Tapping Into Twitter Using online social media as a part of fundraising efforts
Where Would You End Up? Edmontonâ€™s YESS fills a vital gap in our city
Got Bacon? Jerry Aulenbach and his unique brand identity
Transit Terror A city bus driver on public transit violence
Business Just Isnâ€™t Enough Mark Holowaychuk shares his thoughts on happiness within success
Best Kept Vegan Secret Staying healthy never tasted so good
Volume 1 | Issue 1 | April 2010
Confessions of a Meat-Eater
Letter from the Editor
A Safe Way Out...
Managing Editor Sherree Elm welcomes readers to the first issue of Merge Magazine.
Edmonton Women’s Shelter’s WIN House helps women and families fleeing abuse get on their feet and break the cycle of violence.
Mike Anderson lays out his path from being a student at NAIT to a successful entrepreneur in event planning.
Edmonton Realtor Jerry Aulenbach has a unique approach to branding himself and his business.
Tapping into Twitter
Balance in Life...
Roma Sobieski harnessed the power of online social networking to turn her love for volunteering into an experience of a lifetime.
...creates business success, according to successful local entrepreneur Mark Holowaychuk, president of LivePure Health.ca.
Where Would You End Up...
A Day in the Life of...
...if you had nowhere to go? Merge experiences just another day at Edmonton’s Youth Emergency Shelter Society.
A city transit driver describes her profession’s worst nightmare and the reaction that it generated.
p. 8 Who said that you have to be vegan to enjoy a vegan meal?
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From The Editor... W
elcome to the first issue of Merge Magazine! An Edmonton-based tool designed for business, community and social networking. In my experience with Merge Magazine thus far, I have found Edmonton to have an amazing community spirit! I have met countless individuals devoted to helping each other and the community, regardless of the cost. Edmonton hosts multiple groups that work together to satisfy the needs of their community. Business entrepreneurs and professionals have formed groups to support each other and share skills, knowledge and successful practices. Edmonton has a vast number of business building and skills workshops to attend for little to no cost. The Arts join forces with Information Technology? You heard me right! These groups have joined forces and are lifting off with new innovations open to investors. They host fantastic social events, bringing attention to the incredible talent that fills our city.
As an Individual, a Business or a Community Organization, visit mergemag.ca to: View the calendar of busines/social/community events Search the business directory Submit business PR Submit a personal Story Submit a social or fundraising event Submit a business networking event or workshop and...
Enter our Photo Contest! Submit your entry online and be included as a model in a genuine AutoCanada advertisement. Winners are selected by public votes received on mergemag.ca and are featured on the back of the next monthâ€™s Merge Magazine. Go to mergemag.ca to vote for your favorite photo!
Meeting new people and building new relationships is something that is easily done in Edmonton. There are numerous social and activity groups; as well, there are quality experiences to be found at community fundraising events. Catered to families, moms, couples, singletons, students and youthâ€Ś there is something for everyone! This is all happening in our very city! And we at Merge Magazine are very excited to bring you the latest. We strive to keep you in touch and informed of upcoming events, individual accomplishments, business successes and community needs!
Sherree Elm Managing Editor
Thank you for reading Merge Magazine, we look forward to your participation! Sincerely,
the individual | College-to-Career
College-to-Career Trixstar Productions Launches From College Platform Story by Hilary Darrah
arranges music performances, celebrity appearances, lectures series and corporate events. Event planning isn’t about hanging out with rock stars and celebrities. While that may be a part of the job, there is still a lot of hard work that goes into managing events. “You get a broad spectrum with event planning,” says Anderson. “The highs are really high but the lows are really low; everyone has highs and lows in their job, but event planning tends to be more extreme.” One of the more notable lows came last year, when Trixstar was working at Big Valley Jamboree. A massive unexpected storm swept the area and collapsed the stage. While he says it was one of the scariest things that happened to him, he still had positive things to say.
ike Anderson didn’t always know he wanted to be an event planner. But this NAIT alumni and former school mascot was always drawn to creating smiles. “I enjoy making people happy”, says Anderson. “Just seeing that look on their faces that say they’re having a great time in that moment because of what I’ve done…that’s carried me through to what I do now, touching people’s lives”. His event planning career started when he was asked to help plan an event for NAIT, which led to him running for student council. Noticing the lack of a campus festival, Anderson created Ookfest, now known as Campus Chaos. It started as a small event with 100 people and grew to an outdoor rock concert with more than 10 bands and 8000 people attending, making it one of the biggest campus festivals in North America. After planning events for NAIT for more than 10 years, he decided it was time to go out on his own. He created Trixstar Productions, which is a special event production company that provides complete planning, consulting, management, and marketing services. Trixstar plans a mix of events, but mostly
“Everybody came together and handled it very well,” says Anderson. “It just made me realize that anything can happen, anytime anywhere anyplace, indoor and outdoor, and the best thing you can do is be more prepared.” In addition to staying prepared for the unexpected, Anderson has also been using social media, specifically Twitter, to expand and improve his business. Twitter has really allowed him to build strong working relationships. At first he wasn’t sure how to effectively use Twitter but after a little while, he realized it was a great opportunity for businesses to develop their personal brand online. Recently, a celebrity tweeted asking fans to contact Anderson if they wanted to see this celebrity in Canada. “I didn’t realize how powerful Twitter was until the moment I got that tweet, and the thousands of tweets to follow from fans requesting the celebrity come to Canada” laughs Anderson. “But it’s really allowed celebrities to be engaging with true fans directly now. Before, you’d spend thousands of dollars on advertising but now you’ve got this direct link.” Visit mergemag.ca to find out about upcoming events or check out trixstar.ca for more information.
the individual | Tapping Into Twitter
Tapping Into Twitter Online social networking for the greater good
hen Roma Sobieski joined Twitter, it was impossible to predict the role it would play in her fundraising efforts. Roma, a fifth year Bachelor of Science student, joined Twitter after a friend told her about it. She had no idea that Twitter and her volunteering would come together so positively.
mission, with $4155 coming as a direct result of her effective use of Facebook and Twitter.
