business voice - Halifax Chamber of Commerce




A look at transportation infrastructure Pg 16

Fitness entrepreneur expanding Pg 20

Social media and small business Pg 26







Branding goes viral

Dave Carroll explains how social media changes the marketing equation Page 12


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You can’t own the conversation anymore, but you can lead the conversation.” – Dave Carroll, musician and social media consultant 12


05 Events 06 President’s message 07 New & noted 09 Members in the news 12 Branding goes viral Dave Carroll explains how social media changes the marketing equation

12 Branding

goes viral Dave Carroll explains how social media changes the marketing equation

16 Board of Directors

Volume 23 Issue 9

Francis Fares, Fares Real Estate Inc., Chair Rob Batherson, Colour, Vice-Chair Andrew Boswell, Nova Communications, Past Chair

Business Voice is published 10 times a year for members of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and Metro Halifax’s business community. Views expressed in Business Voice are those of the contributors and individual members, and are not necessarily endorsed by, or are a policy of, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Staff Valerie A Payn, President and CEO Nancy M. Conrad, Senior Vice President Colin J. Bustard, Director of Finance and Administration Becky Davison, Marketing and Communications Specialist


20 Profile

Roger King – Supplement King

22 Working for you 26 Trends 29 Greater Halifax Partnership 30 Where are they now?


New trade deal with Europe puts focus on transportation infrastructure


New trade deal with Europe puts focus on transportation infrastructure

38 Message from the Chair & Vice-Chair

Trade & transportation

Lori Barton, Beaumont Advisors Ltd. Don Bureaux, NSCC Level Chan, Stewart McKelvey Margaret Chapman, Corporate Research Associates Cynthia Dorrington, Vale & Associates Mark Fraser, T4G Carol MacMillan, The Shaw Group Darren Nantes, The Nantes Group Jamie O’Neill, Bluteau DeVenney Valerie Payn, Halifax Chamber of Commerce Ruth Rappini Mark Sidebottom, Nova Scotia Power Inc. Capt (N) Angus Topshee, Maritime Forces Atlantic Michele Williams, Grant & Thorton LLP

16 Trade & transportation

No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. Please address editorial enquiries and changes to information to: Halifax Chamber of Commerce 656 Windmill Road, Suite 200 Dartmouth, NS B3B 1B8 Tel: (902) 468-7111 Fax: (902) 468-7333 [email protected]

32 Office & workplace solutions 35 Information & communication technology Business Voice is published by The Chronicle Herald, Custom and Community Publishing Department Publisher: Sarah Dennis Director, Custom and Community Publishing: Jeff Nearing Editor:@e[o<_jpfơjh_Yaš`ǃ_jpfơjh_Ya6^[hơbZ$Yơ Layout & Design: Julia Webb Contributing Writers: Maureen Farmer, Eddie Robar, David Osborne, Jon Tattrie, Katie Ingram, Paul Kent Richard Woodbury, Tom Mason, Ann O’Connell, Carol Dobson, Pat d’Entremont Sales Executives: Joanne Cheevers, David A. McNeil (902) 426-2811 x1163 Cover Photography: Paul Darrow Copyright 2014 by The Chronicle Herald All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph or artwork without expressed written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. 2717 Joseph Howe Drive Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2T2 Tel: (902) 426-2811


Disclaimer Business Voice magazine makes no warranties of any kind, written or implied, regarding the contents of this magazine and expressly disclaims any warranty regarding the accuracy or reliability of information contained herein. The views contained in this magazine are those of the writers and adl[hj_i[hi1j^[oZedejd[Y[iiơh_boh[ǃb[Yjj^[l_[mi of Business Voice magazine and its publisher The Chronicle Herald. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40032112 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Halifax Chamber of Commerce.



To learn more:


Photo: Contributed

PRESENTED BY: BoyneClarke DATE: Tuesday, November 4 TIME: 5:00 – 7:00pm LOCATION: 99 Wyse Rd, Suite 600

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dave Carroll, CEO Big Break Enterprises Inc.

TOPIC: Customer Service in the Age of Social Media DATE: Thursday, November 13 TIME: 5:00 – 9:30pm LOCATION: World Trade & Convention Centre

PROFESSIONAL SALES DATE: Friday, November 21 TIME: 12:00 – 1:30 pm LOCATION: Halifax Chamber of Commerce Boardroom, 656 Windmill Rd

Networking @ Noon

DATE: Wednesday, November 26 TIME: 12:00 – 1:30PM LOCATION: Westin Nova Scotian


DATE: Wednesday, November 19 TIME: 12:00 – 1:30pm LOCATION: Halifax Chamber of Commerce Boardroom, 656 Windmill Rd



Photo: Contributed

Stewart McKelvey





SPEAKER: Mayor Mike Savage TOPIC: Annual State of the Municipality Address DATE: Wednesday, November 19 TIME: 11:30am – 1:30pm LOCATION: Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel SPONSOR: RBC



Don’t miss this year’s Change Agents. Meet local individuals who impact our city and how they make our Halifax a better place to live and work

BURNSIDE PIZZERIA Photo: Robert Churchill/123RF


Our Business Profi le for December will feature Burnside Pizzeria, a family owned and run business since 1991.


Photo: Moments in Time Photography

Watch for our December issue, featuring:

UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES We will look at the economic impact our universities and colleges have on our city. There are benefits beyond the people they attract. 5


People are talking The customer is always right, but are you listening?

VALERIE PAYN PRESIDENT With evolving technologies, it is easier than ever for customers to have a voice. Social media provides an open conduit for customers to have their voices heard — good or bad. Whether you hear it or not, your customers are talking about you. Do you know what is being said? Recently, Debi Hartlen MacDonald of New Life Business Solutions came to speak to Chamber staff about selling. It’s true that some of the staff inwardly

groaned at the prospect of sales training. But, regardless of where in the Chamber a staff member works, each and every one is an important part of the customer service experience. Our activities of that day highlighted individual traits — regardless of our work titles — on ways each one of us “sell” the Chamber. From our front desk greeting, to attending events, to asking questions about our benefits, and through social media,


Thursday, November 13th, 2014        

5:00pm - 9:30pm

Singer. Songwriter. Social Media Innovator. Customer Experience in the Age of Social Media   ! "#   $% &'  ' () )%    * (    +)  %    ) +   +    ,   ) . 

Dave Carroll      



there are hundreds of ways our members interact with us. How many points of contact does your business have with your customers? Are there opportunities to improve that experience? And is your team empowered to make those changes? Collectively, the Chamber team can bring a lot of qualities to the customer service experience. For example, caring, energetic, credible, relationship nurturer, positive attitude, advocate and creating a sense of community were but a few descriptors on the list. These are traits that create a strong customer service team and are highly valued in the workplace. Does your team exercise those traits? This was a great exercise for the Chamber team to participate in, and helped to remind us what we are striving to achieve and to reinforce within the whole team that each and every one of us is here to support you, our members. Creating the right culture within the office allows the team to make the decisions on how to make life easier for a member when problems or questions arise. At the Chamber of Commerce, we strive to have clear definition of member value and strive to achieve this in every area. We look for feedback in everything we do, in order to continue to enhance the value and experience for members. I encourage you to send us your thoughts about your experience with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Customer service is always a work in progress! This month we have Dave Carroll as our keynote speaker at our annual Fall Dinner on November 13. You may recognize him from the YouTube hit, “United Breaks Guitars” a few years back. Dave’s story is one of the ultimate customer service stories of recent years, demonstrating the impact of social media. From his experience he has written a book, United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media and has established himself as a leading authority on customer service and media relations. A fine example of the entrepreneurial spirit at its best, Dave promises to deliver a musical and educational experience for all at the Fall Dinner this year. More information can be found on our website:


NEW & NOTED New to the Chamber this month BEYOND ATTITUDE CONSULTING INC. We develop sustainability strategies and communications plans for our private and public sector clients across Canada and beyond. We have provided community engagement and facilitation services for over 25 years, including capacity-building within organizations, and are recognized as Canada’s leader in Behaviour Change marketing. Ken Donnelly, President 3650 Hammonds Plains Road Unit 14, Suite 371 Upper Tantallon, NS B3Z 4R3 Ph: (902) 482-4575 [email protected] Environmental Management BURNSIDE LAW Burnside Law has three experienced lawyers who specialize in Corporate Commercial, Real Estate, Civil Litigation, Family, Criminal and Immigration matters for both individuals and small to medium sized companies. We are located in the Burnside Industrial Park, the Heart of Atlantic Canada’s largest commercial, industrial and retail park. Kelly Patrick Shanon, Lawyer 109 Ilsley Ave., Unit 9 Dartmouth, NS B3B 1S8 Ph: (902) 468-3066 [email protected] Law CENTRE FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS A leader in entrepreneurial growth, the CWB is Canada’s only university-based business development centre exclusively for women. It opened in 1992 with the support of MSVU and ACOA, and has assisted close to 12,000 entrepreneurs through business management training, trade missions, research, advisories, networking and a membership program.

