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The New Mainstream: Greater Victoria Tech

How Many Municipalities to Change a Lightbulb?

BUSINESS MATTERS

Member Snapshots

November 2017 VICTORIACHAMBER.CA

Hands on the harbour

A portrait of Ian Maxwell, a hard hat visionary


CONTENTS

The September Business MIxer hosted by Camosun College at their new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation Building. Turn to page 15 to see our upcoming events.

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Hands on the Harbour

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Member News

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The New Mainstream: Greater Victoria Tech

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Chamber Events: Something for Everyone!

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Introducing Our New Members

To advertise in Business Matters, contact us at:

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Member Snapshots

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce 100-852 Fort St. Victoria, BC V8W 1H8 250-383-7191 chamber@victoriachamber.ca

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How Many Municipalities to Change a Lightbulb?

BUSINESS MATTERS November 2017 Business Matters is a bi-monthly publication of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and a key business resource targeted to 2,000 business leaders in our community. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is a progressive, inclusive and dynamic community leader. It is a supportive resource for business people who wish to learn, grow and create a stronger business and a more robust and sustainable community. Cover photo by Kevin Light

Publication Mail Poste-Publications 40005319

Chamber CEO Catherine Holt sat down with Ian Mawell, owner of the Ralmax Group of Companies who sees the beauty in industrial creation and is keen to create more high paying jobs on Victoria's Harbour.

New appointments, openings, partnerships and awards. Keep up to date with what is happening in our community.

Tech is no longer in a separate silo from traditional businesses. Find out what's been happening in this vibrant sector and its challenges.

Nothing can duplicate the moment when you connect with the people you need to do business with face-to-face.

Welcome to those who’ve decided to join the people who get things done. Membership—it's about the company we keep.

The strength of The Chamber is our members and the people who run these outstanding businesses. Get to know Teri Hustins (Oscar & Libby’s), Nick Poushinsky (Stantec), Scott Phillips (StarFish Medical) and Indu Brar (Fairmont Empress).

Capital Integrated Services and Governance Initiative report, finally released by the Province, is an exhaustive and exhausting description, like none other, of the crazy world we live in when it comes to local government services.

BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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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

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In Conversation With Ian Maxwell Owner, Ralmax Group of Companies

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. — Ian Maxwell

Ralmax Group of Companies

11 companies located on 41 acres of industrial property and waterlots primarily around Victoria’s Upper Harbour

Subsidiaries

Industry

Ellice Recycle Ltd

Industrial, commercial & residential recycling

Ralmax Contracting and Chew Excavation Ltd United Engineering Ltd, Leach Engineering and Harjim Point Hope Maritime Ltd

Civil construction, excavating, utility services, deconstruction, hazmat Metal fabrication, structural steel & machine shop Ship repair, retrofit; vessel construction capability

Trio Ready-Mix Ltd

Ready mix concrete; landscaping supplies

Ralmax Marine Ltd

Barges, barge ramps & barging services

Ralmax Properties Ltd

Industrial property development & leasing

Salish Sea Industrial Services Ltd Pile driving & dredging; First Nations employment 6

BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017


Catherine: Give me some examples of what you do for the community. Ian: We are responsible for keeping a large number of jobs on the harbour. We assembled a number of businesses that no one wanted or that had no management. They were on the market for years or sold a number of times. If they came to us, and if it made sense, we included the company in the group. People think it’s more planned out and nefarious than it is. They suspect it’s a real estate play for condominium development. But they should take it for what it is. The group is not designed to be wealth creating for a single shareholder. It’s a group of industrial companies that will remain on the harbour providing jobs. And we’ve done a good job cleaning up the harbour. Catherine: What clean-up have you done? Ian: I have been an active champion of the work that John Roe—the Veins of Life Society—has been doing to restore the Gorge waterway for more than three decades—and we are all benefiting from this concerted work. Ralmax is also helping with the clean-up of the derelict boats in Cadboro Bay. These two initiatives are community-driven and I’m proud to be a part of both, as these are my values. At Point Hope we have removed old pilings and built a riprap shoreline which is much better for birds and fish than soil. We removed derelict buildings. Most important of all, we stopped bad practices. Once you stop the bad practices nature will help restore itself. Roads are more polluting than we are now. Anything that falls onto a road: garbage, oil, food, pollen, even what leaches out of the asphalt itself, drains into the ocean untreated. At Point Hope, we treat all the water on the site. Even the rain doesn’t run into the ocean. We sloped the water away from the ocean and we treat it.

and gardens and I agree with all of that. But a farmer from Saskatchewan who is here for the winter might get tired of looking at grass and flowers. We, at Ralmax, are not buskers—but we are entertainers. You don’t see boats pulled out of the water in Saskatchewan—it’s interesting. We pulled down the wall of old buildings that hid Point Hope from the street. When we bought the business in 2003 you couldn’t see the harbour from Harbour Road. It was against the advice I got but I’ve been blown away by the support from the neighbours. One woman said to me that at first she thought they had made a mistake buying so close to the shipyard but now both she and her husband have binoculars and they watch the shipyard come to life in the morning. Some think industrial work is dirty and others think “what a cool way to make your living”. We had our first open house four years ago and now people come by the thousands to see what we do. It stunned me. I met so many nice people. There was a lady with a walker who was determined to get onto a spud barge and a tug. She was an educator and she liked to see there are good, interesting jobs for the kids who don’t like school. Being a journeyman can be just the start of a career—like university is. You can go on to be an estimator, a manager or a supervisor. We donate funds or in-kind contributions to over two dozen organizations and causes.

