PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE NEW WESTMINSTER • 2019 Budget Blinds
Head To Toes
Queen’s Park Dental
Kinman & Associates Law
Sacred Journey Pathways
Bosley’s by Pet Valu
CEFA Early Learning
Royal City Health & Manual Therapy Inc.
City of New Westminster
WorkBC Centre New Westminster
Hyack Festival Association
Royal City Youth Ballet Company
Rover Music School sponsored content
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE
elcome to our seventh edition of the New Westminster Profiles of Excellence, a very special annual publication of The Record. The men and women profiled in the following pages come from a wide variety of backgrounds, education, experience and expertise, but they all share something in common: a commitment to excellence that is second to none. Their dedication and passion in both professional and personal endeavours have bred success on all levels, making them leaders not just in their respective fields but in the community as well. The awards and recognition these business and community leaders have earned are evidence of the truest hallmark of success: the loyalty and respect of customers, and a reputation here in New Westminster and beyond. We have collected their stories here to share a taste of what they do and why they do it, and most of all, to recognize their commitment to excellence. We are excited to give our readers a glimpse into the lives of these entrepreneurs and professionals, who call New Westminster their home. – Lara Graham, Publisher, New Westminster Record
BUSINESS PROFILES n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n
Budget Blinds Head To Toes Queen’s Park Dental Kinman & Associates Law UR Wellness Sacred Journey Pathways Magnum Construction Bosley’s by Pet Valu CEFA Early Learning Investors Group Royal City Health & Manual Therapy Inc. Paddlewheeler Pub City of New Westminster WorkBC Centre New Westminster Hyack Festival Association Royal City Youth Ballet Company Rover Music School Our Team sponsored content
Project Coordinator: Aislinn Carey I Writer: Christina Myers I Design & Production: Gary Slavin I Photography: Lisa King & Kevin Hill
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE W I NDO W CO V ER I N G S
It’s a great day when you can help customers achieve their vision.
Tierney says word of mouth has been a critical piece of their success. “We want to make fans out of our customers,” he said, noting that the best form of advertising is the reviews and referrals given by clients. “We are a small family-run business, and our long-term goal is to continue to grow the business by adding more well-trained, knowledgeable team members that want to service our customers in the same manner we already do now.”
n some ways, a small business is like a garden: it takes time, care, and lots of hard work to make it grow. For the team at Budget Blinds New Westminster, the garden is in full bloom. The local franchise, led by husband-and-wife owners Clay and Lacey Tierney, has expanded over the last year to include both Surrey and East Vancouver; their service area now includes those communities, their homebase here in the Royal City (along with Queensborough), as well as Maillardville and Richmond East. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to serve customers in these communities as well,” said Clay Tierney of the new expansion. The company offers a spectrum of custom and creative window treatments, including shutters, blinds, draperies and shades, for both residential and business clients. The process begins by finding out exactly what the customer needs and wants, and matching up the right product and design for the space. “We do free in-home consultations and help style homes with beautiful window coverings,” he explained. “We do it all: from design, measuring to installation. Our consultations and quotes are free and our design consultants help customers choose the best products for their windows.” Offering inhome visits is a crucial step in the process – not only is it more convenient Clay, Lacey, and their two boys for customers, it also makes it easier for people to envision the products in their home because they can look at samples in the space that they’ll be installed rather than in a showroom. “It’s a great day when you can help customers achieve their vision of design and functionality,” he said, noting that they have worked on a huge diversity of homes with a variety of designs and styles. While much of their work is focused on private residential projects, the team also offers many services for commercial and retail locations. And as time goes on, there’s an increasing demand for high-tech solutions using products that offer motorization and automation. Either way, the company’s goal is to offer each customer the right product with top-notch service – and with a steady stream of referrals from prior clients, their efforts are paying off.
For the Tierneys, the leap into small business ownership has been an exciting one, in a community they’re pleased to be a part of. “This was a new adventure for us. We wanted to be our own bosses and to serve customers the way we believe they should be served,” he said. “New Westminster is like a small town in a big city with its diverse population. We love the small town feeling and the sense of community it offers.”
604-359-9655 I 205-810 Quayside Dr., New Westminster, BC I www.budgetblinds.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE M ED I C A L SP A
Head To Toes
Excellence for us means being the very best.
The spa also continues to share its beautiful uptown location with Atefa Hair Design, a unique partnership that has lasted for more than 12 years. The owner of Atefa Hair Design, Atefa Nuri, has been a master stylist for more than 35 years and trained in England at the Morris School of Hair Design and the Vidal Sassoon Academy. “Our unique partnership with Head to Toes Spa enables us to provide our clients with a truly holistic beauty experience,” said Nuri. “We really do operate like a team, and she is
rue excellence comes in many forms. For the team at Head To Toes Spa on Sixth Street, excellence is woven through everything they do – and the proof is in their incredible reputation and business longevity. Head to Toes has been owned for 22 years by Rosa Chiesa and has continued to grow over the years, offering a full range of salon and medispa treatments. Providing top-notch products and services in a beautiful space with unparalleled customer service has always been a guiding force for the business. “We want every client to know that when they walk through our doors they can put all their troubles away and come in for a service that goes beyond their expectations,” said Chiesa. “We want them to leave already thinking about when they will be back.” This year, Chiesa partnered with her sister-in-law, Giulia Chiesa – also a long-time esthetician - as a new co-owner in the business, who has an identical philosophy in her approach. “I have such a strong passion for this industry,” she said. “Becoming partners with Rosa has already been the most amazing experience and I can’t wait to continue to make the business grow together.” Giulia is herself a provincial instructor in teaching esthetics, which gives the spa a unique advantage in bringing her leadership and skills on board. The pair are proud of all that the spa offers: highly trained estheticians, a full range of cosmetic laser procedures, a doctor on staff for botox and fillers, Giulia Chiesa, Co-Owner an acupuncturist, and a full range of services including facials, waxing, manicure, massage, as well as high-end makeup and medical grade skin care products. And that’s all in a tranquil, 5,000-square-foot spa environment with cutting edge technology and ongoing education and training. They also add new services over time as new innovation in the industry happens: this year, for example, they’ve added a new laser machine and microblading. But most important to the success of the business, perhaps, is the high degree of customer service that they’ve come to be known for. “Our assistant spa manager, Sabina Erickson, has been with us for four years and is amazing with her customer service,” said Chiesa. “She treats everyone with the utmost respect and care. Her connection with our clients is extraordinary.” In fact, loyal clients come from not just the local area in New Westminster but throughout the region.
incredible at what she does,” added Chiesa. “We have everything in one place here with so many services offered.” The spa can provide unique experiences such as corporate parties, bridal groups, and birthday parties, and all with the same level of care and service as individual clients. “Excellence for us means being the very best – we want to be the best in everything we do for our clients. We want them to enjoy every minute of their experience.”
