What's New @ CAFE VI

CAFE Vancouver Island Newsletter - December 2014

In This Issue. . .

  • Event Report: Family Business Stories
  • Event Report: Smart Marketing in the New Age Workshop
  • Member Profile: Bottle Depot
  • The PAG Value Proposition
  • New PAG Holds Retreat by Wendy Dagg
  • PAG of 18 Years Holds Retreat by Derrold Norgaard
  • Member Profile: Canada Homestay Network
  • Welcome New CAFE VI Volunteers
  • Thank You CAFE VI 2014/15 Program Sponsors
  • Member Profile: Butler Bros
  • Welcome New CAFE Vancouver Island Members
  • In the News
  • Member Profile: Equitex Management
  • Upcoming Events 2015
  • CAFE VI Board of Directors
  • Get Social with CAFE VI
  • Become a Member
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Family Business Stories (click photos to enlarge)

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CAFE Vancouver Island’s second Family Business Stories event on Wednesday, November 19th was another great event. Panelists (right to left above), Marsha Mara (Paul Mara Jewellers),Peter Cavin (Country Grocer), Jennifer Wilson (Canada Homestay Network) and Brian Butler (Butler Bros.) didn’t disappoint anyone. Their candid family business stories captured everyone’s attention. The gold nuggets captured from others’ experiences is among the greatest offerings coming out of the CAFE community. Led by Andy Spurling (far left) (Proline Property Management), as facilitator, he ensured that there was time to laugh.

Thank you Andy & panelists for a memorable evening!

Smart Marketing in the New Age

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Dan Dagg of Hot House Marketing presented a creative workshop, Wednesday October 22nd on Smart Marketing in the New Age. Attendees were impressed by Dan’s knowledge and experience in the field. Dan expressed the importance of creating a marketing plan and gave relevant information on assessing strengths and weaknesses, performance in the market compared to the Canadian and market averages and key performance indicators along the way.

Do you know how to determine how much to spend on a marketing plan, how you will know when you get there, what media to use and what a brand really is? Well, Dan covered the subject with considerable detail leaving the attendees much to think about and act on. His parting message? Cherchez le creneaux – find your niche in a crowded market.

Dan Dagg

Dan is the president of Hot House Marketing, one of Victoria’s top advertising agencies with a staff of ten and a client base that includes local, regional and national brands.

He has an extensive business and academic background in marketing and advertising across multiple product categories and has led an impressive number of clients through difficult business situations. A UBC graduate, Dan is also a Certified Advertising Agency Practitioner through the Institute of Canadian Advertising Agencies and a trained facilitator of the Pacific Institute's Investment in Excellence program.

CAFE Vancouver Island Family Business Profile


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When asked what you do, Mike Hipwell, General Manager of Bottle Depot replied, “We give out money and provide free services.”

D’Arcy Hipwell as sole proprietor started Bottle Depot 20 years ago. Now as President and CEO, he and son, Mike Hipwell, oversee a company that employs 50 people and has the reputation of being a leader in the industry. They recycle a wide variety of products beyond beverage containers: batteries; electronics (including toys); small appliances; fixtures; light bulbs; plastic and styrofoam. The battery service alone is impressive. Since 2011, the company has shipped almost 7,711 kg (17,000 lbs) of primary and rechargeable batteries.

Why does it work so well? It’s all about convenience. Bottle Depot provides one stop recycling. There are no limits on the amount you can bring and they offer full refunds. It’s so easy. After your drop off is counted (and this is quick), you get a receipt, scan it and the cash machine pays you out. They also bring the Bottle Depot to customers with three trucks that pick up commercial volume in the city at no cost to the business.

Four years ago the Bottle Depot started a community program to help local charities in need. The program allows the public to drop off their unsorted containers in a donation kiosk. Bottle Depot donates the labour, sorts the containers for the local charity of the month and credits the full refund to them.

Within a year, they knew they were onto something special as the contributions to charities were increasing exponentially. At the end of July 2014, they surpassed the $100,000 milestone and were delighted with the role that residents of Greater Victoria played in helping to make a difference. Charities also benefit from their own bottle drives. On weekends, Bottle Depot picks up bottles from charities and sports groups, with the average bottle drive raising over one thousand dollars.

Bottle Depot has made every effort to change people’s views of waste management through convenience and community support.

Take your turn. There are three locations to serve you:

· Downtown Depot at 655 Queens Avenue

· Glanford Depot at 4261 Glanford Avenue

· Quadra Depot at 3961 Quadra Street.

What kind of an impact can we make? How many cans do you think Bottle Depot compressed into this six inch deep, fourteen inch long and nine inch wide package?

Find the answer at the end of this newsletter!

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The PAG Value Proposition

Probably the most common challenge family business members face is isolation – it is often difficult to discuss problems with other family members, and those outside family business often don’t understand the unique dynamics of family enterprise.

