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“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.� - Aristotle Welcome to the inaugural edition of Profiles of Excellence, a very special publication of The Richmond News. With this edition of Profiles of Excellence you can scan each photograph and bring it to life with augmented reality, each image in this magazine has been enabled with Layar. Just hover your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet over each image to bring it to life with a video. The women and men profiled in these pages come from a wide variety of backgrounds, education, experience and expertise. What they all share is what Aristotle describes in the quote above: a commitment to excellence - an attribute that is not born, but bred in training and repetition, in years of service to their profession and to their community. The success these business leaders have achieved reflect their standards of excellence, but the most important mark of excellence is the respect and loyalty of their customers. As you will discover in these pages, Richmond is a community steeped in excellence in a great many fields. We are very proud to present these Profiles of Excellence and look forward to many more editions in the years to come. Gary Hollick Publisher, The Richmond News

Download the free Layar App & scan the left hand photo pages in this magazine to discover interactive content.



Inside City of Richmond.......................................................................5 Back In Motion...........................................................................7 Nedco Western Canada.............................................................9 Sutton Group - Seafair Realty.................................................11 Misty Mountain Specialties....................................................13 Richmond Christian School....................................................15 Performance Construction......................................................17 Lafarge Canada Inc..................................................................19 Catalyst Paper..........................................................................21 Canadian Liver Foundation.....................................................23 Triumf.....................................................................................25 BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus....................................27 Guo Law Corporation..............................................................29 Allied Salvage & Metals .........................................................31 Trinity Western University......................................................33 Boeing Canada - AeroInfo Systems.......................................35 Disposal King Ltd.....................................................................37 Soo Jerky Ltd...........................................................................39 Richmond Chamber of Commerce.........................................41 Hansen Industries Ltd..............................................................43 Garden City Cabs.....................................................................45 Move Canada...........................................................................47 Writing: Philip Raphael & Benjamin Yong Photography: Richelle Akimow Videographers: Caitlin Hawley, Olivia Hui, Romina Puno & Jesse Tanaka Video Editing: Brianne Basque Design: David Nishihata Production Assistant: Joyce Ang Publisher: Gary Hollick Project Manager: Rob Akimow Editor: Eve Edmonds



City of Richmond M alcolm Brodie’s official title may be the Mayor of Richmond, but his duties expand far beyond sitting at the head of the table during meetings in the Council Chambers.

“Being mayor gives me a wide-ranging set of responsibilities here in the city, to work with staff and of course, our City Council to provide good governance for the City,” said Brodie, but he added the work doesn’t stop there. “In addition to my role as mayor, I’m a Director with Metro Vancouver (regional district), I’m on the Mayor’s Council for TransLink, I’m the Vice Chair of the Municipal Finance Authority and on a range of other organizations,” says Brodie, who was first elected Mayor in late 2001.

The thing Brodie enjoys most about his primary role though, he says, is being able to work with the people of Richmond — a group of people that he describes as being quite diverse, spanning different ethnicities and religions, and very much engaged in things such as volunteerism. Brodie said the strengths of Richmond’s diverse population and workforce have helped contribute to the city becoming an economic leader in a number of areas. Transportation and distribution is a focal point for the local economy with the presence here of Vancouver International Airport, Port Metro Vancouver’s local facilities and extensive warehouse and distribution facilities through Richmond. Combined with Richmond’s proximity to the US Border, its central location within the region and service provided by the Canada Line, the City’s access to both local and international markets is a major attraction and benefit for business.

Brodie also highlighted Richmond’s success in the aerospace and technology industries, pointing out that many of the top 20 high tech firms in the province are headquartered locally, like Sierra Wireless

and MDA Corporation. “Another area where we really achieved excellence is in relation to tourism. That’s a growing industry for us, and we’ve made some special strides in that in the last number of years. We work very closely with Tourism Richmond, the tourism agency here. We want to be the home away from home for visitors.” Going forward, he says the City has set several extensive Council Term Goals involving finances and facilities. A current major focus is planning what to do with the hotly contested Garden City Lands, a City-owned 136-acre green space bordered by Garden City Road, Alderbridge Way, No. 4 Road and Westminster Highway. Although consultations with the public and various stakeholders are now underway, he says it will still take time to realize any vision adopted for these lands.

“There will be many initiatives in terms of sustainability, especially the reduction of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. We have some aggressive targets we need to achieve by 2020.”

“We want to have a plan for the property in place by the end of our term, but of course it will be long term in terms of implementation. Just look at Terra Nova Park, it was just after I got on council in 1996 that we started assembling that land. And it’s been a work in progress ever since.” In the next five years, Brodie says the Official Community Plan calls for Richmond to grow significantly over the next few decades, particularly in the city centre. Managing this growth will require careful planning for transit and sustainability, to ensure continued community livability and mobility.

City of Richmond 6911 No. 3 Road Richmond, BC V6Y 2C1 604.276.4000

“We can change the number of parking spaces that will be needed. We will be encouraging people to get out of their cars to use public transportation.” he says. “There will be many initiatives in terms of sustainability, especially the reduction of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. We have some aggressive targets we need to achieve by 2020.”

PHOTO: Mayor Malcolm Brodie | Right: Richmond City Hall




Back In Motion G ood ideas tend to spread and grow.

It’s the same with businesses, if they are successful, they expand. Long-time Richmond firm, Back in Motion, has taken those two facets — good ideas and a solid business focus — and rolled them into one package which is helping people get back into the workforce. Originally started in 1993 as a small back pain clinic — the first private organization in the province to specialize in that field — Back in Motion has evolved, now offering not only rehabilitation assistance, but employment services as well.

“Back in Motion is an organization that first and foremost is a people business,” said Brent Mulhall, Back in Motion’s Vice President of Business Development & Strategy. “And we work with so many different people who are having difficulties and trouble in their lives when they come to us.”

Sometimes that means they are dealing with a chronic illness or have suffered an accident, a job-related injury, or are having trouble finding a job. “We are an organization where all of those kinds of things, we can help them with. That’s our credo — helping people work, helping people live,” Mulhall said. “We really do want to help and make a difference in peoples’ lives, and in the community where they live,” Mulhall said.

Looking back at the company’s history, it all started with a sore back belonging to a forestry worker who was told he’d never be able to return to his logging career. Back in Motion provided him with treatment, and he was able to start anew. Building on that, the company broadened its services in 1998 to include the Occupational Rehabilitation Program that offered customized treatment plans, to help individuals return to work.

In 2003, Back in Motion provided employment services for persons with disabilities through a provincially-funded program. Then three years later, with the assistance from both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Back in Motion began providing employment programs for new immigrants. Its unique characteristic was the ability to match the clients’ work experience, skills and education with meaningful jobs.

“Back in Motion is an organization that first and foremost is a people business.”

And last April, the company launched a new division, Avia Employment Services, which provides employment services to all job seekers — through the Employment Program of BC — in five communities across the Lower Mainland. Looking at the success rate of those helped, the numbers tell the story. On the employment side, 92.6 per cent of Back in Motion’s clients said they were satisfied with the overall services they received and 97.4 per cent would refer their friends. While on the rehabilitation side, 95.6 per cent were satisfied with the overall services, and 99.5 per cent would refer their friends. The reason for such impressive feedback? Back in Motion’s president, Dr. Debbie Samsom, puts it down to focus. “We know our focus, we focus on the people we serve. Those of us who have leadership roles within the company, we focus on our amazing staff who serve our clients. And we don’t veer from that focus. Plus, we are very clear about our core values, what our vision is, and the difference we want to make in the world. Not every organization does that, but I really believe that’s what all great organizations do.”

PHOTO: Dr. Debbie Samsom, President, Back In Motion

Back In Motion 290-3631 No.3 Road Richmond, BC V6X 2B9 778.732.0285 110 & 140-6651 Elmbridge Way Richmond, BC V7C 5C2 604.273.7600




Nedco Western Canada W hile Canadian electrical distributor Nedco has been in business since 1911, Marketing Manager Mark Estrada says most people wouldn’t have even known that the Western Head office is in Richmond right on No. 6 Road. Nedco West has 20 branches and is part of Nedco Canada with over 90 branches coast-to-coast. They are one of four Divisions - Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada and one of two banners in Canada owned by Rexel Canada Electrical; with focuses on the commercial, residential, industrial, datacom, lighting and energy solutions markets.