Laurie Sinclair, Business Development Officer 166 Bedford Hwy, 2nd Floor Halifax, NS B3M 2J6 Ph: (902) 457-5538 [email protected] Business Consulting

Henk van Leeuwen, President and CEO 3670 Kempt Rd Halifax, NS B3K 4X8 Ph: (902) 453-6000 [email protected] Charitable Organizations ENGINUITY INC.

DEBRA WILLIAMS MORTGAGE PLANNING Debra Williams, Mortgage Planner Ph: (902) 488-9384 [email protected] Mortgage

Lee Babin, Owner and Vice President 219 Herring Cove Rd Halifax, NS B3P 1L3 Ph: (902) 431-7931 [email protected] Consulting LOUIS STEPHEN HOME MARKETING

DURASPACE DuraSpace is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing leadership and innovation for open technologies that promote durable, persistent access to digital data. We collaborate with academic, scientific, cultural, and technology communities by supporting projects and creating services to help ensure that current and future generations have access to our collective digital heritage. David Wilcox, Product Manager Ph: (902) 440-7418 [email protected] Computer Software EASTER SEALS NOVA SCOTIA Easter Seals Nova Scotia advocates for a barrier-free Nova Scotia. Its programs promote mobility, inclusion, and independence for Nova Scotians with disabilities. Our social enterprise, a kitchen and catering service, provides job skills training for our trainees. We also run a barrier-free summer camp and wheelchair provision programs.


Louis Stephen Ph: (902) 483-1943 [email protected] Real Estate Residential MARIE BELLIVEAU, DEALING REPRESENTATIVE, HERITAGE EDUCATION FUNDS INC. Heritage Education Funds Inc. is a leading Canadian RESP provider. With over $2.4 billion in assets under management, and 49 years of continuous operation, we are RESP’s all we do! We are passionate about helping parents give children the gift of education and limitless opportunities. Marie Belliveau serves Nova Scotia. Marie Belliveau, Dealing Representative Ph: (902) 221-7017 [email protected] Investment Management


NEWSMAKERS NOVA SCOTIA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Jeff Overmars, Communications Advisor 1601 Lower Water St, 6th Floor Summit Place, PO Box 2221 Halifax, NS B3J 3C4 Ph: (902) 424-4622

el[hcơ`Z6]el$di$Yơ Government NOVA SCOTIA TRUCKING SAFETY ASSOCIATION The Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association (NSTSA) is an industry funded, non-profit organization committed to reducing the toll of workplace injuries. NSTSA coordinates and provides quality health and safety programs through training, resources safety certification and partnerships with industry, other organizations and government. NSTSA is also an approved provider of the “safety certified” audit program. Linda Corkum, Executive Director 380 Bedford Hwy, Suite 205 Bedford, NS B3M 2L4 Ph: (902) 405-3350 [email protected] Associations/Agencies PEER ORIENTED ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT INC. (POEM)


to your corporate gift giving. Beautifully packaged gifts from North America’s only mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal maker. Visit us on the Halifax Waterfront. T. 1.877.492.3089


Shelley Wilcox, President 99 Wyse Rd, Suite 815 Dartmouth, NS B3A 4K5 Ph: (902) 405-4432 [email protected] Business Service Centres

PICTURE PERFECT TOURS LTD. With Picture Perfect Tours, you’ll experience Halifax through a fresh lens — whether it’s your DSLR, an iPhone, or just your imagination! Our expert tour guides double as photo instructors and history professors, showcasing archived images of our Maritime city while sharing photography insights to make the most of your snapshots. Geordie Mott, Owner Ph: (902) 292-6688 [email protected] Tourism REMAX NOVA – YOLANDA OCAMPO Yolanda Ocampo, Real Estate Agent 6363 Lady Hammond Road Halifax, NS B3K Ph: (902) 449-7277 [email protected] Real Estate Residential THE SUN ROOM Tammy Critch, Owner 1474 Brenton St Halifax, NS B3J 2K7 Ph: (902) 422-6650 [email protected] Spa

Are you a new member? To submit your 50-word blurb for New & Noted, please contact Suman Jha, Membership Coordinator at [email protected] or 902-481-1227 within the first six months of membership.



MEMBERS IN THE NEWS Movers and shakers, our members are newsmakers in all forms, including assistance with legal disputes and wealth planning. These great new lawyers make Burchells even better, and better able to continually deliver on our promise of Just Right results.

Photo: Contributed


Family Vision Clinic’s new interior design thanks to the team at Tower Interiors.

TOWER INTERIORS DESIGNS VISION CLINIC The Family Vision Clinic has expanded again and this time hired the interior design team of Tower Interiors. Pam Tower and Nicole LeBlanc created the layout of the space. “We got our inspiration for colour from an amazing glass tile which we incorporated into a feature wall behind the reception desk”, they say. “The rich turquoise and royal blue are repeated throughout, including an intricate wave detail of the ceiling, and recessed blue lights illuminate the wave profile on the front of the reception desk. Lighting is an integral part of the interior design, using energy efficient lighting

and captivating special features. Modern elements and very custom millwork pieces were designed specifically for dramatic eyeglass displays.”

ZedEvents is the new kid on the block! We have recently moved to the heart of downtown Halifax. Our production hub is now located at 1819 Granville Street (5th Floor), strategically located between the major event centers of Halifax. Our operations continue to rely on advanced renewable energy — currently ZedEvents is the only event producer in the Maritimes that is Bullfrog Powered. Please feel free to drop in and visit us at our new location!

DEDE’S NEW APPOINTMENT BURCHELLS LLP GROWS With the arrival of Meaghan Strum and Amanda Fricker to our ranks, June 1, Burchells is growing in all the right places. Meaghan joins the firm’s transactions group, bringing her considerable talents to commercial agreements, wills, estate planning, and real estate among other areas. Amanda is fitting in perfectly with Burchells’ litigation practice group and developing a special focus on legal matters affecting seniors

Dede Hiscock, of Trilogy Interior Design Inc., has been elected President of the Association of Interior Designers of Nova Scotia (IDNS). IDNS is a provincial organization for professional Interior Designers that was established in 1975. The association is governed by the Interior Designers Act, a statute of Nova Scotia that was passed in 2004 defining the practise and title of Interior Designer. IDNS is affiliated with the national association, the Interior Designers of Canada.

63 McQuade Lake Cres, Bayers Lake, Halifax, NS B3S 1C4 • tel: 902-421-2116 • fax: 902-425-3517 • [email protected]




Photo: Contributed

Benjamin Smith, previously Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer, is appointed to the new role of President, Passenger Airlines. In addition to his current responsibilities, Mr. Smith will now have cost as well as revenue oversight for passenger airline activities, with a view to optimizing the operating profitability of Air Canada, consistent with organizational structures at other large U.S. and European airlines. Mr. Smith continues to report to Calvin Rovinescu, President and CEO.


Linda Davies, right; Angie MacIsaac, center; and Denise Dockrill, left. Both are regional representatives for Le Château.

BOYNECLARKE LLP would like to congratulate sixteen of their lawyers who will be included in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2015 publication by Best Lawyers®: Thomas O. Boyne, Q.C., David J. Bright, Q.C., Brian P. Casey, W. Richey Clarke, Q.C., David G. Coles, Q.C., Robert K. Dickson, Q.C., John S. Fitzpatrick, Q.C., A. Lawrence Graham, Q.C., Tim Hill, Q.C., Christene H. Hirschfeld, Q.C., Claire E. Milton, Q.C., ICD. D., Matthew W. Napier, Q.C., Gordon F. Proudfoot, Q.C., Cyril J. Randall, Joshua J. Santimaw, and John A. Young, Q.C.. The firm also received a ŒTop Listed Award in the Criminal Defense Category.



Dress for Success Halifax is pleased to announce their newest national partnership with Le Château, as well as recognizing their longest standing volunteer suitor, Linda Davies. Brenda Saunders/ Todd, Executive Director, expresses tremendous gratitude to Linda Davies for her ongoing commitment to the organization and for the value Le Château will be contributing to our successfully employed clients. It is a blessing to have such a reliable volunteer who has dedicated the past 14 years to our organization and has been as committed to our clients as Linda has been.

AMG Inc. founded in 2010 is the largest out of home full-service media company specializing in arena advertising in Atlantic Canada. We represent 130+ arenas with over 35,000,000 visitors a year. For its 4th anniversary, AMG reached two milestones: we concluded our 50th major campaign, and provided advertising to over 100 arenas. To celebrate, we initiated Goal of the Month promotion. Each month, one goal uploaded to our Facebook page will be randomly selected for a winning prize. At the end of the year, all monthly winners will be placed in a draw for a yearly grand prize.



donalee Moulton, Principal of Quantum Communications, has been invited to contribute a chapter to the forthcoming edition of the Editors’ Association of Canada’s book Editing Canadian English 3. The book is scheduled to come out in 2015. donalee’s chapter in the new book is on capitalization and answers such often-asked questions as this: “Is it Board of Directors or board of directors?” The Queen, e.e. cummings, and Cruella DeVille also make an appearance. “There’s nothing I’d rather do than discuss grammar issues, so I was delighted to be part of this national publication,” says donalee.


LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. (LRL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Conlon as Chief Executive Officer. The announcement completes the transition of the Company’s founder Charles Cartmill, who will retain his majority ownership stake in the company and his position on the Board of Directors. “With the appointment of Mr. Conlon as CEO and the recent appointment of Denis Lavoie as Company President, I feel confident that the business is in excellent hands and feel comfortable in stepping back to enjoy my retirement from the day-to-day operations.”


BEST LAWYERS RECOGNIZES STEWART MCKELVEY LEGAL LEADERS FOR 2015 Eighteen Stewart McKelvey lawyers have been named Best Lawyers® 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” and 91 were included in The Best Lawyers in Canada© 2015, spanning 44 practice areas. The “Lawyer of the Year” designation recognizes leaders in the profession and is given to a single lawyer in each practice and metropolitan area. Inclusion is based entirely on peer-review and allows leading lawyers to share their opinion about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

NEWSMAKERS ALLWOODWORKS LAUNCHES MEMORY BOX PROJECT ALLWOODWORKS seeks to collaborate with various community partners, supporters and sponsors to assist with the Tribute to the Fallen — memory box project. The aim is to provide military families that have experienced the loss of a loved one while on active duty as of 2002, with a memory box at no cost to the immediate family. One box per family, additional boxes can also be purchased. The support of sponsors and community partners is pivotal to ensure the project’s success. The expected launch date of this project is Remembrance Day. If interested; please contact Mike Dulude at [email protected]

HALIFAX AIRPORT BREAKS ITS MONTH-END RECORD The August 2014 passenger statistics for Halifax Stanfield International Airport have been released. Domestic passengers have increased by 6.2% this month; Transborder by 9.1%; with a total increase of 6%, representing the highest month on record at YHZ! Year-to-date statistics reveal an increase of 1.9%.

SYMPHONY NOVA SCOTIA PRESENTS: VIDEO GAMES LIVE! VIDEO GAMES LIVE takes the gaming experience light years beyond with a “captivating, proudly bombastic show” (The New York Times) that combines music from the most popular video games of all time with full symphony orchestra and choir. Now, after performing for more than a million fans in 250 shows worldwide, VIDEO GAMES LIVE finally comes to Halifax! Tickets are now on sale for two performances

featuring Symphony Nova Scotia and the Soundtrax Choir on March 10, 11 & 12, 2015 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!

TONY HAWK’S SKATEBOARDING EXHIBIT IS TAKING SCIENCE VERTICAL! Prepare to shred as you learn all about the physics of skateboarding at Tony Hawk | Rad Science, Discovery Centre’s brand new hands-on exhibit. Making its way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, after touring Berkeley, Las Vegas and New York, this exhibit teaches the science behind the extreme sport while celebrating the culture of skateboarding. “This exhibit is unlike any other we’ve had at the Centre,” says Dov Bercovici, Discovery Centre President and CEO. “With a sport as popular and exhilarating as skateboarding, we feel this will resonate with youth of all ages as they get excited about extreme sports and extreme science.”

ABM INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS AMONGST TOP 100 ABM has been selected amongst the Top 100 Microsoft Solution Providers by CIO magazine, and has been profiled in a special edition of the magazine in July 2014. CIO magazine surveyed over 3,000 companies across North America, Europe and Asia and then conferred with Microsoft to select the top 100. Key to ABM’s success was our ability to utilize the Microsoft suite of products as a platform to develop enterprise grade solutions and our early success with Microsoft Office 365. This recent acknowledgement validates our commitment to building robust technology solutions that are extremely attractive to a fast paced and dynamic client community.

FLORIA LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE FOR RECOGNIZE YOUR POTENTIAL Recognize Your Potential by Floria has a brand new website — same name, but totally new site — that is modernized, updated and interactive! “I am very excited to introduce the newly developed program ‘Profit Unleashed’ which focuses on Workplace Productivity. Special thanks to for new pictures and for all the hard work,” says Floria Aghdamimehr.

To make a submission to Members in the News please contact Suman Jha,

Membership Coordinator at [email protected] or 902-481-1227. Deadline for submissions is six weeks before publication, on the 15th of each month. BUSINESS VOICE



Dave Carroll will be the keynote speaker at the Chamber’s Fall Dinner, Thursday, November 13.


Dave Carroll explains how social media changes the marketing equation By Katie Ingram Photos: Paul Darrow

Dave Carroll knows a thing or two

goes viral

about how social media can impact a company’s reputation. In 2008 the musician — who is one half of the band, Sons of Maxwell — was travelling on a United Airways flight, with a stopover in Chicago. While waiting on the tarmac, another passenger noticed that baggage handlers were throwing guitars around, and sure enough, upon landing Carroll discovered his $3,500 Taylor guitar was severely damaged. When he raised the matter with airline representatives Carroll was met with “complete indifference” and informed that he was ineligible for compensation because he failed to make his claim within a 24-hour time frame. In true artistic fashion, Carroll wrote a song about the incident, and released it on YouTube. It quickly went viral, and the story became headline news across North America. “It started a wildfire,” says Carroll who found that people wanted to hear about what he was going through and offer their support. The song, United Breaks Guitars, and two sequel songs, have had more than 17 million views on YouTube. The incident illustrated how a single customer experience can have a huge impact thanks to social media. “For businesses around the world, they were starting to wake up and realize ‘wait a second, we can’t look at customers as some sort of a percentage or satisfaction rate, because one customer can affect our brand,’” he says. Now Carroll gives talks about impact of social media, with the message that companies have to restructure their marketing plans to fit this new type of consumer engagement. 13

COVER STORY “I think businesses had evolved into a silo approach, where marketing only knew what marketing did and the customer service department was sort of seen as the bowels of a business, where they had to put up with customers with bad experiences and keep the call volumes down,” he says. Now a company needs to be more internally connected to ensure customers’ needs and demands are met. Carroll says that with social media people have more ways to connect with a business and are able to research products and share experiences with other customers. “Things are public and companies have to be more careful what they say; you can’t micromanage your statements anymore,” he says. “If you don’t have products that are good, or can’t stand up to scrutiny, you have to start making products and services that live up to the hype, or you become irrelevant and competitors will steal your customers.” On the marketing side, Carroll says that companies need to make sure that their social media marketing strategy isn’t overbearing or intrusive. “Apply the same method you would in a room full of people,” he says. “You can’t reach out to customers continually and keep bothering them; there has to be relevance in your communication.”

There are a number of other factors to consider when a business is virtually connected with potential and current customers. Businesses are no longer in control of the narrative, as their role in the consumer-company conversation has shifted. “You can’t own the conversation anymore, but you can lead the conversation,” says Carroll. “You want to create engagement, insight and get brand ambassadors to come and share their thoughts and be the type of company that delivers a relevant product.” Despite this, Carroll says businesses shouldn’t be afraid of social media. As an affordable marketing tool, social media can be used by anyone looking to promote a product or services. Although Carroll does note that a small business’s social media strategy can differ from that of a large business. “If you’re a small local business you don’t need two million hits; you just need those who come and visit your store,” he says. “You can find out what people are saying about you and it will give you intelligent feedback on what they are saying about your brand.” Social media has also given small businesses a strategy to compete with their large scale competitors. Small businesses can use these sites to reach out to potential customers who may be having issues with similar product. “If you’re monitoring social media you can have, for example, a geofence around a 10 block radius of your business and monitor anyone talking about your brand or product,” says Carroll. If someone makes a negative post about a similar product, a business owner can suggest their product as a replacement. “You can

proactively increase your customer base by entering conversations and reaching out to them.” A company’s social media accounts aren’t the only way to connect with customers — employees can also spread brand awareness and positive messages on their personal accounts. “Your company is made up of people, so if you want to build your story you want to bring out the best stories and share those with people,” says Carroll. “If you have an employee that did something really charitable you want to align with that and support them, so that it adds to your story.” Both employees and companies have to be cautious in the type of material they post. Something that is posted can not only affect someone’s personal reputation, but their company’s reputation and sometimes the employee’s standing within the company itself. “Everything you put online is there forever and it’s accessible forever, so you want to always remember people have the ability to listen in reverse,” says Carroll. While all of the points Carroll mentioned are important pieces of the social media marketing puzzle, he notes that the main thing to remember is content. Whether it’s someone posting to a personal Facebook page, or marketers tweeting on Twitter, companies need to ensure that their content is creative, positive, and proactive. “Content is always key in terms of marketing, whether it’s on social media or if you’re wearing a sandwich board on the street,” he says. “You have to build a story; you have to be creative in how you tell your story if you want to cut through the noise.”

Everything you put online is there forever and it’s accessible forever.” – Dave Carroll





Your expectations are our starting point.

