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Dec
08

The Team Up Foundation Fund

Are you, or do you know of, an Ontario charity that supports youth sports and recreation programs or has a sports/recreational facility that needs refurbishing? The MLSE Team Up Foundation is introducing a new grant program this year – the Team Up Foundation Fund (TUFF) with a total of $200,000 available across four charitable grants. Beginning January 3, 2012, Ontario charities can submit their online applications for support of:

Sports and recreation based programs for youth
or
Facilities that support youth sports and recreational programming and are in need of refurbishing.

Four charitable organizations will each receive $50,000 at the end of March. You can check out some of our tips on how to get started at our HOW WE GIVE page. http://www.mlseteamupfoundation.org/giving/how-we-give/

A new webpage dedicated to the Team Up Foundation Fun will be ready on December 17th, so please visit out website for the full rundown on the program after this date.

We encourage you to spread the work about the Team Up Foundation Fund to your contact, charitable organizations that you are connected with or with the Ontario-based branches of your charity.

www.mlseteamupfoundation.org

Nov
08

Federal Government Announces EODP Funding

Federal Government Announces EODP Funding

Harrowsmith – The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) Board of Directors is pleased to invite businesses owners, community volunteers, Not-for-Profit organizations and municipal politicians and staff in Frontenac County to a series of presentations on the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP).  The presentation will provide an overview of how your business/organization may benefit from the EODP and highlight significant changes that have been made to program.

Presentations will be held on the following dates:
(For businesses, Not-For-Profits & Municipalities operating in Frontenac County)

  • Sharbot Lake – November 9/11 from 11:30am – 12:30 pm at the North Frontenac Telephone Company, downstairs meeting room
  • Plevna – November 9/11 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm at the Clar-Mill Hall, 6598 Buckshot Lake Road
  • Sydenham – November 9/11 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Sydenham Town Hall, George Street
  • Arden – November 10/11 from 9:00 – 10:00 am at the Kennebec Community Hall

The Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP) promotes economic development in rural eastern Ontario leading to a diversified and competitive rural eastern Ontario economy; economic stability, growth, and job creation; and contributing to the successful development of business and prosperous communities.

To date, EODP has led to the investment of more than $65 million through more than 5,500 business and community development projects. It has also resulted in the additional support of more than $300 million from partners such as local businesses, municipalities, and the Government of Ontario, demonstrating its positive impact.

The EODP is managed by the Federal Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev). The EODP provides resources to Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) which invest in projects within three economic development priorities:

  • Business Development
  • Community Innovation
  • Collaborative Projects

Further details on the EODP program and application forms will be available on the Frontenac CFDC website by Monday, November 7th with the first application deadline being noon on Monday Nov 14th.   To obtain more information or an application visit    www.frontenaccfdc.com/services or call the Frontenac CFDC at 613-372-1414 or 1-888-372-9962.

About the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation

The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to stimulate community and economic development throughout the Frontenacs. Run by a volunteer board of directors and funded by FedDev Ontario, the FCFDC offers free business advice, workshops and commercial financing to entrepreneurs and those looking to start businesses in the Frontenacs. The FCFDC also provides support to initiatives that are designed to stimulate economic development in the County of Frontenac, and business planning assistance to community organizations.

Funding for the Eastern Ontario Development Program is provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and is delivered by the 15 local Community Futures Development Corporations in Eastern Ontario.

Oct
11

Frontenac CFDC 3rd Annual Small Business Trade Show

Discover the Businesses of Frontenac County!

Join the Frontenac CFDC and the County of Frontenac and celebrate our local businesses. A variety of businesses will be showcasing their products and services at the show along with seminars, draw prizes and a chance to win an Apple iPad 2.

FREE ADMISSION – EVERYONE WELCOME

Wednesday October 19, 2011
3:00 to 8:00 pm at the Kingston Christian Fellowship Centre, 2621 Hwy 38

Seminars:
4:00 – Art Conservation: What is it? Do I need it? with Bonnie McLean, Art Conservator.
5:00 – Overcoming Self Sabotage & Emotional Eating with Ellen Steele, Evolution Wellness
5:30 – Through the Years: growing UP and Slowing DOWN with Lori Parish, Sun Yata Therapeutic Massage
6:00 – Investing in Canadian Mortgages with WA Robinson & Associates
6:30 – Secrets to Financial Success with Carol Ann Budd, Investors Group Consultant
7:00 – What 4G Satellite Means to You with Xplornet Communications

Sep
07

Celebrate New Energy on Wolfe Island on September 24 – Free Family Event

Another great reason to take the ferry to Wolfe Island! Bring the family to celebrate New Energy on Wolfe Island Saturday September 24th from 10am to 2pm at the community centre area in Marysville. Organized by the New Energy Project, the day’s FREE events include (subject to weather) a kite flying competition, a childrens art show, music, solar overn building, farmers market, complimentary lunch, business showcase, self guided tours and more.