Her first volunteer experience was with the Girl Guides, which lasted for about seven years. Their vision is “to make a positive difference in the life of every girl and woman who experiences Guiding so she can contribute responsibly to her communities”. She took those words to heart, and continued to volunteer with other charities, such as the St. Albert Special Olympics, Kids With Cancer, and One Toy at a Time, which provides fun and learning to pediatric patients of the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
“Volunteering gives me character. I love helping people! I always have. It’s my passion to help others in any way I can. As Mitch Albom once wrote, ‘The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.’”
Through another friend, Roma learned of the Canadian Association of Medical Teams Abroad (CAMTA). Since her long-term goal is to become a pediatric surgeon, she saw a unique opportunity to participate in a medicine-oriented mission trip to offer orthopedic surgeries to Ecuadorians. Members of the CAMTA team are required to raise $2500 each. Most of the money is raised through personal donations from family and friends. Roma created a Facebook event, to educate her friends
As someone who has clearly made giving back to the community a priority in her life, Roma sums it up:
The Edmonton Twitter community has clearly demonstrated that they are an engaged and energetic group of people committed to affecting their city and it’s citizens positively.
The Edmonton Twitter community... are an engaged and energetic group of people committed to affecting their city and it’s citizens positively
and hopefully raise some money. One of those friends was Jerry Aulenbach, who encouraged her to create a tweetup, which is a Twitter meetup, to fundraise for CAMTA. It took a few weeks to tally the totals, but Roma raised $6040 for her CAMTA
the community | Where Would You End Up, If You Had Nowhere To Go?
Where Would You End Up, If You Had Nowhere To Go? Kids with nowhere to turn find refuge at Edmonton’s Youth Emergency Shelter Society Story by Sherree Elm
was lucky enough to receive a tour of the YESS facilities by Sue Keating, the Opportunity Manager for the Youth Emergency Shelter. As she took me around the building I could not help but have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what this organization does. The shelter has several levels of programs offered to kids. The first level is the Shelter program. This program is offered one night at a time. Kids can go back night after night if they want to, but it’s a new intake every night. Kids who go to this program are usually either fleeing an immediate crisis such as an abusive home, they have been kicked out of their house, or something significant happened on that particular day. There are kids who have been living on the street and are cold and hungry, sick, and need someone to talk to. These are kids that do not have a lot of trust, who wouldn’t have any reason to trust. Most of the kids are fleeing significant abuse. “This program opens at nine o’clock at night and by eight you begin to see kids lining up at the door.
The demand is through the roof. We’ve never seen so many kids before. We are turning kids away almost every night because we simply cannot accommodate them,” Sue explains. Once the kids have been checked into the shelter they receive a hot meal and a shower. If necessary they may also visit the donation room and select the things they need like toiletries, footwear and weather appropriate clothing. But most importantly, they get chance to talk to a Client Services staff where a relationship is built one night at a time. “Some kids will check in consistently for weeks, some will come and go, disappearing for a few months at a time. This is really a stepping stone program. This is the immediate danger - we’ll keep you safe one night at a time - kind of program” Sue explains. “What we used to find is that once the kids rose at nine in the morning they would have their breakfast, take a bagged meal for lunch and one for dinner, and they would be out the door. But they would have nowhere to go, so they would end up either going back to gang leaders, pimps, and
drug dealers - those who would give them some sort of community and somewhere to be during the day. That, or the more naïve kids would head off to the mall where they could keep moving and not be kicked out. They can find food in the bins and are able to use bathrooms. It’s a relatively good place to be except that that’s where
“This program opens at nine o’clock at night and by eight you begin to see kids lining up at the door. The demand is through the roof. We’ve never seen so many kids before.
pimps and drug dealers would go looking for vulnerable kids. So kids who have left home and find refuge at the mall end up getting themselves involved in something before they even know what it is and don’t know how to get out of it.” “So, this is a program where we can help get kids out of that one night at a time. During the day we now have a youth center that is open from nine in the morning to nine at night. We can shuttle kids back and forth so that they have somewhere constructive to be, and they can work on the things that are making their lives so very challenging”. Once a relationship is built with the kids, they may then move to the next level of the program called SkY, which stands for Skills for Youth. Kids occupy their own bed with two beds per room. The room is for that child for as long as they are with the program - usually ranging from four to eight months. “If we can reunite kids with their families, if that is a safe place for them to be, then that is our number one objective. When we can do that, it’s just the best. But most of the kids who end up here, they’ve left home because they feel being on the street is safer, so that is not often an option. So the kids will be here until they have worked through this program. They set goals with a key worker, and they work through them. They enter into a day program whether its school, work or counseling, for 35 hours a week. When they come back to the
shelter they have staff around, skills workers and key workers who work with the kids to make up for the deficits; because most of these kids have not had appropriate role modeling, they haven’t had appropriate experiences and care. We help the kids become more self-sufficient, more self-reliant and accountable.” The kids have a chore list, take turns cooking and are responsible for the upkeep of their rooms. The individuals in this program have their own kitchen where they come together as a community, cook together and sit around a table to eat and share their day. “For a lot of the kids, this is the first time they’ve experienced what a lot of us experience at home. Where you sit around the table and talk about your day”, says Sue. “The kids support each other and help each other work through their goals, they help keep each other accountable as well.” The shelter provides the opportunity to build on every aspect of their life including fun activities that don’t involve drugs and alcohol or other things that are not good for them. The Rec room is a place where they may hang out, have conversation, work on homework, play Rock Band and watch movies just like their classmates do. They are given the opportunity to build experiences and healthy relationships. From the SkY program, kids may move into the START program. START House is for kids that are very close to making it on their own, ranging from
These are bright and vibrant children that bring so much joy to the staff and volunteers.
the age seventeen up to twenty. They each have their own bedroom. Most of these individuals are going to school full time and working part time, paying minimal room and board and learning to budget and manage their lifestyles. There are ten kids in the house at a time - each having chores to complete. Individuals in this home are given the support and resources to be able to move out on their own, on their own initiative and with their own proudly earned savings. Accounting for expenses, advocating for themselves within a community and building up to be self sufficient are all very valuable continued on page 11
the business | Confessions of a Meat-Eater
Confessions of a Meat-Eater Photos and Story by Sherree Elm Beautifully grilled season vegetables straight from the ground with so many flavors they’re as addictive as Tim Horton’s coffee? How about the most amazing bowl of Coconut Thai Curry soup? But made with carrots, a mixture of flavors and all natural non-dairy ingredients? Low fat, low calorie, high fiber, necessary nutrients, and more flavor than you are probably used to. At least that was the case for me when I visited Misella Delite Vegan Organic Café in Stony Plain Alberta. Who said you have to be vegan to enjoy a vegan meal?
