Why social media is a marketing natural

Elle Campbell of Elle Connects talks about connecting with your target audience where they’re already hanging out

Why social media is a marketing naturalElle Campbell is a marketer, social media strategist, brand storyteller, and owner and chief operator of Elle Connects. Tell me a little about your background and what you do now? Campbell: With my content marketing business Elle Connects, I help brands and businesses tell their brand story and connect with their customers through content creation…

Avanti Software helps companies build better workplaces

David Owen Cord and Amin Lalani of Avanti Software talk about assisting companies in executing and improving people management

Avanti Software helps companies build better workplacesDavid Owen Cord and Amin Lalani are co-CEOs of Avanti Software. What is Avanti Software and what does it do? Lalani: Simply put, Avanti exists to help Canadian companies build better workplaces. We do this through our all-in-one, Human Capital Management (HCM) software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our integrated, end-to-end platform helps businesses find, engage, schedule, manage, pay…

Creating the right environment for real estate success

Shami Sandhu talks about what makes Realty ONE Group different and why those differences work well for buyers and agents

Creating the right environment for real estate successShami Sandhu is president and regional director of Realty ONE Group of Western Canada. What is the Realty ONE Group and what do you do? Sandhu: Realty ONE Group is a full-service lifestyle real estate brand that has experienced rapid growth since Kuba Jewgieniew started the company in 2005. Unlike existing traditional models, we don’t…

National housing market faces shakeup

Ben Myers of Bullpen Research & Consulting talks about how markets are changing across the country

National housing market faces shakeupBen Myers is president of Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc. What does your research tell you about today's consumer and what they’re looking for in a new home? Myers: Location remains the top priority for buyers, that hasn't changed. However, different demographic segments have much different priorities after location. In speaking with realtors and developers,…

Using video to build brands and make emotional connections

Paul Bzeta of Kicker Video talks about how marketing in the digital age is evolving

Using video to build brands and make emotional connectionsPaul Bzeta is CEO of Kicker Video. Paul spoke with Calgary's Business's Mario Toneguzzi Tell me what Kicker is and what it does? Bzeta: Kicker produces video content for B2B clients in Canada and the U.S. Videos that help our clients explain their products and services in a simple way in order to drive new leads,…

Innovative, sustainable custom home designs still draw clients

Kathy Yuen of Phase One Design talks about how to build an award-winning company from scratch, even during downturns

Innovative, sustainable custom home designs still draw clientsKathy Yuen is president of Phase One Design. Tell me about Phase One Design. How it got started, why, where you’re located and what you do? Yuen: Phase One Design is a residential design firm. We specialize in the architecture of luxury custom homes (not to be confused with interior design). How did it all…

Using social media to make connections with customers

Ernest Barbaric of Ernest Media talks about adopting an agnostic and agile approach

Using social media to make connections with customersErnest Barbaric is a digital marketing strategist at Ernest Media, lead designer and instructor for digital marketing strategy at the Canadian Marketing Association and founder of the Social Media for Business program at Calgary's Mount Royal University. What's your feel about how businesses today have used social media to better their bottom line? Barbaric: Social…

Tom Higgins: leadership truths from football to business

The CEO of the Canadian Football Academy talks about why team building, leadership and motivation are so important

Tom Higgins is CEO of the Canadian Football Academy and a former coach in the Canadian Football League. What is the Canadian Football Academy and what does it do? Higgins: The CFA was born of an idea between me and Tony Fasano. We wanted to promote youth football in a positive, safe and skilful way.…

Creating The Next Face of (business) Leadership

Ann Marie MacDougall of LeaderBoom talks about preparing the next generation for the high-pressure global business arena

Creating The Next Face of (business) LeadershipAnn Marie MacDougall is president of LeaderBoom Inc. What is LeaderBoom and why was it created? MacDougall: LeaderBoom is a results-oriented firm launched in 2012 that provides just-in-time customized leadership development programs and advisory services designed to empower and accelerate performance in individuals, teams, organizations, and communities. We do this by integrating fresh insights mined through…

Navigating the cannabis cultivation question when buying real estate

Ryan DeLuca of the Calgary Real Estate Board talks about what a buyer can ask and what a seller must disclose about pot

Navigating the cannabis cultivation question when buying real estateRyan DeLuca is supervisor of training and compliance, member practice, with the Calgary Real Estate Board. What are the biggest potential impacts to the residential housing market of the legalization of cannabis? DeLuca: For some buyers, cannabis cultivation in a property may affect their ability to secure financing or homeowner’s insurance on that property. Some…

Why coaching makes sense for every business team

Cheryl Dyck of MSI Action Group and CASS Consulting talks about moulding leaders who inspire success

