LIFESTYLE | CULTURE | PEOPLE | TRENDS
Hello and welcome to The Drive Spring is about rebirth and renewal and this magazine makeover embodies just that. The Drive is not new—we have 17 years of experience serving our community—but our format and our focus has changed. These days Windsor wants to be more than the Automotive Capital of Canada, and the city is making serious strides to become a region of revitalization, a place with young artists thriving, professionals forging careers, families growing, housing markets rising and retirees flocking from far and wide. As a somewhat seasoned newbie to Windsor, I find cause to celebrate all of that! We are rebranding our magazine to shine a new light on people in our community. We are meeting the strangers around us and making friends by creating relatable, authentic, deep, raw and edgy everyday stories. But we aren’t stopping there—our redesigned and reimagined pages will push some boundaries and take some risks. We will learn from each other what a magazine is, and more importantly, what it can be, in our eternally growing city. Our shift in editorial direction materialized when Paul St-Pierre purchased The Drive. He outlined what he saw as his four key building blocks: creativity, passion, people and inspiration. Combined with my enthusiasm for magazines, and a love for photography and clean design, we hope we will leave you truly inspired, moved and empowered by the exceptional life stories of everyday people. With technology rapidly delivering news stories to our fingertips as they unfold, how does a magazine fit in? We do it by delivering context in a different way: for us, it’s about ideas and images coming together in relation to one another and with a larger point of view, where you’re left feeling part of a community and proud to belong. Magazines are about trust and loyalty, and we at The Drive will strive always to keep you engaged. Enough of the why, the how is also a key player. None of this is possible without a team of contributors working relentlessly to deliver on what we have been promising. A special thank-you to everyone who was a part of taking this jewel and polishing it: Ken Stewart, managing director David Scott Hunter, sales director Syx Langemann, contributing photographer Trevor Booth, contributing photographer Marnie Robillard, contributing art director Veronique Mandal, contributing writer Matt St. Amand, contributing writer Jenn MacMullan, contributing writer Lina Duque, contributing writer Jen Hale, contributing writer/editor Stay with us and expect more. Thank you for reading, We invite you to visit our new website at www.thedrivemagazine.com, and to answer our favourite question: WHAT DRIVES YOU? in our ‘Contact’ page. We welcome your feedback on this inaugural issue of our revamped magazine and would love to hear from you at email@example.com.
Editorial + Creative Director
WELCOME 3 A letter to our readers SOCIAL DRIVE 6 Trends to watch HEALTH DRIVE Mind 8 Heather Chauvin
12 Luis Mendez HEALTH DRIVE Spirit 14 What is spirituality? BUSINESS DRIVE 16 Your personal brand
20 Victor Neufeld 30 Pat Papadeas 34 Tim Byrne TREND DRIVE 42 Ana Stulic COMMUNITY DRIVE 46 Jeani Tingle
Pat Papadeas The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
HEALTH DRIVE Body
VIC NEUFELD From a peach farm boy to pot czar: the man behind the headlines
TIM BYRNE “I’m Not Too Bad After All”: The Gatekeeper of Essex County
JEANI & CHIP TINGLE Canine Comfort: The Healing Power of Therapy Dogs
TRENDS to watch By Jenn McMullan
BUNGEE FIT This year jump into shape with this fun, gravity-defying workout thatâ€™s been taking the fitness world by storm. Fly through the air with the combination workout of dance and fitness. Classes now offered at Samyoga, located at 2615 Howard Avenue. Prices and packaging start at $35.
FASHION This spring, keep your eye out for a lot of feathers, ostrich and trim details like fringe, says local fashion designer Ana Stulic. To stay trendy for the upcoming season, Stulic says, incorporate a lot of reds, pinks and pastels into your workout look. (For more on Stulic, see page 41)
Float Lakeshore Float therapy is a powerful tool for muscle recovery, sleep enhancement and mental clarity. Guests float in a solution of Epsom salt and water that allows deep relaxation. Float sessions allow the mind and body to be able to release away from distractions, and to enter a deep meditative state. Located on County Road 22 in Belle River, pricing and membership packaging start at $60.
Neighbourhood to Watch For the latest hot spots keep an eye on the streets of Ford City, a neighbourhood that is undergoing major renovations. Stay tuned for new businesses, community groups and restaurants, such as The Grand Cantina, a sister restaurant to the popular F&B in Olde Walkerville.
Business Owners can really
Contact one of our specialists for all your insurance needs. 1.866.771.3363 Amherstburg | Ayr | Essex | Kingsville LaSalle | Leamington | Windsor
Security | Satisfaction | Savings
HEALTH DRIVE Mind Body Spirit
Navigating through the bullshit How one woman survived— and thrived—after cancer By Matt St. Amand
“You have cancer.” Upon hearing those three words, Heather Chauvin’s mind came into razor-sharp focus. Gone were the constant thoughts about her burgeoning business, her mile-long priority list, the missed calls and text messages. For one seemingly endless moment, her mind could focus on only two things: her family and the word the doctor had just said to her. Cancer. “I was diagnosed right there in the ER,” Heather recalls. “Afterward, walking to the car with my husband, everything felt unreal. It was night, it was raining, and I remember stopping and looking up to the sky and saying, ‘You have my attention. I am listening.’” It was four days before Christmas. A year earlier, Heather was 27 years old and married with three boys. She had started her own business teaching mindfulness skills to children. She hosted workshops in local yoga studios, created her Mom Is In Control podcast and interviewed mindfulness experts online, making connections to help build her audience. Not surprisingly, Heather felt increasingly hindered by aches, pains and chronic fatigue. When she mentioned it to family or friends, the invariable response was, “You’re a mother. You’re starting a business. This is normal. This too shall pass.” It was only when her abdomen became so swollen and uncomfortable that she sent a photo to a family member who was a physician in another city. The family member promptly replied: “Get to a hospital immediately!” Heather was diagnosed on the spot with Stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “That’s when I realized I had to take it seriously,” Heather says. “I was so used to putting things off, but there’s no wiggle room with Stage 4 cancer. There is no Stage 5.” Treatment presented Heather with a unique conundrum. As a Women’s Leadership Coach, she cultivated a holistic mindset. She instinctively turned to alternative treatments, but when faced with a Stage 4 diagnosis she realized the only thing likely to save her life was chemotherapy. “Before the diagnosis, I was very judgmental towards Western medicine because I didn’t know better,” she explains. “It seems to be one or the other with most people, and there’s a lot of judgment on both sides. “Now I see Western medicine for why it was created: as crisis intervention. It’s not prevention. Our health is up to us—it’s our responsibility as humans to do what we need to do to feel and become healthy. When we neglect those needs, our health can devolve to a crisis point.” Finally, at the end of her course of treatment, Heather’s physician pronounced her cancer-free. The experience left her feeling like everything had been stripped away. Heather emerged at the other end of the treatment with a clean slate. She adjusted her philosophy and mindset, even her approach to her business. “My position about
I remember stopping and looking up to the sky and saying, ‘You have my attention. I am listening.’
