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Saskatchewan

Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

Regina

Saskatoon

phot os: Get t y Im ag e s

index

Saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

SaskTel ...................................................................

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Editor

Wheaton GMC Buick Cadillac Ltd..................

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Contributing writers

Palliser Rooms / EQ3 ........................................

8

Board Dynamics ...............................................

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Home Building Centre......................................

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J e a n n i e A r m s t ro n g

Tom Eremondi J o nat h a n H a m e l i n H i l a ry K l a s s e n A n d r ew L i v i n g s t o n e J o a n n e Pau l s o n C a ro l T o d d

Contributing photographers

E l a i n e M a r k , D & M I m ag e s S h aw n F u lt o n Ph o t o g r a ph y V i e n na D i Ru s c i o Ph o t o g r a ph y

Suncoast Enclosures......................................... 14

De s i g n

Prairie Aquatics & Exotics................................ 16

L e s l ey C o ck bu r n C h r i s t i n e Pe a r c e

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association ............................................ 18 Miller Thomson LLP.......................................... 20 This section was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content studio.

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sasktel

New SaskTel Data Centre in Saskatoon Certified Tier III With construction of the new SaskTel Tier III Data Centre in Saskatoon nearing completion, another layer of defence has been added to the already robust data protection systems in place in our fine province. SaskTel is a leading innovator in the world of information technology. The building contract was awarded to Graham Construction last fall, with a projected completion date of October 2016. The Uptime Institute endorsed the design, as it meets all Tier III requirements. The Uptime Institute is an unbiased advisory organization focused on improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of business-critical infrastructure through innovation, collaboration, and independent certifications. In today’s demanding, ever evolving and technologically driven world, the protection of data is infinitely important. Whether the information is that of a person or a business, it should be safeguarded with the most robust systems available. “Every feature of a data centre is designed to be a benefit, from the facilities we use, to the backup power generation, to the way the buildings are hardened, and to all the staff and their qualifications,” notes Todd Blahitka, Operations Manager for all the SaskTel Data Centres. “The new Tier III Data Centre in Saskatoon will run concurrently maintainable electrical and mechanical components,” continues Blahitka. “The critical functions of a data centre are to provide secure power, cooling and network connectivity, so this means that there will be two of each saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

component to ensure that the vital equipment housed by the centre will not have any downtime, and it can be maintained without impacting customers.” For SaskTel, this is crucial. All of these essential components will be fully compatible within the topology of the site’s architecture. For over 13 years, SaskTel has been providing data centre services in locations across the province. Back then, the company had the foresight to see the growth of the digital age, and with today’s mounting reliance on technology, SaskTel made the right move. These facilities are currently home to crucial files from a wide range of clients—including government, corporate and private parties in cities and municipalities all over the continent. An increasing number of customers are searching for superior ways to protect themselves against losing essential information. The fact that an even more enhanced version of this world-class and cutting-edge technology is soon to be based in Saskatchewan is great news for the province. These data centres offer a great number of services, including managed hosting and colocation services. Managed hosting can mean anything from storage and backup to virus protection, patching, monitoring and alarming, and load balancing. Colocation allows customers to occupy space at the data centre, and use its power and cooling infrastructure services, bandwidth capacity, and 24/7 security personnel patrolling the building. The client maintains control of equipment, data, and applications; SaskTel manages and maintains the foundation to keep them up and running. There have been zero outages and zero unavailable time in all currently existing facilities, which translates to a real-time availability of 100 per cent. In a world where connectivity and reliability are of the utmost importance, this impeccable standard of service is unmatched. All of these applications and their various components are customizable. SaskTel’s highly skilled professional IT staff members provide superior support. According to Blahitka, SaskTel’s dedication to its customers is top of mind. “They can depend on us to be their remote hands, remote eyes,” he says. “A customer can ask us to do anything, from ordering their equipment to installing it for them. “In addition to our Uptime-certified Tier III data centre, there are even more amenities,” notes Blahitka. “Things like boardrooms for on-site meetings, workstations for technicians, server lifts, and supply cabinets equipped with everything from nut drivers, thermal imaging tools, patch cables, labellers, even Velcro ties.” The new Tier III Data Centre in Saskatoon will increase SaskTel’s data centre capacity considerably. The new facility will consist of 24,000 square feet of building area, including an initial 9,650 square foot data hall, expandable up to 30,000 square feet, and an additional 4,630 square feet for the second floor generator rooms. This will add to the space that SaskTel currently hosts—a combined total of 31,088 square feet in six different data centre locations, four in Regina and two in Saskatoon. To continue its dedication to providing existing and new customers with a high standard of service, SaskTel is anticipating the unveiling of its most contemporary data centre this fall.


Y o ur D a t a Safe, SECURE, S TABLE

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wheaton gmc buick cadillac ltd.

