Pouring Perfect Pints

Did you know that an estimated 10 million Canadians drink beer as their alcoholic beverage of choice? Draught beer is the freshest of these beers, as it does not go through the same distribution channels as canned or bottled beer. It is produced, kegged and delivered fresh to pubs and restaurants. As a draught system technologist, BeerTech’s number one goal is to ensure that draught beer be dispensed to consumers as the brewer intended. It all starts with system balance. Whether it is a short draw system (direct draw from a fridge below the towers) or a long draw (from a cooler located somewhere

in the building and driven to the tower and faucets at the bar), it is imperative that the system be balanced. Cooler temperature, beer temperature, gas pressure and calculations on the route the beer will travel (distance, any gravity or lift the lines will travel, restriction caused by hardware such as tubing size and hardware within the towers) must be correct. The result will be a perfectly poured pint; cold, properly carbonated and with a nice head on the beer. It is critical after a proper install that the BeerTech system is maintained regularly. Temperatures should be monitored and the lines, couplers and faucets should be kept clean. As well, the cooler in which the beer is stored should be kept clean.

Serving quality draught beer requires time and technique. Select the proper glassware for the style and brand of beer you are offering. When pouring draught, the glass should never contact with the faucet. Hold the glass at a 45 degree angle until reaching ¾ full, then straighten and lower slightly to allow for the head to form. Beer, much like wine, has a nose. The glass should be served with the logo or label facing the customer and, whenever possible, on a coaster from the respective brewery. Follow the steps above and you are ready to enjoy a fresh, perfectly poured pint every time! Please enjoy responsibly! Ken Greer Owner Technician BeerTech Draught Systems Technologies







(902) 431-BEER (2337)



EDITOR Lee Ann Atwater

RESEARCH TEAM LEADS Alia Morash Ashley Tanner






John Allaire Jamie Barrie


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Janice Buckler Denise Alison Jody Euloth Ceiledh Monk Dan Monk



Is it just us or does it seem like we just rang in the new year and now the first quarter of 2018 is over already. We hope you are off to a great start to the year and that you look to the sky as the limit for this year. When looking to the sky, what do you see of the cityscape, do you see merely build- ings, billboards and traffic lights? Or do you see architecture and landscape co-exist- ing in a harmonious flow, one complimenting the other to form continuous, functional aesthetics? If so you will enjoy our conversation with Lisa Rapoport, partner of PLANT Architect Inc. along with Chris Pommer, and Mary Tremain. PLANT is an award-win- ning practice that combines architecture, landscape and design with a vision toward timeless urban redevelopment and renewal across spatial scales and traditional dis- ciplinary borders on Canada’s largest urban canvas — Toronto. Specializing in institu- tional, commercial, and residential architecture and landscape architecture, interiors, public space design, urban infrastructure, feasibility studies, and master planning. We learn about PLANT’s beginnings, their unique interdisciplinary design approach, and PLANT’s commitment to public engagement. Spotlight on Business spoke with Dave and Christie Dias of BC Diesel Truck Repair and Performance which they started back in 2011. Located in Surrey, British Columbia, their 18,000 square feet full-repair facility on 64th Avenue is equipped with the latest diag- nostic tools and a team of experienced professionals who have what it takes to get your diesel truck working reliably again. In seven short years Dave and Christie have built-up a nationwide dealer network and what is quickly becoming a one-stop shop e-commerce giant for diesel drivers in The Great White North and beyond which is the reason we had to tell their amazing story. As a teenager, Near North Log Homes’ owner Jon Sheppard wanted to build himself a log home. In this issue we learn how returning home from a job as a fly-fishing guide in Northern British Columbia and a change in direction helped him find a new-found job and what turned in to a life-long passion. Learn more about Jon’s journey, the log home business and its place in the residential construction industry. There is something quintessentially Canadian about Roger Ellis and the story of Heart- wood Log Homes. From his office at Heartwood’s Margaretsville, Nova Scotia worksite,

Roger told Spotlight on Business how a cabinetry-carpentry course, a hitchhik- ing trip from coast-to- coast, and a book called Building with Logs changed his life forever. Now four decades later, Roger has built log homes in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina. In this month’s issue read how each hand-peeled Heartwood Log Home brings you closer to nature and in the self-reliant tradition. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but on occasion, it can result in the production of great whisky. Such is the case with the father and son team, David and David Woods from Wiggly Bridge Distillery in York, Maine. Spotlight on Business Magazine spoke with David Woods Sr. about the distillery’s beginnings, their products, the craft distilling scene in Maine along with their outlook to the future. We hope you enjoy the issue and we would like to thank all those involved in putting this month’s issue together along with our readers as we look forward to telling more stories about successful businesses and the people making it happen.