women’s health shifted,” she says. “I see women as the foundation of society and culture. We nurture children who become adults and leaders. When a woman feels good and surrounds herself with other women who do the same, things happen quickly. This is why I see parenting as an epidemic of lack and misery because of the cultural belief that doing anything for yourself is selfish.” Heather’s business was very child-focused before her diagnosis. After her treatment, she began to focus on the parent, with the child’s behaviour seen as a symptom of the family’s health as a whole. “I created a program that required people to invest in their results over time instead of working with me on a session-bysession basis,” she says. “I stopped trading my time for money and instead started selling programs and the container of space for people as a package. “As a result, I attracted people who were more committed to getting what they wanted instead of just looking for a quick fix.” In the last four years, Heather says, her approach has become quality over quantity. “Too often we live our lives from a place of ‘I should’ or ‘moms don’t do that,’” she says. “I labelled myself and wrapped this identity around who I was supposed to be. After my treatment, I threw all that out the window. If I wanted the nice car, why wasn’t I giving myself permission to buy one? Because of what people would think of me? Or because my parents always bought a different kind of car? “I started to look closely at the stories I was telling myself, and I rewrote those stories. I lost a lot of people and lost a lot of things, but in return I gained so much. Now I teach women how to navigate through the bullshit and start living fulfilling, sustainable lives.” Stripping away everything and learning to focus on one’s self is what Heather believes everyone should be doing, because, in turn, it helps a person become a better partner, parent and businessperson. “This is freedom,” she says with a smile. “This is what it truly means to live.” D.
Die Maintenance Service Inc. New Ownership Sparks Exciting Changes at a Well Established Windsor Mold Supply Company
DMS is the largest independent distributor of mold and Die making supplies in the world. The company’s Windsor Location in Oldcastle Ontario has 17 employees, with 14,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, and over 12,000 products available, making DMS the premiere one stop shop for mold making supplies in the Windsor Essex County area. The company also has locations in California and Illinois and serves markets well beyond Essex County DMS is a well-established company that was founded over 40 years ago, but entering the doors of the company one feels the energy of a new start up company. This is due no doubt to the company being under new, but very experienced ownership and management. Vince Schiller purchased the company about 4 months ago from Dave & Breen Belleperche. Upon purchasing DMS Vince tapped Tom Kaschalk (formerly of Ramstar Carbide Tool) who was brought on as general manager and minority partner and the pair have brought with them new energy and positive changes for DMS. Vince Schiller, owner of Southwest Manufacturing, is one of three finalists for Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the year award and is well known for buying and drastically improving businesses. For Tom Kasckalk who manages and runs the day to day operations of the business, much of the positive changes at DMS started with sitting down and actually listening to customers needs and reflecting on how he could design changes at DMS to improve customer experience. “Really listening to customers have driven a host of changes. We started a shift on Saturday, 8 am to 12 pm, to accommodate their needs,” explained Tom, “The other major thing we did was vastly expand our inventory in the warehouse,” Tom continued “Vince (Schiller) has a philosophy that if its not on the shelf you can’t sell it…” These changes (and many others) have ensured that the company can meet the rapid needs its customers have for supplies on a same day basis. “We aim to be a one-stop shop for all Mold Shops in Essex County and beyond, Mold Shops know they can call us in the morning before one pm and we will deliver that order to their shop on the same day!” explained Tom, “For pick ups they can pre-call their order to us and we will prep it ahead of time and get their drivers loaded up and on their way, as quickly as possible, I wouldn’t have it any other way time is money in this business.” Tom has been married to his wife Angela for 23 years and has one son Patrick. He states that he understands the importance of family and work life balance and the importance of working to develop an employee family at DMS. What’s very important to Tom is family, health then DMS. To the end the company has improved the benefits package for employees, restructured and renamed positions in the company. Tom also began using quality cards in with packaged items sent with customers to instill a sense of pride and accountability in its employee group by ensuring that their work for customers has their name on it.
Tom Kaschalk - General Manager
Tom pointed to the company’s website as the next area for improvement and states he sees improving DMS as an ongoing challenge which he plans to tackle for many years to come. To contact Tom at DMS please call 519-737-1198.
HEALTH DRIVE Mind Body Spirit
The Path of Most Persistence How one man chose to rewrite his legacy By Matt St. Amand
On paper, Luis Mendez had it all: a beautiful, growing family; a good job. But after eight years in the fitness industry—working every job from reception, to trainer, to sales—Luis found himself stressed and tired and questioning the direction of his life. For a man whose family means everything to him, he realized he was sacrificing all of his time with them for a career that wasn’t fulfilling him. “There I was in the fitness industry,” Luis recalls, “and I’d never been in worse shape. I had been a two-sport athlete in university—football and track and field—but I’d gained weight, wasn’t eating right, drinking energy drinks.” Then, in June 2013, he took his family to his birthplace, Venezuela, for a vacation. After two weeks of reconnecting with his roots and recharging his batteries, it all came into stark focus. It was like a weight had lifted off his shoulders. He was enjoying time with his family and he was taking care of himself. Then he returned home. 12
“My first day back to work, within hours of stepping through the door, I knew I needed a change,” Luis says. He says it was like an out-of-body experience, a fierce feeling that he needed to change his life. “It was part miracle, in a way,” he says. “Working for someone else’s plan made me realize I want it done my way. I wanted my own gym.” It wasn’t just his business instincts that had kicked in, but his paternal ones: he wanted his children to aspire to something more than what he was doing. And if this wasn’t a life he wanted for his children, he didn’t want it for himself, either. Luis spent the next six months researching how to make that happen, and in January 2014, with his wife cheering him on, Luis made the leap and resigned from his job. People thought he was crazy. “All that mattered was that my wife supported me,” he says. “One day, I looked around the gym and realized, ‘It’s all on me to keep this going. I am Head Office, now.’” Luis learned how to clean the gym equipment. When it broke down, he learned how to fix it. He even figured out how to reupholster seats, and legand armrests. He had become his own boss, but that also meant that everything that needed to be done would fall to him. He didn’t see this responsibility as a burden, though—it was one he embraced, because it meant he was working for himself, not someone else, which was the model he wanted for his children. Luis readily attributes his success and sustainability to his staff. “I don’t think of my staff as employees, but as associates. As an employer, I want to provide a workplace where they feel that they have a voice that will be heard. I’ve worked every position in a gym and I know that frontline people see and hear everything.” Within a year of opening True Fitness on Tecumseh Road East, Luis wanted a second location, and after spending a long time securing financing while navigating through a nettle bush of zoning laws—including having to plead his case before City Council — he secured his location on Ouelette. However, in the midst of all the hassle it took to get his second location going, he had taken his focus off the first one, and that distraction had consequences. “I lost some good people at my first location because I just hadn’t been there for them,” Luis says. “That experience, alone, made me look at how I do things.” Luis is now more focused on his employees and what they need. Four years after he made the leap, he knows it was the right decision on every level. For him, the most important part is enjoying being a family man again. “I see my family more, I have a lot less stress and I don’t feel under pressure. For years I was sacrificing my true career for a paycheque, and that was never going to pay off for my family.” Luis is finally where he’s always needed to be. D.