Why coaching makes sense for every business teamCheryl Dyck is president and CEO of MSI Action Group and CASS Consulting Inc. Tell me what you do? Dyck: At a high level, we work alongside business owners and their teams to build their success, like business advisers. We become confidantes of the business owners and help them plan their business future, growth and…

Robots & Pencils uses technology to future-proofs its clients

Michael Sikorsky talks about helping companies realize the economic gains that great technological solutions provide

Robots & Pencils uses technology to future-proofs its clientsMichael Sikorsky is CEO of Robots & Pencils. What's the history of Robots & Pencils and how it was formed? Sikorsky: The story of Robots & Pencils began shortly after I got the first iPhone at the launch in New York. All I could think about was how this could transform how we work, the…

Nimble, creative deal-makers concentrate on building, operating hotels

Eric Watson explains how MasterBUILT Hotels’ business strategy allows the company to succeed in challenging times

Nimble, creative deal-makers concentrate on building, operating hotelsEric Watson is president of MasterBUILT Hotels. Tell me about MasterBUILT Hotels – the history of the company, the number of hotels and where they’re located. Watson: MasterBUILT Hotels was formed in April 2011 by two prominent Calgary business leaders and friends – Jay Westman and Marc Staniloff – with the mission of developing 75…

Sharing medical information securely and in real time to better serve patients

Rohit Joshi talks about how Brightsquid’s patient information technology helps protect the viability of the health-care system

Sharing medical information securely and in real time to better serve patientsRohit Joshi is chief executive officer at Brightsquid. What is Brightsquid and how did it start? Joshi: Brightsquid Secure Communications Corp. is a Calgary-based communications software company that has developed technology to transfer patient information between doctors and between doctors and their patients. Clinics that use Brightsquid Secure Mail see improved patient safety and a reduction in wait times for…

Breaking down barriers between retail employers and potential staff

Suzanne Sears of Best Retail Careers International specializes in social media recruitment that’s responsive and effective

Breaking down barriers between retail employers and potential staffSuzanne Sears is president of Best Retail Careers International. What do you do? Sears: I solve staffing problems for retailers. What is the biggest challenge facing retailers in finding staff? Sears: What retail leaders tell me most often is that they cannot find highly skilled staff willing to work at the prices they feel they’re…

Kim Orlesky puts passion at the forefront of sales

KO Advantage Group stresses tenacity, integrity and creativity in its sales training program

Kim Orlesky puts passion at the forefront of salesKim Orlesky is a sales coach, author and speaker. What is KO Advantage Group and how was it started? Orlesky: KO Advantage Group is Canada's fastest-growing sales school. Back in 2014, I made the bold choice to quit my corporate job and travel the world for six months. When I came back, I decided if…

Swob turns the student job hunting dynamic on its head

Co-founder Stephanie Florio talks about plans to expand the concept, which runs through an app

Swob turns the student job hunting dynamic on its headStephanie Florio is co-founder of Swob. It operates in the Toronto area but has plans to expand the concept to other areas. What is Swob and how did it come about? Florio: Swob is designed to make job searching for students easy and recruitment even easier. Using their smartphone, students looking for a job can…

Bridging the gap between renters and landlords

Mark Hawkins talks about how Rentfaster.ca evolved from a small local website to a national brand by stressing customer service

Bridging the gap between renters and landlordsMark Hawkins is president and owner of Rentfaster.ca. What is RentFaster? When did it start and how does it work? Hawkins: Technically, Rentfaster.ca is an Internet listing service (ILS), but really it’s a website that’s designed to help landlords and renters connect. Rentfaster.ca started in 2003 and has evolved over the years to really help…

How retail can regain its personal relationship with shoppers

Traditional retailers must learn to be obsessed with their customers, says executive Carrie Kirkman

How retail can regain its personal relationship with shoppersCarrie Kirkman is a senior retail executive, and formerly past president and chief merchant of Sears Canada. What are the key things you learned from the Sears experience? Kirkman: Too many to count. Most importantly is how critical it is for an organization’s leadership to be looking and planning far, far ahead to ensure that…

Sticking with a successful growth model

Andrew Witkin of StickerYou talks about how and why an e-commerce venture can succeed with a storefront

Sticking with a successful growth modelAndrew Witkin is founder and president of StickerYou. What is StickerYou and can you give me a history of the company? Witkin: StickerYou is an online platform for ordering custom die-cut products – notably stickers, labels, decals, temporary tattoos, etc. We launched in 2010 in Toronto with the first e-commerce technology that empowered people with…