Mostly we respond to a need, and what has struck me the hardest this fall is to learn that far too many families in our region are struggling to feed their children three meals a day. We have gone out and met with four local schools this fall and are donating to their meal programs to ensure that kids who are hungry have something nutritious to eat so that they can focus on learning and having fun. This is a bigger problem than I ever imagined and we’ll be looking for ways to get more involved in this regard. Catherine: You’ve had a long working relationship with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. How did that come about? Ian: I met Chief Robert Sam of the Songhees Nation and Chief Andy Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation when I was on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. They talked and I listened. Some people speak so you can learn—that’s how they talked. And we have a natural relationship because we are a waterborne company and they are a water-borne people. Their relationship with the federal government is changing and they have more influence now. Building positive relationships with the Nations was not just satisfying—it has also been good business for everyone. We can help finance business opportunities where they can’t because they can’t borrow against their land. We can help with management and executive services. We advertise all our jobs with the Nations

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We did the first risk assessment in B.C. on our property in 1996 with help from the federal government. It would have cost $13 million to dig out the contaminated soil and haul it away—to where? If it’s not hurting people or the environment it’s better to seal it in by paving it. But you do have a different level of responsibility depending on the problem. People can’t live without leaving a footprint. Fear of the cost of cleaning up contamination did save the industrial companies in this area though. Catherine: So you’ve mentioned jobs and environmental clean-up—are there other ways that Ralmax contributes?

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Ian: The city is gentrified. There’s public art

BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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first and they have become a distribution system. They get the word out through their family connections and networks. Now we have 15 First Nations employees, including two red seal journeymen who did their apprenticeship here and four apprentices. We have a steering committee and a job coach. Salish Sea industrial Services does piling and dredging and it is owned 51 percent by the two First Nations and 49 percent by Ralmax.

Kevin Light/Kevin Light Photo

Catherine: Where to from here? Ian: We have no plans to expand. I hope no more good-fit deals come through the front door. We are focused on improving our shipyard lands and our contracting. We take a long-term view and react to opportunities. There is no grand scheme.

Industrial activity is part of a much bigger eco-system. At Point Hope we support 650 other companies! How many jobs is that? — Ian Maxwell

Catherine: So if there is no grand plan, are you surprised to find yourself with this large successful business? Ian: It’s been an evolution. I have a grade ten education. I wanted to drive a truck but there was either a lot of work or no work and I had responsibilities and an interest in business. So I renovated houses and was in a comfortable financial position when I was in my thirties—so I retired. But it wasn’t satisfying. I wanted to be part of the community. Victoria is my community. Ralmax grew from the construction company.

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Catherine: When you say Victoria is your community, were you born here? Ian: I was born at the corner of Hillside and Quadra in the back of a taxi. My dad was from Jamaica and my mom is from Victoria. I’ve spent my whole life here except for one year in the West Indies. I grew up one and half miles from where I live now. There were dairy farms in the area then. My dad liked farming and farm equipment. My mum was the original recycler and organic gardener. We had seven garbage cans in the kitchen— different things were used different places. She’s 91 now and still gets out into her garden every day. Catherine: What is your vision for your community—especially the harbour? You are getting more surrounded by residential development. Ian: Victoria harbour is a strategic asset and there must be opportunities for everyone to co-exist—residential, industrial and recreational. One of my fears, however, is that the lands are so desirable for residential development that it’s easy to lose sight of how valuable the lands are to the long-term sustainability of the community as job-creating lands. Once they are gone as job-creating lands, they are gone forever. The BC government should create a Job Creating Land Bank similar to the Agricultural Land Reserve with an impartial board deciding on land use. They can start with our lands. There should also be an Act like the Right to Farm Act that is the Right to do Business Act. This would stop three or four people from thinking they can gather names on a petition and stop a business. They should absolutely complain if something is wrong and they should make a suggestion if something could be fixed or improved. But they shouldn’t think they can stop something that was going before they arrived in the neighbourhood. Industrial activity is part of a much bigger eco-system. At Point Hope we support 650 other companies! How many jobs is that?

Swe et!

Catherine: What’s the next step?

Ian: We have a fabulous group of people with a passion for what we do and we want this to be a legacy for the community.

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BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017

And I want to be part of completing the David Foster Walkway by bringing it up this end of the harbour. We planned a walkway about ten or fifteen years ago that would wind through places like Canoe and Capital Iron with viewpoints for watching the cement trucks being loaded and the crushers working and the asphalt plant operate. The path can wind through pubs, boutiques and industry. Shrubs and trees and waterfront can get boring.


{MEMBERNEWS} Winner! Best Irish Pub in North America Irish Times Pub had the luck of the Irish

on its side when it won the Best Irish Pub in North America award at the 2017 Irish Pubs Global Awards in Dublin, Ireland. The award is given to the Irish Pub that epitomises the very essence of what makes an Irish Pub the best in its class, including authenticity, atmosphere, food and beverage offering, design and customer service. We definitely think you fit the bill, Irish Times. Congrats!

Irish Times Pub: member since 2003

Innovation Rewarded FreshWorks Studio was awarded the

BC Innovation Council Regional Innovation Opportunities (ROI) prize to develop a Mobile Drug Overdose App intended to prevent victims of overdose. The BCIC ROI prize was awarded to the team that best met one of the priority areas of Fraser Health Authority, with the potential to scale globally.

FreshWorks Studio: member since 2017

Flytographer is Growing!

Brendan Miller

In the 2017 STARTUP 50 ranking of Canada's Top New Growth Companies, Flytographer ranked 16th with 776% revenue growth! The rankings focus on companies that have not only brought great concepts to market, they have also found people—lots of people—to buy what they're selling.

