September/October 2020

2020 Top 50 CEO Awards: Winner Profiles

Most business awards start with the bottom line: the more money a person or company makes, the higher their pedestal. This is not a typical business award program. Sure, revenue is a big part of our selection process (solvency being rather essential to an organization’s continued operation), but this is Atlantic Canada and we demand […]

Vivek Sood is Atlantic Canada’s CEO of the Year

Vivek Sood can thank former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin for setting him off on the life path that would ultimately lead to his recent selection as Atlantic Business Magazine’s 2020 CEO of the Year… Well, not exactly, certainly not directly, and definitely no thanks necessary to Amin. But Idi Amin Dada—the self-described “His Excellency, President […]

Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz is our 2020 Innovator of the Year

This chemistry professor turned university president shows when it comes to innovation in higher education, the best change agent is collaboration “Wow, you can do a lot with chemistry,” thought 10-year-old Alaa. His experiment—making light from lemons, wires, a lightbulb and a few other supplies found around his home in Cairo, Egypt—had worked. But it was […]

2020 Top 50 CEO Awards | Statistical Analysis

Regional Overview & Revenue Salaries & Unions Industry Overview Growth Chart Operations Management Professional Development Marketing Demographics After hours

Is your company accidentally racist?

In what can only be described as the post-George Floyd era, we find ourselves in a global reckoning of systemic racism. Issues of race have found their way to the forefront of our collective social consciousness. Aunt Jemima, the Washington Redskins, Old Sam, Edward Cornwallis… governments, companies and institutions have been forced to rethink systems, […]

Has the labour movement stalled?

Working conditions have vastly improved over the past 200 years. So much so that we have to ask: have unions worked themselves out of a job? Few people, save the most militant market fanatics, will deny that unions have served an important historical role. We cast our minds back to capitalism’s birth pangs in the […]

Technological solutions like automation and RPA have helped businesses deal with the pandemic—and beyond

Technology has been a pandemic savior for many businesses. Automation, in particular, is both taking care of work that humans can’t physically do right now—for example, product picking in busy warehouses where social distancing is difficult—and handling routine tasks so that limited human resources can focus on more advanced priorities. In fact, if we put […]

Let’s do launch: SomaDetect’s Bethany Desphande

CEO and co-founder of SomaDetect, an agricultural technology company that provides dairy farmers with data on milk quality and animal health Hometown: Guelph, Ontario Alma mater: York University (BA, math, environmental science); Laval University (Master & PhD, biology) Headquarters: Fredericton, N.B. Founded: 2016 Employees: 26 What does SomaDetect do? The SomaDetect system collects data from […]

The frontier medicine woman

Nobody saw it coming. Not politicians. Not even physicians. COVID-19 has upended the world. Just ask Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO of Doctors Nova Scotia Once upon a time, Nancy MacCready-Williams spoke brilliantly, unabashedly about health care in Nova Scotia. It’s the best system in the world, she would say before explaining how it could be dramatically […]

Our roundup of food, culture and travel news for Fall 2020

Side Hustle Snack Bar Can a family-friendly brewery be home to one of Dartmouth’s best new restaurants? Words and photos by Gabby Peyton These days the moniker ‘family-friendly’ doesn’t exactly scream ‘trendy’ when it comes to restaurants. Images of bustling chain restaurants with mediocre food and tired mom-and-pop eateries inevitably come to mind. It’s not […]

Zoom fatigue is a real thing

Janine Hubbard is a phychologist who works with children in St. John’s, N.L. Video calls are here to stay. Here’s how to make them better You’re coming out of your work Zoom meeting like a champ, having laid out all the ways you made progress last week and what you’re aiming for this week. In […]

The pandemic hit women workers hardest, according to the Royal Bank of Canada

The numbers are devastating: only 55 per cent of working age women (15 and over) had jobs during the height of the pandemic this spring, reversing decades of improvement in mere weeks, according to RBC. Though women accounted for 51 per cent of pandemic-related job losses in early spring, they’ve only accounted for 45 per […]

Working from home has changed our lives—and the real estate market

Sometimes it’s good to be wrong. At least it was for Matt Honsberger, a broker with Royal LePage Atlantic. As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down offices, schools and stores across Atlantic Canada, Honsberger and his team worried all the normal spring real estate activity would be cancelled. Instead, it seems to have been delayed. In […]

Some businesses flourished during the pandemic. Here’s who, and why

In pre-pandemic times—ah, remember them?—the startup ecosystem in Atlantic Canada seemed to be unstoppable: explosive growth, record-breaking investments and seemingly endless innovation. Did the global health emergency slow that breakneck pace of development? Not quite. “These kinds of disruptions create opportunity as much as they create chaos,” says Rob Barbara, a partner with Halifax-based investment […]

Keeping it real

Let’s start at the finish: business can’t do business at a digital distance forever. And probably not for much longer.  We can go cashless, shop online, automate customer service and populate warehouses with robots. We can make phone calls, send emails, type texts and video chat all the live-long day. But—and this is likely going […]

Bailout needed for Newfoundland and Labrador—but at what cost?