604-540-0055 I 337 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC I www.headtotoesspa.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE DENT I STR Y
Queen’s Park Dental
I want my patients to have a positive experience. I’m here to help.
she said. “I want my patients to have a positive experience. I’m here to help, to work with you. If I can help one person feel less fearful about improving their oral health, then that’s a win.” A big piece of that puzzle, she says, is the team that she works with. “Patients know they will be well taken care of,” she said. “Queen’s Park Dental has done a great job of helping patients feel comfortable and enjoy their visit. It’s a very happy environment and it’s
he pursuit of excellence is not a race with a finish line, but a constant state of pursuing new goals through a focus on learning, growth and improvement. These are the foundations that have helped Queen’s Park Dental build a reputation here in the Royal City that is second to none for the last half century. The clinic has been under the leadership of Dr. Darcy Murphy for ten years now. His top-notch team has continued to grow in the intervening years – most recently with the addition of Dr. Lan Li. “This is a very supportive place,” said Li of her transition as a new member of Queen’s Park Dental. “Everyone is so welcoming and ready to help out, and for that I am so grateful. I can see why patients enjoy coming here, it’s such a welcoming environment.” Li completed her dental degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg a year and a half ago but has been treating patients since the start of her training four years ago. The profession’s focus on professional development and constant learning was one of the aspects that drew her to the field. “There’s always new research, new technology and new materials coming out,” she said. “When you have an interest in a field you want to learn and know more.” Li, who grew up in both China and Canada, says this is an approach that she finds herself drawn to both in Dr. Lan Li the dental clinic and beyond. “There’s a saying in Chinese that roughly means ‘Live until you’re old, learn until you’re old’ – so basically, never stop learning,” she said. “I make sure that I’m continuously learning and growing to become a better version of myself both professionally and personally. To me, excellence is the desire to improve while staying humble and curious.” She’s not alone in this perspective: continuous learning, evolution, and change is a focus for all the staff at Queen’s Park Dental. Over the years, the services available there have expanded from family dentistry to implant surgery, oral sedation, BOTOX ® and more. Being able to provide high quality care to patients – all in a friendly and comfortable setting – is rewarding for Li. “I put a lot of focus on patient education to provide my patients with information so they can come to the decision that’s right for them. That’s the beauty of working with people – everyone is unique with their own stories,”
great to work in a team that is so supportive.” The sterling reputation that the team has already built will no doubt continue to grow in coming years and Li says she’s looking forward to being part of that and always striving to offer the very best care possible. “I’m always assessing how I can provide better service to my patients and how to be a better clinician,” she said.
604-522-5242 I 215-624 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC I www.queensparkdental.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE L E G A L SER V I CES
Kinman & Associates Law
hey’ve built a reputation that extends far beyond the borders of the Royal City but the team at Kinman & Associates Law are – at heart – a hometown law office, and proud to be so. “This is a vital growing community right here in New Westminster, and as more people come here, we hope that they will see that they can get excellent legal services right here in their own community,” says Ian Kinman, the owner and senior lawyer at the firm. “You don’t need to go to downtown Vancouver to the glass-and-steel high rises.” In fact, the company’s location couldn’t be better: they’re right across the street from the provincial courthouse in New Westminster. “It’s a great spot, right next to everything, so you don’t have to worry about going all over the place,” he said. The full service law firm focuses on a variety of areas, such as personal injury, civil and commercial litigation, corporate and commercial transactions, family law and more.
“We really like to think of ourselves as the firm that can deal with the vast majority of legal issues that people might have, whether it’s for an individual or a small business,” he said. “We also have two excellent criminal lawyers who are attached to our firm, who can assist clients with that category of work, too.” Kinman says that one of the reasons they’ve established a great reputation over the years is their focus on communication. “Client service is very important,” he said. “Many people are unfamiliar with the legal system and only need legal services every few years, so we work hard to be sure they understand what’s going on, and to have strong communication and personal service.” In fact, the firm is able to work with individuals in a variety of languages, including Korean, Punjabi, Mandarin, Farsi and more, thanks to a diverse staff.
People in New Westminster can get excellent legal services right here in their own community.
Kinman notes that recent changes in legislation around ICBC cases has left a lot of people uncertain about their legal needs. “With those changes, a lot of firms are simply turning people away. But we’re saying we will still talk to you, hear your situation, and help you understand your rights and what is and is not possible,” he said. “We may not be able to help in the end, but we think people deserve the opportunity to discuss it and know what the options are.” “I love this community and we’re proud to be able to serve the people here,” he said.
L to R: WooJoo Lee, Raj Bains, Gurdev Sandhu, Cassandra Raines, Ian Kinman, Farshad H. Khani, Bal Grewal, Jennifer Hoang, Cathy Lee, Gayani Lokugamage
Many of their clients come to them from recommendations from family and friends, which the team says is a rewarding experience. “When a client comes back or when they recommend someone else to us, we know we’ve done a great job,” he said. Kinman & Associates was formed in 2007, but grew out of an earlier law firm that had been serving New Westminster since 1960, and where Ian had been practicing as a lawyer for many years. In all, he’s been working in the Royal City for more than 30 years now.
