June 2017

Buyatab and the Growth of Electronic Gift Cards

Buyatab and the Growth of Electronic Gift Cards

Buyatab Online

Matias Marquez turned his electronic solution to gift giving into Buyatab, a company that benefits consumers, brands, and distributors, and catapulted his company to No. 3 overall on the 2016 PROFIT 500 list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, earning him the title ‘Entrepreneur of the Year, Pacific, 2016.’
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Eight years ago Matias Marquez had a problem. The then 21-year old Simon Fraser University business student wanted to send a gift card to a friend who lived halfway across the country and felt frustrated there was no way to get it to its destination in a timely manner. If only there was a way to send one electronically, he mused. Well, back then there just wasn’t a way, but thanks to his high-tech digital problem solving skills, now there is.

Next Level Facility Management

Next Level Facility Management

Facility Source

Businesses in various sectors have been forced to stretch resources as far as they can go. As an answer to this ever-present challenge, Facility Source’s software, maintenance and services are a complete package of next-level facility management solutions. The company’s facility management is used by some of the biggest brands in the world.
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The solutions offered by Facility Source are flexible and there when needed the most. Through its proprietary software and technology, its innovative approach and its network of service providers, processes are automated and costs are lowered, for even the most complex challenges.

Innovation and Experience

Innovation and Experience

TETRA Technologies

Just north of Houston is The Woodlands area of Texas, an area known for petrochemical corporations such as Chevron Phillips, Baker Hughes, and ExxonMobil. TETRA Technologies, Inc. is strategically headquartered here to serve oil and gas industries across the United States. Geographically diversified TETRA Technologies is focused on providing products and services for water management, selected offshore works, decommissioning, and more.
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TETRA regularly sells hundreds of highly innovative products and provides many other products and services to the industry. The most successful of these have been specifically designed and formulated to meet the needs of customers.

Above the Competition

Above the Competition

Sky Climber Renewables

Sky Climber Renewables began in 1955 as a manufacturer of suspended access equipment to get people up the exterior of buildings to perform services. The Sky Climber family of businesses serves many work-at-height industries in the industrial and commercial markets. We spoke with Vice President of Sales and Business Development Chad DiFranco and General Manager Tom Warchol to find out more.
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Sky Climber Renewables has grown into a global leader and expanded into Europe with a manufacturing facility in Belgium. A network of distributors and dealers was developed that distribute rigging, hoists, and modular work platforms to over seventy countries.

Bring Solar Home

Bring Solar Home

Grasshopper Solar

Last May, I spoke with Ontario’s largest solar provider, Grasshopper Solar of Mississauga. We discussed the residential market, the cost of solar and how the general public needs to be educated about the benefits of solar technologies. Now, we celebrate its tenth anniversary and look to President and Chief Executive Officer Azeem Qureshi for the latest developments in the solar industry and within the company itself.
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Ten years in business is a significant milestone for Grasshopper Solar, and the company has a number of special offers to celebrate. The ten-year mark also coincides with the end of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program.

A Wealth of Experience

A Wealth of Experience

BDA Partners

BDA Partners is an investment bank which specializes in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), capital raising, valuation and financial restructuring. BDA primarily executes in cross-border transactions involving Asia and specializes in deals with enterprise values of up to $1 billion USD.
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BDA Partners has over eighty professional staff working from ten offices located in New York, London, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. Business in Focus spoke with Euan Rellie, one of BDA’s senior managing directors and co-founders.

The Pinnacle of Success

The Pinnacle of Success

Pinnacle Wealth Brokers

Financial services company Pinnacle Wealth Brokers’ business model focuses on diligent research to provide attractive, unbiased, private investment opportunities for retail investors. Pinnacle has been a forerunner in the private placement of funds for Canadian clients and, as a result of its success, has been recognized as one of the top growth companies in Canada in 2013 by Profit Magazine as well as one of the Fast 50 Growth companies for both 2013 and 2014 by Alberta Venture Magazine.
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Pinnacle Wealth Brokers Inc. (Pinnacle) was established in 2006 as Alberta Land and Investment Brokers (ALIB). Consistent growth enabled ALIB to develop the capital-raising power necessary to attract various investment opportunities for retail investors. In 2010, ALIB became ‘Pinnacle Wealth Brokers’, ushering in a new brand and organizational structure to accommodate a changing regulatory environment.