Flytographer: member since 2015

New Face at The Chamber The Chamber is excited to announce our former co-op student, Brendan Miller, has accepted a permanent role as a Member Representative. Brendan is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Camosun College and worked this past summer to get donations for our 35th Annual Dinner Auction. At Camosun, Brendan was a member of the Chargers Basketball team where he developed his leadership and communication skills. Brendan has a competitive side, but thinks that it pushes him to strive relentlessly for the very best results in his personal, academic, and corporate life.

Brendan is looking forward to connecting with future and existing members— introduce yourself at the next Chamber event (at well over 6' he stands out from the crowd), or give him a call at 250-3603471 to see how he can help you.

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United Way of Greater Victoria: member since 1972

Prodigy Group’s New Brand The Prodigy Group just completed a rebrand, which was two years in the making and included work and feedback from current and past committee members alike, along with those who attended mingles and completed a brand survey. Through this work, the new Prodigy brand was born. “Our new brand aligns more closely with

The Chamber’s brand, allowing us to better articulate who we are. Together, we are the voice of business in Greater Victoria,” said Shaun Cerisano, Prodigy Group Chair. The new logo was created by Glen Smethurst and the Island Digital Marketing team.

Island Digital Marketing: member since 2017

Business Matters: Modernizing our Communications - Message from CEO In 2018, we’ll be making some adjustments to our communications so we continue to connect with our members in the ways that work best for you. Right now, you should receive our dynamic weekly BizNews e-mail, which keeps you and your employees informed about relevant business and member news. You should also be receiving our weekly Chamber Events e-mail so you know what fun and informative events are happening at The Chamber and in the business community. You can advertise in both of these weekly publications at reasonable rates. They go to over 4,000 readers and have a very healthy open rate of between

32 percent and 35 percent. We’ll continue to use social media and traditional media to get the word out on issues and events. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Our high traffic website will remain the primary source of information on everything to do with The Chamber (www. victoriachamber.ca). It will have a fresh new look and be easier to navigate in 2018. It’s the home for our most popular member benefit—our member directory. We are now offering opportunities to upgrade your listing and as of 2018 the directory will only be available on-line. This means an end to the hard copy we have published in Business Matters. We’ll also be moving from six editions of our Business Matters magazine per year to two. We’re planning a spring edition that will highlight our Business Awards winners and a late fall edition that will provide an overview of the year and a look ahead at the next year’s advocacy priorities and incoming board members. Please let us know if you would like to add anyone in your organization to any of our distribution lists. Keeping you connected is what we do.

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BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017


The New Mainstream Greater Victoria Tech

Tech is no longer in a separate silo from traditional businesses. Every industry benefits from the use of tech automation whether it’s a restaurant’s point-of-sale system, an accounting firm’s adoption of cloud-based technologies or a golf course’s decision to use drones to scan the grounds for turf damage, dryness and impending ailments. The list could easily go on. “I’m not even sure what a tech company is any more,” says Scott Phillips, CEO of Starfish Medical—a leading service provider and medical device design company. “Every company needs to be using technology tools from marketing automation to social media to global sourcing in order to compete against the best in the world at whatever they do. We all have access to amazing tools that never existed before.” In 2014, the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) commissioned a study on Greater Victoria’s tech sector. It showed the sector had grown to include more than 880 businesses and employed more than 15,000 directly. It also counted another 3,000 consultants and 5,000 others who work in tech jobs within larger firms and government. In 2017, VIATEC now estimates there to be 904 tech companies with an annual revenue of $4 billion, up from $3.15 billion in 2014. Scott has experienced the growth first hand. “I moved the company out of a spare bedroom on Fairfield Road 18 years ago,” recalls Scott. “At the time there were a few companies in the tech space but nobody would have foreseen the VIATEC Awards show with 800+ technology leaders at the Empress with flying orcas breaking glassware. I think the awareness of the city as a great place to start a technology company is dramatically better now.” However, the tech industry in Greater Victoria can still seem hidden to some people, amongst the hanging baskets and tourists, thinks Chris Koide, Senior Advisor

Tech is no longer in a separate silo from traditional businesses.

Photo courtesy of VIATEC

& Vice President Financial Institutions at Bambora. But that’s changing. “It was not that long ago that annual sales from local tech companies surpassed $1 billion, which was a huge celebration. Now we have set a stretch goal of $10 billion by 2030,” says Chris. “Greater Victoria, with a strong tech cluster, great universities and a fantastic lifestyle, provides the right ingredients to continue to see rapid growth in the future.”

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With rapid growth, comes growing pains. One of the biggest challenges facing Greater Victoria being a tech hub is the lack of available talent. “It is fantastic to work in a leading tech hub,” says Chris, “but even with our universities—and our surfing—it is challenging to find people with great technical skills as well as those with deep functional skills in non-technical areas.” One of the methods that will help Greater Victoria attract highly skilled talent is continuing to market Victoria as a vibrant tech hub. In 2015 the Greater Victoria Development Agency, then a committee of The Chamber, now the independently funded South Island Prosperity Project, collaborated with VIATEC to create the “Something About Victoria” video and

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BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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BC Co-op Student of the Year For the tenth year in a row, a Camosun College student has been named the ACE BC (Association of Co-operative Education for BC and the Yukon) College Co-op Education Student of the Year. Electronics & Computer Engineering student Gavin Poole is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious award. Gavin is also an Yvonne Thompson Page Award recipient for 2016. He recently completed his coop work term with the Canadian Coast Guard as a Communications Technician. Gavin was given the task of trouble-shooting, fixing and modernizing electronics devices on the aging Coast Guard fleet. During his co-op he was chosen to travel to the Search and Rescue station in Gimli, Manitoba, a trip co-op students aren’t usually sent on but because of Gavin’s strong work ethic and experience an exception was made. His duties included aiding in the replacement of the navigation computer aboard the rescue boat, installing a new radio antenna on the base, and repairing the headset communication system on the Zodiac.