604-526-1805 I 100-624 Agnes St., New Westminster, BC I kinmanlaw.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE NEUROFEEDBACK CENTRE
rom ancient philosophy to modern medicine, the connection between the mind and body has long fascinated us – and shaped our lives. For Penny Hyndman, tapping into that connection to help people find healing, health, and renewed energy has become her life’s purpose. Hyndman uses a variety of techniques to help her clients improve their well being at her New Westminster-based clinic, UR Wellness. This includes neurofeedback – or brain training – along with a variety of other tools to help people with a wide spectrum of needs including pain and stress management, performance enhancement, emotional support and general wellness. “Simply put, I provide stress management services to help you maintain balance in your life,” she said. “Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth and I find brain training is the quickest route to get to the physical and emotional imbalances.” Hyndman was drawn to health care early in life thanks to a passion for caring for others, and spent many years working as a nurse. “My hospital nursing career brought me deep meaning and joy,” she said. “I loved acting as a teacher, an advocate and a caregiver for my patients.” But when a back injury forced her to leave her muchloved vocation, she discovered bio- and neurofeedback. “It transformed my life. It brought resilience to my nervous system and body. I felt calmer, more at peace,
my muscle tension released, and most importantly, my sleep improved,” she said. Her chronic pain and physical discomfort lessened. Over time, she also found that it helped her let go of negative emotional patterns, such as perfectionism and poor self image, and improved her energy and self confidence. The impact was so profound, she was quickly drawn to learn more. “I started working in one of Vancouver’s biofeedback clinics, and sought out mentors in the field of biofeedback and neurofeedback, both nationally and internationally. I was like a sponge.” She also provides services in craniosacral therapy, reflexology, and other specialities, drawing on a blend of holistic western approaches and eastern healing methods to help create highly personalized approaches for each client based on their unique lives and needs. “My philosophy of health care is based on the principle that health is innate, or in other words, that it comes from within,” she said. “Our bodies are self-regulating, nonlinear systems capable of self healing. When interference such as
My role is to create a healing environment.
stress, trauma, infection and toxicity is removed, your body can express its own healing potential and balance so equilibrium is obtained. My role is to create a healing environment and provide your body with accurate information so it can shift and heal itself.” The clinic name is itself a reflection of this belief, she explains, noting that the U stands for “you” and the R for “are.” “You are wellness. It’s a philosophy that we are actively in the process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy fulfilling life.” Her reputation has grown through word-ofmouth recommendations, a reflection of the
Penny Hyndman, Owner
positive and powerful experiences clients have had. “I like to think I am changing the world one brain at a time,” she said. Though Hyndman works with individual clients through her Eighth Street office, she also works with a variety of organizations, such as addiction centres and nursing homes. As well, she offers complimentary brain training sessions for veterans and first responders, a unique area of care that grew out of her clinical work helping veterans with PTSD through the Together We Can program in Vancouver. “It’s my way of giving back to those providers who care for others.” sponsored content
604-831-1330 I 208-615 Eighth Street, New Westminster, BC I www.urwellness.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE F U NER A L SER V I CES
Sacred Journey Pathways
eath can be seen as mysterious and fearful, even something to avoid thinking about at all. But for Holly Mitton, death is a path in the journey of life – and one that people needn’t walk alone. Mitton offers support, care, education, and advocacy for a wide spectrum of end-of-life needs in her role as a death doula. “In some ways it’s very much like a birth doula, who is there to support the mom and the family going through this huge transition of life. There’s a team there – nurses and doctors and midwife and family and friends,” she said. “And the doula works to support the family within that. I do something very similar but at the opposite end of life.” Mitton came to this path almost by accident – though in retrospect she can see that as her interest and connection to this work grew, doors opened to help her along the way. It began when she spent time with her grandfather during his final days, sitting with him and, later, attending at the funeral home – full of questions, she says, about what would happen to him there. These questions, and her curiosity, grew – and eventually led to a job there.
Later, she completed autopsy training and a degree in forensic science, and worked in that field for many years. But when a close family friend – a young mother with two children – died unexpectedly in a tragic accident, it became incredibly clear to her how valuable this work could be. Her background in funeral homes allowed her to step in and assist on a level that many others wouldn’t have been able to. Later, when a friend mentioned the term “death doula” – something Mitton had never heard of – it all came together. Nowadays, Mitton’s work can vary from working oneon-one with individuals with terminal conditions or in the active dying stage, to help advocate for them and organize wishes, to assisting families after a loved one has passed away. She has found a particular connection to supporting families through perinatal, infant, and child loss. “This is really one of the places my heart is,” she says.
I do something very similar to a birth doula, but at the opposite end of life.
This can include helping families with miscarriages – many of which may go otherwise unmarked though the parents themselves are grieving silently. Education is also a huge component of her work. “Many people don’t know what is required when someone passes, or even what their options are,” she said. For example, she’s increasingly been involved in helping people create “hybrid funerals” in which a funeral home takes care of the legal end of things – paperwork and so on – but the family can have an event at home, even bringing their loved one there as well in accordance with local laws.
Holly Mitton, Founder
Sometimes her work is largely event planning, much like a wedding planner would book venues, chair rentals, organize food and flowers – particularly if a death is very unexpected and arranging details may be overwhelming for the family. She also offers workshops and has plans for more unique events to help spread education and give people the opportunity to talk about death. “Sometimes people don’t know how to start that conversation, and if I can give them some tools to feel comfortable to do so, that’s important,” she said.
778-654-0801 I New Westminster, BC I www.sacredjourneypathways.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE K I TC H EN & B AT H RENOS
good business is able to blend expertise with business savvy. A great business also has talent, integrity, and vision. But the best businesses – the ones that will become industry leaders combine all of those qualities with a special passion and dedication that simply sets them apart. Such is the case for Magnum Construction Services, who have managed to garner an impressive reputation and a booming business in just a few short years since opening their doors. Mai Eilia is the founder and project manager for Magnum, and her partner Yosef Pharaon the main site supervisor. Mai’s skill for organization, communication, and business know-how are matched by Yosef’s long-time industry experience and innate talent for construction. Together, their efforts are helping them to build their dream: to become the go-to local general contractor in the Royal City and beyond. “We do everything in general construction,” explained Yosef. “Kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations, finding unused space in a home and turning it into something beautiful and useful. It’s a wide spectrum.”