Innovation in the Insurance and Financial Services Industry

Innovation in the Insurance and Financial Services Industry

Independent Financial Concepts Group

Independent Financial Concepts Group is a Managing General Agency offering insurance and financial products from Canada’s leading providers, along with financial planning and guidance from highly trained advisors. Business in Focus spoke with CEO Gary Mandel and Eric Benchetrit, Director of Professional Development, to learn about how IFCG’s innovative approach to leadership in the financial services and insurance industry.
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Founded in 1999 by Gary Mandel and Jaymie Bongard, Independent Financial Concepts Group (IFCG) has become a leader in the financial services industry by putting customers first. IFCG is a Managing General Agency serving the greater Toronto market.

Growing Strong First Nations through Modern Finance

Growing Strong First Nations through Modern Finance

The Usand Group

The Usand Group is a capital firm headquartered in Manitoba, Canada that works with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations. By creating access to funding for economic development, housing and infrastructure projects, The Usand Group fosters long-term growth and stability. As its company states, “We understand how culture fits into vision, and take pride in weaving them together for a one-of-a-kind solution.”
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First Nations across Canada and Indigenous populations around the world face systemic barriers including racism, chronic underfunding and inequality. Many of these issues are the direct result of historic hardships stemming from colonialism and, in Canada, the legacy of residential schools and legislation such as the Indian Act.

A Passion for Quality and Service

A Passion for Quality and Service

Bottega Louie

After two years of planning everything from the type of marble for the floors to high-end brass finishings and even the most aesthetic placement of basil leaves on a Margherita pizza, Bottega Louie opened its doors on April 6, 2009 and was an immediate success.
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Bottega Louie’s Chief Financial Officer Kevin McKellar and his partners had a vision of a 10,000-square-foot restaurant serving high-quality Italian dishes, a French patisserie carefully crafting macarons, chocolates and other sweets, and a gourmet market rivaling the finest shops in Europe. He and his team would use the best ingredients and serve the finest food possible, but at a comfortable price to appeal to everyone from college students out for pizza and beer to families with children and business executives out for a power lunch.

Honesty in the Health Foods Market

Honesty in the Health Foods Market

NuGo Nutrition

NuGo Nutrition is a lifestyle food company that believes that when it comes to healthy snack food, great taste and nutrition are not mutually exclusive. It was founded more than a decade ago by David Levine and Keith Rohrlick out of a desire to create something better than what was available on the market at the time. They saw a need for a health food snack that did not sacrifice taste for function, and they worked at finding ways to accomplish the task.
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“Really, there isn’t a great Ben and Jerry’s story. We just looked at the marketplace and decided to make a product that tastes great and has beneficial characteristics,” says David Levine, cofounder and chief executive officer of NuGo Nutrition. Fifteen years later, NuGo has grown from a simple idea into a company with an ambitious mission to produce tasty nutrition bars for many lifestyles including meat- and dairy-free vegan products, low sugar and low glycemic products for managing blood sugar, gluten free products, high protein bars, high fiber bars, and more.

A True Family Business

A True Family Business

Rosie O’Grady’s

Forty five years ago, near Wall St., Mike Carty opened the first Rosie O’Grady’s restaurant with his business partner Austin Delaney. It moved to a second location three years later, in 1975, also in the Wall Street area in Manhattan. In 1977, the third Rosie O’Grady’s opened in Midtown Manhattan, and since 1981, it has been in its current location, 800 Seventh Ave., in the Broadway Theater District of Midtown Manhattan.
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Mike’s business partner Austin passed away eight years ago, and he has taken over as the owner along with his wife Caroline, as well as their son, Michael Jr., and daughter Carolyn. A typical day at the office can last up to ten hours for Mike, and when he is out of town, there is always a member of the family present at the restaurant.

Establishing Best Practices

Establishing Best Practices

The Business of Quality, Safety and Efficiency

Trillions of dollars flow through the U.S. financial system in a multitude of transactions between people, businesses, banks and corporations and whether these actors are aware of it or not, standards and regulations are necessary to the success of these transactions.
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From an economic standpoint, standards and regulations and the best practices that inform their establishment, have the intended effect of levelling the economic playing field while simultaneously encouraging competition amongst economic players. Standards protect the diverse interests of each of the players in these financial transactions.

