000 square feet of soothing amenities.
2011 Returns to Keltic Lodge as general manager
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Battle River Implements is a staple supplier of farm equipment to the community of Cambrose, AB.
â€œThe best way to win any race is to get off to a good start. And you only get a good start if you are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.â€?
Keeping the fire in the belly a p r i l / m ay / j u n e 2012
Managing growing pains while expanding
Doing business with Terry Hamilton, president and general manager of Battle River Implements Ltd. Interview by Megy Karydes
rowth rarely comes easy, and even highly successful businesses will experience some growing pains as they expand their offerings. Battle River Implements is no stranger to growth. The company retails leading agricultural machinery and provides services to its customers, most of whom are farmers. Terry Hamilton, president and general manager, knows that he needs to closely monitor how his companyâ€™s employees manage those growing pains so that Battle River Implements can continue providing the best customer service possible. The company recently doubled its size from two stores to four. Here, Hamilton discusses what drives his company forward and how he manages it with an upward trajectory. advantagemagazine.ca
Advantage: You’ve doubled your company’s size fairly quickly. How did you manage the growth while not affecting your current customer base?
Terry Hamilton: I think the largest factor to succeeding as it relates to our expansions has been our ability to retain the key people in each of those locations. We have tried to make the transitions in each one of these expansions as seamless as we possibly could for our customers, and a big part of that is to make sure that they continue to deal with the same people that they have come to trust over the years. It sounds like you value the contributions of your employees and team members.
Yes. The key component to any success that we have enjoyed has been a result of the efforts of our staff. We are very fortunate to have a staff that is made up of a group of individuals who take a great deal of pride in what they do. Customers deal with people. Sure, they do business with Battle River Implements, but primarily they do business with the people who work here. John Deere seems to be a large part of your company’s offering. How has the company helped your company succeed and grow?
I had mentioned earlier that our people take a great deal of pride in what they do. That pride comes largely as a result of knowing that they are supporting and being supported by the
The John Deere green and yellow is a common sight at Battle River Implements.
best in the industry. John Deere continues to set the bar in the agriculture industry. How do you exceed the norm, and how do you continue to innovate and meet the needs of your customers?
[This is] partially due to our affiliation with our primary supplier, Deere, but is very closely tied to the pride and the commitment of our people. Our people, like most others in the agriculture industry, have seen a great deal of change over the past few years. Our first expansion was in July of 2007, and that expansion brought about the usual challenges that are experienced when these types of things occur. We weren’t even really on top of those challenges when the opportunity came along in early 2009 for the next step in the plan. I believe that when you are fortunate enough to have a core group of people on staff who have that “fire in their belly,” the rest of us, customers included, can’t help but get excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Let’s be honest: we are in a race here, and the first ones to “get there” win. We all know that the best way to win any race is to get off to a good start. And you only get a good start if you are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead—and I know that we are. Is there a technology, trend, or idea that is driving your company forward?
Commercial. Industrial. Community
Battle River Implements-Provost, AB
There is one very important strategy in focus for Battle River that we’ve recently implemented: the Integrated Solutions Initiative. Through utilization of the technologies that are in place today, we have an opportunity to do an even better job of working with our customers to help them manage many areas of their operation in an effort to improve their efficiencies, as well as their bottom line.
City of Oshawa Civic Centre & Fieldhouse-Oshawa, ON
What’s next for Battle River Implements?
Scott Builders are pleased to be working closely with Battle River Implements, John Deere Dealer from Killam, AB on the design development and construction of the new 48,519 sq.ft. shop/office/showroom facility in Killam, AB. This is the 2nd project Scott has done for BRI.
We are going to stay the course. We want to continue in the development of our vision for the people who make up our organization. These people are our future: they are our best recruiters, they are our best advertisers, and we need them to be our most open critics. If we can make Battle River Implements a great place to work for all of us here, we will never want for or lack good people. And good people are what make a good business. _a
County of Paintearth - Castor, AB
YOU CAN BUILD ON OUR REPUTATION.
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Building & Keeping a Wide Base of Customers with CMP Plastics International Inc. By Kelli Lawrence
Consider all options There wasn’t always a niche for CMP Plastics. It had already been around for five years when Perry Budovitch—a Montréal native and McGill graduate who credits NAFTA for the inspiration to start his own business—bought a struggling CMP in 1994. “What had happened was, a very small percentage of the projects being developed at that time never really came through and developed into an end product—they were failures,” Budovitch explains. “So I decided that rather than focus on new projects, we needed to try and land some existing projects that were already proven in the marketplace.” Budovitch’s previous experience in the plastic-resin industry allowed him to focus on controlling costs, which is easier to control than the selling price. “Any competitive edge is always considered in my goal to build a successful business,” he says.
MEET CMP PLASTICS Perry Budovitch has a way of carrying his work around most anywhere he goes—particularly when he’s out shopping. If it’s made of plastic, he wants to know what it is, what company’s name is on it, and where it was made. Especially where it was made. Because that’s how his company, CMP Plastics, built its presence. First domestically and now globally, CMP’s custom, plasticinjection-moulding services supply industries ranging from health to housewares to automotive to cosmetics. The diversity has served the company well. “The fact is, we’re flexible enough to do any type of work,” Budovitch says. “Our niche is smallto medium-sized business, but we have the ability to process small production runs to large quantities in the millions.” CMP plastics can also assemble, package, warehouse, and ship. Many of the company’s customers don’t even touch their goods, saving the expense of transporting goods needlessly. “It’s all about saving costs where you can,” Budovitch says.
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Find clients on their turf As it sought existing projects, CMP also gleaned a roster of recognizable clients. Today, these include Quaker Oats, Jello, Kraft General Foods, and Corning. Corning actually started as one of CMP’s minor clients, but it’s become a major one with the creation of its fiber-optic connectors, which are made in Toronto and sold worldwide. Even clients in China buy them, much to Budovitch’s amazement. Budovitch acknowledges that the big-name customers seldom take the time to seek out partners like CMP on their own. Fortunately, he discovered a way to connect with clients—big and small—that has expanded CMP’s base immensely: international trade shows. But not shows that hone in on the plastics industry; rather, any industry that utilizes custom plastic moulding, which is practically any industry out there. “We’ve achieved a lot of business that way,” Budovitch says of the trade shows. “I’ve found many manufacturers looking for someone like myself that [can] make their product for them in a local scenario rather than imported from the Far East.”
Trust that consistency and persistence pay off Finding clients “on their turf” is decidedly time consuming—Budovitch estimates he attends no less than a dozen trade shows a year—but with few competitors in the plastic industry following his lead thus far, it consistently proves to be time well spent. Over time, Budovitch has learned to streamline the whole process. “We do a major show, the whole show, with one person, in two days,” he says. “You get the leads, get the sales cards, make the follow-ups … It’s a percentage type of business. You make the connections, you make the contacts. It’s all about networking.”
Take pride in what you produce Even with so much success, the rocky economy of the past several years has left CMP’s machines standing still on the weekends—something Budovitch looks to change as business improves. In the meantime, his strategy to accommodate projects both big and small seems to pay off best when he’s dealing with the smallest ones. “I’ll get someone with an idea for a product, and I’ll turn that idea into a physical prototype for them,” Budovitch says. “Then later on, once the prototype is accepted into the marketplace, a production mould is built. We go into production, and the product is a success, and I eventually see it at Wal-Mart. That’s one of the most satisfying feelings I get.”
Worth a Listen The gurus behind Akoostix Inc. are standardizing sonar technology for use across various platforms and industries By Lisa Ryan
wo Canadian ex-military personnel and two software engineers banded together in 2006 to form Akoostix, a researchand-development firm specializing in varying aspects of software design and acoustics. With a combined 40 years of software- and systemengineering experience, the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based firm has emerged as one of Canada’s top resources for defence and underwater sonar systems, offering services such as software development, acoustic-data analysis, detection and classification, and data fusion and tracking. “Akoostix was founded to demonstrate a better way to develop reusable, flexible sonar systems and to find a better way to create value in sonar-system development,” says president Joe Hood. “It gave us the degree of control that we needed to be able to invest and see the solutions go the way they had to go.” Though the company is relatively young, Akoostix has made a name for itself in the research-and-development field, thanks to its founders’ years of experience and innovative approach. “The founders of the company all had experience in this domain,” Hood explains. “We had the contacts and the domain
President Joe Hood aboard the SS Muttonchop, a vessel equipped with Akoostix’s state-of-the-art sonar.
5 questions with Joe Hood
1. What does innovation mean to your company? Innovation, to me, is creating a novel, valuable solution to a problem.
Our goal in the next five years is to have sonar systems in the Canadian military, built using our approach and our concepts.
2. Where do you hope innovation will lead Akoostix in the next five years?
3. How has your notion of innovation changed in the past decade?
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Our vision now is the same as when we started. We had the right focus—it’s just a matter of making it happen.
innovate with a portion of the financial benefit, and we foster collaboration between specialists in Akoostix.
4. How do you cultivate innovation among your workforce? We pay for training, and expose employees to new research opportunities. They get to work with other scientists and researchers. We also reward those who
5. What defines an innovative company in the 21st century? Companies that invest in research and development, collaborate, and are agile—they have the ability to change as the world changes around them. advantagemagazine.ca
Maritime Way Scientific Ltd.
Operational Oceanography & Scientific Solutions
specializes in providing consulting and scientific services to Marine Industry, Maritime Research and Development, Fisheries, and Defence.
knowledge, and we had the passion to see it support their science,” Hood says, adding that by participating in the research themselves, done the way it should be done. Even though the company was formed only a few years ago, they’re able to sell the results of this research we’ve been working to get to this point for a back to the Canadian government after integrating it into a commercial system at a signifilong time.” cantly reduced cost. Hood and his team saw a gap in the sonarsystems market, which sparked their interest. The company has recently submitted a “We felt that individual sonar systems were proposal to the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program, being created without a very competitive proefficiently reusing gram geared towards knowledge and caselling innovation to pability,” Hood says. “We develop knowlthe Canadian governAnd they noticed edge by looking at ment. As of press time, that manufacturers scenarios over long Akoostix has made it would create entirely through two of the three new solutions for the periods of time and evaluation stages to different types of sounderstanding them. emerge as a finalist for nar systems—from the award. Regardless ships to submarines With that deep unof the result, Akoostix’s to aircraft—without derstanding comes dedication to innovation efficiently reusing the related software. inspiration on how to will bolster the company for years to come. “In the past, peosolve problems.” “We develop knowple did research and ledge by looking at sceworked with a pro—Joe Hood, President narios over long periods totype that had no of time and understandchance of making it ing them,” Hood says. into a system,” Hood “With that deep undersays. “People would standing comes inspiratake those ideas, start over, and develop a new system. The reality tion on how to solve problems.” _a is that many of the components inside each of these solutions is the same. We knew that you could develop components that solve problems and put them into all of the solutions, and it wasn’t being done—or at least A message from maritime way scientific ltd. Maritime Way Scientific Ltd. has been providing done well.” Since its founding, Akoostix has sought operational oceanography services for more than to design and implement technology that 18 months. We have benefited from our associatargets defence and underwater-acoustics re- tion with Akoostix Inc., which has assisted and quirements. But it’s quite a long process to get mentored our business efforts in the defence industry. Maritime Way seeks to form a partnership from the research to the design stage. “One of the big things that we’re doing is with Akoostix to integrate our acoustic-modelling working closely with government researchers and tactical-decision aids into Akoostix’s signalwhile they’re doing their science—we actually processing systems. advantagemagazine.ca
Making Data Intelligent
Quester Tangent is a world leader in acoustic bottom classification technology and backscatter processing. Used in more than 40 countries globally, the technology is especially suited for habitat quantification and environmental mapping.
Gravel Medium Sand Fine Sand Mud Sandy Mud
Maritime Way has partnered with Quester Tangent to deliver products and services to make sea, lake and river bed maps using data acquired by single beam, multibeam and sidescan echosounders.
Maritime Way Scientific, Ottawa ONT Martin L. Taillefer President / Chief Techical Officer Telephone: +1.613.824.6300 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.maritimeway.ca advantage
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Taking Cancer to Trial OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s new products could help mitigate the difficulty of treating tumours that rapidly adapt By Sally Deering
ased in Vancouver—with an additional location in Bothell, Washington—OncoGenex is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies that address treatment resistance in patients with cancer. Scott Cormack, president, CEO, and cofounder, and Martin Gleave, cofounder and principal inventor, work with a staff of 35 professionals to conduct drug trials, evaluate data, gauge patients’ unmet treatment needs, assess new products in development, and manage the manufacturing activities of the company’s cutting-edge treatments to weaken tumour resistance. “Our primary focus is treatment resistance in cancer,” Cormack says. “One of the challenges in cancer treatment is the fact that tumours will try to adapt to evade the effects of treatment. Tumours circumvent therapy by turning on and off genetic switches. What we do as a company is target those switches with therapeutics, with the goal of disabling a tumour’s ability to adapt, in order to make other therapies continue to work effectively.”
5 questions with Scott Cormack 1. What does innovation mean to OncoGenex?
Innovation is at the core of our existence. Innovation has given us the product candidates that we’re pursuing as potential new treatments for cancer.
or idea that drives OncoGenex forward?
Focusing on how tumours adapt in order to circumvent the benefits of standard anticancer therapies is paramount for OncoGenex. The many advances in molecular 2. Is there a technology, trend, biology and cancer biology 48
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President, CEO, and cofounder Scott Cormack is helping pave the way in the fight against cancer.
have driven our path. 3. Where do you hope this innovation will lead OncoGenex in the next five years?
Ideally, to make available novel treatments for cancer patients that improve their survival and quality of life. 4. How do you cultivate innovation among your workforce?
I constantly press for new solutions, to address issues and allow staff to work through the solution. 5. How can a company encourage innovation without breaking the bank?
How can a company survive without innovation? The bank will break regardless if a company does not maintain its competitive advantage. advantagemagazine.ca
“Working to develop new therapies for cancer—and potentially make a difference in the lives of so many people—is a comforting thing.” —Scott Cormack, President, CEO & Cofounder
OncoGenex’s lead product candidate, OGX-011, also known as custirsen sodium, was designed to inhibit the production of a specific protein associated with treatment resistance in many cancers, and has completed five Phase II clinical trials for prostate, lung, and breast cancers. Presently being developed as an adjunct therapy to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, OGX-011 has shown promising preclinical, phase-one, and phase-two results when added to commonly used chemotherapies in several tumour types. “OGX-011 is designed to inhibit the production of clusterin, a protein that is associated with treatment resistance in a number of solid tumours, including prostate, breast, nonsmall cell lung, ovarian, and others,” Cormack says. “Clusterin is overproduced by tumour cells, which conveys broad resistance to many standard anticancer therapies, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other treatment modalities. By decreasing clusterin, we believe we can reduce a tumour’s ability to adapt.” This is a huge leap for the industry, which has developed therapies but can’t accommodate for an adapting tumour. “Generally, the industry has made inroads on certain kinds of cancer, but for many— including lung, prostate, and breast cancer— patients still die from their diseases because they run out of treatment options,” Cormack says. “That’s what our product candidates are about: finding a way to delay or prevent tumours from adapting.” Cormack oversees the strategic direction of the company. With a team of dedicated professionals with deep experience in drug development, marketing, and advantagemagazine.ca
manufacturing, Cormack decides on which product candidates to advance, which indications to pursue, how to finance development activities, and how to prioritize these activities. With a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Alberta and 25 years in the industry, Cormack has demonstrated the patience needed to persevere through the many aspects of drug development that take years to complete. “It’s not an instant-gratification industry— you can’t look to tomorrow for success,” Cormack says. “Developing novel therapies for cancer takes a long time. But when you see data for the first time, everything you’ve been working for comes into sharp focus. Working to develop new therapies for cancer—and potentially make a difference in the lives of so many people—is a comforting thing. There’s a lot of passion behind what we hope to do for humankind.” _a
A message from sharedvoice pr
SharedVoice Public Relations (SVPR) is an innovative agency providing full-service, integratedcommunications support to companies focused on life sciences and consumer health and wellness. SVPR was designed to meet the evolving needs of our client partners, who play multiple roles within their organizations, under intense pressure to deliver with limited resources. With our healthcare experience across North America, we help life-science companies headquartered in Canada achieve business goals in the United States and globally. SVPR assembles the right team for the right projects, combining deep experience and diverse backgrounds to provide incisive strategy, creativity, and ready support. advantage
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SERVICE AND INNOVATION
Investing in our Communities
Working with community stakeholders locally to help drive positive change everyday
ENGINEERED COMPOSITES INC.
HAND IN HAND
Proudly serving the industry since 1939 Carlson Engineered Composites Inc. manufactures fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP) components for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of agricultural equipment, transpor tation and recreational vehicles. The company also ser ves the industrial/custom fiberglass marketplace. If you are searching for a quality supplier, Carlson Engineered Composites Inc. can offer you cost effective alternatives to aluminum and steel using fiberglass. We supply quality fiberglass components to original equipment manufacturers.
Magellan Aerospace is where innovation and service work hand in hand. It is where advanced technology unites with strategic relationships. We pride ourselves on our ability to understand where our customers are coming from, and where they want to go.
Boeing Canada Winnipeg
We make it our business
is a proud supporter of the
Our composite manufacturing
VARTM, close molding, press
our customersâ€™ objectives
molding, resin infusion, open
to make our technology
Centre of Manitoba
processes include RTM, LRTM,
molding, and more.
ISO 9001:2008 Certified
to align ourselves with
work for their success.
Closing the Gap By pooling resources and knowledge, Composites Innovation Centre brings together experts across industries to solve pressing technological issues By Dan Harvey
Photo: CiJae Filipchuk
rue to its name, Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) is innovative in more ways than one. To start, the company boasts a business model different from similar nonprofit organizations that seek to achieve the same goals. “We help clients with our technical services and manage their projects,” says executive director Sean McKay. “In addition, we lead customers to the funding that they need to make their vision a reality. Generally, you don’t find all three elements in the mix that similar organizations offer.” While it focuses on promoting industry and, in turn, economic growth in Western Canada, CIC’s influence is felt throughout the world, particularly though its involvement with biomaterials. Since its founding, in 2003, the company has experienced tremendous growth. Currently, CIC boasts revenues in the $4 million range. This revenue growth is underscored by its physical expansion: in January 2012, the company moved into a new, 21,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg. CIC engages in projects that demonstrate advances and new evolutions in cutting-edge technology for a variety of industrial sectors. Some of CIC’s work stems from its development of biomaterials. Several projects have the company harnessing natural fibres native to Western Canada to replace fibreglass fibres in composite applications. In another area, CIC is working with material suppliers to develop innovative resin systems. These innovations can lead to a variety of real-world applications, such as making a bus lighter or developing a completely sustainable shelter. And by developing partnerships in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United States, and South Africa, CIC is harnessing the capabilities of world-leading experts. “We established these partnerships because we want to accelerate both the development and acceptance of these biomaterials [for] general
Sean McKay, executive director.
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application,” McKay says. “We take on the facilitator role, through our international research network. The organization’s members’ main purpose is to determine the technology gaps and what needs to be done to close those gaps.” The end goal isn’t research, however, but to commercialize the technologies. “Our mandate involves the economic growth of manufacturers,” McKay says. “We do that by supporting development of new materials and technologies, and assisting in transferring these into industries and viable applications.” CIC implements a unique service menu— including design and analysis, prototyping, process development and testing, and project management—to facilitate this process. “We find that many of our clients don’t have the resources or capabilities to properly manage a project,” McKay says, “so we manage it, making sure that everyone stays on track and that
the project marches forward.” CIC will often bring in other industrial partners to add to its own competencies, with the aim of providing the best service for CIC’s clients. “For instance, if the situation calls for it, we engage a composite fabricator in the project plan, one specifically suited for the type of client application,” McKay explains. “This leads to [the industrial partner] developing the prototype and, ultimately, becoming engaged in its ongoing production.” This also addresses the aforementioned “technology gap,” which manifests in gaps in funding, technology, capabilities, research, and government interest. CIC collaborates with industry and government agencies, and even educational establishments, to address these issues, and has worked with such entities as Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Province of Manitoba, Economic
Development Winnipeg, the National Research Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Manitoba, and Red River College. Specific client requirements have driven CIC’s success into several fields, including ground transportation, aerospace, civil infrastructure, and industrial products. Because of its unique nature and the numerous markets it serves, CIC can truly be considered sui generis—that is, one of a kind. _a A message from Carlson Engineered Composites
Carlson Engineered Composites Inc. wishes to take this opportunity to thank Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) for its support over the past number of years in our transition from open-moulding manufacturing through resin-transfer moulding to an almost completely vacuum-infusion operation. CIC has provided local support in technology development services, assistance in product and laminate design, and testing, and we wish them continued success in their future development. A message from Magellan aerospace
Parts of this motorcycle were manufactured out of CIC-developed composite materials.
5 questions with Sean McKay 1. What does innovation mean to your company?
The ability to comprehend technological maturity and, from there, assisting clients in implementing technology in the most cost-effective and timely fashion. A lot of ideas emerge from large research organizations. These need to be transitioned from theory into reality. 52
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2. How does a technology trend drive your company forward?
We select specific technologies that help fill gaps [in the areas we serve]. By filling these technology gaps, we support local and national industries—especially industries that require skills related to design and analysis.
Magellan Aerospace applies innovative thinking and efficient processes to provide the global aerospace market with a range of complex-designed and -manufactured products. Magellan develops strategic relationships, becoming stronger and more effective from the collaborations, and passes this value to customers. Magellan’s Bristol Aerospace facility in Winnipeg has developed a close relationship with the CIC, which has proven successful for the advancement of composite material and its application. Magellan is pleased to be involved with the CIC and the work that it accomplishes.
technology gaps. Globally, I believe we’re all at the same point about understanding Fostering innovation means the development of a new busi- technology maturity—but we need to take it to the next level, ness model. We’ve developed to ensure that we overcome a unique model that supports some issues, like profitability, clients and their own models durability, and consistency. in the most effective fashion. Typically, the government doesn’t support such activities. 5. Where will innovation take That’s where we come in. you in the next five years? We’re looking beyond five 4. Does innovation mean that years. You take an idea, translate it into reality, and that a company needs to break makes a client operate more the bank? efficiently. The impact on the Not if you learn to collaboclient is long term, as is the rate effectively with others, impact on us. and that gets back to the 3. What defines an innovative company in the 21st century?
Richard Lockie, CEO, with one of Insception’s cryopreservation storage tanks.
Banking in Blood Insception Biosciences’ pioneering medical practices are proving to be a solid investment for future health By Megy Karydes
mbilical-cord blood is a baby’s life blood until birth. It contains precious cells, like red blood cells and white blood cells (including cancer-fighting T-cells), to help fight disease and infection. The term “cord blood” is used for blood that is drawn from the umbilical cord and the placenta after a baby is born. Up until recently, this afterbirth was discarded as medical waste. But cord blood contains stem cells that can be frozen for later use in medical therapies, such as stem-cell transplantation or regenerative medicine. Insception Biosciences was created to do just that. The company has been storing stem cells from cord blood for more than 15 years and has already used 20 of its cord-blood units in successful transplants or clinical trials, more instances of use than all of its Canadian competitors combined.