“ ” Working for someone else’s plan made me realize I want it done my way. I wanted my own gym.
HEALTH DRIVE Mind Body Spirit
we As Shirley Jackson writes in The Haunting of Hill House, “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.” Whether we are yak, Yeti or yeoman, conscious beings need to contemplate something larger than ourselves. Gurus, mantras and spirituality are as common today as McDonald’s Happy Meals. But what is spirituality? Is it found in the candle and yoga mat section of Chapters? Is it tai chi in the park?
“Believing in something greater than ourselves. And trust that it will guide you in life.”—Matthew Melville, provincial offence officer
“It’s about being a good person and doing the right things because they are the right things to do. It’s about leading your life the best way you know how. It is about choosing to be found doing your duty.” —Kevin Corriveau, professor at St. Clair College
“To me spirituality isn’t so much a belief in God as an understanding of how everything and everyone is connected. I think so often in our society we focus on the differences between one another, but if you look at things through a more spiritual lens you see how similar we all are.” —Jen Hale, editor/writer
“It’s...not giving up on yourself, believing in yourself.” —Hanna, 8 years old
“Talking inward to God, guides, angels... basically expressing love to oneself from within.” — Kelly Spinarsky, makeup artist/stylist
“What does spirituality mean to you?” Local Windsorites from all walks of life answer our question on spirituality.
“Spirituality to me is the way you live. How you see your surroundings, and how you adapt and react to all things you take in. Form of thought, acceptance and meaning. Specifically not a religion or belief but a form of being.” —Ken Stewart, managing director
“It is touching the lives of others, being connected—mind, body and spirit. To shine your light on everyone you come in contact with to enrich their lives and shine too.”
—Armenie, 6 years old
“Spirituality is not religion...it is our souls longing to be known. Each person expresses their spirit each and every moment, in different ways—love, heartache, anger... it is all part of the same cloth. It is also about sacred communion and merging with the Divine— what some call God or Universe or Higher Power.” —Julie Ward, intimacy and relationship coach
—MaryAnn Sobocan, assistant manager at CosmoProf
“Discovering yourself naturally through different connections to fulfill your life.” — Ana Stulic, fashion designer
“Spirituality is the spark that connects us to the consciousness of the universe. It is an embrace of goodness and kindness that our souls surrender to for serenity and calmness.” —Sheryl Davies, publisher
“It is your true spirit. Your true self inside of you.”—Alexandra, 9 years old “Spiritualism is most people’s way of saying they don’t believe in God but they do believe in something that keeps them headed towards that place in the words of Norman Greenbaum,’When I die and they lay me to rest, I’m gonna go to the place that’s the best.’” — Steven Sprankle, father, student and public relations professional 15
BUSINESS DRIVE Social Media
Build a personal brand or get left behind
CEOs who are active on social media are perceived as better leaders who can build better connections with customers, employees and investors.
By Lina Duque, Social Media Strategist & Speaker
In today’s social age, creating a personal brand, through strong and authentic online presence, is a prerequisite to leadership. The business case for a leader’s engagement in social media is clear. CEOs who are active on social media are perceived as better leaders who can build better connections with customers, employees and investors, according to a survey by New York City-based social media agency Brandfog. The study further shows that executive engagement in social media leads to brand trust, with more than 60 percent of those surveyed more likely to purchase from a company “whose values and leadership are clearly communicated through executive participation on social media.” Therefore, by building a social brand, not only are you strengthening your reputation but you are also influencing your company’s bottom line.
But how do you craft a social brand that complements your in-person brand? Below are six steps to get you started.
Set up a blog
Have a plan
Building a social brand is like marketing any other product. You need to identify your objective, target audience and channels. What do you want to achieve? Are you looking to engage your staff or amplify your company’s brand? Understanding your target market is key to picking your social media platforms. Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are must-haves. But if you’re, for example, targeting millennials, then presence on Instagram and Snapchat is required as well. Draft a plan and lay out those basic elements.
A blog is a powerful avenue to show transparency and thus build trust with your stakeholders. Aim to write a monthly post on your company or personal blog/website. Blogging on LinkedIn is also a great way to share your thought leadership. A web-friendly blog post typically starts with a teaser or timely story and is organized into segments, as is this article. If you blog on your company’s website, then republish your blog posts to your personal website with a link to the original post. Once published, promote the blog through your social networks. Plan your posts in advance by creating an editorial calendar of post ideas.
TELL STORIES Nothing drives a point home better than a story. Back up your insights in your blog with a personal story, client case study or interesting anecdote. Write about both success and failure—a great way to show that you are human. For example, on his LinkedIn blog, Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance, shares his views on taking career risks through recounting the story of how he made the decision to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Japan and turn Nissan around.
CREATE YOUR OWN #HASHTAG
Having your own hashtag increases your visibility and helps you curate content around your personal brand, including blog posts, quotes, speaking engagements and media appearances. For example, Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, dean of Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education in Toronto, uses #RUDeanMarie to promote and track conversations on Twitter related to her activities. The hashtag appears on her Twitter bio—a signal to new followers to search for the hashtag if they want to get caught up on her social presence. Create a hashtag that is short, easy to remember and not in use already. For example, if your name is Denise and you are a CEO, #CEODenise or #AskDenise would work. The latter though works better if you are looking to invite followers to engage with you.
Contribute to high-traffic sites
Getting published gives you credibility as a thought leader in your space. Maria Pinelli, global vice chair of strategic growth markets at Ernst & Young, is a great example to follow. Pinelli, who oversees Ernst & Young’s business unit that advises entrepreneurs, writes about entrepreneurship-related topics on her firm’s blog. She also regularly contributes articles to high-traffic sites, including Forbes, which strengthens her brand as a leading authority on entrepreneurship. Repurposing those articles for LinkedIn drives fresh traffic to her content and keeps her top of mind with her network.
TAKE BABY STEPS
It is easy to get overwhelmed by social media. Avoid that by making a small but daily time commitment to engage with your social networks. Start small. For example, on Twitter, start with one tweet a day until you graduate to four. Aim at reaching a frequency of one monthly blog post, two weekly status updates on LinkedIn and four daily tweets. Scheduling posts, using social media management tools such as Bufferapp or Hootsuite is helpful, but continuing to post in real-time is important. Post during peak traffic times to maximize your exposure. Best times to post on LinkedIn are weekdays during business hours, and on Twitter 5 p.m. for highest retweets and 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for highest click-through rates. D. This post originally appeared on the website of Young Presidents’ Organization.