Customer experience getting even better at Wheaton GM Tom Eremondi Postmedia Content Works

Customer driven. Those two words best sum up the experience consumers have at Saskatoon auto dealer, Wheaton GMC Buick Cadillac Ltd. That experience is always getting better, says Wheaton’s general manager, Scott Cook. Customers who’ve driven past the Millar Avenue location recently may have noticed one of the biggest ways that’s happening. “In June, we opened a brand new pre-owned building,” he explains. “It’s a beautiful new facility and we believe Wheaton is one of the very few to have an indoor facility where customers can shop for pre-owned vehicles in complete comfort. “We’ve also expanded our SGI Accredited collision centre and added a drive-through for the convenience of customers,” Cook says of another great new service. “SGI now allows certain collision centres to do their own damage appraisals. What this means for customers with small repairs is that we can provide estimates on site in the collision centre. Customers now can enjoy a climate controlled environment where

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

estimates are done while they wait.” This follows the success Wheaton GMC Buick CadilWe aren’t lac has had with a similar feasatisfied until the ture – its Quick Lube Express service. Open Monday to Satcustomer tells urday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 us that they’re p.m., the dealer offers oil and filter changes, chassis lubes, completely 15-point inspections and free satisfied. alignment checks, all at competitive rates. The drive-through service is also getting better, Cook notes, with the addition of a second lane for GM Certified Services. “This is just like the Quick Lube; it’s drive-through and no appointment is necessary. But, in addition to all of the regular drive-through lube services, we also offer tire rotations and other minor services.” He adds that both the collision drive-through and lube express are open to all vehicle owners. “Anyone can enjoy these great services and, even better, no appointment is necessary.” While these additions are some of what’s new at Wheaton, Cook says car buyers can continue to expect to see the premium brands in the industry on the lot – namely GMC, Buick and Cadillac. With 30 to 40 models in the three lines and a


Since opening in Saskatoon over three decades ago, Wheaton GMC Buick Cadillac Ltd. has remained customer-driven. The family-owned dealership has consistently earned top Customer Satisfaction Index scores, and for the past seven years, has been named the Consumer Choice Award winner in the new car dealer category. Ph otos : Elain e Mark / D & M Images

advisors and parts people who’ve been with us from the beginning. Our long-term employees have long-term customer relations that they maintain. People come in and they see the same faces year after year. They return because they feel they’re part of our family.” Those buyers have continually expressed their satisfaction with the dealership – Wheaton has been the winner of Consumer Choice Awards in the category of new car dealers for seven years in a row. “We continually achieve leading Customer Satisfaction Index scores in the province,” Cook notes. “It all comes back to us putting the customer number one. We aren’t satisfied until the customer tells us that they’re completely satisfied.” Wheaton GM enjoys doing their part to make Saskatoon a better community. For Wheaton GMC Buick Cadillac sales, service, parts or collision, call 306.244.8131. You also can find the company online at WheatonSaskatoon.com or on its social media pages – Facebook, YouTube Twitter, Instagram, and GooglePlus.

variety of trim lines, there’s a vehicle for anyone and everyone. There’s everything from the ultimate in luxury for the sophisticated buyer with the Cadillac and Buick lines. Those wanting a workhorse of a classy vehicle will enjoy GMC trucks, the best-selling line on the prairies. Families will also love the great selection of SUVs. Cook says Wheaton services all vehicles it sells with trained technicians. “Our service staff is training continually 12-months of the year. They work to stay current with all of the latest changes, which are many in the auto industry these days.” Wheaton is also home to a pro-certified auto parts department, he continues. “When you add it all together, all the services a car owner could want are located in the same place and one that’s conveniently located, too. Customers really appreciate our location at Circle Drive and Millar Avenue; we’re also conveniently situated for outlying communities such as Martensville, Warman and others.” Wheaton GMC Buick Cadillac Ltd. has been owned by the same family for more than 30 years – as a result, it’s not unusual to see third or fourth generations of owners on the lot shopping for a Wheaton vehicle. Customers appreciate seeing familiar faces among the staff, which numbers more than 100 people, Cook says. “We have salespeople, technicians, service

WHEATON GMC BUICK CADILLAC LTD. 2102 Millar Avenue, Saskatoon, SK 306.244.8131 www.wheatonsaskatoon.com

T he

o f D eale r s

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palliser rooms / eq3

Palliser Rooms/ EQ3 creates customized room solutions H i l a ry K l a s s e n Postmedia Content Works

Palliser Rooms/EQ3 offers a degree of customization in furniture design that sets it apart from other furniture retailers, according to manager Tristan Rawlings. Since the store opened in Saskatoon in 2002, the focus has been primarily on custom order furniture. They love to work with people and design rooms based on blueprints, paint swatches or other existing decor. For the sales consultants at Palliser Rooms/EQ3, it’s not just about selling pieces of furniture, it’s about creating solutions for people’s spaces. To deliver that level of customization, Palliser Rooms/EQ3 retains knowledgeable sales personnel with backgrounds in design and décor to assist customers. “Our sales consultants are wonderfully skilled at décor and design, so they can look at pictures and blueprints and actually build a solution for people that really works in their space.