The company offers home visits and free consultations to help potential customers discuss what they want and need, along with their budget. “Sometimes people know exactly what they want and we can come in and do that for them by organizing all of the steps, all of the pieces of that project, whether it’s lining up tradespeople or sourcing the materials,” he said. “Other times, a customer isn’t sure what they want. I can come in and visualize the space and give some ideas.” Mai coordinates the front-end of the business, ensuring that customer communication is a priority. “That’s a very important aspect for us – that we communicate with the client at every step,” said Yosef. “Reliability and trustworthiness are really key for us, and we take that very seriously. We really do pride ourselves on our communication at every step.” Yosef says he grew up watching his dad doing similar work and it ingrained a lifelong work ethic in him. “Growing up I was always working with my dad. I was the kid that was being woken up on Saturday morning
We really pride ourselves on communication at every step.
and he’d say ok let’s go to work and off we’d go,” he says with a laugh. “It probably didn’t seem fun all the time, but I learned a lot and that has stayed with me. You get the job done and you do it right.” It’s a motto that could describe Magnum’s approach today. Their focus on excellence has already garnered rave reviews from clients who have been blown away by the level of care and attention to detail. As well, they were nominated by Small Business BC for the Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year award. “It’s an incredible feeling when you have a client you’ve been working with and the job is finished and you’re about to leave and they’re just looking
Yosef Pharaon and Mai Eilia
at the work you’ve done and they’re so happy with everything,” said Yosef. “More than money, more than any kind of success, when you see a client that is happy and satisfied, that’s what it’s all about. You know you’ve done a good job that you can be proud of.” Mai notes that the company also offers seniors’ discounts and do renovations to help improve accessibility and function for seniors in their homes. And while the pair say they hope to see Magnum continue to grow and expand in the future, their primary goal is to build on their reputation by continuing to focus on excellence with each and every customer.
604-657-4573 I New Westminster, BC I www.magnumconstructionservices.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE PET F OOD & S U PP L I ES
Bosley’s by Pet Valu
f you follow your heart, it will lead you in the right direction – both in life and work. That’s certainly been the case for Karima Jivraj, who has turned her love for animals into a thriving business here in the Royal City. Jivraj opened a Bosley’s by Pet Valu at Columbia Square in 2011, and it has been growing ever since – and has led her to unique opportunities to help provide leadership and volunteering to improve the lives of animals. “My goal from the beginning was to be the local neighbourhood go-to for pet food and supplies, but also for advice and help, to be a place where people know we care about their pets, too,” she said. “And I believe we’ve done that. We’re so grateful that people trust us, that they know they can come in and get some answers and some help.” Jivraj had been working at UBC for many years but the urge to go out on her own, and a passion for working with animals, led to an unexpected – but perfect – chance to change her career direction with the store. “It was really one of those moments where it was the right opportunity at the right time and the right place, and I jumped right into it,” she said, laughing. “To be honest, I dove head first. I was so excited.” The business quickly drew loyal customers and built a great reputation, leading to significant growth.
“We’re actually looking now to renovate our space here to increase our density because we’ve grown so much,” she said. “And ideally I’d love to have a second store in Burnaby or another in New West. This area is growing so much.” And while she’s proud of the success, it comes second to the impact she’s been able to make for animal welfare. “One of my biggest goals was to make life better for the animals here in this community and part of that is supporting the shelter – with food, or toys, all the things that those animals might need while they wait for their new pet parents,” she said. “I wanted to make life better for the animals, to support the work they do there.” That goal extends beyond the Royal City, as well. She’s just begun a second term serving on the board of directors for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
One of my biggest goals was to make life better for the animals here in this community.
of Canada. “The board provides advocacy on a national level,” she said. “I’m so honoured to be on the board, with people who have more experience than me and to be able to sit with them and learn from them but also to help influence decisions.” All in all, it’s been a life path that has proven
Karima Jivraj, Store Owner
rewarding on multiple levels. “I love what I do here and when I know a customer is leaving here satisfied, happy that they’ve gotten good service, I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I want every customer to know they and their pets are the priority, and to want to come back here because they know they can rely on us.
604-522-5280 I 114-1015 Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC I www.bosleys.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE E A R LY ED U C AT I ON
CEFA Early Learning
commitment to incredible education, top-notch care, and excellence on every front has been the hallmark of CEFA Early Learning centres since the first one opened its doors in West Vancouver more than two decades ago. Vivian Young has seen the difference that level of commitment makes in the lives of children, from both sides: first as a parent whose children attended the program, and now as the owner of two CEFA locations in New Westminster. CEFA is an all-day early learning private school for children ages 1 to 5, with a curriculum that offers reading, writing, mathematics, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), as well as visual arts, dance, music, drama, yoga, cultural immersion, and more, with a focus on helping prepare for kindergarten readiness. Young was the parent of three young children – two of whom were already in a CEFA school – when she made the decision to leave her position with an environmental consulting firm to have more time to focus on her young family. She began volunteering at the school, leading her to a deep appreciation of everything that CEFA stood for. “I fell in love with the program and what it was offering,” she said. “All three of my children are quite unique with
their own strengths and perseverances, including one with a learning disability. I felt strongly that CEFA supported us and promoted comfort and confidence. All three graduated from the CEFA program and my husband and I couldn’t be happier, more grateful or more proud of their efforts and successes in school and in sports.” With her oldest about to graduate from Grade 12 and the youngest set to begin high school, she’s seen the long term impact that their early education experiences had on them. Now, she’s thrilled to offer that same experience for students at her two local programs. She says the Royal City has been an incredible place for CEFA, with enthusiasm and support not just from local families but from the city itself. “It’s amazing being a part of a vibrant and friendly
I fell in love with the program and what it was offering.
community and working with the City of New Westminster,” she said. Their first location opened on Carnarvon Street in 2008 and they celebrated their second location in the Uptown area in Royal City Shopping Centre in May of 2019. She gives credit to her team of teachers and the families for the success they’ve had here. “My staff are amazing, caring and dedicated. One of our teachers, who was with our school from 2009 until she retired in 2018, was a recipient of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education which we are extremely proud of,” she said. “Our schools are like a second home and we truly work as extended family to each other and to our families. We
L to R: Vivian Young – Franchise Partner/Director, Marina Lee – Education Coordinator (CEFA New - Principal Westminster-Downtown), Jovana Drlacicć– (CEFA New Westminster-Downtown), Naticia Thandi – Principal (New Westminster-Uptown)
operate with mutual respect and consideration.” Young says she is excited about the future as more and more parents hear about the program. “CEFA’s core purpose is to inspire children to learn and be knowledgeable, seek self betterment and contribute as individuals,” she said. “Whether you are a child, parent, teacher or adult in your community, our core purpose helps guide any efforts.” The foundations that made the first CEFA such a success continue today, she says, as that original commitment to excellence continues. “Excellence is putting forth your best with the sincerest intentions,” she said.
