THe Prince GeorGe ciTizen - 2017
Whether we are parents, teachers, managers or business owners, we all struggle to find a way to encourage excellence in our children, our students and our employees. Setting an excellent example and rewarding excellent effort and results are valuable but the best way to teach excellence isn’t to show what is excellent but to highlight who is excellent. The people who define excellence in our community don’t just do it in their professional and public lives, they also do it in their personal and private lives. Devotion to excellence becomes a habit, a way of doing things, not just the important things but all things in life. That’s how excellence works and that’s why it’s important to shine the spotlight not only on excellent work but on the people behind those excellent accomplishments. We are inspired by each of the individuals and businesses on the following pages to make ourselves, our businesses and our city better. We can learn by the example they set because it has made them successful, it has made them valuable to their customers and valuable to the entire community. They don’t just strive to be excellent, they are excellent. That is the expectation they place upon themselves. They have the self-confidence to know that they are leaders, in their field and in their industry. They know their hard work has paid off and they are proud of their accomplishments. But. There is always a “but” when it comes to those devoted to excellence. They know there is always room for growth and improvement. They are never fully satisfied. That is not their weakness but their greatest strength. That nagging desire to not just do better but be better is the core of their excellence. That is who you’re going to see in Profiles Of Excellence and that is why The Citizen is so proud to share their stories with you. Colleen Sparrow Publisher Prince George Citizen
LOGO FINAL TEMP GLACIER VENTURES
The Black Clover................................................................................ 4 Canadian Western Bank............................................................. 6 Dick Byl Law.......................................................................................... 8 Fraserway RV.................................................................................... 10 The Gallery Bridal Boutique............................................... 12 Graymont.............................................................................................. 14 Hart Drugs, Third Avenue Pharmacy & Phoenix Dispensary............................................................... 16 Kopar Administration................................................................ 18 Mainline Plumbing and Heating..................................... 20 Northland Dodge.......................................................................... 22 Pacific Western Brewing....................................................... 24 Portal Installations....................................................................... 26 Premium Truck and Trailer Inc......................................... 28 Prince George Motorsports................................................ 30 Rebecca Sinclair............................................................................. 32 Royal LePage Prince George............................................ 34 Spirit of the North........................................................................ 36 Suntree Landscaping................................................................ 38 Van Way Cabinets Ltd............................................................. 40 Vitality Plastic Surgery............................................................ 42
COVER PHOTO Carvings of Aboriginal faces in the bark of giant Cottonwood trees, like the one seen here, are created by local artist Elmer Gunderson and can be spotted along the trails winding through Cottonwood Island Park. Photo by James Doyle
Publisher Editor Director of Advertising Design & Production Photography Writing
Colleen Sparrow Neil Godbout Cheryl Stewart Grace Flack Brent Braaten James Doyle Ted Clarke Frank Peebles Christine Hinzmann
Published by the Prince George Citizen, a division of Glacier Media Group #201 - 1777 3rd Avenue, Prince George, B.C., V2L 3G7 telephone 250.562.2441
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The 2017 edition of Prince George Profiles of Excellence is exclusive property of the Prince George Citizen and Glacier Media Group.
IRISH INSPIRED CuISINE
The Black Clover Written by Frank Peebles
If the Irish are famously lucky, and shamrocks are famously lucky, then imagine the good fortune in store for you at the Black Clover. Prince George’s new Irish pub has been one of the hottest spots in town since the day it opened this year. Turns out, though, it’s not because of luck at all, unless luck looks a lot like hard work and careful planning. “We tore it down to the concrete and studs and built it back up from scratch; this is our creation,” said managing partner Troy McKenzie. The space itself was the Cariboo Steakhouse for the better part of four decades, so there is already a long history of good times at that Fifth Avenue address. And those who remember the popular watering hole Sgt. O’Flaherty’s will feel a certain familiarity here. There are dart boards, a pool table, open concept seating areas with some intimate side-spaces, and live entertainment. McKenzie managed Sgt. O’s in its heyday, and he brought along some of the items Prince George loved best. “I think the feel and atmosphere of the room is something enormously important to a pub,” McKenzie said. “For me it is all built on three things: the service you receive, the food and beverage quality, and the room itself. We wanted to get the room just right because we knew the other two challenges were always going to be moving and dynamic. But once you’ve built walls, it’s hard to move them.”
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achieved that look and feel we wanted, we definitely have great staff, and we are always working on the menu. We can adjust on the fly like that because we aren’t tied to some big chain. So we want to always instill in our staff that we need their eyes and ears. Chris and I want them to have those discussions with customers and just be in touch at the tables, and we will be open to hearing the feedback they bring back for us. If something is desired by the customers, we want to know about it.” Live music is one of those desires McKenzie heard about loud and clear, and he remembered how that element was central to the success of Sgt. O’s. “When people spend their hard-earned money and precious time out for a meal or go for a drink with friends, giving them talented singer-songwriters is an important way to add to the quality of their experience and say thank you for coming to us,” McKenzie said. “There’s no cover charge for that, it’s just something you get, as a sign of appreciation.” It’s like finding a four-leaf shamrock, or a little bit of gold at the end of the rainbow. You’ll find an endless supply of Irish treasure at the Black Clover.
“We achieved that look and feel we wanted, we definitely have great staff, and we are always working on the menu.” - Troy McKenzie
The food and service aspects of the Black Clover have some particular advantages. McKenzie and his chef partner Chris Angus already operate the fine dining restaurant right next door, the Twisted Cork, so they are already in constant touch with potential staff and chains of supply. The success next door made it easier for Black Clover investors to believe in their dream. “We wanted to be authentic with English/ Irish pub philosophies,” said McKenzie. “We
PhotoS | Left: Troy McKenzie, owner, and Ashley Sidhu, Front of House Manager. Right: The Black Clover’s selection of beer on tap. Photos by Brent Braaten
1165 5TH AVEnuE Prince George, BC P: 250.564.4441 theblackclover.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
PERSoNAL AND BuSINESS BANKING
Canadian Western Bank Written by Frank Peebles
Canadian Western Bank is on the corner of 3rd and Victoria, the hottest spot in the Prince George business district, but inside the branch, you won’t feel over powered. Their people are down to earth, their doors are open and they’re determined to deliver financial solutions in ways you wouldn’t expect from a typical bank. Sleekly-sized and invested in their client success, a caring, personal approach to your business is a necessity, not a decision. CWB believes that if you succeed, they succeed. They also continue to be the only bank headquartered in Western Canada; a fact they’re incredibly proud of as they continue to grow their business across the country. On the fortune of that growth, you might expect a bank to abandon their grass-roots commitment to personal relationships, but not CWB – they know it’s a differentiation that clients choose them for. “Banking became a commodity somewhere along the way. We’ve turned that around,” says CWB Prince George branch manager Derek Dougherty. “We work with people, not numbers. We know your business is your actual dream. We can do all the same banking that you’d expect from a typical financial institution, but we have special skills that commercial and industrial clients love. Our preferential pricing and products are designed to meet the needs of business owners.” Dougherty says he’s proud CWB issues company hardhats and safety vests to staff. They get good wear out of them through their frequent site visits to see their client’s projects first-hand. Commercial banking manager Ryan Wall has plenty of dust on his. “I’m happy to travel to a client’s worksite if there’s
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paperwork or a conversation that needs to happen,” says Wall. “First of all, I love getting to see the workplace in action. Secondly, I know our clients are busy. It’s not easy for them to just upand-go, to take time away from their operation. I have a steering wheel and a set of tires, too. I will absolutely come to you.” Not only will the staff at CWB Prince George come to you, but they’re also masters at finding ways to say “yes.” Their banking model is designed with the agility and attention-to-detail that business owners require of a financial partner. “It’s not any one product,” Dougherty explains. “It’s our ability to have really flexible credit structures combined with our access to in-house approval limits. That means we’re able to tailor financial products to each client.” And according to Dougherty, it just makes sense to find the right fit for each client, “because each situation is different. We spend the time to look the business plan up, down and sideways so we can match it with what you really need. We will often spot ways to improve your whole business plan, which means your venture becomes stronger in every aspect.” “We put so much detail into your financing structure that it makes me feel part of your project,” says Wall. “I can think of countless businesses in our region that we’ve found solutions for – it makes me proud to think of the jobs that have been created because of those efforts.” Wall knows that his clients’ success is felt in the local economy. “The prosperity we help generate creates a ripple effect in our community.”