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

That’s our approach,” says Rawlings. The Palliser Rooms/ EQ3 showroom is replete with beautiful suggestions, pieces that trigger interest and become a starting point for those solutions. The showroom features an extensive collection of Palliser furniture including sectionals, recliners, home theatre seating and high-end leather furniture. There are also exceptional dining, bedroom and home office solutions available. For dining rooms, the store carries Bermex, a Canadian hardwood manufacturer out of Quebec that produces a completely customizable dining line. Finishes range from a formal look to casual, rustic and distressed. Everything from the table top to the chair legs is customizable with a broad selection of style and colour choices. Canadian company DeFehr Furniture provides beautiful bedroom collections that are manufactured in Winnipeg. DeFehr’s bedroom lines present some great features, including headboard and drawer lighting, hidden USB ports, soft-close drawers, different options for nightstands and colour selections. This line of bedroom furniture is displayed in the Palliser Rooms/EQ3 showroom. Customization is a key value at Palliser Rooms/EQ3. They


Palliser Rooms/EQ3 consultants use room-planning computer software to illustrate design options and create an individualized layout that enables customers to visualize how furniture pieces will enhance their space.

has some of the latest innovations, with a USB port, and dual switches for power reclining and a power head rest adjustment. Palliser also offers lift chairs for people who may need assistance getting in and out of their seat. The EQ3 gallery features contemporary and modern pieces that mesh well with the condo lifestyle. These lines are more modular and customizable, with trendy finishes like marble tops and teak wood. The mix between modern and more contemporary items at Palliser Rooms/EQ3 appeals to a diverse range of consumers, offering infinite possibilities. Palliser Rooms/EQ3 has carved out a unique niche in the marketplace. One of the reasons is products are Canadian made. Another is that sales consultants have the knowledge to produce the level of customization and customer service that define the company. Customer service is a big focus for Rawlings; attention to detail is key. The company is seeing a lot of repeat business, and enjoying referrals from friends and family. “I think people realize the value of the products and they appreciate the value of the service and the solutions we’re giving them. That, in turn, makes them want to come back,” says Rawlings.

Phot os: el a i n e m a r k / D & M I m ag e s

use room-planning computer software to illustrate design options. The sales consultants are able to take the measurements of your space and create a layout using computer software to allow customers to visualize how it’s going to work in their space. These layouts can provide peace of mind for customers who are overwhelmed by the decisions they need to make, or have trouble visualizing the end result. In addition to computer layouts, large in-store fabric and leather swatches help customers select upholstery by giving the customer the ability to see and touch the various cover options that are available. Sectionals are a specialty of Palliser Rooms/EQ3 and the Elements collection from Palliser offers numerous modular pieces which allow customers to create a sectional ideally suited to their space. Home theatre seating is gaining popularity and is finding its way into people’s living rooms, not just their basements. New technology includes LED lights and adjustable headrests, while accessories like wine glass holders, tablet holders and tray tables offer convenience. Power recliners use electronic components to offer customized comfort. A modern line called ‘My Comfort’ has ‘hidden touch motion controls’ which allow people to set the precise degree of recline needed. The sleek and compact Banff 1 and 2 present similar technology. The Riley, another new style,

PALLISER ROOMS / EQ3 FURNITURE 2125 Faithfull Avenue Saskatoon, SK 306.653.6000 www.pallisereq3.com

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board dynamics

Board Dynamics creates paths to stronger governance H i l a ry K l a s s e n Postmedia Content Works

Effective boards typically don’t just happen. There is a high degree of intentionality in the processes and policies of successful boards. But some don’t function at a high level, perhaps because they operate by default rather than by design. Corporate boards have their own unique group dynamics that need regular assessment and attention to increase effectiveness. Irene Seiferling founded Board Dynamics in 2005 to help boards of organizations and companies find their way to greater effectiveness. A perpetual student, Seiferling is accredited by the Institute of Corporate Directors and has worked in governance and with boards for over 30 years. Located in Saskatoon, her company is devoted entirely to corporate governance and is the first of its kind in Saskatchewan. Seiferling has assisted over 200 boards with anything and everything they need to succeed. “A lot of what I do starts off with board basics,” she says. “I’ll do one- or two-day workshops on the fundamentals of good governance.” She walks the board through what their current governance system is and compares it to good practices. “They will decide what, if any, changes they want to make in their governance system.” Additional specific services offered by Board Dynamics include evaluation of the board, the CEO or committee chair coaching, help with setting up committees, how to run effective meetings, trouble shooting through dysfunction, stakeholder consultation, intra-board mediation and strategic planning. Seiferling works with start-up boards as well as very mature sophisticated boards. “It’s all over the map,” she says. Many boards are reticent or anxious about making changes or addressing dysfunction or conflict. Bringing in a neutral party, a professional who understands board dynamics, can mitigate any risk they might feel. One organization she worked with faced significant problems within the board. Board-weary members resigned and others didn’t realize it may be time to transition out. The organization had just fired their CEO who had stirred up trouble and the board needed an overall ‘refresh.’ “I worked first with the board,” said Seiferling. “We revisited the board purpose and structure. I asked them, ‘what do you want to be as a board.’ We did an intense day-and-a-half workshop and the lights went on.” The board did an honest self-reflection and saw the changes they needed to make. “They did a refresh of their governance system, brought new enthusiastic people on board, hired a new CEO, brought fresh

