Category: Member Blog

CSR: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

By Warren Leppik

Warren Leppik is the Chief Storytelling Officer at Cognition Productions, an advocate marketing company in Oakville. More effective than traditional advertising because of the authenticity of real human connections, his proprietary process harnesses the voices and experiences of your company’s customers to drive your marketing, engagement & growth strategies.

Visit www.cognitionproductions.com to learn more.


Over the past few months, I have come across several articles related to the lip-service being paid to Corporate Social Responsibility. This article in Adweek stood out: “A New Survey From The Economist Finds More Executives Talk About Social Good Than Act on It”. According to Marty Swant “48% of respondents said they felt businesses that operate with purpose beyond profit actually end up gaining a “financially competitive advantage” in their markets. However, even more—78%—said companies talk about it more than they invest in long-term initiatives to support it.”

So what’s the problem? Is it really so hard to get involved? Is it complicated? Cost prohibitive? Time intensive? I would like to take an optimistic stance and would hazard a guess that, rather than being intentionally delinquent, it has more to do with figuring out how best to get started becomes just another item on an overloaded agenda. But there are tangible business benefits, and a way to mitigate an underestimated “values-based” faux pas, by ensuring that your corporate social responsibility is more than just a plaque on the lobby wall.

In an article entitled “How to Improve Customer Relationships With Brand Authenticity” author John Turner states, “According to the Consumer Content Report from Stackla, 86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Show, don’t tell. Every company should have a set of values that they stand for. But it’s not enough to just tell consumers what you believe in; you have to show them. Any company can write on its “About Us” page that they believe in giving back to the community. But that doesn’t mean much if your customers and prospects can’t see it in action. If you SAY you put a strong emphasis on giving back to the community, you had better SHOW your customers you mean it by giving back to local charities with donations or offering your time and knowledge to empower others. Brand authenticity will not only make your current customers happier but will also help you attract new customers by making your company stand out from the rest.”

Beyond just doing what you said you were going to do, the ancillary benefits to being a good corporate citizen are many. It brings to mind interviews I did for the United Way of Halton and Hamilton last year about involvement with their Workplace Campaigns. Jarvis Sheridan, Partner at O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP believes “We have an enhanced profile because of our involvement with the United Way Workplace Campaign. People respect the fact that we are not just a bunch of money-grubbing lawyers. We are there to feel that our responsibility to the community is being met in very many ways. Because we do have that responsibility. We’re doing OK and we need to give back”.

Finally, in a content marketing world gone mad, with people making up stuff to feed hungry content marketing calendars, what you do in the community becomes a gold mine of authentic feel good stories, proof of your company’s values. Beyond text, you can use video to harness the emotional power of impact stories from people whose lives were changed by the charities you support. The resulting videos build awareness of the need for what the charity does, motivates more people to get involved and shows quite clearly that your Corporate Social Responsibility program is the real deal.

Member Profile: Courtyard by Marriott Burlington

The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is Halton Region’s newest hotel! The hotel sits on the border of Burlington and Oakville with easy access to the QEW, Highway 407, and within close proximity to Toronto Pearson and Hamilton International Airports. The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is conveniently located adjacent to the Burlington Convention Centre with a heated and covered walkway surrounded by many corporate offices, and is across the street from the picturesque Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

The upscale hotel features a state-of-the-art lobby with the BISTRO Restaurant & Lounge at the centre of it all – serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and Starbucks coffee 7 days a week. Guests can also enjoy a well-equipped fitness centre and indoor saltwater pool.


The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington was designed by Adrian Mauro and his team at Chamberlain Architect Services Limited, and developed by Domenic Fuda and his team at TriAxis Construction Limited with the future in mind. Throughout the hotel guests can connect with ample electrical outlets. The “Boarding Pass Station” features a separate computer station dedicated to printing airline information. The hotel has implemented green technology with a guest recycling program and charging stations for electric vehicles.

The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington caters to corporate guests with 1,800 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 120 people. The meeting rooms feature LED TVs, white boards, top-down screens and projectors to meet all your AV needs. Exquisite catering menus are avail-able to suit your needs. For organizations needing more space, the adjacent award-winning Burlington Convention Centre features 20,000 square feet of function space to accommodate up to 1,200 guests.

The hotel has 135 guest rooms, including 10 suites, with hybrid zones for working featuring over 16 power outlets and 7 UsB ports in every guest rooms. All rooms have a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in their room. each guest room has their own dedicated Wi-Fi router which powers up to 6 devices.

The team at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington is led by Managing Director Frank Vismeg, who has long-term success in the travel and tourism industry – living and working in over 34 countries! Frank is also the President of Skal International Hamilton-Niagara Club, the world’s leading asso-ciation of travel and tourism professionals from over 85 countries. Through his career he has had the pleasure of hosting celebrities Tom Jones and Christopher Plummer, and on the political scene Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, and Stephen Harper.

“My strength is relationship building” says Frank, “A typical week in-cludes meetings with community and regional stakeholders who share in making Burlington and Oakville one of the top destinations for tourism and conventions. 

