Katherine Regnier is the CEO and founder of Coconut Software. This fearless tech leader believes that if you work hard enough, anything is possible. In her 10 years in business, she has had to pivot more than once. How does a company go from two people with a $5,000 business loan to a team of over 50 employees and raising $4.9 million in venture capital? From designing scheduling software for massage therapists to building an enterprise solution for banks and credit unions? It may appear all glamour, but Katherine will tell you that’s far from the truth. It’s hard work. It’s real and very raw. There’s no room for excuses.
Chris Ransom never predicted she would become the second-generation business owner of Ranco Millwork + Commercial Cabinetry (Ranco Millwork), a custom millwork and cabinetry business founded by her parents in 1984. Having moved more than 10 times before age 10, Chris learned early that the only constant in life is change, some of which you control and some not. She is a driver of change and those who know Chris will often hear her say, “Even better if…” She loves creating something new and is motivated by the meaning behind those creations. “It’s simply not just about building cabinets.”
When you meet Percy Hoff, the owner of Diesel Services Group, founded in 1983, you’ll meet an energetic, yet content, individual. You learn quickly that there are years of wisdom to be shared behind his sincere nature. He is content not in a complacent way, but in a confident way in that he knows that whatever experience comes next, he will make the best of it.
At age 18, Danielle Robson was living in Alberta and going to university, with plans to become a lawyer. Her best friend’s dad owned several Tim Hortons franchises in Edmonton and one of Danielle’s jobs was working for him. He recognized something special about Danielle and threw out the idea that she should apply for her own store. With support from her family, they did, and three weeks later, in June 2003, they had their first Tim Hortons store in Saskatoon, on Fairlight Drive.
Seeds for Dreams offers woman-owned Saskatchewan businesses seed capital through a unique pitch & vote event held quarterly. Businesses apply to pitch to the member investors; three companies are selected to pitch at each event and member investors then vote for the pitch they liked best. Over the last year and half, membership has grown to 100 members, 18 entrepreneurs have pitched and over $50,000 has been donated directly to the six winning entrepreneurs.
Jason Mewis, President of ENGCOMP, shares the challenges that this engineering firm has faced over the past five years, given the extended downturn in the resource sector. Although the company will soon celebrate its 15th anniversary, Jason still feels like the business is in the startup phase. And perhaps to the founder it always will, since the business has to continually adapt. Jason is optimistic that this experience has strengthened the business and the team but looks forward to a shift from the challenges of recent times. Jason believes that by investing in a great culture and attracting the best people, he has insulated the business.
Evan Drisner is an experienced leader in the finance, construction and non-profit industries and works as Sales and Business Development Manager for Nu-Fab Building Products. He is passionate about business and community building and has been actively involved in the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. He has served as board member, committee member, co-host of the SABEX Awards, and for the past 9 years, as host of the popular networking event Chamber on Tap, profiling Saskatoon business leaders for a “pint-sized chat.”
The Business Advisor Magazine recently interviewed Andrea Hansen regarding the Evolving Landscape of Group Benefits. In the interview, Andrea explains the new trends facing employers, how employees view their benefits, the implications of these views on employers, and provides advice for employers.
My experiences both as a Philanthropic Consultant and a Financial Advisor have provided me with a unique perspective in understanding and appreciating the giving philosophy and drivers of many Saskatchewan families as they seek to contribute to their community and create a lasting legacy. One of life’s biggest ironies is how we often reflect on our own personal legacy at the end of our life, after it’s been built and there is little we can do to enhance it. That’s when we may realize our best intentions didn’t match our actions, or we didn’t set any goals or direction in the first place. With that in mind, I had a conversation with entrepreneur and philanthropist JoeAnne Hardy, President of Saskatoon-based WBM Technologies. JoeAnne grew up in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and cites her upbringing and parents’ lifestyle as being key to her belief that we all need a purpose to our lives.
Kim Weimer is the President of Fastener Warehouse Ltd., which is a wholesale distributor of specialty and standard fasteners in Saskatoon with branches in Regina and Winnipeg. Founded in 1994 with her husband Bob Weimer, the company grew from its original 1,500 sq.ft. warehouse to the current main branch of 60,000 sq.ft., which houses over 20,000 products.
At Sutton Financial Group, we show successful entrepreneurs and professionals how to preserve, protect, and pass on their wealth so that they can impact their world in a meaningful way. And yet when I reflect on my past 20 years as a donor, volunteer, board member and as a financial advisor with a specialty in philanthropy, when it comes to charitable giving, despite their best intentions, people sometimes fail to achieve the best results.
Success for a business owner is a strange thing. An entrepreneur spends most of his or her life doing things that few others would do, such as working sixteen-hour days, getting a second mortgage to manage through hard times, or signing a lease with a personal guarantee that ties family financial security to the success of a business.