“We provide materials that are involved with the process of delivering electricity to end users. As a wholesaler, we work with our contractors who are in front of the end user” says Estrada. “We’re known to the people in our industry, but we’re not a consumer brand. You’ll never see a commercial by us.” This is precisely why Nedco Western Canada recently hosted a customer event in late September, complete with food trucks in the parking lot, to get to know some of their neighbours. It was also to unveil their brand new showroom. “We don’t want to be just a distributor with a warehouse in the back,” he says.

“We renovated our counter — we’ve been at this location for 24 years and we relaunched with a new look.” That includes retrofitting LED lighting throughout the 60,000 sq ft facility, and opening a bigger space to provide a more customer friendly feel. People walking in can learn about energy metering — Estrada says Nedco West is currently heavily involved in the energy solutions business — and how a customer can measure, monitor and manage their energy usage.

“Stepping into the new Richmond branch is like stepping into a whole new game and we’re ready to play in this space,” says Nick Ellis, General Manager for Nedco West.” “We’ve been looking to create a showpiece that is not only the standard in the west, but across the country and I believe that we’ve done the Nedco brand justice.” In addition to the many facets under the business’ vast umbrella, they also supply the parts needed for the electric vehicle charging stations popping up in places all over the Lower Mainland. At their facility on 4455 No. 6 Rd., they have four stations outside that have proven popular with local residents.

“We don’t want to be just a distributor with a warehouse in the back.”

“We allow for free EV charging at our branch in Richmond. We have [a neighbour] that comes in everyday, he’ll drop off his car before work and pick it up afterwards,” says Estrada. “There are always new challenges that come with our industry — technology changes so quickly and we have to adapt to it,” says Estrada. “Our team is excited about Energy, period! Energy in Motion is part of our culture and it’s how we think. We even have core values printed in our showrooms,” Ellis expresses (excitedly). “Whether we are participating in earth day or simply retrofitting a branch to become more energy efficient, it’s at the core of what we do.”

We enjoy seeing the same customers every day, it means we’re doing our jobs right.

PHOTO: Mark Estrada, Nick Ellis, Tim Busa, Steve Thompson

Nedco Western Canada 4455 No. 6 Road Richmond, BC V6V 1P8 604.273.2244




Sutton Group-Seafair Realty F or Scott Russell, General Manager of Sutton Group-Seafair Realty, the real estate business is actually in his blood. “I got into the business in 1980. My mom was a Realtor® and that’s how I got started,” says the 53-year-old, who still talks about his work with enthusiasm in his voice. He officially became a real estate agent when he was 20, but jokes that he was already working as a child.

“When I was nine-years-old, mom used to pay me to make sure I wrote down the names and phone numbers when people phoned. I got a nickel for each call. I got rich,” says Russell, laughing.

Working at other typical retail and service jobs like Birks and Safeway as a youngster growing up, he admired the freedom and flexibility that his mother’s career afforded her. However, the biggest attraction of real estate he says was the ability to build your own business. He referred to Realtors® as professionals who essentially run their own real estate practice. Russell got his chance to do just that while working in sales alongside his mother at Caroline Russell and Associates for several years, until the company closed its doors in the mid-80s due to what he calls a change in the landscape. “We started to see a pluralizing of franchises like Century 21®. We were independent, there was no doubt that you could see the strength of branding of the large companies,” he says.

is residential real estate, helping families buy a home in the community. They also take part in project marketing as well as development, land acquisition and commercial real estate. Now in a managerial role, Russell no longer actively sells but oversees daily operations, mentors and guides agents with their business.

“Building a community one home at a time.”

“We do strategic planning for our company of what the future’s going to look like in these communities that we’re working in,” says Russell. “A real lesson we’ve learned is that real estate is very, very local. For us, the success for our office has been that we have many people living in the community and are part of the community.” Having worked in the business for 33 years now, he says the biggest observation he has made is that people need to view real estate with a long-term vision. “Markets come and go. Generally that’s been something I’ve learned, having been in it so long — it’s the people who get in for the quick dollar who don’t last. You have to continue at it and you have to push at it. It’s the same thing with investors. You see investors who are really successful, they hold onto property for a long time. They don’t hold it for three months.”

Sutton Group-Seafair Realty 550-9100 Blundell Road Richmond, BC V6Y 1K3 604.273.3155

The two Russells moved on to Re/Max® for a couple of years until finally finding the perfect fit for themselves at Sutton, where Scott worked his way through the ranks and eventually bought into the franchise as a co-owner in 1991. With offices in Richmond and Tsawwassen, there are over 200 people working in the two locations. He says Sutton’s main focus PHOTO: Scott Russell, General Manager, Sutton Group-Seafair Realty | Right: Sutton Seafair Kiosk at Lansdowne Centre



Misty Mountain Specialties A s well as being a scientist and successful businessman, David Lee Kwen — president of Richmondbased Misty Mountain Specialities — also happens to be a really big fan of mushrooms.

Since 1997, Misty Mountain has sold wild, exotic, organic and cultivated mushrooms as well as other speciality forest products. Kwen says he’s had a passion for the edible fungi since his days first as a science undergrad at UBC, and then as a food technology student at BCIT. “I’m a cell biologist by trade,” says Kwen. “I [did] tissue cultures on different kinds of mushrooms and I found out the oyster mushroom was easy to grow. It looks nice and I figured it would be great on a plate in a restaurant.”

Besides admiring the aesthetic qualities of mushrooms, he also appreciates the fact that they are a sustainable food source. “It’s so amazing that you can cut them down, and another one will come up in its place. And all these things are used as food, and with that type of food you don’t have to harm animals,” says Kwen.

Before founding Misty Mountain, Kwen, who immigrated to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago in 1969, worked in a government lab as well as in import/ export and food processing where he learned tricks of the trade such as drying and freezing produce. His business started out primarily with mushrooms but has expanded to other forest-grown greens such as sea asparagus and pea shoots.

streamlining warehouse operations and resolving conflicts. “I come from a family that has owned businesses since the days of my grandparents. I learn from experience, and I’m constantly reading newspapers and books.”

Kwen has also engaged in professional development like leadership training and peer mentoring with his senior managers to try and address issues that arise.

The company is also heavily involved in the community, providing an annual scholarship to the Richmond Christian School and supporting organizations like the BC Cancer Foundation and the Quest Food Exchange. But making a monetary donation didn’t feel like enough so, last year, Kwen and his staff joined the Richmond Caring Companies program. Jointly run by Volunteer Richmond Information Services, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Ashton Service Group, the program gives businesses the tools they need to provide a positive local impact, like helping Kwen implement an in-house volunteer initiative where employees are given paid time off to engage in charitable work. “I joined the program so that my employees could experience that it’s not just about working and making money, it’s about giving back – especially to the society that created you,” says Kwen.

“It gives the employees a sense of giving, and they find it so much more rewarding coming to work at Misty.”

“Our mission is to produce and source the most comprehensive selection of top quality mushroom products and exceptional specialty foods for professional chefs, mushroom connoisseur as well as general consumers.”

Misty Mountain Specialties 130-13900 Maycrest Way Richmond, BC V6V 3E2 604.273.8299

Kwen began his business by selling door-to-door. Today, he operates out of a facility located off No. 6 Road with 18 full-time staff and 10 to 15 part-time employees depending on the season. As his business has grown, he has had to educate himself on how to deal with the challenges that accompany quick growth like maintaining sales performance, PHOTO: David Lee Kwen | Right: David and team members of Misty Mountain Specialties




Richmond Christian School T he group of Dutch immigrant families who founded Richmond Christian School back in 1957 would likely just smile with pride and shake their heads happily in disbelief.

received from parents who experienced the school’s culture and commitment to academics and the arts. “Plus, it was our passion for Christian education. And that seems to have continually snowballed.”

What the founders started 56 years ago in a small, two-room facility at Cambie Road and River Road has blossomed into a three-campus school with 1,000 students.

The $2.1 million expansion is scheduled to be completed by July 2014. Fundraising efforts are approaching the $500,000 mark, all raised by the school’s families.

“Those founding families were committed to starting a Christian school even before they purchased their homes,” said AnnMichele Ewert, the school’s Development Director. “They were extremely passionate about Christian education. And we have maintained that vision.”