Misella Thai Soap 8
Misty-Lee, owner of Misella Delite shares some of the challenges of owning a niche market restaurant. “Some people will walk in and love the place and the environment and then once seeing that there is no meat on the menu they walk out the door”. So why eat a vegan meal when you can have meat and everything else, you ask? I could probably pull numerous quotes from a variety of health books that I have collected throughout the years, but Misty-Lee sums it up, “If people are uneducated
than it is difficult to make the right or healthy choice. I am not saying that everyday needs to consist of a plant-based diet, but choosing that once or twice a week will help your body as well as the environment. There are so many health benefits to giving your body that break”. Have we grown into the idea that a meal is unworthy because it does not consist of meat, transfats, chemicals, starches or refined foods? Are we afraid that it won’t taste good? On the contrary!
Misella Vegetable Grilled Panini
Vegetables and whole grains are the most colorful food groups I have found that offer endless opportunites to create masterpiece meals! Fresh herbs and combinations of spices complete these dishes, with or without meat. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating meat and it has a place in my diet. But I also see the benefits of giving my body a break from the slow digesting meats and pampering my cells with easily-digested and welcomed complex carbohydrates; a.k.a. fruits and vegetables.
Have we grown into the idea that a meal is unworthy because it does not consist of meat, trans-fats, chemicals, starches or refined foods?
Complex carbohydrates along with whole grains are the fuel our body requires to operate, and in operate I include breathe, think, move, speak, and function as a whole. To make all systems a go! According to Jillian Michaels in her book Master your Metabolism, processed and chemical drenched foods actually compete with our system causing confusion and over compensation. This in turn causes chronic illnesses, a lack of energy and in some cases contributes to the development
of terminal illness. Meat is however one of many ways we give our bodies protein. So with plants being our sole fuel source, then why is meat and highly processed foods, most of the time, given the priority? What are the benefits of a plant based diet? It was time I investigated. In my own quest to treat my body well and stay healthy I decided to embark upon a 30-day challenge. A diet filled with all sorts of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and minimal meat; eating a lot of food but all natural. No processed, refined or canned items at all. That meant giving up the Diet Coke and minimizing the coffee intake; going from four cups a day on average to one, if not zero. Challenge? Yes, but well worth it. I am on day nineteen and I have already noticed a significant difference. I have more energy, my sleep has improved and I wake up easier in the mornings. I am more aware and productive having a higher level of concentration. My skin is clear and my overall quality of life has improved immensely. With every healthy meal I eat I am inspired to explore more whole foods and I reap the benefits every time I do. With these simple changes I have lost four pounds, keeping me at a healthy weight. Thank you Misty-Lee and Sarah from Misella Delite for your wonderful hospitality and for your direction in cooking healthy foods in a delicious way. If you would like to learn more about eating delicious foods that are nutrient packed and will give your body the substance it requires, visit Misella Delite. There you will find a diverse menu with delicontinued on page 20
the community | A Safe Way Out
A Safe Way Out Shelter for Women fleeing domestic violence
Story by Hilary Darrah ome homes are filled with love. They are sanctuaries, greeting and comforting us at the end of a long day. But for some, homes are filled with fear and violence. Thankfully, the woman and children living in these homes have a chance to break free. They have WIN House.
“We are a woman’s first step towards getting out of an abusive situation,” said Sandra Danco, executive director of Edmonton Women’s Shelter, Ltd. (EWS). The WIN Houses, run by EWS, are shelters for women, with or without children, who are fleeing domestic violence. Operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, their services are completely free to assist women in need. The Edmonton Women’s Shelter started in 1968 when a group of people came together out of concern for Edmonton’s homeless women. An emergency shelter was opened in the basement of All Saints Cathedral two years later, and by 1973 EWS was incorporated as a non-profit. The first WIN House opened in 1978 and WIN House II opened in 1982. With these two shelters, WIN House became the largest women’s shelter in Alberta with capacity for 60 persons total and helps approximately 300-350 woman every year. In 2009, EWS made the decision to create a third WIN House, set to open in late April. This location will be specifically serving women who are immigrants or newcomers to Canada. They can face many barriers for escaping abusive relationships, and WIN House III will serve the diverse ethnocultural needs of these women. “There are growing concerns about women who are new to Canada and unclear where to turn to for help,” said Danco. “We really wanted to address that and provide support for them”. While the majority of the funding comes from the province of Alberta, WIN House also relies on the private donations of both funds and supplies. One of WIN House’s major fundraisers is the Win Fore WIN golf tournament. The tournament is held annually
to raise funds to cover the daily operations of WIN House and women in need. This year, funds will also be used towards the opening of WIN House III. The Servus Credit Union 20th Anniversary Win Fore WIN Women’s Golf Tournament will be held at Eagle Rock Golf Course on May 31, 2010. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and there are fabulous prizes to be won.
For most, ending the cycle of abuse usually begins with a phone call to WIN House’s 24We are a Hour Crisis line, 780-479-0058. woman’s first An assessment is done on the phone, with a series of questions step towards asked, such as when the woman getting out will need a bed, when was the of an abusive most recent incident of abuse, situation and where the abuser currently is. Once a woman has been admitted to the shelter, her stay is generally about 21 days. In those three weeks, most of the woman’s energy goes to finding a place to live and setting up the necessary arrangements to live on her own. While at WIN House, the woman are able to access many of the services offered. These include, to name a few: crisis intervention, weekly support groups, health care and support, child support services and referrals to other community agencies WIN House is typically only involved in the emergency intervention part of the situation. While follow-up care is provided, there isn’t long-term contact with many women that leave the shelters, which makes it hard to gauge accomplishments. Many of the women are satisfied to move forward and maintain the privacy of their individual situations. “How do we make a difference? You can’t always quantify that, how do you measure success
[WIN House] has allowed me to keep a level head, without being mentally attacked every day, so I have a clear vision of my goals
in this type of field?”, asks Danco.