From a peach farm boy to pot czar: the man behind the headlines How a lifetime of farming, hard work and ambition led Vic Neufeld to create a multi-billion-dollar business By Veronique Mandal
The journey from being the son of a peach farmer to pot czar might seem highly improbable and it could be, unless your name is Vic Neufeld and life on the farm laid a foundation for your future success. Little did Neufeld know the discipline and work ethic demanded by his father would guide him through a number of careers and near catastrophes and allow his life to become “a helluva ride.” At a time when most people are heading to retirement, Neufeld is running a multi-billion-dollar marijuana enterprise, sitting on multiple boards of directors and travelling the world. In just four short years he and his partners—John Cervini and Cole Cacciavillani—have taken their company Aphria from zero worth
to $2.5 billion. No mean feat and certainly not for the faint of heart. He is quick to credit his drive, passion and energy with the lessons he learned as a farm boy. During the 1960s he and his three brothers worked long hours on the family farm with their hardworking father. George Neufeld came to Canada from Germany after World War II, penniless and eager to start a new life. After sharecropping for a number of years he saved enough money to buy the farm that still exists on the first concession in Mersea Township. “Those were tough years, very labour-intensive, and Dad was in seventh heaven with four boys. He was very disciplined, not like the Gestapo, but he certainly made sure 21
we did our share,” Neufeld says, laughing. “The only day off was Sunday. That day was for family and church. He was determined we would learn the value of a dollar and the importance of working hard to earn a living. That framed how I grew up and who I became later in life.” Neufeld’s days at Gore Hill Public School and later as a star athlete in basketball and baseball at UMEI Christian High School also left him with great memories. So much so that even today, when he is on a business call, he will put on his car’s Bluetooth and drive around his old neighbourhoods and Point Pelee. He wasn’t an A-student and wishes he had more time then to play golf. It’s still on his bucket list. He played hockey with his brothers and their friends but, because his father would buy only two pairs of skates, Neufeld the goalie played in a pair of iconic black rubber boots with a red band around the top. “I often think back to my childhood and reflect on the simplicity of life then. When there were no cell phones and I took my marching orders from my father. Now, I’m the father. There’s a lot of nostalgia being back in Leamington. It’s like going full circle. I like it,” he says wistfully. The journey that led Vic to Aphria (a Gaelic word for feeling free) started with leaving the farm to pursue degrees from Western University and the University of Windsor. He earned several degrees, including a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Because his two older brothers had gone to college and university, Neufeld said his father wasn’t surprised when he told him he was leaving. But there was a caveat: “you have to earn the money.” And, just like thousands before him, Neufeld left university with debt and an appreciation for where every penny was being spent. “I learned that money didn’t come on a silver platter and even today, I bend down to pick up change.” 22
I learned that money didn’t come on a silver platter and even today, I bend down to pick up change.
Following his MBA in 1978 Neufeld was hired as a “lowly accountant student” by Clarkson Gordon where he was promoted to manager after receiving his chartered accountant designation in 1981. The next significant milestone in his life was to get married. On his 21st birthday, a group of his closest buddies had taken him to the Dominion House tavern on Sandwich Street in Windsor to celebrate. Neufeld took a shine to a girl sitting with friends who were sizing up the guys. After many beers, Neufeld made his way to the washroom. On his return journey past the girls, one of them stuck out her foot and tripped him. He looked
up at her—she had been sitting next to the woman with whom he’d been flirting. They talked for the rest of the evening. “I asked to walk her home and we walked to Huron Hall on campus where she was living,” said Neufeld, enjoying the momentary memory the story brings. “I still can’t get over that she did that because anyone who knows Susan knows she is shy and timid.” They were married soon after. By the time the Clarkson Gordon accounting firm was acquired by Ernst & Young, Neufeld had cemented a reputation as a disciplined, energetic manager with a stellar work ethic and a focused dedication to putting
clients first. At just 32 he had become the youngest partner in the history of the storied accounting firm. Neufeld thrived at EY. He took particular pride in one of his blue-ribbon companies— Jamieson Laboratories Ltd. While his nine years at EY provided all the stability and prestige a young executive could wish for, Vic Neufeld was an ambitious professional with an entrepreneurial spirit. This did not go unnoticed by the brass at the vitamin company. They made him an offer to come work for them. In May 1993 Neufeld left a secure partnership with one of the world’s largest and most prestigious firms 23
PEOPLE DRIVE to became Jamieson’s CEO. It was to be a good decision, but not without near disasters he rarely talks about. The first came when the VP of scientific and technical operations, who provided the bedrock for Jamieson’s success with its Canadian customers and growing world markets, announced he was returning to Montreal. “It was a major kick in the gut. I relied heavily on him and he was vital to our success. How the heck do you replace someone that important? The first guy we hired lasted only four months and this could have been a game changer for the company. We were worried,” said Neufeld. “But the next guy was unbelievable and stayed for 11 years. He is now with us at Aphria.” When Neufeld took over the reins at Jamieson the company was valued at $20 million and had 98 employees with four executives. He says those four execs were vital to him and had great leadership skills. Little did he know his ability to navigate serious landmines were soon to be tested. One morning Neufeld woke to
newspaper headlines around the world that screamed, “Study shows Vitamin E KILLS.” Bad press is a nightmare for any business, but for a vitamin company this was a disaster in the making. At the time, the company owned 80 per cent of the branded vitamin E sales in Canada. “Talk about sleepless nights. This was catastrophic,” said Neufeld. “The entire market immediately dropped 50 per cent and within two months we lost 10 per cent of overall sales. It was huge. On sales of $50 million we lost $4 million, an eight per cent drop almost overnight. The bad press just kept coming.” Neufeld and his team started burning the midnight oil. They had to avoid panic and come up with a strategy… and fast. They decided to re-focus and take a chance on herbals, which so far were limited to echinacea, garlic and very few other plants. Using science-based products and high-level marketing, they took an expanded herbal line to consumers. It took a full year of PR but the herbal market exploded. Jamieson became a national leader,
especially in the omega oil products. “We averted what could have been a disaster if we hadn’t had the right team in place,” said Neufeld. Over the next 21 years not all the decisions they made were perfect, according to Neufeld, but there were enough to create six expansions and the purchase of multiple parcels of land on Windsor’s east side. By 2013 the four executives had grown to 14 and there were now 600 employees. Neufeld smiles a lot when he talks about the successes they experienced. “Our vision was solid and the company was founded on all the right principles,” said Neufeld. “We wanted to lead in the human nutrition sector and we did. We became a world leader and I know it was due in large part to the fact that we all had the right commitment and passion for what we were doing. “Market share increased from seven percent to 27 per cent and our product went from being carried in four to 44 countries.” To reach that level of success meant Neufeld sacrificed family
time and being around for his children’s upbringing. He is not proud to have missed hockey games and dance recitals, family and friends’ funerals and spending more time with his wife. It’s a sad memory but he is quick to point out that his family truly understood everything he did was to make a better life for all of them. In late 2013 Neufeld was again at a crossroads. Jamieson was now thriving but Neufeld had itchy feet. “This was a tremendous journey but there were situations I needed to confront. There were the health concerns of the owner and we needed to look at the next evolution of the Jamieson story. But to take the company to the next level would take a further commitment of resources, in the area of around $5 million,” said Neufeld. “We were also facing the fact that the original four
executives were now older and three had given notice they would retire. The fourth had decided to move back to BC. I had counted on them every step of the way and while I wasn’t scared to find replacements, it would be tough to get back what we had as a team,” Neufeld says. He also had questions about what the next chapter of his life should be. He asked himself whether he would have enough passion to give it his all, which is the only way he knows how to work, and would he want to commit for another five years as the company continued its international efforts. With those issues swirling, Neufeld approached the chairman and laid out the reality of taking the company to where it needed to go in the long term. In their discussions they determined that perhaps it was time to consider
selling. Valuation of the company was at an all-time high and it seemed to the chairman that the stars had aligned. In January 2014 Jamieson was sold to a private equity firm for $310 million—an increase in valuation of $290 million over 21 years. They had also reached $240 million in sales. The ink was barely dry on the sale documents when Neufeld had a visit from an old school chum—Cole Cacciavillani— who had heard he was leaving Jamieson. Cacciavillani had gone to Kingsville High School with Neufeld’s wife Susan and came to his friend with a proposition. “He told me he and John Cervini had spent the last year in research and development of cannabis plants. They knew the medical cannabis world was about to explode and wanted to step up their game,” said Neufeld. “These were two farm boys from Leamington used to growing Easter lilies and mums, and they knew the medical cannabis world had to step it up to meet Health Canada standards. So, I brought them to Jamieson and shared our standard operating procedures required to get GMP-compliant. Cole said he and John were back-shop guys and wanted a front man to build a team and believed I was that guy because of my expertise in the nutrition sector.” Listening to Cacciavillani and Cervini, Neufeld began to feel the excitement of a new challenge. In early May 2014 he left Jamieson and embarked on another career as CEO and president of Aphria. While much has changed in the four years since he signed on, many of his friends and family had raised eyebrows when they first heard he was becoming a marijuana grower. “There was still a stigma of Woodstock there and people questioned the optics of what I was getting into,” says Neufeld. “The execs I worked with at Jamieson had a chuckle or two and so did some of my friends. 25
“ ” PEOPLE DRIVE
They thought I was taking a big risk and some asked if I was going to be getting stoned.