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

energy into the organization and they were relieved and reassured because it was such a change. That was heartwarming and I continue to do work with them,” says Seiferling. In the past few years, Seiferling says she’s been called by more boards who say they have a problem in their boardroom dynamics. “It takes a very courageous board to say that. It’s like saying we have dysfunction in our family. It is hard to admit that.” Where directors might see a “bully” on the board, she often finds this person is not someone who intentionally wants to be problematic. Rather the person may feel the board isn’t doing its job, so they become more forceful. But ‘forceful’ can mean caustic or offensive. “There needs to be conflict, but the right kind of conflict,” she says. Courage is critical. Individual board members need the courage to speak up, not remain silent or give people who are more educated or more persuasive greater sway. “What you want to encourage is conflict and vigorous and robust discussion about complex issues and decisions.” The board chair role is critical. The chair needs to be able to manage the agenda and the performance around the boardroom table. Seiferling does one-on-one coaching with board chairs, a position that is typically underestimated in terms of impact on board performance. Increasingly, boards are recognizing the value of actively recruiting members versus the “who do you know” approach of tapping contacts suggested around the table. A resume can provide critical information on competencies and background, but the personal attributes or characteristics of a director are the hardest to ascertain, in terms of how their values fit with the company or organization. Prospective members need to be asked about their interest in the organization, their beliefs and their time priorities. “We’re only now realizing how serious and consequential the work of governing is. You need people with relevant skills, integrity, courage and passion.” Board Dynamics also helps with succession planning for private companies, family business and professional service firms. Companies need seamless transitions that will help safeguard culture, philosophy, values and bottom lines, and cause the least disruption and conflict during change. Boards are also playing a greater role in planning for long-term sustainability and monitoring risk. Seiferling continues to be deeply gratified by her work. “When companies or organizations set themselves up for good decision-making and for long-term success because they have their governance structure in place, that’s magical.”

BOARD DYNAMICS CONSULTING 224 – 4th Avenue South, Suite 502 Saskatoon, SK Tel: 306.665.2233 www.boarddynamics.ca


Irene Seiferling founded Board Dynamics with the goal of helping the boards of companies and organizations become more effective. Seiferling assists boards in implementing the right skillsets, processes, structure and deliverables to achieve success. Phot o: Elaine Mark / D & M Images

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home building centre

Home Building Centre “large enough to serve you, small enough to want to” Tom Eremondi Postmedia Content Works

Ben Campbell, Warren Campbell and Don Rosten opened their business, Lumber King, in 1980, operating out of a small service station at Avenue K and 20th Street. Six months after opening, Linda Thiessen was hired as manager – she’s been a fixture ever since and recently celebrated her 35-year anniversary with the business. In 1984, the business signed on as a franchisee with Home Hardware Stores Ltd. and became Home Building Centre. Around the same time, they purchased the old Beaver Lumber store at 420 Avenue M South in the Riversdale neighbourhood. The business was relocated there.

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

In 1986, Ben’s daughter, Shannon Brossart, joined the team. She became a full partner of the business in 2005. With Ben Campbell and Don Rosten still involved but not in the day-to-day operations of the business, Warren Campbell and Shannon Brossart are Linda Thiessen now the active co-owners. They say there’s a reason the business has succeeded for more than 35 years. “We’ve always prided ourselves on service,” Campbell says of their long success. “We try our best to give the best service possible and we strive to teach our staff that the customer comes first.” “That really started with our dad from the moment the business started,” Brossart adds. “He instilled in us a great ethic of working hard, and always greeting and thanking customers.” “We still take the same approach today,” Campbell says. “We start and finish with each customer. We are the salesperson and the cashier. Many of our customers are known on a first-name basis. People tell us that’s a refreshing change from the big box store mentality.” A third generation is also active at Home Building Centre –


Don Rosten (left) and Ben Campbell (right) have served the needs of Saskatoon and area homeowners, founding Lumber King in 1980. In 1984, Rosten and Campbell joined the Home Hardware family and relocated their Home Building Centre to 420 Avenue M South. Ben Campbell’s son and daughter – Warren Campbell and Shannon Brossart – are now full partners in the family business, which experienced a major expansion seven years ago. Ph otos : El ain e Mark / D & M Images

of lumber up to and including built-on-site garages and house packages. If there’s something a customer is looking for that we don’t have, we’ll try our best to find it for them.” The building boom of the past few years has been beneficial for Home Building Centre but that’s also reciprocal. Customers know they can rely on Home Building Centre for qualified, expert advice and also for quality products. Brossart says another Home Building Centre tradition sees customers coming back project after project. “We offer free, same-day delivery and have done that since we opened in 1980. That was actually our first slogan. We’ve done our best not to change it because that’s how people have come to know us.” Located at 420 Avenue M South, Home Building Centre is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information, directions to the business and to view local weekly specials, visit HomeHardware.ca and make Home Building Centre your store. You can also call the store at 306.653.1323.