“We spend the time to look the business plan up, down and sideways so we can match it with what you really need. We will often spot ways to improve your whole business plan, which means your venture becomes stronger in every aspect.” - Derek Dougherty
“It’s relationship banking,” states Dougherty. “I take a lot of pride in seeing client after client succeed, knowing that Canadian Western Bank had a part to play.” Every business owner needs a financial partner they can bank on, and at CWB, you’ll find a personal approach and can-do attitude toward financial solutions that you won’t find anywhere else. Come on in, the coffee is hot and they’re ready to get down to work.
PhotoS | Left: (Left to right) Qi xie, Credit Administrator, Ryan Wall, Manager Commercial Banking and Derek Dougherty Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager visit a client’s construction site. Right: Ken Kruger, owner/President of Heartland Steel Structures Ltd., and Ryan Wall evaluate next steps in the construction. Photos by Brent Braaten
300 ViCTORiA STREET Prince George, BC P: 250.612.0123 cwbank.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
PERSoNAL INjuRy LAW FIRM
Dick Byl Law Corporation Submitted story
Bullied as a young kid from Holland growing up in the Prince George neighbourhood known as “the hood,” Dick Byl learned to negotiate at an early age. He was always a scrapper and his ability to think fast on his feet would serve Byl well in the courtroom years later when he became a lawyer. His given name was Dirk Bijl but that changed the day he arrived in Quebec City as a youngster with his family as landed immigrants. The immigration officials took it upon themselves to Anglicize his name and that of his family members. “I’ve sometimes thought about changing my name back, but I really can’t at this point.” Byl said. “I haven’t because of how recognizable Dick Byl Law Corporation has become as one of the city’s prominent law firms specializing in personal injury cases.” The Byl family arrived in Canada in the early 60’s. The journey took weeks—by boat from Rotterdam to Quebec City, by train from Quebec City to New Westminster, and by bus to Prince George. “I remember the trip very well, arriving in Prince George, when it was a lot tougher then, than it is today,” said Byl. “One day we were sitting around the dinner table, a gun discharged and a bullet came through the window, lodging in the ceiling.” There was no money for Christmas presents but the Byl family did not go without that first year. They awoke on Christmas morning to find someone had left a large box of gifts and food on the doorstep of their Tamarack Street home.
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“I grew up here. I’m very much a Prince George person. I love the city, and the people,” Byl said. “With the recent forest fires, the city opened its heart to more than ten thousand evacuees. That’s Prince George. You see that in all aspects of life here.” Byl was an exceptional student but when he began attending UBC, he had no intention of becoming a lawyer. His undergraduate degree was in mathematics and a coin flip convinced him to go to law school. He worked his way through university on scholarships, working at mills, janitorial work and odd jobs. Obtaining his first law degree from UBC, he went on to study law at the London School of Economics, where he obtained a masters degree in law. Thus armed, he returned to Prince George. Byl’s childhood experiences have positively contributed to how he manages his firm and clients. “Negotiate what you can,” he said, “but go to court when you must.” “There’s something immensely attractive about the adversarial system that is utilized in resolving our legal disputes. The system is very fair and the judges are exceptional,” said Byl. “I love the elegance and beauty of the legal system. To me, it’s a privilege to be part of that, standing in front of the bench to argue a case. It humbles me that I’ve been able to do that and have been relatively successful at it.”
“I love the elegance and beauty of the legal system. To me it’s a privilege to be part of that, standing in front of the bench to argue a case. It humbles me that I’ve been able to do that and have been relatively successful at it.” - Dick Byl
Byl derives great satisfaction from giving back to the community and has a long history of sponsoring amateur sports teams in the city. His office proudly displays plaques and mementos from soccer, football, baseball, and hockey teams; virtually any sport you can think of. He also keeps up one Christmas tradition, surprising various families with gift baskets every year. “To this day, I don’t know who did that for us, but I’ve never forgotten it,” he said.
PhotoS | Left: Dick Byl. Right: Dicky Byl Law Corporation’s front office entrance. Photos by Brent Braaten
#900 - 550 ViCTORiA STREET Prince George, BC P: 250.564.3400 dbylaw.com PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
RV DEALERSHIP AND SERVICE
Fraserway RV Written by Frank Peebles
Where the wifi is weak, that’s where Fraserway RV is strong. Where the highway disappears on the horizon, that’s where Fraserway RV comes into clear view. Canada’s only national recreational vehicle company opened a spacious Prince George branch in 2015 and it is already a local leader in the industry. Fraserway RV was voted the No. 1 dealer in the city in the Prince George Citizen Reader’s Choice Awards. Last year, the RV Dealers Association listed the Fraserway brand as Top 5 of 50 retailers in North America. Conducting fair and principled business is the leading factor in their success, said general manager Dave Smith. When the provincial forest fire crisis enflamed B.C. this past summer, theirs was one of the frontline industries. For thousands of local people, the RV was suddenly their home. Many were evacuated to Prince George. “When they needed the fridge repaired, it was so there was food on the table for the family,” said Smith. “We cut our prices and added staff hours so we could solve their problems as fast as possible. They’d been through enough already.” When the wildfire blazed through the town of Fort McMurray in 2016, Fraserway RV raised $441,447 to help relief efforts – yes, they counted that closely. There is now a company-wide pledge to raise $500,000 for the widespread fires of B.C. Every purchase at Fraserway RV adds to that total.
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across Canada and live the dream of seeing the country from coast to coast. Some people like to tour around to see family and friends. A lot of people are looking for that camping experience we have right in our backyard.” Women and Generation Xers are fueling a new surge in RV action. Nanette Jacques happens to be both. She recently bought a brand new Thor Motorcoach Gemini RV from Fraserway and reported back after her trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains then on to the Maritimes and back to B.C., just her and her dog Milo. “It’s such a spectacular experience to take your home-on-wheels and journey to parts of the country you may not otherwise see. With a few tips and strategies under one’s belt before leaving, no matter what your age or gender – the memories will last you a lifetime,” said Jacques. Fraserway has acres of new RVs and affordable pre-owned units. They also have a showroom of accessories, an on-site repair facility, and a storage facility that safe-keeps more than 300 RVs each winter. Remember the taste of smores? Remember the sound of dice on the game board? No ringing phones, no sirens, no traffic. Just fresh breezes, birds, and wild views. Nature hasn’t gone anywhere, and Fraserway RV knows the way.
“We want to get you out to see the world. Life’s gotten hectic. It’s important to stay in touch with that tradition of the open road and the back road.” - Dave Smith
“We want to get you out to see the world,” said Smith. “Life’s gotten hectic. It’s important to stay in touch with that tradition of the open road and the back road. We can get you to where the wifi is weak.”
The Prince George branch has the full line of Jayco products, an array of Keystone lines, everything from tent trailers to truck campers to Class-A coaches. “Travel trailers are the predominant choice for northern B.C.,” said Smith. “A lot of people already have trucks, so they want something they can pull. Some people want to travel
PhotoS | Left: The staff of Fraserway RV Prince George branch. Right: General Manager Dave Smith shows off the interior of one of the units at Fraserway RV’s lot. Main photo by Brent Braaten. Inset photo submitted.
7818 HigHWAy 97 S Prince George, BC P: 250.963.3380 fraserway.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
WEDDING GoWNS AND ACCESSoRIES
The Gallery Bridal Boutique Written by Frank Peebles
A bride’s wedding day is the most important single day of her life. Her wedding gown symbolizes her dream and speaks to her very heart. A portrayal of who she is in her life’s journey. The bride and her gown together are a work of art that expresses the true meaning of this unique personal union. That work of art requires an artist. Casey Castle is a master sculptor, but her medium is fabrics. She is a skilled painter, but her brush is wire, crystal, and pearls. She comes from past generations steeped with artisans, vocalists, musicians, photographers, and business people. Creation is in her blood. “It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, you have to approach it with passion and hope people see your heart in it. Who are we? We are reflections of those who came before us,” said Castle. Over the past 27 year, The Gallery Bridal Boutique on 7th has become the destination for countless brides. “We are now assisting the next generation, daughters of our former brides,” said Castle.