They thought I was taking a big risk and some asked if I was going to be getting stoned. But I had a different perspective—we were in the medical marijuana part of the business. This was just another stepping stone and I knew the benefits people were experiencing with medical pot. Today, I have hundreds of friends and family members who are using it for medical reasons.” Neufeld’s son Bobby, 29, and daughter Victoria, 26, thought their father’s new venture was “cool.” Neufeld admits to smoking weed in university. However, knowing the concerns about its use by teens, he supports the government’s legal-age requirements. If the Jamieson nightmare gave him sleepless nights, the startup at Aphria was about to give him ulcers. In 2014 the process of getting a license from Health Canada involved four parts: build, grow, process and distribute. Because they had become a public company they promised 26
shareholders they would have a license by a December 15 deadline. The first three licenses were in hand but the crucial distribution permission wasn’t coming. “We waited week after week, month after month, then July turned to September and by November 24, 2014, we were discussing a disaster plan. We were in crisis management mode and working out how to manage a very bad situation that was fraught with problems,” said Neufeld. “We had raised almost $20 million and spent $19.9 million on facilities and operations. We were really at the end of the road and the three founders had not been personally taking any money for salaries. This was not what we saw Aphria capable of but things were unravelling. We even looked at who might want to merge with us. We had a lot to lose here, including serious money put in by the founders. The frustrating part was it was all out of our control. We went to Ottawa weekly
knocking on doors. I was used to being in control, so this was pretty difficult.” By the time they were down to one or two more payroll periods and planning for the worst, they received the distribution license. It was full steam ahead. Neufeld could now get excited about the future of the company. Nowhere is his excitement more obvious than when he is showing visitors the giant expanse of marijuana growing under acres of glass. Surrounded by a sea of leafy green vegetation, there is only a faint telltale odour he laughingly calls “the scent of money.” The immense tracts of greenhouses and their linking corridors are jaw-dropping not only because of the size of the operation—soon to be one million square feet under glass—and state-of-the-art technology, but also because of the extraordinary cleanliness of the place. In order to meet the stringent requirements of Health Canada, they purchased a cleaning company to ensure careless cleaning never contaminates the crop. All visitors wear lab coats and cover their hair and shoes. Set against the purple hue caused by the fusion of blue and red LED lighting, Neufeld explains how mother plants are nurtured in their original greenhouse for six months. Then, after the top three plants are put aside for propagation, the mother plants are destroyed and the
PEOPLE DRIVE cycle starts again. Neufeld proudly shows off the oil extraction room and vaults and the nearly completed five acres of phase 3, which is awaiting the final go-ahead from Health Canada. In phase 4, which is three times larger, the technology they are using based on Dutch innovation will be revolutionary and require fewer workers. There are presently 190 employees with another 100 being hired for phase 3 and 400 for phase 4. Without automation that number would be 800. In the phase 4 area they are also building housing for the workers and creating a football field. Phase 4, which should be ready in August, is so large it will take 31 continuous cement pour days to complete the floor. They also have plans for a self-sustaining co-generation plant. Once the tour is over, Neufeld leads the group back to his office in the “situation room.” This is where deals are made within hours and where decisions on multi-million-dollar deals must be made “pronto.” Neufeld is a hands-on CEO and tries to spend
most of his time in the plants. However, with overseas business expanding rapidly, he is out of the country at least once a month. With the federal government set to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the next six to seven months, the Aphria team is gearing up to take advantage of the oils and edibles that will form part of the Health Canada approvals. By the end of 2018 about 50 per cent of their offerings will be marijuana oil. The road to success, however, is still rocky—again, because of circumstances out of his control. Neufeld is acutely aware that the more than 100,000 shareholders, some of whom are friends, want to know how the stock market volatility is going to affect their investment. Time will tell. Neufeld says he is in the first part of the third and final chapter of his life. The second part will be when he eventually retires… sort of. He feels a compelling need to help the next generation of young entrepreneurs using the foundation of integrity and respect he believes should govern all aspects of a person’s life, and that form the
qualities of a leader. He has advice that goes beyond admonitions to be diligent and keeping a nose to the grindstone. It comes from wisdom gleaned from a speaker he heard many decades ago. Wisdom that says you can work hard and be successful but keep in mind how you want to be remembered. Make sure that at the end of your career you leave behind a fingerprint, he says, a signature you can be proud of and that others respect. If, when your name is mentioned it emanates with values of integrity, respect and best-in-class, then you have accomplished everything and epitomize the kind of leader you aspired to be, and hopefully became. Neufeld himself took that advice to heart and despite his economic and social stature, and has retained the warm and welcoming nature that lies in the heart of a farm boy. “I sometimes walk around the original acres at Aphria and want to pinch myself. It’s all been a happy dream. I’m very grateful. It’s been a helluva ride. I think Dad would be proud.” D.
