By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald - March 31, 2013
Integrity Building Products owners Jerry Myer, left, and Al Williams are helping to supply building materials to contractors in Calgary and southern Alberta.
Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — Al Williams and Jerry Myer started their post-frame building company in Okotoks in 2008.
From there the company has grown to include having the exclusive Canadian rights to cutting edge post-frame technology and last year opening a building supplies superstore as well.
"We act as broker for contractors and for builders so they can find the best quality products for the best price. We offer them a service. We try to set ourselves apart from what's out there right now with our service and our delivery and our pricing. We use integrity and honesty more or less in the way that we drive this company," said Myer.
Integrity Post Structures Ltd., a construction company building post-frames across Western Canada, started in 2008. Integrity Building Products Ltd., a building supplies superstore, began in 2012.
Today, they have 19 employees.
"When we started the company Al had come from a sales background in the post-frame industry and I had come from a construction background in the landscaping and construction industry in Calgary," says Myer. "We started the company knowing that the only way we could sustain ourselves in that market was to come up with a better product, higher quality construction and newer, innovative products that would go into our buildings to try to set ourselves apart from our competition."
One of its featured products is the Perma Column which is a concrete foundation for posts.
"We're the only ones in Canada that carry this product that use it for our buildings," says Williams.
"Post-frame construction is a traditional way of constructing agricultural buildings across the Prairies. Post-frame construction has been around since the early 1960s and it's been used in many, many applications for agriculture, for machine storage, farm shops, riding arenas, hay sheds. That's what we build."
They have 12-14 construction crews and build about 300 buildings across Western Canada.
"Over the last few years, there's been a big need for these buildings in a commercial application because they're built very, very efficiently in terms of costs," says Williams. "They're built very, very efficiently in terms of the speed they go up. One thing they always were missing was a proper foundation so traditionally wood would go into the ground and we joined up with a company out of the States called Perma Column and they build a concrete foundation pre-casted that sits at the bottom of a pole." Williams says there's about 20,000 post-frame buildings throughout Western Canada and about 4,000 of them get built every year.
Integrity Building Products is a wholesale superstore for contractors, renovators, and new home construction servicing the Calgary and area market.
"What sets Integrity apart from our competition is that we are not solely driven by profits. We are driven by the impact we make on the industry, the changes and improvements we help develop in the market, the sustainability of our service and philosophy, and the legacy we leave as a company and as people," adds Williams.
It specializes in new home construction packages; renovation solutions; garage packages; and decking and fencing alternatives. It also specializes in bringing new and innovative products to the mainstream contractor and consumer.
Integrity Building Products/Integrity Post Structures
Description: Building supplies superstore and post-frame construction company
Owners: Al Williams and Jerry Myer
Established: 2008 (Post Structures); 2012 (Building Products)
Head Office: 48223 338 Avenue East, Okotoks, close to the Saskatoon Berry Farm
CREDITS: © Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald - Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald - Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/
Source: The LBMAO Reporter, July-August 2012
Written by: David Campbell
Many of us who live in large urban areas such as Toronto and Southwestern Ontario, don’t quite understand what attracts people to reside in Northern Ontario. We have access to a wide selection of shopping for groceries, clothing, hard goods, etc. We also have the amenities provided by larger metropolitan areas, including health care and education. To better understand why people are attracted to Northern communities, one just has to spend some time in the Northern Ontario town of Cochrane.
I had the opportunity to visit J.A. Brisson and Sons Limited, a Castle building supply dealer, during their celebration of 80 years in business in Cochrane, and came away with a sense of respect and understanding of the northern lifestyle. Owner Kendra Robin, her husband Paul and son Keven, invited the community to help them celebrate. They had a charity BBQ with the mayor of the town helping out and it would appear that most of the townspeople came to enjoy the festivities. The local business improvement group, as well as competitors, dropped in to congratulate Kendra, Paul, Keven and the entire staff for their service and dedication to the community. You really felt a sense of community that you wouldn’t feel in the hectic dog-eat-dog world of the big city!