Camosun student Gavin Poole has won the BC College Co-op Education Student of the Year Award.

“The Coast Guard Co-op position ended up being a perfect fit for me,” says Gavin. “It helped me realize what I wanted to do once I finish school and that’s why I think it’s so important for people to take advantage of the Co-op programs at their schools if possible.” Gavin also remained on the Dean’s Honour Roll throughout his entire time at Camosun, balancing his classroom learning with his volunteer “repair and share computer” contributions to the community.

For more information about co-operative education at Camosun, call 250.370.4410 or visit www.camosun.ca/cecs

Co-operative Education Program and Career Services uvic.ca/employers 250.721.6616

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website. VIATEC used the video and site to promote Victoria as a great place to live and work at South by Southwest® Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas and continues to use it today. “As the brand of Victoria as a tech hub keeps growing, it makes our job of recruiting experts at the top of their game to move here easier,” says Scott. “Greater Victoria is a great place to live, which is a key consideration for the innovative technology people we bring into our team. Often we have to move families from around the continent to work here so livability is critical. Sometimes they get sticker shock from the housing prices, but it’s no different in Toronto or San Francisco.”

Collaboration is Key On August 23rd The Chamber, UVic's Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC), Island Women in Science and Technology (IWiST), South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP), Alacrity Foundation and VIATEC worked together for the first time to hold a ‘Meet a Mentor Night’ at the Summit rooftop. Through this cross sector collaboration, entrepreneurs from all partners were able to take advantage of a pool of potential mentors from inside and outside of their industry. During the event entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to provide a 90-second pitch of their business and challenges that they face. This was followed by a 90-second Q&A period and more open networking. The format of the evening allowed entrepreneurs to receive advice, perspective and counsel from a wide variety of professionals, whether a lasting mentorship relationship was made or not. The partners aim to hold this event 3 times a year.

Another challenge facing tech is raising capital and finding the right investors. “The banks are very regimented in their criteria and with investment dollars,” says Mark Smith, Chief Experience Officer of Query Technologies Corp. “I am always concerned I will give up too much too early to shareholders. Having government funding that aligned with the true financial definition of a start-up business would be great.” VIATEC has taken great strides to help foster start-ups in Victoria with their Accelerator Program which provides a structured venture development service designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious early-stage technology entrepreneurs. "Not only do our programs assist tech companies in their start-up and growth stages, but we’ve also added the RevUp Program to assist more advanced tech companies that have found market, created a product, already have sales and are ready to push hard for rapid expansion," says Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. "In September, VIATEC hosted the sixth annual Experience Tectoria, a three-day summit that brings together international venture capitalists and established tech firms to see first-hand what has shaped and supported Victoria's tech sector. They left very impressed." VIATEC is now holding three investor summits per year to showcase the tech sector, make investor introductions and help local companies gain access to experienced backers and advice. One start-up taking advantage of VIATEC's Venture Accelerator program is Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting. “Seeking advice from seasoned business professionals, and listening to it, is key,” says Regan McGrath, Founder and CEO at Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting. “As part of VIATEC's Venture Accelerator program we get access to wonderful

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If you invested $1 million in the stocks held in the hypothetical Odlum Brown Model Portfolio1 at the peak of the Canadian stock market in June 2008, prior to the credit crisis, your holdings would be worth $2.62 million today. Your $1 million investment in a portfolio that replicated the performance of the S&P/TSX Total Return Index would be worth only $1.33 million. For over 94 years, Odlum Brown Limited has been one of BC’s most respected investment firms, thanks to the vision of our founders, the passion and dedication of our employees, and the trust and loyalty of our valued clients. Contact Branch Manager Peter Jando at 250-952-7777 to learn more. Visit odlumbrown.com for more information.

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mentors to help us manage growth, innovation and cash flow.” “As an industry, we have learned what is needed to support start-ups with access to funding, and knowledge provided from incubators and accelerators like VIATEC,” says Chris. “As these start-ups grow or get acquired we are starting to figure out that Victoria is a part of our success and we don’t have to move to San Francisco to set our sights globally.” For example, Swedish-based Bambora acquired Victoria-grown Beanstream in 2015 to operate as their North American hub for customers in the region. Since the acquisition, there has been a 41 percent growth in the number of staff, but Beanstream maintains their start-up culture as it evolves from a traditional Canadian fintech company to a global-minded business.

As an industry, we have learned what is needed to support start-ups with access to funding, and knowledge provided from incubators and accelerators like VIATEC. As these start-ups grow or get acquired we are starting to figure out that Victoria is a part of our success and we don’t have to move to San Francisco to set our sights globally. — Chris Koide, Bambora. Growing tech companies choosing to stay in Greater Victoria is great for our local economy as their average wages are very high compared to the average wage in the region currently. According to B.C. Stats in 2015, average weekly earnings of high tech employees were $1,590 per week, compared to just $910 for the average B.C. worker. “With their higher income, tech sector employees have the ability to contribute to Greater Victoria’s overall economy through spending money at local restaurants and stores,” says Dan. As tech companies continue to grow and put down firm roots in Victoria it benefits everyone.

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2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards

Information Session November 7 | 12 to 1 p.m. The Chamber, 852 Fort St.

Prodigy Group November Mingle November 9 | 5 to 7 p.m. Moon Underwater Brewery & Pub 350B Bay St. Launch of the South Island Prosperity Index November 15 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa 100 Harbour Rd.