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people truly happy and know as my bride strolls down the aisle, she made the right choice concerning her bridal attire.” Castle said. “Our work has to come from the heart,” said Castle. “I absolutely love beautiful fabrics, and products made with attention to detail and quality. People say time and time again they appreciate the workmanship of what we have to offer.” For the bride that is looking for accessories that show her discerning taste, Casey will set aside some time to design your headpiece and jewelry to perfectly mirror your gown and give each bride her very own unique signature. “Casey loves and cares for every woman who walks through this door. She’s a beautiful person and I adore her,” said Jessica Sylte, one of Castle’s assistants. The boutique is set in a quaintly appointed heritage home built in the 1920s. “We have strived to keep the building as original as possible, and we love doing business surrounded by a piece of Prince George history,” said Castle.
“It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, you have to approach it with passion and hope people see your heart in it.” - Casey Castle
“Our past shapes us, or inspires us to become the person we desire to be. The family we choose or the family we are born into is everything to me.”
“My parents each had their unique gifting when it came to being creative. My mother Pauline is an accomplished pianist and instilled in me a dedicated work ethic. ‘Practice and you’ll become good at whatever you put your mind to.’ I watched my father Charles as he would create something from very little and work it into a wonderful masterpiece. They are my mentors and my inspiration. Our family’s mission statement is, ‘Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.’” “I love what I do! My greatest joy is to make
PhotoS | Left: Casey Castle, owner of The Gallery Bridal Boutique. Right: A quaint heritage home provides the perfect setting for The Gallery Bridal Boutique. Photos by james Doyle.
The Gallery Bridal Boutique 1677 7TH AVEnuE Prince George, BC P: 250.563.3270 gallerybridalboutique.ca PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
Graymont Submitted story
Last December, Graymont received a B.C. Environmental Assessment Certificate for its proposed lime plant and limestone quarry near Giscome. A leading provider of lime and limestone products, the company prides itself on world-class environmental stewardship, strict safety standards and a demonstrated dedication to sustainability. According to Giscome Project Manager David Chamberlain, Graymont insists on ‘sustainability’ in everything it does. “We believe that to be truly sustainable, our company must take that attitude toward our natural environment, with our employees’ health and safety, for our customers’ satisfaction and very importantly, for the communities in which we work,” he explained. Now that the B.C. Environmental Assessment Certificate has been earned, Graymont is applying for the appropriate operational permits, as well as developing its detailed engineering plans for the Giscome site. Located about 45 minutes northeast of Prince George near the southwest corner of Eaglet Lake, the project includes a limestone quarry, a lime processing facility and an overland conveyor that will move crushed limestone from the quarry to the plant site.
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used to quarry ballast stone for the railway and is separated from the lake by the existing Canadian National railway line. Graymont products are derived entirely from naturally occurring stone, Chamberlain pointed out. “The fastest growing use of lime today is in environmental applications where it helps industries to comply with modern stringent air quality, drinking water, wastewater and solid waste regulations,” he said. “For example, lime is a critical component in the ‘scrubbing’ systems used to remove acidic gases from power station emissions and other industrial installations. “Many of our products are used to protect and reclaim natural environments; from acid generating rock to treating drinking water. Lime and limestone are used in many agricultural practices, including as a calcium supplement in the poultry industry and also to ensure healthy crops,” he explained. Headquartered in Richmond, B.C., Graymont is a private enterprise with facilities in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. It has roots extending back almost seven decades and in many instances, the Graymont plants are the cornerstones of the communities in which they are located. “We’ve been in some communities for almost a century, providing employment and support to sometimes an entire village or town,” Chamberlain said. “We take the long view. We always aim to be a good member of the community, and we know it’s about conversation, commitment and honesty.”
“The Giscome site has enough highquality limestone for at least 50 years and it has easy access to a major rail line and good quality roads.” - David Chamberlain
“The Giscome site has enough high-quality limestone for at least 50 years and it has easy access to a major rail line and good quality roads,” Chamberlain said. “The plant will produce lime products used primarily in pulp, mining and other applications in the north, shipping by both rail and truck.” The project is located on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, with whom Graymont has an agreement, he said. The lime plant will be located on land formerly
PhotoS | Left: A young visitor at Graymont’s joliette facility’s open house enjoys getting ‘up close’ with the super-sized machinery. Right: A young visitor at the Graymont plant in Bedford, Quebec is fascinated by a view of the kiln in operation, assisted by Kiln operator Steve Cantara. Photos submitted
#200-10991 SHEllbRiDgE WAy Richmond, BC P: 1.866.207.4292 graymont.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
Hart Drugs, Third Avenue Pharmacy & Phoenix Dispensary Written by Ted Clarke
Corkie Simmie was a business pioneer when he opened Hart Drug Mart in the 1970s on the northern outskirts of the city. He had already established a pharmacy in downtown Prince George, currently Third Avenue Pharmacy. At the time, there were few other stores in the Hart Highway area and, as a pharmacist with keen business instincts, he realized with the neighbourhood growing rapidly, there was a need for a hardware/giftshop/post office, so he added these to his existing store. That unique drugstore/hardware store combination continues to serve its customers today as Hart Drug Mart/Hart Home Hardware. Now owned and operated by independent pharmacists Jim Ewert and Chris Pallot, they also took on the ownership of Third Avenue Pharmacy. “The pharmacy side of the business is quite strong and we’re really proud of our independence,” said Pallot. “We’re not a big chain where the profits leave the city and we’re able to keep it local. We’re a full-service pharmacy that can do speciality compounding. Traditionally, pharmacists would mix two creams together and they would call that compounding but now there’s a lot more to it. We’re making specialty liquids for people who can’t swallow pills and we do quite of bit of that for the veterinarians.” They also fill prescriptions for hormonal replacement therapy and for palliative care, plus they make pain control products, some of which are not commercially available. Originally from Lillooet, Pallot is a fourth-generation pharmacist and his grandfather, father and sister have all worked in the same store (Pharmasave Lillooet) as pharmacists.
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Helping people get healthy is also family tradition for Ewert. His father, Bob Ewert, was a long time Prince George surgeon, and one of the driving forces that helped establish the Northern Medical Program at UNBC. Bob was the son of Dr. Carl Ewert, who arrived in Prince George by paddlewheeler in 1913. Pharmacists are sometimes the first line of medical help for patients when they can’t get in to see their doctors. They pride themselves on the high level of service they provide at the counter and over the phone. Their pharmacies offer a free delivery service for those unable to get out. These types of services have built a loyal base of customers that goes back generations. Ewert began with the company in 1989 and Pallot in 1994 .They took over the businesses in 2004, when Corkie Simmie passed away. In 2015 Ewert and Pallot, along with fellow pharmacist Curt Fowkes, purchased Phoenix Dispensary, another long standing independent pharmacy in Prince George. Last year, they added three new partners to their Hart Drug Mart and Third Avenue Pharmacy stores – Curt Fowkes and Brent Kyle, both of Quesnel, and Patrick Dinelle of Houston. All three are respected pharmacists that have been working with them for several years.
“We’re one of the last independent pharmacies in Prince George. I think that’s why Chris and I have remained for so long. You have control of your business and you decide where you want to take it.” - Jim Ewert
“We’re one of the last independent pharmacies in Prince George. I think that’s why Chris and I have remained for so long. You have control of your business and you decide where you want to take it.” said Ewert. All of their businesses donate to many local events and organizations, such as the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, The Northern Medical Program, AiMHi, Prince George Hospice Society and they also sponsor amateur sports teams in the city, as well as the Cougars and Spruce Kings junior hockey teams
PhotoS | Left: (From left to right) Chris Pallot, Patrick Dinelle, Brent Kyle, Curt Fowkes and jim Ewert. Right: The Hart Drug Mart pharmacy located inside the Hart Home Hardware. Main photo by james Doyle. Inset photo by Brent Braaten.