I was the only girl in shop class. I made a wooden wine rack, which I still have.
s a e d a p a P Pa t
l l i w n o i t u l o v e r The ed
s i v e l e t e b not
By Matt St. Amand
In the political/activist realm, labels and descriptors envelop people like bumper-sticker mummy wrappings, often stifling discussion before it can even begin. One label St. Clair College law professor, Pat Papadeas, proudly wears is “organizer.” In late 2016, she was chief organizer of Windsor’s contingent of the Women’s March that converged on Washington, D.C., the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. It was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. “We were the first bus organized out of Canada and the only one to stay overnight,” she says. When asked if there was a catalyzing event that cast her into the realm of the “woke,” Pat ponders the question. “When I look back, there were just moments.” The first daughter of Greek immigrants in Toronto, Pat didn’t speak English until she was five years old. “I learned English at school and watching Sesame Street,” she says. “School was independence for me. While other kids were free to go outside and play, I couldn’t go anywhere unescorted.” Pat has an early memory of her baby brother being brought home from the hospital. “He, of course, was the centre of attention, but there came a point when I realized that my brother was more
important than me because he was a boy, not because he was a baby.” In junior high, only the boys were allowed to take shop class, while only the girls took Home Economics. Before Pat could even consider launching her first protest, the problem resolved itself when hers was the first year where the classes were open to both genders. “I was the only girl in shop class. I made a wooden wine rack, which I still have.” School offered further freedom when Pat attended University of Western Ontario, and then finally moved to Windsor for law school. “When I came to Windsor, there was a Women’s Commissioner on Student Council to be a voice for women’s issues. There was just one problem: the position was vacant. Eventually, I filled it myself.” One issue Pat tackled was that all official University of Windsor documents were written in the male-dominant language. There was backlash when she advocated for gender-neutral language. “I said, ‘OK, since you’ve done it this way for fifty years, how about we use female-dominant language for the next fifty years, and then go to gender neutral?’” Pat recalls. “Suddenly, gender-neutral language was just fine.” The next issue Pat highlighted were the sexist materials published by the Engineering Department. Once again, there was backlash to her efforts and she hit a brick wall. 31
PEOPLE DRIVE On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine entered the École Polytechnique de Montréal (where he was a student) and perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history—murdering 14 women, most of them engineering students—before committing suicide. In his suicide note, he confessed his intention was to kill the feminists who had ruined his life. “That sobered a lot of people up,” Pat says. Resistance to women’s issues still pervades. “If you don’t think we need a women’s movement,” Pat says, “then look at our local newspaper.” There are the sins of Harvey Weinstein and the quickly growing revolution that is the #metoo movement. The Associated Press recently reported the number of sexual assaults at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, doubled during the last school
year. And in Windsor, Ontario, premier Kathleen Wynne cancelled a town hall meeting at the Caboto Club after learning about the club’s policy that only allows full-voting membership to men. “We think other people see the world as we do,” Pat says. “That’s why the Women’s March last year was so important—it brought so many different people together.” Recalling it a year later, Pat says, “There was a sense of sisterhood, brotherhood, humanity, of caring about people. There wasn’t a single arrest. “Once you meet people and talk to them, it is harder to sit behind a computer screen and troll them. We have to talk to each other. We put labels on people we don’t know. The women on the bus were as diverse as society. Our politics were not the same, but our goal was: equality for all people.” D.
“And then the Montreal Massacre happened,” Pat remembers.
“I’m Not Too Bad After All” The Gatekeeper of Essex County “BAD GUY” ERCA enforcement officer by day, rock singer by night, Tim Byrne shows why burning the candle at both ends provides the most light By Matt St. Amand
The first thing to understand is that there are two Tim Byrnes: Daytime Tim and Nighttime Tim. “My wife says I live a double life,” Tim smiles as he sat down with The Drive at Jake’s Joint in the midst of the worst snowstorm of the season. By day, Tim works at the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA). “For thirty-three years, I have been an enforcement officer with the Conservation Authority, attending development reviews, protecting wetlands, assessing floodplains. I love my work.” For anyone not in the know, that means Tim is the gatekeeper, the guy who rejects proposals… the No Guy. “I hear from people that they don’t want to be in a meeting with me. People know me as the guy who will crush their dreams. I’ve spent years dealing with colourful language from people who have lost court cases against ERCA. I’ve been called a piece of shit to my face more times than I’d like to count.” Tim laments that people are afraid of him, and it’s something he regrets. Especially given that in person, away from the job, Tim is an affable guy with a ready smile. And, by night, Tim is the lead singer of a rock band. 35
The No Drama Band, John Kosti (Drums and backing vocals), Wayne Durant (Lead Guitar and vocals), Glen Gregory (Bass and vocals), Steve Cox (Keyboards, Guitar and vocals), Tim Byrne (Lead vocals and percussion)
Tim has sung with a lauded local band, No Drama, for the past five years. He approaches his evening avocation with the same focus and intensity as he does his day job. “The band maintains a strict practice schedule. No booze during practice or performances. Our audience wants to be entertained. You don’t achieve that level of professionalism being half in the bag.” No Drama plays year-round, including a number of summer concert venues: the LaSalle Strawberry Festival, the Lakeshore Sunsplash Festival, the Amherstburg Ribfest, the Two Creeks Summer Concert Series, the McGregor Mug Run. Their repertoire encompasses classic rock, Southern rock such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even contemporary music, like “It Ain’t My Fault” by the Brothers Osborne. They also perform Tragically Hip songs “Courage,” “Poets” and “New Orleans Is Sinking.” “People don’t want to see a bunch of old fogeys playing old-fogey music,” Tim says. “We have to mix it up. It keeps us on our game.” No Drama isn’t just a cover band; their set has been known to include an original or two. The story of both Tim Byrnes began on a small farm in rural Essex County, growing up the second eldest boy in a family of eleven children. “According to my mother, I should have been a parish priest,” Tim says. Like Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke, Tim found his love for music while singing in the church choir. “I sang every Sunday,” he says. “I still do.” Tim’s working life began in construction, where he learned quickly that it was a very physically demanding way to earn a living. “I enrolled in Civil Engineering Technology at St. Clair, so I could learn more about the planning and inspection end of things,” Tim explains. “I followed up with classes at the University of Windsor.” After finishing his courses, Tim went to work for an engineering firm, until one of the managers suggested that Tim’s background and tech training would make him a perfect candidate for an enforcement position at the Conservation Authority. While Tim hated the words “enforcement” and “authority,” he had a responsibility to his young, growing family, and he took the job. As his working life took shape, Tim pursued his passion for music. His son and daughter shared this passion. His son became an accomplished guitarist, playing with a band called Dinosaur Bones, and Tim’s daughter performed in local musical theatre. Through the Rose City Rising Stars, Tim performed alongside his daughter. “I appeared with her in several stage productions,” Tim says. “We did Annie, The Wizard of Oz—I played the Scarecrow—and our penultimate production was Bye Bye Birdie, where I had the male lead.” 37
“ ” When I told him my name, he said, ‘ You son of a bitch!’