The strength of these relationships was demonstrated at the hotel’s grand opening which included Mayor of Burlington Marianne Meed Ward, Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, and Premier of Ontario Doug Ford.

Approaching their one-year anniversary, the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burl-ington is already attracting loyal customers, and boast a 98% guest satisfaction rating. “The key to the hotel’s success is consistent service quality” said Frank, “A hotel is just 4 walls; it is the people inside that make it run.” Frank said all of his staff have a ‘Yes I Can’ attitude, always going above and beyond to en-sure guests feel welcome and enjoy their stay. They are proud to announce the newest addition to their management team, Ms. Angelica Sanz Rincon – Hotel Manager coming here from the from the Ritz Carlton Resort in Puerto Rico.

Frank sees a bright future for Burlington and Oakville as the Region continues to grow. He is already working on a new hotel with his partners at the Burlington Hotels Group Inc. – stay tuned for the new development!
Select the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington for your next
business meeting contact:

Nicoletta Vella, Director of Sales & Marketing:
nicoletta.vella2@marriott.com

Tarah Markham, Sales & Operations Manager:
tarah.markham@marriott.com

Victoria Howard-Csampely, Sales & Catering Manager:
victoria.howard-csampely@marriott.com

Member Profile: Javelin Technologies

This past April, Javelin Technologies was named one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers (SMEs). The program recognizes SMEs that offer the country’s best workplaces and forward-thinking policies and evaluates employers on their physical workspace, atmosphere, benefits, communications, training, and community involvement.

With headquarters in Oakville, Javelin has 115 employees in nine locations across the country and serves more than 6,000 engineering and manufacturing customers from coast to coast and around the world. The company’s leaders say it was quite an honour to be recognized as one of the nation’s Top SMEs.

A Canadian success story

Javelin is a classic Canadian start-up story; it began over coffee meetings between co-founders John Carlan and Ted Lee at a Tim Hortons in Oakville. Founded in 1997, the company offered 3D design software solutions for business. They have since expanded their product and service offerings to include engineering data management, automation, additive manufacturing (industrial 3D printing), training and consulting.

Right from the beginning, Javelin focused on quality technical support and training for the tools they provide. Their training staff work with customers to ensure they have a strong understanding of the software and hardware they are using, contributing to efficiency, productivity, and overall business success. Training and consulting services are available for customers remotely and at all locations.

Behind the quality service to customers is a strong, talented team. Javelin believes in work-life balance for their employees, as well as in open communication. On the first Friday of every month, they host a team meeting for all employees across the country. Employees are informed of Javelin’s successes, challenges, and opportunities.

Growing to meet customer needs

For the past three years, Javelin has been on the Growth 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies. One reason is its commitment to continually expanding its product and service offerings to not only meet, but stay ahead of, evolving customer needs. In May 2018, Javelin merged with Cimetrix, an organization with a strong background and leading reputation in additive manufacturing and laser scanning solutions. This merger further strengthened the company’s additive manufacturing capabilities and created a new level of service and support for customers.

Javelin offers a one-stop shop for customers, supporting them from concept design to manufacturing production. Their various products and expertise cover every stage of the process, from helping a designer test a product against simulated conditions such as heat or vibration, to improving the sharing of manufacturing data around the world, to automating complex quoting systems, to 3D printing metal parts for tooling.  

Javelin’s clients are from a wide range of industries, including aerospace, alternative energy, automotive, construction, medical, consumer products, oil and gas, and manufacturing. In recent years, they have focused heavily on their customers in education. Previously, the focus was almost entirely on post-secondary classrooms, but now more teachers and students at the high school level consider access to Javelin’s software and 3D printing to be essential in preparing students for further education and the future workforce.

Expanding again

At Javelin, people thrive on growth. They strive to move the organization forward and continue to be a complete supplier for their customers. At the end of this year, they will be moving into a new facility that is double their current space! The new facility will feature their largest ever, state-of-the-art 3D printing lab. Javelin is proud to say that this will be their fourth move – all within the Oakville border! With this growth, they will continue to grow their business in Canada and dive deeper into the international market.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Javelin if you’re curious to see their facilities; they will be happy to give you a tour of their 3D printing lab and show you some fascinating 3D printed prototypes and parts.


www.javelin-tech.com

905-815-1906



Want Beautiful Referrals That Close Like Clockwork?

Creating more and better referrals is entirely within your grasp. Beautiful referrals that close like clockwork are the result of four phases in a successful business professional’s network. Can you identify your phase? Which phase would you choose for your business or practice?

Phase One – Gee, I was lucky to get that referral…

When a business professional is in Phase One, they think that their referral opportunities come by chance. They are not connecting their success to any networking or referral-building activity that they may have done. They have no plan or strategy for building their business by referral. They may join networks and attend events occasionally, or not at all, sometimes blaming the organization for not providing them with referral opportunities. 

Unfortunately, a vast majority of business professionals fit into Phase One.  

Phase Two – Hmmm, I have a lot to learn…

A business professional in Phase Two has awakened to the reality that referral marketing works. They realize that business by referral is a major source of their business. They want to learn more about how to create ongoing referrals for their business and practice. They are willing to adopt good networking practices, develop their referral-building acumen and make a monthly plan for their activities. They embrace the concept that giver’s win. Always.

