CEO, ProVantage Automation Corp
Chair of the National Board of Directors, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)
About ProVantage Automation
An engineering firm that designs and builds automation control systems to improve manufacturing
We don’t make the widgets. We create the machinery that makes the widgets.
The concept was formulated over pizza and beer
19 months old
About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Association, resource and advocate for manufactures and exporters
The first chairman was John A McDonald (first Prime Minister of Canada)
The role as Chair is a volunteer position
Passions of Rob Hattin
Super Tuscans (fine wine)
On Canada and Canadians
No one goes destitute in Canada by failing in business.
It’s hard to fail in Canada.
Canadians need to participate more in global markets
There is a skills shortage in Canada
A concern is about Canada’s place in the industrial global market
Three parts to innovation
Three keys to success
We made a plan. It turned out to be crap but it gave us the discipline to find other opportunities
Other insights from Rob Hattin
A CEO has a 10 year effective life
The Brand means a lot but it’s the people that really make the difference
We need more women in manufacturing especially in leadership roles
Innovation is meaningful change and Canadians need to get off their butts to innovate
The world is your oyster and the world is going to chew you up
You have one chance at ethics – don’t screw that up
Entrepreneurs, you need to nurture your health and relationships. Remember that while working those late nights.
You need to become number one at what you do
It has to be fun
More information about this guest
Click below to listen to or download this radio interview:
Insights from this inteview with Ron Foxcroft
About Ron Foxcroft
Wears at least three hats
Chairman & CEO Fluke Transport
Chairman, CEO and Founder Fox 40
Professional Basketball referee
Kicked out of high school
Trained to become a basketball referee
Paid 75 cents to referee his first game and told that he was lousy and would never make it as a referee.
Ten years later he refereed the basketball Olympic game
If you want to be respected, learn to listen.
Fluke Transport is the most challenging hat he wears. Trucking is not for the faint of heart. It is high volume with low profit and fraught with complications. It depends on people and trucks – both which occasionally break down.
I knew nothing about trucking before I bought the trucking company
How did he buy Fluke Transport with no money?
How did he add 20 trucks with no money?
Everybody has a hot button – a deal making button. It’s something other than money.
Entrepreneurs and Business Success
I didn’t want to work for a dumb boss.
Hire people smarter than you
No such thing as raw inborn talent. Entrepreneurs learn and grow. They are built.
My entrepreneurship qualities:
Drive to success
Fear of failure
Challenges are speed bumps. I had to practice overcoming speed bumps
Failure is a learning experience
My business approach was simple – revenue must exceed expenses
I’m 68 years old and work 100 hours a week. But it’s not work because its fun.
Contacts are everything. That’s why community involvement is important. Every person I meet is smarter than me in something.
When you work 20 hours a day it’s amazing what good luck comes your way.
You can buy a business even if you don’t have any money.
You need a business plan and a plan B and Plan C
You need a stable of mentors
You can’t be a winner without a team
Sometimes you have to have Onions
About Fox 40
The Fox 40 whistle is sold in 140 countries
The Fox 40 whistle was conceived out of frustration with the existing product
In Canada they don’t like change. We were selling in 35 countries before we sold any in Canada. The first Canadian customer commented that “I read about you in Sports Illustrated. If the Americans like you, it must be good.”