We encourage you to walk or bike! The event location is a five minute walk from the ferry to the community centre area in Marysville. Follow the signs from the ferry dock. Bike parking (supervised by Cycle Kingston) and car parking will be available at the community centre area. The ferry schedule is available at www.wolfeisland.com

For more info about the event contact Ruth Noordegraaf, info@newenergyproject.ca or 613-893-1983.

Aug
30

BDC Marketing Booster Program

Marketing Booster Program
Learn how to access new business in new markets

You run a thriving company but like many smaller businesses with limited marketing resources, your firm may be taking an ad hoc approach that just isn’t opening new doors.

The Marketing Booster Program is the answer:

  • 3 half day interactive workshops (12 hours) in a small group setting led by an experienced BDC consultant (approximately 8-12 entrepreneurs)
  • 9 key topics: customer relationship management, competition, positioning, marketing action plan, managing products and services, managing communication, e-business, managing distribution, managing your sales team
  • Leave with practical tools that drive marketing results such as customer satisfaction surveys, vale propositions, process maps and more
  • Personalized consulting sessions can be combined with the program to increase your chances of success
  • All options include a marketing diagnostic and detailed strategic benchmark report for your business.

Workshop commences September 27th at the BDC’s Kingston office on Gardiners Rd. The program investment is $3,900 for further information contact Carl Kelly, Senior Manager, Consulting 613-389-2897

Aug
03

Local Family Farms & Frontenac Cattlemen Promote Local Beef

Join Local Family Farms, the Frontenac Cattlemen Association and KIX 93.5 this Saturday Aug 6th and help promote local beef! Sample delicious local beef, meet local farmers and learn about farming in our area.
LOCATION: Local Family Farms 6674 Road 38 Verona
TIME: 10am to 1pm

Click below and list to the KIX 93.5 commercial for more info
Frontenac Cattleman KIX REMOTE

Local Family Farms Store Verona ON

Jul
27

Frontenac CFDC 3rd Annual Small Business Trade Show

The Frontenac CFDC is please to be hosting their Small Business Trade Show again this year. County of Frontenac Businesses are invited to join us and the County of Frontenac to participate in a trade show in conjunction with Small Business Week®. For over 30 years the BDC has organized Small Business Week paying tribute to the important contribution that small businesses make to the national economy. This year’s theme is Power Up Your Business. Invest. Innovate. Grow

The Trade show is an opportunity for County of Frontenac businesses to promote their products and services to other businesses and residents. The Trade Show will be held Wednesday October 19, 2011 from 3:00pm to 8:00pm at the Kingston Christian Fellowship Centre 2621 Hwy 38 (south of Unity Road and Glenvale). The cost for a table top display ranges from $50 to $75 and businesses will be accepted on a first come, first served bases. This year we are organizing a few seminars to be held during trade show hours. If you would like to present a 30 to 45 minute workshop contact Krista at the number below or obtain a registration form from our website www.frontenaccfdc.com

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS SEPT 23, 2011

For more information or to register your business for the Trade Show contact Krista at 613-372-1414, toll free 1-800-372-9962 or email krista@frontenaccfdc.com

Jul
12

Government of Canada Supports Innovation in Kingston

For immediate release
June 17, 2011

Kingston, Ontario – Businesses in manufacturing, engineering and life sciences will have an opportunity to bring new products to market, expand and create new jobs thanks to a new partnership with Queen’s University. Member of Parliament Gord Brown, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and Janice Mady, Director, Innovation Park and Industry Partnerships at Queen’s University, celebrated the signing of agreements between Queen’s University and small- and medium-sized businesses.

“These agreements allow local businesses to work with research teams at Queen’s University on developing new ideas and bringing those new products to Canadians, which will be good for the economy in Kingston,” said MP Brown. “Our government is committed to supporting the people, communities and businesses of southern Ontario.”

One of the companies is County of Frontenac’s  OAISYS Inc.

OAISYS Inc. is a leading medical device and image analysis company specializing in standardized imaging of plain X-rays. OAISYS has teamed up with an orthopedic surgery group at Queen’s as part of a clinical project for the development of a web-based Knee Surgery Triage Tool. The project is a novel approach to improve health care delivery and lower costs by enabling family doctors, other health care workers, and surgeons, locally or remotely, to accurately quantify the level of disability and radiographic joint damage in an arthritic knee. The tool will help prioritize surgical referrals by defining the optimal timing for surgery or other care and collect accurate information on disease progression and outcome of treatment over time. More information is available at http://www.oaisysmedical.com

For full article visit  http://www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/00497.html

Jun
28

Succession Planning – By Hugh Latif

What is Succession Planning?
Succession planning is the process by which an organization plans the passing of the baton from one leader to another. The passing of the baton is actually a most delicate moment. Athletic coaches will tell you that races are won or lost by the manner in which the baton is handed over between runners. Good planning and execution improve the odds of making smooth transitions. Unexpected succession and lack of planning increase the chances of failure. Succession planning is not only applicable to businesses, it is pertinent to any organization such as governments, churches, political parties, etc. Any grouping of people and resources are in need of a succession plan. I will however, for the purpose of this article, concentrate on succession planning as it applies to businesses.