The business was established by Joseph Albert Brisson in 1932. Albert, the 8th of 12 children, was born in 1902 in St. Amicel, Quebec. The family left Quebec and moved to Casselman, Ontario. In 1922, Albert moved to Northern Ontario to work in the bush camps but on the way stopped in Cochrane to visit a brother-in-law, Camille, whose father, Louis Sequin, owned a manufacturing and retail business making windows and doors. Albert was hired and worked there for the next 10 years. On Friday, February 12, 1932, Albert purchased the assets of the bankrupt “Cochrane Woodworking Manufacture” and started the Cochrane Sash and Door Factory on property (located on 5 lots) rented from the town of Cochrane. In 1938, he purchased the property for $600.00 – the amount owed by the previous owner in back taxes. Albert’s dream of truly owning his own business remained his passion for years to come.
Under the guidance of Albert, the business thrived and expanded. In February of 1953, Albert purchased an additional 5 lots in town to use as a yard for trusses, lumber and storing pre-fab homes. They now had that as well as a retail store downtown. The decision was made to change the name to J.A. Brisson and Sons to recognize his two sons, Gerald and Alain. In the 50s and 60s, with the economy driven by timber harvesting, milling and the added bonus of mining in the area, the business prospered. They supplied materials for, and also built, many of the homes in Cochrane and surrounding area, spreading from New Liskeard to Hearst and Moosonee – Gerald being responsible for the retail end and Alain for the construction. In 1962, Gerald decided that the big city life would be more fun and moved to Montreal.
Alain Brisson had started working full time in the business in the late 40s under the direction of his father whose philosophy was “You must start at the bottom of the ladder and not the top in order to learn” so Alain did every job in the business including truck driver. In 1970, Alain became an owner and that year the downtown location was moved to the yard location where it still exists today. At this time, the decision was made to join the “Wiseway” group and they expanded the retail store to 6000 sq. ft with an additional 4000 sq. ft added 1972, along with a 6000 sq. ft warehouse. Alain was joined by his son and daughter, Daniel and Kendra, who, like him, had to start at the bottom of the ladder. Eventually, Kendra became the financial controller and Danny the manager.
“In their first 60 years,
In 1977, Alain (in partnership with Raynald Blouin) purchased BCD Building Supplies in Smooth Rock Falls. Wiseway Home and Building Centre in Terrace Bay was purchased in 1978 with the shareholders being Alain Brisson, Raynald Blouin and Robert Gendreau, a long-time employee of Brisson’s who moved his family to Terrace Bay to manage the business. In the same year, they also purchased a store in Longlac and operated under the Wiseway banner. Roger Charron, another long-term Brisson employee, moved to Longlac to manage that business. The additional 3 businesses were sold off in the early and mid-80s to better concentrate capital and time in the Cochrane store.
Brisson’s, over the years, was a major employer in the communities where they did business and many employees had up to 25 years of service with the company. In their first 60 years, they employed 3 generations of workers in the same family.
In the mid 80s, Alain was looking towards retirement and was in the fortunate position of having a daughter who grew up in the business and who was more than capable to manage and run this vibrant retail store. Kendra took the reins from Dad in 1986 (she had been partner for the previous 13 years) and took it to the next level by expanding product lines and merchandising to meet the needs of the community. Using the service s provided by Castle Building Centres, they have positioned their business as a major building supply centre offering the scope of service and products comparative to what’s available in larger urban centres.
(left to right) James Jones, VP Castle - Keven Robin - Alain Brisson
Succession planning in most of our member retail businesses is challenging in respect to keeping the future generations interested in taking over the business. Brisson’s has been fortunate to have family members who feel that service to the community is as important now as it was when Joseph started the business. Kendra and Paul’s son returned to the business in 2005 after several years of working in the GTA “rat race.” Keven (who has a legal background), his wife and their two children made the decision to revisit their roots and come back to Cochrane, a decision they don’t regret. Keven, working with Kendra, is the next generation to take Brissons’ to new levels. He is moving the business forward and he feels that social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is the next step to meet the needs of their customers.
When asked about the biggest challenge to their business, both Keven and Kendra said it was projecting growth. Cochrane is experiencing an economic boom; mining is driving the expansion of building with more people moving to the community. Last year, they enjoyed a 30% increase in sales. How do you project this coming year and the following years? A nice challenge to have!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and members of the LBMAO, we wish Alain, Kendra, Keven, their families and employees all the best and look forward to presenting them with a 100-year plaque in 2032!
The ROOF (Roofing Over One Family) Project is an initiative founded by Danny and Paula Matchett, owners of Danny's Improvements Inc. After owning and working in the roofing business for many years, Danny became sensitized to the bare necessity of a good roof. Danny also became increasingly aware of the many families without a good solid roof over their head.