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November Business Mixer November 16 | 5 to 7 p.m. Co-hosted by Engaged HR Inc. and Query Technologies Corp. @ the Victoria Symphony, 6th Floor - 620 View St. Business Leaders Luncheon

Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture November 21 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Union Club of BC, 805 Gordon St. 35th Annual Dinner Auction Gala Friday, November 24 | 6 to 10:30 p.m. The Union Club of BC, 805 Gordon St.

Chairs' Holiday Reception Tuesday, December 5 | 5 to 7 p.m. Distrikt Nightclub, 919 Douglas St.

Office Closures

Rememberance Day November 13 (in lieu of November 11)

Winter Holidays December 25 to January 1

LEARN MORE ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STAY INFORMED BY VISITING THE ARTICLES AND NEWS SECTION ON TCLLP.CA

Thompson Cooper is Victoria’s leading source for legal advice on intellectual property. dthompson@tcllp.ca 250 389 0387 tcllp.ca

TCLLP Business Matters Ad August 2017.indd 1

2017-07-24 10:43 AM

BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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{NewMembers} August 1 to September 30

BC Cancer Foundation - Vancouver Island

The BC Cancer Foundation is the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency & the largest charitable funder of cancer research in BC. We enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research directly impacts improvement to cancer care. 250-519-5550 bccancerfoundation.com

BC SPCA

The BC SPCA Victoria Branch provides care and protection to thousands of animals each year. 250-388-7722 www.spca.bc.ca/victoria

Brent Jansen Plumbing and Heating Ltd. - Old Co

Brent Jansen Plumbing & Heating Ltd. - Old Co specializes in backflow testing and consulting for all your plumbing needs. 250-686-8066

Canadian Blood Services

We operate within the larger health-care system of transfusion and transplantation medicine. Canadian patients depend on us to manage a safe, secure and cost-effective blood system. 888-236-6283 www.blood.ca

Collaborative Journeys

Collaborative Journeys provides workplace conflict management services: 1:1 coaching, interpersonal mediation, system consulting. Effectively managing conflict enhances your reputation, employee engagement and loyalty, and workplace productivity. 250-516-3936 www.collaborativejourneys.com

Finning (Canada)

Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer delivering unrivalled service for over 80 years. We sell, rent and provide parts and service for equipment and engines to customers in various industries. 250-744-1117 www.finning.ca

Fort Street Cycle

At Fort St Cycle, we strive to create a higher level connection between you and your bike to improve your ride. 250-384-6665 www.fortstreetcycle.ca

JR The Reno King

Specializing in custom designed decks, fences, docks, boathouses and renovations. Jim Raper, The Royal Renovator has been serving Victoria, Lake Cowichan and Youbou since 1982. WCB and fully insured. 250-592-6488

Lash Love Connection

LASH+LOVE CONNECTION specializes in Eyelash Extensions; Classic and Volume, Keratin Lashlift, Brow and Lash Tint and Brow Shaping. 778-889-0077 www.facebook.com/lashloveconnection/

Leadership Victoria

We develop, support, and celebrate leaders who are passionately engaged in building a healthy, vibrant community in Greater Victoria. 250-385 -6088 www.leadershipvictoria.ca

Janitorial & Facility Services Reliable, quality performance with the highest standards!

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BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017

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{NewMembers} August 1 to September 30

Lilo’s Events

5-star event services: planning, organizing, managing, executing. For professionals and Individuals. Worldwide. 250-891-5384 www.lilosevents.com

Lisa Stevenson Notary Public

When you make major life affecting legal decisions such as buying or selling property, or re-financing your home or protecting your loved ones with a Will, you need someone to work with on a personal basis making sure you fully understand. 250-590-6196 www.notaryvictoria.com

Liz Stone Coaching

Liz brings a unique blend of business experience ranging from sales, to finance, to owner/director, combined with finely-tuned insight, compassion, and spirituality to her coaching clients. 250-588-8223 lizstone.com

Paramount Executive Centre Inc.

Paramount Executive Centre is a professionally managed executive business centre in the heart of downtown across the street from the Victoria Courthouse. 250-940-3600

Prisym Renewable Developments Inc

We work to promote advances in modern building design, introduce new technologies to local building projects and aid in the development of alternative energy to work toward net zero consumption and the elimination of fossil fuels. www.prisymcanada.com

Pye Design

Based out of beautiful Victoria BC, we craft timeless brands that visually communicate the essence of you & your business. 250-816-2793 pyedesign.ca

Rick Hansen Foundation

Actively removing barriers and improving the lives of people with disabilities. 604-295-8149 www.rickhansen.com

Sharon Cartmill-Lane of Sheen Arnold McNeil

Sharon Cartmill-Lane is a Partner with Sheen Arnold McNeil where she provides advice on all aspects of labour and employment law. 778-265-5100 www.samlaw.ca/sharon-cartmill-lane/

HIRE A CO-OP STUDENT Hire employees with real-world skills relevant to today’s workplace.

Co-operative Education Program and Career Services uvic.ca/employers 250.721.6616

Co-operative Education and Career Services camosun.ca/cese 250.370.4100

BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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{NewMembers} August 1 to September 30

Spirit Wolf Learning

Spirit Wolf Learning offers custom workshops on growing a better safety culture at your organization and can provide an analysis of the unique issues facing your organization from a Safety Learning perspective. 250-893-2386 www.spiritwolflearning.com

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association at the district of Victoria, BC is a non-profit organization subordinated to the Chinese embassy. It is mainly operated by Chinese students and scholars who study and work at the University of Victoria. 250-885-2758

The Wise Co.