THiRD AVE PHARmACy 1467 Third Avenue P: 250.564.7147 HART DRug mART 6707 Dagg Road P: 250.962.9666 PHOEnix DiSPEnSARy lTD. 103 - 2155 10th Avenue P: 250.562.3383
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
Kopar Administration Ltd. Written by Ted Clarke
Looking for work is a full-time job that often requires hours of overtime. It takes persistence and the right connections to find steady employment. Fortunately, for the Prince George job market, there’s a downtown agency focused on finding people for jobs and jobs for people. For 20 years, Kopar Administration Ltd. has been in the business of helping British Columbians find work as a placement agency that not only narrows the searches for job-seekers but helps employers locate people with the right skill sets. Since 2012, Kopar has provided administrative services for Work BC, a one-stop resource centre for people who are looking for work, exploring career options or trying to improve their job skills. Work BC staff follow hiring trends so clients know who to target in their job searches. “Because we actively look for work on behalf of our clients, our chances of getting 90 to 95 per cent of the job vacancies is pretty realistic,” said Kopar president Tom Newell. “When we designed the company, we wanted to make sure that we provided the services to both sides of the coin. We spend as much time generating information on what the employer base or the business community is looking for, so we can more realistically assist clients to enter that particular labour market.” In April, Kopar/Work BC moved to its new location at 150 Brunswick St. - a 30,000 sq. ft. building designed by local architect Trelle Morrow, which for 54 years was the home of the Prince George Citizen. The spacious new location allows Kopar’s 39 employees to provide
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employment services to their clients under one roof. The additional space enables the agency to conduct regular job fairs on site, which have proven successful with employers and individual clients. Kopar employs 15 skills training job coaches, who work with individuals to find their dream job. Work BC conducts regular workshops, teaching everything from cover-letter writing resume building to interview techniques that will leave a positive impression on employers. The new resource hub at the front of the building is a workspace where clients can check job boards, use computers to view new job postings, and create their resumes and cover letters, with free access to phones, photocopiers and a book library. “Technology has changed the way in which we look for work but it hasn’t necessarily improved it or modified it in such a way that it’s now easier for someone to do,” said operations manager Ken Newell. “A lot of companies are moving towards an online application process where it has a bot that goes through resumes and looks for key words. If you’re not savvy enough to input that information into their computer systems you can end up missing out on the opportunity because you don’t have the right buzzwords or you haven’t put the right information in the right areas.”
“Because we actively look for work on behalf of our clients, our chances of getting 90 to 95 per cent of the job vacancies is pretty realistic.” - Tom Newell
Through Work BC, job seekers can access federally-funded programs such as Skills Quest, which helps individuals with mental or physical disabilities develop job skills, and Northern Focus, a program geared towards recent postsecondary school graduates looking for work in their chosen fields. In July, Kopar launched Key BC, an 18-week program for people aged 18-30 focusing on salesmanship, interview skills, confidence building, conflict resolution and developing the right attitude and removing barriers to employment.
PhotoS | Left: The owners and staff of Kopar outside of their new building on 1st and Brunswick. Right: Kopar’s spacious front office. Photos by Brent Braaten.
150 bRunSWiCk STREET Prince George, BC P: 250.596.2517 koparadmin.ca PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
PLuMBING & HEATING SERVICES AND SALES
Mainline Plumbing and Heating Written by Christine Hinzmann
Plumbing and Heating is part of your comfort zone, if the house is warm and the hot water is running, all is right with your world. But if the house is cold or there’s no hot water, that’s a problem solved by Mainline Plumbing and Heating immediately, even after hours through their 24-hour on-call service. “Our on-call system is there for you,” said Valerie Marsh, who is co-proprietor of Mainline with husband Brian. “We will be there to help you solve the problem, even in the middle of the night! We stand 100 per cent behind our on-call service.” Communication with customers is the priority at Mainline Plumbing and Heating. “Our customers are our first priority,” Valerie said. “Mainline employees are part of the family and an integral part of the company.” When the Marshs bought the company, it was a three-employee team, including Brian, and under the their proprietorship, it has grown to employ a dozen people. Valerie and Brian, who have three daughters, came to Prince George from Ontario when Brian was offered a management position at Mainline in 2006. They had family here and thought they’d take a chance on a change of scenery. “We moved from Ontario and we were going to give it a try and six months later we are buying into this fabulous little company,” Valerie said. “We fell in love with the community and that’s what kept us here. I’ve always said the one thing you can say about Prince George is you never feel like you have any spare time because there’s always something going on. There’s so many events you can be involved in.”
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The company also provides the installation of several products, including fireplaces, furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, hot water tanks, and Navien hot-water on demand, as well as maintaining those elements that already exist. Other products in the showroom include Traeger barbecues, perfect for the discerning grill master. Mainline also has a commercial side and most recently completed the Kenworth building, Dragon Stone Mongolian Grill, Foothills Manor and Winchester Estates to name a few. “We can take on any job and developed a great working relationship with Copper Falls Custom Homes Ltd., Rise Construction, Alair Homes and Bulzi Construction and we look forward to growing with them and their companies,” Valerie said. Brian has been working in the industry for 25 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the business. Valerie has been in marketing for the last 10 years but is a heavy equipment operator by trade, so stepping from her high heels into her work boots comes very naturally to her.
“We will be there to help you solve the problem, even in the middle of the night! We stand 100 per cent behind our oncall service.” - Valerie Marsh
Valerie joined the Mainline team full time recently and for her it’s all about gaining product knowledge and finding ways to streamline the operation with customer service always being the priority. “Brian is more the brains behind the operation and I’m the grunt with personality,” Valerie laughed. Hockey and volleyball are the focus of this busy family and that’s where the majority of volunteerism and sponsorship takes place for the family behind Mainline Plumbing and Heating. “It’s all about giving back to the community that has been so wonderful to us,” Valerie said.
plumbing and heating
PhotoS | Left: Valerie and Brian Marsh, owners of Mainline. Right: Wendy Madison, controller, and Lorraine Dergez, merchandise expert. Photos by Brent Braaten.
3658 OPiE CRESCEnT Prince George, BC P: 250.564.9808 mainlineplumbing andheating.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
NEW AND uSED CAR DEALERSHIP
Northland Dodge Written by Frank Peebles
Is it possible for an auto dealer to be known for two equal things? Kyle Bachman and his team at Northland Dodge are sure going to give it a try. obviously cars and trucks are how they made their first mark. Now they also want to earn a household name for community support. “We try to help anything that will stay local in the Central Interior and the Northwest,” said Bachman, Dealer Principal of the Highway 16 mega-lot. “That’s why our primary cause is the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation. That organization has reach across the whole region that we service, and they do incredible things for the health and wellbeing of everybody. “Another major cause we support is Northern FanCon, which we do because it brings a lot of unique forms of entertainment to Prince George and people come from all over the region to see the celebrities and enjoy all the creative activities that go on there, but it also plays a big part in developing a film industry of our own in northern B.C., so it’s great for the economy and great for creative people. “You’ll also notice us partnering in a big way with the Prince George Cougars because, again, that is something the whole region enjoys. When CN Centre is packed with fans and young athletes are being inspired, that’s a great community feeling and it stimulates the local economy.” Northland Dodge is one of three dealerships that comprise the Northland Auto Group which includes Nissan and Hyundai, as well. Bachman estimated that between the three partners, their charitable donations exceed a quarter-million dollars per year.
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son they have a brand new highway headquarters. They built a 63,000-square-foot tower out of sleek steel, gleaming glass and community happiness. It looks and feels like a luxury hotel, and if outof-towners make a weekend vehicle purchase, Northland will put you up at one so you can enjoy those first hours with your new beauty. It even has an in-store café that Bachman admits he may spend too much time at. “They have a great lunch special, you should come try it,” he laughed. And if you come in for service work before 10 a.m., breakfast is free. When you’ve got the cheapest oil change rates in town, you see why so many morning customers take them up on that offer. Waiting is rare. With 26 service bays of all sizes, the customer gets Formula One attention. That’s an especially warm thought in winter, which hardly exists at all inside the Northland environment. Northland Dodge has revamped the vehicle shopping experience and it’s just as energized to work there. The facility is home to 120 team members and they are looking for more, especially mechanical technicians. Bachman invites anyone and everyone to come look around. You stand an incredible chance of spotting a vehicle that makes your pulse race, you’ll get the sales and service that matches that adrenaline, and you might like the place so much you’ll want to stay, so do bring your resume along.