Too often, the basic shelter and security that a roof provides is taken for granted. No one thinks about repairing a roof when the sun is shining, or maybe the thought does cross the mind, but the resources are not there to do anything about it. The roof gets put off for another year, and another, hoping things will get better, luck will improve and then when it rains it pours and the roof leaks, making a bad situation much worse and causing immeasurable heartache and stress on a family.
The ROOF project began from knowing these stories and a deep desire to give back to the Miramichi. Having a good solid roof gives comfort to the remainder of the house and lightens the everyday stress of the family within. The Sky's the Limit if you have a roof over your head.
The ROOF project mission: To Give Back to the Miramichi by donating one roof to one family in need each year. All materials and labour will be courtesy of Danny's Improvements and MacCallum Building Supplies.
Together we will provide a Roof Over One Family and improve the lives of one family in need.
Castle's Topmar Building Supplies in Fredericton, New Brunswick raise money for breast cancer by sponsoring the Fredericton Royals baseball team!
Signage is displayed in the ball field year round.
"This is the second year in a row and it is wonderful recognition from our community to know our customers voted us in this honour," says Acme Planing Mills Vice-President, Julie Deavu.
"It also means a great deal to our hardworking staff who deserve this award. Many members of our staff have been employed at Acme for decades and offer our customers knowledgeable, professional service." Deavu explains.
"We take pride that we're not a big box store or franchise," says Deavu. "We are a one-family Canadian business offering professional, friendly and helpful service. Visit the ACME website for more information...
For a high school student to be committed to athletics and their studies requires commitment and sacrifice on the part of the student. Bulkley Valley Home Centre in Telkwa and Houston B.C. has recognized the best of these students at five area high schools with a $500 scholarship.
Les Yates, GM of B.V Home Centre says the company wanted to find a way to salute the commitment high school students make to their sport. "To be gifted with athletic ability is one thing. It is quite another to use that ability to excel at a sport while demonstrating good sportsmanship and maintaining a good academic standing." The Bulkley Valley Home Centre Athletic Scholarship is five gifts of $500 each to five (5) graduating students who attend a college or university. Yates believes it is important to support and recognize students who may not be the top scholars but who achieve excellence through their dedication to a sport, their teammates and their competitors, read more...
"When Greater Windsor Home Builders' Association made a commitment to the MRI Field of Dreams Campaign, Kimball Lumber and Building Supplies in Essex, Ontario was there to donate and deliver building materials. Together with the Windsor & Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation and many other volunteers, we helped build a house and donate all proceeds to this worthwhile community cause," says owner Harold Kimball.
"Never have seen anything like this." Those words are just a few used by an awe-struck Nancy Gibbons from the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Foundation as an army of carpenters, construction workers and homebuilders poured onto a building lot at the corner of Hanlan Street and Fairview Avenue early Friday. The lot was vacant except for a pre-poured foundation and driveway and, at 7:00 a.m. sharp, the first sound of a hammer striking a nail signalled the start of a race - a race to build and finish a home in three days, running parallel to a race to wipe out cancer with early diagnosis and precise treatment.
As the sound of power saws and power nail guns joined the chorus of hammers, it was organized chaos as volunteers from companies that normally compete against each other worked in sweat-drenched t-shirts under the guidance of foremen in their distinctive lemon yellow shirts. But the chaos served its purpose as, exactly 41 minutes after they started, the front and side stud walls of the garage were up and being checked for plumb. Fifty minutes later, the back wall of the house, which was assembled on an adjoining lot, was lifted into place by a crane, read more...
"Together with the Windsor & Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation and many other volunteers, we helped build a house and donate all proceeds to this worthwhile community cause," says owner Harold Kimball, Kimball Lumber and Building Supplies
In recognition of Emmerson Lumber's 50th anniversary, Kim Emmerson has compiled a history of “The Mill Reserve” using information gathered from history books, newspaper articles, local people and the help of the good folks from the Haliburton Highlands Museum.
To download the PDF of “The Mill Reserve” story please click here.
“As beautiful as Haliburton is today, we can only imagine the grandeur of untouched wilderness and beauty that the first excited settlers to our village experienced as they arrived to Haliburton Village in 1864.”
“The village of Haliburton and the Provincial County of Haliburton derived their names from the first Chairman of the Canadiana Land and Emigrating Company, the noted Canadian historian and humorist, who in 1842 himself emigrated to London from Nova Scotia where he served as Judge of the Supreme Court – Thomas Chandler Haliburton.”