“There’s a camaraderie amongst the parents — a willingness to give back,” Ewert said, “whether it be participating in our events, field trips or classrooms.

Over the years, Richmond Christian School has been located in numerous buildings across the community. In 1985, the school’s current Woodwards Road location was purchased and the elementary school (pre-school to Grade 5) was built a year later.

It joins the middle campus (Grades 6 to 8) and secondary campus (Grades 9 to 12), which are housed in separate buildings along No. 5 Road. Five years ago, the secondary campus was built, despite not having the immediate enrolment numbers to fill the classrooms.

“At that time, we felt that God had blessed us with increasing enrolment and being able to build the new high school would allow for growth,” Ewert said. That foresight has paid off as Richmond Christian School is embarking on an expansion for the secondary campus, building an addition that will accommodate seven new classrooms, a communal gathering place for students, and administration space.

“We’re still in the early stages of our fundraising, and it has been a joy to see how generous our community is, and how much they want to participate and help.”

“We’re still in the early stages of our fundraising, and it has been a joy to see how generous our community is, and how much they want to participate and help.”

It’s a feeling staff share, far over and above their duties in the classrooms, Ewert added.

“Our staff, are committed to being here. There are homework clubs going on before school starts, and plenty of support when it comes to extracurricular activities, where students and staff can come together in a setting that helps develop their relationship.” Attending Richmond Christian School gives students the opportunity to be passionate, awe-inspired leaders in their communities.

Richmond Christian School Business Office 10200 No. 5 Road Richmond, BC V7A 4E5 604.274.1122

“The day we opened the new secondary campus, we were at capacity” Ewert said, adding what drove the numbers up was the positive word of mouth the school PHOTO: Roger Grose, Superintendent; Edith Walker, Principal Middle School; Darlene Neufeld, Principal Elementary School; Jason Paul, Principal Secondary Campus




Performance Construction I f you have been on the dyke recently and noticed some new terraces along the way, you will have seen the work of local company Performance Construction. “We did all the above ground concrete work,” says Allan Deans, who came aboard as the business development manager a year and a half ago and brought with him several years of construction experience.

Formerly known as Progressive Builders — and Progressive Homes before that — the company performed a much-needed overhaul of the station that was originally built in 1978. “We’re a small to medium-sized general contractor. We do a lot throughout the Lower Mainland, basically doing housing,” says Deans, whose duties involve working with architects and building owners in both the private and public sector to realize exactly what it is they want.

“Although we do projects that cost up to 25 million, we still believe in giving personal attention to everybody. We’re not always the cheapest but we’re considered to be one of the best.” By personal attention, Deans means company president and part-owner Bernie Godler has a very hands-on approach to projects. Although there are talented individuals in the company in charge of day-to-day jobs, Godler, a professional engineer, has been in the industry for a long time and lends his expertise wherever he can.

Other structures by Performance Construction that may be familiar to passersby include the government-funded Lux building and Vancity Branch 6, both on East Hastings, and the McLaren Housing on Howe Street in Vancouver. In Richmond, they are renovating the 80room Rosewood Manor on Blundell Road.

Performance is also co-owned by Olga Ilich and Milo Ilich, both related to the late Milan Ilich, who founded Progressive and was well known in the community for his philanthropic endeavours. Deans says the Ilich’s role is mainly an advisory one, with Olga being semi-retired and Milo running another civil contracting business of his own.

As evidenced by some of the buildings listed above, Deans adds that Performance Construction tries to be a productive member of the community by helping construct social housing. That is something that was carried over from when they were still Progressive Homes, which worked on a number of projects for social and not-for-profit organizations in the 1990s.

“Although we do projects that cost up to 25 million, we still believe in giving personal attention to everybody”

For example, they helped fund the renovation of Rosewood, a non-profit residential care home for seniors with 24hour nursing care and supervision. “There are 80 rooms, we did four rooms at a time,” he says, so that the work being done wouldn’t disrupt the residents, guests or operations. Sustainability also plays a big factor in the business. Performance offers services to help their constructions attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, and partners with waste management companies that practice responsible disposal and recycling of all construction waste. “We do pride ourselves on being part of the team and not just doing things on our own. We are very particular about the environment and making sure that we are leaving a legacy for our children,” says Deans.

Performance Construction 213-21300 Gordon Way Richmond, BC V6W 1M2 604.628.9620

PHOTO: The Performance Construction management team | Right: The Performance St. George construction project




Lafarge Canada Inc. W ith studies predicting a continued global population shift from rural to larger urban areas, can the cities of tomorrow be “green?”

Lafarge believes it’s possible and is making the necessary changes today to make it a reality.

“By 2050, people anticipate that 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities,” said Pascal Bouchard, plant manager at the Richmond cementproducing facility, which in 1956 was the company’s first plant established outside of France where it had its beginnings in 1833.

“Here in Canada, that population shift, we’re already there. That evolution has happened over the last century or so,” Bouchard said. “And there will be a need for more construction solutions for all these cities to grow over the next 35 years or so.” Helping reduce the cement plant’s environment impact is the recent inclusion of wood waste as an alternate energy source, replacing traditional fossil fuels. This year alone, Lafarge is scheduled to divert about 25,000 tonnes of landfillbound material from construction and demolition sites across the Lower Mainland. The wood is collected, shredded and delivered to Lafarge in east Richmond where it accounts for part of the plant’s heat requirements.

“To make cement ground limestone, shale and sand is mixed together and heated up to 1,450 degrees Celsius,” Bouchard said. “As you can see, we’re an industry that uses energy.” But it’s at that high temperature where the key reaction for making cement occurs as the materials are transformed into new minerals that later react with water and become hard.

concrete, what flour is to cake.” But employing a new energy stream is not simply a “piece of cake.” “It’s fairly complex because of permitting processes as well as our need for a continuous supply of quality alternative fuels, some of which tend to be available in inconsistent spurts, Bouchard said.”

“Cement is to concrete, what flour is to cake.”

“But we do these things because we want to be in this business for the long-run, and we understand that to be successful, we need to continuously reduce our environmental impact, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Bouchard said. And that commitment — which gave birth to the firm’s new slogan “Building better cities” — extends beyond alternative energy sources. It also includes new, “greener” products. One is a line of cement called Contempra whose change in formulation decreases greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent. It achieves this by replacing a portion of the clinker — the limestone, shale and sand mixture — with extra limestone. They “cook” up less clinker, and make up the remaining volume with extra limestone in the Contempra, Bouchard explained. Add that to the already sustainable nature of concrete, and the future of current and new urban areas looks promising. “According to studies of building materials, the full life cycle of cement-built construction far outlasts other materials, such as steel and wood,” Bouchard said. “Concrete, made with cement, is your best option. It’s so durable and, from an energy consumption basis, it’s a very good insulating material.”

Lafarge Canada Inc. 7611 No. 9 Road Richmond, BC V6W 1H4 604.244.4300

“And with all the changes we have made to make it greener, it’s getting better every year.”

“Cement is the ‘glue’ that is used to make concrete,” Bouchard said. “Cement is to PHOTO: Pascal Bouchard, Plant Manager | Right: Emerald project




Catalyst Paper O n an average day, a Richmond-based company’s products likely pass through your hands several times, yet you probably never even gave it a thought.

But with big business numbers comes big responsibility. And Catalyst is proud of how it has answered that challenge on the environmental front.

Pick up a copy of Rolling Stone, almost any number of daily newspapers, the novel Fifty Shades of Grey —the fastest-selling paperback of all time — and even the Richmond News, they all use products from Catalyst Paper Corporation.

“We’re proud of being a leader in sustainability and have achieved best in our class for our environmental practices,” Nemeth says. “We’re engaged with the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, ForestEthics, the Sierra Club, and GreenBlue. We actively work with them on initiatives.

“Name just about anyone, and we’re a supplier,” says Joe Nemeth, President and CEO of Catalyst which operates three mills — Crofton on southern Vancouver Island, Port Alberni central Vancouver Island, Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. There is also a distribution centre in Surrey. Catalyst is ranked fifth in production volume out of the top 40 producers of graphic papers on the continent.