Lee Ann Atwater Editor

279 Gary St, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 1H9 | PO Box 350007 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 0G3 P: 204 272 6228 E:




When you look at an image of a cityscape, do you see merely buildings, billboards and traffic lights? Or do you see architec- ture and landscape co-existing in a har-

monious flow, one complimenting the other to form continuous, functional aesthetics. PLANT Architect Inc. sees the latter. In fact, they design the latter in Canada’s largest urban canvas—Toronto. They are an award-winning practice that combines architecture, landscape and design with a vision toward timeless urban redevelopment and renewal across spatial scales and traditional disci- plinary borders. PLANT was founded in 1995 by partners Lisa Rapoport, Chris Pommer, and Mary Tremain. The studio is based in Toronto and is comprised of architects and landscape architects. They specialize in institutional, commercial, and residential architecture and landscape architecture, interiors, public space design, urban infrastructure, feasibility studies, and master planning.

From the time he was a teenager, Near North Log Homes’ owner Jon Sheppard wanted to build himself a log home. Admittedly, log homes are special and not for everybody. But if you live in the right environment and are someone who enjoys the unique, individual appeal of natural wood, a log or timber home may be right up your alley. Sheppard was definitely one of those people.

Returning home froma job as a fly-fishing guide inNorthern British Columbia, some 20 years ago, Sheppard’s route took him past a log home building company.

He doubled back, pulled into the lot and asked if they were looking for an extra hand to build their homes. They took his information and sure enough, one week later he got the call-up to join the crew. Like most people breaking into the industry, Sheppard learned the ropes from on-the- job training, not from any formal certification program. His new-found job was step one in what has turned into a life-long passion.


Ah, but best-laid plans…a hockey injury cut Sheppard’s career short with this particular builder, and he returned to Vancouver to rehabilitate. Once back on his feet, he...





10 SPOTLIGHT ON INDUSTRY 14 MESH MEDIA NETWORK Avoid the Solution Overload 18 CONTRACTORS’ CORNER Can we stay in our home during the renovation? 20 NAFTA Think-Tank down plays NAFTA Termination during the Renovation 21 SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS 21 STRATIGRO SMALL BUSINESS TIP FOR MARCH The Three Fastest ways to Grow your Business 22 VMAC GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY INC Air Innovated 26 PLANT ARCHITECT INC. Synergy Between Earth and Sky(scraper) 32 NEAR NORTH LOG HOMES Making Dreams Come True 38 BACK COUNTRY LOG HOMES Art on the Praries 42 BC DIESEL REPAIR & PERFORMANCE For a Clientele that Deserves the Best in Customer Service 48 HEARTWOOD LOG HOMES LTD. Handcrafted in Nova Scotia, Canada since 1984 56 WIGGLY BRIDGE DISTILLERY Spanning Generations into the Future 64 SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION 66 FIIX Shaking up Auto Repair 74 NEW IPHONE FROM APPLE Apple going bigger and lower price for new iPhone offering 78 HOLISTIC HEALTH TIP FOR MARCH BY JANICE BUCKLER BioScan MSA- Computerized Technology for Holistic Practitioners 79 CRAFT BEER The new “Healthy” Alcoholic Beverage 76 SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH


Curiosity may have killed the cat, but on occasion, it can result in the production of

great whisky. Such is the case with the father and son team, David and David Woods from Wiggly Bridge Distillery in York, Maine. One evening in 2010 during a family dinner, it was lightly suggested that the family should try their hand at making their own spirits. David Jr. further men- tioned that he was going to find or build a still and see what happens.

While this may be a far-fetched proposition for many, the two Davids shared a love for good whisky and an even greater fascination with dis...

The owners have deep roots in the North American diesel truck industry; they have thir- ty-seven years combined expe- rience in the world of light-duty diesel trucks. They specialize in diesel truck maintenance, diagnostics, repairs, diesel engine emissions, and driveline upgrades for Ford Powerstroke, Dodge Cummins, and GMC Duramax – and more. Their business model is focused on customer service. And they’re married. Dave and Christie Dias started BC Diesel...




A IDACA MEDIA understands that small and medium size enterprises and businesses are key to the successful growth of any economy and just as import- ant as big businesses to the global economy as a whole. By putting a spotlight on your business, organization or commu- nity with effective and interactive media and advertising we will help you capture the interest of business leaders and potential clients, giving you an opportunity to promote your brand and grow market share through mobile, online, print and social media support, helping your business connect and stay engaged with your customers.