CAFE’s Personal Advisory Groups (PAG) meet the challenge head on by providing an unparalleled opportunity to discuss succession, business management, strategy and family issues with other members of family businesses. A PAG is a group of 8 individuals who agree to meet regularly to share personal and business ideas and help each other overcome problems. It provides the group's members with expert, objective and intimate advice in an atmosphere of mutual trust and support. PAG's are open to all family members who are active in the business. Each family member will be in a different group, and there are no competing businesses in a group. It is a highly successful program designed to help our members gain new perspectives and better understanding of the challenges of family business, to share experiences and to seek information.

Call 250-532-2402 to join a PAG or get more information.

NEW PAG Holds First Retreat

Wendy Dagg (Hot House Marketing)

We are a fairly new PAG with only 9 months under our belt, so I tip my hat to Chad and JP for planning our first retreat so seamlessly. We decided on a short stay at the Beach Club Resort in Parksville with a Friday night arrival and a Sunday morning departure.

Despite the quick turnaround we managed to pack in a full day workshop, a plan for 2015, some great food, good laughs and we came away more connected as a group and for some of us, well rested.

Some highlights from our weekend include: bonding over the timeless perfection of the Hawkins Cheezy, a great meal at Cukoos in Coombs on the Saturday night, two whole days of “baby fix” from the adorable Christopher Butler (thank you Roxy), a memorable exercise on vulnerability and trust from our workshop facilitator and a demonstration of the safety features of the Volvo xc90 and Murray’s very capable defensive driving skills.

All together it was a jam-packed weekend that we look forward to repeating next November. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the other PAGs that provided us with retreat “templates” from which we drew inspiration for our weekend and CAFE Vancouver Island (CVI) for subsidizing our facilitator. We look forward to 2015 and another successful year for CVI.
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PAG of 18 Years Holds Retreat

Derrold Norgaard (Norgaard Kratofil)

Each year, our PAG tries to do a retreat – typically for 2 or 3 days. The purpose of the retreat is generally twofold – we want to get our PAG away from the “busyness” of our normal lives, and we want to focus on, or learn something that will help our PAG members grow. In the past, this has included exercises in team building, seminars on entrepreneurship, or learning about Portland’s transportation system, amongst other adventures.

In June of this year, our PAG travelled to Vancouver. Our purpose was again, not only to get away from our day to day busyness and have some fun, but also to learn about

“Doing business in and with Asia”. We stayed in Richmond, and spent the weekend, eating, drinking and learning. We began our trip by touring a cosmetics factory in Richmond, which sells 70% or more of its products to Asia (and which one of our PAG group is involved with). The Company’s President discussed his secrets for dealing with Chinese and Korean businesses, and how to negotiate with success.

With our bag of “swag cosmetics” in hand, we then headed off to dinner. We hosted guests at each of our lunches and dinners: The Consulate General for Indonesia, the Consulate General for Vietnam, the High Commissioner for Thailand, and Representatives from the Peoples Republic of China. At each of our dinners or lunches, the representatives spent time talking about the economics of their country, and the normal way to do business within their country. We gained great contacts and have a lot of material about these countries and we would be pleased to share this should anyone want this information.

Even though the days were long and filled with tours and meetings (we also crammed our regular PAG meeting into this retreat) we made some time for improving our “teamwork” and our team empathy. We took baccarat lessons (and Blackjack) at the River Rock Casino. We made sure that team members that won had to buy several rounds of drinks. The losers we simply made fun of!

Our PAG ended the weekend with one last unusual tour. We all understood that eating at nice places, and staying in nice hotels is not available to everyone. So the PAG toured the downtown eastside of Vancouver– an area most of us drive by as quickly as we can normally - courtesy of the First Metropolitan Church. We learned about the drug addiction problems, and the homeless issues in the Downtown Eastside and what the government and others, such as the Church, are trying to do about it.

All in all, a busy and fun, but also enlightening retreat.

CAFE Vancouver Island Family Business Profile


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Jennifer Wilson

Canada Homestay Network, CAFE Vancouver Island family business member has hosted tens of thousands of students from 120 countries who come to Canada to learn English. Robin Wilson started the business in 1995 and together with her husband, Fraser Wilson, and daughter, Jennifer Wilson (above); they have built the largest national homestay business in Canada.

They’ve grown in their understanding of the world and its people, made life-long friendships and continue to learn something new every day. The key benefits for their family, the community and the students they serve have made it a rewarding venture.

The respect they’ve earned along the way has resulted in significant growth. Their current challenge is keeping up with the increasing demand for homestay families across the country. In fact, they are one of the only such businesses that has contracts with publicly funded school boards; thirty in all! Viewed as the solution for school boards, they facilitate opportunities to learn English in an inviting environment.

How do they do it? READ MORE

Welcome New CAFE-VI Volunteers

Yannic Wolfe- Newsletter Producer

Vincent Zu – Market Researcher

Toni Graeme – Feature Stories

Chelsea Howard – Communications Specialist

Thank You 2014/15 Cafe VI Sponsors

Have a look at the 23 season’s programming sponsors - thanks for your generosity!