“We compete against the big boys across North America,” Nemeth says. “To put that in numbers, we produce more than a million tons of paper, and almost 400,000 tons of NBSK pulp that is used to make printing and writing papers.” And just as the company’s name suggests, its operations have significant economic impact, locally and across B.C.

“And we have earned a standing on the Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens of Canada for seven years in a row.” A big part of that rests with the company’s impressive efforts that reduced its carbon footprint by nearly 80 per cent since 1990. That was achieved by improving overall energy efficiency to include maximizing machine productivity to limit emissions per tonne of product, a switch to burning biomass over fossil fuels, and upgrades to maximize self-generation of energy using renewable and carbon-neutral fuels. Plus, Catalyst Paper’s ability to reduce the thickness of its paper by 10 to 15 per cent without losing opacity has helped reduce their customers’ carbon footprint thanks to weight-to-cost savings in postage and distribution efficiencies.

For a start, there are 1,600 people directly employed by Catalyst — 130 of whom work in Richmond. But the firm’s spinoff effect goes much further.

So, what drives a company to make those kinds of changes when it takes time, effort and money to “go green?”

“We have a lot of key suppliers whose livelihood is dependent upon our success,” Nemeth says, adding the number of jobs Catalyst generates is estimated at 7,000. “So, we’re a big deal in the province of B.C.”

“Today, environmental responsibility is a mainstream mandate,” Nemeth says. “When I was a kid it was ‘nice to be green.’ But you look at my children today. If you’re not green, you get crucified. You get rubbed out. You lose your social licence to operate, period.

Big, too, is the economic impact Catalyst has on Richmond, and the rest of the province. “We spend $20 million a year in Richmond alone with different vendors and suppliers,” Nemeth says. “And our economic benefit to the province is around $2 billion. So, we have a very broad impact.” PHOTO: Joe Nemeth, President and CEO

“We’re proud of being a leader in sustainability and have achieved best in our class for our environmental practices.”

Catalyst Paper 200-3600 Lysander Lane Richmond, BC V7B 1C3 604.247.4400

“It does take investment,” Nemeth adds. “But by cleaning up your environmental act, you actually reduce waste, you become more efficient, and cost effective. “But, above all, it’s the right thing to do.”




Canadian Liver Foundation E lena Murgoci doesn’t feel like she needs a reminder as to why she heads up the BC/Yukon region of the Canadian Liver Foundation. More than a half dozen times a month, the phone rings and it’s made pretty clear.

The calls are from people who have been recently diagnosed with liver disease, and Murgoci, the foundation’s regional director for British Columbia/Yukon, is often the first person they call.

“People are, often, distraught. They’ve talked to their doctor, given the diagnosis, but they are in shock and want to have further information,” Murgoci says. “So, in many ways I am kind of like a psychologist, calming people down, letting them know they will get better and life is not over.”

While she stresses she is not a medical professional, Murgoci says she deals with other, non-clinical aspects that delve into the social stigma which still surrounds liver disease. “Many people who call are saying, ‘I don’t know how I got this,’ or ‘how am I going to tell my friends?’” It’s a scenario that all too sadly is occurring as liver disease cases are on the rise, particularly with younger people.

“Liver disease is on the rise with children,” Murgoci says. “There’s more than 100 liver diseases, and fatty liver is number one because of the prevalence of obesity in society today with a lack of exercise and poor choice in food selection.” The foundation’s focus in Richmond has also been sharpened because of the local ethnic demographics which is heavily weighted to the Asian population that has a high rate of hepatitis B.

To help spread the word locally about what the foundation does to help those diagnosed with liver disease, Murgoci joined the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

Paul Cheung, CEO of the International Night Summer Market who was instrumental in helping to organize the first “Stroll For Liver” fundraiser at Gary Point Park back in August,” Murgoci says.

Plus, numerous appearances to lecture at schools, businesses and community groups has allowed her to inform the public that the foundation was started in 1969 by a group of medical and professional people in Toronto who felt there was a need to raise awareness for the rising incidents of liver disease. It is the first organization in the world to raise money for liver disease research. The first liver transplant in Canada was performed in 1970 in Montreal.

“Liver disease is on the rise with children”

“A lot of people are not aware of us because we are considered a smaller organization. Without the support of our volunteers/board members, the foundation could not function effectively,” she says. “But here in B.C., and across Canada, we are here to raise awareness through our fundraising efforts and educational programs. And that latter part is a vital component given the link of liver disease to cancer.” “The World Health Organization states that hepatitis B is the fourth-leading cause of liver cancer. And we came out with a report in April covering the crisis no one wants to talk about,” Murgoci says. “It has tripled in men and doubled in women.” The report, Liver Disease in Canada: A Crisis in the Making, showed that over a period of only eight years, the death rate from liver disease has risen nearly 30 per cent. And yet, unlike other major diseases, there has been no national strategy put in place for a public health response to liver disease.

Canadian Liver Foundation 109-828 West 8th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 1E2 604.707.6430

The report also estimated that one in 10 Canadians, or more than 3 million people, has some form of liver disease. It’s for all of those reasons — education, awareness, and support — and more, that Murgoci loves what she does for the foundation, and what the foundation does for people, particularly here in British Columbia.

“I have met a lot of wonderful people like PHOTO: Elena Murgoci, Regional Director





“What are isotopes, and why should anybody care?”

The rhetorical question comes from Timothy Meyer, Head of Strategic Planning & Communication at TRIUMF, based near UBC, one of the leading subatomic-physics labs on the planet that produces isotopes for science and medicine. Well, if you’ve heard of Silicon Valley, just outside of San Francisco, California and know it’s the world’s epicentre for high-tech computer and software development, get ready for the Lower Mainland to become known as “Isotope Valley.” That’s the vision TRIUMF, a publicly funded research facility, is working on with the help of numerous Richmond-based firms. Combined, they are advancing isotopes for discoveries and applications. So, what exactly are isotopes?

“Isotopes are essentially different ‘flavours’ of the chemical elements already in our bodies,” Meyer explained. “And when I say ‘flavours,’ I mean it behaves the same way in your body, except that it has a half-life.” That means it’s radioactive and will at some point decay.

In medicine, isotopes are used for diagnosis and imaging. To do so, scientists replace one ordinary atom, say carbon, of a molecule with a radioactive version of carbon; the modified molecule is then injected into the patient’s bloodstream. And wherever the molecule goes, when the carbon atom finally decays, it emits a signal detectable outside the body. “So, now we know where that molecule is and what it is doing. That’s the whole premise of isotopes as tracers.” One of the most widely used isotopes is technetium which is used to scan for blood flow in heart muscles if you have had a heart attack. It’s also used for detecting cancer. But it’s not just medical applications that can benefit from this technology. For example, Meyer said it can be used in agriculture to study how nitrogen is absorbed in plants. “We are breaking into using isotopes to trace the movement of compounds in the environment such as pollutants or even carbon for sequestration.” Looking to the future, TRIUMF is also exploring ways to use the tracing ability of isotopes in drug development.

“You can make a drug that targets a disease, but how do I know when you pop it in your mouth that it goes to the region of interest,” Meyer said. “Using isotopes we can label and track the drug.” One local firm helping develop the particle accelerators that produce isotopes is Richmond’s Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Inc. (ACSI) “ACSI’s parent company helped build TRIUMF in the 1970s, and now ACSI makes medical cyclotrons based on a TRIUMF design and sells them around the world. “ Meyer said. “And they now have a major percentage of the world market share.” That amounts to about 10 to 20 units annually, with each worth millions of dollars.

“We know where that molecule is and what it is doing. That’s the whole premise of isotopes as tracers.”

Isotope Valley starts even closer to TRIUMF than Richmond. “We also work with Nordion, which has a branch plant here in BC. And they sell about 2.5 million patient doses of isotopes every year out of our backyard.” TRIUMF works with the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) and used to supply them with isotopes to scan 3,000 patients a year for cancer until BCCA acquired their own (ACSI) cyclotron and now makes many of their own isotopes. And Richmond’s PAVAC Industries Inc. is building next generation particle accelerators for isotope production. “There is a lot of expertise in this region, and TRIUMF is a potential hub for it,” Meyer said. One of the goals on the road to creating “Isotope Valley” is using TRIUMF’s technology to replace the old way of producing isotopes in a nuclear reactor using weaponsgrade uranium. TRIUMF’s Dr. Paul Schaffer is leading this effort with a team that includes ACSI, Nordion, and BCCA. “Here in B.C., we are leading the world by working with partners to deploy Paul and his team’s technology that doesn’t use uranium. Everyone can make it in their local hospital,” Meyer said.