When his daughter moved on from performing, Tim auditioned for Windsor’s Music Express, a professional touring show band. “They were 50 of the most accomplished musicians you’d ever hope to hear,” Tim says. Tim passed his vocal audition and joined the extended musical family. “We had a great time, touring Europe and China. We even played for the queen,” Tim says. “I did that for 10 years.” Tim focused on his work at ERCA while his children grew up and moved to Toronto, and music drifted into the background. One weekend, when Tim was visiting his children in Toronto, they all went to a karaoke bar. “After a few beverages, I was persuaded to sing some songs,” Tim recalls. “A few songs turned into all night. They literally brought out ‘The Cane’ and dragged me off the stage.” Tim enjoyed his visit, but returned home feeling at loose ends. Nighttime Tim had been let out of his cage and did not want to return. His wife said, “Why don’t you put the band back together?” referring to the bands he played with through high school and college. Tim put an ad on Kijiji: “Mature male singer looking for a band to do classic rock. Please call.” And people did. Tim eventually found himself auditioning for a band in Amherstburg. There was a Twilight Zone–esque moment when he took his position to sing and noticed a musician who had been adjusting some equipment: it was Wayne Durant, a bandmate from 40 years ago. Both men were delighted to 38
see each other again. Tim still went through a formal audition, but easily became the new lead singer. Following some personnel changes, the band—Tim Byrne on lead vocals, Rob Gerhardt on lead guitar, Wayne Durant on rhythm guitar, Glen Gregory on bass and John Kosti on drums—called themselves No Drama. “That’s just how we want it,” Tim says. “We are focused on one thing: entertaining our audience.” Aside from the summer festivals, No Drama plays bars throughout Essex County. But
occasionally his day job crosses paths with his night job. “On more than one occasion,” Tim says, “I’ve recognized someone in the audience who I’ve encountered through my work at the Conservation Authority. “There was one time I noticed a man whom we had taken to court over an issue. It was a drawn-out, ugly situation. At the show, the guy was nodding to the music, enjoying himself. After the show, he approached us. ‘Oh man, you guys rock!’ he said. I couldn’t help myself. I said to him, ‘Do you
recognize me?’ He said I looked familiar. When I told him my name, he said, ‘You son of a bitch!’” Tim laughs at the memory. “I said, ‘Hey, that was my job. No hard feelings.’ And the guy agreed.” No Drama’s professional focus and maturity helps it navigate around the drama that eats up other bands, but devotion to the music could not entirely protect them from the realities of life beyond the stage. “Last summer, we lost a
brother,” Tim says. “Our guitarist, Rob Gerhardt, a brilliant musician and dear friend, died of cancer in August.” When Rob became too ill to play, months before his death, No Drama took on a provisional replacement with Rob’s blessing. “He loved the band,” Tim says. “Rob wanted us to continue.” Steve Cox, an accomplished keyboardist/guitarist and singer, took Rob’s place, with the understanding that when Rob’s
health returned, Steve would have to step aside. “It didn’t happen,” Tim says. “We thought about packing it in, but Rob’s wife encouraged us to continue. She asked us to play at his funeral.” Despite Tim’s reputation as the fierce gatekeeper of Essex County, there’s one thing he’d like people to know about him: “I’m not too bad after all.” D.
It’s no easy feat to successfully grow your business for 25 consecutive years.
JASON CAMPBELL AN EXCEPTIONAL 25 YEARS IN BUSINESS
Sterling Mutuals Inc. is pleased to congratulate Jason Campbell and his team on his 25th Anniversary as a Financial Advisor. “We congratulate Jason for being able to spend 25 years servicing his clients. We are proud to have been part of Jason’s journey and look forward to our continued partnership with this exceptional gentleman.”- Nelson Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Mutuals Inc. “Jason has built his advisory practice for the long term by listening to client needs, implementing a plan and then delivering on it. Congratulations is extended on his achievement of serving clients for 25 years in Windsor, Essex County and beyond. Sterling Mutuals wishes Jason and his clients much continued success!” - Michael Stanley, President, Sterling Mutuals Inc. Jason Campbell, B. Comm, CFP® is a Windsorite through and through. He graduated from F.J. Brennan on the way to his Honours, Business Administration and Economics Degree from the University of Windsor in 1994. A class of only 11 to successfully complete that double major that year. Eager to start his career, in April of 1993 he seized an opportunity and started working full-time as an advisor while still enrolled in university. Jason thrived under the high demands of juggling full time studies and building a client base from scratch. In 1998, he joined Sterling Mutuals Inc. and never looked back. In 1999, he achieved his Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) designation proving his commitment to the industry and providing the best possible solutions for his clients needs. Soon he became the Vice President of Sterling Insurance Agency while still building his own practice. Jason takes great pride in the longevity of his client base. “I am very proud of the fact that I have many long term clients. These are relationships that are built over years on trust. I truly care about my clients and their well being.” His invaluable experience has seen many different market cycles with the ups and the downs. Jason states, “Advisors can always make you money in a rising market. The best advisors stand out in a down market. The ability to put everything in perspective and ease their concerns is what my clients appreciate most.” Jason’s staff has heard his rules so many times, they have them framed in his board room. “Rule #1, It’s ALWAYS your money. Rule #2, NEVER let me forget Rule #1”. It is with this type of mindset and attitude that he has been able to cultivate long-lasting relationships with his clients and successfully grow his practice on a referral basis for 25 years. Jason would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each and every client that has placed their trust in him over the last 25 years and he looks forward to working with you for the next 25.
445 Pelissier St. I 519.256.8999 I www.jasonrcampbell.com
HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY 41
Ana Stul ic
By Jenn McMullan
Livin’ La Vida Moda WITH AN international reputation for beautiful design, Ana Stulic SEES OPPORTUNITY TO impact HER hometown Ana Stulic’s designs are like looking at Audrey Hepburn through a kaleidoscope: classic, elegant and effervescent, with a modern twist that stamps her signature on the piece. Born and raised in Windsor, Stulic knew at a young age she wanted to make a name for herself in the fashion industry. Stulic began her path learning an array of fashion skills and techniques from the Istituto di Moda Burgo in Milan, Italy, where she graduated with a degree in Fashion. With nearly a decade of fashion experience in the industry her knowledge comes from a journey that’s taken her around the world. Her clothing highlights her unique eye for aesthetic appeal, integrating modern and edgy style with feminine glamour. Although her passion and raw talent fuelled the fire behind her creativity, the quality of her work comes from a vast range of experience. Her resumé reads like a ping-pong ball bouncing around a map: she worked for a showroom in Milan, wrote for a fashion blog in Paris, completed an internship in Toyko and worked with an independent designer in Montreal. Stulic also had a position at the head office for Danier Leather in Toronto, and later worked for a high-end sock designing company in Berlin, Germany. “There have been so many times when I wanted to give up, but I’ve come so far that I’m really going to go my hardest at this and continue to give it my all. I’ve waitressed so many jobs in so many cities, I’ve had the
“Feminism vs. femininity, uniformity vs. individuality, darkness vs. light” describes Prada’s 2018 Spring collection on the runway in Milan. Ana Stulic, with a twist of genius, inspires this piece with just that. She adds just the right amount of ‘Stulic” to create this feminine design that has the big, bright colours and ladylike silhouettes mixed with bold patterns and flashes of subtle tulle peeking out for the finishing touches for the perfectly imperfect look.
Dress design by Ana Stulic. Jewelry by Ipolita “LOLLIPOP ® ”collection, Joseph-Anthony Fine Jewelry. Pet model, Chip Tingle.