604-777-0053 I 725 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster, BC I www.cefa.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE F I N A NC I A L P L A NN I N G
ealth means much more than simple dollars and cents. It can include future goals, personal values, family priorities, and much more – but making plans around wealth can seem a daunting task to tackle without help. That’s where Harjit Sandhu with IG Wealth Management comes in. As an adviser, Sandhu can help clients look at the big picture – where they’ve come from, where they are today and where they want to go – and create a personalized path with advice and guidance. “That’s my role here, is to really help people navigate through the planning while looking at all the pieces of the puzzle,” he said. “That doesn’t mean just looking at investments but considering a variety of areas: tax planning, tax advice, insurance advice, estate planning, budgeting, cash flow management, debt management. It’s a full spectrum of services.” IG Wealth Management, previously known as Investors Group, specializes in providing services that fit a diverse and highly personalized set of needs, because there’s really no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to financial planning. “We see a lot of different people, a lot of different situations and goals,” said Sandhu. “Being able to
respond to that, find good solutions, and help people feel confident about their decisions is really a primary goal.” Sandhu says that many people can feel uncertain, nervous, or even frightened when it comes to money conversations or planning for the future, but there’s no need to be wary. It’s not uncommon for people to have little to no formal education or understanding of how investing, retirement planning, debt management, or tax planning works. “That’s why people come to us,” he said. “We have the knowledge and information to help guide them. People don’t need to feel nervous about that, we’re not here to judge but to help.” Sandhu’s experience and commitment to his clients has helped him build a strong reputation in the industry. Many people reach out to him because of word-of-mouth referrals. “When a client has no hesitation recommending you to friends and family, that feels great,” he said. “That’s
When a client has no hesitation recommending you to friends and family, that’s excellence to me.
excellence to me, when you’ve done your job to the degree that people want to tell others about your work.” His client base has continued to grow year over year. In fact, he’s preparing to move his team to a larger office space in the Metrotown area in 2020, which will allow him to continue serving clients not just in Burnaby but throughout the region. “I love the work that I do, and being part of IG Wealth Management allows me to help so many people. That’s a wonderful feeling,” he said. IG Wealth Management first opened in 1926, and has 100 offices nationally with headquarters in
Harjit Sandhu, (MBA, BBA, BA) Senior Consultant
Winnipeg. It is part of the Power Financial Group of companies, which includes Great West Life Co., Canada Life, Freedom 55, Mackenzie Financial and Putnam Investments. Sandhu notes that IG Wealth Management has a strong commitment to the communities it serves, including being donors or supporters for local-level organizations, such as South Burnaby Neighbourhood House and the Burnaby Rotary Club. Sandhu’s work in financial planning has been recognized over the years within IG Wealth Management with a variety of awards.
604-431-0117 I www.investorsgroup.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE PHYSIO & MASSAGE THERAPY
Royal City Health & Manual Therapy Inc.
hen it comes to health, trust is paramount. And building that trust takes knowledge, skill and expertise, combined with caring staff and a commitment to excellence – all of which are cornerstones at Royal City Health & Manual Therapy. The clinic’s approach has given them a phenomenal reputation in the community along with business longevity – they’ve been in operation for nearly 25 years. “We want to be the place to go for the best service in town,” said Jeanie Bezdan, managing partner of Royal City Health. “Excellence means aiming to the very best that you can be. For our clinic, that means continually striving to offer the most welcoming greeting when a client walks in, to give them the highest quality treatment, and to make the client really feel cared for.” The clinic offers a range of services to help people with their pain, including physiotherapy, massage therapy, clinical counselling and dietitian services. They also offer a range of care beyond the typical musculoskeletal injuries, with therapists who treat vestibular issues, gastrointestinal problems, and craniosacral therapy for migraines and
headaches. Bezdan and her business partner Rick Tkach lead a team of seven massage therapists, six physiotherapists, a dietitian, and a clinical counsellor, along with office staff. “We are a close-knit group, and have several practitioners including front staff who have been with us long-term,” she noted. “We look for people who not only have the experience we require, but also are keen to collaborate with other practitioners and work well together.” Bezdan notes that she came to this field thanks to a lifelong interest in how the body works. She already had a degree from SFU with a minor in kinesiology when she met Tkach while he was studying for his board exams for massage therapy. “That’s how I got interested in this profession. Massage therapy is a fulfilling career for me as it offers diverse continuing education opportunities, all with the goal of helping clients restore their optimal function.”
Excellence means aiming to the very best that you can be.
For many people, the first interaction with Royal City Health might come after an injury or a new condition has arisen, or by referral from a physician, but others rely on the clinic for ongoing health care services. “We have clients who have made coming to our clinic an important part of their regular health maintenance routine,” notes Bezdan. “They feel welcomed by our staff and comfortable in our clinic and we are honored to know they feel this way and very pleased that we can provide that service to them.” In fact, word-of-mouth referrals have been a significant contributor to their growth. “The biggest compliment is for clients to
Jeanie Bezdan and Rick Tkach, Business Partners
recommend us to their friends and loved ones.” The clinic is located inside Royal City Centre, which Bezdan says has proven an ideal spot that’s well-maintained, bright, and easy to access. “And there’s plenty of other services nearby for our clients,” she said, noting that nearby restaurants and shops also encourage foot traffic, allowing more people to learn about their location. Bezdan says their whole team hopes to continue into the future as they have in the past: through continuous education and new technology, with a team of staff who have a keen desire to help, and a constant focus on building trust with each and every person who comes through the door.
