Ian Maxwell Owner, Ralmax Group of Companies
Kevin Light/Kevin Light Photo
Hands on the harbour
A portrait of Ian Maxwell, a Hard Hat Visionary
Almost as mythical as mermaid sightings, Ian Maxwell—Owner of the Ralmax Group of Companies— has a mystique of working unseen. In this conversation with Chamber CEO Catherine Holt, we get to know this hardworking and dedicated business leader whose day starts at 4:30 am.
Catherine: How do you describe the Ralmax Group of Companies? Ian: We are a job-creating industrial group of companies with about 360 employees. 200 are at Point Hope and we are estimating there will be another 200 with the graving dock and other improvements we are planning. It could be higher depending on the volume of work. I’m the sole shareholder. However there are literally hundreds of people that have helped Ralmax over the years. I’m more like the present steward of the group. Catherine: You have kept a low profile, particularly given the size of your business and its many activities. Could you tell me more about yourself and what your day looks like? Ian: I’m a farmer. I like soil. I have 17 acres with horses, cows, chickens and dogs. I’ve always had an affinity for animals. My day starts like everyone else’s. I get up at 4:30 or 5:00 and drink coffee. Then I play with my dogs, feed the horses, check on the cows, read the paper and come to work. Then I spend the rest of the day being late for absolutely everything. I’ll drop by Ellice, Point Hope, United Engineering, Leach and Trio. I don’t have to drop by Chew because their activity doesn’t happen in their yard. I go to the sites because I like all the people and I identify with how they make their living. These people wear work boots. Christy Clark made a comment to me once about hard hat hair. I said we take pride in hard hat hair, and work boots and grease under our finger nails. Catherine: What involvement do you have in the business community beyond Ralmax? Ian: I don’t feel comfortable wearing a suit—changing clothes all day long. This is me. Think about your business functions—at The Chamber—who would come dressed like me? So I don’t go, but it has come back to bite us. No one knows about our companies and our charitable donations and what we do for the community. We are a part of the community. We just don’t talk about it.
BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017