The Mt. Begbie Brewing Company wins. No, I’m not talking about Mt. Begbie taking home two gold medals for their High Country Kölsch and Begbie Cream Ale at the Canadian Brewing Awards in May 2017 – or winning Brewery of the Year in the same competition. No, I’m not talking about the fact that High Country Kölsch was named the world’s best at the 2017 World Beer Awards in London, England. I’m talking about an informal competition we have here at Spotlight on Business: Best About Page. You can imagine that we read a lot of them – and don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about bios and backstories – but the About Us page at has the wittiest bent we’ve come across on a company’s website in a long time. Here’s my favourite example: “Bart has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics, but he prefers to make beer and not war.” They win. Bart Larson, the co-owner of the Mt. Begbie Brewing Company in Revelstoke, British Columbia really does have a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and he really does have a laissez- ...



programs, ABC inspires attendees with countless ideas to aid in the success of their business. It is also an excellent forum for networking and deal-making amongst peers in the home building industry. Connect with 6,500+ building industry professionals attend edu- cational and accredited courses Network and grow your business. For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @ABConvention Follow on Facebook: @atlantic- buildersconvention

New York State Fairgrounds – Syracuse, NY, USA

Hard Hat Expo is the only gather- ing of construction equipment and services in New York. Since 1988, the Hard Hat Expo has been the premier showcase for con- struction equipment and services in the Northeast market area. Attendees are contractors, munic- ipalities and companies with main- tenance departments from New York and bordering states. A quality crowd of 6,000 – 8,500 attendees keep exhibitors busy and can make buying decisions. You will see all the latest equipment and services from major manufacturers such as; Caterpillar, John Deere, Case, New Holland, Komatsu, Kobelco, J.C.B., and much more! For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @HardHatExpo Follow on Facebook : @HardHatExpo


April 5 th - 6 th , 2018

Moncton Coliseum – Moncton, NB, Canada


The Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show is regarded as a standout event for Canada’s heavy equipment sectors and a must-attend event for the heavy equipment, roadbuilding, forestry, landscaping and municipal- ity sectors with over 200,000 square feet of big iron and high energy that continues to bring exhibitors and customers back year after year. For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @atlheavyequip Follow on Facebook: @AtlanticHeavy

April 14 th , 2018

The International Centre – Mississau- ga, ON, Canada

The Property Show is a bi-annual and innovative event geared towards con- sumers, professionals and investors alike. It will provide you with valuable knowledge about the latest offerings in real estate, commercial real estate and property investment. The show offers a wide variety of information and seminars; whether your interest lies in resale or new residential homes, condominium or vacation property. If it is real estate services you are interested in or if you are just looking to increase your real estate portfolio. The Property Show is sure to deliver.


April 11 th – 12 th , 2018

Atlantic City Convention Center – Atlantic City, NJ, USA

The Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC) is the largest regional building industry tradeshow in the North- east. With state of the art products, innovative services, and educational


April 4 th – 5 th , 2018



For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @PropertyShow Follow on Facebook: @ThePropertyShow

The Annual Convention & Trade Show is CPMA’s keystone event and Canada’s largest event dedicated to the fruit and vegetable industry. A unique forum for industry leaders to enhance their business opportunities in Canada through an exceptional combination of education and networking opportunities. The show attracts over 3000 participants from all segments of the produce supply chain and showcases produce from around the world.

For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @CPMA_ACDFL Follow on Facebook: @CPMA_ACDFL


April 25 th – 28 th , 2018

Las Vegas Convention Center – Las Vegas, NV, USA

The educational program provided by IDAE is second to none, responding to the ever expanding challenges door and access dealers face on a daily basis. Sales, financing, personnel management, and marketing, are but a few of the topics to be covered. In addition, an extensive program for technicians will be presented. For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @IntlDoorAssoc Follow on Facebook: @InternationalDoorAssociation


April 20 th – 22 nd , 2018

Edmonton EXPOCentre – Edmonton, AB, Canada

Meet more than 150 exhibitors with everything you need for lakeside and country living. This show features high quality exhibitors showing log cabins, timber frame homes, con- ventional construction, boats, docks, contractors, innovative building products, green solutions, decor and style, arts and crafts, food and entertaining, water toys and fun for all seasons. For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @cottagelife Follow on Facebook: @cottagelife


April 29 th – 30 th , 2018

The International Centre – Mississauga, ON, Canada

Bakery Showcase is Canadas national baking industry trade show & con- ference. The event is held every other year in Toronto (Mississauga), it is the largest and ONLY baking industry B2B trade show and conference produced in Canada. Join over 4,500 industry professionals including bakers (retail, wholesale, commercial, in store), grocery and foodservice outlets with almost 400 booths in 100,000 sq.ft. showcasing baked goods (fresh, proof & bake, par-baked, freezer-to- oven, thaw & serve) baking ingredients, equipment, packaging services and technology.


For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @bakeryshowcase Follow on Facebook: @bakeryshowcase

April 24 th – 26 th , 2018

Vancouver Convention Centre – Van- couver, BC, Canada



If Washington moves forward with it’s plan to enforce a 10 percent tariff on foreign aluminum imports it could increase aluminum prices and “likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry,” Molson Coors warned.

Molson Coors is saying that it purchases as much domestic can sheet aluminum as possible however, there is not enough domestic supply to satisfy the demands of American beverage makers.