Trade & transpor L

New trade deal with Europe puts focus on transportation infrastructure By Jon Tattrie




The Challenges

tation Photo: Rodho/123RF

Cel_d]]eeZiơdZi[hl_Y[ij^hek]^>ơb_\ơn[\\[Yj_l[boơdZ[\ǃ_# ciently is critical to the region’s economy. Business Voice spoke to leaders in all of the key port areas and found that the city possesses X_]ơZlơdjơ][iel[hh_lơbi"Xkj\ơY[iZ_\ǃ_YkbjY^ơbb[d][i_djơa_d] advantage of them. How the city responds to a new trade deal with Europe could play a deciding role in how Halifax fares in the future. BUSINESS VOICE

Nancy Phillips, the Executive Director of the Halifax Gateway Council, pursues multi-modal transportation opportunities for the city. Balance is crucial for a healthy gateway, she says. “We want to make sure that we have our private sector partners, if they’re trucking or shippers or air, have a full load going out, and a full load coming in.” That means exports need to grow at the same pace as imports. Exports like pulp and paper have declined in trade in recent years, tipping the trade scales toward imports. This is especially true for air transit. “We need to get more import cargo coming in. You need to make sure, in order to have those cargo carriers viable in calling on the region, that they have full loads both ways,” Phillips says. Joyce Carter, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Halifax International Airport Authority, agrees. Profit margins are thin on flights, and it’s crucial to have full loads both ways. Today, for every metric ton of lobster and seafood leaving the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, an equal amount gets trucked to another airport for export. Joyce says that happens because there isn’t sufficient inbound cargo to balance it. On the positive side, the airport stands ready to grow. Joyce says the airport processes 3.6 million passengers a year and 30,000 metric tons of cargo. “We have the facilities in place today, due to some careful planning over the last 10 years, to process passengers over 5.5 million.”



The port is one of the economic engines across the entire province and the region,” she says. “As goes the port, so goes Nova Scotia. It’s been ever thus.” – Karen Oldfield, President & CEO Halifax Port Authority

Halterm Photo: Steve Farmer Photo

Given a provincial population of fewer than one million, that’s impressive. Only Calgary processes more passengers per capita. “Trade and transportation really do go hand in hand. The trade can’t happen without the transportation, and the transportation can’t happen without the infrastructure in place. The partners are working together to be sure that the infrastructure is aligned, and that there is no weak link in that chain,” Carter says. Ann MacKenzie, the Executive Director of Atlantic Canada for the Conference Board of Canada, says in the area


of freight transportation connections, a persistent issue for the region seems to be that the infrastructure is in place to take on more traffic than it does. That’s in contrast to the Western gateway, which is congested. “Part of what seems to hold Halifax back as a gateway though is that it has a relatively small local consumer market, and we may miss out on container vessel calls as a result,” she says. The President and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority describes a similar situation. Drive over the new bridge, says

Karen Oldfield, and you’ll see the $65 million Richmond Terminal’s new 1,500 feet of dock, five acres for laydown, (a place where goods can be placed before being loaded onto a ship, or onto trucks, rail, etc.) and a 75,000 square-foot shed providing ample space for sheltered laydown. “It comes at a perfect time of course, because most of the companies that we envision using that terminal are likely to be supplying either the offshore, or the Irving Shipbuilding contract,” Oldfield says. The port is nicely balanced between

Halifax Stanfield International Airport

Ceres - Richmond Terminal

Photo: Contributed

Photo: Contributed


TRADE & TRANSPORTATION imports and exports, but faces a challenge/ opportunity: it’s operating at 40 per cent capacity. Each freight vessel you see sailing in represents 3.5 years of work for the people loading/unloading it, tugboating it into the harbour, etc. “To me the goal is simple: get more ships.” The big challenge Halifax faces against rivals like New York is rather obvious: New York City has 8.4 million residents wanting to buy goods from ships. Halifax has about 400,000 people. New York State has 19.65 million people; Nova Scotia has fewer than one million. That means Halifax is a “discretionary port,” where ships don’t have to stop. “We have to meet the challenge of being a discretionary port. Day in, day out, we have to deliver superior service. And day in, day out, we have to deliver competitive pricing to the market. Those are our challenges. They’re market challenges, not infrastructure challenges,” Oldfield says.

Nancy Phillips of Halifax Gateway says Nova Scotia must study the trade opportunities carefully to find export markets. CETA will also lower tariffs, making exporting seafood more economically viable. That will fill up some of those outgoing airplanes. Nova Scotia needs to convince its new partners in Europe to pick Halifax by presenting it as the gateway to the NAFTA zone. Our rail, truck and air connections swiftly move goods into bigger markets. The major draw is that Halifax is two sailing days’ closer to Europe than any other comparable port.

The Solutions As you may have heard, Canada and Europe are negotiating an important Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA for short. The Conference Board of Canada calls it “Canada’s most significant international trade agreement in a generation.” The board says it opens the door to long-term trade and investment growth with the economically-troubled, but still-wealthy Europe. About 98 per cent of existing tariffs will disappear, replaced by a free-trade zone with hundreds of millions of consumers. Halifax, the closest full-service port to Europe, stands to benefit greatly. But companies will only be able to fully reap the benefits of the deal if they do their homework now so they can burst through the doorway in about two years’ time, when the deal will likely take effect. Ann MacKenzie, the Conference Board’s woman in Halifax, says this could have a major impact on the region. “I believe that CETA will have benefits for the region when it becomes easier to transport products and services. There is some thought that the service sectors will benefit more from CETA than goods. Of course services are delivered by people and Europeans will fly to Canada to deliver these services, so airports will benefit,” she says.

Photo: Sergey Breev/123RF

Photo: Mirko Vitali/123RF

“We have 150 connections that we can make through the port of Halifax,” Phillips says. “We are not jammed. We have ample capacity, so there’s not a lot of wait time to move product. We’re business-friendly and have great value-added reasons to set up a location here.” Nova Scotia has invested more than $100 million in infrastructure in the last three years, from pier extensions to super post-Panamax cranes to new truck marshalling facilities, in large part to take advantage of CETA. Government, businesses and organizations like Halifax Gateway need to sell the city to the 28 new countries and 500 million new people we can better trade with, because Europeans are paying a lot less attention to the addition of one country with 35 million people.


“If you’re not in those markets, somebody else will be. There’s lots of competition for ways to ship product. We’re small, we’re a discretionary port, we don’t have a huge market size here in Atlantic Canada, so a lot of the goods that are coming in are destined for somewhere else,” Phillips says. “There’s a whole story that we need to package up and tell.” Joyce Carter at the Halifax airport sees potential in CETA to balance the import-export scales. “The biggest advantage we have, but certainly a challenge, is because of the size of our region, growth is going to come not only from within the region, but from being able to be a hub for regional development,” she says. The Halifax Logistics Park helps by offering high level logistics and warehousing activity. It swiftly and cheaply moves goods shipped overseas into Atlantic Canada and the rest of the country and the U.S. It also connects Canadian firms to Europe, the Middle East, India and the Far East. Karen Oldfield says the port will work hard to make Halifax’s case in Toronto, Chicago, Europe and Asia. “It’s not for the faint of heart, or for people that give up easily,” she says. Halifax’s prospects are further bolstered by the coming megaprojects. Offshore oil and gas, mining and manufacturing projects, the Irving shipbuilding project, the Maritime Link and the Muskrat Falls Hydro project show the city can handle gigantic workloads. “Something that tallies $122 billion, that’s a real number no matter where you go in the world,” Oldfield says. It also means a lot of work, as the people and parts for the projects need to get here first. The Halifax airport is ready, with room to grow for another 20 years. Joyce Carter says the airport, sea port, trucking and rail are working together to build the region. “Really, the best part is infrastructure. It’s the best part of our transportation system because we have surplus capacity.” Karen Oldfield notes that Halifax was founded because of its port, and today the port employs 11,000 people and creates a $1.5 billion economic impact. Taking advantage of CETA and the megaprojects to fill our surplus capacity will strengthen the entire region. “The port is one of the economic engines across the entire province and the region,” she says. “As goes the port, so goes Nova Scotia. It’s been ever thus.” 19


Supplementing success Fitness entrepreneur expanding his business By Tom Mason

Photo: Anita MacPherson/

Roger King went to university to learn

how to run a business. He ended up starting one while he was there. The Rothesay, New Brunswick native was a business student at Saint Mary’s University, studying hard and spending what little spare time he had working out at the gym when he first came up with the idea to sell nutrition supplements. “I was serious about getting in shape, but the supplements I was taking were expensive,” he recalls. “As a student I couldn’t really afford them. So I came up with the idea to start taking orders from my friends and buying the supplements in bulk.” Before long King was taking orders for supplements from across HRM and selling them from the trunk of his old Acura. He quickly realized that this was an idea that went well beyond getting free supplements for himself.