Andrea Holwegner’s pursuit of healthiness

Health Stand Nutrition Consulting: achieving health without guilt or complexity

Andrea Holwegner’s pursuit of healthinessAndrea Holwegner is a nutrition and corporate wellness expert, food industry consultant, professional speaker and CEO (chief energy officer) of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. Tell me about your business and what you do? Holwegner: We specialize in achievement of health without guilt or complexity. We don’t just give you advice on what to eat,…

A will gives you control of your affairs after your death

Sandy Lyons of Grant Thornton Ltd. explains that, when you die without a will, any prior verbal wishes to family and next of kin can be set aside

A will gives you control of your affairs after your deathSandy Lyons is a licensed insolvency trustee with Grant Thornton Ltd.’s consumer insolvency team in Calgary. Why do so many people not have a will? Lyons: It can be a matter of cost, not wanting to look at and plan for end of life, a lack of understanding and knowledge of what steps must be completed…

Locnest helps put a roof over renters’ heads

Sébastien Barrillier of Locnest talks about how their model offers a simple solution to the security deposit problem

Locnest helps put a roof over renters’ headsSebastien Barrillier is president of Locnest. What is Locnest and how does it work? Barrillier: Locnest provides lease guarantee services to Canadian landlords and tenants. Our lease guarantee can replace security deposits in jurisdictions where they’re permitted and act as a guarantor or co-signer in jurisdictions where they’re not, providing landlords with a secure and…

Millennials face challenges dealing with inheritance

Shawnette Fraser of TD Canada Trust says its important to remember that there are emotions at play

Millennials face challenges dealing with inheritanceShawnette Fraser is district vice-president of Calgary North for TD Canada Trust. How big of a market is the millennial generation these days for Canadian financial institutions? Fraser: Millennials make up a large portion of our population, and as customer service-based business we need to be looking to how we can best support them in their…

A century later, UFA still providing farmers with supplies and leverage

CEO Carol Kitchen talks about how UFA is part of the fabric of rural Alberta, helping agriculture feed people around the world

A century later, UFA still providing farmers with supplies and leverageCarol Kitchen is president and CEO of UFA. Calgary’s Business: What’s the United Farmers of Alberta and what does it do? Kitchen: United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is a member-owned co-operative. We’re a progressive and diversified business that provides the products, services and solutions our owners and customers in rural communities need to successfully run…

‘It’s not voodoo – social media takes persistence’

Samantha Paterson, a social media manager at the University of Calgary, talks about how to get the most out of digital marketing

‘It’s not voodoo – social media takes persistence’Samantha Paterson is a social media manager at the University of Calgary and an instructor in Continuing Education. Calgary’s Business: How did you get into social media as a career and what’s the appeal for you? Paterson: During the 2000s in my ed-tech career, I was an early adopter of customer advocacy marketing, including online…

Innovate Calgary is turning discovery into commerce

Peter Garrett talks about how Innovate Calgary helps to bring ideas to life

Innovate Calgary is turning discovery into commercePeter Garrett is associate vice-president of research and innovation at the University of Calgary and CEO and president of Innovate Calgary. Calgary’s Business: What is Innovate Calgary and its purpose? Garrett: Innovate Calgary is the knowledge transfer and business incubator centre for the University of Calgary. We help bridge the gap between discovery and innovation…

Sims committed to taking WestJet to new heights

President and CEO Ed Sims lays out an expansive and optimistic future for the Calgary-based airline

Sims committed to taking WestJet to new heightsEd Sims is president and CEO of WestJet. Calgary’s Business: What’s your vision for WestJet in the near-term and long-term? Sims: My mandate from the outset has been to return WestJet to previous levels of profitability and build trust and confidence among our 13,000 WestJet employees. Our people are our ‘secret sauce’ and we are…

Drilling contractors remain resilient, optimistic

Mark Scholz of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says the organization’s members remain committed to the oil and gas industry

Drilling contractors remain resilient, optimisticMark Scholz is president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC). Calgary’s Business: What’s the vision and mission of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors? Scholz: Our vision is to be the most influential trade association in Canada because we want to help create the best possible environment for our members to operate…

Sage budget advice for Albertans coping with a sluggish economy

Grant Thornton insolvency trustee Freida Richer: ‘If there's no room in the budget, don’t spend’

Sage budget advice for Albertans coping with a sluggish economyFreida Richer is a licensed insolvency trustee with Grant Thornton Limited. Calgary’s Business: What’s the state of consumer debt in Alberta these days? Richer: As of June 2018, Albertans continued to carry the highest average consumer debt in the country, excluding mortgage debt, at $28,155. Although it’s moving in the right direction, the economic recovery…