The whistle is sold in sports, marine and personal safety markets
More information about our guest
Click below to listen to or download this audio file
Stephanie McLarty is CEO and Founder of REfficient
Insights from this interview with Stephanie McLarty
There was a problem that launched this new business
Reduce, Reduce, Recycle
An online marketplace for companies to buy telecom and AV equipment
They can shop for deals in the excess inventory of other corporations
Benefits to participants
Buyers can buy equipment at reduced costs
Sellers free up storage space and gain income
Useful resources are kept out of landfill
Sellers receive certified statements about their environmental performance
Most equipment comes with warranty
About Stephanie McLarty
Graduated from an Arts & Science program – that taught her to connect the dots
Masters in Peace and Conflict with intention to work for UN but that training helps manage people in business
Got first job because a friend on the inside recommended her
Asked lots of questions to learn the job
Enjoy speaking with customers
Working and travelling in Thailand and India challenged her to think differently
Continues to take courses on personal and professional development
Other Insights from this interview with Stephanie McLarty
Shipping was a problem so we introduced Shimple – Simple Shipping – we learned how to ship and calculate all costs – and we make money with this service
Learned how to run a business and to market and that is more important than the technical part
Trend in business of being a good company – sustainability is important
Key for startup business is deciding where to focus your limited resources
I was afraid
Excited and nervous in early state – suffered at least five nights of no sleep
In early days – fake it till you make it
Don’t try to get it perfect before you launch
Media attention was a nice to – not a must do
Tips for others
Grow yourself – that will help you grow your business
Try – in spite of your fears
Put support structures around you
Sleep, eat well, and connect with friends and family
Learn more about the company – REfficient
Read about REfficient in Business Week
Watch video interview with Stephanie McLarty on NewsClip TV
Click below to listen to or to download this interview with Stephanie McLarty on Business In Motion.
Interview with Fred Eisenberger, President and CEO of The Canadian Urban Institute and former Mayor of Hamilton.
Fred Eisenberger was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute in December of 2010. His career includes serving as a Councillor for the City of Hamilton and the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth for nearly a decade in the 1990s. In 2001, he was appointed by the Federal Government as the inaugural Chairman of the new Hamilton Port Authority providing strategic and operational leadership to one of Canada’s largest inland Ports and, in 2006, Eisenberger was elected Mayor of Hamilton and served until November of 2010. As Mayor, he championed a wide array of successful initiatives promoting sustainability, urban revitalization and economic transformation in a diverse regional city of more than 500,000 people. His private sector experience as Government and Community Relations President for ECS Consulting (2000-2006) was focussed on providing public and private entities consulting services in strategic planning, business development, public relations and communications.
What is the Canadian Urban Institute?
The Canadian Urban Institute is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in researching and championing urban issues.
Because so much of the world’s population lives in urban areas, the CUI helps Canadian and International urban leaders make more informed decisions about urban planning and economic development.
The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is a Toronto-based not for profit organization with a national and international reach. Through our work we seek to create a world of thriving, sustainable, harmonious and engaged urban regions
Some of the countries that CUI is working in includes Jamaica, Phillipines, Cuba and Ethiopia.
Insights from this interview
Two important questions that need to be addressed about regional economic development are:
How do you organize your assets?
How do you promote your assets to the world?
What under-valued asset does Iloilo, Iloilo have to offer?
Two big issues that urban centers need to review are their approaches to energy and water.
The Canadian Urban Institute provides clients with independent and unbiased data and advice. Their strength is that they will tell you what you need to know – not necessarily what you want to hear.
As a not-for-profit, the CUI has both advantages and disadvantages in the marketplace. But they still need to sell the value of their services.
Personal insights from Fred Eisenberger
Leadership is not about managing. It’s about taking the organization somewhere.
It all comes down to relationships.
On economic development: Give the people the resources and get out there and beat the bushes.
On politics as a career
There is always both the business side and the personal side to relationships.
Politics can be a career and business killer. It consumes you fully.
Make sure you are ready to take the slings and arrows of politics.
Have a plan B.
Interview with Fred Eisenberger, President of the Canadian Urban Institute, on the weekly radio show, Business in Motion with host George Torok.
Click below to listen to the podcast or download the audio file.
Interview with Jan Nichols, President of Bay Gardens Funeral Home in Burlington and Hamilton, Ontario.
This is not your standard funeral home. It’s exciting. It has high ceilings, a waterfall and videos screens.
Insights from this interview:
“The most successful opening of a funeral home in North America. Most are lucky to get 100 people to attend. We had over 800!”
“Rooms are named after waterfalls, plants or ponds instead of being called Salon A and Salon B.”
“People want food at a funeral – but not in the same room as the body or in the basement.”
“Reaching out to non-profit organizations and giving them free access to meeting rooms.”
Click below to listen to this 30 minute interview