“We began in a hospital, and that relationship initially helped us become well known and respected in the industry, especially since our founders also are very active and well-respected scientists in their field,” says Richard Lockie, CEO of Insception. The company moved out of the hospital in 2004, and now operates from a state-of-the-art facility in Mississauga, Ontario. The move allowed Insception to grow its research into expansion technology, which may allow scientists to expand the number of stem cells. Today, the company runs the largest cord-blood program in Canada, with more than 37,000 samples banked. “Our company’s culture [allowed] our team to try new things,” Lockie says. “Innovation is an attitude with us. It’s about listening to our employees, letting them try new approaches, and recognizing their contributions.” There are two primary trends that are driving both the industry and advantage
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Insception. “The first trend is the increased use of cord blood for stem cells rather than bone marrow, which has been used over the past couple of decades with great success,” Lockie says. This trend is one of the major driving forces from a scientific perspective. The second trend emerges from a businessspecific standpoint. More and more customers are taking responsibility for their own health and are beginning to understand that what they capture today may be used 25 years down the road for a medical treatment. Insception is often their bank of choice because of its reputation for quality and stability, and its affiliation with its hospital partners. “Our hospital partnerships are very important to our business,” Lockie says. “Our partnerships allow us to learn and benefit from the physicians and nurses, and them from us, which translates into better outcomes for the patient.” Therefore, the more healthcare clinicians use Insception’s product, the better the collection and transportation of the cord blood to the bank. “The more familiarity the healthcare professionals have with our kits and process, the better the volume collection, which means we can get better results on our end,” Lockie says. And while Lockie recognizes the importance of the healthcare partnerships, he’s also working closely on nontraditional partnerships, specifically in the fields of marketing and technology. Regardless of approach,
A medical-lab technologist analyzes samples of cord blood.
however, the goal is to make Insception better in its field. “We want to be one of the best Canadian businesses,” Lockie says. “Not necessarily because we want to make it on a list of best places to work, but because to get the best performance from our team, we need to
5 questions with Richard Lockie 1. What does innovation mean to your company? Innovation is not necessarily about developing breakthroughs or patented technology; it’s small, incremental changes—having the ability to be flexible and partnering with other groups that may not be obvious partners. 2. Is there a technology, trend, or idea that’s driving your company 54
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forward? Expansion technology is important, because harvesting more stem cells provides us with a greater chance of success since we’ll have more stem cells to use. Our patented technology still needs to go through clinical trials, but we believe it will do exactly that. 3. How do you innovate on a day-to-day basis?
ensure we’re following the best practices of communicating widely and frequently, aligning personal objectives with our corporate objectives, paying properly, and maintaining good, performance-measurement management practices. For us, that’s what leads to innovation.” _a
them to make decisions Innovation is one of our and recommendations, and company’s core values. We encouraging them to try innovate in a number of ways, but primarily it’s how we treat new things both inside and our employees and the culture outside of the lab. we create in our company. We hire great people, we empower 5. What defines an inthem, and we encourage them novative company in the to try new methods, both in the 21st century? lab and outside. We also work [The ability to look] at ways hard to recognize our employ- to run your business by ees and the contributions they partnering with nontradimake to our mission. tional organizations. I firmly believe we can learn and 4. How do you cultivate benefit from other industries innovation among your and organizations, and those workforce? learnings will ultimately Recruiting and hiring the benefit our customers in the best talent, empowering long run. advantagemagazine.ca
Pub Theratechno Final.pdf 1 2011-11-16 13:53:33
Manufacturer of medical devices for cell culture and cryopreservation Products for: • Blood Freezing
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Paving the Way Tony Lourakis, CEO of Complete Innovations, turned a fledging software company into an international operation by ensuring that innovation is woven into every aspect of the business By Julie Schaeffer
ony Lourakis was determined to become the leading player in the courier-software market, but when he achieved that goal just three years after launching his company in 2003, he knew he had to keep improving. “We realized we had already captured a good chunk of our potential market,” he says. “If we were going to grow, we would have to expand to other verticals.” Lourakis’s vision traces back to 1998, when he and a friend, Andrew Merisanu, developed dispatch software for a small, local courier company. Completed when Lourakis and Merisanu were still college freshmen, the company loved the software so much that it recommended the students do the same for other courier companies. It was an avenue Lourakis hadn’t considered. “I thought, ‘How many courier companies are there? Four?’” he says, laughing. “Then one night I searched under ‘courier’ in the online yellow pages and got 8,000 results. It was a ‘eureka’ moment.” After researching the industry, Lourakis learned that the few software companies that existed in the courier market served larger players. Smaller companies, which made up the bulk of the industry, lacked an off-the-shelf
CEO Tony Lourakis paved the way for Complete Innovations software with a program he developed in college.
5 questions with Tony Lourakis 1. What does innovation mean to your company? At the end of the day, innovation is our culture. 2. How do you innovate on a day-to-day basis? A lot of people attribute innovation to research and development; I think we need to be innovative in every part of 56
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our business—not just in how we develop our products, but in how we go to market, how we sell our products, and how we support them. Innovation is part of our DNA. 3. Is there a technology, trend, or idea that’s driving your company forward?
We’ve been all about cloud computing for some time, since before it was even called that. Fleet Complete is totally cloud-based, and we’re making Courier Complete, which was originally a client-service solution, cloud-based as well. We’re selling software as a service, so our business model is a recurring revenue stream on a subscription basis. 4. How can a company encourage innovation without breaking the bank?
You have to look at everything you do and ask if there’s a better way—a way that enhances the customer experience, improves quality, or sets you apart from the competition. 5. What defines an innovative company in the 21st century? Any company that has strong top-line growth and strong bottom-line results is probably going to be an innovative company. There’s a direct correlation. advantagemagazine.ca
Fast, Accurate, Secure élan Data Makers
“You have to look at everything you do and ask if there’s a better way.”
Established in 1972, élan Data Makers, a division of Horton Trading
—Tony Lourakis, CEO
Ltd., has become Western Canada’s largest data entry service bureau by providing quality data capture services from our three branch locations
solution. Seeking to develop a low-cost application that would automate the business of such courier companies, Lourakis founded Markham, Ontario-based Complete Innovations. in 2000, signaling the launch of Courier Complete. The Windows-based software, an enterprise-resource-planning system, runs a courier company’s entire business, with modules for customer management, order entry, dispatching, online order tracking, billing, and more. Customers are what Lourakis refers to as “tier-two” or “tier-three” operations, ranging from small mom-and-pop businesses to those that do hundreds of millions in revenue and compete with UPS and FedEx. By 2003, Complete Innovations was dominating the market, and Lourakis was ready to expand into other areas. Such efforts led to the release of another of the company’s benchmark products: Fleet Complete. “I knew we’d want to grow in a natural way by leveraging our existing customer base, and that led us to the idea for Fleet Complete,” Lourakis says. “All of our existing customers had fleets they wanted to track, so we knew we could sell a fleet-tracking product to them, and hopefully to any other market that had a mobile-workforce component—from limo companies to landscapers.” When it launched in 2005, Fleet Complete was innovative in and of itself, especially because GPS tracking was in the early stages of market adoption. Fleet Complete monitors the vehicle’s location, speed, and other data, advantagemagazine.ca
such as idling and hard braking, via a device installed in the vehicle. This allows companies to avoid damage and insurance claims. Another component tracks nonpowered assets, such as trailers and containers, and an application for handheld mobile devices lets drivers update work orders and transmit data wirelessly. Despite the success of Courier Complete and Fleet Complete, Lourakis had an even better idea in 2007. “Originally, customers paid us to install hardware in every vehicle, then paid us a monthly fee for software and [paid] a cellular provider a monthly fee for the data transmission,” he says. In a partnership with TELUS, Complete Innovations launched TELUS Tracking and Dispatch Solutions, a zero-capital, completely bundled fleet-tracking package. “Our company has quadrupled in size since the TELUS launch, and we are now working to replicate the model with AT&T in the United States,” Lourakis says. Today, Fleet Complete stands as Complete Innovations’ flagship product, representing 80 percent of the company’s businesses. The remaining portion comes from Courier Complete and a third product, FuelFast, which allows companies with their own fuel stations to track and manage fuel usage. However, Lourakis says he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “We’ve become experts in mobile-workforce technologies, and we want to own that domain, so we’re always looking to enhance our products,” he says. _a
in Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton. Data entry is élan’s core business. For over 39 years, élan has been providing our customers with both on-site and off-site data entry solutions. élan has built a reputation across Western Canada for providing flexible, reliable, measurable and scalable data capture solutions.
Corporate Office / Vancouver Branch Suite 300, 1060 West 8th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6H 1C4 | (604) 669-9366 Victoria Branch Suite 100, 755 Hillside Avenue Victoria, BC V8T 5B2 | (250) 383-2226 Edmonton Branch Suite 330, First Edmonton Place 10665 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 3S9 | (780) 429-4088 www.elandatamakers.com advantage
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Data Protection Goes Mobile Asigra Inc. safeguards mobile-device data with an inventive, cloud-based protection service By Christopher T. Freeburn
ong a leader in data backup, recovery, and restoration (BURR) solutions, the fast-growing, Toronto-based Asigra is the first company to extend cloud-based BURR protection to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Such innovation is the result of a company culture dedicated to farsighted development, according to Eran Farajun, Asigra’s executive vice president. Asigra was established in 1986 out of the ruins of a prior software company, owned by Eran’s father, David. When a computer crash destroyed his data, David lost his business but found an idea. “He asked other programmers what they did when they lost their data,” Eran says. “When they told him the answer was to start all over again, he realized that there had to be a better solution.” David also realized that businesspeople didn’t have the time or technical skills to perform data backups themselves. Selling the idea proved difficult, however. “When [my father] approached other businesses, they said, ‘Why should we trust you to back
5 questions with Eran Farajun 1. What does innovation mean to your company? Being ready to try different ideas and being willing to make mistakes in order to create really great ideas. 2. Is there a technology, trend, or idea that’s driving your company forward? 58
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Backup will eventually become an innate feature of the computing environment, like BIOS or having an Internet browser as part of your operating system—not something you have to think about. 3. How do you cultivate innovation among your workforce?
Eran Farajun, executive vice president, followed his father into the data-backup business.
We encourage employees to come up with wild ideas. If someone makes a mistake at Asigra, they don’t get fired.
going on in IT that’s called the “consumerization” of IT. In the past, users would come to the central IT department, and IT would tell them what kind of 4. What defines an inmachines they could use. Now, novative company in the people bring their own mobile 21st century? devices, and the IT department has to accommodate Pushing the boundaries of technology and never accept- them. That’s why we created the ability in our most recent ing the status quo. release to back up data on tablets and smartphones, 5. Where do you hope innovation will lead Asigra so that corporate, central IT departments don’t run afoul in the next five years? There’s a whole phenomenon of their responsibility. advantagemagazine.ca
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—Eran Farajun, Executive Vice President
Secure & Fully Automated up our data?’” Eran says. Undaunted, the elder Farajun queried prospective customers and found they did trust their IT-service providers. “So he changed his business model and packaged the service as a software solution, selling backup software to service providers who used it to deliver electronic data-vaulting services.” As the Internet became a trusted business conduit, and data could be cheaply moved onto widely dispersed storage networks, Asigra was well positioned to offer cloud-based BURR solutions. “Businesspeople began to say, ‘I don’t need to buy the backup technology or the software and manage it myself; I need to concentrate on my own core business,’” Eran explains. “They wanted their service providers to do this for them.” The service provides went looking for backup solutions, and they found Asigra. More than 400,000 customers’ sites now receive Asigra Cloud Backup, offered through a global ecosystem of managed-service providers. “Backup is now seen as something that should be done as a service rather than a core function that a business should handle on its own,” Eran says. “Your stock price doesn’t go up or down based on whether you do data backup yourself or outsource it.” The proliferation of mobile-computing devices is changing the data-backup business. “People began to use their smartphones and advantagemagazine.ca
laptops on the road, and when they lost data, they came to us and asked us to create a mobile backup,” Eran says. Asigra responded with the first BURR product to protect mobile-device data, featuring apps for Android and Apple iOS devices. “Asigra’s solution is specifically designed for cloud computing,” Eran says, “and offers characteristics that are really best suited for the cloud, like elasticity and pay-per-use and loose coupling with hardware—meaning that you can run it on any kind of hardware that you like.” Another important aspect of Asigra is that its software doesn’t require the installation of agent software on protected machines, making it less intrusive and much safer. “Hackers target backup agents because they know the agents access all the data on the machine,” Eran explains. “If you’re ‘agentless,’ there is no target to hack into.” Because of reasons like this, Asigra is the only cloud-backup solution accredited by the US government, holding Federal Information Processing Standard certification. For Eran, lingering concerns over cloudbased data security are misplaced. “Data is like money,” he says. “You can keep it in your mattress, or give it over to a bank that has a buried steel vault and armed guards. The bank knows a lot more about keeping money safe than you do.” _a
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Assembling a Lasting Family Business with BJ’s International Truck Centre By Christopher T. Freeburn
Play to your strengths Dividing the duties of running a business as a married couple came easily to Bill and Joan MacDonald. “We each did what we were best suited for,” Joan explains. “In the early days, Bill handled the trucks, and I looked after the books and the customers. That worked well because I know nothing about how to fix a truck, so I took care of the customers—and that’s my job today: human resources and customer service.” “Joan is the people person, and I’m more inclined to the production and mechanical side of things,” Bill adds. In addition, their son, Brian, now manages the business.
MEET BJ’S INTERNATIONAL TRUCK CENTRE Bill (left) and Joan MacDonald (centre) started in the lime-spreading business, which required specialized machines. However, the window for distributing limestone was very narrow: only 30 days in both the spring and fall. The machines, too, were some of the first of their kind in Canada, and getting parts to Prince Edward Island was difficult but necessary. “We went to any extreme we had to in order to get what we needed,” Bill says. “If that included paying for a seat on an airplane to carry a part to us, that’s what we did.” Keeping a stable inventory of spare parts ultimately led the couple to found BJ’s International Truck Centre in 1980. More than 30 years later, their son, Brian, is aboard, and the couple’s thriving company is one worth emulating for anyone trying to launch a family business.
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Keep moving forward BJ’s International Truck Centre has suffered its share of setbacks. In 1992, a fire completely destroyed the main building, but Joan and Bill didn’t let it stop them. “The local newspaper reporter who covered it wrote that our whole lives had gone ‘up in smoke,’” Joan says. “I made them correct that. We lost a building—that was all. The next morning, at 7:30, every single staff member came to work, and we carried on. That’s what you do.”
Aggressive customer service is key BJ’s International Truck Centre is always trying to add to the services it provides. The company stays open from 6:30 a.m. to midnight—and while keeping those hours is not practical for the owners, Bill says they do it for the customers. “You have to go the extra mile,” Joan says. “We go out on the road to meet with our clients and listen to them about what services they need and what we can provide to them.” Bill and Joan extend this treatment to their staff, hosting golf outings and barbecues, and providing birthday cakes for staff members. “We treat every employee like family,” Joan says.
We're not in the trucking business serving people, We're in the people business serving truckers! P.O. Box 2517 • Charlottetown (902) 566-4205 www.bjtruckcentre.com
Fixin’ Trucks is What We Do! Visit us on facebook: www.facebook.com/people/BJs-Truck-Centre-Charlottetown
Do what you love For Joan, being energized is crucial for success. “It sets the tone for your staff and the people you serve,” she says. This passion brought about new business ventures. “I started the driving school with one truck and a rented trailer in 1992, and when we sold the school [in 2008], we had seven trucks, seven pieces of heavy equipment, two school buses, and a drivereducation program for novice drivers,” she recalls. New Life Resources, a staffing firm, is another one of Joan’s projects. “We match the best people with the best companies,” she says.
Stay centred and committed The couple has always had a strong, centred family life with interests outside the business, including church, hobbies, and sports. “If there’s a balance in your spiritual life, everything else will fall into place,” Joan says. “You need to have a foundation to build on.” For Bill, there’s one other element crucial for a long-lasting business. “Commitment is the key to getting a business off the ground and staying in business,” he says.
HR Guidance for the Canadian Transport Industry Attitude Changes Everything! Recruiting Qualified, Quality Employees Includes: • Interview/Screening • Reference Checks • Gathering Documentation for the job • Follow up after the hire New Life Resources Inc. P.O. Box 621 Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L4 phone: (902) 388-1694 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.newliferesource.ca
Two companies owned by one family. Over 30 years experience! advantage advantage aVporlu i lm /m e ay 2, /Njou.n7, e 2012 61
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One-Day Painting AT WO R K W IT H C AN ADA’ S BU SIN ESS L EAD ER S
The founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? looks to revolutionize the painting industry with his latest venture p. 74
Helen Fotinos, general counsel at Kia Canada Inc., shows how she is shaping up her company’s mindset
At Your Service
How Sodexo provides solutions to the world’s largest companies p. 80
APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2012 VOLUME 2, NO. 8
A SLICE OF SUCCESS Boston Pizza > p. 18
SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING Aden Earthworks > p. 129
EXCELLENT EVENTS Spark Inc. > p. 144 1/19/12 10:11 AM
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Marinko Vaci started Alpine Water Systems after seeing the environmental damage of plastic water bottles.
Alpine Water Systems Inc.’s Pioneering H20 Coolers Top products
1. Alpine Water Cooler 2. Hydration Station 3. Alpine Home Edition
hree years ago, Marinko Vaci was an environmental chemist in Halifax, Nova Scotia—not the mastermind behind a game-changing new approach to clean, affordable drinking water. But something was wrong. In the lab, he was testing soil contaminated by small plastic bottles and other materials. As he saw some of the local landfill sites, he noticed the large amount of plastic bottles and how they were wreaking havoc on the environment. “I just thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’” Vaci says. Factor in the waste, inefficiency, and plain hassle of most corporate bottled-water coolers, and
you find an opportunity. “We actually had one of those coolers in our office, and I remember being so frustrated,” he says. “I was always having to change the bottles, and one time we ran out of water and waited three days for delivery … It was ridiculous.” Vaci has always been an ideas man. So in 2009, he founded Alpine Water Systems, Nova Scotia’s leading supplier of bottleless, filtered, in-wall hydration stations and water coolers that eliminate both those pesky containers and the repetitive visits from a bottled-water supplier. Now, with more than 100 systems in place throughout the province, the business is taking off. —Seth Putnam advantage
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“There’s a pricey premium for square footage in most offices. Without bottles, people can put their space to better use.” —Marinko Vaci, Owner
1 Alpine Water Cooler
Adjustable, high-flow water dispenser
Sensor-operated water cooler
Colours: White, silver, and charcoal
Materials: ABS Plastic and 18-gauge, type 304 stainless steel
Temperatures: Hot, cool, and ice cold, with an adjustable thermostat
Finish: #4 satin stainless steel Filter: 2,500-gallon, carbon-based filter with replacement indicator light
Specs: 58 inches tall, 35 lbs Filter: QUANTUM 1,000 carbon-coated filter, which boasts more surface area and a longer life span
Cooler: Model HCR8 chiller Cost: $1,500
Cost: $27 per month
The company’s bread and butter, the Alpine Water Cooler features a sleek and modern design that eliminates unsightly bottles. But more than that, there’s no more heavy lifting. The water lines are filtered directly through the system—which also means that it never runs out. “There’s a pricey premium for square footage in most offices,” Vaci says. “Without bottles, people can put their space to better use.” No more bottles also means no more need for deliveries and the environmentally harmful emissions that accompany them. Where costs are concerned, the company has the edge, too. “We charge a lot less for our product,” Vaci says. “There’s a flat monthly rental fee regardless of the amount of water used.” Additionally, the tank capacity can 64
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1 handle two litres at a time of ice-cold water and one litre of cool water, which is roughly 33 percent more than traditional coolers allow. The faucets are high-flow, so the water comes out at its fastest.
The Hydration Station takes the place of normal drinking fountains in schools and high-traffic areas. The beauty of Alpine Water’s ethos is that the company is based on three unflinching considerations for the environment, the expense, and the convenience of the systems. To minimize the impact on nature, Alpine doesn’t mess with bottled water. After the system is installed, that’s it. “We have no delivery footprint,” Vaci says. “All water is fresh and filtered into the user’s cup.” With the Hydration Station, placing an empty container beneath the spout triggers a stream of cold, filtered water that hygienically cuts down on the spread of bacteria. The exterior is crafted out of antimicrobial material, so there’s no need to worry about mildew or mould, and the recessed design makes it perfect for installation in several capacities so that there won’t be wasted space. advantagemagazine.ca
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3 Alpine Home Edition Filtered, refillable water cooler Filter: Carbon-media filter Cost: $88
The most modest of Alpine Water’s offerings, the Home Edition is for homes or small businesses that don’t want or need to spend $27 a month to accommodate a large staff. “It’s popular in homes and condos,” Vaci says. “Not everyone has the space in their kitchen, and this is just so convenient.” The Alpine Home Edition serves as refillable chamber, and like the others, it has its own charcoal-filtration system. “If it’s just a small family, they may not go through as much water in a month,” Vaci explains, pointing to the product’s usefulness for private use. “And it fits most water coolers.” The system comes with a dial to indicate filter change and is easily refilled by pouring water into top chamber. _a
Canadian Stock Transfer Company Inc. (“CST”), is part of the lInK group, an international network of providers of transfer agent services and employee plan services. CST is your link to leading-edge systems, global capabilities and customized solutions. Contact CST at 888.402.1644 or email email@example.com.
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CST ranked #1 in overall satisfaction in the most recent Group Five issuers study.