While it remains to be seen if beer makers will increase prices as a result of higher aluminum costs passing them on to the U.S. consumer or if job losses will be used as an option to offset increased production costs.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the beverage industry to use attachable caps on plastic bottles. If this bill passes it could set a new industry standard for other U.S. States and Canada for that matter. California is also looking to impose restrictions on restau- rants handing out plastic straws requiring customers spe- cifically request them before giving them out, but some say that there should be a complete ban on plastic cutlery products and follow the lead of Malibu’s City Council recent ban on all plastic cutlery, stirrers and straws in the beach community. Environmental advocates want these plastic bans as reports show that by 2050 the oceans could contain more plastics by weight than fish. This type of data has seen France’s law makers banning all plastic dishes, utensils and cups by 2020.



The golden arches have already brought fresh beef Quarter Pounder patties to about 3,500 domestic restaurants so far and it plans to reach some 14,000 U.S. locations by early May.

McDonald’s has tried to walk the line between cheap deals and better-quality food over the last few years, but given the demand of consumers for healthier options in fast food the decision was costly but necessary.

The decision to bring fresh beef to the majority of McDonald’s domestic locations resulted in McDonald’ss suppliers spending $60 million updating their supply chain to transition from frozen Quarter Pounder patties to fresh ones. Also McDonald’s had to make changes to the kitchen, to prevent food safety issues which come along with the use of raw meat and prevent cross contamination.

It is a big investment but one that is sure to payoff for McDonald’s and its customers.

The Liberal government recently announced in the 2018 budget document, that along with spending changes that some paper currency will no longer be accepted as legal tender and used to pay for goods and services.

The $1000 along with the $500, $25, $2 and $1 bills, none of which are currently being printed by the Bank of Canada will soon no longer be useable. The main attention has been on the $1000 note which there are still 735,000 of the bills still in circulation across the country.

The government is saying that this is part of a plan to crack down on counterfeiting, money laundering and tax evasion. The $1,000 note has long been a favourite of organized crime because it makes transporting money easier.

While the budget did not say exactly when the legal tender status will be withdrawn for these bills, legislative amendments are coming. So, start looking under your mattress and in the shoe box in the closet as the government wants Canadians to still hold onto these bills as the Bank of Canada will continue to honour them and exchange them at face value in the meantime.



By Jamie Barrie W ith current FAFTA negotiations between Canada, the USA and Mexico in the news and trade between Canada and the United States is a current hot button with President With that Trump has been on a rant about Canada having an unfair trade surplus with the United States. We had to take a closer look, and for January, Trump might be correct. According to Stats Canada data, in January of this year, Canada exported $34.1 billion worth of goods to the United States and imported $30.9 billion from the United States. So, Canada did indeed have a trade surplus in goods with the U.S. of about $3.1 billion in January. In saying that, these figures only include trade in goods. If services are included, the United States has a small annual trade surplus with Canada. What about Canada’s trade with the rest of the world? Well in January the Canadian economy imported $47.7 billion in goods while exporting $45.8 billion making the gap between what Canada buys from the rest of the world and what it sells $1.9 billion in January. This might not seem like good news however, that is down from an all-time high of $3.1 billion in December. This does show that Canadian’s economy continues to move in the right direction. At the same time, it also shows that the Unites States will look to close this gap as FAFTA negotiations continue. Donald Trump.



By Jamie Barrie T he Liberal party released its 2018-19 budget and fore- casts the deficit will narrow to C$18.1 billion in the fiscal year that begins April 1, from $19.4 billion CAD in the current year and deficits over the six years including 2017-18 projected to total $98 billion CAD, with no set date for the governing Liberals to return to a balanced budget. The governing Liberals show their commitment to promote equality in the labour force with new funding included to encourage both parents to share in parental leave along with a government funding to increase the participation of women in the labor force at all levels. Canada will reduce bond issuance in 2018-19 by 17 percent from last year’s record to C$115 billion and is expected to reduce the ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 28.4 percent by 2022 from the current ratio of 30.4 percent. The government is also forecasting an average growth in GDP of 2 percent over this same period.

changes and how they will affect their business now and in the future. The government implemented a down scaled version of reforms for business and “tax planning’’ with new restrictions announced that will bring in just under $1 billion CAD annually in tax revenue by 2022. The federal government also promised new rules to prevent banks and other financial institutions “from gaining a tax advantage by creating artificial losses,’’ a move that will create another $560 million CAD annually by 2022. The Liberals are also set to increase taxes on tobacco which will generate $1.5 CAD billion over the next six years. Plus, the government expects to generate $690 CAD million over six years after it legalizes cannabis later in the summer. All in all, it was not a tough budget with the Liberals leaving themselves some wiggle room for the future as they will start to set the stage for an election budget next year as Canada heads back to the polls in 2019.

But most business owners were focused on upcoming tax



Jody Euloth is the CEO of The Mesh Media Network and Founder of The Dynamic Soul of Selling. She helps entrepreneurs, business and sales professionals and creative visionaries get over their fear of selling so they can generate more revenue and make a bigger impact in business.