These are bright and vibrant children that bring so much joy to the staff and volunteers.
“People want to know not just the numbers of how many do you help, but what is the impact of the service, but it’s kind of a mixed answer. Some women return, unfortunately, because they’ve gone back to their partners, but you’ll also see others return with a cheque and say ‘I was in your WIN House twelve years ago and now I’m a successful business woman’, so you have a range”. One of the final steps in the WIN House process is a completion of an evaluation. And this is truly where the impact becomes evident:
YESS wouldn’t be possible without the staff who invest so much of themselves to these children, as well as the volunteers and donations from the community. Food, toiletries, everyday needs, clothing, furniture and household items, as well as Christmas and birthday gifts are collected solely by donations. Individuals as well as businesses put forward the extra effort to donate left over food.
“[WIN House] has allowed me to keep a level head, without being mentally attacked every day, so I have a clear vision of my goals. And nothing’s going to stop me now.”, said one WIN house participant.
continued from page 7 - Kids find refuge at emergency shelter
things that individuals leave the START program with. The Youth Emergency Shelter continues a relationship with the individuals who graduate from the START program, through their Outreach program. They help them out with food hampers when times are tough and invite them back to the shelter to volunteer with shelter activities and share their experience and testimony with other kids. I could not hold back as I looked at a wall filled with the footprints of kids who have traveled through the shelter and its programs. What a difference this organization is making in kids lives. Not just to accept them off the street but to teach them that they are valuable and that they have a purpose in life.
“We found that 2009 was a really difficult year for an agency like ours who depend very heavily on our own fundraising efforts. We found that the people who have always supported YESS still wanted to support YESS, they just simply couldn’t do it at the same levels. With our homeless for a night event we had about one hundred more participants than the previous year, but we still brought in less money. People are being more careful with their budgets and charitable giving is one of the things, unfortunately, that quite often drops off first.” Last year YESS did not make the annual campaign goal of one million, falling short by about $225,000. Although falling short financially, they found that there is a lot more awareness raised in the community about YESS and the work that they do with kids. “People are interested in our sponsorship program now and are putting on events in the community in support of YESS, so we think that we’ve accomplished what we needed to in our campaign, although we realize that 2010 is going to be a difficult year as well.” Homeless for a Night is an annual fundraising event held at Telus Field on June 18, 2010. Participants spend one night outside of their comfort zone and experience some of what life might be like for a homeless person. It is an opportunity to raise funds for YESS and also to have some fun and meet some new people. Great Expectations is a one-hour session where you are invited to have a meal and experience what YESS is and how the programs impact individual’s lives. Contact Sue Keating (780-468-7070) to learn about opportunities to contribute to YESS, and with your involvement, impact the course of a child’s life.
the business | Got Bacon?
Got Bacon? Photo by Sherree Elm Story by Hilary Darrah
say bacon, and you usually think a) greasy breakfast food, b) pigs, c) the “B” in a B.L.T or d) all of the above. However, when you say bacon to almost anyone in the Edmonton Twitter community, they think Jerry Aulenbach. Jerry, or @ZoomJer as he’s known on Twitter, has managed to brand himself as The Bacon King. Though he’s a realtor, people almost seem to know him more as “that bacon guy”. Though he’s not as fanatical about bacon as you might assume, based on the fact that he owns a bacon costume, he’s been able to leverage this bacon-love into a way to market himself and further his success as a realtor. His career in real estate started about six years ago, in his third year of an Education degree at the University of Alberta. In the beginning, he relied mostly on word-of-mouth to gain new clients. He reluctantly joined Facebook at first, reluctant as he didn’t want to be perceived as jumping on the bandwagon, and now today, it is a major part of connecting with people and clients. Twitter came next due mostly to the recent provincial election, though his interest waned after the election passed. Jerry’s interest in using social media for his career grew, and he began putting more effort into using the networks in his business strategy. “I see it being a very important part of my business model from now on, a way of engaging in Edmonton’s online community,” says Jerry. It was only one tweet about bacon that launched all of this. After that, for some reason, people began directing bacon-theme replies to him. From there, his notoriety grew, which only helped to positively affect his career. Counting those who resulted in sales only, Jerry had three clients in 2009 referred from Twitter. In 2010, he’s already had two. He’s also used Facebook and Twitter to promote various charity events and has continuously been im-
pressed with the level of participation and support that comes from the online community. He’s recently been busy with two very successful charity events, for CAMTA and Haiti, as well as a bacon suit appearance at Calgary’s Twitter Haiti fundraiser. “It’s pretty amazing how tight the Edmonton Twitter community has remained over time. Each event brings out the regulars, plus a few new people who are always made to feel welcome and integrated, with very little effort. It’s as though Twitter is the common denominator that links us together, and once you meet an online friend in person, the friendship is solidified. After that, tweeting someone or Facebooking them has a different feel and you feel a stronger connection. I love it!”, says Jerry. What tips does Jerry have for other agents or anyone trying to market themselves? “If you want your online presence to be one huge fail, talk about how amazing you are and why you’re the best in your industry. You’ll look like every other bus bench, billboard and newspaper ad out there. If you want to stand out on social networks, be real. Have an opinion. Laugh. Engage.” Visit zoomjer.com for more information.