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ATL Industries’ World-Renowned Brake-Caliper Pistons Top PRODUCTS
1. Caliper Pistons
ince its founding in the early 1980s, Uxbridge, Ontario-based ATL Industries has expanded from a product line of six brake-calliper pistons to become North America’s largest manufacturer and distributor of those products. Today, the company makes more than 800 different pistons from aluminum, steel, and phenolic, and distributes them to automotive
manufacturers in North America, South America, and Europe. Clearly, ATL Industries is no small operation: its 70 employees, who are comprised of shop supervisors, lathe programmers, machine operators, and administrative staff, make enough product to keep 200,000–300,000 pistons in inventory at any given time. Despite that quantity, the company prides itself on its quick turnaround time. —Julie Schaeffer
1 Caliper Pistons Automotive parts Materials: Raw steel, aluminum, and phenolic Machines: CNC lathes Uses: Automobile-brake systems
Automobile brake calipers, which are essential to a car’s ability to stop, are one of the most important brake parts—and ATL Industries is the king of calipers. A car’s wheels are attached to metal discs, called rotors, that spin with the wheels. Fitting over these rotors like a clamp are brake calipers, which are essentially U-shaped housings that hold components. Inside each caliper are brake pads—pairs of metal plate bonded with friction material— and on the interior of both sides of the “U” are brake-caliper pistons. When a driver steps on the brake, brake fluid creates hydraulic pressure on the brake-caliper pistons, forcing the brake pads against the rotor. This slows the rotor down, and when the rotor slows, so does the wheel. ATL Industries imports brake calipers for vehicles built from the 1970s on up, because there are no North American businesses with forging companies that can make castings. “It’s purely an economic issue,” says general manager Sean Selose. 66
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“It’s just cheaper overseas.” However, all of the company’s alloy-type brake-caliper pistons are manufactured in the company’s 100,000-square-foot Uxbridge facility. “We buy raw, solid-steel bars locally,
then cut them into pieces on automated saws,” Selose says. “We end up with chunks of round material, which we put into CNC lathes that we’ve programmed to make the 800 different types of pistons we manufacture. We then send the finished pistons out for chrome plating, which smooths the surface, so the seal inside the caliper rides on the piston and the vehicle doesn’t lose brake fluid.” After boxing the pistons, ATL Industries sends them to one of its two warehouses, located in Uxbridge and California, where they are distributed to automotive companies internationally. “At any given time, we stock 200,000–300,000 pistons, and we turn that inventory over every three months,” Selose says. ATL Industries has achieved this level of volume because it can turn orders around much more quickly than its competition. “I’ve heard of industry turnaround times from three weeks to a month, because many companies don’t carry a lot of inventory; they process orders as they come in,” Selose says. “Because we inventory a lot of products, we can turn around orders very quickly.” Beyond that, ATL Industries is capable of fulfilling orders for custom pistons not in inventory within a few days or weeks, depending on quantity and time of year. The company’s pistons are also popular because of competitive pricing, which is the result of a unique manufacturing process. “Our machines have features that minimize loading time, and we run two shifts a day to cut down overhead,” Selose says. “As a result, our machines rarely stop—we make parts from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.” _a advantagemagazine.ca
Equipment Limited Bulk Material Handling Equipment manufacturer for a multitude of industries.
NEW PRODUCTS. NEW LEVELS OF QUALITY. NEW EQUIPMENT. Founded in 1967, Laurel Steel is a member of the prestigious Harris Steel Group. It has experienced constant growth, including launching its branded products - Cutter’s Choice, Cutter’s Choice Green, Miner’s Choice and Plater’s Choice, which are precisely designed to meet the needs of specific industries. Its commitment to quality has resulted in several landmark designations. It is the first North American cold-finisher to receive ISO 9002 registration - an international stamp of approval. It is also among the first to earn QS 9000 registration.
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Recognition deserves recognition KPMG congratulates Lynn Korbak, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Morneau Shepell Inc., for being recognized as one of the “Top women in Law.” Congratulations Lynn!
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ES3’s Tube-Transforming TV Applications Top programs
1. TV Dashboard 2. Stick-eez 3. Tumblebooks TV 4. DistracTV
oug Edwards wants to change the way you watch TV. CEO and founder of ES3, a Pickering, Ontario-based company that develops TV applications for Mediaroom, Microsoft’s Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) platform, he envisions a world in which the biggest screen in the home—the television screen—is also the most powerful, matching and perhaps even surpassing the capabilities of much smaller screens, including those of computers, tablets, and smartphones. Founded in 2002, ES3 is already revolutionizing the TV-watching experience. One of only two
companies in the world that have Microsoft Global Premier Partner status, it’s helping more than seven million Microsoft Mediaroom users worldwide turn their televisions into interactive, immersive habitats for education, entertainment, and communication through partnerships with its customers, which are telecommunications companies such as Bell Canada, Telus, and AT&T, among many others. To find out how ES3 is changing the channel on traditional television, Advantage spoke with Edwards about four of its most exciting Microsoft Mediaroom applications. —Matt Alderton
1 TV Dashboard IPTV menu Cost: Priced per subscriber Uses: Launch TV applications; access news, horoscopes, weather, lottery, stocks, gas prices, and customer service
TV Dashboard is designed as an entry point to the larger IPTV experience, acting as a menu through which to access and open other IPTV applications. Launched via a dedicated “iTV” button on one’s remote control, it’s the key that unlocks the Microsoft Mediaroom platform’s full capabilities. Manifesting in the form of a discreet dashboard at the bottom of the screen, users can use the up/down and left/right buttons to navigate through a selection of “tiles”—each of which launches a new IPTV application or displays other information without interrupting TV programming. 68
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1 While applications vary between providers, TV Dashboard options include widgets for accessing news, horoscopes, weather, lottery numbers, stocks, and gas prices—all localized to the user’s city or region, thanks to IP technology that automatically retrieves and utilizes the user’s geographic location.
Other features allow the user to customize their settings—for instance, changing the system’s default language or screen-aspect ratio—and even to launch a help module that provides education and troubleshooting without the hassle of calling a customer-service hotline. advantagemagazine.ca
“Stick-eez helps with a family’s internal communication; it’s based on the same concept of a magnet board on the fridge, or sticky notes that certain families might leave behind to set reminders for one another.” —Doug Edwards, CEO & Founder
Cost: Priced per subscriber
Cost: Priced for revenue sharing
Cost: Priced for revenue sharing
Uses: Messages, notes, reminders, and parental controls
Uses: Education and entertainment
Uses: Casual gaming
When leaving the house, family members often leave notes for one another—posted on the refrigerator, perhaps, or written on a scrap of paper that’s left on the kitchen counter. Whether you want to ask your spouse to pick up dinner, or remind yourself to pick the kids up from school, Stick-eez allows you to leave virtual notes on your TV. Utilizing ES3’s proprietary text-input methodology, TextBands, the application allows users to type notes using their remote controls 25 percent faster than if they were using traditional text-input methods, which typically require “triple tapping” the remote’s number keys or using its arrow keys to navigate an on-screen keyboard. Message delivery is equally innovative, as Stick-eez allows users to schedule one-time and recurring message-delivery times; set criteria so that messages are delivered when the recipient turns to a particular TV channel; send text messages to the TV from their mobile phones; listen to messages aloud, thanks to text-to-speech technology; and block TV-viewing capabilities, which allows parents to exercise parental-control features (for example, if they want to make sure their kids do their homework after school, parents can leave a “do your homework” message that appears when the TV is turned on, then blocks programming until they get home from work). advantagemagazine.ca
Critics often accuse television of killing brain cells. With the Tumblebooks TV application, however, television builds them. An “edutainment” application, Tumblebooks TV is designed to entertain children while also helping them establish and develop their reading and reading comprehension skills. It accomplishes that via a subscription-based library of 150 animated storybooks, featuring the work of celebrated children’s authors, such as Robert Munsch. Using the remote control—which can be childproofed with a special “Nanny” mode that locks up the remote control for basic use of the application, keeping children from accidentally navigating to other channels or applications—kids can select their favourite storybooks by category or title, then follow along as the story is read to them. The interactive combination of animated illustrations, verbal narration, and on-screen text is enriching for new and existing readers alike, as it helps the former learn to read and the latter expand vocabulary, improve spelling, and enhance comprehension.
Many family members spend time wondering what to watch on TV or waiting for their next show to start. ES3’s DistracTV Games Network changes that by turning the television into a casual-game portal that can provide hours of entertainment, depending on how soon the user wants to return to TV programming. Featuring an ever-expanding selection of classic games—initial offerings include sudoku, hangman, word jumbles, blackjack, and Texas Hold’em poker, among others—the network allows users to create their own nicknames, avatars, and favourites, then engage in animated game play either alone or with others. Plans are also in the works to bring branded game shows and board games to the network’s library; to enable multiplayer, online gaming between households over the Internet; and to introduce “companion device” game play that allows users to interface with games using their smartphone or tablet computer instead of their remote control. _a
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Warman Truss’ Engineered Wood & Flooring Systems Top SYSTEMS
1. Truss System 2. Open Wood Web System 3. SolidStart Wood I-Joists
ave Holst had to take matters into his own hands. Tired of not receiving flooring and roofing materials on time for his own building endeavours, he decided in 1998 to start his own company to provide custommade truss systems. “The idea was to deliver a whole housing package on time,” explains Roy Bedient, the manager at Warman Truss. Building off a business model that honoured its customers by not committing to take on more work than it could reasonably handle, Warman Truss’ reputation exploded. The company calls it the
Open Wood Web System
SolidStart Wood I-Joists
Custom-built roofing solutions
Custom-built flooring solutions
Provider: Alpine Engineering System
Provider: Alpine Engineering System
Provider: LP Building Products
Materials: MSR and visual-grade lumber, and Alpine truss connector plates
Materials: MSR and visual-grade lumber, and Alpine truss connector plates
Materials: LPI Joist, Gang-lam, and LVL beams
Turnaround: 2–3 weeks
Turnaround: 2 weeks
Over the years, the superiority of truss systems has proven that roofs need to be built this way. But what can be done to them with modern technology is a whole different ball game. “You can build just about anything with the new, computerized saws and tables,” says Bedient of the new technology. “We’re really pushing the envelope on ridgelines, valleys, vaults—whatever the customer wants to put in.” Warman Truss also has a third-party quality-control program through the Western Wood Truss Association. Consultants come in and evaluate the quality of Warman’s products on a regular basis. Lots of companies can promise the same thing, Bedient says, but what matters is whether they can back up their guarantees. “What do I do special?” Bedient asks. “What I do is I make sure they get the product when they need it.” 70
“just in time” guarantee. “We limited ourselves to so many customers, knowing we could produce so much product and still keep a timeline of two to three weeks to deliver,” Bedient says. “It’s a time frame that everybody can work with. Our customers are all dealers in our market.” Now, more than 10 years later, Warman Truss has doubled in size. With a design and sales team of six headed by Kelly Davis, the sales and design manager, along with a product crew of 75, the company is ready for whatever the future holds. —Seth Putnam
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In recent years, engineering capabilities for wood web flooring systems have improved by leaps and bounds. The design itself has remained relatively constant, but the ability to be quick and precise is unparalleled. As a result, material and labour costs have been brought way down, and there’s less waste. “We’re so busy right now—we’re producing 24 hours a day,” Bedient says. “What I won’t do is promise a client what I can’t give. They may not like my answer, but it will be the right one.” Wood web flooring provides certain benefits over other systems. It’s more efficient and effortless for multistorey houses with heat runs and cold-air returns. “It’s a high-quality product in my opinion,” Bedient says. “Some people use wood web exclusively. It provides less bounce and less vibration.”
Turnaround: 2 weeks Other Uses: Can be used for roof rafters, especially in cathedrals
I-joists are perfect for long floor spans because the flanges are specially engineered to hold up against stress from bending and deflection. On the other side of the equation, the web is particularly well equipped to withstand sheer. There’s also a marked commitment to sustainable practices on the provider’s end. The wood comes from SFI-certified forests, which are evaluated for proper management. The manufacturer uses every part of the log, and any waste is converted to mill fuel. Finally, the resins used avoid any presence of urea formaldehyde. “The big thing about I-joists is that they’re more economical on shorter spans, and it’s a stock item, which makes it readily available,” Bedient says. “A lot of homeowners these days are choosing to go this route.” _a
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Creating & Maintaining Multiple Divisions Within One Firm with Cybertech Group of Companies By Lisa Ryan
Build business through crosspollination of different divisions Cybertech’s three divisions operate as separate entities, though business sometimes overlaps. “The work each company does is quite different and involves people with different skills, education, and training—essentially engineering versus field-electrical services and panels. Our objective is for the divisions to be self-reliant yet available for mutual opportunities and sharing of resources,” says Cybertech’s director, Mike Palamarek. Cybertech’s clients are often able to utilize the different services and products offered by the respective divisions in their individual projects. “As a systems integrator, Cybertech is vendor neutral for our clients,” Palamarek explains. “In some cases, we provide recommendations about vendors and products to clients, and this was one of the reasons that drove the decision to split the products business to Cybertech Electric and I-GEN.”
MEET CYBERTECH Cybertech, a three-tiered organization, was founded in 1994 by four entrepreneurs who left a large firm in the hopes of creating one that focused on engineering industrial-control systems, an area that they felt wasn’t properly supported at the time. It began with just two divisions: Cybertech Automation, a full-service systemsintegration company, and Cybertech Electric, an electrical contractor with a focus in electrical-control-system commissioning. “It was a logical division of products and services,” says Mike Palamarek, Cybertech’s director. “This also drove the creation of our third division, I-GEN Solutions, when the scope of our business grew to include industrial IT services.”
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Utilize a flat organizational structure Cybertech’s executives—a common board of directors that represents the whole group—operate under a clearly outlined organizational structure, overseeing the multiple branches and delegating to individual division managers when necessary. “With a very flat organizational structure, it is less complicated and more efficient for management,” Palamarek says. “For day-to-day decisions, there is a lot of autonomy.” Larger strategies and cross-company or oversight decisions are made in partnership by the respective divisions’ tight-knit management teams and Cybertech’s directors. Together, they discuss the potential impact that these big decisions will have on the entire organization rather than focusing on each division separately.
Opt for horizontal, rather than vertical, growth Palamarek explains that, by creating the divisions, Cybertech was able to utilize a strategy of horizontal growth as opposed to growing a large, centralized company. By doing so, Cybertech’s divisions are able to maintain the mind-set of a small company—with personal customer service and attention to detail—in addition to avoiding a large overhead. “Each company has the ability to execute very small projects in less than a day, in addition to large, multiyear, multimillion-dollar capital projects,” Palamarek says.
Allow for success and expansion By utilizing these strategies, Cybertech has grown from a small start-up to Alberta’s premiere engineering-services and -products organization. As each division continues to flourish, it wouldn’t be surprising if Cybertech added an additional company in the coming years.
“We believe in maintaining a strong corporate identity and culture. This helps retain and recruit top talent and provides a great work environment.” —Mike Palamarek, Director
Attract and maintain repeat business When it comes to growing and maintaining business, each division is dedicated to attracting repeat customers—something that doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, each division has spent years building great relationships, understanding its clients, and providing high-quality services and products. “It’s important to recognize the power of repeat business,” Palamarek says. “We believe in maintaining a strong corporate identity and culture. This helps retain and recruit top talent and provides a great work environment.”
A message from Chemco Electrical Contractors
Committed to safety, quality, and performance since 1963, Chemco Electrical Contractors has been the contractor of choice in Western Canada for industrial construction. Chemco is an employee-owned company and is proud to be associated with Cybertech for more than 10 years. With a wide range of services, which include electrical and mechanical instrumentation, fiber optics and data communications, EHT installations and commissioning, and high-voltage testing and commissioning, Chemco is the contractor of choice. Visit us at www. chemco-elec.com.
ay//jjuunnee 22012 aapprri ill//mmay 012
In 1989, Brian Scudamore began his career with a $700 used pickup truck. Less than 20 years later, he was the head of a company worth $100 million.
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Meet the New Junk Paint Guy Brian Scudamore, the man behind 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, is back with a new business plan that will revolutionize the painting industry By Lisa Ryan
t 18 years old, Brian Scudamore was at a crossroads. The Vancouver native was preparing to start college, but he didn’t have the funds to pay for his education. One day, while enjoying an affordable meal at a local McDonald’s, Scudamore started racking his brain, desperate to come up with a plan to raise funds for his tuition, when suddenly he saw something that would change his life forever. “It was then that a beat-up, old truck that advertised ‘Mark’s Hauling’ rumbled through the drive-thru,” Scudamore says. “I thought, ‘I could do better than that.’ I decided right then and there to spend my remaining $700 on a pickup truck.” Since that fateful day in 1989, Scudamore’s company 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has grown into an international, $100 million junk-hauling enterprise, with more than 800 trucks and 200 franchises located across 8 Canadian provinces and 41 US states, as well as select locations in Australia. “Business took off, and I set my sights on professionalizing an industry that had never been professionalized on a large scale,” Scudamore says. “We made it a goal to become the FedEx of junk removal.” Twenty-two years later, the company is just that: the world’s largest provider of junk-removal services. Much of the company’s early success can be attributed to Scudamore’s young ambition—the ability to work long hours and lift heavy loads, just to see his venture succeed—though there were times when his age and lack of education worked against him. “People would ask, ‘What does this high-school and college dropout know about
franchising and building a brand?’” he says. “My answer to that was to use my energy, passion, and a compelling vision to get people excited.” Business started slowly, taking eight years to get to just $1 million in revenue. But once the company hit that mark, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? quickly skyrocketed to the internationally recognized brand it is today. “Other industries had been professionalized—for example, moving companies and delivery companies both had professional brand names that raised the bar for all other companies in those industries,” Scudamore says. “We transformed an industry that was once dominated by one-truck, one-man operations by adding a trusted, brand-recognizable company that people could rely on.” In 2010, inspiration struck Scudamore in an unexpected way once again. Looking to have his home painted, he sought out different quotes from painters in the area. He came across a company called One Day Painting, owned by Jim Bodden, who told the entrepreneur that he would be able to paint his house in just one day. “I was skeptical but intrigued, so I decided to use his services,” Scudamore says. “When I came home at the end of the day, the house was completely transformed. It was then that I knew I had found my next home-service business.” By the end of the year, he had bought Bodden’s company and created 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting, with its first franchise, owned by Bodden, operating in Vancouver. Just like its previous incarnation, the company continues to offer a one-day commercial- and residential-painting guarantee, providing high-quality results in a seemingly
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The Making of an Entrepreneur Through the years with Brian Scudamore
unlikely timeline. “Our revolutionary system combines preplanning with the right number of professional painters to complete each project in a day at a competitive price,” Scudamore says. As Scudamore launched his newest venture, the eyes of the business world were upon him. Everyone wanted to know—could he do it again? In certain cases, businessmen are able to expand their brands successfully— doubling or even tripling the profits of their first companies with each new enterprise. But more often than not, new businesses fail. Would Scudamore be able to replicate the success of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? in his new painting service? By all accounts, the company seems poised for success. 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting benefits from the same business model as its sister company, in addition to its executives’ years of experience. In November 2010, Craig Jooste, the former director of initiatives at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, joined the painting enterprise as its managing director, responsible for all corporate systems and revenue 76
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Brian Scudamore invests $700 in an old pickup truck, forming his first junk-removal service, The Rubbish Boys.
The Rubbish Boys is renamed 1-800-GOTJUNK? and makes Profit magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies list.
functions of the franchisor. “As a former
1-800-GOT-JUNK? executive, I am able to
bring over the proven systems that made it so successful,” Jooste says. “Along with Brian’s 20 years of franchising knowledge and his relationships with vendors and business partners, 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting is poised for rapid growth over the next few years.” Jooste says that Scudamore has a clear vision for 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting: identifying the core values of 1-800-GOTJUNK? and embedding them in the new company to create a springboard to success. “One of those values is that it’s all about the people,” Jooste says. “Brian believes that in order to be successful, you need to have the right people in the organization.” 1-800-GOT-JUNK? revolutionized the junk-hauling business by offering on-time service; clean and shiny trucks; friendly, uniformed drivers; and up-front pricing. “An international, household brand name following those four deliverables is something that the hauling industry had never before seen,” Scudamore says. 1-888-WOW-1DAY!
2003 1-800-GOT-JUNK? becomes a household name after Brian appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show. That year, the company is also featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Painting hopes to achieve similar results in the painting field. “We are going to revolutionize the painting industry by thinking outside the box and bringing a fresh, new approach to an old industry,” Jooste says, sharing that the company’s ultimate goal is to become the largest painting franchise in the world and to achieve “household name” status. “And, of course, our goal with every paint job is to always provide customers with the quality they expect in an unexpected timeline.” According to Scudamore, another similarity that the two companies share is a high level of customer service. “Both brands are about creating a ‘wow’ experience by focusing on the little details that leave people with a great impression of our service,” he says. For 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting, that means harnessing little flourishes to really round out the service. “At the end of each paint job, we give the customer fresh-cut flowers with a signed card from the team, welcoming them back into their home,” Scudamore says. “A thing like that leaves advantagemagazine.ca
Photo: Keith Henderson
1-800-GOTJUNK? hits $100 million in system-wide revenue.
Wanting to distinguish himself, Jim Bodden starts a company called One Day Painting.
Impressed by One Day Painting after experiencing it as a customer, Scudamore thinks he’s found his next $100 million business, and begins to pursue it.
Bodden sells One Day Painting to Scudamore in exchange for a stake in 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting and opens the first franchise in Vancouver.
1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting opens its first American franchise in Seattle. By the end of the year 1-888-WOW1DAY! Painting has 15 franchises operating.
people feeling good about us, and makes it much more likely that they will refer us to their friends and family.” The launch of 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting aligns perfectly with Scudamore’s meticulous business plan, which he refers to as the “painted picture.” He began envisioning the plan in 1998, when he was at a turning point in his business. While sitting on the dock of his parents’ cabin, Scudamore says that he actually pictured what he wanted his company to look like by 2003—detailing everything from how many employees he had to where the head office would be located. “After that, every five years, I’ve made sure to take a moment to envision an updated ‘painted picture,’” he says. The current “painted picture”—as projected from 2009 to 2014—has the companies making $250 million in annual revenue, with locations in five countries. “It sees us operating a successful second brand and ready to launch a third brand, also in a fragmented service-based business,” Scudamore says. “We’re working on it, so stay tuned!” _a advantagemagazine.ca
“We are going to revolutionize the painting industry by thinking outside the box and bringing a fresh, new approach to an old industry.” —Craig Jooste, Managing Director, 1-888-WOW-1DAY!
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Kraft is proud to partner with Sodexo and congratulates them on their ongoing success.
www.kraftfoodservice.ca ® / McCain Foods Limited © 2012
At Your From corporate kitchens to collegiate lawns, Sodexo is lining up its services to meet the needs of the worldâ€™s largest companies and institutions By Chris Allsop
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“We wanted to grow and develop with our clients ... so we began our own multiservice offering.”
ou’re the CEO of a thriving, 1,000-person company poised for rapid growth. It’s your job to keep it even keel, but the market is demanding more and you have a labour force to accommodate. Those 1,000 workers are soon to be 2,000, which will require a new facility. Someone has to maintain the corporate kitchen. Someone is going to have to landscape. Someone else will have to keep it clean. But you have three meetings this afternoon and no time to consider any of it. Take a deep breath. It’s time to call Sodexo. Sodexo is known internationally as a food-services giant. The company serves 10 million customers in 80 countries and has annual global revenues of USD$21.9 billion. Sodexo Canada, incorporated in 1993, has played its part in this success story, shoring up the company’s market-leading position with shrewd leadership and a quality offering in its four client-facing markets:
—Dean Johnson, President
corporate services, remote sites, healthcare, and education. However, in 2005, the winds of change began to rattle the windows at Sodexo’s headquarters. Clients were starting to move towards a procurement strategy that would streamline their supply chains. “When we rebid for contracts, we saw that those contracts were now coming out bundled, with clients wanting to work with fewer service providers that could provide a very broad range of services over a broad and diverse geography,” explains Sodexo Canada president Dean Johnson. “They wanted to combine food services, custodial services, preventative maintenance, security, reception, meetingroom bookings, and lease administration in one RFP.” The corporation was faced with a choice: continue to focus on the culinary offering, and risk losing clients to companies that could offer a breadth of services; or transform Sodexo into a full-service organization. The corporation chose the latter path and began the operational overhaul that such a profound shift in culture and direction required. “We wanted to grow and develop with our clients, and with their expectations and demands on the market,” Johnson says, “so we began to develop our own advantage
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Photo: Corbis 82
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The corporation was faced with a choice: continue to focus on the culinary offering, and risk losing clients; or transform Sodexo into a full-service organization. The corporation chose the latter.