TRIUMF 4004 Wesbrook Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 2A3 604.222.1047

Hopes are that “Isotope Valley” will become a reality with the B.C. team pulling together the healthcare, business, research and development elements to fuel a hotbed of discovery and innovation for dozens of companies and tens of thousands of people.

PHOTO: Paul Schaffer, Head of Nuclear Medicine Division




BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus M any people, and not just men, likely have memories of playing with toy cars, trains and planes while growing up. Gordon Turner, Associate Dean of Transportation at BCIT Aerospace, is definitely one of them.

“I grew up around an airport in Montreal, Dorval Airport, and I used to see airplanes going up all the time. When I found out there was an aviation program, I was eager to join. Turned out, I made a career out of it,” says Turner, laughing.

After a 31-year career at Air Canada, mostly in Ontario, he moved to Vancouver three-and-a-half years ago and now works out of the 285,000 square-foot technology campus. Located across from the South Terminal at the Vancouver International Airport, the building features over 40 classrooms, research and training labs, lecture halls, an aviation library and a flight simulator. It also features one of the largest all-glass hangers in Canada.

Although the bulk of his career was spent in aircraft maintenance, he also spent a significant part of his career delivering and managing training technicians on a variety of aircraft and subjects, an experience which has come in handy in his current role as associate dean. “My main duties are to manage our five programs here at the aerospace campus.”

Turner says the largest program is the aircraft maintenance diploma, which produces 175 graduates every year. Grads are equipped with the skills to handle the day-to-day maintenance of aircraft and find employment with companies across the aviation spectrum, from helicopters, regional airlines, to maintenance and repair organizations as well as corporate aviation. BCIT also offers an avionics diploma program that focuses on aircraft electronics. Here, students are trained in

the maintenance of auto-flight, navigation and communication systems. “Just like the family automobile, electronics have become integrated into almost every system. Electronics has become a very important part of modern aircraft.” Those who like to tinker with propulsion systems can take the Gas Turbine Technician certificate program. Students learn the theory of operation, overhaul, and inspection technics, of jet engines. “These students will find work in shops that specialize gas turbine engine, and component overhaul, including the overhaul of helicopter engines and components.” says Turner.

“Just like the family automobile, electronics have become integrated into almost every system. Electronics has become a very important part of modern aircraft.”

Not all the courses are about the technical aspects. The Airport Operations diploma program develops the folks that run the airports, from runways and safety programs to airside operations or customer service, this program is diverse, and if being in the air is more your thing, there are Airline and Flight Operations program aimed at the aspiring commercial pilot. Turner says BCIT aerospace grads can be found working at airports all across the country, although there is a lot more choice when it comes to schools than there was in his day. “At that time, this was 1975, there were only two approved schools. One was actually BCIT, the other was Centennial College in Ontario.” Now, there are at least 20 approved schools in Canada. Turner attended Centennial for maintenance because back then he was more interested in the inner workings of the airplane than learning how to controlling one. He attributes that to his other interest in land transport — fixing up his motorcycle.

BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus 3800 Cessna Drive Richmond, BC V7B 0A1 604.419.3744

“I didn’t want to be a pilot until later in life. I ended up getting my private pilot license in my 40s.”

PHOTO: Gordon Turner, Associate Dean of Transportation BCIT Aerospace




Guo Law Corporation I f there’s anything that one can take away from the story of Hong Guo, founder and director of the Guo Law Corporation on No. 3 Road, it’s that you should always listen to your professor.

She now has 13 years experience under her belt and runs her own law firm that looks after everything from big name commercial transactions in resources and hightech sectors to matters of real estate. But Guo almost went in a very different direction while still a social science master’s student at Regina University in Saskatchewan.

“It was kind of by accident,” she says, reminiscing about how she chose to enter her current profession.

“I was accepted by the University of Pennsylvania for a PhD in sociology. I went to see my professor, he said that this was not a good idea, and that I should think about law school instead. So I tried.” Instead of studying to become a professor herself, she stayed in Canada and studied for the bar in Ontario at the Windsor Law School. Following graduation, in 2002 Guo went to work for the state council of the People’s Republic of China in her native Beijing where she was recognized for notable contributions in advancing Sino-Canadian relations. Soon after, she was appointed as foreign legal specialist where she really cut her teeth in the business, working with large Chinese companies and various embassies and consulates. Guo even had the opportunity to collaborate with former Canadian ambassador Howard Balloch whom she refers to as her “very good friend.”

consisting of paralegals, language interpreters and assistants. She is still the only lawyer but is looking to add more as the firm’s work portfolio expands. “We set up companies for clients, draft documents and shareholder agreements, lease agreements, employment agreements, all kinds of things,” she says. “For example, I recently helped a Chinese company acquire a public mining company in Canada.”

“We help bridge the gap between China and Canada”

Guo also provides immigration services, in which she not only helps newcomers from China navigate Canada’s bureaucratic system, but also helps them understand the new culture and the legal system so they know how to conduct themselves and fit better into society. New immigrants and Chinese business owners make up 95 per cent of her customers and is partly the reason that the offices are located in Richmond. Things are going so well for Guo, in fact, she is hopeful an expansion is on the horizon. Staffing will be increased, but she has no plans to leave the city. “We’re very happy here, this is the best place,” says Guo, who added she loves her profession and can’t see herself doing anything else. “It feels like a game to me — I don’t feel like I’m working, I feel like I’m playing.”

Guo Law Corporation 120-6068 No. 3 Road Richmond, BC V6Y 4M7 778.297.6560

Before starting the Guo Law Corporation, Guo had a stint at another Canadian firm. But four years ago, she decided it was time to strike out on her own. She recruited a small handful of close colleagues in the industry and now has a workforce of more than 20 employees, PHOTO: Hong Guo, Founder and Director, Guo Law Corporation



Allied Salvage & Metals W ith a two-and-a-half acre facility on Mitchell Island - filled with serious sounding hardware like a stationary shear, two balers, three cranes two excavator shears - and a workforce of 20, Allied Salvage & Metals is an impressive operation. But today’s company that deals with scrap metal recycling and salvage started from very humble beginnings in the 30’s. “My great grandfather came here from Romania around 1926,” says director of operations Ian Weinstein.

He was an immigrant peddler that started with a horse and buggy that grew to trucks, and he would pick up whatever he could from glass bottles to sandbags to metal.” In 1952 he purchased some land at 315 Powell St. and opened Allied Salvage & Metals. Operating there for 20 years, the company then moved to 43 East First in False Creek where they continued to grow until preparations for Expo ‘86 forced them to relocate. This time they moved to Richmond where they still are today. Weinstein says the business remains in the family and is overseen by three generations - himself, his father Arthur, and his grandfather, George. The oldest of three boys and the only sibling working at the yard, Weinstein says he has been involved with the company in various capacities over the years since his high school days.

“I like big machines, I like big equipment,” says the 35-year-old who studied heavy mechanics in school. In the earlier part of the decade, he spent five years in Whistler first working in the maintenance shop at the ski lodge, then as a bartender while enjoying all the things the destination has to offer. He always had an idea he would one day officially enter the family business, but a phone call from his father cemented it.

“I asked him for one last summer and then I came down.” The rest, as they say, is history. Now, his responsibilities include communicating with a large portion of their customers, buying and selling their products, and making sure the yard and all the equipment is in good running order.

Weinstein says the core of Allied Salvage is actually very simple.

“The centre of it is recycling. We take things that are used, that were once beautiful, and we squish them up into little packages and we sell them,” he says, adding they take absolutely everything made of metal. From recycling material you find around the house to industrial scrap from machine shops, fabricators, plumbers, and electricians. But the real core of our business is our personal service and our relationship with our customers. We have customers from all over the province and from Alberta that enjoy coming tous.

“The centre of it is recycling. We take things that are used, that were once beautiful, and we squish them up into little packages and we sell them.”

But they don’t always wait for people to bring things in. With two trucks, they service 150 of their own accounts. “We have an assortment of different sized containers to fit the customers needs, from small bins to large roll-off containers, to supplying trailers to be loaded with scrap metal.