Purveyor of unique, modern goods for hire brought to you with sustainability in mind. Canada’s only supplier of breathtaking wood + canvas marquee tents. 250-61-8506 www.facebook.com/thewiseco/

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BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017

Toying Around

We are a toy retail company with a store and online shop, our store is located at Mattick’s Farm on Cordova Bay Road, Victoria. 250-658-2721 www.toyingaround.ca

Triad Sign Limited

Full service sign company since 1992. Design, fabrication, installation and service. Neon, backlit signs, illuminated letters. Trusted branding from start to finish. 250-388-3993 www.triadsign.com

VI Weekly

VI Weekly—short for Vancouver Island Weekly—is the first and only Mandarin newspaper printed on the Island. 250-587-2898 www.viweekly.ca

Victoria West Community Association The VWCA is a non-profit community group that promotes the interests of the residents of the Victoria West neighbourhood. Events like Vic West Fest, the annual corn roast and monthly meetings to discuss concerns of

residents are just a few examples. 250-882-9275 www.victoriawest.ca

VIP Mobile Restrooms

The “luxurious” alternative to traditional Portable Toilet Rentals. VIP mobile restrooms has a large selection of luxury restroom trailer rentals serving Vancouver Island. 250-228-2112 www.vipmobilerestrooms.ca

Websec Information Security Services We are focused on helping companies create and maintain an effective security infrastructure for their computer systems. 888-501-7603 www.websec.ca

Island Excellence

Island Excellence consulting services aims to improve businesses of any size by developing and integrating ISO International Management System standards. Areas of expertise include: social responsibility, energy, quality, environment and safety. 250-818-9779


Member Snapshots

The strength of The Chamber is our members and the people who run these outstanding businesses. These interviews have been edited for length and clarity. To see the full interviews, or find out how you can be featured, visit our website www.victoriachamber.ca Get to know Teri Hustins

Teri Hustins

What was your first job? Ice cream scooper. What do you think is the most important life lesson for someone to learn? To treat everyone with kindness and respect.

Owner Oscar & Libby’s Get to know Oscar & Libby’s

With two stores located in What’s your favourite thing about your job? Downtown Victoria, The challenge of trying (Fort Street and Market to grow a business. Square) Oscar & Libby’s What is the best perk has become Victoria’s What is your company’s of your job? Working gift store for all greatest strength? Our with my husband. We’re a ability to react quickly to that is upbeat and great team. new opportunities/trends and offbeat. What’s your favourite way of networking with other businesses? Community events like the Fort Street Scrub Up.

Best team-building moment or program you’ve ever experienced? A fire in 2013, 10 days before the start of the Christmas shopping season. What project is your business proudest of? The Fort Street Kindness Meters; The Fort Street Parklet.

challenges.

What sets your business apart from other businesses? Our sense of humour. Why do you like working in your industry? It’s fast paced and always changing. What’s new with your business? Oh! I can’t tell you that but we’re planning something new in 2018. What is the one thing no one understands or knows about your business? That our business is named after our two kitties.

How do you relax? There’s nothing like a really good mystery book to escape the stresses of a day. Where can we find you on the weekend? Usually puttering around in my garden. Big city or the wilderness? Wilderness, hands down! What did you do on your summer vacation? Spent time at our cabin on a remote island. Favourite summer activity to do in Victoria? A bike ride followed by a picnic near the ocean. What’s something people don’t know about you? That I am an introvert. If you had a superpower what would it be? I often wish that I had a collapsible third arm. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would it be? Queen Elizabeth.

Oscar & Libby’s: Member since 2005

Nick Poushinsky Vice President Stantec Get to know Stantec How and when was your business founded? Stantec is a Canadian success story. We started in 1954 as a one-person firm, and today, the Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across 6 continents. We collaborate across disciplines and industries to bring buildings, energy and resource, environmental, water, and infrastructure projects to life. What’s new with your business? What’s new is also quite old about Stantec. We recently acquired a global firm that has specialized in all matters related to water, making us a leader globally as a firm assisting with the management of one of our most precious resources—water. This continues a process of growth through the acquisition and integration of great companies. How important is succession planning? At Stantec the Succession Planning process is near to my heart as I move into an ‘emeritus’ sort of role working with my successor. We emphasize the requirement

living life to the full with honesty and respect for those around Stantec me is a lesson I learn daily. What are you passionate brings buildings, about? Life, living and energy, resource, people. environmental,

infrastructure, and What was your first job? A paper route when I was water projects to seven years old. life. Could you manage without your cell phone? I wish. that all employees identify a successor(s) and work with them to prepare them for the day when they step into a new role. How is your business innovative? Our Creativity & Innovation (C&I) Program nurtures the efforts of our people to apply any idea that benefits us, our clients, or our communities, and enhances our reputation, competitive position, and ultimately our financial performance. Get to know Nick Poushinsky What do you think is the most important life lesson for someone to learn? I don’t believe in ONE most important lesson being a helpful notion. I DO believe that

Where do you like to eat in Greater Victoria? We have so many great restaurants that I could go on for hours about where I like to eat. Downtown Saveur and Zambri’s are two favourites. We live in Brentwood Bay and love to walk to Zanzibar for dinner. Favourite summer activity to do in Victoria? Actually, summer and year-round we love walking our dog through Butchart Gardens. If you had a superpower what would it be? I would mandate that children outlive their parents.