Dean Johnson, president.
Talking to the President Advantage sat down with Dean Johnson to get his take on the leadership that transformed Sodexo from a food-service provider into a full-service solution provider What has been your biggest challenge since joining Sodexo? Changing the culture. I knew from my market experience a number of things, such as the type of services that clients find attractive and how to integrate and bundle those services. What I hadn’t known was how we go through a cultural shift with the people from a food-services company to an integrated, multiservicesolution company. It was a huge change. What was the key to success? Communication. Also key was building confidence in our employees that we would be able to execute the new services, that they could offer them to their clients. It was a leap of faith for them, and they needed to know that real and concrete things were happening to turn us into an integrated-services company. There’s a lot of pride among the people in this organization about what they’ve built here.
multiservice offering.” The speed of this development was also important, and between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2009, Sodexo underwent its transformation. As an experienced facility management (FM) executive, Johnson was a key part of this process (he was previously president of Compass Group Canada, FM Services, and Trammell Crow Company Canada). He was brought in at the beginning of the planning phase as senior vice president in January 2008, and became president in November of the same year. “One of the assets that I bring is my background and experience, which is in FM, real estate, project management, and development,” Johnson says. “That’s where I’ve spent my entire career, and it’s a good background for the type of transformation that we’re going through—certainly from a credibility standpoint.” First for Sodexo was the matter of updating the skill set of its 12,000-strong workforce. A training program was launched with IFMA—an FM-industry association. The training covered nine core competencies; however, it didn’t provide Sodexo with guidelines for managing the dramatic culture shift that the corporation and its employees were going through. “That’s been one of my biggest challenges,” Johnson says. “You can imagine: here is a great company with fantastic people rooted in the food business—that’s how advantagemagazine.ca
How do you respond to the idea that integrating several services means you are ignoring the food-services aspect of your business? I hear that sometimes. Some may say we’re no longer focused on food, but that’s far from the truth. We can now maintain the culinary piece and invest in our food business more than ever. We risked losing it if we weren’t able to respond to the additional services that our clients are looking for in the marketplace. It’s our ability to leverage the synergies derived from providing the additional services that allow us the opportunity to augment and enhance our food-service offerings. What’s your next big goal? We want people to think of Sodexo first when they want to partner with an integrated-services company. We’re not there yet, but we’re on track by developing and executing a strategic marketing plan designed to raise Sodexo’s profile in the marketplace and in the community. We also want to be an employer of choice in Canada, a place where people want to come to work, so we’ve been overhauling our benefits, comp, training and development, recruitment and retention efforts, and support services, to help enact that change. Finally—growth. We’ve got a good offer, plenty of services that we can integrate to solve and support our clients’ business challenges and objectives, and we’re ready to grow that way. advantage
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A proud partner of Sodexo
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With a revised business plan, Sodexo’s managers must consult with team members across service areas.
they’ve built their career paths, that’s their level of comfort with their clients—and now I’m saying, ‘We’re going to do a whole bunch of different things now.’” Johnson and his team did consider the possibility of dividing the food business from the new additions and making them separate, with new people and infrastructure. However, they decided that such a move would have a negative impact on those employees sequestered off in the culinary arm, confuse clients and the market, and mean that Sodexo was neglecting to capitalize on the management already in the field as well as the relationships it had built up over time. “I think the decision not to divide was the right decision, but harder in terms of implementation,” Johnson says. “We had to focus on communication within the organization so that our employees wouldn’t become anxious about what was required in the new role. It’s tough— with many of our outsourced staff in groups of 10–400 on 750 client sites throughout the country—to make them feel engaged and like a part of what is going on.” The focus on internal communications continued throughout the entire two-year process, and still continues today, ensuring operational transparency for the company’s employees. The final piece of the conversion was marked with the hiring of experts in the various fields that the company was moving into. Johnson explains that this new talent was an essential part of the process, ensuring that the company had the depth and breadth in advantagemagazine.ca
Sodexo’s Global Story 1966
Sodexo is founded in Marseille, France, by Pierre Bellon
The Sodexo Marriott Service is formed, which becomes the North American market leader in food-and-facilities management
1971–1978 During a period of international expansion, the remotesites-management business is launched
1983 Initial public offering of Sodexo shares on the Paris Bourse
1985–1993 Sodexo establishes operations in North and South America, Japan, Russia, and South Africa
1993–1994 Sodexo becomes a Canadian business entity
2000 Universal Sodexo is formed and becomes the North American and world leader in remote-site management
2001 Sogeres (France) and Wood Dining Services (the United States) join the Sodexo Group; Sodexo Alliance acquires the remaining 53 percent of Sodexo Marriott Services, which becomes a fullfledged subsidiary and changes its name to Sodexo, Inc.
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DELIVERING FRESH PRODUCE SINCE 1881
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Itâ€™s a sweet thing! For more than a century, Dr. Oetker has been providing top-quality food products to consumers, contract caterers, restaurants, hotels and healthcare establishments around the world.
We continue our commitment to Foodservice in Canada through our response to industry insights in changing to sucralose sugar substitute in our Calorie Reduced Chiffons, Calorie Reduced Mousse and Calorie Reduced Instant Puddings. www.oetkerfoodservice.ca Tel: 905.678.1311
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Sodexo volunteers unload a truck for the company’s Feeding Our Future event.
capability to back up its new service offering. Today, Sodexo’s offering includes FM services divided into two areas: soft services (reception, switchboard, custodial) and technical (security, maintenance, plant engineering). These include the provision of real-estate solutions for its clients, project-management services, and clinical-technology management, as well as infrastructure development and operation-and-maintenance services for the P3 market, especially in healthcare. Uptake of the new offerings has been good. In 2005, 90 percent of the company’s revenue was coming from the food business. That’s now down to 75 percent, and projected to be at 60 percent by 2015 (with the remainder coming from new services). The swing is marked by an upsurge in revenues for Sodexo’s nonfood services. Major accounts for the company have reacted positively by drawing on the newly diverse offering, including such notable clients as Campbell’s, Manitoba Hydro, York Central Hospital, Hydro Québec, Suncor, and the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington, Ontario. “In 2008, we couldn’t say we had the ability to provide all of these services,” Johnson says. “Today, we can confidently say that we have the level of expertise, the platform, and the processes in place to show that we can perform these services effectively. Marketing is important: some understand we can do this, while others still think we’re a food company. The market hasn’t fully realized what we can offer in terms of a fully integrated, comprehensiveservice solution. But we’re getting there.” _a
A message from dr. oetker
Dr. Oetker is a market-leading food company and provides its customers with the highest quality of innovative products and services driven by a dedicated team. From dietetic to decadent, since 1960 Dr. Oetker has made it easy to create delectable meals quickly, conveniently, and economically. Quality is the best recipe.
Sodexo’s Global Story CONT. 2002 Sodexo Alliance is listed for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange 2005 Michel Landel becomes CEO, succeeding Pierre Bellon
A message from bamford produce co.
Partnering with Sodexo allows Bamford Produce the privilege to partner with a world-class organization, and service world-class customers. Sodexo customers deserve the freshest and best-available products for their individual applications, helping to ensure their success. We are proud to be able to help with their fresh-produce needs everyday. A message from aladdin temp-rite
Aladdin has been helping healthcare food-service personnel steer a straight and steady course of meal service for over 43 years. In particular, Aladdin has been fortunate to work with Sodexo on a number of food-service opportunities that have introduced our meal-delivery systems, tray-line equipment, or a wide assortment of disposable or reusable supply items. In the end, it’s about listening to Sodexo’s professional skills in food service and for Aladdin to implement solutions to meet those needs.
2006 After 40 years, Landel sets a new challenge for Sodexo Group: “To become the premiere global-outsourcing expert in quality-of-life services”
2008 A rejuvenation of the brand takes place, launching a new visual identity with a simpler, more modern design of Sodexo’s logo
2009 Sodexo invents a unique offering on the market: on-site service solutions and motivation solutions; and launches a third offer: personal and home services
2010 With the launch of its Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo moves to unify its sustainability initiatives throughout the world. Its three priorities are to actively promote nutrition, health, and well-being; to support the development of local communities; and to preserve the environment
2011 For the third consecutive year, Sodexo ranks third among the world’s leading outsourcingservices companies by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals advantage
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Where passion meets innovation. At Cavendish Farms, we are passionate about food and about delivering the highest quality food products to our customers. This has led us to partner with Holland College and The Culinary Institute of Canada to create the Cavendish Farms Culinary Creation Centre. The Cavendish Culinary Creation Centre boasts a state-ofthe-art pilot line as well as full access to Canadaâ€™s Smartest Kitchen which houses the most current culinary technologies and equipment. Together we are creating new and innovative food products and solutions.
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Expansion How some of Canadaâ€™s top companies are handling the various facets of growth
The changing face of Canadaâ€™s culinary education
Acquiring 14 insurance firms and branching out the family business
A global outlook powers up production capacities
Bringing aboard an executive team
Adding scalloping and additional vessels
Taking Saskatchewan expertise to the global stage
From a humble basement start-up to a nationwide tech juggernaut
Shifting strategies to stay atop the PR industry
Opening up the IT industry to women
Taking over an abandoned market
Retooling and growing in a rocky economy
Waking up a sleepy restaurant with a new business scope
Moving beyond the reservation
Teaming up for end-to-end sales solutions
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Photo: Louise Vessey
The changing face of Canada’s culinary education
At the Holland College Culinary Institute, students work alongside experienced chefs in a world-class cooking environment.
cooked to perfection The Holland College Culinary Institute of Canada creates cuisine fit for royalty
ive-year-old Austin Clement hardly noticed the fire alarm. He was too intent on making breakfast for his dad. It wasn’t until his dad rushed into the kitchen that Clement, standing on an upside-down milk crate and peering into a pan of bacon, realized something was amiss. Still, to Austin there was nothing unnatural about a little boy cooking for his father. Clement, now a famous chef and restaurateur, loves telling that story because it sums up his culinary philosophy: cooking isn’t a career—it’s a calling. It’s this emphasis on craft, along with a commitment to excellence, that Clement tries to instill in the 300-plus students who attend the Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College. The efforts have paid off. The institute
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“It’s not about the mechanics or the flash in the pan. It’s about the connection the food makes with the people; when our students make that connection, it’s in their soul, and they won’t forget it.” —Austin Clement
by ovetta sampson
is one of the most lauded culinary-arts programs on the globe. In fact, its acclaim is so far-reaching that Prince William and Princess Kate stopped on Prince Edward Island to munch on the food created by Culinary Institute students during their postnuptial travels in July 2011. Clement says a mix of vision and an unwavering belief in its product transformed this obscure vocational college into a worldclass institute that attracts students from around the world. “It’s a faith in your product, your students, and the track record you’ve built as a school,” says Clement, who serves as advantagemagazine.ca
School wins World Grand Prix Culinary Championship in Glasgow, Scotland
Culinary Institute of Canada’s Milestones
Holland College refurbishes an old nursing residence and turns it into a world-class culinary facility, tripling the culinary program’s class sizes
Holland College begins a newly revamped culinary-arts program with 27 students
the program manager of Holland College’s culinary and hospitality programs. “We finally had to say to ourselves, ‘It’s go big, or go home.’” The school opened in 1983, after an informal meeting of local chefs, tourism bigwigs, and local businessmen from Prince Edward Island came up with a plan to revamp the cooking courses at the local vocational school. Twenty-seven students enrolled, and before the first class graduated, the school had won the Taste of Canada competition. The school continued to grow, but in 1996 it came to a turning point. “We knew that if we were going to continue to grow, it would take a tremendous amount of investment, and in 1996 a decision was made to buy a new campus and do a multimillion-dollar expansion,” Clement says. “At that point, the institute exploded on a national scale, making it the most up-to-date culinary school in Canada. We started to attract more students, and we’ve been growing ever since.” Ten years later, the school made another critical decision that raised its profile and separated it from its peers. School administrators lobbied for a four-year applied degree
Opens Canada’s smartest kitchen for food research and development
The Culinary Institute of Canada wins the Taste of Canada international culinary competition
It again wins gold and silver in the World Culinary Olympics
School becomes the first college in Canada to offer an applied degree in culinary operations; changes curriculum and grows exponentially
The institute Wins gold and silver at the World Culinary Olympics in Germany
in culinary operations so that they could teach the business of food as well as how to create it. Legislation had to be changed for the college to offer a degree that is usually only given out by four-year institutions. The new degree—the only of its kind in Canada—and a focus on winning global competitions, trendy coursework, and customer service has led to much success for the Culinary Institute of Canada. In the last decade, the institute has won two golds and two silvers in the Culinary Olympics, as well as a world championship. In addition, the institute has produced world-renowned corporate and restaurant chefs, including David Garcelon, Andrew Ihasz, Cory Ledrew, Alex Porter, Greg Reid, Cheryl Scantlebury, and Francesco Roccata. It was even named one of the top 50 culinary assets of Canada by Foodservice and Hospitality magazine. But in the end, the institute’s success is that it doesn’t cultivate cooks but creates chefs with a soulful connection to food. “It’s not about the mechanics or the flash in the pan,” Clement says. “It’s about the connection the food makes with the people; when our students make that connection, it’s in their soul, and they won’t forget it.” _a
More than 70 percent of the school’s 300 students are from outside of Prince Edward Island
The Road Ahead Program manager Austin Clement discusses the future of the Culinary Institute Sometimes growth is not about getting bigger in size. I like the fact that we’re still seen as a small school. But I think you will see us expand—we don’t see growth for size as much as we see it for expanding the offerings we give to students. We will add another kitchen that will have a new, interactive dining room. More and more chefs are interacting with their customers, and this new kitchen will help students get over their shyness. We have expanded our catering- and banquet-operations curriculums to go along with a resurgence in such culinary pursuits. In addition, we will expand our food-research emphasis, providing students with an opportunity to work alongside the fishermen and farmers who cultivate the food they use in the kitchen. advantage
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The Dominion is proud to partner with Archway Insurance Brokers. Thank you for providing trusted insurance advice across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
FOSTERING GROWTH THROUGH A SOLID PARTNERSHIP For generations, weâ€™ve been working with our partners at Archway Insurance to build strong relationships with the customers we serve. As we continue to grow our business together, our combined strength and dedication to providing excellent insurance products and service continue to be our focus. Weâ€™re proud of our ongoing relationship with Archway Insurance as they continue to elevate their business.
expansion Acquiring 14 insurance firms and branching out the family business
Garry Stack, owner, has brought his immediate family on board to help solidify Archway’s success.
A family foundation For nearly 30 years, Archway Insurance Inc. has positioned itself as an insurance-brokerage leader, held together by its strong family values by eduardo jones
t its heart, Archway Insurance is very much a family business. Its story began in November of 1985, when Garry Stack took a leap of faith and bought into an insurance company. As the company has grown over the past decades, so too has the involvement of family members. Today, Garry’s wife, Jane, works in accounting, and his kids have come on board as well: Michael is the firm’s vice president; Michael’s wife, Chastity, is the account manager; Garry’s daughter, Gina, is the manager of the Archway Halifax branch and head of marketing for the company; and his youngest son, Robert, is a commercial accounts manager in Halifax. With the Stack family as its foundation, Archway has become a notable insurance provider in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. However, it’s not always smooth sailing. “With six direct family members involved in the
“In the past, banks would not even finance our acquisitions, because they didn’t think what we did had value. But now they seem very interested in selling insurance.” –Garry Stack
business, it’s very hard to get through Thanksgiving or Easter dinner without work monopolizing the conversation,” Garry says. Ultimately, however, it’s this stable framework that has allowed for Archway’s continued growth over the years. Beyond family, Archway’s history can be measured in acquisitions. Since its inception, the company has acquired 14 other insurance firms. Archway’s head office may be located in the small town of Amherst, Nova Scotia, but its proactive approach to acquisitions has allowed it to become one of the fastest-growing insurance brokerages in the Maritimes. From Yarmouth to Halifax to Amherst to Moncton and Miramichi, the Stack family has amassed a sizeable list of specialties, including commercial, home, life, and auto insurance. This diversity is crucial, as competition in the industry has become fiercer. “There are a lot of insurance providers in the marketplace, so obviously there is a lot of competition as well,” Michael says. “It used to be that you could have a single-location family insurance firm and compete with just about anyone, but these days, if you want to survive and offer competitive products and pricing from multiple providers, you have to grow to compete.” In the past, Archway’s only competition was other independent brokerages and multinational insurance companies. However, insurance is no longer just the purview of local insurance salesmen. Recently, Archway has gone up against intense competition from another national service provider: the neighbourhood bank. Hindered by the mortgage industry and losing money from traditional services like checking fees and home loans, banks have started an aggressive move into advantage
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Archway’s Acquisition Timeline
Barnes Insurance purchases Don Lake Insurance in Parrsboro, NS
Warner Comeau sells his shares in NSNB Insurance Group Inc. to Garry and Michael Stack
Garry Stack leaves the world of banking and buys into a new insurance firm, Yarmouth Insurance Services Ltd.
Barnes Insurance purchases Rogers Insurance in Oxford, NS, and rolls it into the Barnes Insurance Agency office
Barnes Insurance purchases David R. Cormier Insurance in Amherst and rolls it into the Barnes Insurance Agency office
Garry and Bob Barnes open Barnes Insurance in Amherst, NS
Warner Comeau is welcomed as a partner in Yarmouth Insurance Services Ltd.; Garry acquires Chipman-Sears Insurance of Yarmouth and rolls it into the Yarmouth Insurance Services Ltd. office
the insurance game. “In the past, banks would not even finance our acquisitions, because they didn’t think what we did had value,” Garry says. “But now they seem very interested in selling insurance.” In response to new competition, the company is embarking on a rebranding marketing effort that will see all of its insurance offices consolidated under one name: Archway Insurance. The company is also making headway into new technology solutions that make the lives of its customers easier, such as the ability to provide online insurance quotes and binding. Throughout the rebranding process, Gina has worked closely with Garry and Michael to ensure Archway’s spirit as an independent broker is not lost through new marketing strategies and the enhanced use of technology to serve clients. With these measures in place, it’s clear that Archway is setting itself up for the long haul. “At Archway Insurance, we are committed to giving the best-possible insurance 96 |
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Yarmouth Insurance purchases Trish Fleming Insurance in Shelburne, NS, forming Shelburne Insurance Services
NSNB Insurance purchases Heritage Insurance (1997) Ltd., Jones-Foster Limited, Jo-Gam Investments Inc., and John Harding Insurance Ltd., and immediately amalgamates all of them into NSNB Insurance Group Inc.
Barnes Insurance purchases Glooscap Insurance in Parrsboro, NS, forming Parrsboro Insurance Services
Yarmouth Insurance purchases V&N Enterprises in Shelburne, NS
Yarmouth Insurance purchases Baldwin Insurance in Halifax, NS Yarmouth Insurance Services Ltd., Barnes Insurance Agency Ltd., and Baldwin Insurance Services Ltd. are then amalgamated into NSNB Insurance Group Inc. Michael Stack is welcomed as a partner in NSNB Insurance Group Inc.
experience to each of our clients,” Gina says. “We accomplish this with solid insurance products, expert advice, and professional service, offered locally at an affordable cost.” Harnessing the company’s exceptional customer service and Archway’s role as a pivotal aspect of the community is an important part of the company’s values. Each time Archway acquires a new firm, the acquired offices remain open so that the local community can continue to benefit from its presence. “We’re deeply embedded in the community in a way that no multinational insurance firm or bank can be,” Michael says. “That’s what set brokers apart.” Archway also owes a debt to its employees, none of whom have ever left the firm for another local job. The Stacks say that the firm’s nearly 40 employees have the same loyalty and dedication to their customers as the family does. “No one can offer more of a communityfocused service than us,” Garry says. “We love our community, and we love our customers. We’re dedicated to serving them.” _a
NSNB opens a Tatamagouche, NS, office with insurance industry veteran David MacEachern at the helm NSNB Insurance purchases Parker’s Insurance Ltd. in Moncton, NB, and rolls it into the Heritage Jones-Foster Insurance office NSNB Insurance Group Inc. changes its name to Archway Insurance Inc. all offices begin to do business as Archway Insurance
Quick Tips Garry Stack on building a new model for the insurance industry •
Acquire with care. Pick your timing and partners wisely. You want to make sure you are teamed with the bestpossible financing partners and are acquiring a good, sound business that will avoid financial surprises later on.
Stay open and remain diligent. The person who is not ready to sell to you today may be the person whom you buy tomorrow. Keep in constant touch, and make sure you’re delivering what they are looking for.
• Never burn a bridge. Brokers are part of a very large industry here in Canada, but with the amount of con solidation in the marketplace these days, you can’t always be sure who you’ll be dealing with down the road.
expansion A global outlook powers up production capacities
Hans Joerg Junger’s master’s of science degree in metallurgy makes him the perfect director of the board for RHI Canada.
men of steel RHI Canada’s Hans Joerg Junger and Friedrich Schweighofer bring RHI AG’s refractory-production prowess to North America by thalia a-m bruehl
or RHI AG, the world’s leading refractories company, growth is not just a goal but a way of life. Ever since the company began in 1834 as Chamottefabrik F. Didier, a brick- and lime-firing plant, the target has been to acquire other production plants, merge when possible, and use profits to build new facilities around the world. More than 175 years later, after the mergers of Veitscher, Radex, and Didier, the company, now known as RHI AG, is still doing exactly that. RHI AG currently has about 10,000 customers and 100 production and sales locations, including RHI Canada. “RHI has two main divisions: steel and industrial,” explains Hans Joerg Junger, director of the board of RHI Canada for Steel NAFTA. “RHI is present in
“We are using high European and American standards in all of our work. That is something we offer all over the world and retain, no matter how much we grow.” —Friedrich Schweighofer
almost every country in the world. Here in Canada, in Burlington, Ontario, we have the North American headquarters, and service the local steel and industrial customers.” RHI Canada has been able to carve out a spot for itself thanks to centralized experts and the use of local sales staff and technicalservice people. “There have been many acquisitions in the past, going all the way back to a very early date,” says Friedrich Schweighofer, vice president of RHI Canada, Industrial NAFTA. “RHI Canada really went through many different names and owners in the past, just as all of RHI did.” Schweighofer started at RHI AG in advantage
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Left: Molten metal is distributed into a mould via a tundish installation. Right: The refractory materials lining the inside of this ladle glow from the extreme heat.