“We try to help anything that will stay local in the Central Interior and the Northwest. That’s why our primary cause is the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.” Kyle Bachman
No matter what your relationship with Northland Dodge looks like, it will be part of a business that puts their money where their community is.
Oh yeah, and they also sell vehicles. A lot of vehicles! Their epic sales numbers are the rea-
PhotoS | Left: Kyle Bachman, Dealer Principal of Northland Dodge. Right: The main entrance of the Northland Dodge showroom. Photos by james Doyle
2844 RECPlACE DRiVE / HigHWAy 16 Prince George, BC P: 1.888.324.6298 northlanddodge.ca
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
INDEPENDENT HoME GRoWN BREWERy
Pacific Western Brewing Written by Brian Kieran
This year, 2017, marks the 60th anniversary of brewing on the banks of the Nechako River here in Prince George. Echoing across the decades are the words of the brewery’s first president, Donald Lauder of Vancouver: “We are more firmly convinced than ever that the company’s choice of Prince George as its home was its soundest step.” That brave claim rings true today, even though the brewery would face recurring challenges in its early years. In 1991, when Pacific Western Brewing was purchased by its current owner Kazuko Komatsu, it really started to claim its place as a stable, job-sustaining, qualityfocused, community-oriented cornerstone in the Prince George business community. Kazuko says: “In 2016, I was proud to celebrate my 25th anniversary as the owner of Pacific Western Brewing and in this year I am equally proud to join with all of Prince George as we mark the 60th year of brewing at our site next to the Nechako River. “My goals have always been to produce quality products and to invest where we live. After more than a quarter century leading the PWB team, those goals carry me forward.” What’s the secret to Kazuko’s success? There isn’t one … just constant dedication to brewing a quality product and selling it at a fair price. The brewery has also been keenly aware of the need to innovate and diversify. Scandal Ale and Lager are good examples. Natureland Organic was Canada’s first certified organic beer featuring the world’s finest organic pale malts and organic Bavarian hops. Another example is Wild Root Beer and Ginger Ale, two delicious vodka refreshment beverages introduced this spring.
PWB’s iconic former manager and its ongoing mentor Tom Leboe says: “We are good at what we do and we do it in the backyard of one of the finest Interior communities in this province. Prince George embodies B.C.’s entrepreneurial spirit. Like other B.C. communities, big and small, it has forged its identity and purpose from raw material and human grit. It has been the home of brewing for 60 years and Kazuko’s singular focus for more than 25 years.” Over the years, PWB has invested in improving the brewing process with a constant eye on quality. That focus has been recognized by the achievement of ISO quality certification standard ISO-9001, the highest level of standardization available. In 1994, Pacific Western Brewing became the first North American brewery to achieve ISO certification PWB’s commitment to quality shines in Cariboo Springs Lager, an all-B.C. ingredient brew that represents a vital partnership with B.C. farmers. Recent long-term contracts have provided sustainability for growers of hops in the Fraser Valley. Leboe says: “Similar to the benefits of B.C.’s Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) initiative, our farmers have the ability to produce ingredients for beer that are among the best in the world. The VQA program for wine has established the foundation for a successful and sustainable industry that builds strong agriculture communities. We look forward to working with other B.C. brewers and with government to replicate that success in the brewing sector.”
“My goals have always been to produce quality products and to invest where we live. After more than a quarter century leading the PWB team, those goals carry me forward.” - Kazuko Komatsu
Let’s raise a glass to PWB … great beer, brewed right here by hard-working, passionate British Columbians.
PhotoS | Left: A line-up of popular Pacific Western Brewing products. Right: Pacific Western Brewing’s building, located next to the Nechako River. Photos by Brent Braaten
641 n nECHAkO ROAD Prince George, BC P: 250.562.2424 pwbrewing.net PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
THE oVERHEAD DooR SPECIALISTS
Portal Installations Written by Frank Peebles
take pride in being a part of what we’re doing together,” Davor said.
Some folks are door-half-open people, some are door-halfclosed people. Davor Drazenovic is a different kind again – the guy who makes sure the door is perfect for you, no matter what.
Two of his employees have been there since he and Brenda took the reins. The newest employee has four years’ experience with the company.
Portal Installations was a doorway into a new way of life for Davor and his wife Brenda. They were looking to be their own hands-on bosses, and set an example for their three kids about doing an honest day’s hard work. At the same time, Noel and Helene Valcourt were looking to pass their family business on to just the right new owners. They founded Portal Installations in 1974 and poured decades into it. They could cross that threshold with the Drazenovics. “We are trying every day to carry on that tradition they established,” said Davor. “Noel trained us and the Valcourts really set the standard for us. And they still stop in to visit from time to time.” That standard hinged on quality. Garage doors are too important to any home and business to take that lightly. They play a big part in a building’s aesthetics, sure, but they also affect things like winter heat, summer cool, and don’t forget security. Davor certainly never does. “All of our products are Canadian made,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about crossborder pricing, shipping delays, warranty issues. I’ve been to the factory many times where they make our Steel-Craft doors. It’s just down the road in Edmonton. These doors were constructed specifically for this climate, our elements, and our customers love that.”
PRINCE GEORGE profiles of
New times bring new technology, like the smartphone app that allows you to open and close your garage door – with visuals and data – from anywhere you are. Garage doors used to offer an insulation value of a frigid R-2 but now the Steel-Craft weatherproofing ranges from R-10 at minimum all the way up to R-18. The new economy also brings new challenges. The largest door Portal Installations has installed was 65 feet across and 35 feet high at Endako Mine. The smallest was for a chicken coop only 12 inches by 24 inches, but fully motorized. They proudly installed all 39 bay doors for the new Inland Kenworth facility. “My guys love that – they love the out-of-theordinary,” he said. Their influence is felt all over the city in homes, in businesses and in helpfulness. They donate time and materials to the Hospice House, they sponsor minor hockey, baseball, BMX racing, Nitro Motorsports Park, motocross riders, the Spruce Kings and Cougars, and many others over the years. “We are locally owned and operated,” said Davor. “Prince George customer support has gotten us to the next level, so it’s important that we give back to help our local athletes and young people get to their next level. It just makes us a stronger community.”
“We are locally owned and operated. Prince George customer support has gotten us to the next level, so it’s important that we give back to help our local athletes and young people get to their next level.” - Davor Drazenovic
As strong as a Portal Installations door.
With Steel-Craft handling the engineering, the next priority is the installation team. “Everyone has an important role, and we’ve got an amazing group. Coming to work is so enjoyable when you’re with people who want to work together towards a common goal, and
PhotoS | Left: Portal Installations staff (from left to right) Shawn, Andrew, jeff, Marshall, Nick, Niki, Brenda, Davor and Keane. Missing are Kirk and Taylor. Right: Andrew stocking up with springs. Photos by Brent Braaten
710 3RD AVEnuE Prince George, BC P: 250.564.9596 portalinstallations.ca
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
TRuCK AND TRAILER SALES, SERVICE & PARTS
Premium Truck and Trailer Inc. Written by Frank Peebles
Prince George, meet Mahindra. Mahindra, welcome to Prince George. This friendly introduction was made by another newcomer. Farmers, acreage owners, landscapers, hunters and backcountry enthusiasts have a new neighbour named Premium Equipment, the newborn division of Premium Truck & Trailer. PT&T was already the northern region’s headquarters for trucking superstars like Freightliner, K-Line and Doepker, but now, with the launch of Premium Equipment, they are also Ground Zero for the No. 1 tractor and side-by-side makers in the world: Mahindra. “It’s a brand that’s huge all over the world. We wanted to be part of that,” said Tom Baratta, head of sales for the Mahindra line. “We have a tonne of farming in this area, a surprising amount, and we could see that the manufacturing quality of Mahindra could do a lot of good in the agriculture industry across the north. Mahindra makes workhorse vehicles we could stand behind.” PT&T did careful research before committing to Mahindra. Their experts are already leaders in northern B.C.’s heavy-duty transportation sector. Premium’s state of the art facility is outfitted with 16 rig-sized service bays plus showrooms, offices, warehouses, parts department, and more. They made room for the Mahindra brand because each class of tractor in that line outperformed its peers, and so did the prices. “They haul more, they tow more, and what I really love about Mahindra is the range of attachments,” said Baratta. “If you can imagine it, they’ve got it. You can add backhoes, front-end loaders, snow blowers, grass cutters, forklift fingers, bale spears, road sweepers, stump grinders, the attachments they’ve got are just endless.”