“I started bringing in enough money to pay my rent and pay my other bills,” he says. By 2006 he had enough in the bank to open his first fixed location — a small kiosk down the hall from Good Life Fitness in Scotia Square. He named the business after himself — Supplement King. Today King operates three corporate stores in the Halifax area and a fourth that he recently opened in Burlington Ontario. He has also sold 16 Supplement King franchises — or licences as he prefers to call them — across Canada. “It’s been really exciting,” he says. “We’re working on opening a fifth corporate store in Brampton Ontario next year and we’re looking at other corporate expansion opportunities in the Greater Toronto area. We’re also getting lots of interest in licensing opportunities.” Growth of the business may be NOVEMBER 2014

rapid, but it’s also been carefully measured. King and his management team take a hands-on approach to every new licensed store that opens, providing staff training and onsite consultations, but he refuses to take on more than one new opening every six weeks. “I want to focus and take things one step at a time,” he says. “It’s important to make sure everything is done right, and it’s important not to dilute the brand.” As more people of all ages embrace physical fitness as part of their daily lives, the demand for supplements has mushroomed since King first started selling the products a decade ago. “Ten years ago it was mostly elite athletes using supplements. Nowadays, we see customers of all ages and fitness levels. Everyone from 12 to 90 is taking an interest in fitness, and they are using supplements to help with things like

Ever since I moved to Halifax and saw the possibilities that this city offered a young entrepreneur I’ve been excited about growing this business.” – Roger King, Supplement King

weight loss and recovery after a workout.” At the same time, those customers are evolving to become more knowledgeable as to what they’re looking for. They are asking for a personalized level of service, one that Supplement King works hard to provide, he says. Despite the success, King is just getting started. The 35-year-old entrepreneur is concentrating on licensing more Supplement King locations, and he’s working to develop an online store that he plans to launch in the next year or two. Like everything else with his business he plans to take his time and do it right. Most of all he’s having fun. “Ever since I moved to Halifax and saw the possibilities that this city offered a young entrepreneur I’ve been excited about growing this business,” he says. “It’s in my nature. I click with the entrepreneurial mindset.” BUSINESS VOICE



Moving forward Changes to the transit system will improve commuting throughout Halifax By Eddie Robar service for passengers in the Woodside area to and from downtown Halifax. The service now runs on similar frequency to the Alderney/Halifax run and continues to see an increase in ridership.

Photo: Contributed

In July, HRM’s municipal transit service changed its name from ‘Metro Transit’ to ‘Halifax Transit’ to reflect the new Halifax brand that Regional Council approved earlier this year. But, that was just the start of a process to transform transit in Halifax. The question you might have is — how are changes in our transit system going to be better for businesses in the region? As an employer interested in

getting your employees to and from their place of work, or, as an employee interested in day-to-day travel options, the changes at Halifax Transit will improve your commute: Woodside to Halifax connections have improved with the addition of a fourth harbour ferry In June, the newly launched Christopher Stannix harbour ferry increased

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If you find the transit system confusing — we have a new map for you In an effort to make the existing transit system easier to understand for our riders, Halifax Transit created a new transit route map. Paper copies of the new map are available where passes and tickets are sold or you can view it online at Here’s what Halifax Transit has coming up in the coming months and years: Consultations on an entirely new network design are coming — we want you to participate A draft of a new transit network is currently being completed by Halifax Transit staff based on the feedback of public consultations that took place in fall 2013. From January to March 2015, a second round of consultations will take place where the public and stakeholders will have an opportunity to view this draft and voice feedback that will be incorporated into the final network design. The new Lacewood Transit Terminal will improve connections to and from Clayton Park Construction of the new Lacewood Transit Terminal has already begun. Located on Lacewood Drive near the Canada Games Centre, the new terminal will offer a comfortable, safe, accessible and enjoyable environment for transit users. Two more new harbour ferries will make the service more efficient and reliable Two new harbour ferries are approved for construction, with the first ferry expected to be delivered to Halifax Transit in spring 2015. Both vessels will be used to replace aged vessels in the existing fleet, but will bring more continuity and efficiency to the harbour ferry service.

Apply for yours today at 22


You can know where your bus is at all times with Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) If you are a user of Halifax Transit, the way you plan your trips and interact

Photo: Contributed

with the overall transit system will change. Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) will provide passengers with realtime information on locations of buses and will include a public interface with online trip planners and a voice response telephone system. The new transit network will go into implementation Following the public consultations of 2015 and the consideration and approval of Halifax Regional Council, Halifax Transit will implement the results of both rounds of consultations in the design of a new transit network. Visit movingforwardtogether for up-to-date information on the overall plan and upcoming consultations. A new fare management structure will give you more options to pay your fare Halifax Transit’s new fare management system will introduce new and more convenient ways for passengers to pay their fare. While details will be established through the procurement process, the new fare management system is expected to introduce smartcard technology to facilitate fare payment. If you are a regular rider of Halifax Transit’s bus or ferry service, we thank you and hope you continue to let us get you where you need to go and participate in changes that will improve your commute. If you are not a regular Halifax Transit passenger, we also invite you to participate in upcoming consultations to make our transit network more appealing to you and encourage you to give Halifax Transit a chance to complete your day-today commute.

For more information on some of the changes coming to Halifax Transit, visit or contact Eddie Robar, Director, Halifax Transit at (902) 490-6720 BUSINESS VOICE



Planning to fail Changing our perception of failure - An update from the All Ships Rise Founding Partner, BDC. Every entrepreneur feels it at some point: the fear of failure. Only half of new businesses make it to their fifth birthday, and that can cause entrepreneurs a lot of stress. However, experts say failure can actually lead to major accomplishments. In fact, failure has been a key ingredient in some of the business world’s great success stories, says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). “Canadian entrepreneurs and the public at large need to be more forgiving about failure. Failure — and learning from mistakes — is often an important milestone on the path to success,” Bergeron says. “We have to change our perception about failure in order to help business owners stay in the game.”

Deborah Conroy of EY agrees. She points to the new BDC Entrepreneurial Resiliency Award, an initiative that recognizes a Canadian business that has successfully undergone a turnaround or pivotal event in the past and come back stronger because of it. “Many entrepreneurs talk about some kind of massive failure or hurdle they’ve overcome,” says Conroy, Vice President of Transaction Advisory Services at EY. She is also President of the Montreal chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, a group for corporate turnaround experts that teamed up with BDC for this award. No business is too big or too small to confront roadblocks. Bergeron cites the example of Groupon, the giant deals website. The company got its start as a social media site called The Point, which was

created to help people connect for social activism purposes. After a year of effort and US$1 million in operating costs, the start-up was going nowhere. “The founders shifted gears and turned their offering into the discount coupon service Groupon. They learned, adapted and made a fortune,” Bergeron says. Two years later, the shift in focus proved profitable: Groupon ballooned from a few dozen employees to 10,000 and was the fastest company in history to make US$1 billion in revenue. Bergeron advises entrepreneurs to adopt a “try, try again” philosophy. At its core: learning from mistakes and showing resilience, a new business approach that is growing in popularity in today’s rapidly changing economy, he says. Instead of the old model, which emphasized

Canadians slow to accept failure How do entrepreneurs turn failure into success? “They have had a knack for seeing failure as an opportunity or challenge,” says BDC’s Michel Bergeron. “When solution ‘A’ didn’t work, they tried

solution ‘B’ if they were still convinced there was a need. Or they decided to meet a different need and, in the process, found a new path. The setback helped them identify a weakness, and they fixed it.”

Deborah Conroy of EY agrees. She cites a 2013 EY survey that found the following: Over one third of Canadian entrepreneurs (35%) said business failure is seen as a barrier to future business prospects. This is nine percentage points higher than the average across the G-20 countries, which was 26%. Canadian entrepreneurs may be more worried about failure because of “higher expectations,” but they should also keep in mind Canada’s “many entrepreneurial upsides,” such as the low cost of starting a business, the survey authors noted.



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extensive planning before launching a new venture — by which time technology and markets may change substantially — the new approach favours a lean and nimble start-up. The idea is to engage customers early with a basic product, even if you haven’t worked out all the bugs. The second step: Learn quickly from customer feedback and missteps. Third: Constantly refine your efforts. And the final secret ingredient: Don’t give up. “I don’t think fear is all bad. It can be healthy and reasonable. It keeps entrepreneurs from making rash decisions,” Conroy says. “But it’s important to avoid excessive hesitation and waiting for the exact perfect moment. Trying, failing and trying again is much better than not trying at all.”


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Social media and small busine Companies need to use these powerful marketing and networking tools of your time should be spent on – 60% marketing and sales. on improving or developing your – 30% product and services. on managing your business and – 10% administration tasks.

MAUREEN FARMER, CSS, CRS, CHRP, OWNER & MANAGER OF WORD RIGHT CAREER & HR CONSULTING Marketing and sales Marketing and Sales are the lifeblood of all businesses and yet so many business owners struggle with the seemingly mysterious connection between them. This article is written from the perspective of a start-up business moving into its third year that has discovered the power of social media in its connection to marketing and sales. The relationship is quite simple: marketing generates desire; sales generates commitment. Creating that connection is swath of social media tools that can propel your business to profitability and sustainability. I often hear entrepreneurs claim they are too busy for social media or that there are too many social media tools to choose from and so they just don’t bother. This is short-sighted because without revenues and sustainable cash flow, there is no profit and no business and your business may struggle.

Sales funnel So how do you leverage social media to build your sales funnel? The essence of marketing is relationship building and developing “street cred” in your industry. Clients want to purchase and do business with people they know, people they like and people they trust. Social media is the ideal conduit. And it’s not nearly as complex as you may think. According to, businesses should invest time in the following proportions:


Sales training guru, Paul Kidston, says “every marketing activity needs to be followed with a sales call to the prospective client.” Using social media makes following up with your client easier than ever. Here is a brief overview of five tools that are easy to use and cost little but your time.