By Jody Euloth T hese days, we have so many options to choose from and too many decisions to make. Don’t you sometimes wish decisions were made for you? There’s nothing better when decisions are made easy. It is satisfying and refreshing when there is no doubt or hesitation because you just know it’s right. I have a close friend who is great at planning things. Though she has a successful career in insurance, I swear she was an event planner in another life. When it’s time for a girls’ weekend away, we collectively brainstorm all the destinations of interest. Once we’ve narrowed it down to our top five, we leave it up to our friend to do all the research and report back with the best options. She typically gives us one, maybe two options. She knows us well enough that if we have a choice between Paris, New York, Toronto, Atlanta or Las Vegas, we would never decide. Or it will, most definitely, take a lot longer to agree. To avoid delay and confusion, she presents the best possible option and makes a great case for it. She presents why it’s a great opportunity to go, the dates that offer the best pricing on flights and accommodations, events that are happening in the city during that time, and a restaurant with a vibe she knows we will enjoy. The same strategy goes when presenting solutions to your prospect. After completing the proper discov- ery sessions with your client, you should know the best solution and offer it. And as the expert, you must confidently and convincingly present the benefits and differentiators of choosing this option. Failure to clearly communicate and demonstrate this can lead to consumer confusion, in turn, having a negative impact on the sales cycle. Consumer confusion stems from information overload and leaves room for your prospects to make imper- fect purchasing decisions. It leads to reduced sales, reduced satisfaction with purchase and insecure decision making. With too many options, it can be very overwhelming making it difficult for your client to comfortably say yes. This confusion steers them in the wrong direction and makes it easy for them to opt out of deciding. It will stall the sales cycle and you will potentially lose the sale completely. When it comes time to present your proposal, deliver one strong option with confidence and make sure it’s the best option for your client. You can offer a few options, especially regarding price points, but make sure you vocalize the option you think is best and why. Information overload triggers insecure decision making, which can lead to buyer’s remorse. If anything happens after the purchase that does not meet or exceed your client’s expectations, it will have them thinking they made the wrong decision and should have chosen one of those other options. Let’s make it easy for one another, shall we? It’s our duty to help one another in offering solutions to problems and in articulating this in a persuasive way. I know I appreciate it when someone makes my decisions easy, and your clients will to. She always presents a strong case and then, kindly offers to book the trip for us. And all we have to do is show up at the airport. How easy is that? It’s a done deal and the trips always exceed our expectations.

Now, time for me to get after the girls for another trip to explore a new destination. Enjoy your solution selling, and stay dynamic.

For more, sales tips and strategies, sign up for ‘The Dynamic Soul of Selling’ Newsletter at of-selling/

For a free 15-minute sales consultation to determine if you would benefit from ‘The Dynamic Soul of Selling 90-minute Strategy Session’ email



By Jamie Barrie T esco, a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer with headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England gets approval for $5.51 billion USD takeover of Booker. The deal has Britain’s biggest retailer and the third-largest retailer in the world, with stores in 12 countries taking over Brit- ain’s largest wholesaler, Booker, in a cash and share deal that has received court approval and backed by both companies share holders.



By Jamie Barrie I nflation fears in the U.S. have intensified this year after recent reports have suggested wages were rising more quickly than expected and that this can cause prices for goods and services to increase. However, consumer prices increased at a modest pace of 2.2 percent in February, showing that inflation pressures appear to be under control at this time. The U.S. Labor Department data shows that the consumer price index increased 0.2 percent last month, after a sharp 0.5 percent gain in January. Data also shows that core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy categories, climbed 0.2 per cent to 1.8 percent from a year ago, the third consecutive month.



sink. This is not easy for the client but it saves the cost of other living arrangements during the renovation. As for additions, the majority of work can be completed without disturbing the existing home. Therefore, it is possible to stay in the home for a significant portion of the renovation and, if you choose, only vacate for part of the time. Exterior renovations, such as siding, windows, doors, decks, and roofing rarely require relo- cation as the interior of the home experi- ences minimal disturbance. Consideration should be given for protection of shrubs, flowers, lawn and driveway from construction debris and equipment. Regardless of the renovation scope of work, it is always important to plan for the disrup- tion and discuss details with your contrac- tor. One item which should be discussed is family pets. Dogs, cats, and other animals can find strang- ers in the home and the noise to be stressful, not to mention a work site can be danger- ous for our 4-legged friends. It is important to consider their health and safety during a renovation. Security is another item to be considered if you are relocating during a renovation. If you are not home, you will have to plan and make arrangements with your contrac- tor to ensure your home is secure and have someone responsible for checking on your home on a daily basis. All reputable con- tractors have a security procedure which