the business | Balance In Life Creates Business Success
Balance In Life Creates Business Success Photo by Sherree Elm Story by Shannon Clark
ost people fantasize for years about the day they’ll reach ‘Freedom 55’, but for one young Edmontonian, that day came early. At the age of just 27, Mark Holowaychuk has achieved financial freedom and could easily live the rest of his life off the passive income he has built up through his five-year-old online supplement company. But will he? Not a chance. He wakes up every morning excited about what the day will hold and now that he’s learned the fast track secrets to success, it’s only going to get better from here on in. As an eight year old child taking his first Flintstone vitamins, Mark always had an entrepreneurial spirit. “I remember begging my mom to take me to Costco to purchase bulk candy tubs that I would later sell to garage sale shoppers for a nice little profit”. In grade four, when most little boys were only concerned with road maps and action figures, Mark was already investing in GIC’s and savings bonds. “I was fascinated by the idea that I could make money while I slept and this is what sparked my interest in the Internet.” As Mark began purchasing supplements for himself at various online supplement stores at age 18, he quickly found himself disappointed with the quality. “I strongly felt I could do a way better job at servicing people who were really into supplements,” he says. After years of promoting health and fitness through his gym membership sales position, he knew the opportunity was right there to create an innovative and customer service driven online experience. On August 18, 2005 it began. Out of his 125 sq. foot basement office he launched LivePureHealth.ca, all while sitting in his PJ’s. Don’t be too quick to get the wrong impression though; this start-up was anything but laid-back. Mark would wake early in the morning and begin frantically answering customer e-mails before
the business | Balance In Life Creates Business Success rushing off to work his regular 9-6 at the health club. During lunch, he’d hurry back home, scrambling to pack boxes of supplements to be shipped out. After work, more of the same would follow. “I remember quite vividly nights where I’d be up until 3 A.M trying to keep up with all the demands. This lifestyle pace carried on for eighteen more months until Mark finally realized there was just no way he could excel at both and decided to leave his sales job at the health club. “Even though it was a constant financial struggle and success on paper wasn’t there, I had faith that I was building the groundwork for something great. At this point, I had to take the biggest risk of my life and see if I would sink or swim.” Shortly after making this decision, Mark was hit by what felt like a ton of bricks. He had been dealing with a customer out of Singapore who first placed an order of $15,000 worth of products and needless to say, Mark was ecstatic. Being the cautious type, he proceeded to call the credit card company to make sure everything was in order. After getting their confirmation and giving a few of the biggest fist pumps of his life, he shipped the supplements off and celebrated this milestone in his business. About a week later, a devastating call came from the bank telling him the purchase had been made with a fraudulent credit card and a chargeback had been placed. He then went to the police to try and salvage his loss but was met with more misfortune as they told him in cases like these the money is never recovered. “I felt like such a failure – like a loser who had nothing to show for my hard work,” recalls Mark. Going home that day, he thought for sure his dreams and all the sweat he had poured into the company had just evaporated right before his eyes. After a long hard week of reflecting on where to go from here, a surprise call came from the police telling him their counterparts in Singapore had intercepted the package. “To me, that was a sign that I was supposed to do this. It was like a second chance, a lesson learned that almost cost me my company,” explains Mark. “I have never felt so blessed in my life than at that very moment.” So with the $15,000 secured back in his bank account, Mark was able to stay afloat and continue
pursuing his passion. Using this lesson to fuel the fire, Mark was more driven than ever and turned the company into a million dollar business within a few short years. What makes it more admirable is that Canada was going through a deep recession where most businesses were seeing a significant decline in sales volume. Mark, however, tripled his overall sales. “What happens is shoppers become a lot more selective of who they shop with and start to shop around. For me, this was a blessing,” he states. “Since my store has always been based around high-level customer service, we really had that working for us.” He realized that the more value he could offer his customers, the more profitable each year of the recession would be – and it was. It’s very easy to glamorize all that Mark has accomplished, especially the first-class tickets to this year’s Olympic Games in Vancouver along with the week-long trip to Mexico just 9 days later, but this hasn’t always been the story. “One very hard part
Lessons Learned Stay balanced – don’t neglect interpersonal relationships as it’s these that bring you the fulfillment that you’re looking for in life. Success doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have anyone close to share it with. Stay consistent with your efforts. Don’t get discouraged when immediate-success doesn’t happen. If you stick with it, success will occur but you have to have the faith that it will come about when the proper work is put in. This applies to both business and life. Stay results minded. Ask yourself, ‘If I could only accomplish one thing today, what would provide the biggest impact on my business results?’ Once you have this answer prioritize that task above all others. This alone will have a huge impact on your efficiency. Take responsibility for what you currently have in life. Your job, your friends, and your happiness are all a result of your daily choices and actions. If you want to create change it needs to come from within. Don’t overestimate others and underestimate yourself. It’s one of the biggest mistake you could make.
of running an Internet company is the isolation you experience,” Mark says, remembering the difficult moments. “There were times when I would go days without talking to another person because I was so wrapped up in the business. Eventually it started to take a real toll on my happiness level.” Mark questioned how he could be having so much success, yet at the same time, not really be enjoying life. He knew he had better balance in his life so he turned to the community. Giving back to others is what would eventually bring him the fulfillment he had been missing. One idea that instantly jumped out at him was to create a community for Edmonton Internet entrepreneur’s to come together and collaborate, learning from each other’s experiences. “This was a great opportunity for me to give back what I had learned.” To get even further involved, Mark began doing one-on-one mentoring to passionate individuals who were really looking to take their business to the next level. “This is something I really enjoy because I get to see them have the success that I’ve already experienced. Mentorship was such a big part of my development so now this is my chance to pass the torch on.” Charity is another place Mark devotes his time and energy to. At the age of 20, Mark lost his mother to breast cancer. “It was an earth shattering event,” he recalls. Now, he’s made it a personal goal that by the time he’s thirty, he wants to donate $100,000 to a health related cause such as breast cancer. As the business continues to flourish, Mark hopes to use his financial success and freed up time to be able to devote more energy into giving to back to the community. “I’d really like to start reaching out to younger kids and help them see the possibilities that lie ahead of them ,” he says. “Many of these kids are not exposed to opportunities and resources that would show them the reward of entrepreneurship.” Mark really feels at this point, things are on the horizon. Business is growing and more developments are constantly coming to life, both within his own company and within the community. “It’s really an exciting process – everything is just snowballing and catching momentum. I really can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Mark’s Fast Track Secrets To Success Sell something people want and are looking for. Far too often people base their businesses on products that simply are not in demand. Guarantee sales for yourself by choosing your products wisely. Harness the power of technology for growth. With the Internet, you won’t need to train, pay, and supervise employees – you can train your website to do that all for you 24 hours a day. The number of sales you can make in a day are unlimited – even while you sleep. Use extreme leverage and outsourcing for growth. Don’t be slowed down by what you don’t like to or can’t do. Hire someone who specializes in this to do it for you. You’ll often get the job done better and it will free you up to do tasks you excel at. Educate yourself. I’ve never read so many books or listened to audio programs in my life. If you want to keep seeing better results, you need to keep on learning. Work with your passion. If you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing, it’s going to feel worse than the traditional 9-5. At first you may need to put in extremely long hours and this will be ten times easier if you’re passionate about your business. Always ask yourself, ‘If I had all the money in the world and had to do something to fill the day, what would that be?’ Copy and one up. Potentially my favorite tip is to avoid recreating the wheel. Use what others have proved to be successful and build upon it (one up). Do it bigger and better and you’ll be on the way to success.