LinkedIn LinkedIn is a powerful marketing and networking tool and according to their LinkedIn page quote 313 million registered members. Designed to uncover your prospective client, employer or employee through its powerful search engine and related tools. For instance, if you are a realtor specializing in waterfront properties, your prospective clients may look for someone like you on LinkedIn. A simple search can find you. The customer searches: Halifax + realtor + waterfront + 20 years = YOU. Do not underestimate the power of LinkedIn and its potential for your business. Here are a few general guidelines to get the most of your profile. Have at least 250 connections — this will expand your reach. Personalize your invitations (“Hi John, I see that you are in the Halifax area. I would like to connect with you on LinkedIn). Complete your profile and update it often (bi-weekly or monthly). Use keywords relevant to your customers (this is how they will find you: “waterfront” as in the above example). Join LinkedIn groups where your customers gather and participate in meaningful conversations. Always respond personally to each invitation that is sent to you.

– – – – – –


Example: When an individual invites you to join their network, don’t just click the connect icon — take it one step further. Thank him or her for connecting and then ask how you can help. That one simple gesture for each invitation received can secure high-quality clients and long-term profitability!

Facebook Facebook is the largest online social network and is simply a powerful marketing tool. Businesses are embracing the power of social influence and the referral factor of consumers sharing and “liking” content shared on Facebook. Of course, you need to determine if your target market is active on Facebook. Facebook gives you access to more than 1.5 billion active users who log onto Facebook regularly (584 million each day!) and spend an average of 55 minutes per day on the site*.

Twitter Twitter currently has 645 million regular users and processes 58 million Tweets each day*. Its power lies in its lightning-fast reach to your targeted audience. You can share links to videos, articles, have conversations with your business “tribe,” and connect with like-minded individuals — all within 140 characters. You can easily identify targeted companies and begin to follow them and then engage in conversations with them building your followers and customer base.

Mailchimp Mailchimp is an e-mail marketing tool that helps you to grow your network of customers. By regularly interacting with the clients most likely to purchase from you, you will strengthen their trust in you and instill confidence in your brand. If you are blogging on your website, MailChimp can be a powerful distribution tool. You do not need to have a blog in order to use this tool. You can use this tool to distribute a simple e-letter or a more robust newsletter.

ss Hootsuite

Consumers in are in control

A powerful dashboard that drives the social media train. Hootsuite is scheduling software that permits you to schedule your posts once to multiple platforms in advance. Canadian-owned and based in Vancouver, this tool is an efficiency driver like no other. How it works: post your updates once to Hootsuite and you’re done. You can post to dozens of social media sites at one time. Small and medium-size business owners share their social media results: Social media attracts my right clients. I build meaningful and lasting relationships with my clients. I can keep in touch with my clients and remain top of mind with my targeted clients. My social media budget pales in comparison to some of the more traditional marketing methods I have traditionally used. I can’t imagine marketing in any other way and I can do it from my laptop, desktop, or mobile device.

Still not convinced? [the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform] research claims that “buyers are taking control. They’re tuning out old-school marketing that’s impersonal and interrupts.” In addition, 44% of direct mail is not opened and 86% of consumers don’t watch commercials. Need help? There are many competent local experts in this field who can help you. Consult the Halifax Chamber of Commerce’s business directory for professionals who can help you grow your business from good-enough to great.

– – –


Maureen Farmer is owner of Word Right Career & HR Consulting, located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with a client base around the globe. *Statistics provided by Statistic Brain

Interested in submitting your own ‘Trends’ article? Contact Becky Davison, [email protected] for more information on sharing your high level look at trends in a specific area or business issue. Tip: Submissin cannot promote any one business, product or service.



Refer a new member to the Halifax Chamber and get $50 Chamber Bucks when they join. This credit can be used for Chamber online

Return on investment (ROI) To keep things simple choose two or three social media tools. The nature of the business, will determine which tools you use. If you are a service provider to business professionals, LinkedIn is a natural choice because of its power of reach. Last year one presenter at an international careers industry conference claimed her use of blogging yielded her just shy of $75K for one customer-focused article she wrote for a website. One blog! Of course not all of us will see that type of result, but the message is clear: it works and numbers don’t lie. If you are new to social media, see Mitch Joel’s book Six Pixels of Separation which describes the critical importance of social media to business. He also stresses that social media is far easier to use than most people think. It’s like driving a car — you don’t need to be an auto mechanic to be a good driver. Social media can help you drive growth in your business.

In spite of the power and convenience of social media tools, there will be a time when you need to take the conversation offline and meet with your client in person or by telephone. Social media is powerful and fast, but in the end, it is simply a tool for human connectivity and relationship building.

SAVE A BUCK GET NOTICED Learn more about the Members in the promote your business through the exclusive Member - to - Member Marketplace.

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Predicting success Photo: Can You Afford To Make A Bad Hire? ©2014 PI Worldwide

Seven Secrets to Hiring Success

DAVID OSBORNE VICE PRESIDENT, PREDICTIVE SUCCESS CORPORATION Harvard Business Review cites that up to 80 per cent of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. Although the hiring process may be challenging, the business reality is that we need to get it right the first time, because hiring mistakes are costly and produce a wave of negative consequences. For example, hiring managers must carve out more time from their schedule to go through the hiring process again. When we break down the hiring process and analyze the weakest links, there is a silver lining. Fortunately for employers, using analytical tools that replace the guesswork or “gutwork” from the hiring equation with evidence-based processes can help avoid the pitfalls of hiring the wrong candidate. When combining the following seven steps with the appropriate analytical tools, organizations typically see a 29 per cent reduction in turnover and a 15 per cent reduction in training fees. Today, every manager can win the war on talent by ensuring they hire the right person for the right role by using a scalable, predictable and repeatable process.

1) Before seeking any candidate, take the time upfront to first define the skill set required for success in the role. The extra time it takes to gain consensus with key internal stakeholders on clarifying what success looks like will pay off when assessing candidates’ alignment to the position.

2) Once the above research is completed, a job description can be written. The 28

litmus test for a good job description is if the internal team agrees that the narrative accurately describes what an employee will need to do to succeed in the role. Align the critical findings from step one with your company culture and expectations and you’ll be off to a good start.

3) The third step involves going public with an attractive announcement to recruit the right candidates through the right channels.

5) Successful interviews require asking questions that can help you evaluate the candidate effectively. Include behavioural questions to identify gaps between the candidate and the role. For example, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada ensures they glean the maximum information about each candidate during interviews by customizing their list of questions based on their analysis of the role and candidate to identify the right fit.

6) During the hiring stage it’s critical to understand what will motivate the successful candidate to accept the job offer. Data collected throughout the hiring process should help formulate what aspects beyond salary and benefits might be important.

7) The final stage is successfully

/123RF ren Roach Photo: Ka

4) Once accepting resumes, first determine the fit between the candidate and the approved job requirements. Compare the behaviours necessary for success in the job against the behavioural personalities of candidates to help identify which candidates to select for an interview. Following this method, Movember Canada streamlined their hiring process by gathering pre-interview data on candidates, evaluating them against the job description they had created with the Performance Requirement Options™ tool, and then inviting only those who fit the requirements to the job interview. NOVEMBER 2014

onboarding the new employee and planning for immediate growth and development. Remember to leverage the wealth of data collected throughout the hiring process to personalize onboarding and develop a customized growth plan for the individual. For example, a nursing association found that by using the analytical data on employees that they collected through diagnostic tools, they were able to optimize their onboarding process which directly impacted their customer satisfaction scores.

A positive result for all By replacing qualitative ‘gut feelings’ with quantitative data, hiring managers can consistently place the right people in the right positions. With employees feeling secure in their role, employers will enjoy the long-term benefits of satisfied and motivated staff.

David Osborne is Vice President of Predictive Success Corporation ( and a Certified PI & CFS Facilitator. Dave can be reached at [email protected]


What’s your big idea? We need to think big and take action

PAUL KENT PRESIDENT & CEO GREATER HALIFAX PARTNERSHIP Recently, I met with a Halifax leader who was facing a challenge in her company. I asked her: “What would be a game changer for your business?” She paused for a moment and then responded with a Big Idea. We proceeded to have a rich and exciting conversation about how we could make this idea happen. I find myself having more and more conversations with people about Big Ideas. Why? Because achieving aggressive goals and transformational change in our businesses, our communities and our city requires us to think big and take action. In Halifax, we know what our challenges are. We’ve spent years researching and talking about them. We know we have to grow our population, change attitudes, export more, support entrepreneurship, and revitalize our downtown. But what are the Big Ideas that will drive significant growth and development in Halifax over the next 10 or 20 years?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are part of a growing movement of people, businesses, and organizations who believe in Halifax’s amazing potential and are ready to collaborate on big ideas. This is what the Halifax Ecosystem is all about. It’s about creating the right attitude and entrepreneurial and innovative culture and significantly increasing our individual and collective impact. It taps into the powerful tools of passion, connections, and collaboration and organizes and harnesses the energy, talents and resources in our community to get to action quicker on key economic and social issues. The focus is on dreaming big and taking bold measures to create a more confident and innovative Halifax.

Since the Ecosystem’s launch, working groups and project teams have formed around a number of opportunities and hundreds of residents have signed-on to champion Halifax and work together in the Ecosystem. The Ecosystem is open to everyone. It’s you. It’s me. It’s everyone doing their part to make positive changes in our community. We are all authors of Halifax’s story and The Ecosystem is the way we are writing it together. So I ask you: What’s your Big Idea and how can we work together to make it happen? Contact me at [email protected] I look forward to the exciting conversation we’ll have.