Campbell’s three and Brossart’s two children all work part-time for the business. Warren and Shannon say that, with all the kids in university, it’s too early to tell if they’ll take over in the future. Home Building Centre has grown with the city, Campbell says. Seven years ago, the original Avenue M building that was constructed in the 1930s was replaced with a brand-new 10,000 square foot store. The transformation of Riversdale also has been beneficial, Brossart continues. “The neighbourhood has really changed and come a long way since 1980. It’s now a place people want to come to.” In 1999, Roofers Wholesale was started by Home Building Centre. Located across the street at 411 Avenue M South, Roofers Wholesale supplies roofing materials from tarpaper to membranes to shingles. The wholesale business also offers the service of two conveyor trucks that conveniently deliver and load product directly to a customer’s roof. Beyond Home Hardware’s vast line of products, Campbell says there’s an advantage to being under the Home Hardware name. “It’s a good company and we benefit from their national advertising as well as their buying power. But they also let us operate independently so we can tailor inventory to the needs of our local customers.” While many of those local customers are contractors, he notes the majority of Home Building Centre’s clientele are individuals. “We see lots of do-it-yourselfers or people doing small projects like decks and fences. We also supply all kinds

Home Building

Centre Saskatoon

HOME BUILDING CENTRE / LUMBER KING 420 Avenue M South Saskatoon, SK Tel: 306.653-1323 www.homehardware.ca/Saskatoonhbc

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suncoast enclosures

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

Suncoast Enclosures extends outdoor living season across Saskatchewan Carol T odd Postmedia Content Works

Summer feels far too short here on the prairies. All winter long, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of those glorious sunny days, then do everything we can to maximize our enjoyment of the outdoor living season. Don and Kelly Larwood noticed that many of their construction business clients wanted to extend the usefulness of their decks and patios beyond the warm summer months and far into spring and autumn. To provide this service for their clients, the couple began searching for a high quality, durable screen enclosure product that would meet their exacting standards. They started exploring options and found the answer with Suncoast Enclosures. It was a perfect fit and the company has been custom building and installing Suncoast outdoor rooms ever since. “Suncoast uses a high quality screen,” Don says. “It lasts a long time and stops the wind, the snow and the bugs. With Suncoast, there are so many ways to offer Better

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

Outdoor Living for our clients.” The enclosures were a natural fit for the Larwood’s business, one that has continued to grow, with thousands of the company’s enclosures now in use across the prairies. “This can be a full three-season product that extends our outdoor living season for three or four months, so we can get nine months of easy use out of a deck or patio area. And, in the winter months, you can still barbecue or have a hot tub in there; there’s no snow,” says Don. Enclosing a deck or patio with windows or screens and a tough, translucent polycarbonate roof is the most common project offered by Suncoast Enclosures. The enclosure can be built right on top of an existing deck or patio, and is custom designed and built to fit and match the architecture of each home. Designed in a style to complement the house, the new ‘room’ becomes a part of a family’s overall living space. “The rooms can be heated which will give homeowners much more use of their outdoor space and with the three-season windows, you can leave your furniture out,” Don says. “The enclosures are very functional for three seasons at a


Enjoy Better Outdoor Living with the addition of a three-season outdoor room from Suncoast Enclosures. Suncoast will custom design the outdoor room to complement the architecture of the home. The enclosure can be built on top of an existing deck or patio. Ph otos : Sh awn F u lton Ph otograph y

margin of the cost of a four-season sunroom. Three-season rooms have really become popular in the home improvement market,” says Larwood, who expects that demand to continue to grow. The company now employs 30 people in Saskatchewan, with a showroom in Regina, located at 3401 A Pasqua Street. Suncoast works hand-in-hand with all homeowners, regardless of whether the house is a new build or an existing home. They also work with architectural firms, home builders and designers in Saskatchewan, to bring their projects to life. Don points out that many new construction projects are incorporating the enclosures into the original building plans. “We must get 50 to 60 sets of blueprints across our desk every year with rooms drawn on them,” he says. It’s not just homeowners who can benefit from the addition of a Suncoast Enclosure – the company can also assist in expanding indoor/outdoor space for commercial operations. Screening in the balconies of high-rise apartments and condominiums prevents the nesting of pigeons and gives apartment and condo dwellers clean, bug-free balconies. A screen room

or louvered roof can also enhance the usability of a restaurant’s outdoor eating area, extending its use and increasing the client base. Regardless of location, Don Larwood says Suncoast Enclosures is committed to continuing to serve the needs of those wanting to enjoy as much of Saskatchewan’s outdoors for as long as possible. “We do whatever it takes to meet the client’s expectations,” he says. Increasingly, those expectations include the addition of a three-season room. Winter may still be coming, but the future looks warm and snug from inside a Suncoast Enclosure.