The company purchased a neighbouring property on Mitchell Island about 10 years ago, and continues to expand. Weinstein surmises he is the sole brother at the operation because he is “the one that likes to get dirty” and has absolutely no problem with that. “It’s a good healthy lifestyle. It’s outside, it’s inside, it’s fun. It’s unlike any other business, really.”

Allied Salvage & Metals 11651 Twigg Place Richmond, BC V6V 2K7 604.322.6629

“He said ‘Hey, I need some help. You want to make a choice here?’” recalls Weinstein. PHOTO: Ian, George and Arthur Weinstein second, third and fourth generation of Allied Salvage Metals




Trinity Western University R ight here – right now – in Richmond. “Convenient, relevant, and relational is what characterizes our program offerings”, says Linda Long about the Trinity Western University programs now offered in Richmond. The Executive Director of TWU Extension goes on to say, “Education is no longer limited to single campus locations. It’s about being accessible to people, meeting them where they are, and empowering them to move forward.” Since the fall of 2012, the Langleybased university has been serving adult learners in Richmond through its Adult Degree Completion Program with evening classes at the Richmond Cultural Centre. This program is specifically designed for busy adults who have never had the opportunity to finish their university studies due to work, family and community responsibilities. “We know life happens. But that doesn’t have to stop you from realizing your dreams and goals”, says Sandy Cameron, Recruitment Specialist and Advisor for the BA in Leadership.

The Degree Completion program is attracting a wide range of adults currently working in business, healthcare, banking, public safety, education and more. “Our accelerated format focuses on workplacerelevant coursework and provides the opportunity to interact, network, and learn from experienced faculty and other adults in an environment rich in exchange of ideas”, says Cameron.

complete their BA in Leadership in four to five semesters through intensive full time day classes. Students are strengthening their English language abilities with learning supports while learning about leadership in a North American context. “In addition to learning coaches, we provide local student life activities and occasionally integrate them with the main campus for larger events. The international students are finding the environment rewarding and encouraging,” says Rebecca Swaim, International Student Services Coordinator for the Richmond program.

“Right here – right now – in Richmond.”

Believing strongly in both participating and giving back to the local community, TWU hosted their basketball team’s Goodwill China Tour launch at the Richmond Olympic Oval on Thanksgiving weekend where they played the Seattle Mountaineers to a full house. The team left for a week tour to play four universities in China. “We are thrilled to be interacting and contributing in unique ways to this growing city”, says Linda Long, “and we are looking forward to opening our own extension campus in Richmond in 2015. This will provide space for TWU to expand programming and offer masters degrees, professional certificates and other international programs.”

Starting this fall, TWU began offering at the Richmond Olympic Oval another degree completion program specifically designed for international students. “A lot of students are coming from this area, Burnaby, and Vancouver, as well as overseas,” says Geoffrey Feng, Director of the International Degree Completion program. International students with diploma and previous coursework can Photo: TWU Extension, Richmond - Degree Completion Program Staff and Students RIGHT: Professor Yvonne Douma teaching LDRS 400: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Trinity Western University Adult Degree Completion and International Degree Completion Classes 604.513.2067



Boeing Canada - AeroInfo Systems T here are few businesses where the adage “time means money,” is more true than in commercial aviation.

Add in the need for the utmost in safety, and you have one of the most demanding industries around. Helping to keep all the parts moving on the logistical side is the mission of Richmond’s AeroInfo Systems.

A subsidiary of Boeing, AeroInfo Systems specializes in software development which focuses on airplane maintenance and operations. “There’s a lot of work that has to happen on an airplane to keep it flying - a huge amount of preventative maintenance work,” said AeroInfo System’s President, Bob Cantwell. “The tools we produce are all around the planning of that maintenance and execution of that maintenance.”

That can present a steep challenge which AeroInfo continues to meet as modern aircraft get more complex, and airline schedules in the increasingly competitive and crowded skies become more unforgiving to unscheduled downtime.

“Aircraft today are pretty complex, technical beasts, especially the new ones,” Cantwell said. “On the (Boeing) 787, which is brand new, there are more than 2.3 million parts, everything from “fasten seatbelt” signs to jet engines, varying in size from small fasteners to large fuselage sections. And for better performance and efficiency, more systems on it are e-enabled than on any previous airplane. So, airplanes are becoming much more software dependent and technical.”

“When Boeing sells you an airplane, you need to maintain it in a compliant, regulatory, safe and efficient environment,” Cantwell said. “And someone has to look after it for the next 25 years or more. “So, you have to be able to determine what needs doing, when it needs doing, why it needs doing. And you need all the tools, parts and people all in the same place to get it done,” Cantwell explained.

That’s fine for scheduled work. But even when the unexpected happens, AeroInfo’s systems help handle it.

“The tools we produce are all around the planning of that maintenance and execution of that maintenance.”

“An airplane may be coming into Vancouver from Asia, and halfway across the Pacific someone at Boeing is noticing some trends in its data and predicting that when the airplane arrives it will need a part replaced,” Cantwell said. “So, three hours in advance of it arriving, Boeing will know exactly what needs to be done. The company has already done the troubleshooting, got the parts available so that when the plane pulls up to the terminal it doesn’t suffer a delay. AeroInfo software helps make that possible.” Driving that quest for synchronicity is a talent pool of 250 or so employees at AeroInfo, many of whom have been selected from the Lower Mainland region.

“We have a very diverse population in the Boeing Canada - AeroInfo Systems company which reflects the population of 200-13575 Commerce Parkway the Greater Vancouver area,” Cantwell Richmond, BC V6V 2L1 said. “And one of the reasons we plan 604.232.4200 to continue growing in this area is the great access to talent, particularly in Richmond.”

Keeping everything in order so things run smoothly requires a graceful juggling act of tracking schedules and aircraft components through their entire life cycle.

PHOTO: Bob Cantwell, President, AeroInfo Systems




Disposal King Ltd S

ometimes, the best jobs in life are ones that spring from hobbies.

Just ask Miles Timmis, owner of Richmond’s Disposal King.

While he didn’t spend his spare time hauling away waste to a transfer station for fun, he did enjoy the mode of transportation that got the garbage to the dump.

“Everyone thinks I’m nuts, but I am kind of a truck lover,” says Timmis, who spent around two decades in the real estate business before starting up Richmondbased Disposal King six years ago. “I had a buddy who had a Porsche who would go out on Sundays for a cruise in his sports car. I’ve always loved dump trucks and people used to tease me about going out there with my truck on the weekends,” Timmis says. “So, the business was like more of a hobby than anything else when I started. And it just grew so quickly into an ongoing thing.” Looking to branch out from his real estate job, Timmis had planned to start a side business, so he bought a truck and 15 bins.

“Everything got going and two months later I had to get a second truck and a bunch more bins,” he says. “Now, we’ve got six trucks, about 130 bins and a couple of excavators to do some demolition work and then haul away the garbage.” Originally, Timmis thought he’d simply hire someone to run things, but as his client list began to build rapidly, he soon realized this was going to require some hands-on guidance. “We doubled in sales every year for the first four years, and in the last two years we’ve grown by 25 per cent per year in sales. We’re still growing quite rapidly. “Today, about 95 per cent of my time is spent with the disposal business,” he says, adding much of it is done in the office talking with customers to ensure they get the right service for their needs.

PHOTO: Miles Timmis, Owner Disposal King

“We like to offer customers different options as far as bins and pricing, and the option for multiple bins if they want to separate out the garbage, especially at larger construction sites.” That last part — a nod to the environment — is much more prevalent these days. It’s a service many customers ask for, and one Disposal King is more than happy to supply. “Homeowners call, they are doing renovations on their house, and most of them say the same thing. They are concerned about recycling,” Timmis says. “We try to whittle it down as much as possible the amount that actually has to go to the landfill.”

“We doubled in sales every year for the first four years, and in the last two years we’ve grown by 25 per cent per year in sales. We’re still growing quite rapidly.”