CAFE Vancouver Island Family Business Profile


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Brian & Travis Butler (left to right)

As it goes for many children in family businesses Brian Butler was introduced to Butler Brothers Supplies Ltd. at an early age. When he was 14 he was put to work labouring for $1.00 an hour, a 100% increase from the $0.50 he was making working in his father’s garden. Over the following 12 years he held various positions and gained different views of the operation. At the age of 26 he ventured away from the family business. He worked in a partnership running an excavation company, ran a Coit franchise and a bakery.

In 1985 at the age of 35, Brian was asked by his uncle Claude, the CEO of Butler Brothers Supplies to return to the business as general manager. At this time Butler Bros. was in soft receivership having been hit hard by the downturn in the economy and struggling with 2nd and 3rd hand equipment.

When asked about the high points of this challenging journey, Brian explained that building a solid and well established physical plant with 1st class equipment was key, along with the human element building a professionally-run company with good employees. These were the components of business success. READ MORE

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Welcome CAFE Vancouver Island New Members

Welcome to Elden Distributers/Tyee Tackle (Paul& Sheila Elworthy), Seaflora Skincare (Diane Butcher) and Metropolitan Capital Partners (Len Wansbrough), CAFE-VI's newest family business members!

In The News

Canada’s leaders in sustainable West Coast design and construction showcased their projects at the 2014 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence Awards (CARE Awards) this fall. CAFE Vancouver Island family business members

Story Construction and Metropolitan Capital Partners were among the winners. Congratulations!

Parker Johnston Industries Ltd., CAFE Vancouver Island family business member, placed as a finalist in the 2014 Commercial Building Awards for their new manufacturing facility with 22,000 sq. ft. warehouse space and 7,000 sq. ft. office space.

CAFE Vancouver Island New Family Business Profile


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Michael Hadfield (above) joined his father-in-law, Bud Dovey, at Equitex Management in 1990. Bud founded the company in 1983 and today, with a team of 14, they take pride in being a local company which is engaged primarily in property management. The company focuses on commercial and investment property reaching as far north as Campbell River and is also very involved in leasing and commercial sales.

What are the highs in this business? Michael enjoys the relationships they have established with their clients and tenants and the ways in which they have built trust and established friendships. He believes that the personal touch and caring about their customers and their properties shows as a special offering in their line of business.

The leasing markets are difficult right now and Equitex values their excellent retention and low vacancies. They work hard to secure new tenancies, keep their buildings full and find innovative solutions to peoples’ space problems while maintaining their clients’ investment real estate objectives. Business growth is among their goals and to achieve this, they believe that their reputation in the community is a definite asset.

As a recent CAFE Vancouver Island member he explained that he joined because of how highly other members spoke of CAFE and its benefits. He is among 62 other members who find that sense of community is among the unique benefits of CAFE membership.

Upcoming Events 2015

FEYA (Family Enterprise of the Year Award)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Uplands Golf Club

Registrations open in January 2015

The Family Enterprise of the Year Award (FEYA) is given annually by CAFE to recognize, celebrate and promote achievements of Canadian family businesses and the considerable contribution they make to both their local communities and our national economy.

Panel: Growing Your Business

Join panelists Mandy Farmer (Accent Inns), Mike Black (Capital Iron), Rod Parker (Parker Johnston Industries) & Adam McLean (Bank of Montreal) to provide you with their expertise on business growth.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Cedar Hills Golf Club
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Family Business Celebration

End the season with a casual CAFE community get together.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


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2015 CAFE Family Business Symposium

Friends and families of CAFE will join together on May 20- 22, 2015 at the landmark downtown Toronto hotel, The Westin Harbour Castle! - See more at: http://www.cafecanada.ca/events#sthash.WJ4A9M7o.dpuf

This Is Where You Come In

Just Having a Look Around

Does your business lend itself to a tour by CAFE members & Friends? If so, let us know, we’d be happy to design a visit with a splash!

Who Could Benefit from CAFE Membership?

YOU likely have a good idea! Recommend a business, we’ll provide them with information on CAFE. The best way to promote this excellent organization is through word of mouth. You have our consent to TALK IT UP.

What’s new with your business?

Let us know and become part of our next newsletter!

Stay in touch

Contact Bernadine Rudichuk, Managing Director at vancouverisland@cafecanada.ca or 250-532-2402 on questions, concerns or any thoughts you may have about CAFE Vancouver Island.

CAFE Vancouver Island Board of Directors

Your Board of Directors is working hard to make this season extra special! Contact any of our members with questions or concerns.

Get Social with CAFE Vancouver Island

Become a Member

CAFE Vancouver Island has been providing a community of support to family businesses on Vancouver Island since 1995. For almost 30 years, CAFE has been helping families in business succeed through shared experience, education and resources. CAFE is where Canadian business families go to connect, grow and learn for sustainable success across generations.
ANSWER: There are 1000 cans crushes into the Bottle Depot package.
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Newsletter brought to you by: Yannic Wolfe, Newsletter Producer & Bernadine Rudichuk, Managing Director. We welcome your submissions: vancouverisland@cafecanada.ca,