the individual | A Day In The Life Of A Bus Driver
t was a crisp and snappy cold early morning, and I was driving the route ‘182 Fraser’. After pulling into the Londonderry stop, with a few minutes to spare, I decided to retrieve a magazine out of the ‘Free Magazine Stand’ in order to satisfy my crave for reading material. I braved the sub-zero as the cold went straight through my layers of clothing. I made my way to the magazine stand while catching a glimpse of the route ‘10 Clareview’ pulling in behind me. Even though I couldn’t see who the driver was due to the darkness of the hour, it made no difference in my action to greet my co-working comrade. I gestured a quick friendly wave towards the ‘10’ driver prior to making a mad dash back into my warm bus. With the ticking of the clock I soon made my way to Clareview Station, then in through the community of Fraser and back to Clareview. On my return trip into Clareview I recognised another driver ‘Joe’ as he pulled into the number 10 stall. After exchanging passengers, he sprung across the concord to see me and we chatted in my bus for a few minutes. Passengers who were standing around the concord soon interrupted our conversation to ask when the number 11 would be arriving. It then occurred to me that the route 11 bus was not there. The stall in front of mine – the ‘11’ stall - was empty. I replied, “Usually the ‘11’ is here by now” as I glanced at Joe for confirmation. I offered the only thing I could to the anticipating gentleman, “It should be here soon.” It wasn’t long before the end of my out-time when I noticed that the ‘11’ had still not arrived. As I pulled away from the curb to stay on schedule, I mulled over internally, “I wonder where the ‘11’ is. Has something happened – I hope he’s ok.” After my morning shift finished, I gave my parents a call – at which time my Dad answered the phone, “Is Joe all right?” “Where is he?” Taken off guard I replied “Joe is fine, he’s driving, and why do you ask?” “It’s all over the news!”, my dad explained in alarm “A driver got beat up in the east end, driving the route ‘10’! Joe drives the ‘10’ in the east end and the description matches – so is he alright, are you sure? When was the last time you heard from him?” And with that, the situation with Tom soon un-
A Day In The Life Of...
Drive Story by Marlena
folded. It was all over the news media; we learned with the public of the tragic and sad news of Tom’s ordeal. We were overwhelmed with the graphic details of his beating. Jaws dropped as we came to a grinding halt and were silent with dismay. It was unthinkable that this could happen to such a nice person, a mild mannered individual, a driver of public transportation, and in a public setting. The beating was brutal and we were lost for words. Tom was one of our own. At the garage, disbelief and sorrow gripped the hearts of our brethren and like a wave - pain, hurt, and then anger emerged. Our hearts sank, dumbfounded for reason and tears filled our eyes. That is why he never pulled into the ‘11’ stop at Clareview. How devastating it was to know what had taken place while we were wondering where he was. I was so close, yet so far away and there was noth-
ver ing I could have done. Questions like, “Why Tom?” and, “Why that time?”, and “Why that place?” began to immerge from my grief. Then a realization of, “What if it was 3 minutes my way – it could have been me.” “What if it was 10-20 minutes later – it could have been Joe.” Knowing that this act of violence against Tom could strike me or any of us drivers sunk deep and weighed heavily on my soul. I knew far too well that this wasn’t the first act of violence towards a bus driver; but it was the first of its severity. I could see this heaviness pressing on my co-workers as well. The morale at work was quiet and filled with sorrow for Tom. It soon shifted into the question of personal safety. Why should our jobs be so risky? Why should a driver be at such risk? When I was in Great Britain the past few summers, I noticed that their buses display signs warning against bad behaviour, attitude, and violence to a
bus driver while on a bus. The bold print stated plainly that these were criminal offenses and would be punished. They have closed circuit TV’s which exhibit for all to see that there are cameras on the buses recording at all times. This alone is a deterrent for inappropriate behaviour. They also have
The beating was brutal and we were lost for words. Tom was one of our own.
plexi-glass shields between the public and the driver. At first I was uncomfortable with the inability to talk freely with the bus driver but then it grew on me, and it became a part of the public transportation scene. I understood its value and respected continued on next page
the individual | A Day In The Life Of A Bus Driver its cause. Also, in Britain there no such thing as a transfer. Payment is required per ride! If one is in need of transfers, they are required to purchase a day pass or a monthly pass. And individual bus tickets can be purchased at dispensaries at the bus stops, prior to boarding a bus. “Why don’t we have that here?”, I found myself wondering. I felt that in Alberta we were behind the times, still acting on the honour system in place from our wonderful history. But our social landscape has drastically changed since then and we need to take a ‘step-up’ with our management of social offerings; of which public transportation is inscrutably front-line and vitally important.