Separating garbage from what can be recycled also takes place at the waste transfer stations where the loads are taken. And while it may take a little extra effort, it’s all worthwhile, Timmis says. “Even I’m shocked when I go into some of these bigger landfills. You go in one week and then return the next week and see the amount that’s filled in. It blows my mind how much is going in there,” he says. “That’s reason enough to do the best you can to limit what actually ends up in the landfill.” But it’s not just carting off the refuse which keeps Disposal King’s 10 employees busy. “We also do some demolition work, things like taking old garages down. We got into that because it’s all part and parcel of taking things to the garbage dump.”

Disposal King Ltd 13280 Mitchell Road Richmond, BC V6V 1M7 604.306.8599

In total, it’s a going concern which still allows Timmis the odd chance to get behind the wheel of one of his trucks. “I’m quite proud of what we’ve built, with the people who we’ve got, and the service that we offer,” Timmis says. “I know for sure that’s why my customers continue to use us. They get good service.”


S Soo Jerky Ltd W hen families move to a different country to embrace new opportunities and start a new life, that usually means leaving some things behind. In the case of the Wong family at Soo Jerky Ltd., they managed to bring a favorite item with them — traditional Singaporean and Malaysian style jerky.

Responsibilities are split amongst the family members, who have run the business from day one. The parents, Philip and Soo (after which the company is named), are the president and vice-president, respectively. Philip looks after day-to-day operations and Soo is also involved with R&D and production. Their son Jacob is the sales and marketing manager, and the other son Joseph is the general manager. The story starts when Philip, originally from in Malaysia, moved to the Lower Mainland for school where he met Soo. After graduating, they moved back to Asia once more before relocating permanently to Vancouver.

“One thing they missed being from Malaysia was the jerky. They made some for themselves and didn’t think about the business aspect of it, they were just doing odd jobs here and there,” says Jacob Wong, clarifying the difference between their jerky and the typical western-style kind as being sweeter and more tender. “Friends and family basically asked them for their jerky, and they got the idea to sell it.”

At first, Wong’s parents operated out of a home kitchen with a small smokehouse in the back. He recalled memories of his dad either being in front of the barbecue cooking, smoking and drying meat for a few hours each day, or inside mixing marinades.

take off. By 1989, they became a Canadian federally-inspected meat facility and their products could be found in stores nationwide. They even expanded to select cities in the United States in 1991. “We currently carry about 30 flavours all together. Our most popular product is fruit-flavoured beef jerky,” says Wong, who also has background in fine arts. He says that helps when shooting photography for advertisements and designing packing for new products.


“We currently carry about 30 flavours all together. Our most popular product is fruit-flavoured beef jerky.”

Just to name a few other varieties, they also offer five spice, sweet, satay, spicy szechuan, lemon grass, black pepper and teriyaki flavours — and that’s just for the beef. The success of Soo Jerky has allowed the company to expand its product line into pork, salmon, and even non-dried items like sausages and meatballs. No longer restricted to working out of their house, they have a 14,000 square feet for production at a building on 13191 Princess St. in Richmond where you can find many of their offerings at most Asian supermarkets and niche stores in the area. It’s now been almost 30 years since Wong’s father produced their first piece of beef jerky, and he says he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. They would like to keep it running as a family business, a task made easier when Wong and his brother officially joined a few years ago.

Soo Jerky Ltd 13191 Princess Street Richmond, BC V7E 3S1 604.272.5758

In 1985, Wong’s parents approached a now-defunct store in Vancouver’s Chinatown who agreed to take in some of their product. Orders quickly grew, and a year later they made their major debut at Expo ’86 where things really started to PHOTO: Joseph, Philip, Soo and Jacob Wong




Richmond Chamber of Commerce T

he more things change, the more they stay the same.

That old saying would neatly describe the Richmond Chamber of Commerce which has been in existence since 1925. And since that time, as the city has grown from a mostly agrarian and maritime community to a thriving municipality, the chamber has remained dedicated to its role as the voice of business. “Back in those early days when the chamber’s charter was signed by some of the founding fathers of Richmond — names like Gilmore, Steves, and May — Richmond was a township. And people here wanted to have a voice on the impacts that affected their livelihood,” explained Craig Jones, the chamber’s Executive Director. “There were dyking, irrigation, and transportation issues.” Today, the issues may be a little different, but the desire of the business community has not deviated. And the chamber is there to help advance the cause of local business.

“The biggest role we play today is we make sure the voice of Richmond’s business sector is being heard by municipal, provincial and federal authorities on issues that impact their ability to conduct their daily activities,” Jones said. Some of those matters involve subjects such as the Fraser River through discussions on flood management and navigation, as well as the Vancouver Airport regarding increased air access.

“There are now more than 23,000 direct jobs at YVR, and it has been a vital component of the local business community since construction first began in 1930,” Jones said.

Transportation has long been championed by the chamber dating back to the 1970s when it called for the reinstatement of the old Interurban line that used to run between Richmond and Marpole, then on into Vancouver. “And finally, the Canada Line opened in 2009,” Jones said. Another large portion of the chamber’s work centres on assisting members, from new start-up companies feeling their way through the process in a new community, to seasoned operators keen on finding new territory to expand their enterprise.

“We’re their bridge to help them grow. And we’re successful when they’re successful as far as getting larger and bigger in terms of more employees,” said Matt Pitcairn, the chamber’s Manager of Communication and Policy. “That benefits us and them, and in turn benefits the entire community by creating jobs.”

“Small business today needs the ability to connect at business seminars on topics like how do you manage growth, how do you manage risk,” Jones added. “And the chamber is a good source of those types of educational offerings.” As the demographics of Richmond have changed significantly over the past 15 to 20 years, the chamber has tailored its delivery, but maintained its message. “We recognize our staffing levels have to reflect the ethnic diversity of the community,” Jones said. “And through our diversity of staff, we provide outreach, especially to the new Asian immigrants, to welcome them to our business community. We ensure they understood the benefits of the chamber movement, and we deliver that message in their native tongue.”

“The biggest role we play today is we make sure the voice of Richmond’s business sector is being heard by municipal, provincial and federal authorities on issues that impact their ability to conduct their daily activities.”

One of those initiatives is the Greater China Exchange committee whose purpose is to be a direct reach out to the Asian community, Jones said.

“It is designed to engage new immigrants and understand their needs and offer events that are not in your typical, hotel banquet environment, but held at restaurants and other meeting places popular with the Asian community.” Meeting places like that not only provide great settings to interact and do business, they allow for true learning opportunities where relationships can bloom, said current chamber chair, Brian Williams, owner and President of Ashton Service Group,

“I think being able to learn and explore what other businesses in our community have to offer, over time, becomes very beneficial,” Williams said. “You tend to find a lot of people with common interests. In the time I have been around the chamber, I have developed some pretty good bonds and friendships.

Richmond Chamber of Commerce 202-5811 Cooney Road Richmond, BC V6X 3M1 604.278.2822

“It’s a great way to connect the people in our community.”

PHOTO: The Richmond Chamber of Commerce team | Right: Craig Jones, Executive Director



Hansen Industries Ltd S ince 1975, Hansen Industries Ltd has supplied precision sheet metal and machined components to Fortune 500 manufacturers around the world.

While providing clients with a complete package — from product conceptualization to prototyping to production — Hansen actually has no products of its own, says President Edwin Beange. “Our customers typically e-mail their designs to us and we manufacture their parts,” he says. The list of services offered by the business, located right off Bridgeport Road on Olafsen Ave., reads like a science fiction novel: CO2 laser cutting, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining, sheet metal fabrication, water-jet cutting, wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM), Tool and Die, metal stamping and CAD/ CAM/CIM capabilities. In plain English, it means they are extremely versatile producing components that range from tiny circuit board connectors to large electrical cabinets. The company has come a long way since 1975 when founder Bjorn Hansen, from Denmark, started making elevator replacement parts on a small lathe in the same location. Now, there are more than 25 pieces of CNC equipment and 70 employees. Beange says he bought into the company in 1991 and instantly clicked with Hansen forming a “long-lasting ideal partnership, just like in a Walt Disney movie”. “I think it worked out this way because both of us put the business needs ahead of our personal needs.”

Before becoming president, Beange worked with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and Bruker Spectrospin (Canada) Ltd. installing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers. A Sudbury, Ontario native, he had the chance to first visit Vancouver while repairing a spectrometer at UBC and instantly fell in love with the city. PHOTO: The Hansen Industries Team

Beange, a Professional Engineer/MBA by trade, says his job is to come up with a vision that staff and management can follow, hire the right people, and create a company culture. “Our company puts a great deal of effort into the culture part. We have an employee-run social committee, profit sharing, training, an RRSP program, barbecues, ping-pong, pig roasts, go-karting, golf tournaments, picnics, carnival days with candy floss machines, and family open houses,” says Beange.