By Dan Monk, P.Eng., Red Seal Carpenter and Owner of MONK Renovations L iving in your home during a renovation has its chal- lenges, namely inconvenience. A renovation is disrup- tive to daily routine because work crews will be in your home at 8 am and there will be dust, noise, etc. All profes- sional contra tors will do their best to minimize the disrup- tion but it cannot be completely eliminated. Not all clients wish to have these disruptions to their lives and may choose to relocate during a renovation. A hotel, cottage, short term rentals, travel trailer, in-laws, etc. are all options our clients have chosen in the past. More often than not, our clients remain in their homes during their renovation. We have even completed whole home renovations with a client remaining in the home. This requires patience and understanding from the client and communication and attention to detail from the contractor. Bathrooms tend to be one of the greatest disturbances as they take 1-2 weeks to complete and, unless you have another bath in the home, it requires daily adaptations. We can often re-install a toilet at the end of each work day, however the shower/tub will not be available and other arrangements must be made, such as going to a friend’s place or the gym for personal hygiene. Kitchens are a significant focal point of the home and they take 3-6 weeks to complete. Often the stove and fridge can be temporarily relocated. Cooking can be done in another room or the garage or the BBQ can be used. The bathroom or laundry sink can be used as an alternative to the kitchen



would typically include a lock box for house keys, possible security cameras, etc., ultimately, security of your home is a personal responsibility.

Remaining in the home or relocation during a renovation is a personal decision and should be discussed with your con- tractor in advance. By having this discussion, you will be able to make an informed decision which will be best for you, your family, pets, and the contractor. What ever your decision, make sure you have a plan and communicate with your contractor.

D an Monk is the owner of Monk Renovations. Dan started in construction when he was 15 as a summer job and has been hooked on construction ever since. He studied engineering at St Francis Xavier Univer- sity and the Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie University), where he graduated as a civil engineer. Dan is passionate and knowledgeable about construction, project management and client service. Dan proudly and confidently began Monk Renovations from the ground up and has been renovating bathrooms, kitchens, basements, exteriors, decks, additions and anything else you would imagine over the past ten construction seasons. Along this journey, Dan has become an expert in the res- idential renovation/construction industry as an entrepre- neur, civil engineer and most recently, a Red Seal Carpen- ter. Dan’s trustworthiness, professionalism and unrelenting determination has led to many exceptional accomplish- ments such as Most Outstanding Kitchen Renovation of the Year 2017 and Renovator of the Year 2016 & 2018! We are happy and excited to have Dan Monk join our edi- torial team at Spotlight on Business Magazine. We have featured Dan Monk and Monk Renovations twice in the magazine, the April 2016 Issue and July 2017 Issue. Now we look forward to sharing his knowledge and expertise with you each month on different topics related to the construc- tion industry and being a renovations specialist entrepre- neur.



By Jamie Barrie W ith NAFTA securing the majority of business headlines these past months as Canada, the USA and Mexico head into round eight of talks that have led many observers to speculate that the Trump administration will withdraw from the 24-year- old deal. Considering this, the Conference Board of Canada is downplaying the negative that a NAFTA termination would have on Canada. Now don’t get us wrong, as there will be a negative impact should an agree- ment not be reached. However, the board predicts a 0.5 percent decline in the economy, and the loss of about 91,000 jobs with 85,000 of those within the first year, should the North American Free Trade Agreement be terminated. While the board’s best case scenario suggests a modest impact on the Canadian economy however, several possible reactions are possible that could further impact the economy, such as increased U.S. trade actions, including non-tariff barriers with the largest impact being the motor vehicle and parts exports industries.

Increased tariffs and a depreciating loonie would also boost the price of U.S. imports into Canada.

Investment could decline in the long term, as the collapse of NAFTA would hurt Canada’s ability to attract business invest- ment based on less access to the U.S. market, further affecting long-term economic growth.

Canada and Mexico still share the together everyone achieves more attitude towards NAFTA, but it is unsure what risks the current Trump administration will take on in order to make America great again.



Denise Alison empowers business owners to build relationships and connect with their poten- tial customers on social media, and through live video.

By Denise Alison D uring the start-up phase, every business grows. After all, we’re starting from zero. But as time passes many entrepreneurs find it dif- ficult to sustain growth. #1 Target Other Markets For many businesses, the fastest way to grow is to find new custom- ers for existing products or services. If you’re looking for opportunities to grow your business you can target:

actively recruits new customers can be a game changer for most small business- es. Gone are the days when you could build a website and count on search engine optimization (SEO) to attract customers. Yes, you need a website! But let’s face it; there are more than 4 billion websites online. Many of these companies spend big bucks on things like google word advertising. You need an integrated strategy that attracts the right kinds of customers and speaks to your ideal customers. A great place to start is with a killer customer attraction statement. Click here to download our free guide titled How to Attract and Keep more Paying Customers. You can also check out our blog post on Online Customer Attraction. #3 Add value to current products or services We live in a world where so many products or services are viewed as a commod- ity. That’s why the ability to add value to your products is an absolute necessity. Sometimes this added value comes in the form of expert advice and after sale support. Other times, it can mean creating complimentary products and services (this is often referred to as a line extension). The goal here is to offer an additional product or service that has some alignment with your current offerings. If you’re looking for ideas for complimentary products, start by asking your current cus- tomers. What are they currently buying from you? What else do they buy? Is there an opportunity for you to meet this need? Hint:  Online research is a great way to find ideas to grow your business. Take a look at your competitors, or even similar types of company’s around the world. How are they adding value to their products? Are they selling products or services you don’t have? What types of customers are they targeting? Where are those customers located? How are they attracting customers? Google searches on key customers or key types of customers can also lead you to new opportunities.