This is where you come in

š Do you have a BIG IDEA for Halifax?

š Are you ready to do something about it?

š Do you want to work with others to bring it to life?




Developing downtown Southwest playing leading role in the city By Richard Woodbury

Photo: Anita MacPherson/

Gordon Laing of Southwest Properties, stands in front of the redevelopment site of the YMCA and CBC/Radio Canada properties located at the corner of South Park and Sackville Streets

With four quite different development

projects on the go in Halifax, Gordon Laing and the team at Southwest Properties have their hands full. “We’ve got lots keeping us busy,” says the company’s President and COO. At the corner of Sackville and Hollis Streets, Southwest is working on Maple, a 300-unit apartment building with ground floor retail space which will be finished in the spring of 2016. There’s also Cunard, a high-end 300-unit apartment building which also has ground floor retail space. Located between Bishop’s Landing and the Nova Scotia Power headquarters, it is expected to open in the spring of 2017. Laing thinks both projects will play important roles in supporting downtown vitality.

Celebrating success 30

Southwest is also developing Seton Ridge, the former Sisters of Charity Motherhouse land behind Mount Saint Vincent University. The neighbourhood will consist of 200 single-family homes, a total of 1,600 units of apartments and condos, as well as 50,000-60,000 square feet of retail space. It will be Southwest’s first land development project. The neighbourhood will take between eight and ten years to complete and people should begin living there by May or June of 2017. In June, it was announced Southwest (along with Streamliner Properties Inc.) would serve as the developers behind the redevelopment of the YMCA and CBC/Radio Canada properties located at the corner of South Park and Sackville Streets. Opening in early 2018, the

finished product will be a new 70,000 square foot YMCA facility and a private mixed-use residential development. The residential condo component will be called the Pavilion, a name inspired by the main gates of the Public Gardens. Southwest has been a frequent recipient of awards from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, including a silver award for Business of the Year in 2009. Laing thinks the awards are a validation of the work the company is doing and provide people interested in doing business with the company “a sense of security” because of the independent validation. One other benefit is the application process makes companies take thorough looks at their businesses. “You think you’re good, but can you be better?” says Laing.

One of the Chamber of Commerce’s strategic goals is to create a positive business environment through the promotion of entrepreneurs and small business success. Our “Where Are They Now?” section aims to Y[b[Xhơj[j^[Yedj_dk[ZikYY[iie\ekhfơij>ơb_\ơn8ki_d[ii7mơhZiǃ_dơb_ijiơdZm_dd[hi$:eoek^ơl[ a small business success story? Contact [email protected] to share your experience.


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Office ergonomics

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Healthy employees are happier and more productive By Carol Dobson Office furniture used to be pretty much one-size-fits-all. Desks were the same height and chairs could be adjusted up and down, depending on whether the user had short legs or long. But, as people realized that having the right fit led to happier, healthier and more productive workers, the landscape changed. Terry Hickey, of e3 office furniture, describes it as fitting the tools to do the task. Often, doing a few simple things makes a world of difference. When he goes into an office, he’ll check out where a person’s keyboard is located — on the desk, resting on a pulled out drawer, or on its own adjustable shelf. “One of the first things I do is to adjust the keyboard platform to fit the person,” he says. A relatively new addition to the marketplace is an affordable adjustable desk. Hickey says the federal government has been a leader in providing ergonomic furniture to its employees, but these new adjustable desks are priced so that small and medium sized businesses can justify their purchase. While Mom always said to sit up straight, spending years sitting at a desk can lead to shoulders drooping forward, with your neck following, and lower back problems as well.

“We try to make sure that employees are comfortable with their appliances,” Terry Wilson, of interSPACE Resource Group, says. “That includes ensuring they have the proper vertical support, that their arms are directly by their side and the angle of their arms is 90 degrees. We also look at the angle and the vertical height of the monitor so people aren’t straining their necks looking up or down.” As it is often reported, Nova Scotian workers are getting older, so that often means working with individuals to correct habits developed through years of work, in order to be more comfortable during the work day. They’re often commonsense approaches, such as changing where you actually sit on a chair, i.e, not sitting on the edge of the seat, but sitting towards the rear of the chair, and taking short breaks throughout the day to get your eyes away from the computer. Ergonomically designed desks, monitor stands, and chairs are only one part of the equation. They have to be adjusted to fit the individual who is using them. “It’s amazing how making even a minor adjustment in an appliance can change a worker,” Hickey says. “Adjusting a keyboard tray so you’re not hurting your arms and neck while you type or changing the height of your chair can turn an unhappy employee into a happy one.”

Office Furniture & Interiors Inc. At e3 Office Furniture, you get more for less. You get lower prices, outstanding service and more choices to fit your budget. (902) 434-8566 • 32


Custom Content Feature

Interior Designers of Nova Scotia

CELEBRATING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN ACT Why do I need an Interior Designer? By Heather Laura Clarke As an interior designer, Fran Underwood is regularly changing public perceptions of interior design. Instead of simply choosing throw pillows and paint colours, these professionals are designing commercial spaces, hospitality spaces, education spaces, and healthcare spaces − everything from shops and restaurants to museums, hospitals, schools and prisons. “We do a lot of space analysis, and determine the purpose for each area within the space − like private offices, meeting space, break rooms, and reception areas, in the case of an office,” says Underwood. “We figure out the square footage that each activity requires, think about how the people in that space will function, how people will circulate, and plot it all out.” When a client hires an interior designer, initial sets of plans are presented using digital software programs, and then the interior designer creates a more detailed set of drawings to determine the placement and construction of every detail. They consult with engineers who design the building systems for

heating, ventilation and electrical work. Designers specify furniture, fixtures, and all of the construction materials that will be required. Once all of that is mapped out, the interior designer produces a complete set of specifications and construction drawings that detail all of the finishes, construction details, fixturing and furniture required for pricing, permit and construction. But Underwood understands that the public may have a mixed understanding of the role of an interior designer, with magazines and TV shows constantly referring to decorators as “designers.” She believes that if there were an accredited school of interior design here in Nova Scotia, the public would be more aware of the education and experience of an interior designer. “If we had an accredited school here, people would hear about it, and they would tell their friends, and it would just do so much for the awareness of the profession,” says Underwood. “I’m always hearing someone describe a friend who is an

interior designer, and I have to say ‘No, they’re not an interior designer, because I know they are not part of the Association of Interior Designers of Nova Scotia.” Heather Robertson Corrigan, chairperson of the Council For Interior Design Accreditation and chair of the Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee (NSBAC), says the misconceptions about interior designers tend to only pop up with residential clients. Commercial clients are usually well aware of the importance of hiring a registered interior designer. “They understand the value of interior design, and the value you bring by having an understanding for the people occupying the physical space,” says Corrigan. “Whether they’re downsizing or increasing space or moving into a new space, the cost of an interior designer’s services are usually recoupable within the decisions they’ll help the client make − and the time and hassle the client will be spared.” For a complete list of members see




The evolving office Many changes in the typical workplace By Ann O’Connell A few decades ago the typical office looked and functioned very differently from those of today. Many will remember typewriters, desks with side runners, steno chairs with no arms and little back support, carbon paper, erasers shaped like pencils for correcting typing mistakes, steno books, rotary dial phones and dictation machines? These are just a few of the things that have gone by the wayside, and with them a lot of the tedious repetitive tasks that were once so common in the workplace. Imagine typing a letter with three carbon copies and then making one little typo near the end of the letter. Technology has certainly influenced how we do things, with computers, scanners, networks, and of course cell phones that have all advanced rapidly. But it isn’t just technology that has changed the workplace.


When Ian Morrison was 10 years old his father, Doug Morrison, started a small office supply and equipment repair business in Kentville. Today, over 50 years later, that business has evolved into Workplace Essentials which is now owned by Doug Morrison’s sons, Ian and Leigh. The business sells hundreds of office supply items, furnishings and equipment throughout Nova Scotia. Just as the products they sell and service have changed, the business has had to adapt to keep up with the needs of their customers. For example, Workplace Essentials now owns a warehouse where the inventory for filling customers’ online and phone in orders is stored. If a customer places an order every effort is made to ship it the next day. Morrison explained that customers do not have the luxury of waiting for supplies and Workplace Essentials makes every effort to deliver

orders in a timely manner. Today’s workplace can be configured for collaborative work groups with break rooms and meeting rooms decorated in the same style and colour scheme. Desks can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button to accommodate the height of the user or to accommodate someone working from a standing position. The office supply and equipment business is constantly changing. Morrison encourages anyone looking for anything from new furnishings to the day to day basics of the office, to keep in mind the many choices that are available in today’s marketplace, and to discuss their needs in detail with potential suppliers.

We have so much more to offer... We thought we should explain! Office Supplies (Overnight) Contract Furnishings (Office, Hospitality, Healthcare, Institutional) Business Equipment (Copiers, Printers, Fax, Mailing) Service (Office Moves, Reconfigurations, Full Service Copier Repair) Print/Copy A locally-owned and family operated enterprise serving the business communities of Nova Scotia, with locations in Kentville, Dartmouth and New Glasgow.