The diverse population of Richmond is very much reflected at Hansen Industries, which is staffed by employees from more than 22 different countries. Moreover, those cultures are celebrated. “We have ethnic lunches where everyone brings in a dish from their home country. This is the most difficult meal because the choices are endless and our stomachs are only so big. I announce employee’s birthdays in their native tongue over the intercom, which brings great laughter as I attempt their language.”

Working as hard as they play, Beange says their employee’s act as one big team and that produces some great results. Last year on-time delivery was 98 per cent and product acceptance was 99 per cent. “Our strengths are our technical versatility and our superior customer service. We survey our customers’ satisfaction level and post the surveys and testimonials on our website. Potential customers read these and realize that they want what we are selling: ‘Quality on Time,’ which is our quality statement.”

“Our strengths are our technical versatility and our superior customer service. We survey our customers’ satisfaction level and post the surveys and testimonials on our website. Potential customers read these and realize that they want what we are selling: ‘Quality on Time,’ which is our quality statement.”

Hansen Industries Ltd 2871 Olafsen Ave Richmond, BC V6X 2R4 604.278.2223

Motivated employees working together to make world-class components in a fantastic city, another Richmond success story!




Garden City Cabs T here’s strength and consistency when it comes to corporate ownership, especially when your business constantly deals directly with a demanding client base. It’s a philosophy that Richmond’s Garden City Cabs proves every time one of its drivers pulls up curb-side and greets a customer. “It’s all company-owned. We’re the first cab company in the Lower Mainland to do that,” said Ashianna Khan, general manager of Garden City Cabs.

It’s a rarity since most cab firms are made up of a collection of individual operators who either own their vehicles or lease them from the company. “When there are individual owners, you don’t have that same control over rules and regulations because each one (cab operator) will have their own policies, their own opinions on how things should be run,” said Khan. “We have all our drivers work under the same regulations, and, as a result, we have what we feel is the best customer service around.”

Keeping the service rolling is a number of exclusive contracts with various hotels in the Richmond area. One designated pick up spot is the River Rock Casino Resort, which assures customers they will not be rolling the dice when they hail a cab at the end of the night for a quick and comfortable ride home. It’s a status the company has enjoyed at the River Rock for the past five years.

“It’s all company-owned. We’re the first cab company in the Lower Mainland to do that.”

So, with corporate control, a companyowned fleet, uniformed drivers, ecofriendly vehicles, and agreements to be the exclusive cab service for pick-ups at many local hotels, Khan agreed that Garden City Cabs’ way of doing business costs more than others. But it’s a philosophy the company’s board of directors insisted on from the time operations began in 2008. “Yes, it’s an expensive option. But our board of directors have been in this industry for the past 30 years,” Khan said. “And they had it in mind this is how they’d run the business because it produces the best customer service.”

They also have the sharpest looking drivers and a fleet of fuel-sipping vehicles which do their utmost to reduce their impact on the environment.

“We are the first company in the Lower Mainland that has uniformed drivers. And the vehicles are clean, eco-friendly, and the drivers are well dressed,” Khan said, adding it’s that combination that resonates positively with customers.

Garden City Cabs 148-2633 Viking Way Richmond, BC V6V 3B6 604.233.1111

“We always get compliments from clients. And they are always asking us about it.” Currently, there are 32 vehicles in the company’s fleet, all of which are low on both fuel consumption and emissions compared to normal cabs. They also represent a mixture of regular and wheelchair accessibility.

PHOTO: Azeem Muhammad Khan – Garden City Cabs Driver



Move Canada W ith the name Move, it may not be immediately evident what the company does — and, no, it has nothing to do with physical fitness.

internal job postings that popped up on the engineer side. Employees from the call centre applied, but they were just shy of fulfilling the position requirements.

Originally known as Top Producer locally, the company develops tools to allow real estate agents in North America to be as productive and successful as possible.

“They were close, but not close enough. So we had to go to external hires,” he says, adding that’s when they came up with the solution to help close the gap.

In 2000, the company was acquired by American parent company Move Inc., a leader in online real estate and operator of the Move Network of real estate websites for consumers and industry professionals, says Director of Human Resources Michael Weeks. The network also includes several other well-used components like ListHub, HomeInsight, SeniorHousingNet and

“We solicited developers who became mentors that took mentees under their wing and helped them work on special projects. We also negotiated time so they would be off the phones and sit side by side with the development team.”

“ is our flagship. It’s our core business, and the Top Producer CRM software produced up here builds on that,” says Weeks. “Top Producer is software designed to help real estate professionals convert prospects into sales. It also helps agents manage ongoing client relationships through every phase of the buying and home ownership cycle.”

The company’s headquarters are in Silicon Valley with other offices in Richmond (on Shellbridge Way) and in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Arizona. The Richmond and Silicon Valley sites are the company’s technology hubs. Of the 250 staff working in Richmond, about 125 are software engineers or developers. The rest are spread out in sales, marketing, customer care and support functions. All Top Producer and a large portion of the website is developed in Richmond. The company prides itself on attracting, retaining and developing talent which Weeks oversees. This year his team successfully rolled out a mentoring program to develop talent from within. This idea stemmed from a couple of

“Move has an amazing balance of entrepreneurial spirit within a stable market leading company”

There are still standards that have to be met in order to qualify for the mentorship program, but those are secondary to having drive and potential. Last year, two mentees were placed in new roles through the program.

However in speaking to the best part about working at Move, Weeks said “Move has an amazing balance of entrepreneurial spirit within a stable, successful market leading company. Move is big on innovation and takes a bottom up approach.” To this end the company will be hosting their 2nd Move Hackathon - where employees work through the night fueled by pizza and beer to generate ideas they then sell to Sr Leadership in three minutes. Last time even the company’s Chief Technology Officer participated. The proof is in the pudding - One recent success story was an idea posed by a junior employee. He came up with the novel idea to add school reviews to the website so consumers looking for a home in the US could utilize credible school rating data side-by-side with their home search. This employee was rewarded by leading the idea from inception through implementation.

Move Canada 300-10271 Shellbridge Way Richmond, BC V6X 2W8 604.270.8819

“You don’t lose employees when they’re engaged like that” Weeks says with a grin.

PHOTO: Leadership Team; Stuart Sim, Ryan Green, Errol Samuelson, Michael Weeks, Tommy Lee | Right: Development team


R Philip Raphael


fter 24 years in the news business, Philip Raphael has come full circle.

In 1989 he started his career in newspapers when he joined the Richmond News straight out of journalism school at Langara College. And since then he has worked for a number of publications in and around the Lower Mainland, including time as the managing editor of Skytalk, the Vancouver Airport Authority’s paper, and South Delta Leader where he spent 11 years as a reporter and then editor.

Now, he’s back at the News and enjoying the opportunity to re-connect with friends and contacts in Richmond.

PHOTO: David Lee Kwen | Right: David and team member of Misty Mountain Mushrooms



Benjamin Yong


long-time freelancer and journalist working with several Canadian publications and clients, Benjamin loves meeting new people and telling their stories. Born and raised on Vancouver Island and now calling Richmond, B.C. home, he enjoys writing about community news, arts and culture and covering local events. Benjamin’s other passion is the automotive industry, and he is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. You can often find his new vehicle reviews and feature articles in the South Asian lifestyle magazine Darpan, among others. Get in touch with him on Twitter ( or email him at

PHOTO: David Lee Kwen | Right: David and team member of Misty Mountain Mushrooms



Richelle Akimow


ichelle’s passion for photography has taken her all over the world. Richelle begun shooting photos professionally nine years ago, and since then has worked for a number of organizations some of which include the Vancouver Canucks, and St. George’s school in Vancouver, to name a few. She has also shot many events including the 2013 Courage to Come Back Awards. Her goal is to capture what is spectacular about every moment and finding a way to achieve this is half the fun.

For enquires regarding the next edition of Richmond Profiles of Excellence, please contact Rob Akimow at the Richmond News. or by phone at 604.249.3340



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