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The tractors, all of them diesels, come in sizes ranging from compact 22-horsepower acreage editions up to hefty hay haulers at 105 horsepower. A 125-horse power-puller is on its way later this year. There are hydrostatic or shuttleshift options. They are a global machinery product assembled in North America, so parts and maintenance is on-shore easy. The side-by-sides are just as versatile, and 100 per cent made in North America. There are ones with dump-boxes, options for logging trailers (yes, these XTVs can haul logs!), light-bars, stereos, winches, snow blades, rear passenger seating, cab choices, gas or diesel, and much more. They all come standard with luxurious legroom and front-bench seating for three. They are all built for one word: work. If you’re a hunter, a backcountry camper, a construction company in need of an athletic support vehicle, if you’re running a ranch or a logging show, these are made with you in mind. “So, here we had these amazing machines. We knew people in this type of market would be impressed. We knew the machines were more than competitive,” said Baratta. “We had to give our customers every possible chance at going home with these beauties, so, as of July 1, we now offer top of the line financing options in-house. That’s new, and we’re already hearing just how appreciated that is. It’s the final piece of the puzzle so Mahindra XTVs and tractors can be yours.”
“They haul more, they tow more, and what I really love about Mahindra is the range of attachments. If you can imagine it, they’ve got it.” - Tom Baratta
Come see the showroom and have a visit with these machines. Get to know Mahindra personally. Since Premium Equipment is based at the enormous PT&T campus on Great Street, you can fire up the engines and get a feel for how they operate right there on-site. These are more than tractors; they are family friends.
PhotoS | Left: Tom Baratta, head of sales for the Mahindra line of products at Premium Truck & Trailer. Right: Mahindra is the top tractor and side-by-side makers in the world. Photos by Brent Braaten
1015 gREAT STREET Prince George, BC P: 250.563.0696 premiumtruck.ca PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
RECREATIoNAL VEHICLE SALES & SERVICE
Prince George Motorsports Written by Ted Clarke
Prince George Motorsports is more than just the place to buy yamaha and Arctic Cat fun machines. It’s the place to go to talk to people who love to ride what they sell. Whether it’s motorcycles, quads, side-bysides, snowmobiles or boats, all the staff at the dealership at 2005 Redwood St., know what it’s like to unleash mechanical horsepower on the roads, dirt trails, snowy slopes and water ways which make Prince George a recreational vehicle paradise. When they’re not at work helping customers, chances are they’re out playing with their toys. “What separates us from other businesses is this is our passion, we understand our customers’ challenges because we ride, and we’re out there doing the same things that they’re doing,” said Prince George Motorsports dealer principal Jonathan de la Giroday.
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The riders said it was one of the best tracks they’ve ridden and that’s going to help grow the sport and the business,” said de la Giroday. “That’s a big part of what we do. Motocross is a huge part of our business.” New to Prince George Motorsports this year is Yamaha’s Suncatcher pontoon boat line and North River’s aluminum lineup of lake, river and ocean boats powered by Yamaha outboards. Also on the horizon is the creation of a racing team to help develop the local recreation tourism industry. De la Giroday is on the lookout for talented riders like Prince George Motorsports’ Steve Taylor who excels as a freestyle snowmobiler. “One of my goals this year is to develop a team of riders and make movies using 6ix Sigma Productions,” said de la Giroday. “We want to build on what 6ix Sigma did with Hidden Heroes (documentary) and show people what you could be doing in the Prince George backcountry.
“Every person here rides a motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, side by side or goes out fishing with our new line of boats. They have a connection to the customer they’re serving and I think that’s what’s unique about us.”
“What separates us from other businesses is this is our passion, we understand our customers’ challenges because we ride, and we’re out there doing the same things that they’re doing.” - Jonathan de la Giroday
Outdoor enthusiasts with a lust for exploring are well served living in Prince George. The city is in close proximity to lonely stretches of highway, endless logging roads, uncrowded lakes, scenic rivers, snow-covered mountains and a motocross facility that’s gaining worldwide attention. Blackwater Motocross Park, home of the Prince George Motocross Association, is now part of the CRMC MX national race series and thousands of spectators turned out in July to watch the best riders from Canada, the United States and France battle for podium positions.
PhotoS | Left: jonathan de la Giroday, dealer principal of Prince George Motorsports. Right: yamaha motorbikes on display in the Prince George Motorsports showroom. Photos by james Doyle.
2005 REDWOOD STREET Prince George, BC P: 250.562.4151 pgmotorsports.ca PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
Rebecca Sinclair Written by Christine Hinzmann
A financial plan is only as good as the financial planner who puts the plan together. Very few advisors can speak to this thought more accurately than Rebecca Sinclair, a well-respected Certified Financial Planner® in Prince George. Her own financial well-being was severely challenged in August of 2016 after suffering severe injuries from being bucked from a horse during a relaxing summer retreat in Polson, Montana. Following surgery, those injuries kept her in home care for over 100 days, in braces to stabilize her broken body. After a year, she is on track again, but still attends physiotherapy to strengthen muscles. Rebecca says, “Today I am a different person, a different size and shape, everything is different including my life perspective.” I really love what I do, I love my career, and this setback has made me stronger. I know how important my role is, in other people’s lives because I see how important it was in mine. Everyday I get closer to working fulltime. My goal is to achieve 125% of that, or more.” This includes her work as an independent financial advisor with Raymond James. During her recovery time, the responsibility of continuing the business rested on the shoulders of her loyal staff where communication with her and her clients was crucial. “I had important supports in place, well before the accident, that were instrumental in being able to cope with the financial and physical challenges of my injuries.” Rebecca says, “Often people procrastinate with crucial parts of their life plan leaving themselves exposed to whatever happens. The protections I put in place for my business and me personally are the key elements that got me and my business through this unforeseen challenge. Without this my business and finances would have been severely tested.”
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“The Bible says ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ And I’m one of those people,” Rebecca says. “Good planning helps, but so does unbreakable faith. I stand on the foundation of that scripture. God has come through with absolutely everything for me,” As a financial planner, Rebecca believes she is in top form. “My accident and enforced recovery program have allowed me to prioritize my life and more better discern what’s best to meet needs of my clients, their businesses and their families. I’m now keener, sharper, and more focused with fewer distractions,” Rebecca said. “The important things in life are not necessarily which stock or mutual fund to invest in, but what you need your financial portfolio to do for you. Will your retirement be there when you want it and will you be able to pass assets down with the least tax implications? If your plan isn’t intergenerational and protected, then it’s at risk. Rebecca is very community minded, saying, “Community is my other half of life and is a lifelong commitment.” Rebecca serves on boards for the Salvation Army C.A.C. in PG and Vanderhoof and DART Society, is a consistent supporter of the PGSO, PG Pregnancy Center, many sporting events including the Prince George Cougars, a multitude of local artisans, as well as her church. A financial plan is only as good as the financial planner who puts the plan together. Yet, the mark of a good financial planner is their personal commitment to clients, the community and themselves - with their own financial plan.
