Friday, October 21, 2005
RBC ROYAL BANK AWARD
The Smart Way to Succeed - Award winner thrives by finding talent.
By Mario Toneguzzi
Kevin Halliday has a simple formula for success.
Hire people better and smarter than yourself.
Halliday has been using that philosophy with great success over the years with his Spindle, Stairs & Railings company.
On Thursday night, the company captured the RBC Royal Bank Small Business of the Year award passed out by the Chamber of Commerce during an awards ceremony.
“One of the biggest things about the success of this company is basically our management style – our management team,” said Halliday, president of the company.
“Our hiring practice – basically we’ve hired great people to run it. One of the biggest things I always say is that I hire people that are better and smarter than me because they can only make me look good.
“The thing is surround yourself with people that are great. I don’t know how to make a circular stair, personally. But I know how to get great people that know how to do it. I don’t need to know how to do it. I need to be the visionary… bringing these people together has actually helped our growth.”
Over the past few years, the company has won a number of awards for its unique work. For example, Profit Magazine in June listed the company among Canada’s 100 fastest growing companies with revenue growth of 727 per cent in five years.
“With each one of these, it just gives us more credibility as a fast growing company,” said Halliday. “With our new innovative product lines and our management style, that really sets us apart from anyone else and our training programs. Just to be able to be recognized as one of these companies that are moving forward in our training and our new product lines and in our railings and doing things outside of the box (is great).”
The company, which was incorporated in 1999, manufactures, supplies and installs custom spindles, stairs and railings. It operates out of its own 25,000 square foot facility with 55 employees – 30 are in the trades.
Other finalists for the small business award were Pockar Masonry Ltd., (Malcolm and Serena Holbrook) and The Bike Shop Ltd. (Kevan MacNaughton).
On Thursday night, the Chamber also awarded Carmen Creek Gourmet Meats, with partners Kelly Long, Dean Andres and Pieter Spinder, the Bennett Jones Emerging Enterprise of the Year award.
Long, president of the company, said persistence has been the key in the company’s success.
“We’ve run into so many hurdles and so many obstacles and we’ve just been persistent. That’s been the key. Teamwork too. I think we’ve put some great people together that extend beyond the partners,” said Long.
Carmen Creek markets and sells high-end bison meat from bison in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 2003.
Long said that, when the company first began, it needed some help in different areas of marketing and the processing side of the industry. A company called Vantage Foods helped them.
“We have some unbelievable outside support, and I think that’s a big part of it too,” said Long. “A huge support too from other companies helping us get to where we are. Even our competitors, believe it or not.”
She said it’s a “huge honour to be recognized by our peers.”
Other finalists for the emerging business award were K2C Industrial Automation Inc. (Sahdev Sharma) and PixelTech (Susan Mellon).