A fight broke out on my bus one busy afternoon while I was driving through the river valley and up Conner’s Road. There was no place to stop, the traffic was heavy, and the fight in the aisle-way soon erupted to include terrified and screaming passengers as the fighters began to close in on their personal space. The fight eventually came towards the front, bumping into me the driver, and slamming into the door while I was keeping pace with the traffic’s speed. It was all I could do to stay focused and keep the bus steady on the road while in motion. From that personal experience, I can assuredly say that safety was a major concern for not only myself, but the passengers on the bus and other drivers on the road as well. The morning following Tom’s incident, another driver shared with me that the perpetrator in Tom’s case boarded another bus only a few minutes later and stood at the driver’s shoulder while he bragged about what he had done. ‘How safe did that driver feel?’, I found myself asking.
Just recently, thanks to our hard-working union, ‘Zero Tolerance’ signage has been added to our buses and plexi-glass shields are being tested for best retrofit. It’s definitely sad to see part of our ‘western’ heritage fade away, but one must realize that as we keep tempo with the progression of modern times. We must adapt to new ways of handling people volume and the management of public systems and public flow. Security is being upgraded, but it is still only as good as its availability when an incident occurs. What if you are a passenger on a bus in which violence erupts? What if you are a pedestrian nearby or a driver in your own vehicle when violence breaks out on a bus in motion that is passing your way? Would you feel safe?
The question of punishment is also a concern that arose. I heard some stories that in other unrelated incidences, the perpetrator was only given a minor reprimand, “a little talking to” and then let go. Was justice served? Or was the offence disregarded and brushed under the carpet? What will be the punishment for the perpetrator in Tom’s case? I am asking – and I know I’m not the only one. I’m sure many of us will be watching intently for the outcome and how the judgement by the court comes down. Shortly after Tom’s untimely incident, our union brought us wrist bands in support of Tom and in support of a bill that is currently before parliament; Bill C-314. The sign sitting by the box of wrist bands reads, ‘Toonies For Tom’. But in the bin I saw several $5.00 bills, $10.00 bills, and even $20.00 bills. It made my eyes tear to see the compassion for Tom. Surely this was love in action in the only way we knew how to give it. Hopefully Tom could feel our support for him. Bill C-314 advocates that offenders of violence to a bus driver be dealt the same level of punishment as
an offender using violence against a paramedic or a police officer. We all serve the public. Our service is different in form – but we all serve a public need. We are all out there facing the public every moment of every work day, in an isolated environment. There is no hiding place. Public transportation brings a diverse group of people together and we are all required to trust each other in order to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ in a timely, efficient, and safe manner. It really is a level of strategic honour; an honour system of sorts that we rely on each other to do the right thing – whether it is to pay the fare, sit safely next to a stranger, be safely and efficiently driven, or, as the driver, be a person who is valued and respected by the passengers. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
wishes to keep our buses peaceful. In regards to the payment of fare – what should be done? Could the whole process be automated so that the driver is taken out of the equation? As we know – not everyone thinks objectively. And when a skewed thinker who is distraught about the loss of a bag of clothes can escalate into a rage so out of control that he severely beats up a soft-spoken driver without hesitation – it is evident that drivers are incredibly vulnerable. The driver encounters a threat the moment a demand from an individual
So in your travels throughout the day, as you see buses coming and going, you may notice that some display the ‘C-314’ on their illuminators. Or you may notice a driver wearing the ‘C-314’ wristband. Understand that this is an important milestone in the safety of your community bus driver and by extension – your safety too. Support Tom, and help us by voicing your concerns to parliament. Visit www.gopetition.com/online/33165.html to sign the petition for Bill C-314. We drivers need your support and we appreciate your assistance. Due to the description given by the news media of the driver that was assaulted, many people thought it was Joe. That day, Joe’s kids also phoned in fear that it was their Dad. In the next days and week that followed, many of Joe’s regular passengers were surprised, relieved, and over-joyed to see Joe driving. Their eyes watered, “I thought it was you!” “I’m so glad to see you!” It was nice to see the care and it showed us how important we drivers are to you; to be a part of your on-going life even in the minor day to day activity of using public transportation. At this time I would like to thank the passengers on board Tom’s bus who called for help and who came to Tom’s assistance. We are so grateful for your speediness and attentiveness. And thank-you to the kind young man who put coins in the fare-box for the distraught man prior to his offense towards Tom. Your action speaks loud of the genuine
who wants a free ride is made. Somehow it is their idea that it is owed to them and the driver is just in the way. Removing the driver from the ‘fare’ equation would also remove the threat. Perhaps this is another line of defence we could explore. Tom, many people have expressed their compassion and sentiments of care for you. Everywhere we go – whether driving the bus, shopping, eating out or going about our business – people offer their condolences, and wish the very best for your recovery. Even though we cannot be in your shoes, and know how it really is for you, we have all grieved your circumstance, and are with you in spirit, comradeship, and in brethren.
the business | Confessions of a Meat-Eater continued from page 9
Misella New York Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
cious dishes to choose from. Misella’s also offers off-sales for items like signature spreads, sauces, soups, cheesecake, hummus, flat bread, and so much more. You may call in advance with your order, (780) 968-6714. On the last Saturday of every month Misella’s hosts a Raw Food night, a multiple course meal with a great group of people and lots to learn. What a great way to get to know your vegetables. Check them out at miselladelite.com and book yourself in advance. If you didn’t know you were sitting in a vegan restaurant, you would not think to question the pleasure you experience from your meal. In fact, you will likely notice the quality of the food to be extremely high and will be impressed by the flavor, freshness and creativity of the dishes. I am, and that is why when I go there I bring home a doggie bag with the next days meal! Did I mention they have amazing cheesecake?!