Where Nova Scotia Goes To Work 34





On the move Customized mobile business apps gaining popularity By Pat d’Entremont

Photo: Nito500/123RF

When we think of mobile apps, applications that work on a smartphone or tablet, we think primarily of games or downloadable versions of social media programs. The few mobile business applications we see are generic programs for such things as tracking the stock market or sales force automation.

But that has started to change, and there is a huge shift in building customized mobile applications that connect to your specific business data. When you think about it, it is the natural evolution for business IT systems. Over the years, we’ve moved from monolithic mainframe programs to networked computer applications to web-based systems, and with each move came a wellspring of new capabilities and functionality. In each of these cases, it took a while for “simple” apps to prove the concept, and then more complex enterprise applications took advantage of the new technology. That is what is happening with mobile. If you can get the weather on your mobile device, why not your corporate data? Well you can, and you can do so in a secure, real-time environment. Moreover, if done correctly, these applications will run on any mobile device via its web browser, meaning only one version of the application needs to be maintained that will work on any mobile device. It also means that you don’t need to use the “app store”, you don’t need to download anything, and you don’t need to worry about having to reinstall updates whenever changes are made to the application.

CUSTOM MEDIA CONTENT What we are finding is that only parts of an overall application need to be mobile-enabled, typically those used by the workforce in the field. Examples of ones we’ve written at Nicom include an automated sales tool for sales consultants, electronic forms used by marine pilots when they are on assignment, and applications used by seaport representatives when they are travelling the world. That latter one is a good example to demonstrate, as it is publicly usable. To see it, simply use your mobile browser to go to Think about all the ways you could use your corporate data when you are out of the office, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could do so without even having to use a laptop or having to find a WIFI network. Well you can. It is here, now. I’d be happy to discuss this with anyone who is interested.

Pat d’Entremont is a certified management consultant, and a Partner with Nicom IT Solutions Inc. He can be found at and followed on Twitter @nicomitpat. He can also be reached at [email protected], or 902-454-5656.

Going Mobile? We specialize in mobile websites and custom mobile apps for business. To find out more call 902-454-5656 and ask for Pat.





Into the cloud Cloud computing the ideal solution for keeping up with technology By Tom Mason The much-anticipated Irving shipbuilding project may be one of the biggest opportunities for local small businesses to come along in quite some time. But tapping into the giant project may be fraught with challenges as well. For small companies without dedicated IT departments, linking up with Irving’s state-of-the art technology will be one of those challenges. Enter cloud computing. This revolutionary new form of computer networking offers the perfect solution for business operators who have reached beyond the limits of their technical acumen, according to Dennis Young, President of ABM Integrated Solutions. “A lot of small local businesses will need a certain level of technical sophistication to hook into Irving’s system,” he says. “With cloud computing, all of a sudden you’re a world class player, no matter how big you are.”

That level of sophistication can be achieved because cloud computing gives companies access to the latest IT applications and storage solutions for a fraction of the cost of buying the hardware, software and IT support. It also means that companies with limited budgets don’t have to constantly scramble to keep their aging systems up to date. It’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t heard about cloud computing in recent months. From slick television ads for the Apple iCloud to cautionary tales about celebrity hackings, the concept has quickly entered the common lexicon. At its most basic level, “The Cloud” as it’s often labelled is a technology that delivers a full range of IT services including computer infrastructure, digital storage, applications, business processes and digital media to any device that can access the Internet. Companies can use a cloud





service to store data safely in a remote location, host websites or operate software that once resided on office hard drives. Young says the technology is a great equalizer, giving small businesses with a few employees the technological acumen to stand alongside giant corporations with dedicated IT departments. “It gives you access to the latest technology when you need it, without constantly worrying about upgrades.” Tim Brown is ABM’s Chief Technology Officer. He says that while large, technologically savvy companies often use a cloud service mainly as a remote backup system in the event of a disaster, a smaller company may have a completely different reason for choosing a cloud server. “We offer them a huge amount of technological support. That’s where a lot of small businesses have a hard time. By letting a company like ours worry about the technology they can spend their time on what’s really important to grow their business.” Len Shuttleworth is Network Services Manager at Internetworking Atlantic Inc. (IAI), a Halifax-based company that provides fibre optic and cloud services to a range of companies in Atlantic Canada. He says that for most companies hosting a data storage facility in-house represents a huge cash outlay. “Not only do you need the latest hardware, you also need security systems, fire protection, an expensive cooling system and someone who knows how to operate and maintain everything.” Both ABM and IAI operate their own data centers in HRM. “We’re starting to see more of these types of regional clouds,” says Dennis Young. “Businesses want to know what their cloud service provides. They want that personal relationship.” Young says that cloud computing offers a quick and easy solution to the millions of dollars worth of outdated IT equipment tucked away in closets at businesses across Atlantic Canada. “It’s like a choice between buying a new BMW or simply renting one for a week when you need it. If you want the top of the line, a lot of the time it just makes more sense to rent.”


Here’s the truth: You want to spend your time running your business, not managing your technology. ABM Integrated Solutions can help you do both by utilizing powerful, cloud-based systems that provide: Cost Elasticity – pay for only what you need Speed to Market – instant access to capacity Enhanced Security – bullet proof encryption Universal Accessibility – access anywhere, anytime Always Current – ensure peak performance We’ve been providing technology umbrellas to businesses like yours for over 30 years. Let us help you stay high and dry. (800) 565.7564 BUSINESS VOICE



Rolling out the welcome mat We all have a part to play in increasing immigration




n Ray Ivany’s Now or Never report, the word economy is used 157 times, while the word population appears 106 times. There’s a reason why the word population appears so many times in the report — Nova Scotia’s future depends in large part on its ability to increase its population. The report says that if current trends continue, by 2036, there will be 100,000 fewer working-age people than there were in 2010. This would represent a nearly 20 percent decline in the labour pool. Nova Scotia’s best hope for increasing its population is through immigration. That’s why as part of our strategic plan, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce sees increasing immigration as a key priority for reaching the plan’s goal of Halifax becoming one of Canada’s top three growth cities by 2018. But we need to do a better job of convincing Nova Scotians why immigration is a good thing. Consider that as part of Ivany’s report, Corporate Research Associates conducted a survey to examine Nova Scotians’ attitudes and perceptions on economic development issues. The report found “Nova Scotians appear to be very positive about newcomers from other parts of Canada, but somewhat less welcoming to immigrants. There is a segment of the population that believes that immigrants take away jobs from other Nova Scotians. Rural residents appear to be more concerned than their urban counterparts on this issue.” This is disappointing. The reality is immigration is a great thing for society. Immigrants are exactly the kind of people we want to be part of Nova Scotia’s future. They are risk takers, willing to leave their old lives behind in 38

order to have a better future. Motivated by this desire, failure is not an option for them. While the discussion about our aging population gets oversimplified as being simply about needing more bodies in the workforce, it’s more complex than that. Immigrants are a crucial ingredient in successful economies, and that’s been true for Nova Scotia’s history. “The periods in Nova Scotia’s history when the economy grew most significantly correspond to waves of new immigrants — most notably in the early to mid-19th century and the post-WWII period,” says the Ivany Report. Every Nova Scotian has a role to play in helping immigrants feel welcome here. While Nova Scotians are certainly friendly, it’s worth asking whether we are truly welcoming. Do we help newcomers integrate into the community? Immigrant communities certainly do that, but we need every Nova Scotian to also do the same. Chamber members have a role to play here. Earlier this year, we supported Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Diab negotiating a change to the provincial nominee program with Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander that will help international university or community college graduates qualify for permanent residency in Nova Scotia. These graduates only qualify, however, if they have a job offer from a Nova Scotian employer. Chamber businesses can make this program a success in growing our population by providing job offers to these new graduates. In addition to jobs, there are other ways we can do our part to make Halifax more welcoming to those who may be NOVEMBER 2014

interested in becoming Canadians. In mid-September, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage hosted a reception to welcome first-year international students to Halifax. These are the things that help integrate newcomers into our community. Fittingly, the event was held at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, a place with a long history of welcoming newcomers to Canada. Tapping into international students is a great idea because Halifax is an education hub, home to six universities and a community college system. According to a September 13 article in Metro, “The number of international students at post-secondary institutions in Halifax has more than doubled over the past decade, with foreign students now representing 16 per cent of the entire student population.” This represents a huge opportunity for the city and our province. Another way the Chamber is trying to make our city more welcoming to new Canadians is by supporting efforts by Mayor Savage and Council to extend the municipal vote to permanent residents in our community. Increasing immigration is the key ingredient needed for Nova Scotia to have a prosperous future and we can all play a role in making that happen. Let’s ask ourselves: what are we going to do to make sure that more immigrants choose to call Nova Scotia home?


The inaugural Halifax offering of Canada’s leading director education program has SOLD OUT! NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SPRING 2015

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ATTAIN YOUR ICD.D AND JOIN A RECOGNIZED GROUP OF BUSINESS LEADERS FROM ATLANTIC CANADA. Applications are now being accepted for the second Halifax offering of the DEP, offered in collaboration with the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University.


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business voice - Halifax Chamber of Commerce

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