They work hard to generate a high-quality message that speaks to the emotional and business benefits of working with them. They can share their story in a precise and consistent manner that resonates with them and their network. They can identify at least 10 characteristics of their ideal client which they weave into a compelling narrative. They also know that giving a referral to a member of their network is the best way to grow their own business. They enjoy the 34% closing rate of an average referral (1 out of 3 referrals result in closed business).

Roughly 10% of business professionals fit into Phase Two.

Phase Three – It is all about giving and growing my relationships

Phase Three business professionals have embraced the Phase Two referral marketing practices and seek out business professionals who share the same ideal client. They have a growing network that includes like-minded business professionals who are also interested in business relationships of mutual gain. They know that meeting one on one (1:1) is the only way to learn about one another’s business and develop referrals.

Like a seasoned gardener, a Phase Three business professional nurtures their roses by seeking out business professionals who are givers and who also want to create mutually beneficial relationships. Business professionals in Phase Three are aware that they need to remove weeds and watch out for individuals who are transactional by nature or are not truly interested in investing in a referral relationship.

Phase Three folks understand, very clearly, that a referral is a transfer of trust. They know that the best referral is one where a high level of trust is transferred. And that closing for business is much easier with a good referral. The closing rate of a referral from a Phase Three member is 50% or more (1 out of 2 referrals result in closed business).

5% of business professionals might fit into Phase Three.  

Phase Four – Referral Partner Relationships for My Pocketbook and Soul

Phase Four business professionals have a fine-tuned network of 8-10 very special people for whom they would do almost anything to help their partners grow their business. Their selected network members, or referral partners, feel the same way about them. Together, they have developed a powerful understanding that they want to support one another to amazing success. They meet regularly, every month when possible. Given the knowledge of the referral partner about their partner’s business, a referral from another Phase Four business professional has an 80% chance of closing (almost 1 closed piece of business for every referral).

1% of business professionals enjoy referral partner relationships that are good for both the pocketbook and soul.

Business professionals in Phase Four are delighted with the beautiful referrals they give to one another that close like clockwork.


Paula Hope is a leading referral expert. She helps business professionals create the revenue they deserve. To have a chat with Paula, or receive her Monday Morning Referral Tips, please contact her at paula@bookedsolid.ca.

Agile or Irrelevant – Redefining Resilience

KPMG’s 2019 Canadian CEO Outlook

KPMG recently released the 2019 Canadian CEO Outlook which surveyed 1,300 CEOs of large companies from around the world, including 75 in Canada, to get their views on the highest-priority opportunities and most daunting challenges they and their businesses face.


Interestingly, both Canadian and global CEOs told KPMG that the environment, territorialism and disruptive technologies were their top three concerns. For Canadian companies, lack of consensus on environmental issues weighs heavily given our disproportionate dependence on the resource sector. And while nearly a third of our GDP is tied to exports, growing trade differences between Canada’s two largest trade partners raises concerns about the ongoing health of our economy. While our leaders are carefully watching how these national and geopolitical issues pan out, they are putting their focus on technology.

To that end, transformation and disruption have been recurring themes in previous CEO Outlooks. This year is no exception. CEOs in every industry are acutely aware of the new technologies, competitors and workforce trends at their doorstep, and many are making agility and innovation their priority. Canadian CEOs are no different, although their current strategies and concerns reveal room to grow before they can lead their international peers.

A few interesting findings from the 2019 Canadian CEO Outlook:
  • Only 69% of Canadian CEOs want to be disruptors in their market, compared to 96% just one year earlier
  • 54% of Canadian leaders view cyber security as a significant cause for concern, compared to only 7% in 2018
  • Most Canadian organizations (63%) say their inability to find the workers they need is negatively impacting growth
  • 76% of Canadian CEOs agree they need to improve their innovation processes and execution
  • 79% believe AI and robotics will create more jobs than it eliminates, compared to only 65% of their global peers
  • Economic and political uncertainties have driven a third of Canadian CEOs to pursue strategic alliances with third parties as their top growth strategy over mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and organic growth
  • 75% of Canadian CEOs agree there is a higher need to “act with agility”

The 2019 Canadian CEO Outlooks reveals a country of big thinkers and even bigger ambitions. It also indicates that Canadian organizations are at different stages in their journey than their global peers. Chalk it up to less experience with new technologies or the cautious “Canadian way” but Canada has been slow to catch up to the new digital “normal.” We are on our way but now is no time to put our investments, workforce initiatives and innovation strategies on cruise control.

To dive deeper into the key themes from this report and learn about the biggest issues impacting Canadian business, go to: home.kpmg/ca/ceooutlook



Ruth Todd is the regional managing partner for KPMG Canada’s offices in southwestern, northern and eastern Ontario and eastern Canada, and is also the office managing partner for KPMG in Hamilton and St. Catharines. With over 20 years’ experience in audit and advisory services, Ruth brings a practical and innovative approach to helping her clients further their goals and achieve success. Connect with Ruth on LinkedIn at
www.linkedin.com/in/rtoddkpmg/.