Stantec: Member since 2002 BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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Scott Phillips CEO StarFish Medical Get to know StarFish Medical

ride to work in 25 minutes along the ocean and a bike path all year long. Best team-building moment or program

you’ve ever experienced? Recently we How and when was your had Calliope Learning do a session on business founded? We StarFish personality typing which went over very moved into our first Medical well. When we mapped out the staff office, beside the there were some obvious patterns we is a contract Blue Bridge, in had never noticed. We also got some product design order to get our company focused in common language to use which has first big contract been impactful on our culture. in 1999. It was the medical device an ultrasound What project is your business industry around ophthalmic imaging proudest of? We worked on a blood North America. system for cataract flow analyzer for plastic surgery that surgery for a company helped our client launch quickly and in New York. The potential preserve a major distribution relationship. client wanted to visit us so we had to have a This year they were able to sell their place for them to visit. The sign went on the business for over one billion dollars in the door just in time. We won the job and the largest deal of its kind in Canadian history. game was on. What is your company’s greatest What’s your favourite way of networking strength? We have people, a culture, and with other businesses? Mostly one on one systems that can provide expert consulting with other entrepreneurs. In addition to The services to the best medical device Chamber I’m quite involved with VIATEC, companies in the world. Acetech and Entrepreneurs Organization. What sets your business apart from other What is the best part about doing business businesses? Relative to our competitors in Greater Victoria? It’s a friendly place full we tend to be stronger technically, have a of amazing people doing innovative things more cohesive culture and/or have better that they sell all over the world. Plus, I can systems. We have a few other tricks up our sleeve too. How is your business innovative? We sell innovation. I like to think of it as putting lightning in a bottle. Every product we develop needs to be the best in the world to enable our clients to compete worldwide in their space.

Stevenson Doell Law Corporation We offer the following services:  Real Estate  Wills & Estates  Family Law  Personal Injury We will do home visits Free Consultation for Chamber Members Call 250-388-7881 www.stevensondoell.com 20 BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017

Why do you like working in your industry? The work we do ultimately affects both health outcomes and affordability of healthcare which is better for all of us. What’s new with your business? In April this year we bought our largest Canadian competitor in Toronto to become the only national firm in our industry. How is your business environmentally sustainable? The biggest thing is reducing fuel use in commuting. We’re intentionally close to a major transit corridor and do cost share on bus passes as well as encouraging bike use through secure parking and a shower facility. We’re right beside the Galloping Goose trail. I ride every day I can which helps normalize bike commuting in our culture. What is the one thing no one understands or knows about your business? We don’t sell to doctors or hospitals. Our customers are actually medical device companies. They sell to doctors and hospitals.

Get to know Scott Phillips What was your first job? My first professional job was at Moli Energy in Vancouver developing and manufacturing the first generation of lithium batteries. That was in 1989. I left 3 years later to travel around South America for two years and have never had formal employment since. What are you passionate about? Figuring things out. Meeting other passionate people. Engaging deeply in things that matter. Helping other people be successful. What did you do on your summer vacation? My family hiked the North Coast Trail this year. Last year we cycle camped around France for a month. We don’t have a plan for next year yet although I suspect it will be international. Favourite after school activity to do with your family? I like to do projects with my kids. My son and I built a harmonograph drawing machine in the basement, then we did a cool pneumatic apple cannon. We also like to watch international soccer highlights together. Could you manage without your cell phone? Sure. I can quit anytime I want…. I think. What’s your favourite mode of transportation to get around town? Bike, definitely. Road bike on weekends. What’s something people don’t know about you? I think of myself as being kind of shy. Shy but driven. If you had a superpower what would it be? Energizing people. Favourite social media for work/personal? LinkedIn. I don’t really use other social media. I like Tim Cook’s quote, “If you don’t pay for the product you are the product.”

StarFish Medical: Member since 2009


Indu Brar General Manager Fairmont Empress

Get to know Indu Brar What’s your favourite sport to play/be a fan of? I like to play basketball every once in a while, and like the Golden State Warriors, I A world class also like to watch some Canadian Icon, a football and am a fan of Condé Nast Readers' the Seahawks!

Get to know Fairmont Empress Business lunch or after work drinks? Both, it depends on who I am meeting with and the objective of the meeting.

Choice and Gold List hotel, How do you relax? What’s your favourite honoured with the Travel + I like to run to clear thing about your job? Leisure distinction, we are my mind, and I like No one day is ever the same. Hospitality is a gift, in the business of turning to cycle but don’t do it nearly enough. moments into memories and yet to the outsider it I like the speed of the looks so simple. Our team for our guests. downhill! must have the commitment, the energy and creativity, the Where can we find you on orchestration that it takes to curate the weekend? Well right now I am experiences and ensure every guest—of finishing my executive MBA, so I have spent more than 100,000 each year—walks a lot of time over the past 14 months on my away enriched, or having had a seamless, roof deck studying… memorable, experience. It’s a journey and Big city or the wilderness? My first love is when it’s delivered so seamlessly it’s the the wilderness for balance, but I do love the best part of my job. big city! How is your business environmentally If you had a superpower what would it be? sustainable? Sustainability has been a pillar A strong “Spidey” sense. and a cornerstone for Fairmont Hotels since If you could have dinner with anyone alive the very early 90’s. We have introduced or dead who would it be? Barack Obama. various initiatives to drive long term sustainability, whether its water reduction, What do you think is the most important energy conservation, or re-cycling initiatives.

life lesson for someone to learn? Admitting when you are wrong, maintaining your humility, asking for help when you need it, and having confidence and trust in yourself. What did you do on your summer vacation/planning to do? I enjoy adventure travel and experiencing new cultures and exploring the wonders of the world.