The same type of customers in a new geographic area, or

A new type of customer in the same geographical area.

Start by taking a look at your current customers. What types of customers are buying from you and where are they located? Where else could you find these same types of customers? Can you think of different types of cus- tomers that would benefit from your current products or services?  #2 Attract Customers Online

Creating an online presence that



Here at Spotlight on Business, we do our due diligence. When we review product pages and press releases, we take superlatives like “most” with a grain of salt and we look at lifetime warranties with great scrutiny. That’s how it should be in this job. Conscientious consumers make great business writers. One of our greatest tools for separating the wheat from the chafe is independent reviews. No time in recent memory has a business we’ve featured stood so sturdily in the face of our painstaking perusal of the internet’s unfiltered and unsolicit- ed assessments as VMAC (Vehicle Mounted Air Compressors) Global Technology. At it reads, “VMAC is the leader in mobile compressed air innovation, designing and manufacturing the most innovative mobile air compressors and multi-power systems available.” There it is. That front of the line language. The “the leader in mobile compressed air innovation” is quite a claim. We had to find out what the online scuttlebutt said about that. “I was impressed with not only the performance of the compressor,” wrote Buzz, an employee with the City of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan, “but the best part was how things were engineered to fit properly underhood as if it was built from the factory.” Sondra, who works in parts sales at Summit Truck Bodies in Kansas, wrote, “We have saved almost 260 lbs when installing the VMAC H40



hydraulic-driven air compressor instead of the competitor’s comparable air compressor, allowing techs to carry more tools and supplies needed to get their jobs done.” There was another claim at that required inquiry to verify: “VMAC has earned a reputation for extraordinary build quality, durability and reliability in extreme conditions, among operators and fleet managers in the mobile mechanic, tire service, utilities, mining, oil and gas, and construction industries.” That’s not hyperbole either, apparently. VMAC really has earned a reputation for durability and reliability. James, the Fleet Manager at Sureway Construction Work in Edmonton wrote, “After three years we have approximately 2, 400 hours on this unit [DTM70] and have experienced zero downtime.” Derrick from Evans Landscaping in Cincinnati wrote, “With the UNDERHOOD, you just push the button to start and get continuous air right away, even in the colder months.” And an unnamed representative from the Galadari Trucks and Heavy Equipment Company in Dubai wrote that their VMAC product “Gives us the unrivalled performance and reliability required for our busy operation.” In late February, the newly appointed President of VMAC Tod Gilbert spoke with Spotlight on Business from the company’s front office in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Tod touched on VMAC’s history, his own story, the company’s manufacturing facility and R&D, today’s market and the state of manufacturing in Canada, the lean journey for his employees, and the future of VMAC Global Technology.



By David MacDonald T he VMAC story is one of happenstance. The founders, Jim Hogan and the late Tony Menard, started out on a completely different path back in the early 1980s, Tod explained. “They were both engineers living in Kitchener, Ontario and they had opened a machine shop called Atom Machine Shop. Originally, the shop was built to design and manu- facture a low-cost jet engine. One of the founders and the former President, Jim, is an inventor at heart. He designed a disposable jet engine and then he and Tony got con- tracts from the military to build them. That contract ended up drying up for various reasons but what was left was the machine shop – and two very eager and inventive engi- neers. Not long after that project came to halt, they had a customer come in and ask them if they could build a bracket to mount a compressor to their work truck. The guy kept coming back and asking for more and they thought, ‘Hey, maybe there’s something here.’ VMAC was born. Jim always jokes that they never would have thought of vehicle-mount- ed air compressors on their own,” he said with a laugh. “It’s leveraging our competitive position by being located in Canada, too, and developing products that are popular in our harsh climates…” Tod, who referred to Jim and Tony as “true innovators” in the December press release that announced changes to the organization of VMAC’s Senior Management team, is a bit of an avant-gardist himself. He earned his Master’s in Mate- rials and Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where he was deeply involved with the campus Formula SAE (Formula Society of Automotive Engi- neers) team. “That’s the student-run race car team,” Tod explained. “I ended up leading the team in my final year and that really got me into leadership, working with budgets, and working with teams of people in creating something cool. I really fell in love with the automotive industry at that point and that really helped me get into VMAC. I was also involved in a project to make a laser micromachining system for advanced ceramics, which was pretty unrelated to what we do here at VMAC, but it really got me into the project management and creating things, too. That’s what really got me excited about the company culture here at VMAC; we’re not just packagers, we’re actually creating here – we’re innovating. There are endless opportunities here to keep an engineer’s interest.”

