People First HR Services

Curt Vossen of Richardson International on speaking the same language

People First

Richardson International eases transition through communication

With its agreement to purchase Viterra assets — including grain handling, crop input and processing facilities — Winnipeg-based Richardson International has taken its rightful place on the international stage and will soon assume the title of Canada’s largest agribusiness. Richardson is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds, and its wealth of expertise in agriculture, oilseed processing and food packaging has made it a global business leader and one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Craig McIntosh of Acrylon Plastics on the power of entrepreneurial thinking

People First

Acrylon Plastics CEO wants managers to act as owners

Craig McIntosh readily admits that he doesn’t accept no for an answer.

“No just means you haven’t heard me clearly, so let me explain myself to you some more,” says the president and CEO of Acrylon Plastics, a Winnipeg-based manufacturer of custom plastic parts for a wide range of applications including buses, farm equipment, windows and doors, fencing, commercial buildings and residential playgrounds.

McIntosh says his proclivity to positivity is a common trait of entrepreneurs. “That’s just part of our nature. We don’t regard boundaries as absolutes but rather as obstacles to be worked around whereas many others see boundaries as absolutes and are stopped by them.”

Rosie Jacuzzi of Misericordia Health Centre on maintaining core values

People First

From the major construction work outside of Misericordia Health Centre, it is obvious that big changes are underway. Once renovated, the complex will house expanded community programs, including the four flagship programs not offered anywhere else in Manitoba: the Buhler Eye Care Centre, Provincial Health Contact Centre, Sleep Disorder Centre and Urgent Care Centre, plus the Ambulatory Diagnostic Centre and a new, one-stop health care centre for seniors called PRIME.

“This dynamic redevelopment project is designed with the future of care in mind,” says Rosie Jacuzzi, president & CEO of Misericordia Health Centre. “These specialized programs complement our vision and reflect a move toward community-based care.”

Jim August of Forks North Portage Partnership on building a diverse organization

John McFerran

Jim August relishes the opportunity to promote Winnipeg whenever and wherever he can. In fact, the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership has been talking up his organization’s mandate to “contribute to making Winnipeg’s downtown a better place to live, work and play,” and people around the world are taking notice.

“I’m a member of The Waterfront Center (an international, non-profit urban planning organization focused on enhancing communities’ waterfront resources), and recently did a presentation to the group on our winter river trail, with its skating and its warming huts. It blew them away, mainly because most had never seen ice on a river before,” August says with a laugh. “But they were very impressed by what Winnipeg is capable of doing despite our climate.”

CEO Don Streuber of Bison Transport on the Long haul ‘family’

John McFerran

Every employee is a spoke in the wheel at Bison Transport

This spring, Bison Transport became a five-time grand prize winner of the National Fleet Safety Award (an unparalleled industry achievement) and was recognized as one of the Best Fleets to Drive For by the Truckload Carriers Association. Yet, as impressive as the accolades that Bison continues to amass, the company simply views it as business as usual.

Ted Sherritt of FloForm on Cornering the Market

John McFerran

Floform continues to grow by knowing its product and its people

Unlike some businesses tempted to diversify as part of their growth strategy, Ted Sherritt’s company has expanded simply by staying true to the one and only product it has made since 1961 — countertops.

“Making post-form, laminate countertops is where Floform started more than 50 years ago. It was an innovative product that the founders truly pioneered and championed and it helped them dominate the industry,” says Sherritt, who took over as company president and CEO in 2000.

Jim Slater of Diagnostic Services of Manitoba on the challenge of centralizing

John McFerran

Introducing centralized system presents people challenges

Every year, more than 15 million diagnostic tests are ordered from Manitoba’s public sector — and that’s not including an additional eight to 10 million tests conducted in private facilities.

“Eighty-five per cent of all medical decisions are based on some kind of lab or medical imaging result,” says Jim Slater, CEO of Diagnostic Services of Manitoba (DSM), the non-profit corporation responsible for delivering public laboratory and rural diagnostic imaging services supported by over 1,500 professionals at 79 sites.

Judy Murphy of Safety Services Manitoba being the new leader

John McFerran

Across the province, there appears to be a renewed focus on creating healthier, safer workplaces. With this increased awareness, it is fitting that Safety Services Manitoba (SSM), the foremost safety services provider specializing in full-service programming in occupational safety, road safety and community safety, has put a renewed focus on strong leadership.

“Safety and related issues are everywhere, but at the same time, we also have a long way to go in terms of ensuring awareness and compliance,” says SSM president and CEO Judy Murphy, who joined the organization in May.

Bob Brennan of Manitoba Hydro on the power in numbers

John McFerran

 Opportunity abounds in large Hydro workplace

One of the largest employers in the province, Manitoba Hydro employs 6,300 people from Churchill to Emerson, a fact that president and CEO Bob Brennan never takes for granted.

“It’s a sobering thought to know that you’re accountable for the welfare and safety of 6,300 people, especially when they’re working in an environment like a generating station or on a hydro pole,” says Brennan, now entering his 22nd year as head of Manitoba’s electrical power and natural gas utility, where he has spent his entire career.

Employee expertise and engagement is the backbone of a growing company

John McFerran

Ted Northam is running on a full tank.

And that’s a good thing, because as president and CEO of Polywest Ltd., the largest Canadian distributor of durable liquid-handling products for agriculture and industrial use, he needs a lot of energy to oversee the rapid growth his company is experiencing in its 16th year.

Polywest is highly regarded in agriculture circles for its above-ground polyethylene tanks, fiberglass fertilizer storage tanks, septic tanks, pumps and hoses, but as Northam points out, his 30-employee strong company is growing beyond the farm because of other current issues.

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