Fairmont Empress.: Member since 1962

What is the best part about doing business in Greater Victoria? It’s an exciting time in Victoria right now. There is a great energy and excitement about the future, about growth and collaboration, industry and businesses coming together and putting our best foot forward. How is your business involved in the community? The Fairmont Empress has been part of the fabric of the community for over 100 years. We take great pride in supporting the community, whether it is from opening up our lawns to the community for major events like Canada Day or Symphony Splash, or playing a key role in hosting major fundraisers and supporting community causes in a meaningful way. What is your company’s greatest strength? The investment in our people, our focus on the communities we do business in, and an unwavering commitment to staying true to what we have set out to achieve. How important is succession planning? This is a critical step in determining the long-term future of any business. We invest heavily in mentoring and succession planning across all levels of the organization. It will typically result in development that leads to promotions or transfers and different experiences that continue to evolve the talent.

www.technologyguys.ca

BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017

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How Many Municipalities to Change a Lightbulb? By Catherine Holt, CEO, The Chamber At a meeting recently, someone finished their point about how to improve a service (in this case child care, but it really could have been anything) with the statement “… and, of course, all of this would be easier if there was only one local government”. There was a pause. There was a sigh. And then we carried on. It’s become common practice at almost every meeting I attend for someone to express a similar thought on regional services. How many times has it been said? It has become our standard footnote. And now the Capital Integrated Services and Governance Initiative report, finally released by the Province, has provided a full explanation of why we say it so often. It is an exhaustive and exhausting description, like none other, of the crazy world we live in when it comes to local government services. It tackles 16 services and describes each thoroughly by municipality including what the services is, what parts are shared with other governments, the different ways it’s

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delivered, what it costs per capita, how decisions are made and who pays. The word that came to mind when I read it is morass, defined by Google as “a complicated or confused situation. Synonyms: confusion, chaos, muddle, tangle, entanglement, imbroglio, jumble, clutter. Informal: logjam.” One of the most troubling service areas is also one of the most important - public safety services (police, fire protection, emergency dispatch and emergency planning). Here are some observations: Policing Why does Victoria pay $573.68 per citizen for policing while View Royal pays $115.40. Does anyone believe that VicPD is not helping keep the people of View Royal safe? We have 4 police departments and three RCMP detachments and they have created 40 shared services—each one voluntary. There is a high of 88 percent participation by Oak Bay and a low of 38 percent participation by the RCMP. Even if we leave the RCMP out of it—they have their own national and provincial level entanglements: Why do we need so many chiefs? How about if we use those four salaries to pay for one Chief with a handful of top drawer executive leaders to run one police department for Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Central Saanich? Fire Protection Does anyone think we need four separate professional fire departments and multiple volunteer fire departments with 14 committees to coordinate their efforts, 20 shared services and six mutual aid agreements pledging that they will help cover each other’s territory?

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22 BUSINESSMATTERS | November 2017

Costs for the current mishmash range from $70-90 per person for those places with volunteer departments to $210 and $215 per person in Oak Bay and Esquimalt where they have their own full blown departments. Again, why so many chiefs? How about one superbly resourced fire department that actually covers all of the CRD, not just most areas? Emergency Response Planning Next up, 11 local emergency programs each with their own plan for responding in an emergency and no coordination among them. It’s a good thing earthquakes follow municipal boundaries.

Then there is CREST (Capital Region Emergency Service Telecommunications Inc.) the subject of one of my favorite quotes from the report: “The CRD and municipalities in the region also participate in CREST, which provides emergency radio communications for 50 emergency response agencies in the Capital region. This includes fire departments, police departments and ambulance services.” I added the boldface type because the real emergency is that we have 50 emergency response agencies and need a whole organization to ensure they can communicate with each other. And my question is, when the big one comes—are we sure that they can communicate? Emergency Dispatch Here’s another quote: “Emergency dispatch (9-1-1) for first responders (e.g., fire, police and ambulance services) is a shared service with seven dispatch centres in the Capital region; including three for fire (Langford—operated by the CRD out of the Langford Fire Hall, Saanich and Victoria), three for police (Saanich, Victoria and Westshore RCMP) and the BC Ambulance Service dispatch also operated in Langford.” CRD is planning a centralized emergency dispatch centre. Very good. Dispatchers can all sit together and try to decide which police department or fire department they have to contact. Dispatch might be easier, cheaper and less risky with one fire department and one police department. Integrate the service providers—not the dispatch centre. The authors could not identify a single municipal service that is provided the same way for the same cost across this region. This is the best evidence we have ever had that we need better governance through fewer governments. No one can read this report and think that what we have is not badly broken. So, what now? Option One Local governments fix it themselves. They have had a long time to do this—and here we are. Option Two The Province steps in with some detached and capable leaders, a credible process and a deadline and we’ll see if we can get more than a sewage plant out of it this time.


2018

NOMINATIONS

OPEN VICTORIACHAMBER.CA/NOMINATE

DEADLINE JANUARY 23, 2018 Business Leadership • Non-Profit/Association of the Year • Business Person of the Year • Sustainable Business Practices • Business of the Year • Outstanding Customer Service • Young Entrepreneur of the Year • Innovation • Outstanding Workplace of the Year • Chamber Member of the Year • New Business 2017 BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS


Natural Gas. Good for sustainable stores.

Thrifty Foods ensures its B.C. stores are making the best use of their energy. So it made sense to take advantage of FortisBC’s natural gas kitchen equipment rebate program. Upgrading three ovens to high-efficiency models helped Thrifty Foods conserve money and energy — and receive $9,500 in rebates. Thrifty Foods strives to manage the environmental impact of their stores, which is why signing up for Renewable Natural Gas* was another obvious choice. That’s energy at work. fortisbc.com/thrifty *Renewable natural gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create carbon neutral Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane). FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. (17-049.5 09/2017)

Profile for Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Business Matters November 2017  

Business Matters November 2017