SUNCOAST ENCLOSURES 3401 A Pasqua Street Regina, SK Tel: 306.761.1801 www.suncoastenclosures.com/ saskatchewan

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prairie aquatics & exotics

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

Discover the secret life of exotic pets J o nat h a n H a m e l i n Postmedia Content Works

Before opening Prairie Aquatics & Exotics in Regina, Stuart Cook was a customer out of water.“I found myself unable to find the things that I wanted in the city, in terms of both selection of dry goods and finding healthy livestock,” said Cook, who had previously worked in the fish department of a national big box store. “I often ran into former customers from the box store who had similar complaints, including a few who would come to the auto parts store where I was working (cars are my other hobby) to talk fish. When chatting with former coworkers who all had the same issues, we felt there would be demand for a place that cared about the health and quality of animals.” In 2012, the result of this vision was the founding of Prairie Aquatics & Exotics, which has quickly emerged as the province’s premier pet store specializing in aquatic and reptile

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

pets. The store caters to the seasoned hobbyist, newcomers and everyone in-between. “We stand out because of what we do differently,” said Cook. “Animal welfare takes precedence over sales. I believe that we have a responsibility to the creatures that inhabit our shop, just as much as to the customers who frequent it. If a home is known to be unfit, or if a customer refuses to inform us of what kind of environment they have, then we will not sell the animal. We want any animal that leaves our store to be going to a forever home where it will be healthy and happy, and for the person who takes it home to be equally happy.” Cook added that the company is committed to providing the most accurate information possible. “We want customers to know what they are purchasing and what kind of commitment is involved in its care, so that they know what they need to be successful. The end goal is to educate those who come to see us so that they can love the hobby and the animals as


Founded by Stuart Cook, Prairie Aquatics & Exotics in Regina has emerged as the province’s premier pet store, specializing in aquatic and reptile pets. Stuart and his staff are dedicated to educating pet owners and ensuring the welfare of every animal leaving the store. Ph otos : Vie n na di Ru s cio Ph o t ogr ap hy

much as we do.” Prairie Aquatics & Exotics prides itself on providing customers with the highest quality aquatic, reptilian and invertebrate pets at reasonable prices, while nurturing the local hobbyist community and supporting local breeders. The company’s livestock includes freshwater (fish, feeder fish, invertebrates, aquatic plants), marine (fish, corals, anemones, sea-stars, sea urchins, invertebrates), reptiles (snakes, geckos, bearded dragons, skinks, chameleons and more) and invertebrates (tarantulas, scorpions and more). The company also has all the dry stock you need to get your new family member set up for a long healthy life, including a complete selection of dried, fresh, live and frozen foods as well as dietary supplements. You’ll not only find a great array of aquariums and terrariums, the staff will help you select all of the other items you need for your pet’s habitat, such as heaters, lights, pumps, filters, water test kits and conditions, thermometers and more. If your pet is a reptile, you’re in luck. Prairie Aquatics & Exotics not only offers affordable reptile boarding with a variety of heating options available, but speciality reptile salads. These salads are jam-packed with ingredients your pet will love, such as dandelion greens, mustard greens, endive and collard greens. “There are many omnivorous and herbivorous pet reptiles and it’s really critical that they be offered the right foods. If the correct greens are not offered, they will develop health issues such as metabolic bone disease which can be fatal,” said Cook. “We started making reptile salads when a few of our customers asked to buy some of the greens we were feeding to

our store animals, as it would save them a trip to the grocery store. Initially, it was a great way for us to reduce waste and use up everything we had to buy anyway. The demand has been extremely strong and now we buy our greens in case quantities to keep up with our customer’s hungry pets.” One of the aspects that Prairie Aquatics & Exotics is most famous for is its custom aquariums, ranging from complete custom builds to alterations of existing units. Cook said it’s all about helping you find the perfect home for your fish, reptiles or arachnids. “The build approach is really based on the client,” explained Cook. “If a client comes in knowing what they want to do and what they need, then we work with their specifications to deliver what they’ve envisioned. If a client comes in knowing what they want, but not how to get there, then we will go over all the aspects of a system to help them understand what they need and ultimately deliver something that will work for them.”