1979, as a production worker at one of the company’s European refractory plants. After attending night school, he was able to transition into a management role at the plant and then into a sales role. Following subsequent management positions in Austria, Indonesia, Scotland, and China, Schweighofer finally settled into his current role in Canada. Junger, on the other hand, knew he was destined for the business world early on and studied marketing in high school before specializing in economics and earning a master’s of science degree in metallurgy at university. A gut feeling led him to RHI in 1994. “I wanted to follow the ambitious vision of the CEO at that time by providing the best products, services, and solutions to the industry,” he says. “It was a calling for me.” RHI AG’s long history of growth is due to the vision of its leaders and the constant evolution of their strategic plan. “There are daily and monthly fluctuations in the market and the economy, and we can’t control 98 |
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those, but there is a very clearly defined plan for RHI AG and all of its operational units,” Junger says. As RHI AG looks towards 2016, with a revenue goal of €2.5 billion, it is also working on the tasks at hand, including new acquisitions or capacity increases in Brazil, India, Russia, and China, where Schweighofer had a firsthand experience of RHI’s expansion during the six years he worked there. “Although China may be the largest producer of steel in the world, the North American market is extremely important to RHI for all applications: cement, petrochemical, nonferrous metals, and steel,” Schweighofer explains. “We are using high European and American standards in all of our work. That is something we offer all over the world and retain, no matter how much we grow. All of our production sites are linked to the R&D centre in Austria, which oversees all manufacturing-quality standards. As a reliable and experienced partner, it is our constant aim
to add value to our customers by achieving the best performance ratio with our refractory materials and services.” _a
RHI By the Numbers 1834: year started 7,800: employees worldwide 600: employees in North America 150: countries in which RHI operates 31: production sites 70: sales offices 1.5: years it takes to get a site running €100 million: cost of a single plant €1,552.9 million: 2010 RHI revenue advantagemagazine.ca
PROUD PARTNER OF RHI-AG
expansion Bringing aboard an executive team
Jayne Industries is a successful manufacturer of refractory anchoring, base metal fabrication and refractory casting services. This combination of specialized manufacturing has shown exponential growth and significant value addition with our key customer, RHI-AG. For 20 plus years Jayne has teamed with RHI-AG and looks forward to continuing to contribute to the future growth of RHI-AG
550 Seaman Street Stoney Creek, ON L8E 3X7
905.643.9200 www.jayneindustries.com advantagemagazine.ca
Eugene Ng (left) and Danny Timmins couldn’t imagine the success NCI would find when they started the company in 2000.
digital trust Hitting a long-awaited sales goal turned out to be the first step for NCI to face growth in its own way by rita smith
ntegrity, passion, respect, accountability, and leadership are the five core values upon which Mississauga, Ontario-based NCI has built itself, and they are the values that both CEO Danny Timmins and CIO Eugene Ng expect will guide the company through its next phase of growth. “From the very beginning, our integrity as an organization has been critically important,” Ng says. “Especially when you are selling services, doing what you say you will do matters more than anything. If you want to be in the market a long time, you don’t just have to prove yourself; you have to stay proven.”
“If you want to be in the market a long time, you don’t just have to prove yourself; you have to stay proven.” –Eugene Ng
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Clients rely on NCI for the most sensitive of services: IT and physical security for public safety, municipalities, government, and law-enforcement agencies, as well as all verticals, including finance, education, retail, manufacturing, and hospitals. Growing from just 5 people in 2003 to 55 in 2011, NCI is poised to make its next leap into new markets with expanded services. In order to do so, Timmins and Ng made some radical decisions about developing their organization. “We decided to hire an executive management team,” Timmins explains. “It had taken us almost eight years to grow to $10 million, and we knew that to get to the next level we needed proven management expertise to help us develop a more structured organization.” After months of interviews, NCI settled on a few consultants who helped the company locate and hire the right people. It took about 18 months to eventually hire vice presidents of sales, professional services, business development for Eastern Canada, and finance, as well as a director of human resources. “If we had it to do over, I would have hired the vice president of finance first; as it was, we hired him last,” says Timmins of the extensive hiring process. “If you are not a financial person, that is a key skill set to have as you develop.” The process was hardly stress-free. “Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty,” Timmins says. “For about three months, neither Eugene nor I knew where we fit in any longer—what were we supposed to be doing? It took a while, but finally we figured it out.” The problem is that many entrepreneurs stop short of hiring a full management team. It has a lot to do with how the company wants to grow. “It seems that when you get to the $10 million, 50-employee level, you either stop there or decide to push towards much larger goals,” Ng says. “The decision to keep growing is a whole new set of goals.” For NCI, staff development and communicating with employees are a high priority. In order to grow to the next level, NCI focused on three key areas. “First, getting the right people in the right job—that’s essential,” Timmins says. advantagemagazine.ca
Congratulations on 115 years of staying the course . The second is establishing corporate infrastructure and systems to navigate future demands. This includes the physical location, information technologies (including customer-relations management programs), accounting systems, and human resources. Lastly, NCI made sure to continually
look ahead. “Envision the market two to three years from now so you can develop internal resources to be prepared to pick up that market,” Timmins says. Currently, NCI is looking both inside Canadian borders and to other, international markets for continued growth with an expanded interest in physical security. _a
Wins first bid on a physical-security assessment contract
Lands $750,000 contract with an Ontario LawEnforcement Agency
NCI is launches with a focus on I.T. security for lawenforcement agencies
One of only two Canadian firms in CRN’s Top 25 North American Need-toKnow Security VARs
Achieves goal of $10 million in sales
Accredited as a PCI (payment card industry) provider
1-877-4-ATLCAT (425-5228) With the right people in the right positions, the NCI team is poised for continued, impressive growth.
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Photos: Len Wagg
Adding scalloping and additional vessels
“Lumpers” wait to unload fresh sea scallops from the vessel’s hold.
working the waterfront Adams & Knickle, one of Nova Scotia’s leading fisheries, has been growing with its community since 1897 by brogan russell
oday, the bright-red buildings of Adams & Knickle are a historic part of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia’s working waterfront. The company has been fishing out of the famous port for 114 years. In the early years, the company was an exporter of salt fish, and presently it fishes for deep-sea scallops. The challenges of operating a fishing business have not always been easy, but the company has weathered the storms and has grown to be a community staple. Founded in 1897 by Harry W. Adams and captain Alexander Knickle, the company quickly established its niche in the booming salt-fish trade. By 1940, many twomasted schooners sailed out of Lunenburg harbour, 20 of which were operated by Adams & Knickle. During these
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“Over the years, we’ve been able to make the necessary changes to remain competitive, and therefore, we have been able to stay in business.” –Jane Ritcey
years, descendents of Harry and Alexander had joined the firm. Today, the company is in its third generation of ownership, with Jane Ritcey, the granddaughter of Harry Adams, serving as president. Jane is joined by David Knickle, general manager, who is the greatgrandson of Alexander. For Jane, the tradition that the company now enjoys is a result of the hard work of both families and the strong work ethic of its employees. “In today’s world, it is unique to be a part an old fishing company like Adams & Knickle,” Ritcey says. During the early ’50s, the salt-fish trade began to dwindle, and a new scallop fishery emerged. In 1954, Adams & Knickle purchased Lunenburg’s first deep-sea scallop dragger, the Barbara Jo, and within the next five years, the company launched eight more wooden scallop vessels. By 1962, the offshore fleet had grown to 44 vessels, and to 77 by 1980. These were lucrative years in the fishing industry, but soon the scallop fleet had to be downsized for the fishery to be sustainable. “Over the years, we’ve been able to make the necessary changes to remain competitive, and therefore, we have been able to stay in business,” Ritcey says. Today, the challenges of the fishing industry are about conservation, sustainability, and good management. In March of 2010, the Eastern Canada offshore sea-scallop fishery was the first North American scallop fishery to attain certification as a sustainable, well-managed fishery. Adams & Knickle, along with four other deep-sea-scallop fishing companies have earned this distinction from the Marine Stewardship Council. What makes the company’s success even more striking is that it is one of very few female-run fishing firms. For generations, the fishing industry had typically been dominated by men—fathers passing on advantagemagazine.ca
Professional Ethical Reliable Chockle Cap launched in 1986 and is currently the last wooden scallop dragger sailing out of Lunenburg.
their jobs to their sons and their grandsons. “When I arrived at the company office, I’m sure many thought having a woman at the helm was unheard of,” Ritcey says. “Fortunately, my uncles who preceded me often spoke about
Cost-Effective Fishing by Jane Ritcey • In order to operate a successful fishing business, it is important to have a cost-effective fishing fleet. Vessels need to be kept up-to date and maintained for optimal performance. • One must be able to adapt to changing circumstances within the fishing industry whenever necessary. This can mean adjusting to every thing from the weather, to rising fuel and capital costs, to maintaining a stable workforce, and, most impor tantly, sustaining the resource by not overfishing. • By maintaining a stable workforce with loyal and dedicated employees, you’ll always be ahead in the game. We have some employees who have been with the company for more than 30 years, and one employee who just celebrated year 46 with us! Throughout the years, our small family company has tried to build strong relationships with all our employees, and in return, they have been very committed to Adams & Knickle, for which we are truly grateful. advantagemagazine.ca
the business, so I understood from a young age how important Adams & Knickle is to our family and to the community.” At the end of the day, Adams & Knickle is proud of exactly that. “Our greatest accomplishment is that we have been a part of Lunenburg’s historic working waterfront for over a century and, in doing so, have played an important role in our community,” Ritcey says. “Our fishermen have helped make us who we are today.” _a
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Rainbow Net & Rigging Ltd. has been committed to offering commercial-fishing supplies and manufactured products to commercial fishermen, the construction and industrial marine, and sports and recreation since 1986. Our success is attributed to focusing on our customers’ needs and offering trusted, brand-name products. With more than 25 years in the industry, Rainbow Net & Rigging Ltd. has achieved success by manufacturing all products to customer specifications. If it’s a golf net, a trawl, an embarkation ladder, apparel, buoys, or whatever the needs of the avid sportsman or fisherman, Rainbow Net & Rigging Ltd. can supply it. If you know the dimensions, we can rig the net you need. Rainbow Net & Rigging Ltd., 109 Simmonds Drive, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Call us toll-free at 1-800-399-7866 or 902-468-7503. Visit us at www.rainbownetrigging.com, or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to take this opportunity say congratulations to Adams & Knickle on its recent anniversary.
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expansion Taking Saskatchewan expertise to the global stage
With its geological and engineering expertise, North Rim’s staff occupies a key niche in the industry.
from potash to profits North Rim Exploration Ltd. rides diversification to unprecedented growth by ovetta sampson
hen Tabetha Stirrett was a young girl growing up in central Canada, her grandmother used to quip that she had “rocks in her pockets.” It was a way of saying the active girl, who loved the outdoors, just couldn’t sit still when it came to nature. Little did Tabetha know then that her love of nature— in particular, the earth’s makeup—would help her guide the growth of North Rim Exploration, one of the most successful geology firms in Saskatchewan. Stirrett, manager of business development, and Karri Howlett, president and CEO, are drilling their way to success for North Rim, which provides geological and engineering support to companies, as well as a way to calculate the amount of potash beneath an exploration company’s land holdings. It’s a critical skill in Saskatchewan,
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“We do not want our clients to view us as their consultant. We try to be part of their technical team.” –Tabetha Stirrett
as the province has the largest potash reserves in the world. “We’re greatly positioned, as we are the only geological-based consulting firm in Saskatchewan,” Stirrett says. Since 2007, North Rim has more than tripled its staff. Stirrett and Howlett insist that the recipe for their firm’s success isn’t earth-shattering. When the duo and six other employees bought out the company’s former owner two years ago, they employed the usual marketing strategies. They rebranded the website, changed the logo, and presented the products and services at trade shows, to spur growth. Moreover, Stirrett and Howlett also developed targeted hiring practices that were focused on service diversification, and boosted their commitment to client service to help prompt North Rim’s success. Still, the firm’s future was built on the foundation of its past. “We were fortunate to buy a firm that had a great reputation,” says Stirrett of taking over North Rim, which was founded in 1984 by Steve Halabura, who still serves as the company’s chairman of the board. “We really wanted to balance our growth while maintaining the stellar reputation North Rim had built.” Reputation is everything in the geology industry. Companies, most of which are publicly traded, succeed or fail based upon the information gathered by their exploration efforts. Once North Rim developed its business infrastructure—an HR department, safety policies, etc.—and handled some client projects, it was smooth sailing for the young firm, whose average employee age is 30. Now, with the potash-exploration industry booming, someone working on sales exclusively, and a purposeful plan to explore avenues beyond potash and into gold, uranium, and other minerals, North Rim is poised to continue its exceptional growth. “Originally, the majority of our clients were small, junior companies working in Sasadvantagemagazine.ca
SASKATCHEWAN’S RESOURCES ARE BOOMING... be a part of it!
C ongratulations North Rim Exploration Ltd. for being recognized in Advantage. We wish you continued success!
katchewan,” Stirrett says. “When we decided we wanted to work in other areas beyond potash, we started to hire geologists with diverse experience … We have four to five geologists who have significant experience in uranium, gold, and other areas.” North Rim has also secured strategic relationships with other firms and key people at the University of Saskatchewan to provide mentorship to up-and-coming geologists and engineers. The company is also looking toward the future to ensure its success, even during bear-market conditions, thanks in part to an innovative approach to clients. “We do not want our clients to view us as their consultant,” Stirrett says. “We try to be part of their technical team. If they consider us as a team member, we will have better long-term relationships with our clients.” Today, North Rim’s contracts average between three and six months, and a big challenge for the firm is maintaining a consistent workflow. However, by acting as its clients’ advocate and acting as an extension of the client’s technical team, the firm is positioning itself to stay with its clients from the exploration phase to advanced stages, in order to face any challenges that may arise. With international expansion, including work in Arizona, Brazil, Laos, the United Kingdom, and Australia, North Rim is well on its way to reaching its ultimate goal of being an internationally known geosciences firm. “We have a thorough understanding of Saskatchewan geology, and we hope to use that knowledge to build a reputation that is known throughout the world,” Stirrett says. _a
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expansion From a humble basement start-up to a nationwide tech juggernaut
CEO and founder Charles Hanna keeps customers connected to “reliable system environments, with minimum downtime and disruption.”
cerebral support Through smart acquisitions and steady growth, Brains II helps address any technological need by mark pechenik
ince its modest beginnings in the basement of founder Charles Hanna’s home in 1979, Brains II has become a technological powerhouse that serves a vast range of industries, including education, healthcare, manufacturing and refineries, transportation, government, and banking, across Canada. Brain II’s emphasis on service consolidation—spanning across a client organization’s diverse IT infrastructure—has figured prominently in its success. “We strive to provide clients with total solutions to meet their technological needs, regardless of manufacturer,” Hanna says. “Service consolidation improves performance and efficiency. It also protects the user from manufacturers who only provide service based on the use and life expectancy of their products.”
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“There is no doubt in my mind that we are ideally poised for the growing demands on technology, both now and in the future.” –Charles Hanna
Thanks to its depth of technical knowledge, Brains II has consistently proven itself in mission-critical environments as a successful third-party service provider. “Our goal is to help our customers stay productive and connected to reliable system environments, with minimum downtime and disruption,” Hanna says. “We understand that requirements vary, so we offer a variety of service plans, depending upon budgets and coverage needs.” These plans include full-coverage contracts, as well as those based on time and materials. To monitor it all, Brains II utilizes BSMART, a web-based call-management system that handles call dispatch, call escalation, parts management, warranty and asset tracking, and service reporting. Brains II has also expanded its corporate reach through several strategic partnerships. A case in point is HSBC Bank Canada’s Refresh Desktop Project, a massive undertaking that involved upgrading advantagemagazine.ca
and replacing thousands of computers and printers in 143 branches across Canada. Awarded this lucrative contract with software partner Softchoice, Brains II and Softchoice exceeded HSBC’s expectations with a comprehensive package that far surpassed other bidders. In yet another high-profile project, Dimension Data turned to Brains II to help with the installation of an extensive Cisco Router network and 4,000 Internetprotocol-based telephones for HSBC branches in Canada.
Brains II By the Numbers 33: years in business 300+: employees $30 million: annual sales
As it completes such notable projects, Brains II is keenly aware of the client’s bottom line. “Expense is a vital factor in any business, so cost effectiveness is paramount,” Hanna says. “We have been able to cut our customers’ cost for service and support significantly while improving their overall performance and manageability.” This strategy is proving equally beneficial as Brains II ventures into what Hanna calls “orphaned hardware” sales and support. “In essence, orphaned hardware is not supported by the manufacturer,” he says. “The value that we add is that, when these hardware solutions are of great value to our customers, we package them with our comprehensive service and support offerings. These can amount to substantial savings for customers, and their intrinsic value has proven very attractive to potential clients.” This strong service and price orientation will likely further solidify Brains II’s leadership status, and Hanna’s outlook is confirmation of this. “There is no doubt in my mind that we are ideally poised for the growing demands of technology, both now and in the future, as we have done for the past 33 years,” he says. _a advantagemagazine.ca
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CEO Mike Coates knows that in today’s digital economy, being open and transparent is paramount for any company’s success.
canada’s king of the hill Hill & Knowlton Canada’s commitment to intense, annual planning sessions keeps it atop the nation’s PR market by anne hedin
hen Hill & Knowlton (H&K) Canada president and CEO Mike Coates got in touch with Advantage, he had just wrapped up a long day of business planning with his senior management team. The team takes these planning sessions very seriously, and they are one of many aspects that have made the company one of Canada’s leaders in public relations, public affairs, and strategic communications. Each quarter, the company devotes three full days to strategizing its goals, finding the means to attain them, and calculating their impacts on H&K Canada’s organizational culture. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off. H&K Canada has just experienced its 30th consecutive quarter of growth, resulting in a compound, annual-growth rate of slightly 108 |
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“We have clients in virtually every industry sector except automotive, and in virtually every geography that can support an office.” —Mike Coates
less than 10 percent for the last 10 years. To put this achievement in context, the forecasted growth rate for the North American PR industry is only three percent, according to GroupM’s This Year, Next Year 2010 report. H&K Canada owes its success, in part, to its parent company, Hill & Knowlton Inc., which is part of the holding company WPP, a world leader in marketing-communications services. WPP is made up of leading companies in advertising; media-investment management; consumer insight; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, advantagemagazine.ca
Photo: Ed Eng
Shifting strategies to stay atop the PR industry
Hill & Knowlton Canada’s Milestones
H&K Canada is established
H&K Canada expands into Alberta through the acquisition of energysector specialists Sparks + Noble
HKDP is created through the merger of the firm’s Montréal office and Ducharme Perron, a Québec City firm
Hill & Knowlton Inc. is founded after John Hill opens a PR firm in Cleveland, OH, and soon after is joined by partner Donald Knowlton
promotion, and relationship marketing; and specialist communications. H&K Canada’s current three-year business plan focuses on three opportunities to expand the firm’s reach: offering integrated solutions that no other agency can match, introducing a new practice area in financial communications and transactions, and identifying new service offerings that can be built or acquired within the mandate of a diversified-communications company. The executives assigned to head these initiatives are, respectively, Kadi Kaljuste, Steven MacKinnon, and Jeff Smith. “We put Kadi in charge of partnerships with our WPP partners and stakeholders, where we can offer advice to them and their clients, and they can offer their expertise to ours,” Coates says. “These are our sister companies—our WPP chairman calls them his ‘tribes’—and traditionally we have all operated in solo fashion in our own geographies. Working together, we can be very effective.” This can be seen in H&K Canada’s partnership with sister company Y&R. The pair worked with the Royal Canadian Mint, which H&K has provided services for since advantagemagazine.ca
H&K Canada acquires the Calgarybased communications firm Result Inc.
H&K Canada merges with PARG, a combination of Public Affairs International, Decima Research, and PACM
2003. Y&R was brought on to help with advertising for coin launches, particularly during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The other two initiatives will also build on existing strengths. Under MacKinnon, the newly established financial-communications and -transactions practice will focus on communications and public-affairs strategies for takeover defenses, divestitures, bankruptcies, and acquisitions. Smith’s mission, on the other hand, is to focus on expansion beyond H&K’s core business strengths and, through acquisition or development, to bring on nodes of expertise that enable the company to compete more effectively with boutique agencies. What has prepped H&K Canada for such moves has been its steadfast culture and success. For five years running, the firm has been recognized as one of the best workplaces in Canada by the Great Place to Work Institute, and it is the only PR and public-affairs firm in the 2011 ranking. It also received the Order of Excellence Award from Excellence Canada—which is a first for a PR and public-affairs firm—for its sustained, exemplary commitment to quality.
H&K Canada is the second-most-profitable operating unit of its parent company, but that doesn’t mean its easy for the market leader to continue growing. “We have clients in virtually every industry sector except automotive, and in virtually every geography that can support an office,” Coates says. With this reach and a dedicated leadership team, H&K Canada is not just a firm to watch—it’s one to trust. _a A message from sysomos
Sysomos, a Marketwire company, is a leading global provider of social-media-monitoring technology. Sysomos is redefining social-media analytics by giving corporations, marketers, and agencies the intelligence and insight needed to make smarter business and strategic decisions. Hill & Knowlton remains on the leading edge of the communications field, developing strategic initiatives throughout unprecedented technological changes in the industry of public relations. Through a collaborative relationship, both Hill & Knowlton and Sysomos are able to achieve continued success and to remain at the forefront of their respective industries. advantage
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expansion Opening up the IT industry to women
Jennifer Johnson (left), senior director of marketing, and Suzanne Macdonald, director of sales.
powered by its people Ingram Micro Canada may be an IT company, but it knows success lies with its employees by kori kamradt
n the world of IT, there’s no such thing as sitting still. To stay competitive in an industry that is constantly evolving, the folks at Ingram Micro Canada know that they have to stay one step ahead in the technology race and make sure their team develops personally at the same pace. Founded in 1979, in the United States, Ingram Micro quickly became the world’s largest technology distributor and leading sales, marketing, and logistics company within the IT industry. Canadian operations began in 1985, and became known as Ingram Micro Canada in 1989. Since 2001, US and Canadian operations have worked together under the North America umbrella. Together, they account for 43 percent of Ingram’s sales. Suzanne Macdonald, director of sales, has been at
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“There’s definitely a much larger population of males in our industry, and we don’t often stop and ask why.” –Jennifer Johnson
Ingram Micro Canada for four years and has watched the company grow in a number of ways. This expansion includes growth in leadership, vendor and customer partnerships, operations, and technology. To maintain its leadership position and to keep its resellers competitive, Ingram Micro Canada remains abreast of the latest technology, such as cloud computing, mobility, and physical security. Historically a product-based company, Ingram Micro has become a service provider and consultative partner. Asked about the division she leads, Macdonald says, “There will be growth in our core business and continued support for that growth through services, such as configuration, advantagemagazine.ca
Speedy Transport Group
Ingram Micro By the Numbers 26: countries with an Ingram Micro sales office
100: worldwide distribution centres 15,650: associates worldwide 1,400: vendors 185,000: resellers spread across Rose MacKinnon, senior sales director.