Disclaimer: Not all 88 Hyundai Accents priced @ $8888. Price will change with added equipment and options. Vehicle on special is Accent L model. Vehicles not exactly as shown. Qualifying for Guaranteed Credit approval - Must be employed with pay stub showing deductioins (EI, CPP, Taxes). May require small cash down payment. See dealer for details. Taxes extra. OAC
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Dodge, Ram Pickup 2500 SXT QUAD CAB LWB, 38,147km,
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Chevrolet, Aveo 1.6 LS, 22,170km, FWD
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10 Jeep, Patriot 2.4 SPORT, 2,000km, FWD
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Sherwood Park, Alberta T8H 0C7
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07 Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB, 90,174km,
780.989.3069 firstname.lastname@example.org 1311 101 Street
Chrysler, Sebring 2.7 TOURING AUTO, 103,469km, FWD
09 Dodge, Grand Caravan 3.3 SE AUTO, 21,508km, FWD
Dodge, Caravan 3.3 AUTO, 97,178km, FWD
05 Saturn, Ion .2 MIDLEVEL, 91,185km, FWD
Dodge, Nitro 3.7 SXT 4WD, 66,201km, 4WD
08 Chrysler, Sebring 2.7 TOURING AUTO, 38,997km, FWD
Dodge, Ram 1500 QUAD CAB, 86,374km,
07 Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB, 67,500km,
06 Pontiac, Pursuit BASE, 71,931km, FWD
08 Chrysler, 300 3.5 TOURING 4WD AUTO, 55,363km, AWD
Chrysler, 300 C, 125,787km, RWD
08 Toyota, Tundra 5.7 DOUBLE CAB SR5 4WD AUTO, 4WD
08 Dodge, Nitro 3.7 SXT 4WD, 87,164km, 4WD
06 Dodge, Charger 5.7 R/T AUTO, 77,868km, RWD
Ford, F-150 4X4 SUPERCREW WB, 59,780km, 4WD
09 Jeep, Compass 2.4 SPORT 4WD, 23,209km, 4WD
Dodge, Nitro 3.7 SXT, 43,476km, RWD
08 Jeep, Grand Cherokee 3.7 LAREDO 4WD AUTO, 112,629km
07 Chrysler, 300 5.7 C AUTO, 37,646km, RWD
09 Dodge, Charger 5.7 R/T AUTO, 4,418km, RWD
Edmonton, Alberta T6X 1A1
Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB, 79,854km,
Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB, 74,000km, 4WD
Dodge, Ram Pickup 3500 QUAD CAB, 250km,
09 Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB SWB AUTO, 1,447km,
07 Dodge, Ram 1500 QUAD CAB 4x4, 151,534km,
08 Chevrolet, Colorado 2.9 Z85 LS REGULAR CAB, 25,668km
07 GMC, Sierra CLASSIC 1500 CREW CAB, 121,785km, RWD
07 Mitsubishi, Eclipse 3.8 GT, 49,189km, FWD
07 Dodge, Ram 1500 QUAD CAB 4x4 Laramie, -km, 4WD
780.989.3069 email@example.com 1311 101 Street
Chrysler, PT Cruiser 103 WB SPORTS VAN, 75,225km, FWD
Chevrolet, Avalanche 1500 4X4, -km, 4WD
Mitsubishi, Eclipse GT, 124,812km, FWD
Jeep, Wrangler 3.8 X 4WD, 39,500km, 4WD
Dodge, Caliber 1.8 SE, 59,002km, FWD
Dodge, Nitro 3.7 SXT 4WD, 57,667km, 4WD
05 Chevrolet, Malibu Maxx LS, 122,701km, FWD
Mazda, Mazda3 103.9 WB MAZDA3I, 66,154km, FWD
Audi, A6 3.0 QUATTRO TIPTRONIC, 97,983km, AWD
Dodge, Durango 4.7 SLT 4WD AUTO, 83,847km, AWD
05 Chevrolet, Malibu -, 109,414km, FWD
Kia, Sorento 3.5 4WD, 77,677km, 4WD
06 Mazda, Mazda6 2.3, 109,861km, FWD
09 Dodge, Caliber 1.8 SXT, 11,124km, FWD
08 Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 CAB, 50,162km,
06 Chrysler, 300 6.1 C SRT8 AUTO, 127,902km, RWD
Edmonton, Alberta T6X 1A1
08 Dodge, Grand Caravan 3.3 SE AUTO, 57,213km, FWD
08 Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB, 43,326km,
08 Dodge, Dakota 3.7 SXT 4WD CREW CAB, 39,810km, 4WD
09 Dodge, Dakota 3.7 SXT CREW CAB 4WD AUTO, 32,260km
06 Jeep, Liberty RENEGADE, 44,506km, 4WD
08 Chrysler, 300 3.5 TOURING AUTO, 29,102km, RWD
06 Dodge, Grand Caravan 3.3 AUTO, 82,113km, FWD
Jeep, Liberty LIMITED, 50,107km, 4WD
Dodge, Ram Pickup 1500 QUAD CAB, 75,579km,
07 Jeep, Grand Cherokee 3.7 LAREDO 4WD AUTO, 77,812km
06 Jeep, Grand Cherokee OVERLAND, 83,397km, AWD
Ford, Escape 3.0 XLT V6 4WD AUTO, 13,539km, AWD
05 Chrysler, Pacifica TOURING AWD, 59,838km, 4WD
08 Jeep, Liberty 3.7 SPORT 4WD, 56,580km, 4WD
07 Dodge, Nitro 3.7 SXT 4WD, 71,521km, 4WD
Ford, Ranger 4.0 SUPERCAB LWB 4WD, 8,967km, 4WD
08 Dodge, Caliber 1.8 SXT, 46,898km, FWD
Ford, Five Hundred LIMITED AWD, 83,946km, AWD
08 Jeep, Wrangler 3.8 UNLIMITED SAHARA 4WD, 55,450km, 4WD
09 Chrysler, Town & Country 4.0 TOURING AUTO, 28,456km
07 Dodge, Ram 1500 QUAD CAB, 66,615km,
08 GMC, Envoy 4.2 4WD AUTO, 41,210km, 4WD
04 Ford, F-150 4X4 SUPERCAB FLARESIDE, 103,126km, 4WD
05 Mitsubishi, Galant ES, 85,428km, FWD
05 Chrysler, PT Cruiser 103 WB Sports Van, 48,000km, FWD
780.989.3069 firstname.lastname@example.org 1311 101 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6X 1A1
Transit Terror Where Would You End Up? FREE Mark Holowaychuk shares his thoughts on happiness within success Staying healthy never tasted so...