604-524-4446 I 210-610 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC I www.newwestminsterphysiotherapy.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE PUB
Paddlewheeler Pub Great food, great atmosphere, great people – and all in an iconic and beautiful location. That’s what has helped make the Paddlewheeler Pub a community favourite for more than three decades. Such longevity is rare in this industry. Marco Lucarino, assistant general manager at the pub, puts their success down to this special combination of factors that have given them a unique place in the Royal City. “The Paddlewheeler really is a landmark, being in business for 33 years,” he said. It first opened as part of the original Westminster Quay Public Market back in 1986 and still enjoys being part of the ever-changing Quay community while growing and evolving. “We continue to create friendships and build community presence. We have a from-scratch traditional pub menu with a unique take on classic dishes and our newly renovated space really has a warm vibe and a welcoming feel.” He says the dedicated staff and the customers – both loyal long-time visitors and new ones – make the pub a special place. “One of the things I really love about the Paddlewheeler is the staff. We are all very close and it resembles a family
business to me. It’s a place that I can experiment, learn, and continue to grow,” he said. “We have a ton of long term staff. Our longest would be Gail Saunders at 30-plus years. She is the heart of the Paddlewheeler. Most of our servers have been here for four-plus years and we are all very tight as a team.” But even the best staff can’t make a business a success without the people who come through the door. “And our customers are the best. You can often find our regular patrons sitting at the bar or at a table enjoying each other’s company. I think we’ve had a great reception in the community.” The pub isn’t just a great place for a casual get-together over drinks or for a great meal; it’s also an ideal spot for local events. “We’ve hosted naloxone trainings, Santa breakfasts, and charitable events,” he said, noting they also are a favourite for holiday celebrations for other local businesses and
Excellence to me is a happy customer and a happy employee.
groups. The city has been an ideal home for the Paddlewheeler all these years and Lucarino says they’re excited to see what the future will bring. “I love New Westminster for its charming vibes,” he said. “To me it resembles a big city without the bad parts. It’s continuously growing and reaching new peaks. The community here is incredible.” As for the Paddlewheeler itself, some unique changes are on the way. “We have a few special projects in the works. We will be working on a social lounge, better
Marco Lucarino, Assistant General Manager
games room, and some patio improvements,” he said. “And we will be launching a brand new happy hour, new menu items and I’m excited for unique custom cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else.” At the end of the day, it’s about doing a great job for each customer and taking pride in that effort “Excellence to me is a happy customer and, just as importantly, a happy employee.”
604-524-1894 I 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster, BC I www.paddlewheelerpub.net
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE EN V I RON M ENTA L
City of New Westminster
he work of today must, by necessity, be the dreams of tomorrow. For the City of New Westminster, that means being a leader in exploring and developing sustainable systems for today and the future. An urban solar garden currently in operation at Queensborough Community Centre has been garnering recognition for its cutting-edge technology in a unique ‘Made in New West For New West’ venture. “The garden is a community-owned, rooftop solar photovoltaic array that provides local residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations access to renewable energy,” said Steve Faltas, the business process manager with the New Westminster Electrical Utility. The garden is an accessible and less expensive alternative to individual rooftop installations, and is part of the Energy Save New West program, itself part of the city’s larger goal of embracing clean local energy and the green economy. It has been in operation since June 2018, with a 50 kW array consisting of 156 solar panels. A second solar garden was installed earlier this year at the Public Works yard. So far, the project has proven a fantastic success. Aside from being the first municipality-led community solar
initiative in Metro Vancouver, it has been getting plenty of attention from other cities and organizations. Most recently, it was named the winner of the Environmental Award 2019 from the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC organization, in its prestigious annual awards program. “The city is leading with action,” said Faltas. “The project is a template for transferability to other municipalities in BC and Canada to develop their own community-led renewable energy projects.” He hopes to see the solar gardens developed in other communities, noting New Westminster’s version grew, in part, from the example set by Nelson Hydro with their community solar garden. “It’s extremely gratifying to participate in a community-led project that demonstrates local leadership in renewable energy.” The solar garden is operated under the Energy Save New West initiative, in partnership with Ecolighten Energy Solutions, a local consulting firm lead by CEO Ryan Coleman, supporting
The city is leading with action.
the city through design, mobilization and program management. The initiative is one of the longest running and most comprehensive community energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions programs in Canada. Any New Westminster Electric Utility customer can participate by subscribing to a portion of the solar electricity generated by the array on a per panel basis. The amount of energy generated by the garden is then credited back to a subscriber’s bills in proportion to their investment, for up to 25 years. “New Westminster has been making important
Steve Faltas, New Westminster Electric Utility’s Building Process Manager
progress to reduce our carbon footprint and the Urban Solar Garden initiative is an example of our leadership in that,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “Moving forward, with our Seven Bold Steps for Climate Action we will continue to work with the community to address the Climate Emergency, developing new ideas and initiatives for meeting our goals.” For more information, see www.newwestcity.ca, www.energysavenewwest.ca/urban-solar-garden, www.ecolighten.com, and terratek.ca.
604-521-3711 I 511 Royal Avenue, New Westminster, BC I www.newwestcity.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE NOT- F OR - PRO F I T
WorkBC Centre New Westminster
ometimes, building a better future requires some new tools and a little guidance in how to use them. That’s where Fraser Works Co-op comes in, providing resources and services to help job seekers find employers, and vice versa, in New Westminster and beyond. “We provide free employment services for anyone from 16 to 80,” explains general manager, Tracey Fraser. “We are the only WorkBC Centre in New Westminster providing services for both jobseekers and employers in our community.” WorkBC is co-funded by both the provincial and federal government. Fraser Works is unique within the WorkBC system because it’s one of the only centres operated as a cooperative, under the combined wings of four local organizations: AWARE Society, Fraserside Community Services Society, MOSAIC, and Pacific Community Resource Society. “We really want people to know that we are here to help,” said Fraser. “We are here to assist jobseekers with any employment-related needs that they may have. We have employers who are seeking employees, and employees who are seeking employers. We want to ensure
that people find and sustain employment that can improve the quality of their lives.” Fraser says that the organization has a spectrum of tools to assist people, including a resource room with self-serve job support services, computers, printing, and job board services, and even a Working Man’s Closet program where men can access gently used suits and working gear that they might not otherwise be able to afford. The centre also provides a wealth of case management services from training, to wage subsidy, to selfemployment referrals. They also offer assistance to employers, ranging from job postings to hiring fair, and have a partnership with the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, called CONNECTIONS, that helps connect local employers to clients. Fraser says the staff are all incredibly dedicated to the work they do. “Our excellence comes through in our support of our
We really want people to know that we are here to help.
clients and employers. We take a lot of pride in being able to assist people who may be at a low point in their life,” she said. “Our staff are knowledgeable, compassionate and focused on delivering the highest level of service. We strive for excellence in what we do and how we provide service. To be able to assist someone alleviate stress and anxiety is a wonderful feeling that we are very fortunate to experience in our day to day work here.” The services are all provided free of charge, and the staff speak a combined 13 languages and are all certified with various vocational support credentials that give them the know-how and expertise to provide a vast array of services.