Speedy Transport has grown to be one of central Canada’s premier carri-
technical support, and client-direct and valueadded services.” Jennifer Johnson, Ingram Micro Canada’s senior director of marketing, is responsible for overall Canadian marketing operations. She explains that as the competitive market grows, Ingram’s partners know they need to differentiate themselves and cannot rely on just maintaining their customer base. “Sixteen to 17 years ago, distribution marketing from a vendor standpoint was really about relationships,” Johnson says. “That still applies today, but there is now another layer to be considered: Vendors are more focused on smart marketing, such as profiling customers. They want to look at data and make sure they’re getting the right message to the right reseller partners.” In response, the marketing department at Ingram Micro Canada has been busy streamlining some of its processes. The company harnesses technology to ensure timely and compelling content with its website evolution, and by making sure it always has accurate and timely messaging. Even with all of these advances in services and technology, Johnson and Macdonald say the most important part of keeping Ingram Micro Canada’s growth continual is focusing on associate development. In addition to mentoring and continuing-education programs, Ingram Micro Canada recently partnered with CDN to sponsor an executive luncheon titled Top Women in the Canadian advantagemagazine.ca
IT Channel. This luncheon honoured women who have contributed and continue to contribute to the IT industry in Canada. “There’s definitely a much larger population of males in our industry, and we don’t often stop and ask why,” Johnson says. “Our partnership with CDN will really help in creating awareness about the possibilities for women in IT.” Rose MacKinnon, senior sales director at Ingram Micro Canada, was one of those women honoured at the luncheon. She attributes much of her successes to programs in self-development and her ability to develop others. “I mentor within the organization as well as outside the organization,” she says. “It’s in my nature to support people who want to grow and develop—especially new people who come into the organization, so they can succeed and stay here.” All three women say they are excited about the Women in IT program and hope it continues in the years to the come. This program in Canada fits perfectly with Ingram Micro’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative and a recently formed internal program called the Women’s Forum. The purpose of the Women’s Forum is to create mentoring, networking, and skill-development opportunities for women at Ingram Micro who are interested in evolving their careers. “We hope to see the forum in Canada in the very near future,” Macdonald says. _a
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Photo: Dustin Cochrane
Taking over an abandoned market
The Lakeview Insurance team at the company’s head office in Winnipeg.
’til the cows come home After 9/11 made agribusiness a riskier affair, Lakeview Insurance Brokers remains one of the only firms providing a backup plan to the farms of Manitoba and Saskatchewan by mark pechenik
ike many companies that have successfully managed changing market conditions, Winnipeg-based Lakeview Insurance Brokers has become a dominant and growing force in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan provinces and beyond. While it provides a wide variety of insurance coverage—from personal to commercial to nonprofit—agribusiness continues to remain Lakeview’s most profitable sector. Ironically, a radical shift in this highly specialized industry helped propel this insurance provider to its current level of prominence. “As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the insurance industry placed greater focus upon businesses that were viewed as having greater risks,” says Anthony Reimer, president of Lakeview. “Consequently, [insurance] provid112 |
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“It just isn’t feasible—or smart— to issue policies that don’t take into account each farmer’s concerns.” –Anthony Reimer
ers for agribusiness started to severely limit or even terminate their policies.” Lakeview ran contrary to this trend. Instead, it opted to take on those endangered policies, with its steadfast commitment making it the provider of choice for the region’s agribusiness community. “We’ve been in this business for a long time—we know how agribusiness works,” says Reimer, whose parents founded Lakeview in 1983. “So instead of panicking and withdrawing from the field, we were able to write policies that expertly balance risk to the benefit of our clients.” Key to Lakeview’s success is a simple yet effective approach to doing business: it listens to its clients. “We make it a point to go out to the farm and hear what the farmer has to say,” Reimer says. “They are the ones with firsthand knowledge about their insurance needs. It just isn’t feasible—or smart—to issue policies that don’t take into account each farmer’s concerns.” By accurately assessing client needs, it is then possible to customize policies. This customization marks another foundation of Lakeview’s industry leadership. “No farm is the same,” Reimer says. “A dairy farm’s policy may need to focus upon its automated milking operations, while a hog farm may advantagemagazine.ca
need greater coverage in the event of animal suffocation.” In any situation, Lakeview is able to respond to the particular needs presented. In the event of a claim, the firm is able to respond promptly.
Clients by main area of business
Anthony Reimer, president.
Premiums by line of business
This individualized focus and adaptation to market shifts has proven itself in Lakeview’s other areas of insurance coverage as well. Take, for instance, its nonprofit business coverage. “It used to be that nonprofits such as churches had only a few insurance needs— coverage for the church building, for example,” Reimer says. “But issues like improper conduct by clergy or charity officials have made coverage more complicated. We’ve taken into consideration the altered climate for charities and, as a result, have made it possible for our policies to fully address these new insurance risks.” Acquisition also figures prominently in terms of expansion. After acquiring several practices, Lakeview extended its reach into Saskatchewan. “These new locations have allowed us to extend our presence and become even more competitive in the insurance marketplace,” Reimer says. While acquisition continues to be on the radar, according to Reimer, Lakeview’s focus on customer service will unquestionably remain vital to its expansion goals. “We will always take the time to work with our clients to create those policies that best meet their needs for effectively and timely coverage,” he says. _a
Best wishes to all of our friends at Lakeview Insurance. Here’s to many more years of growth!
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expansion Retooling and growing in a rocky economy
Janet Rideout, quality manager, recently became a co-owner in the family business.
Photo: Robert Norman
riding out the recession The third-generation owners of Rideout Tool & Machine Inc. stay afloat thanks to new opportunities for future growth by tricia despres
anet Rideout often finds herself gazing at the handwritten notes her grandfather Roland Rideout left behind regarding his thoughts and aspirations for the family-owned business, Rideout Tool & Machine. While these priceless visions have begun to fade away on the yellowed paper on which they were written, Janet and her family are more inspired than ever to ensure her grandfather’s wishes come true. “Expansion was always important to my grandfather in terms of being able to service our customers
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“When your name is on the building, you can bet you want to see it succeed.” –Janet Rideout
better,” says Janet, who, as quality manager, handles quality control at the 62-year-old company. Founded by Roland Rideout in 1949, the company was first known as Rideout Electric Ltd. and specialized in motor rewinding and electrical contracts. The company was passed on to Roland’s sons in the 1970s, and today Rideout Tool & Machine is a privately owned and operated company specializing in the supply of industrial tools and machinery. The leadership team includes president Raymond Rideout, vice president Harry Rideout, and branch manager Chris Rideout. In recent months, Janet Rideout has also become a part owner in the company along with her cousin, Craig Rideout, who heads up the machinery division. “A family-owned business allows everyone involved to take ownership of the company,” Janet says. “My dad started working here when he was 15. I started when I was 16. When your name is on the building, you can bet you want to see it succeed.” In recent years, Rideout Tool & Machine— which was one of the first companies in the industrial business in Atlantic Canada to get the ISO 9001 certification—has expanded its sales force within the Atlantic provinces to capitalize on growing opportunities outside its locations in St. John’s and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “We are a medium-sized company with a small-business mentality,” Janet says. “Expanding came down to a matter of need. advantagemagazine.ca
AS ATLANTIC CANADA’S LARGEST DISTRIBUTOR OF 2003
establishes Rideout Labrador Ltd., a Rideout Tool & Machine subsidiary
Rideout Tool & Machine’s Milestones
purchases a 20,000-squarefoot building for its Dartmouth, NS, location
acquires a larger building for its Corner Brook, NL, location
Rideout Electric Ltd. opens its doors in downtown St. John’s, NL
builds onto its current location at 222 Kenmount Road under the new name of Rideout Tool & Machine Inc.
We have always been a healthy operation financially and are always ready to take advantage of opportunities that we are seeing out there.” Currently, the company is looking at acquisitions. For a company that has grown thus far on its own merit, a potential acquisition would be new terrain, and is especially impressive given that such an expansion would take place during the recession. The Rideout family may be the name behind the business, but it knows the tremendous success wasn’t achieved by the family alone. “I would have to say our diverse customer base helped us immensely,” Janet says. “Our clients come from a wide range of industry sectors, including retail, machining, oil and gas, government, education, and many more. We experienced firsthand how when some areas would fall, others would boom.” With this adaptability, a long history, and a talented sales force on its side, Rideout Tool & Machine is well positioned to handle any debacles that come its way. Its example is encouraging, not only for its clients, but for the provinces that it calls home. _a advantagemagazine.ca
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A Legacy of Dedication With a total of 35 employees at three separate locations, employee retention has always been an important factor in the success of Rideout Tool & Machinery. In fact, nearly half of the staff has been with the company for 12 years or more, with many ready to hit career milestones of 20–30 years with the company. “As a family-owned business, it’s important for all of our employees to be able to have accessibility to the owners and management of the company, and to feed off the experience we have collectively,” says Janet Rideout, quality manager and co-owner. “Our [staff members have] the flexibility in their work to perform their jobs as best they can with the support they need and with the overall goal of customer service. This company was founded as a service company and continues to place customer service as its first priority. Management is very hands-on and accessible to our customers and staff, allowing for quick resolutions to arising issues and a cooperative work environment.”
222 Kenmount Rd. St. John’s, NL A1B 3R2
Ph. 709-754-2240 TF. 877-898-5360
20 Maple Valley Rd. Corner Brook, NL A2H 3C2
Ph. 709-634-3294 TF. 866-634-3294
170 Akerley Blvd. Dartmouth, NS B3B 1Z5
Ph. 902-468-2060 TF. 877-577-9943
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expansion Waking up a sleepy restaurant with a new business scope
Liam Dolan (left) and John Likely knew that they had the entrepreneurial talent to turn Peake’s Quay into a town staple.
surf, turf, glitz & glam Restaurant and nightclub Peake’s Quay breathes new life into Prince Edward Island’s capital by ovetta sampson
ohn Likely and Liam Dolan stood on the second floor of a historic yet antiquated warehouse in downtown Charlottetown and shivered. It was 1994, and the blustery Canadian wind rattled the panes of the former window factory. Snow seeped in through the many cracks in the wall, as if signifying the true nature of the place. Yet, as the two men walked around the edifice and looked at the gray waters in full view, all they could envision was sun, seafood, and seafarers looking for a place to unwind. On that brisk winter day, one of Prince Edward Island’s hottest restaurants and nightclubs was born. “We just saw the view, and we saw how beautiful it was,” says Likely, who along with Dolan is co-owner of Peake’s Quay. “We just sort of sat around and said if we were big enough, we could handle the cruise ships,
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“We’re probably at a five-anda-half-month season right now. We’re looking to expand to a full seven months.” –John Likely
conventions, and all the summer tourists that come to Prince Edward Island each year.” With the restaurant’s 400-plus-seat dining room, a stunning second-storey deck that showcases Prince Edward Island’s beautiful waterfront vistas, a nightclub, and a maximum capacity of 600, Peake’s Quay has come a long way from its origins as a sleepy restaurant. However, the success isn’t surprising, given the backgrounds of the owners. Before he signed up with Likely to purchase Peake’s Quay, Dolan was a successful restaurateur. A native of Ireland, he had already opened a fine-dining establishment and an Irish Pub on Prince Edward Island. Likely, advantagemagazine.ca
Peake’s Quay’s Milestones
Peake’s Quay opens its nightclub
John Likely and Liam Dolan lease Peake’s Quay
a native of Charlottetown, grew up in a family of food wholesalers. When Peake’s Quay, then just a small restaurant on the second floor of the warehouse, went up for sale, the duo jumped at the opportunity. “We’re very fortunate to have such a prime location on the water,” Dolan says. “When people come here, they sit down on our deck and relax. You can be downtown, but you don’t feel like its downtown; it’s like your own private sanctuary.” Dolan and Likely bought the lease on the restaurant, expanded the second-floor deck, added extra retail space to the first floor, and doubled the work staff. The two men worked for a couple of years without a salary, putting every dime they made back into the business. “We believed in our idea, and we didn’t want to have obstacles in the way,” Dolan says. “We wanted to pay down our debt, to make sure it was comfortable and that we were not under a financial strain. We were very careful on how we made our decision to expand.” In the midst of this growth, Likely and Dolan were doing their usual restaurant cleanup one night when they looked next door and saw opportunity knocking again. “We looked out the window at this bar, and it was packed every night,” Likely says. “We thought, ‘We’d like to get a piece of that.’” advantagemagazine.ca
Peake’s Quay hosts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, otherwise known as Will and Kate
Dolan throws the first International Shellfish Festival (called Oyster Festival at the time)
Proud Partner of Peake’s Quay
Regis and Kelly, the popular American talk-show hosts, spend a week at Peake’s Quay
Likely and Dolan form Waterfront Investments and buy the building that houses Peake’s Quay and 10 retail shops
With that thought, the Peake’s Quay Night Club was born. By 1999, the owners had purchased the building that housed Peake’s Quay and leased out the space on the bottom floor to more retailers. Following yet another success, the two tackled both Mother Nature and Father Time. The winter makes tourist seasons unbearably short in Prince Edward Island, with the peak season arriving in July and lasting through August. Dolan and Likely extended their restaurant’s operating time by first adding heaters to the fabulous deck, and then by sponsoring local festivals on off-peak days. In fact, Peake’s Quay helped host the Prince Edward Island International Shellfish Festival, which welcomed more than 15,000 visitors in September 2011. “We’re probably at a five-and-a-halfmonth season right now,” Likely says. “We’re looking to expand to a full seven months.” Likely and Dolan say that fortune has smiled upon them with great weather, good staff, and many opportunities. But a shrewd businessperson can see these two didn’t sit back and wait for growth to arrive—they made it happen. “Food with a view was our goal,” Likely says. “I’d say we’ve accomplished that!” _a
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expansion Moving beyond the reservation
General manager and CEO Azar Kamran levies his business acumen on behalf of the Samson Cree Nation.
a first nations enterprise Samson Management Limited doesn’t hesitate when it comes to growth by dan harvey
irst established in 1974, Samson Management has proven itself a viable and vital business. Expanding beyond the borders of Alberta’s Samson Cree Nation reservation, its transformation from a nonprofit social enterprise into a for-profit business venture has driven its substantial, ongoing growth. As its name indicates, the Samson Cree Nation—part of Canada’s indigenous population—is the major shareholder of Samson Management. “But it’s not involved in day-to-day business or decisions on how to run the company,” says Azar Kamran, Samson Management’s general manager and CEO. Over the course of its 36-year history, Samson Management has diversified, expanding into areas such as real estate, pharmaceuticals, insurance, petroleum, automotive, and fast food—turning a robust profit in each segment. “The company started out in 1974 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Samson Cree Nation,” Kamran says. “A
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“We grew beyond the reservation, and then beyond Edmonton. That was just the start. We’re looking to expand even more.” –Azar Kamran
year later, it incorporated to serve as the holding company for the Nation’s real-estate portfolio. Eventually, it evolved into a business- and investment-management company, performing for-profit economic activities.” Samson Management helps provide the kind of oversight that turns opportunity into success. The company is headquartered in the Alberta hamlet of Hobbema, home of Samson Cree Nation reserve. While the Nation isn’t running the business, it is certainly reaping the rewards. Through job creation and a housing program, Samson Management is helping move people off of the reservation, acting as catalyst for them to function self-sufficiently in the outside community. Today, the company has structured itself around three major activity areas: investments and emerging opportunities, retail businesses, and acting as a shareholder entity for Crown Properties International and Cold LakeSamson GP. In terms of investments, Samson Management strongly focuses on acquiring real estate. “We are into real estate—big time,” Kamran says. “Besides our properties in Hobbema, we now own properties all across Edmonton, such as multiunit apartment complexes. Also, we are developing an 890-acre area in Cold Lake, a city in northeastern Alberta. It’s a huge subdivision project. We are also in the process of acquiring a large complex in Calgary—so we’re spreading out.” On the retail side, Samson Management owns several businesses located on the Samson Cree Nation reservation. These include Maskeptoon Automotive Services, a business established in 1981 that became part of Samson Management in 1996. “It’s a full-blown operation staffed by licensed technicians who repair cars,” Kamran says. “We’re able to attract a lot of business from all throughout the region, because our prices are significantly lower than what some other similar businesses charge.” advantagemagazine.ca
Acquires several retail businesses, including Maskeptoon Automotive Services, the Okeymowkisik Gas Bar & Convenience Store, and the Roots & Berries Pharmacy
Samson Management’s Milestones
Opens a Subway franchise
Transforms into an exclusively for-profit enterprise
Incorporates under the Alberta Business Corporations Act to serve as a holding company for the Samson Cree Nation’s real-estate portfolio
Samson Management Limited is established as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Samson Cree Nation
Receives an Alberta Business Award of Distinction, an award for a First Nations-owned business that demonstrates outstanding achievement and incorporates entrepreneurial and cultural concepts into its operation for long-term success
SAMSON MANAGEMENT LIMITED SAMSON CREE NATION OWNED BUSINESS INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT COMPANY SINCE 1975
Engages in joint-venture and partnership opportunities to promote further growth
Samson Management also owns the Okeymowkisik Gas Bar & Convenience Store and Roots & Berries Pharmacy—two businesses that opened in 1995. In 1996, Samson Management established a Subway franchise, which marks the first aboriginal-owned franchise on First Nations land. “In addition, we own a strip mall that we’re expanding to make more profitable,” Kamran says. “We’ll rent out the new space, and we’re also considering starting up some of our own new businesses to place there.” But things weren’t always so profitable for the vibrant company. In 1995, Samson Management offered nonprofit programs and services in addition to its for-profit businesses. The expense, though, was too much for the company, which operated at a deficit estimated between $1.5 and $2.5 million. So in 1997, the company decided to remove all nonprofit operations from its plate. “The company felt it wasn’t moving in the right direction,” Kamran says. “If it wanted to expand—and that was the corporate vision— it realized it had to turn things around.” The impact was profound: the bottom line shifted from the red to the black. By 2001, the corporate management team started advantagemagazine.ca
looking at joint-venture and partnership opportunities. Despite these changes, however, the company never lost sight of its responsibility. “We still support social programs involving office space and housing, which provide incentive for people to move off of the reserve,” Kamran says. Making a foothold in the community is high on the list of Samson Management’s priorities. It is currently becoming involved in infrastructure development in the Hobbema hamlet—working on water and sewage lines and taking on a courthouse project. Further, the company is expanding beyond local, regional, and national borders, moving into international territory. “We’re working on a project that will supply grains to China,” Kamran says. These and other initiatives of Samson Management owe a debt to the company’s board of directors, both past and present, which has been instrumental in helping plan what Kamran calls the “larger picture.” “We grew beyond the reservation, and then beyond Edmonton,” he says. “That was just the start. We’re looking to expand even more.” _a
CORPORATE OFFICE 3rd Floor Cree Tribal Administration (CTA) Building Samson Reserve PO Box 539 Hobbema, Alberta, Canada Phone: (780) 585-2468 Toll Free: (800) 917-2818 Fax: (780) 585-2393 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Photo: Tripp Photography
Teaming up for end-to-end sales solutions
Beau Conway (front left) and Stephen Shinnan (front right) lead a talented team of sales and marketing professionals.
thawing out the cold call
In the numbers game of phone sales, Beacon Sales Professionals spends more time making connections and less dialing the next number by lynn russo whylly
eau Conway was a top corporate sales rep for 12 years before deciding to open up his own business, Beacon Sales Professionals, in 2010. He was prompted to venture out on his own by what he felt was a difference of opinion in the way sales reps and sales calls should be managed: a little less quantity and a little more quality. He felt a shift in that approach would reap better results, and his hunch was right. After one year of service offering demand generation, appointment setting, inside sales, and market research, Ottawa-based Beacon reported 10 percent connect rates on cold calls, with 20 percent of those turning into qualified appointments. With these results, Beacon doubled its first-year goal of wanting to have a half
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“Our methodology is not about a sales pitch. It’s about making a connection with someone and asking their permission.” –Beau Conway
dozen clients by the year’s end. So what’s the secret? “Our methodology is not about a sales pitch,” Conway says. “It’s about making a connection with someone and asking their permission.” One of the firm’s techniques is something Conway calls “mismatching.” Instead of asking, “Did we catch you at a good time?”—which gives the prospect the opportunity to say no—Beacon’s representatives say, “Did we catch you at a bad time?” This prompts the prospect to say, “No, not at all,” and opens up the door for a minute or two of opportunity. Beyond this, Beacon uses neuro-linguistic programming principles and incorporates buyer-seller psychology in the conversation. Another differentiator is that Beacon embraces cold calling, a medium that some people feel is dying. To those doubters, Conway says they haven’t really tried. “When a client comes to us, they generally want to grow, but they don’t think that cold calling is the way to go,” he says. “I always ask them how much cold calling they have done. And the answer is usually ‘not much.’” When clients see that Beacon can generate 15–20 qualified leads in a month, it changes their perspective. Beacon’s clients started out in the tech industry, but they are now moving more into the service industry, including companies in training and e-learning, as well as a web-optimization firm and a recruiting firm. “This shift is exciting news for us because, with service-based companies, the conversation is very customized,” Conway says. “It ends up being largely based around client needs rather than about what a product can do. That’s a great spot for us to be in.” advantagemagazine.ca
Backup While Beacon’s first year was very successful, it was evident to Conway that there was a gap in bringing leads through to completion. He began to consider the possibilities of being able to provide an end-toend service offering and kept his eyes open for an opportunity. He found one in Peitho, an integrated-marketing-services company focused on brand building and sales campaigns. Where Beacon would find and qualify leads, Peitho would conduct the sales campaigns and support them with marketing, creating a closed loop. Last October, Beacon created a strategic alliance with two-year-old Peitho, and Conway moved his company into Peitho’s downtown Ottawa offices. In January, they made the relationship official, and Peitho acquired Beacon. “Because of our previous size, we were limited in the size of customers we could serve,” says Stephen Shinnan, president and CEO of Peitho. “Now we’re able to compete with the major agencies in Ottawa and against companies that have been around for 10–20 years. We always knew we could produce the quality work, but our youth and size didn’t get us the attention we wanted. With this acquisition, we make up for that with the strength of our service offering: we now have the ability to quantify our work in an industry that often lacks accountability.” “Our competitive differentiator is now extended because we have a full suite of marketing services to offer,” says Conway, who became executive vice president. “We’re not just about lead gen; we’re lead gen and sales support. We can produce more qualified leads through a blend of integrated telephone, online, social, and e-mail campaigns to ensure leads are nurtured to fruition.” The combined companies have 16 employees, and the partners anticipate a 50 percent joint team expansion in the first quarter of 2012 to accommodate the many ideas they have for growth. One of those ideas is a lead-nurturing program that would automate how leads are touched over time through e-mail, web marketing, and telesales. Conway also sees the company adding products to its service line, such as a CRM (customer relationship management) solution customized to the client’s specific needs, and plans to target European companies that would like to break into the Canadian market. _a
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Competing in an Emerging Market with Canadian Cloud Computing Inc. By Ruth E. Dávila
Be faithful to the customer In IT, there’s too much religion, says Wolly Kowal, president and founder of Canadian Cloud Computing. People swear by one technology to the exclusion of others. But customers simply want the best option. That’s where Kowal’s MBA training comes in handy. “I’m not a devout follower of any technology,” he says. “I just want the right solution for the customer.” For example, his company adopted commercial software when opensource options failed to offer adequate support.