TREND DRIVE corporate jobs and the desk jobs and realized they just weren’t me. I’ve always loved design and I feel like I’m meant to do this.” Stulic said being able to shadow innovative people in the industry has allowed her to hone in on what she’d like to achieve. “You always learn from people who have experience,” said Stulic. “I was completely green when I started. Through these jobs I learned so many different aspects of the fashion industry.” “Big chain stores like Zara, they’re all over the world and even though it’s the same store the collections are different in each city. They cater to the city because each city I feel has its own style. There are a lot of creative personalities here in Windsor, but it doesn’t have that signature style yet. That’s what I’m trying to do.” Her fashionable footprints can already be tracked in her hometown. She represented the 2017 Miss Canada Western Ontario Pageant, hosted in Windsor, as the official swimsuit designer. This led to a clothing line at Freeds, where the high-demand collection sold out and piqued interest from Toronto clothing stores. Currently she’s focusing on her Summer/Spring collection, which she’ll be debuting March 22, 2018, at the Common Ground Gallery in Mackenzie Hall. Working with event planner Sandra Riccio-Muglia to launch the exclusive line, Ana says the event will showcase a mini designer pop-up shop with partial proceeds going to local CMHA’s Sole Focus projects. “This show will be more intimate and casual than a regular fashion show,” said Stulic. “I want a different vibe, which is why we chose the space that we did at the gallery. It’s very unique. I want it to be a homage to fashion lovers in Windsor.” So what keeps Ana in Windsor instead of heading off to Toronto or Paris? “When I realized I could make an impact in my own hometown, I decided I’d rather be here,” Ana says. “I always went away for work, searching for something big, but I realized I could start what I love to do here in my city and make it grow into something bigger. There aren’t many people here doing what I’m doing, and I like how I can bring something new here in Windsor while growing myself internationally.” What has always shone through Ana’s work is her dedication to making women feel good about themselves. “Fashion brings happiness, and I love bringing beauty to the community,” she says. “I feel like, especially nowadays, woman are so hard on themselves. My main goal is to make women feel good. I want them to feel confident, strong and unique. That’s what I try to do: create beautiful things for women. I think the future of fashion is starting to promote strong is beautiful.” D.
It might sound surprising, but the visits take a lot out of the dogs.
Canine Comfort The Healing Power of Therapy Dogs
When Jeani Tingle sought to give back to her community, it was Chip, her Pomeranian, who led the way By Matt St. Amand
Chip the therapy dog sits on the couch like a Zen master, as his owner, Jeani Tingle, relates the story. “We had just finished our visit to Village of Aspen Lake nursing home when a resident’s family waved us into her room. The lady was ninety-eight years old and had very little time left.” The woman’s family had gathered by her bed to say goodbye when they’d seen Jeani and Chip walking by. The resident was too frail to move but when Jeani held Chip up to her, she immediately recognized him and smiled. It was a beautiful moment for a family going through a difficult time. “Afterward, the rest of the family was so moved,” Jeani recalls, “that they took turns holding Chip.” Such is the power of therapy dogs. It all began with Jeani’s son. “I was still working at the time and our son was asking for a dog,” Jeani remembers. “A day or two later, we saw an ad in the Star 47
COMMUNITY DRIVE classifieds. A person was selling a Pomeranian named Chip. We went to see him and couldn’t believe how calm he was.” A few years later, Jeani’s son heard about the therapy dog program on CBC radio. He was interested in becoming a physician, so he decided to volunteer at the hospital’s therapy dog program. Jeani joined him. “As it turned out,” Jeani laughs, “that experience at Met made Alex realized he did not want to be a doctor! I, on the other hand, loved everything the therapy dog program stood for, so I stayed involved.” Ten years later, at age 14, veteran Chip is still making his rounds. “We recently took the dogs to the University of Windsor during exam time,” Jeani says. “Hearing about the visit, some people commented to me, ‘Really? Do the students even care?’ Yes, they do. You can’t believe the response.” Jeani and Chip regularly visit schools, retirement and assisted living homes, and the Met Hospital. “It might sound surprising, but the visits take a lot out of the dogs,” she says. “They sit on people’s laps, being held and petted, but it’s still
very tiring for them.” Jeani and Chip also visit Windsor libraries for “Meet and Greet” and “Paws 4 Stories” programs. Chip, along with a number of dogs in the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program, are “child certified,” meaning they are unfazed by the noise and activity of being around children. The “Meet and Greet” program teaches kids how to safely meet new dogs, including techniques for remaining safe and calm when encountering strays who may run up to them and bark, or are otherwise intimidating in some way. The “Paws 4 Stories” program seeks to improve literacy among children up to age 12 who may have weak reading skills. “The child usually sits near the dog in a quiet environment and reads to the dog.” For all the positive human/ canine interaction, there is no getting away from seeing a hard side of life. “We really form relationships with people,” Jeani said. “Some people we visit die. Or, you see some people’s difficult living situations. Some people we see are totally alone. We are their
only visitors.” So, what is it about the animals that brings people such comfort? “The unconditional love they provide,” Jeani says. “They are completely nonjudgmental. They’re just right in the moment. Many people in the assisted living homes have had to leave their own pets, whom they miss very much. So, they really look forward to our visits.” The Windsor program currently has 80 volunteers at 40 facilities, and there are many more facilities that would like to offer this service. Dog owners who are interested in volunteering should contact Bob Linton, Unit Coordinator for the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The St. John Ambulance program does its best to match people with venues best suited for them and their dogs. Volunteers are expected to make 40 visits per year. There is a mentoring process so that people don’t feel like they are getting in over their heads. Of course, every therapy dog’s career comes to an end at some
â€œ â€? Pet therapy has been proven to reduce stress and increases relaxation in patients. When stress levels are reduced the body is able to physically heal faster. We believe visits from SJA therapy dogs are an excellent distraction for hospitalized children and allow them a feeling of normalcy. Many children in hospital miss their family pet and having a visit from Chip is sometimes the highlight of their day! â€”Jen Burton-Liang, child life specialist
COMMUNITY DRIVE point. “Right now, we have Max, a Golden Doodle, who is making his last visits at Hospice. His kidneys are failing and he’s been given about two months to live.” Jeani says Max would be on his deathbed if it weren’t for having the opportunity to go out and visit people, who seem to bring him as much joy as he brings to them. “We will know when the time comes that Max just doesn’t have it in him to continue volunteering,” she explains. Another dog in the program, Kenya, is a South African mastiff who recently retired. She visited many people, but one resident at Aspen Lake had developed a very special connection to Kenya. When the woman passed away, Kenya suddenly refused to get onto the elevator to go to the third floor—it was like she knew the woman was gone, and couldn’t bear to see her empty room. After a life bringing so much comfort to others, Kenya’s owner is giving her that comfort back. “Now that she’s retired, Kenya gets to do what she wants all day,” Jeani says. “She gets up and has her breakfast in the morning, and then settles onto the couch for the day.” “There are days where I wonder if I can keep doing this,” Jeani confides. “And then I look at Chip as we’re making our visit and I think, ‘Of course! This is exactly what I want to do.’” D.
The Drive is a lifestyle, culture, people and trends magazine. It is a Windsor based publication and is focused on celebrating the people of...
Published on Mar 16, 2018
The Drive is a lifestyle, culture, people and trends magazine. It is a Windsor based publication and is focused on celebrating the people of...