“We Sell Peace of Mind”

“We Sell Peace of Mind”

Telgian Corporation

Telgian, with headquarters in Phoenix, offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Delaware, and inspectors in thirty-five states, has been providing comprehensive physical plant fire protection, life safety and security to commercial, industrial, medical and educational facilities since 1985.
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In his groundbreaking 1943 article ‘A Theory of Human Motivation,’ American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs, including the essential physiological need for safety and security, which he theorized must be met before an individual, or by extension, a business, can move on to fulfilling higher level needs, including acceptance, respect and achievement.

Taking Safety to the Next Level

Taking Safety to the Next Level

Skillsets and Mindsets

Safety is big business. An entire industry has formed to help workplaces meet stringent safety requirements and keep their workers healthy. From private consultants to personal protective equipment manufacturers, this industry has an answer to every employer’s safety needs.
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The safety industry works to keep employees and the environment free from harm. Safety professionals rely on safety science, a relatively new concept that entails a range of disciplines, from psychology, physiology, and physics, to health, hygiene, management, and education. “Safety science is a twenty-first century term for everything that goes into the prevention of accidents, illnesses, fires, explosions and other events which harm people, property and the environment,” according to the Career Guide to the Safety Profession, which is co-produced by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Foundation.

Strategic Growth through Change

Strategic Growth through Change

Heavy North

Heavy North continues to make headlines. The civil construction business has relocated its headquarters, launched two new companies, and survived a forest fire since Business in Focus profiled the firm for the second time last year. This month, we sat down with the team for a third time and learned the latest news.
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Last spring, Heavy North faced a trial by fire (literally) that many companies could not have survived. When the Fort McMurray fire, dubbed “the Beast,” swept through the region, the company suffered along with the rest of the community. “We were displaced,” remembers President Steve Bolen. “A number of us lost our homes.” The fire ravaged more than 500,000 hectares—a landmass larger than Prince Edward Island. By the time the smoke cleared, the Beast had destroyed at least 2,400 structures—almost 10 percent of the city—and forced over 80,000 residents to evacuate, according to the Globe and Mail.

Timeless Quality with a Modern Aesthetic

Timeless Quality with a Modern Aesthetic

Wicker Emporium

Wicker Emporium, also referred to as WE, carries contemporary, modern and rustic solid wood furnishings and home décor of the highest quality. For forty-five years, WE has continued to expand its range of products as it spreads to markets across Canada.
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Wicker Emporium was founded in 1972 by Chief Executive Officer Madan Kapahi, who moved from India to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1967 to practice law. By establishing Wicker Emporium, Kapahi was able to share a reminder of home in the form of traditional basketry and wicker furniture. Madan has now been joined by his son Raj Kapahi who serves as WE’s chief operating officer. Raj is ushering in a new era of growth for the retailer.

A Quarter Century of Success in Western Canada

A Quarter Century of Success in Western Canada

Westcana Electric

Westcana Electric serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout western Canada. The electrical contractor boasts offices in Calgary, Prince George, Terrace, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, and Fort Nelson, so the team can handle maintenance calls anywhere at any time, day or night.
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“We have seven branches that are full blown shops all around [British Columbia] and Alberta,” says President Scott Sherba. “That helps us be competitive and get more work.”

An Innovative Approach to Economic Development

An Innovative Approach to Economic Development

Mingo County, WV

Located in southwestern West Virginia, Mingo County is in the heart of coal country. In response to the decline of the American coal industry, the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority is forming strategic partnerships and embracing new opportunities to diversify the county’s economic base.
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For nearly 100 years, coal mining was the core of Mingo County’s economy. Large coalfields in the area sustained thousands of well-paid jobs. The county is home to 25,000 residents, many of whom have deep ties to the coal industry.

Discover the Opportunity

Discover the Opportunity

Jefferson County, W.Va.

Jefferson County, situated a mere 40-minute drive west of Washington Dulles International Airport, is centrally positioned in the Mid-Atlantic business corridor, and is the only county in West Virginia within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is made up of more than 200 square miles of West Virginia woodlands and cities like Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, Ranson, and Bolivar. The county is bounded by the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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Less than an hour’s drive from the Washington, D.C. Beltway at the eastern-most edge of West Virginia, just beyond the hustle and bustle of big city life, you will find Jefferson County, the D.C. area’s best-kept secret.

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