Incubate to proliferate Small-business incubators provide a “rocket ship” of support, says Kowal, who moved into the Communitech Hub in September 2010. “Not only does it offer beautiful, modern office space in a rehabbed tannery building, but it also houses government assistance programs and major law, consultancy, and accounting firms,” he adds. To boot, Communitech connects entrepreneurs to angel investors.
Seek knowledge first Before investing, talk to colleagues, competitors, and potential clients. Kowal spent a year researching within the tech community and ended up recruiting his partner, Phil Leighton, to manage operations. To keep a pulse on trends, he maintains contact with most customers, although his team has grown to five members. He also organizes the local Cloud Camp, an “unconference” for early adopters of cloud computing.
Be human in a world of machines MEET CANADIAN CLOUD COMPUTING In the ’80s, Wally Kowal spent his spare time in the university computer lab, learning about technology. “The geeks would say, ‘You’re doing a business degree. What are you hanging out down here for?’” Kowal recalls. His typical response: “Someday computers are going to be big for business.” With that in mind, Kowal spent three decades working for tech companies—including Rogers Communications Inc., which is now Canada’s largest wireless provider—during the cell-phone upsurge. In 2009, he turned entrepreneur as the president and founder of Canadian Cloud Computing.
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Answering the phone in person can be a big differentiator. “That might not sound like a big thing, but try to find a phone number for Google, Amazon, or Azure,” Kowal says. Large incumbents cannot offer personal service because of low pricing, or cannot offer affordable service. “Our staff makes us successful,” Kowal adds. “Even though we are fundamentally a technology company, it is the people who drive the technology and serve customers.”
“We try not to compete with the large players … Our strategy is to be what they are not, sell what they cannot offer, and serve the markets they ignore.” —Wally Kowal, President & Founder
Customize to mass produce Global players either offer a limited range of services that customers must integrate on their own, or they focus on large, complex deployments at a very high cost. “When we develop custom projects for small and midsize companies, it helps us understand their needs—which virtually no one is doing,” Kowal says. “We can then build templates and packages that suit the entire segment and sell them widely.”
Serve the underserved Successful businesses offer a solution to a problem, Kowal says. He launched his company as a remedy for those looking to store their data within Canada who were frustrated by the shortage of local providers. He found that certain industries, such as finance and medical services, require domestic data storage by law. Moreover, Canada is viewed internationally as a safe zone with fewer privacy concerns than the United States. “We try not to compete with the large players but find market segments they cannot serve efficiently,” Kowal says. “Our strategy is to be what they are not, sell what they cannot offer, and serve the markets they ignore—namely, small and medium-sized business.”
Pace growth Kowal recommends a sustainable business plan that avoids massive upfront investment. For him, that means keeping a small sales force for better customer service and integrating products as needed, just as he advises clients to do. (“We look at the cloud as a journey, not a destination,” he often says.) While expanding, instead of rolling out several products at once, Kowal put the customercentric Trusted Cloud Vault backup service first. “We plan to introduce desktop virtualization, but since it is still evolving, we have opted to wait for rollout,” he says.
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In the Stendal mill, the pulp has been bleached and the slurry-like material is dried on a drying machine into sheets, then cut into squares.
Can an international giant in paper-and-pulp milling retool itself for a modern age? Mercer International is making the case, with a series of new-age plants that are cleaning up the milling process and generating excess energy for the surrounding area. by lynn russo whylly
hink pulp-and-paper mills and you are bound to conjure up visions of black smokestacks and dirty rivers. But Mercer International is one company successfully changing the industry’s old stereotype. Founded in 1968, the Vancouver-based company runs three of the cleanest and greenest northern-bleached-softwood-kraft-pulp mills in the world: Zellstoff Celgar, outside Castlegar, British Columbia; and Rosenthal and Stendal, in Germany. Combined, Celgar, Rosenthal, and Stendal produce approximately 1.475 million tonnes of pulp annually. As the sole kraft-pulp
producer in Germany, Mercer can deliver to its European customers in days what might take others weeks. Similar time savings are generated by its Western Canada location, which positions the mill for fast turnaround to Asia and North America, with lower transport costs passed on to customers. Mercer’s premium-grade kraft is sought after by many of the world’s largest and most modern paper companies, producing a range of products such as tissue, as well as specialty and premium printing and writing grades. As a result, Mercer is held to the highest standards of both quality and sustainability, and is committed to both.
Mercer’s pulp-making process begins when trees are cut down for lumber. Only about 60 percent of the tree is used, and Mercer purchases the remainder, including the bark, and any imperfect trees that are passed over. “We are buyers of what we call residual fibre—we buy the waste wood,” says CFO David Gandossi. “We then cook [it] in a digester to break down the lignin that holds the wood together.” Fifty percent of what’s left becomes cellulose pulp, which is used to make paper. The remainder is black liquor, which is essentially a biofuel. Of particular importance is the latter half of that combination. In decades past, advantage
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the black liquor didn’t have a sustainable use. Today, the biofuel created from the liquor is burned in a recovery boiler to generate heat. In the boiler, water turns to steam, and the steam pressure runs through a turbine to generate electricity. When the pressure is dissipated, the heat is used to dry the pulp, as well as heat water and the factory floors, resulting in a complete waste-to-fuel-toenergy recycling system. Not only does the Celgar plant provide enough electricity for its own use from this process, but it also energizes 25,000 homes—a number Mercer plans to increase continually.
the word on green The sky’s the limit when it comes to producing sustainable products, says David Gandossi, CFO of Mercer International. “As long as there’s a market for it, we’ll keep increasing our biofuels output.” Here are his thoughts on ways that Mercer is playing a role in greening the planet.
A New, Renewable Energy “The energy from our pulp-making process is the ultimate in renewable energy because it creates a usable by-product from waste wood, and does it in an environmentally friendly way.” Bioproducts “We’re shifting the globe’s use of products consumed on a regular basis from fossil fuel to biofuel. We’re contributing to an environmentally good thing. We’re part of the solution.” Sustainability “We’re big believers in the triple bottom line: environmental, social, and economic sustainability.” 126 |
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Gandossi asserts that much of the transformation is indebted to the Canadian government and its continuous support. Canada’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, which provides support for capital projects that conserve and/or produce energy, or that improve environmental impact, was a response to the black-liquor tax credit that the United States started providing American companies. Since then, all Canadian pulp mills have been given a helping hand. “[Mercer] received $57 million, which we used to launch our Green Energy Project, mainly installing a new turbine,” Gandossi says. “Now we have the largest single-line mill in Canada, with an installed generator capacity of 100 megawatts of electricity.” As the biofuels Mercer produces become more valuable, the company plans to increase their production. “Our vision is that these mills will be true biorefineries and will contribute to the displacement of fossil fuels with a whole variety of products,” says Brian Merwin, vice president of strategic initiatives. “As we go through this transformation and improve profitability, we’ll be able to produce by-products from the pulp-and-paper process that aren’t financially feasible today.” However, at Mercer, being green isn’t just about the profit. “We live and work in mill towns, and we’re connected with nature all around us,” Gandossi says. “We have friends and family who work in the harvesting and solid-wood sectors. We enjoy the clean water and air, and these values are very important to us.” As a result, Mercer is strict with its suppliers, adhering to certification and chain-ofcustody protocols. “We only accept sustainably harvested, certified wood,” Gandossi says. Despite such success, Mercer isn’t free of its fair share of challenges. One of the most pressing is the age of its workforce. “The average age in our Celgar mill is around 50, and over the next 10–15 years, we will need to replace expertise in a variety of areas, including certified steam engineers, accountants, pipe fitters, welders, and electricians.” Gandossi says. “This offers a whole host of human-resource challenges, because we compete with other employers with similar trade needs.” Another challenge is educating the community. With a historic generalization that a pulp mill is a dirty business, it’s important to constantly keep the community informed. “The white smoke coming out of the stacks has been scrubbed so finely that it is mostly steam, and the water coming out of Mercer’s
mills is cleaner than the water going in,” Gandossi says. “We also need to continually educate the government so that new policies don’t harm us. Discussion of carbon taxes and other new initiatives, if not done in an understanding way, could have detrimental impacts.” To support its positive image in Castlegar, Mercer sponsors parades, music in the park, open houses, and mill tours. “We try to be as transparent as we can. We have around 425 employees, and there are many indirect jobs that depend on the mill. We pay almost half of the city’s annual budget in taxes,” Gandossi says. “We also pump the water for the city, drawing the water out of the river and providing the pressure to pump it into the houses through our equipment. We hope people understand our commitment and dedication to the community.” In addition, Merwin has been working with the transportation industry to lower Celgar’s carbon footprint. He recently succeeded in getting industry approval to increase the volume of wood chips transported in the trucks by 15 percent, and he is working with suppliers to convert long-haul truck fuel to natural gas, which, he says, has a lower carbon footprint than diesel. When viewed on the horizon, the veneer of Mercer’s mills might still conjure the image of a heavily polluted industry. But inside, the mills are helping reinvent how an industrial process should be carried out, moving perceptions to a healthier, more vibrant world. _a A message from fpinnovations
FPInnovations is proud to support Zellstoff Celgar Limited, a division of Mercer International Group and key member with our organization. Many new technologies that have helped transform the forest-products industry have resulted from Mercer’s support of FPInnovations. One such example is the Generator Acid Purification (GAP) system, patented by FPInnovations. A commercial demonstration of the GAP technology, which can save pulp mills approximately $1 million annually, is being installed at Zellstoff Celgar’s mill in Castlegar, BC. A message from noram
The thrust to keep Mercer International’s pulp-mill capital facilities working at peak efficiency is receiving a boost with NORAM’s introduction of the GAP-STM process at Mercer’s Zellstoff Celgar, BC, operations. GAP-STM is one of a suite of technologies offered by NORAM to improve pulp-mill efficiency and reduce on-site chemical consumption and effluents. NORAM and its partners, FPInnovations and Eco Tec Inc., are proud to be associated with the project.
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Can thoughtful landscape design and rapid growth sustain one another? They do at Aden Earthworks, where vibrant designs meet clients’ demands for sustainability across multiple industries. by lisa ryan
or Ben Zlotnick, starting a landscaping business was like planting a garden. “I started from the ground up,” he says of Aden Earthworks, the innovative landscape-design and -maintenance company he launched in 2003. “I grew the business from landscape design and construction to landscape maintenance, and then added snow-removal services in the winter season.” Toronto-based Aden Earthworks has blossomed from a small company to one of Canada’s fastest-growing businesses, thanks to its innovative design and clear-cut, advantagemagazine.ca
sustainable initiatives. “Our business is different than other landscaping companies,” Zlotnick says. “We focus on organic solutions, energy-efficient machinery, and low-maintenance design. This is obviously good for the environment, and this model of efficiency has an inherent cost savings.” Zlotnick decided to pursue his love of landscape design following a stint working in medical supplies, which he says he fell into after graduating from York University with a business degree. He utilized his business savvy to attract customers and grow Aden Earthworks at a rapid rate. Today, the firm completes projects ranging from
Whimsical, whirling accents add a thoughtful ambiance to this residential landscape installation.
suburban residential homes to exclusive high-rise condominiums along downtown Toronto’s lakeshore. “Aden also stands out from other businesses from a technology standpoint,” Zlotnick says. “We have a major marketing initiative that includes Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and regular e-newsletters.” But it’s the company’s green practices that garner the most attention, in addition to its affiliation with respected organizations such as Landscape Ontario, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Alliance, and Live Green Toronto. “We gain business for that specific reason,” Zlotnick says. “People want to hire responsible organizations.” The company has many environmental initiatives, both large and small—from mulching grass clippings on-site rather than bagging them for the landfill, to large-scale xeriscape landscapes requiring no irrigation. “Native plantscapes are another of our specialties that are in high demand,” Zlotnick says. “We are regreening the suburbs, bringing back natural flowers and berries to feed the songbirds, butterflies, and restore the advantage
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BENNINGTON CONSTRUCTION LTD. • 4787 Aurora Road. • Stouffville, Ontario L4A 7X4 PHONE 905 642-3633 / 416 798-3633 • FAX 905 642-5837 130 |
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the word on green Aden Earthworks CEO Ben Zlotnick utilizes sustainable practices in his landscaping business. Here’s his take on some other ways sustainability is shaping the world.
Renewable Energy “All organizations should be moving towards renewableenergy sources, because it’s the right thing to do. When you do it intelligently, the result can also have significant cost savings. It’s a win-win.” Communication “Communication is changing fast. People receive their information now through media that didn’t exist even just a few years ago. Word-of-mouth recommendations reach even more people now because of social media—from Facebook to Tumblr to online updates—Aden Earthworks is reaching out to its clientele digitally without the use of paper.” Transportation “I’ve noticed that people are making efforts to minimize transportation as much as possible in their companies—using meeting points and carpooling to avoid having people drive across the city.” advantagemagazine.ca
land to a healthy and clean ecosystem, all beautifully designed around people’s homes and families.” In its construction department, Aden Earthworks also reuses quality materials like reclaimed stone and aggregate, which increases efficiency and decreases spending, while also benefitting the environment greatly. “On a construction site, we separate the clean fill, leaves, and branches, then compost what we can, and reuse what quality materials are available rather than wasting them by sending them off to the landfill,” Zlotnick says. “This gives us beautiful, old stone and even established plant material that we can offer to other clients at a cost savings and at a better quality than starting from scratch.” Zlotnick and his team used that approach on one of their latest projects: landscape construction for a downtown condominium building. “We built a large-scale, low-maintenance garden right on the second-floor terrace, [using] plant material, ground cover, and highly valued granite stone.” Zlotnick says. “It’s a beautiful place to be—an amazing result—and it provides a cost savings on installation as well as maintenance.” In early 2010, Zlotnick sprouted a new online venture that takes his efforts to an international level: the Plant Encyclopedia. “We’ve built the largest resource for global plant information ever compiled in one place, in all human history,” he says. “There are over 300,000 plant pages. That’s a page for every species of plant on earth—every plant ever recognized by the science of botany. We’ve been working in cooperation with such respected institutions as Kew Gardens UK.” That same year, Profit magazine ranked Aden Earthworks 118th on its list of the 200 fastest-growing businesses in the country—quite a feat for such a young company. But despite its success, Zlotnick hopes that the company continues to offer a personalized, environmentally friendly approach with its customers. “Our mission is to provide great quality along with great service,” he says. _a
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Comcor’s founding partners (from left): Walter Graziani, president; Ed Crosby, CEO; Paul Bulla, vice president of operations; and Alex Magditsch, vice president of engineering.
What fuel is renewable and easily sourced? Landfill gas emissions, thanks to Comcor Environmental Limited, which is putting the resource to good use. by anne hedin
f you think landfills are all bad-smelling money pits, you should talk to Comcor Environmental Limited. The firm occupies a small niche within environmental-waste management, as few companies share its focus on landfill-gas emissions and fewer still play as many roles. Comcor started out 26 years ago as a group of conventional, environmental-consulting engineers. It has since morphed into a diversified solution provider, managing and recycling what remains of your trash. “Starting out … we never turned down a job, however small,” says Paul Bulla, vice president of operations. “Some of those early projects came from landfill owners and operators who needed to remediate nasty landfill odours in order to not to be shut down. We get in there, get our hands dirty, get to the root of the problem, and solve it.” With this persistent attitude, Comcor was able to develop a variety of novel approaches that paved the way for it to become the highly regarded problem solver it is today. Comcor’s success has rested on its ability to convert landfill gases for productive use.
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Because of the breakdown of organic wastes, municipal and other landfills typically produce gases made up of approximately 50 percent methane, 50 percent carbon dioxide, and a small amount of nonmethane organic compounds. Most people have heard of carbon dioxide’s role as a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Apart from environmentalists and regulators, not many know that methane gas is 21 times more damaging when released into the atmosphere, in addition to being explosive in concentrations of 5–15 percent by volume. Regulators now want to measure and reduce the volume of both emissions, but especially methane. There are four approaches to methane reduction, offering a progressively higher order of benefits. Burning landfill gas destroys the methane in it, which accounts for the open flame or “flare” one can see when passing a landfill. Flaring converts methane into carbon dioxide; burning one tonne of advantagemagazine.ca
methane is equivalent to removing 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air. A higher-order form of disposal is to use methane as a fuel in furnaces and boilers. It takes about twice the volume of landfill gas as of natural gas to produce equivalent amounts of energy, and the burner needs to be converted as well, but the environmental payoff is solid and well proven: landfill gas is a renewable and easily sourced fuel, whereas natural gas is a nonrenewable resource that requires underground drilling and other operations that have a much higher environmental impact. Comcor has been directly involved in converting burners and piping landfill gas to companies close to landfills. These companies can typically purchase it at a rate below the market price for natural gas. At a still higher order of benefit, landfill gases can also fuel reciprocating engines or gas turbines that generate electricity. Manufacturers like GE produce versions of engines that run on landfill gas. Turbines are only considered when very large volumes of gas are available. Less frequently, the waste-heat generated by landfill-gas-driven engines can also be used directly in industrial applications. As engineering consultants, Comcor evaluates landfills for municipalities and commercial operators, and often recommends one of the options above. In addition, various landfill owners approach Comcor to put a complete solution together for their landfill’s gas-control needs. In this capacity, Comcor resembles a design-build firm in the construction field. For such projects, Comcor provides additional services such as monitoring, maintenance, and the management of landfill-gas operations, as many small municipalities don’t have the staff or expertise to do it themselves. What makes Comcor even more unique is that it owns landfill-gas-utilization plants—four now, with a fifth under construction—through an equity partnership with Integrated Gas Recovery Services (IGRS). As a landfill-gas developer, IGRS sells carbon credits and uses the money to reinvest in its operations. Although it may be in a stinky business, Comcor’s benefit is clear when one looks at the numbers. “Comcor removes, destroys, or makes productive use of 1.25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents each year,” Bulla says. “Figuring that a normal passenger car puts out an average seven tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, that is the equivalent of taking 180,000 cars off the road annually.” _a advantagemagazine.ca
the word on green Paul Bulla, vice president of operations for Comcor, focuses on the technology and engineering methods for sustainable waste management. He shares some of his other insights on the benefits of greening a landfill.
At IGRS’s 5-MW Britannia facility in Mississauga, ON, Comcor’s engineering plant manager, Matt Dugan (left), inspects the engine-control panel alongside Paul Bulla, vice president of operations.
Clean air, clean water “Active management of landfills not only reduces greenhouse emissions; it helps lower the risk of groundwater contamination.” Ongoing monitoring “It is hard to make sure that landfill problems stay permanently solved. Active landfills constantly change—they even physically move as trash decomposes and settles and gas levels rise and fall over time, particularly when volumes of waste are added each day. Attention to monitoring, maintaining, and expanding the engineered systems is critical.” Harnessing Landfill Gas “Every source of renewable energy is valuable, especially if it also reduces environmental degradation.” advantage
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Can apparel be sustainable from conception to completion? The women’s clothing from LUVLY in Lunenburg is proving it can. by julie schaeffer
Through LUVLY, Leslie Wright enriches Lunenburg, NS, by offering the community an assortment of eco-minded clothing lines.
hen business and life partners Brian Arnott and Leslie Wright moved from Toronto to historic Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, in 2007, they didn’t plan on running a women’s clothing store, but the stars were so aligned. The partners owned the building where Famous Town Ladies Shop was located, and when the existing owners announced that they planned to wrap up business after 60 years of operation, Arnott and Wright jumped in. “We had been searching for a new tenant for some time,” Wright says. “But in April 2011, we began thinking proactively about what the street and building needed, and we decided to continue the tradition of women’s clothing.” The first step was to find a new focus. “We wanted to keep with the tradition of women’s clothing, but refresh it, and to that end we began thinking about what the town needed and what we would be interested in,” Wright says. “Ultimately, we decided to explore clothing by independent Canadian designers, and as we did our research, we saw a theme emerging.” Many of the designers whom Armott and Wright were considering had a focus on sustainable practices, both in materials and construction. “That made sense to us,” Wright says. “As a society, we’re so focused on where our food comes from, but we don’t think about where our clothing comes from.” That idea hit home for Wright and Arnott, who, having made Lunenburg their home, wanted to operate as socially and environmentally responsible members of the community. “A decision like this always becomes more daunting after you’ve made it, but Brian and I own and operate a consulting firm—Novita Interpares Limited—that focuses on strategic planning,” Wright says. “We knew the importance of working with people who had expertise in different areas. We hired someone to manage the store renovation—someone with communications expertise to help with the visual identity.” Before long, it was clear that Wright and Arnott had made the right decision. The partners found a good store manager and—with the help of Fashion Takes Action, a nonprofit organization that seeks to give fashion designers the ideas and tools to implement 134 |
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sustainable practices—located a number of designers. In June 2011, LUVLY in Lunenburg opened for business. “The fact that we were able to launch with 12–15 designers within a couple months showed that we were onto something,” Wright says. The space itself reflects LUVLY’s focus. Store renovations were made in an ecologically responsible spirit and used many local materials, including hemlock flooring from Windhorse Farm. At the same time, the layout demonstrates the collaborative nature that Wright says is inherent in the LUVLY concept. “We created a bright and open space, with designers all having their own featured areas—a boutique-within-boutique approach,” she says. The store’s starting point is strong design from independent Canadian designers, such as Terra Cotta Clothing Design, one of Canada’s advantagemagazine.ca
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www.luvly.ca their work. The same goes for the accessory Lunenburg, Nova Scotia products that LUVLY carries, like those of www.luvly.ca Bazant, which makes jewelry with only fairtrade beads and vintage components. Lunenburg, These Nova Scotia designers place strong emphasis on social www.luvly.ca responsibility. For example, Susan Harris DeSee Building Defects sign only uses upcycled materials; Me To We Style uses fair-trade organic cotton and gives 50 percent of its profits to the Free the Children charity; and Melanie Fontaine makes her Meversible hats in Lunenburg using mostly reclaimed fabric. (All designers are showcased See Air Leaks on the boutique’s website.) The success of LUVLY in Lunenburg stems from its ability to unite designers and customers alike, in both presentation and information about the designers showcased in the store. “We used our own observaSee Electrical tion about what we liked about shopping Faults to create a connection between designers and customers,” Wright says. “People come into LUVLY and have the experience of being with these designers. It’s worked for Visit designers and customers, and it’s been a real Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, today, for more information and journey for me to increase my own consciousness of where and how my clothing is local contractors that are trained Canada being made.” _a to perform infrared inspections
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“The technology helps you locate where air is leaking into or out of the building, and that’s paramount to the green-construction process.” —gordon melvin
the word on green
What do military technology and going green have in common? For Meltech Thermal Imaging Inc., it’s the ability to pinpoint defects in the building envelope without tearing down walls. by julie schaeffer
ccuracy is of paramount importance to battlefield operations, which is why military forces rely on infrared technologies, such as thermal imaging, to provide a clear picture of the enemy environment. But thermal imaging isn’t just limited to military operations; today, a number of companies in a variety of industries use the technology to make buildings more sustainable. “Once the private sector saw what the technology could do, thermal imaging started evolving, and today it’s used in almost every aspect of the construction industry,” says Gordon Melvin, president of Moncton, New Brunswick-based Meltech Thermal Imaging. “Because it works by finding temperature difference in the infrared spectrum, it can locate hot spots or cold spots, which can indicate electrical problems, ant infestations, or buildingenvelope leaks from air or water.” The benefit is that, whether buying it new, investigating walls and the structure prior to a renovation, or performing preventative maintenance, Meltech Thermal Imaging’s clients are 136 |
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While president Gordon Melvin is passionate about bringing thermal-imaging technology into the residential market, he also has interesting perspectives on other sustainable trends. Here are his thoughts on a few of them.