L to R: Alison Ireland, Centre Coordinator, Tracey Fraser, General Manager and Nimmi Bangert, Employer & Community Liaison
Their efforts over the last seven years since they first opened have helped them build a strong reputation for supporting both individuals and the wider community. “We strive to be compassionate in supporting our clients to reach their goals,” said Fraser. “We really focus on individual needs, be they jobseekers or employers.” Though some people are referred there from Income Assistance or Employment Insurance programs, anyone is welcome to access services or learn more about what’s available by visiting their Seventh Street offices or by checking out online information through their website.
604-522-9701 (ext123) I 2nd Floor, 519 Seventh St., New Westminster, BC I www.workbccentre-newwestminster.ca
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE F EST I VA L S & E V ENTS
Hyack Festival Association
he tapestry of New Westminster has always been woven with colourful threads from its unique history. As the city continues to grow, change, and evolve, that special heritage remains a unifying feature that brings together life-long residents and newcomers alike – especially during times of celebration. The Hyack Festival Association, one of the city’s longestrunning organizations, is passionate about bringing those celebrations to life. “We are here to serve the citizens of the Royal City with fun, engaging, and inclusive activities for everyone who enjoys their hometown and all it has to offer,” said current association president Lili De Capite, noting this work also includes serving as ambassadors to other communities which draws tourism and interest in the city. “Our goal is to maintain our cultural heritage in our city and continue the great work that has been maintained for almost 50 years with our high quality community events.” Anyone familiar with New Westminster will instantly recognize the impressive roster of events: the Miss New Westminster Hyack Ambassador Program, Hyack Week, International Parade, Uptown Street Festival, May Day Tea,
May Queen Royal Suite Chaperones and Heritage Picnic, Hyack Canada Day Festival and Fireworks – to name just a few. This coming year marks the 150th anniversary of May Day events in the city – the longest running May Day celebration in the Commonwealth – and the association feels it is important to help bring more public awareness to this long-standing tradition. “So many residents are passionate about May Day – it has survived a long time and should remain a focus in our city,” said Lili, adding that such events can help people feel a strong and abiding connection to their community and create a sense of place that is unique. Penny McIvor, the incoming president for 2020, and Becci Dewinetz, who will serve as president for the associations 50th anniversary in 2021, are equally passionate about the value of the Hyack Festival
Our events really are a way to join each other in celebrating.
Association. Both have been longtime association members and volunteers, and are excited to plan ahead for the coming years. Penny notes that next year’s theme will be Jewels of the Royal City – among those jewels being the 150th anniversary of May Day. In 2021, Becci says the theme will be Decades of Dedication, to help honour the hundreds of volunteers who have made the organization a success over its 50-year history. It will be a special year as it also marks Becci’s 40th anniversary serving as a member with the association, since her reign as Miss New Westminster in 1981. All three women say that the practical role of the association – to organize and coordinate festivals and celebrations – is part of a much bigger, and
Photo on right, L - R: Penny McIvor (Hyack President Elect 2019), Michael Ront-Gibson (Royal Knight 2019), Becci Dewinetz (Hyack President Elect 2021), Natasha Sing (Miss New Westminster 2019), Lili De Capite (Hyack President 2019), and Amaris Han (149th May Queen).
more important, goal: helping residents connect with each other, their community, and their history. “Our events really are a way to join each other in celebrating,” said Lili. “They make you smile and bring family and friends together in a brighter atmosphere than you can find anywhere else. And the best part about each of our Hyack festivals is that they are free to everyone of all ages, genders, and nationalities. This is truly what makes our Royal City shine bright.” Without its volunteers, past and present, the association would not be able to carry out all of the incredible work it does. “We are always in need of as many volunteers as will join us,” said Lili. “Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization and we encourage and welcome them all.” sponsored content
604-522-6894 I 204 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC I www.hyackfestival.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE Y O U T H PER F OR M A NCES
Royal City Youth Ballet Company
here are few holiday traditions as loved – or as magical – as The Nutcracker. From the music to the costumes, the stage design to the choreography, it’s as much a part of the season as twinkling trees and hot cocoa. And there’s perhaps no place this is more true than right here in New Westminster. For more than 30 years, the Royal City Youth Ballet Company has been putting on an annual run of The Nutcracker, as part of their unique approach to dance training. The organization was created to bridge the gap between a ballet school and professional ballet company. “We give the dancers a taste of what it might be like to be a professional dancer in a non-competitive dance environment,” explained artistic director Camilla FishwickKellogg. “They learn how everything works backstage as well as on stage, they learn teamwork and responsibility, and they receive technical training that helps improve their technique and gain strength from the hours of rehearsals.” The non-profit dance company is so well regarded that spots are highly sought after by young dancers from around the region during annual auditions each September.