By almost any economic metric, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is bankrupt. Theorists would argue it’s not possible for a government to go bankrupt because they have the power to generate revenue on demand via increased taxation. Besides, governments can borrow whenever they want—can’t they? There are limits. When the governments of Zimbabwe, Argentina […]

Faced with fight or flight, Brainworks made the boldly optimistic decision to thrive through COVID’s chaos—here’s how they did it

The BrainWorks Team (Photo: Nick Staples) Pandemic panic hit our Moncton-based, 18-person, marketing and communications agency around noon on March 16. That’s when it became clear that almost everyone we did business with was going to be seriously affected in a negative way. Some were going to drown through no fault of their own. Some […]

Ignite Fredericton digs deep to help businesses overcome pandemic panic, boosting the city’s reputation as Canada’s startup capital

Representatives from the Agencies Forum meeting via Zoom It has been four months since a global COVID-19 pandemic was declared, and the economic and social impacts continue to be felt around the world. Here in Fredericton, and not unlike many other jurisdictions, we have seen the impacts on businesses of every sector, including but certainly […]

How COVID-19 made us stronger: HR Project Partners’ CEO Jacqui Winter shares her lessons learned from these difficult times

Jacqui Winter, founding partner and CEO of HR Project Partners Inc, is one of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs for 2020. By any measure, 2020 has been a difficult year, and it’s not over yet. While recovery processes must coincide with adapting to life with COVID-19, we know that planning ahead offers business a […]

The sky’s no limit when your head’s in the cloud

LEFT: Dan Merzetti, President & CEO. RIGHT: Curtis Fiander, Manager If your business wasn’t in ‘the cloud’ before COVID-19, you may be thinking about it now. The ability to work anywhere, on any device, is one of the key benefits of cloud-based technology. DSM Telecom has been leading the cloud business phone market in Atlantic […]

Supporting better health outcomes for Canadians through innovations in care

How Medavie is caring for communities in the age of COVID-19—and beyond As the coronavirus unfolded across the world, it brought forward transformation and ripples of disruption – changing the way we live, socialize and work. Facing our greatest challenge in recent memory, health care organizations – like so many other industries – reimagined ways […]

The St. John’s Board of Trade has partnered with a Nova Scotian tech company to help businesses move into the digital space

COVID-19 has left a lasting impact on the business community throughout Atlantic Canada. To help businesses on the ground in St. John’s, NL, the St. John’s Board of Trade has partnered with several local organizations to develop and launch an economic recovery program, entitled Main Street. ( Funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) […]

Something powerful happens when a company experiences chaos

Sascha Boulet-Devost, Founder, PhysioFirst and Capture Therapeutics Decisions made by leaders and companies reflect their real values. When things get tough, where does the money, time and energy get spent? That’s the stuff leadership is made of. Sascha Boulet-Devost started PhysioFirst and now Capture Therapeutics in Grand Falls, NB with just one other staff. She […]

A movement ahead of its time

The nearly instantaneous economic recession triggered by the COVID-19 shutdown has wreaked havoc on businesses large and small. Our very way of life was suddenly shaken at its core. On the basis of sweeping proclamations about “the end of commuting,” “the demise of retail,” and “the collapse of globalization,” many have come to assume that […]

Port of Argentia navigating turbulent waters

Amid the global impacts of COVID-19, the Port of Argentia is maintaining regular vessel traffic, handling a wide range of cargo supporting various projects within the province. Says Acting CEO Ray Greene: “We’re pleased that despite these challenging times, our Port remains an active calling point for many vessels, including dedicated domestic and international shipping […]

How Major Drilling adapted to business in the time of COVID-19

Ssimilar to any business spanning four decades, Major Drilling has weathered its share of storms. The recent challenges brought on by COVID-19 however, were unprecedented and unlike any that have been navigated before. Following the virus outbreak early this year, the health and well-being of employees, their families, as well as the communities where Major […]

Supply Chain Canada Professionals advancing the future

From left to right: Vince Dixon, President NB: Chris Soroka, President NS; and Alex Kane, President NL meet to discuss strategic plans in November at Toronto, before COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. With its finger on the pulse of the global economy, Supply Chain Canada builds on its 100 years of stellar service to its 7,500 […]

The University of Fredericton applies excellence to online learning

Sheri McKillop When Dr. Sheri McKillop, Vice-President, Academic, of the University of Fredericton, says that 99 per cent of her students are ambitious professionals fully engaged in their career trajectories, she ought to know. She was one of them. “Actually, I was one of the first students,” she says. “I was working full time and […]

Halifax Stanfield still flying high through turbulent times after 60 years

LEFT: Halifax International Airport (photo: Nova Scotia Archives, Nova Scotia Information Service, no. NSIS 13760). RIGHT: Halifax International Airport, present day. Exactly 60 years ago, Halifax International Airport opened for business. In the intervening decades, many changes have occurred for the collection of runways and aprons just outside Nova Scotia’s capital city that’s now known […]

Assante Hydrostone lights up the future for Atlantic businesses

No one knows about raising a beacon of hope better than the financial advisors and wealth management professionals at Assante Hydrostone in Halifax. For 30 years, this innovative practice has helped scores of small and medium-sized businesses in the Atlantic Provinces shine a light through some of the darkest times. Times like these. It’s not […]

Why innovation should be our top priority

If the past six months of living in a global pandemic has taught Atlantic Canadian businesses anything, it’s that timely, strategic innovation is the key to surmounting almost everything – even a pandemic. The evidence is growing. Companies that have embraced innovation as a part of their culture – where it’s baked into their corporate […]