“Today I am a different person, a different size and shape, everything is different including my life perspective. I know how important my role is, in other people’s lives because I see how important it was in mine.” - Rebecca Sinclair
Rebecca Sinclair is a financial advisor with Raymond James Ltd. The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Raymond James. This article is for information only. Raymond James Ltd. member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
PhotoS | Left: Rebecca Sinclair. Right: The Raymond james office on Queensway. Photos by Brent Braaten
Rebecca Sinclair, CFP Raymond james Ltd., Member – Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
220 - 2700 QuEEnSWAy Prince George, BC P: 250.564.4865 raymondjames.com/ sinclairplewes PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
Royal LePage Prince George Written by Frank Peebles
The handshake is still valuable currency in Prince George. Rod McLeod got a strong reminder of that six years ago when he found himself in the handshake of his life. It set off a chain reaction that is still in motion. The signs of it are all over the Central Interior. They are black and red with bold letters that spell Royal LePage. McLeod is the owner of Royal LePage’s Prince George branch (also serving Quesnel, McBride, Burns Lake, and all the rural communities, farms, businesses and industrial properties in between). He remembers it like yesterday when veteran Prince George Realtor Broker/ Owner Dirk Loedel was looking to retire and looking to transfer his Royal LePage branch into strong leadership hands. After a lengthy conversation, Loedel and McLeod came to an agreement. Eventually there were signatures on dotted lines, but the deal was done with a clasp of hands. “All contracts can be challenged, but a handshake cannot. Dirk said that to me once, and I never forgot it. When he shook my hand on the purchase of Royal LePage, I knew I didn’t have to worry about a thing. We were making a personal commitment,” McLeod said. McLeod then applied the handshake philosophy to the team. Fifty local agents are now in place to broker transactions of all shapes and sizes. Residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, rural, urban, the whole spectrum is covered. “The real estate market in this area is the strongest it’s been in at least a decade, and we have the people at Royal LePage to handle it,” said McLeod. “A real estate office is so much more
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than just the faces you see on the signs. We have the best support staff and management personnel in Prince George. We have David Black as our Managing Broker. He’s been a commercial agent here for years, he was a natural fit for that key role. And I asked George Weinand to join our team as my partner in commercial real estate, he has immense experience and a fantastic reputation, so I was thrilled when he said yes.” Denise Chapdelaine is the chief administrator with assistant Ariane Crossland. Denise Godeau is head of reception and social media. McLeod said these are the type of high-quality people that make the Royal LePage signs stand out that much more vibrantly. They are the regional developer of the new $35-million Marriott Courtyard hotel development. McLeod, a former general contractor, personally led the 35,000 square-foot arrival of a major retailer downtown. Royal LePage passionately supports local and national women’s shelters, Prince George Hospice House, the Heart & Stroke Foundation and many other community causes all as a natural course of doing business. McLeod also hosts a luau at his Cluculz property and a Ukrainian Christmas party at Royal Lepage each year, inviting realtors and staff of all real estate companies, putting competition aside. It’s a gesture of goodwill that gets passed on to clients and customers regardless of the name-brand.
“We like the business culture we’ve created, and it is based on Canadian culture itself. Royal LePage is crossCanada and it was founded in Canada on those principles that make us a diverse, progressive country.” - Rod McLeod
“We like the business culture we’ve created, and it is based on Canadian culture itself. Royal LePage is cross-Canada and it was founded in Canada on those principles that make us a diverse, progressive country,” said McLeod. “From our national CEO Phil Soper right to our local team, we are proud to do business that uniquely Canadian way – We are “Canada’s Real Estate Company.” And there’s no gesture more powerful, more Canadian, more Royal LePage than the handshake.
PhotoS | Left: Rod McLeod (owner), and David Black (Managing Broker). Right: The Royal LePage offices on 5th Avenue in downtown Prince George. Main photo by Brent Braaten. Inset photo submitted.
Prince George 1625 - 5TH AVEnuE Prince George, BC P: 250.564.4488 royallepageprincegeorge.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
Spirit of the North
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centres by providing better services here at home in the North.
Everyone at some point in their life is touched by healthcare. As we get older or have a family healthcare visits increase and become part of everyday living. If you have visited uHNBC or a healthcare facility the equipment used in diagnosing, testing, or treatment was likely funded through the generosity of donors to the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.
As a fourth generation “Prince George Girl,” Judy enjoys working with donors and a community that she has grown up in and raised her family in. “I feel very blessed to work with so many individuals who are also passionate about Prince George and the people who chose to work, live and play here.”
With a mandate of providing equipment, education and enhancements to healthcare for the service delivery area to UHNBC, the Spirit of the North allocates donations received in many ways. “We are so grateful for donations received from our clients.” Says Judy Neiser. “We direct these funds to any area of interest, concern or location of choice – our responsibility is to our donors. We take pride in developing relationships based on trust, what is near and dear to them, and what touches their lives.”
The Breast Health Imaging Centre is a full service clinic within UHNBC. Reducing time between tests, and providing the diagnosis more quickly and accurately regardless of the outcome is key, enabling people to function better in their day to day lives. A regional cardiac strategy will see state of the art ECHO ultrasounds in place providing better emergency response and diagnosis to cardiac related illnesses. “This is greatly needed in the north” Judy says “and we are excited to embrace leading edge equipment on behalf of our donors.”
Recent accomplishments include the diagnostic Spect CT, that saw $1.4 million provided by donors to fund state of the art equipment that was 2nd in the province only to Victoria at the time. “We would always have baseline health care, but the foundation through its donors is able to provide leading edge and state of the art equipment that might not otherwise be funded,” she said. “It’s important that patients in the north receive the same quality of care that they could expect anywhere else in the province.” Northern Health’s region represents 300,000 people in 600,000 sq. km. Delivering healthcare remotely can be difficult but we increase the chance of better patient outcomes when we work together, strategically funding items that can make a difference. It helps attract and retain healthcare professionals, reducing wait times and the pressure on major
Judy applauds Northern Health, the Northern Medical Society, and the Spirit of the North Board of Director in their work to see that we aren’t forgotten in the North. The preventative move towards better detection and more accurate diagnostic services gives patients a quicker prognosis enabling them to take actions accordingly.
“We are so grateful for donations received from our clients. We direct these funds to any area of interest, concern or location of choice – our responsibility is to our donors.” - Judy Neiser
Recognizing that this community has many worthwhile charities, Judy says it’s what makes Prince George the community minded and volunteer driven mecca it is. Her hope is that others are as passionate about great healthcare through leading edge equipment, education and healthcare enhancements as she is and that you consider Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation in your Spirit of Giving!
PhotoS | Left: (From left to right) Tia Hubbard, Annette Stevens, Esther Prosser, judy Neiser, Shauna Allan and Devyn Gowan. Right: judy Neiser stands with the diagnostic SPECT CT. Photos by james Doyle.
1475 EDmOnTOn STREET Prince George, B.C. P: 250.565.2515 spiritofthenorth.ca PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
CoMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL LANDSCAPING
Suntree Landscaping Ltd. Written by Frank Peebles
Putting time and effort into your home but no attention to landscaping is like getting fit at the gym, then wearing paper bags. Suntree Landscaping will make sure your home and business are as well dressed as you are. Russ Hill invested in a landscaping company 15 years ago to ensure he could always work in his favourite setting – outside. Suntree was one of few other Prince George firms in the trade. Nobody had ever installed recycled rubber mulch and nobody had ever heard of a pergola. Prince George has come a long way in a short time, and Hill has helped sculpt that. As the city’s demand grew for stylish restaurants downtown, chic clothing boutiques, local art, etc. the public’s eye for personal environment also sharpened. A house is a building, but a home radiates outside the four walls right to the edge of the property. When the counters need redone, one calls a carpenter. As soon as you step outside, that’s when the specialists at Suntree come for a consultation. “When people look at a landscaping project, they often forget to think about what’s underneath that first impression,” said Hill. “They see the beautiful feature, but what work was done behind the scenes to make it sure it’s top quality? Aesthetics catch the eye, but real workmanship is in the foundation, the drainage, the geogrid. We look after the details to sustain the project. I want to do it once, never have to come back to repair it, and always have that word-of-mouth on my side. I want to come back to see you year after year, but only because you appreciate the work.”