“We love that it is open to students at any metro Vancouver studio as it’s about sharing the love of dance,” she said. “We have so many wonderful parts for all ages and ballet levels.” She notes that the production tours to other theatres during the season, including a trip to Vancouver Island, and that the entire experience not only gives them a glimpse into a professional dancer’s life but leaves them with memories and experiences that last a lifetime. “We expect a lot out of our dancers, even the young ones, and they always find a way together to rise up to a very high level. We know we have succeeded when we have provided the right environment, support, coaching and challenges to allow them to flourish.” This dedication to excellence has been a cornerstone of the Royal City Youth Ballet since it first opened its doors 31 years ago when it was founded by Dolores Kirkwood, who served as the first artistic director, and Donna Fishwick, the first and still-current president
From those modest beginnings and big dreams...our vision has proudly flourished
of the organization. “We started with very modest beginnings in a basement studio in New Westminster as a new ballet company focused on young dancers,” said Fishwick-Kellogg. “And that vision has flourished and is still going strong. Many of our alumni return with their own children as new dancers and lend a hand with teaching and backstage support.” She notes that the organization has been blessed with fantastic leadership over the years. “The company would not have survived without the hard work of our board of directors. Their job takes endless hours and it’s all for the dancers.”
L to R: Dancers Penelope Werdal, Ian Szkolak, Madelena Klein, and Adrianna Sankovic
With New Westminster and the Massey Theatre as a home base for so long, the Royal City Youth Ballet has truly become a hometown favourite – and the organization is proud to be a part of this community. “It would be difficult to even imagine being anywhere else,” said Fishwick-Kellogg. “We appreciate being part of the Arts Council of New West and the work being done there to elevate the overall involvement and profile of the arts in this city. This is a vibrant place with a continuously evolving demographic and we cannot wait to see what the future holds.” sponsored content
firstname.lastname@example.org I 511 Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC I www.royalcityyouthballet.org
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE M U S I C L ESSONS
Rover Music School
or Angelica Kim, music is much more than a career. It’s a true calling – and something she hopes to share with every single student at her music education centre in New Westminster. Rover Music School was born out of Angelica’s desire to find a path that allowed her to share her passion and joy for music with students in a positive and supportive environment. Drawn to music as a young child, she was teaching private lessons while working as a rehearsal pianist by the age of 15. She spent time with the New Zealand National Opera Project, Melbourne University Opera Project, Brandon Theater Company, Hipposonic and Armoury Recording Studios. But over time it became clear that her heart was in teaching others and the idea for Rover Music School was born. “I am the happiest when I get to help another person through music,” she said. “Music made a huge impact in my personal life during hardships, and as I searched for the right path, I realized it was to help others feel the incredible value and impact music could make in helping them express themselves.” Angelica said she carefully gathered together a team of fellow music teachers who shared her student-centred
philosophy. “I wanted to build a school where it was okay to make mistakes, okay to not be perfect and to just enjoy the entire process of learning music and speaking through music.” The school offers private lessons in piano, flute, guitar, voice, song-writing and Royal Conservatory of Music curriculums. They also provide group lessons to help young children with the Kids Music Fundamentals program, and help parents understand music and the music learning process with the Parents Keyboard Class, as well as offering song-writing workshops for teens and choirs for both adults and children. “We hear adults say they’re too late to start music lessons, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! It’s never too late to learn something new, especially in music,” she said. “Rover teaches beginner students of all ages from 3 to 73. Please know that if it’s in your heart, it’s never too late and we’re here to help.” The response in the community has been incredibly positive, with rave reviews from students and parents
Excellence is in the quality of effort along your journey.
alike. The school recently expanded into a larger classroom space. “New Westminster is a great city for welcoming creative opportunities and growth within its art community,” she said. She’s also a member of the New Westminster Art Council Board of Directors, assisting in curating new programs and events for the city. She also volunteers with the music therapy program Last Door, which helps people express their emotions during recovery through the power of music. “It’s been such an incredible experience for everyone involved and reminds me just how special this community is.”
Angelica Kim, Director of Rover Music School
Angelica is proud of what she and her team have created – not just because of what they can teach in terms of music but also in the joy and pride it creates in her students. “Excellence can often be perceived as an end product but we don’t see excellence in only the end result,” she said. “Excellence is in the quality of effort along your journey. For a performer to smile at the end of a performance, not simply because of the performance itself, but because they are proud of their dedication to being the highest quality version of themselves, is what we believe creates excellence.” The school offers free trial lessons and people are welcome to drop in to learn more. sponsored content
604-553-2876 I 624 & 626 12th Street, New Westminster, BC I www.rovermusicschool.com
PROFILES OF EXCELLENCE O U R TE A M
Christina Myers Writer
Christina Myers is a long-time journalist, writer, and editor. She worked as a full-time newspaper reporter for nearly 13 years before moving into freelance, literary and creative writing. Her work has appeared in magazines, anthologies, journals, and online, and she has two book projects forthcoming in 2020/2021, including her first novel. She is a fan of dresses with pockets, vintage kitchen collectibles, and overflowing book shelves. She balances creative work and parenting from her home in Surrey. Find her online at www.cmyers.ca.
Gary Slavin Creative Designer
Gary Slavin has worked as a graphic designer in the lower mainland for community newspapers for over two decades, with the majority of those years at the New Westminster Record and sister paper Burnaby Now. He continues to work as a freelance creative designer for various newspapers and local businesses. He has many design awards over the years presented by British Columbia Yukon Community Newspaper Association (BCYCNA), Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA) and the Suburban Newspaper Association (SNA). He grew up in North Burnaby and is a father of two amazing sons. He now resides in Blaine, Washington, with his wife, Kristen. Outside of work, he volunteers in the sport of ball hockey at national and international levels.
Lisa King Photographer
Lisa King is one half of the team behind TwinLens Photography, along with partner Kevin Hill. The pair work collaboratively in shooting for editorial, corporate, and commercial clients, as well as special events and weddings, with more than 25 years in combined experience as professional photographers. The duo met while studying photojournalism at Loyalist College in Ontario, and now call the Lower Mainland home. King enjoys travelling, team sports and scuba diving, to name a few of her hobbies. Find her online at www.twinlens.ca.
Kevin Hill Photographer
Kevin Hill is one half of the team behind TwinLens Photography, along with partner Lisa King. The pair work collaboratively in shooting for editorial, corporate, and commercial clients, as well as special events and weddings, with more than 25 years in combined experience as professional photographers. The duo met while studying photojournalism at Loyalist College in Ontario, and now call the Lower Mainland home. In his downtime, Hill enjoys outdoor recreation â€“ including skiing, backpacking and target shooting â€“ and motorcycle adventures. Find him online at www.twinlens.ca.