PRAIRIE AQUATICS & EXOTICS 942 Park Street, Regina, SK Tel: 306.757.9443 www.aquaticsandexotics.ca

saskatoon starphoenix • regina leader-post

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saskatchewan construction safety association

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

SCSA promotes safety culture across province’s construction sector A n d r ew L i v i n g s t o n e Postmedia Content Works

Having observed the devastating cost of workplace injuries, Saskatchewan’s construction industry collaborated 21 years ago to form the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA). Since then, the industry-funded organization has worked diligently to transform safety culture and now represents nearly 9,000 member companies in Saskatchewan. Collin Pullar, President of the SCSA, strives to help companies realize the benefits and competitive advantages of developing a safety culture and implementing a safety management system. Pullar says there are three main reasons for companies to invest in safety. The first is simple and obvious: there are regulations compelling them to do so. The second is the human factor. Concerned employers want the best for their staff and strive to prevent workplace injury and suffering. The third reason? Implementing a safety management system will improve a company’s bottom line. “It makes good business sense,” said Pullar, who says the empirical evidence demonstrates that companies are more profitable when they protect their financial, material and human assets. “I have a graph that shows Workers’ Compensation Board premium rates that, in 1997, were as high as $11 per $100 (of

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

Companies insurable earnings) in the conthat have really struction sector. Today, most Saskatchewan companies are focused on safety paying premiums under $2 (per and managing $100 of insurable earnings).” When multiplied against an safety methodically annual payroll of $2 billion, in their organlower WCB premiums transizations often late into significant savings for the Saskatchewan construction become better-run industry. businesses. The process of implementing safety standards can also enhance the overall efficiency of a company. “Companies that have really focused on safety and managing safety methodically in their organizations often become better-run businesses,” said Pullar. “Because they take the time to be methodical in one area of their business, they carry that habit over into their marketing, branding, recruitment, how they manage their finances — it becomes one of the attributes of a well-managed business.” Education is the first step toward implementing a safety management system. The SCSA offers dozens of training courses throughout Saskatchewan. “We’ve got offices in Regina and Saskatoon, with physical classrooms in both of those cities.


Through comprehensive training programs and safety awareness demonstrations, as pictured here, the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association has helped to develop an effective safety culture across the province. Ph otos : Elain e Mark / D & M I m age s

“We’ve had companies that have come in with terrible injury situations, which have resulted in higher rates for them at a company level. We’ve worked with them to establish a system, establish practices in their workplace and provide guidance to their employees and supervisors, and, over time, they’ve been able to reduce their premium rates,” said Pullar. To increase awareness about the importance of workplace safety, the association offers attention-grabbing safety demonstrations to industry members and the public alike. “We have five or six key demonstrations that we take throughout the whole province, whether it be at work sites, schools or places that would be really impactful for people,” said Pullar. These demos include comparisons of the effects of wearing proper and improper fall protection and other personal protective equipment. Simulations of falls at heights using a custom-engineered trailer and life-sized dummy, along with other common workplace injuries to the head, hand, back and eyes are performed to underscore the real physics behind the regulations. Pullar is quick to acknowledge that his organization isn’t alone in the battle against workplace injuries. “Yes, it’s through what we’re doing, but also through WorkSafe Saskatchewan, through Safe Saskatchewan and the Mission Zero charter,” he said. “It’s a collaboration. We provide the training to companies, but the companies themselves take the lead on making it happen.”

We have direct, in-class delivery, and we also will do delivery on sites in different parts of the province,” said Pullar. The comprehensive training programs cover a diverse range of skills, from Fall Protection Training to WHMIS Train the Trainer courses. Online training is also offered in three different categories: Construction Health and Safety; Environmental Safety and Professional Development. The SCSA also developed an online Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT®) course specifically for the Saskatchewan construction industry. The SCSA SCOT for Schools program provides this orientation training to students at no charge to prepare them for entry into the workforce. With the completion of mandatory training courses, a company can apply for the Certificate of Recognition (COR™). “A company can earn a national Certificate of Recognition which identifies that a company has taken the required training and that they have put into place a safety management system,” said Pullar. Once that process is complete, the SCSA continues to provide ongoing consulting and auditing to the certified companies to assist in the process of implementing change. Currently, 362 Saskatchewan construction companies have attained COR certification through the SCSA. For individual managers, the SCSA offers the National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) program. “That allows them to have the skills to be able to manage a safety program for a company,” said Pullar. “It requires a number of courses plus some practical application and years of experience in order to earn that, but, as supervisors who work on site, they now have the skills to be able to recognize hazards and have the tools to be able to meet the obligations under legislation.” One result of better-educated management is a marked decline in premiums paid to the Workers’ Compensation Board.

SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ASSOCIATION 498 Henderson Drive 2606 Koyl Avenue, Regina, SK Saskatoon, SK Tel: 306.525.0175 Tel: 306.652.0907 Toll-Free: 1.800.817.2079 • www.scsaonline.ca

saskatoon starphoenix • regina leader-post

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miller thomson llp

saskatchewan Profiles of Business Excellence 2016

Depth before the bench Miller Thomson melds national strength with local expertise in all matters of law J o a n n e Pau l s o n Postmedia Content Works

National law firm Miller Thomson LLP was officially founded in Toronto in 1957, but its history of growth has deep roots in nearly every region of Canada, including Saskatchewan. The firm’s Saskatchewan roots date back to 1895 with the establishment of Balfour Moss in Regina and its later expansion to Saskatoon. Balfour Moss merged with Miller Thomson in 2011, taking the combined firm to 11 offices and 530 lawyers across Canada. “The firm really has a variety of histories,” said Kent Davidson, Q.C. (Queen’s Counsel), the firm’s chair. “One might say it began in the 1950s in Toronto. Some might say it began in 1895, when Balfour Moss began its operations in Saskatchewan. We take great pride in our history and the fact that other firms with whom we have connected can trace their history back to the 1850s, in southwestern Ontario. “The way the firm has evolved is that it really had its roots in Toronto and Edmonton initially, but we began looking for firms with like minds, like histories, with lawyers of high reputation and the highest professional standards across the country.” Miller Thomson has also merged with firms in Vancouver, Montreal and southwestern Ontario over the past decade and a half. “The history of each of those mergers has been the same. Chemistry is really important; values are really important; community presence is really important,” said Davidson. “That’s how we became what we consider to be Canada’s national law firm, in the sense that we have more offices in more cities than any other firm in the country. “You can rely upon a community-centric firm with people of high reputation and professional excellence – and who can deliver not just the services you might expect from a local firm, but those services you might rightfully expect from a firm with national breadth and national depth.” Jeff Grubb, Q.C., office managing partner for Saskatchewan, noted that Balfour Moss was a reputable business-oriented law firm deeply connected to the community. When the firm joined Miller Thomson, “not only did we have the lawyers with the local roots and local connections, we now had a major national law firm behind us with national experience and expertise,” he said. “In all respects, we’ve been able to serve our clients even better given the breadth and depth Miller Thomson brings from a national perspective.” Having a national firm’s support and specialized expertise

saskatchewan profiles of business excellence 2016

has assisted Saskatchewan’s offices to locally represent clients in areas such as sports and entertainment law and intellectual property (IP) law. Among Miller Thomson’s areas of expertise are commercial transactions, financial services, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, real estate, and labour and employment. Other specialized services include tax and pension law, health law and construction law – often in the realm of public-private partnerships, or P3s. Of particular note is the firm’s agribusiness and food specialty. Miller Thomson was recently rated by Chambers, an international legal ranking organization, as the number one Canadian law firm in the Agribusiness sector. “We’re very proud of that,” said Grubb. “We have developed that reputation by having a network of lawyers in all of our offices across the country who focus on the agribusiness and food sector. We present seminars and speak frequently at industry conferences across the country; we serve clients in Canada and around the world in this sector.” Miller Thomson has served several clients seeking to enter the Saskatchewan market in various respects. “The local lawyers have been very helpful in that regard, because they know the specific business, cultural and regulatory environment,” said Davidson. “With lawyers with those deep roots in individual communities, we are able to provide local insights into local problems, which shade the nature of the advice required,” said Davidson. “It provides that nuance and special understanding, which you can only get when you’re on the ground dealing with the people who require the answers to the problem.” The firm offers a strong francophone practice. Indeed, the Miller Thomson logo includes the words “lawyers” and “avocats” to underscore the firm’s capabilities in effectively servicing English and French speaking clients. “The professionals in our local offices are important to the local markets, but of equal importance to our national value,” said Davidson. “They add quality to our representation across Canada.” Miller Thomson serves Saskatchewan through its Saskatoon and Regina offices, with 12 and 21 lawyers respectively – as well as a full complement of support staff. There is also a satellite office in Estevan.

miller thomson llp #600, 2103 11th Avenue Regina, SK Tel: 306.347.8300 www.millerthomson.com

#300, 15 23 Street East, Saskatoon, SK Tel: 306.665.7844


A strong national reputation. Locally rooted in Saskatchewan. Strategically built on chemistry, values, and community presence.

‘‘

Kent H. Davidson, Q.C.

Jeff N. Grubb, Q.C.

Chair 780.429.9790 kdavidson@millerthomson.com

Office Managing Partner for Saskatchewan 306.347.8393 jgrubb@millerthomson.com

The way the firm has evolved is that … we began looking for firms with like minds, like histories, with lawyers of high reputation and the highest professional standards across the country.

’’

‘‘

In all respects, we’ve been able to serve our clients even better given the breadth and depth Miller Thomson brings from a national perspective.

’’

Miller Thomson’s Saskatchewan offices locally represent clients in specialized areas such as sports and entertainment law and intellectual property law, in addition to long-standing expertise in commercial transactions, financial services, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, real estate and labour and employment, among other notable areas of practice.

Miller Thomson LLP

millerthomson.com

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