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From April to November, “it’s hair straight back,” Hill said. He doesn’t want to hold up current jobs because he had to go back to a past site and do repairs. “Do it correctly the first time – that’s always the plan” he said. Suntree operates a crew of usually four to six people. They plant trees and shrubs, install sprinkler systems, build water features, construct decks and driveways, put in fences, elaborate rock work, total lawn and garden facelifts, but Hill’s personal favourite activity is brickwork. You can see their past work on display at the Via Rail Station, Canada Games Plaza, several of the new auto dealerships, and their biggest current project is a challenging outdoor design at Delhaven Estates. “The crew and I, we care a lot about this trade,” said Hill. “We take pride in it because we are lucky people to get to do this for a living. I think we get some rewards no one else in trades does. We get to stand back and look at really beautiful work. You should see the before-and-after pictures. And we get to see the look on the customer’s faces. I really went into the right career for me.” Hill has seen his projects flower over time just like his trees and gardens. He strives to maintain a core crew who love to play in the dirt and stack building blocks as much as he does. If it’s an industrial complex, a commercial space or your home, it’s always a warm, lush experience to call in Suntree Landscaping.
“We look after the details to sustain the project. I want to do it once, never have to come back to repair it, and always have that word-of-mouth on my side. I want to come back to see you year after year, but only because you appreciate the work.” - Russ Hill
Landscaping Ltd. PhotoS | Left: Russ Hill (owner) stands among one of the many landscaping projects Suntree has completed in Prince George. Right: Suntree’s diverse work includes stone work and greenery, which combine to create stunning landscapes. Main photo by Brent Braaten. Inset photo by james Doyle.
P: 250.563.7062 suntreeland.ca
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
CuSToM CABINET SALES AND MANuFACTuRING
Van Way Cabinets Ltd. Written by Frank Peebles
When you’re lighting the candles and setting out the romantic dinner, Van Way is there. When the kids are crammed around the cake singing Happy Birthday, Van Way is there. When you’re playing cards with grandpa, hunched over latenight paperwork, or clinking glasses with your friends, Van Way is there. The Prince George family firm is in business to support you in whatever you do. From the knockabout cereal bowls to the fine china, Van Way holds everything in place so families and friends can get together or keep it together as the case may be, each and every day. “Van Way is at every family’s dinner table,” said general manager Meghann Miller. “The kitchen is the most important room in any house. It’s where everything happens. We make sure you have the best kitchen especially for you and your home.” There are such things as off-the-rack kitchen components, but Van Way Cabinets works with you on a tailored design for your personal spaces, sources the custom materials you desire, and constructs the counters and cupboards just the way you envision it. “We can do the bachelor suite to the mansion. We’ve done apartment buildings, restaurants, townhouses, hotels,” said Miller. “Each kitchen has its own dynamics because no two households are the same, everyone has their preferences, so whether it’s contemporary or traditional or some mix in between, that’s exactly what we do. We want to get to know you, get familiar with the space, talk out all your options, and together we arrive at the kitchen
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you really want.” The hands-on work is all done inside their 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Prince George. Local tradespeople apply their skills and talents to the cabinetry, using everything from various stone to an array of woods to technologically enhanced construction materials. The kitchen is where artistry and engineering really get cooking. “I honestly love coming to work every day,” said Miller, whose family bought Van Way Cabinets in 2008. It is now 34 years established in the community. “I’m passionate about my customers. Everyone who comes through our doors has a vision. They are calling on us to make big, important changes to their home, and that’s exciting for all of us in here. I love my staff, I have a lot of appreciation for our local suppliers and our fabulous contractors. Our business has quite a ripple effect in the local economy, it’s a team effort in many ways, and this city has great people to work with. We have a good time doing great work.” Getting the design and the materials precise for the customer is a creative process, and the satisfaction at completion gives the Van Way team a feeling similar to an athlete, exhausted and elated after the big win, Miller said.
“I’m passionate about my customers. Everyone who comes through our doors has a vision. They are calling on us to make big, important changes to their home, and that’s exciting for all of us in here.” - Meghann Miller
They radiate that sensation back to the community. Van Way is a sponsor for youth baseball, minor hockey, the Wheelin’ Warriors, the Hospice Society’s show home fundraiser, the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike, the PGSO, the School District 57 Tapestry Singers, and many more. “We support local causes. These are our people. Our customers and our contractors, they’re our family,” said Miller. If your kitchen has ever received their special touch, perhaps you’re spending quality family time with Van Way right now.
PhotoS | Left: The Van Way Cabinets management and staff in their on-site manufacturing facility. Right: Meghann Miller, General Manager of Van Way Cabinets. Main photos by Brent Braaten.
1699 OgilViE STREET S Prince George, BC P: 250.561.2801 vanwaycabinets.com
PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
PLASTIC SuRGERy, LASER & SKIN CARE
Vitality Plastic Surgery Written by Frank Peebles
Vitality. The pulse of life. just saying the word conjures its own special kind of energy. Upon entering Vitality Plastic Surgery, Laser & Skin Care one can see the fine attention to detail, the sophisticated selection of treatment offerings and an energized team ready for the opportunity to achieve results. In a warm and welcoming environment, this group of people project a true sense of commitment to the highest standards in aesthetic and medical care, treatment and client service. The spark that ignites Vitality Plastic Surgery, Laser & Skin Care is Dr. Kristian Malpass. Raised in a small B.C. community, he completed his formal education at McGill and UBC. It followed that he chose a location for his practice that had the familiar comfort of a smaller community where he knew his primary focus could be his patients. He found a community in Prince George that not only fit his lifestyle; there was a significant need for the special services he had trained for. His passion has found a home and for the past 12 years he and Prince George have grown together and his clinic has grown as well. Just as Prince George has continued to rapidly evolve, Dr. Malpass, Vitality and the clinic staff have more than kept pace. State-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment modalities as well as regular educational events are pursued to ensure Northern B.C. has access to the best treatment opportunities usually found only in exclusive metropolitan clinics. “We often hear that Dr. Malpass is one-of-akind”, said Patient Care Coordinator and Clinical Administrator Jennifer Hess. “His commitment to excellence and continued medical education ensure that patients receive the most up-to-date procedures and best possible outcomes. Dr. Malpass has travelled the world and has learned from the best. Most recently, Dr. Malpass could have been sighted in lecture theatres and operating
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rooms in Bogata, Ghent, Cancun, Brussels and Los Angeles. His passion and commitment are contagious and make us all strive to be the best we can.” The Vitality clinic is arranged into treatment areas, each one welcoming and peaceful, high above the city in the heart of downtown with a ninth-floor view from the HSBC Building. Each of these rooms is built around its own specialized equipment and atmosphere customized to serve the specific needs of patients and clients. Many surgical procedures can be performed in Vitality’s own accredited operating room while others require that Dr. Malpass work from local and regional Northern Health facilities or the Prince George Surgery Centre. The team at Vitality works to meet the diverse needs of the community. Facial shape is restored, necks are smoothed, drooping eyelids are lifted, body shapes and curves are enhanced, fat is eliminated, scars and moles are improved and removed, photodynamic therapy is delivered, skin cancers are repaired, skin rejuvenated, hair and tattoos are removed, veins are zapped, carpal tunnels are decompressed and seized fingers mobilized… While the treatments and procedures are the end result, it is the proper diagnosis and plan that allows the right procedure to be selected. “Everyone is different with their own unique expectations,” said Dr. Malpass. “What we do most importantly is engage in dialogue that reveals what patients want, then present the full set of options. Some possibilities are more dramatic but have more profound results whereas other options could be more subtle, yet still achieve the patient’s desired outcome.”
“I am so pleased to have chosen Prince George and I speak for my entire team when I express our gratitude to past and present patients, clients, referring physicians, colleagues and Northern Health.” - Dr. Malpass
“I am so pleased to have chosen Prince George and I speak for my entire team when I express our gratitude to past and present patients, clients, referring physicians, colleagues and Northern Health.” Relationship-based medicine is more than extending simple kindness, it’s a strong dose of vitality.
PhotoS | Left: Dr. Kristian Malpass Right: (From left to right), Velinda, jennifer, Sandy, Kim and janice, members of the Vitality team. Main photo submitted. Inset photo by james Doyle.
V I T A L I T Y P l a s t i c l a s e r
s u r g e r y s k i n
c a r e
904 - 299 ViCTORiA STREET Prince George, BC P: 250.563.8568 vitalitysurgery.com PRINCE GEoRGE PRoFILES oF ExCELLENCE 2017 |
The Best that Prince George has to offer.