agers. They are buying components and just bolting it all together whereas we are making just about everything we can in-house. The latest process that we have added is a foundry, so we literally go from raw ingot right through to finished product. So, again, it keeps the engineers interest- ed. The foundry is actually part of the engineering depart- ment here. We have an engineer who is interested in casting and he volunteers his time in the foundry. We are a very vertically-integrated company that way. The R&D team, for example, is a very cross-functional team.  It is not just made up of engineers; we have mechanical and electrical engineers, technologists, and then also machinists. It really drives a collaborative development process. Our engineers are actually out in the machine shop building parts, working with the machinist, but before that they’re working directly with the foundry to make sure that when we design some- thing, it is something we can actually make efficiently. It gives everyone on the VMAC team a better understanding of the whole process for every compressor we make.” And that’s a lot of compressors. The full lineup of Direct-Transmission- Mounted PTO-Driven Air Compres- sors and Multi-Power Systems, Diesel Engine Driven Air Compressors, Gas Engine Driven Air Compressors, Hydrau- lic-Driven Air Compressors, Multi-function Power Systems, and UNDERHOOD Air Compressors can be shopped at All systems feature the patented VMAC rotary screw air compressor which includes a VMAC Lifetime Warranty (Limited). “When we started doing air compressors, we were doing reciprocating air compressors through the piston air com- pressors that are mounted under the hood of the truck, attached to the engine,” Tod explained. “Over the years, we noticed one trend: the space under the hood was getting smaller and smaller. Older models from the 80s, you can climb in the hood and work on them there’s so much space. As time went on, it was obvious that we weren’t going to be able to fit our compressors in that space for long, sowemade the important move to rotary screw air compression tech- nology. It allowed us to have something that was a fraction of the size, a fraction of the weight, and produce way more air. We started importing the air-ends from Europe, which is where they are made. Most of the rotary screw air compres- sors are made for stationary applications, so it wasn’t long before we started looking at these air-ends and saying, ‘I wish we could have an aluminum which would be better suited for the mobile market’ and ‘I wish we could shave off this and that.’ Eventually we started making the modified air- ends in-house. We are the only company making these screws in Canada, maybe in North America. We designed our own equipment to do it, too. Before us, there was only one company, a company that had a monopoly on the screw industry. Basically every other air-end manufacturer in the world was using this one brand of machinery – and they were charging a lot for it.” Tod continued. “It’s leveraging our competitive position by being located in Canada, too, and developing products that are popular in our harsh climates, especially in the oil fields where they

As Tod sees it, VMAC’s Research and Development (R&D) roots are the source of its competitive edge.

“We’ve been about vision from day one,” he said matter-of- factly. “In this industry most of our competitors are pack-



are servicing equipment when it is minus 30 degrees centi- grade outside and hours away from a service shop. It made us create products that are very high-quality, very reliable, which could work in any conditions. Now we’re selling products globally and we don’t have any concerns about a wider reach with our products because of their proven reliability. Recently, we’ve done several presentations to a multibillion-dollar organization who absolutely couldn’ t believe our warranty numbers. We’ve developed some- thing that can withstand Northern Alberta and it follows that if a shipment goes into a nice moderate climate, it will certainly stay robust.” Staying robust is also at the heart of VMAC’s lean journey. Lean manufacturing or lean production is a systemat- ic method for waste minimization within a manufacturing system that doesn’t sacrifice productivity or customer value. “There are a lot of people who see lean as a cost-cutting exercise, but it’s not at all,” Tod explained. When it’s done right, it focuses on company culture and people. We’ve come to realize that lean is a lot about respect, respecting each other’s ideas and assessments, and getting everyone engaged. For example, every week every employee at VMAC has at least one hour dedicated to continuous improvement. So it doesn’t matter what position you are in and it doesn’t matter how busy you are, everyone has to take at least an hour a week or four hours a month and work on some sort of improvement project. The result of that is that people really feel like they can make a difference outside of their area of expertise; it’s an opportunity to go learn a new skill. We really push and promote the ‘can-do attitude’ and if you’ve got an idea to improve something, do it! It is really remarkable to see the impact this has. We have got people who have been in the same position for 10 or 15 years who are really excited to come to work to do something they have never done before.” As the former Executive Vice President, Tod isn’t exactly doing something he’s never done before but that hasn’t quashed his excitement – even in an economic climate threatened by isolationistic reforms. “You can look at things in a number of ways, but I really feel all this trade war talk is opportunity,” he said. “I mean this latest news on threats over the steel and the aluminum industry, if that goes through, the result is prices are probably going to come down in Canada because we have an oversupply, our Canadian dollar will take a hit, which it has already, which means our products are more desirable for our customers in the US. That’s something that we really try and focus on: anything in the news or threats or dis- ruption is looked at as opportunity. There’s always ways to overcome a challenge. The opportunities for manufactur- ing in Canada is something that I feel doesn’t get enough attention. We really can compete on a global scale and it seems like there is a bit of focus going away from it, espe- cially through the education system – and that’s a lot of lost opportunity. Educating people on what’s out there, what we can do, building-up the confidence again would mean a lot to our industry.”



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