Solar Energy “The sun and wind are natural resources that have been around for millions of years and will be around for millions more, so why aren’t we putting more effort into developing the technology?” Green “The greater part of the population doesn’t understand sustainable technology or construction, and the term ‘green’ makes it approachable. Green refers to trees and grass—the environment.” LEED “Building to LEED standards is like buying a computer that becomes outdated in three years. The technologies you use are better today than they were 10 years ago when LEED came out. We’re going to be reinventing the wheel forever, because there will always be newer and better technologies and construction methods coming to market—and that’s not a bad thing.” advantagemagazine.ca
Meltech Thermal Imaging employs special technology to track airflow and leakage throughout a house. Dark areas indicate spaces where the building envelope is weak.
presented with a more accurate understanding of a home or building. “It’s all demolition-free, meaning we don’t have to tear down walls to discover the problem,” Melvin says. Melvin first became interested in thermal imaging in 2005, when he opened Meltech Building Services. Prior to founding his own business, Melvin worked as a certified civil-engineering technologist, designing, drafting, and inspecting buildings, roads, and bridges for more than 20 years. As a consulting firm, Meltech Building Services helps guide individuals and businesses through the building process by drafting plans, budgeting, getting permits, and overseeing project management during construction. The transition to thermal just made sense. “I’ve known about thermal imaging for the past 20 years and have always been impressed by the technology,” Melvin says. “So when I opened Meltech Building Services, I knew I wanted to include it.” But Melvin was surprised by how quickly the technology took off. Up until around 2000, thermal-imaging equipment advantagemagazine.ca
was prohibitively expensive and cumbersome, requiring a five-ton truck for transportation from site to site. Today, the technology has dropped in price and is no larger than an old Polaroid camera (some models even look like a handheld flashlight). Thermal imaging quickly took over the business, so Melvin founded Meltech Thermal Imaging as a separate company. Much of the demand comes from the insurance industry, because thermal imaging allows insurance companies to ascertain that all systems are functional and safe. “Sometimes we’re asked to use thermal imaging to tell an insurance company if there’s any problem with a building’s mechanical and electrical systems,” Melvin says. “Other times, a pipe has broken and the insurance company wants to determine the location and extent of any water damage.” However, Melvin would like to see more clients use thermal imaging to make their homes more sustainable. “The technology helps you locate where air is leaking into or out of the building, and that’s paramount to the green-construction process,”
he says. “In the southern states, clients are more concerned with keeping cool air inside; in the northern states and Canada, they’re more concerned with keeping heat inside.” To that end, Melvin is trying to educate his clients—particularly residential customers, who currently make up just five percent of his business—about the benefits of using thermal imaging to go green. “I’d love to see more homeowners use thermal imaging, but no one likes to pay for something that’s not a necessity,” he says. Although pricing is based on location to the site and the size of the building, a thermal-imaging analysis on a typical home within a 50-mile radius costs just $250. “People know you have to do preventative maintenance, but no one wants to spend $250 to have someone do an evaluation,” Melvin says. “There’s the old saying: ‘What you don’t see doesn’t hurt you.’ That’s the hardest part with the residential portion of this work. The sad part is, every home I do go into, I find enough problems that are so easy to fix, it pays my bill within six months.” _a advantage
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How Healthy is Your Workplace? A push for ergonomic considerations has firms like EWI Works International Inc. redefining the workplace. by anne hedin
wenty years ago, Linda Miller founded EWI Works as a consulting firm specializing in ergonomics, the study of work environments and how they impact productivity and employee well-being. The opportunity grew out of Miller’s earlier career as an occupational therapist, where she helped individual clients recover from workplace injuries. Miller went on to earn a master’s in environmental design in order to help companies prevent workplace injuries, and she founded EWI as the delivery vehicle. This organic growth in her career—from reactive to proactive intervention—reflects shifting attitudes in the business world, and the company has prospered. Today, EWI fields a team of consultants, all of whom have advanced degrees in core ergonomic disciplines, in addition to credentialling as Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomists. Each consultant also has a specialty that contributes to the firm’s portfolio of services, be it workplace assessments, design reviews, or customized ergonomic training and education. From offices in Edmonton and Calgary, EWI consultants engage in projects in Western Canada and the United States. In its early days, the firm served clients primarily in heavy industry and manufacturing, but today, EWI is just as likely to consult in schools and offices. One of the notable trends that EWI has responded to is the greening of the indoor environment. “According to recent studies, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, so the built environment has a fairly significant impact on their health,” Miller says. Miller credits the US Green Building Council and its LEED certification system with raising the standard of green building design. “The piece that we look at is occupant health—designing buildings that actually support the occupants’ well-being,” she says. “People do not necessarily connect LEED with ergonomics, but we believe that they are definitely tied together.” Related examples can be seen in air quality, temperature, and natural-daylight exposure. The latter of these is especially important in northern locations, where people go to work and come home in the dark. However, too much light makes it difficult to use computer screens. EWI’s commitment is impressive. The company has submitted a paper to the International Ergonomics Association on the importance of including ergonomics in the life cycle of a building, based on its occupant surveys of LEED buildings. The paper will be presented at the association’s upcoming conference in Brazil. It is one of the signs of progress that Miller sees; today, there is a whole conference track dedicated to ergonomics and the environment, whereas there would have been only one or two papers a few years ago. The publicity surrounding sick building syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, and industrial safety has highlighted the challenges to workplace health. “While the Canadian Standards Association has issued strong guidelines to help employers understand what 138 |
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the issues are around lighting, acoustics, air quality, and workstation setups, there is little actual regulation of these matters,” Miller says. “Companies hire ergonomics consultants because they want to control injury cost and lost time associated with illness; they see a healthy workplace as being critical to that. We work primarily with health and safety professionals, HR planners, and facilities managers.” The worst mistake Miller encounters is a “one size fits all” mentality. Employees come in all sizes, from barely five feet tall to the height of a basketball player. For a while, there was a general movement toward supplying workstation furniture that could be adjusted accordingly. But because of the economy, buildings and workplaces now tend to be smaller and less customizable. However, despite such a problem, there is a growing recognition of the importance of daylighting, natural views, and air quality. Who would have expected that 20 years ago? _a A message from shirwin
ShirWin has collaborated with EWI Works on a number of educational initiatives. As an industry leader committed to its ergonomics clients, EWI has embraced ShirWin’s theory-into-practice approach to learning. We extend our congratulations and hope that we can continue our valuable collaboration into the future.
“According to recent studies, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, so the built environment has a fairly significant impact on their health.” —linda miller
the word on green As the founder and president of EWI Works, Linda Miller believes that environmental design is key to improving the health of building occupants. She took a moment to highlight some of the ways that make work as healthy and sustainable as possible.
Make Recycling Safe & Easy “Recycling makes economic sense for companies. For maintenance workers, it can mean increased manual handling of waste and heavy lifting, with the attendant risk of back and shoulder injuries. Make sure that sorting bins are well positioned and well marked, to reduce the load on workers.”
EWI WORKS INTERNATIONAL INC.
OFFICE ERGONOMICS – ASSESSMENTS, TRAINING, DESIGN REVIEWS, ENHANCING OCCUPANT HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELLNESS PROVEN, SUCCESSFUL RESULTS · EWI has delivered results-driven occupational ergonomics since 1991.
Promote Sustainable Behaviors “Put the office printer in a central position instead of having one at every workstation. It’s good for people to get up and walk around. You can also minimize print output and wasted paper by optimizing e-readers.” Harness Technology “Computer modeling makes it possible to learn lessons from other buildings. A number of groups—consultants like EWI, and colleges such as Cornell—are doing occupant reviews and perception surveys on LEED buildings. They will help quantify the benefits and costs of better design.” advantagemagazine.ca
· We customize our solutions to adapt to the unique needs of your organization; ensuring you accomplish your objectives. · The EWI team participate in continued studies and research new findings to bring only evidence-based solutions to all client projects. · Our clients report that our ergonomic strategies deliver successful results. · Our clients report they would not only use our service again, but would recommend us to other organizations. Availability · EWI Works is a team dedicated to the successful completion of your project.
Knowledge & Learning Systems Inc.
· EWI Works has staff in Edmonton and Calgary to service across Canada.
1-780-436-0024 www.ewiworks.com advantage
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What’s the best way to establish a corporate green plan? For Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited, a sustainable agenda is best achieved one small step at a time. by mark pechenik
lthough long engaged in ecofriendly practices, Ingersoll Paper Box’s (IPB) latest green initiative could bring its sustainability focus to a whole new level of commitment. The major feature of this effort is a solarpanel array to be installed on the roof of the IPB plant. “Our goal is to be a more environmentally responsible company,” explains managing director Sarah Skinner. “It’s an ambitious effort, but it’s definitely worth it.” The array will feature photovoltaic cells that look to generate up to 10 kilowatts of solar energy, which will be cycled back into
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the regional electrical grid for public-power distribution. Following a seven-year payback period for the array’s installation, IPB will actually generate a profit in its sale of solar energy to the grid. “As a society, we need to break our dependence on fossil fuels,” Sarah says of the motivation behind the project. “We’re doing our part by utilizing the sun as an alternative—and dependable—energy source.” Eventually, she hopes to capitalize further on Ingersoll’s solar effort. “We’re exploring using panel energy for heating and air-conditioning purposes,” she says. Along with the panels, IPB is seeking
Photos: Kelly MacDonald
Sarah Skinner, managing director, and her father, president David Skinner, have kept IPB proactive and sustainable in an industry plagued with waste.
to increase recycling efforts throughout the plant. “For example, we have a battery-diversion program,” Sarah says. “Employees are being encouraged to drop off their used batteries within plant-recycling collection bins. By doing this, we can help reduce one source of highly toxic material in our landfills.” Installation of high-efficiency lighting also figures prominently in IPB’s 2012 green plan. “This will reduce our energy costs and increase quality lighting throughout our facility,” Sarah says. Being green is nothing new at IPB. The company has long collected its waste paper and cardboard for recycling purposes. More recently, the company became Forest Stewardship Council certified and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified. “This is a chain-of-custody certification that lets us purchase board, manufacture it, and sell it to a customer that has been certified by the same program,” Sarah explains. “These programs ensure that all forest-based products are farmed in an ethical manner.” In many ways, IPB’s environmental advantagemagazine.ca
Roll-O-Vert converts and distributes custom sheeted fine paper and board to the commercial printing and packaging industries.
Because Ingersoll has a deep respect for its community, employees want to do the best-possible job.
sensitivity is an outgrowth of its commitment to the community. Started in 1922, the family-owned company has long been one of the largest employers in Ingersoll, Ontario. “We’ve had generations of townspeople work with us,” says David Skinner, IPB’s president (and also Sarah’s father). “Because we know and appreciate these people, our employees want to do the best job possible.” In the past, those customers were largely aftermarket automobile manufacturers. Today, many Ingersoll clients are leading pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Given IPB’s strong community ties, it wasn’t a far reach to consider the local environmental impact—and opportunities—possible in furthering the company’s green focus. “We felt it was a matter of corporate responsibility to further our sustainability plans,” David says. “The technology is there—why wouldn’t we do something substantive to benefit our town in this way?” “Everything we are doing is meant to set an example,” Sarah adds. “We are trying to show our staff, as well as the entire town, that every effort—no matter how large or small—can make a difference in improving our environment.” _a A message from roll-o-vert
Ingersoll Paper Box is an innovative leader in its industry, and Roll-O-Vert Paper Sales is proud to be a partner. We truly value our relationship with such a strong and successful Canadian company.
the word on green IPB’s managing director, Sarah Skinner, has been instrumental in bringing sustainability to the forefront of her company’s agenda. Here, she talks about how other companies can motivate their workforce for a similar purpose.
Advantage: What steps can be taken to find and strengthen renewable-energy sources in Canada? Sarah Skinner: By getting the word out, informing people about how our society currently generates energy, and how it affects our planet. We can then compare that to the alternatives available to us. Solar, wind, and geothermal are all sources that can turn on our lights and heat, and can cool our homes with little to no carbon footprint. How can we encourage people and companies to be more sustainable? For us, we feel that it’s the small things that count. We can all compost our kitchen waste and recycle paper, plastics, and glass in our homes. We can participate in our municipality’s special drop-off days for getting rid of household hazardous waste. We need to become more informed about programs that government and businesses are doing locally and globally.
200 Galcat Drive Vaughan, ON L4L 0B9 Telephone (905) 265-5050 Toll Free (888) 671-4222 Fax (905) 265-5064 advantage
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With a depressed market, Sean Roberts, vice president, has incorporated Fortress’ sustainability expertise into traditional oil-and-gas work.
Will green engineering survive the downturn? The founders of Fortress Engineering Ltd. know it will only happen with government incentives and public demand. by ruth E. Dávila
hortly after Fortress Engineering formed in 2007, it became the go-to firm for green engineering projects in Calgary. The problem was that, in a slow and slippery recovery, investors had cut or eliminated funding for sustainable projects. In the meantime, while still hopeful for a return to green investment, owners Kurt Horner and Sean Roberts have had to rethink their business plan to get by. “At first, we were interested in these sustainable initiatives because we wanted to be involved with innovative, forward-thinking people,” says Roberts, who is Fortress Engineering’s vice president. “But in the end, we also want to stay in business. And oil-and-gas work is what put us back in business.” Roberts and Horner were employed at a conventional firm, doing lucrative oil-andgas projects, when a prospect approached them with a cutting-edge proposition: to build a biorefinery that would produce electricity from cow manure and ethanol from wheat. “The electricity produced would power the facility so that, through the energy
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consumption of nonrenewable sources, we would create 100 percent renewable energy,” Roberts says. “It was something exciting to launch Fortress Engineering with.” Biodigestion, the process which turns cow manure to electricity, is a pure green concept. “The idea of the biorefinery is to take organic waste, put it inside a contained vessel, and allow bacteria to eat the organic material and produce methane as a byproduct,” Horner explains. The facility then captures the methane and burns it in engines and boilers, producing heat and electricity to run the property. Any excess energy is sold for open-market consumption. After Roberts, a mechanical engineer, and Horner, an electrical engineer, left their day jobs to design the biorefinery, the funding came to a halt midway through the project. Today, only about half of the envisioned property is complete. “We have found that most proponents of green projects are relatively small-time, small-money people with good ideas who don’t have the money to execute them themselves,” Roberts says. “So they require a large
percent of the funding to come from third parties, and those parties virtually disappeared in the 2008/09 recession.” Renewable-energy projects tend to demand a higher cash outlay. Investors typically have an altruistic slant to consider such projects in the first place, since they lack the shortterm ROI needed to pique an angel investor’s interest. “It’s cheaper to make regular gas than ethanol, and it’s cheaper to make oil or natural gas than a renewable source,” Roberts says. Of the 50 or so green projects that Fortress Engineering has consulted on in the past few years—from wind farms to gasification projects—most have not advanced, and none have come to fruition. But that hasn’t stopped Roberts and Horner from expanding into a 55-person operation. After all, oil and gas is still a gold mine in Calgary. In Western Canada, the renewableenergy industry is on a hiatus, Roberts says. “There are lots of people out there still dreaming up the ideas, but the dollars earmarked for those feel-good projects have largely disappeared,” he explains. “There was momentum, but then even the billionaires lost money, so the money they were willing to play with has been pulled back in their pocket.” With bigger green projects on hold, Roberts and Horner aim to integrate energyconsumption control into their conventional work: reducing greenhouse emissions. For example, they often advise clients to replace old equipment, such as energy-inefficient motors, and to update round-the-clock lighting with lighting activated by motion sensors. Such revisions can result in a payoff on utility bills within six months to two years. In the larger scheme of alternative energy, Roberts says the government and the public are the two main forces needed to drive change. According to Horner, many petroleum companies still haven’t adopted ethanolblended gas, despite government mandates for a minimum percentage, because the penalties are less expensive than the cost of adding ethanol mixing into their infrastructure. “Government programs and regulations need to be stronger and have more teeth to push the industry into renewable sources,” Roberts says. With this, Roberts is challenging the green-funding hype. “Although Canada has announced funding for green initiatives, those are promises that make good media stories,” he says. “But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, they don’t want to cough up the money. We need a critical mass to drive demand and make alternative fuels a competitive option.” _a advantagemagazine.ca
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Orchestrating a Successful Corporate Event with Spark Inc. By Julie Edwards
Understand your objective “The most important first step when planning an event is to engage in a very detailed briefing with the client to determine what they wish to accomplish,” says Jane Shanab, Spark’s president and executive producer. Through a lengthy series of questions, Shanab and her team establish what the audience’s “takeaway” will be and determine the messages to support the desired result, which can range from a fun evening to a successful sales conference. “Only after identifying the objectives and supporting messages can we successfully develop and implement creative event options that will work hand-in-hand with these strategies,” Shanab says.
Think carefully about the creative “It is crucial to develop a creative platform for an event based on the event objectives—we don’t believe in creative just for the sake of creative,” Shanab says. “For example: applying a cookie-cutter theme that has no relevance to our client’s messaging.” At Spark, an event’s creative elements have to reflect what is right for the client’s brand and culture. But more importantly, they must consistently relate back to the event’s message. “Effective creative is thoughtful, relevant, engaging, and fun,” Shanab says.
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MEET SPARK Creating exceptional corporate events while making clients’ lives easier remains the ongoing focus of Spark, a full-service corporate-communications and event-management company based in Toronto. Owned and operated by Jane Shanab, Spark has consistently delivered strategic, dynamic events, communications, and creative solutions to its clients since 2001. Regardless of industry, Shanab ensures events get underway without a hitch.
Engage in the process
Plan for the unexpected
Spark’s mission is to make the lives of it clients easier when it comes to corporate-event planning. The company achieves this goal by guiding clients every step of the way and always encouraging collaboration and input. “We strive to engage our clients through consistent contact reporting, such as following up every contact with an update and establishing timeline checkpoints,” Shanab says. “Another way we make the process easier for clients is by mapping out the assigned responsibilities and needed decisions throughout the planning process so that there are no surprises.”
Shanab approaches every new event knowing that the best course of action is to plan for the unexpected. “In my experience, I’ve found the most important skills involved in event management are the abilities to think on your feet, to problem-solve on the fly, and to constantly change and adapt,” she says. “Success lies in thinking ahead and being able to proactively troubleshoot.”
“The most important skills involved in event management are the abilities to think on your feet, to problem-solve on the fly, and to constantly change and adapt.”
Look for added value “Everyone wants to spend their money wisely, and with experienced event coordination you can often find opportunities to generate multipurpose creative without stretching the budget,” Shanab says. For instance, Spark produced a sales conference that required a videographer on-site for six days. Since Spark had already contracted the videographer, during some of his downtime the firm had him shoot extra footage that was leveraged several other ways—notably as a follow-up sales tool, giving the client immediate and long-term value.
—Jane Shanab, President & Executive Producer
Follow through for the future Remember success is in the details Experience has shown Shanab that the difference between a great event and a mediocre one lies in the details. “Getting all the details right is the key to success,” she says. “However, the exacting needs of each client demands an approach that extends beyond technical specifications and production requirements. Your approach also should take into account the expectations of the client and the audience.”
When the event is done, the process is not over. For Spark, Shanab says, it’s essential to follow through with a thorough debriefing to cover what went well, what did not go well, and start planning for the next year. “The debriefing should focus on constructive recommendations, and all parties should be open to new ideas,” she says. “Even with more than 20 years of experience in this field, I am always challenging myself to discover something new that is better, easier, faster, or less costly— [something] that will make a difference for clients.”
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How to Market with Little to No Budget
Carisa Miklusak is CEO of tMedia, a Vancouver-based company that helps improve companies’ bottom lines through social, mobile, and digital media. Miklusak conducts workshops on how to convert initial awareness in one’s business into interest, brand engagement, and, eventually, sales. She was recently the keynote speaker at the Social Media Strategies Summit in Boston. Photo: Brock Graham
Cost-efficient ways to advertise your business
Build social platforms Create Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for your company. Google ranks every website on the Internet on a scale of 1–10. Sites with the highest scores are served first in search results and hence get the most exposure from Google. It is very difficult to get scores above 5 or 6 as an organization. However, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all been assigned ranks between 8 and 10. By creating a company page on their platforms, you benefit from a higher ranking and appear in search results ahead of small businesses that have not done so.
leverage your personal profile As an executive, your online profile is of critical importance. In today’s business landscape, potential customers, employees, and other stakeholders have immediate access to information about you and your organization. Hence, having the right information and positioning yourself properly can lead to higher conversions.
use the right words Online brand awareness starts with how your website and social-media platforms are positioned in the online sphere. Both should be written from a customer’s or potential customer’s point of view. Ask yourself, “How might my customer search for me online? What words and phrases will they likely use?” It is critical to have these words and phrases incorporated into your site.
If your small business wants to reach a larger, more diverse audience in a cost-effective manner, participate in relevant conversations throughout the Internet. It is no longer enough to only participate in conversations on your company Facebook page.
jump-start the conversation At the end of the day, the best organic marketing strategy is to leverage your target audience and get them to talk to one another. When an audience begins to talk about your brand, your visibility grows and begins to carry a momentum of its own. Your brand credibility will skyrocket in the face of positive audience conversations, since the user-to-user trust in the social sphere is much stronger than that between audience members and brands. It’s up to you to jump-start these conversations.
Once a week, commit to writing a short paragraph about an important industry topic—one that’s sure to be relevant to your target audience—and place this either on your company blog or personal blog. As your read articles on the web, seed three to five articles through your social profiles per week. Watch for comments and reposts or retweets of your posts. If anyone is talking to you, make sure that you recognize him or her and speak back!
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position your company as the “goto” industry expert
participate in third-party platforms
write blogs and share articles
By Carisa Miklusak
Users of new media are looking to learn, gather information, and share their knowhow. Facilitating this process by asking and answering questions in the online sphere is an excellent way to create both brand visibility and credibility. For example, LinkedIn offers a “Questions and Answers” feature where any user can pose a question to the greater LinkedIn audience. These questions can be segmented to match your business’s targeted audience (financial, healthcare, sales, etc.). Providing direct answers, as well as links to third-party resources, will let your audience know that you are a “go-to” industry resource and a leader in your marketplace.
network Start by creating an e-mail list and send an announcement to all of your contacts—personal and professional—to notify them of your company’s social platforms and what kind of value you will offer. Next, make sure you put your social-profile URLs on all of your print collateral, business cards, and in your e-mail signature. Literally write a sentence and invite people to join the conversation.
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