Why is Succession Planning Important?
First, succession planning is important because it not only influences the performance of an organization, but also determines its survival. Many companies have been destroyed by the lack of succession planning. Several have been significantly set back strategically because of their poor succession planning.

The Chief Executive Officer role is the most influential role of the organization. Whether we call this position business owner, the president, the general manager, the coach, the prime minister or the pastor, the CEO’s role is similar to the “orchestra conductor”. He or she might not play any instrument directly but they influence the entire team’s performance and their role is decisive. Whether the outcome will be a great symphony or a mediocre one depends largely on hoe the orchestra was conducted. A good leader successfully leads the organization to its destination, a mediocre leader just makes it “float”, while a poor leader may cause it to drown completely.

A good CEO influences the strategic momentum and direction of the organization. He or she leads the team to higher levels of performance, no matter how this “performance” is measured. In business, increased profitability, revenue growth, attractive return on equity, gains in market share, etc. are indicators of such performance. In a sports team, championship wins and team ranking may be the indicators. In a country, economic growth, unemployment rate, balanced budget, popularity indexes, etc. may be the parameters and so on. Finally, a good CEO influences the reputation of the organization.

Secondly, transitional periods are critical because there is a change of leadership. It is a moment where a new balance has to be established. A new person will take over and new adjustments have to be made.

Published research indicates that in private business, 70% of family owned businesses do not survive the transition to a second generation and 90% do not make it to the third generation.

These are terrible statistics! Public corporation probably do not score any better. These days we are witnessing an unbelievable number of large corporate failures and phenomenal gaffes that puzzle the mind.

But is poor succession planning the source of all these failures? While not all were due to it, poor succession planning is a the root of the vast majority. Here is why.

When to do Succession Planning?
Today’s business pace is incredibly high. The CEO’s role should “turn” within a reasonable period of time. What is a reasonable period of time? Anywhere between 4 to 8 years is, in my opinion, reasonable and healthy. This range gives enough time to make a difference but not too short to call it instability. Any time the tenures of a CEO goes beyond the ten-year period, the risk of “problems” increases.

I am sure you will be able to cite exceptions to my rule. Finding the exception however does not alter my observation. As a rule of thumb, I strongly believe that today’s organizations need a change at the helm on a more frequent basis. Complacency is one big reason for the decline of a corporation. Good leaders are by nature strong people. Strong people with time have a tendency to become “Kings”.

And what’s wrong with Kings, if they are good you ask?

Kings are usually unable to choose successors and do not like to share power with others. These two reasons by themselves constitute fertile soil for complacency. In addition, Kings do not like active boards because they fundamentally dislike being accountable to others. They are usually the “center” of everything.

Need examples? Just in the last three months or so, so many corporations suffered humbling destinies: market devaluation and the wiping of billions of dollars of equity (major telecoms), out right bankruptcies (large department store), marketing defeats at the hands of newcomers (important computer manufacturer), corruptions (major conglomerate), financial debacle (major utility company) and even fraudulent actions (energy company) etc. The list goes on.

Corporation that had everything required to succeed. Why this outcome? Simply put, many good CEO’s became Kings and did not know when it was time to pass on the baton and most certainly, Board of Directors that fell asleep at the wheel.

Poor succession planning is not a “disease of small organizations”. It is a disease that infects the small as well as the big. It contaminates public and private businesses, governments, non-profits, churches etc.

Here is a very “real” scenario: A strong leader does a wonderful job. Once he/she achieves high performance, glory is earned. This glory is brief, however, and the performance must now be sustained. They work hard at putting the wheels in motion to sustain the performance and they succeed, initially. Organization complacency sets in, “high egos” and “emotional prides” come into play, less “listening” and more “directing” takes hold of the top of the organization etc… Slowly but surely things do not go as planned… What does the leader do? They start to do whatever it takes to sustain the high performance. Something along the lines of “.. by hook or by crook..” This is where a “clock” start to ..tic..toc..tic..toc.. It is only a matter of time before the bomb explodes. What does the bomb look like? Restating earnings… overpaying for businesses that have vanished equity… building debts that cannot be repaid… attempting to fix mistakes by making others… and yes, up to fraudulent conduct as we have seen so much of recently. All this is done, with the “blessings” of their board, of course, since the board was sound asleep.

Succession Planning Is An Absolute Necessity
Every organization must have a succession plan. Large organizations will have an elaborate one. Small ones will have a simple one.

A plan that is made in advance and has been reasonably thought through will help make an orderly transition. A no plan scenario and/or one made hastily in response to an emergency -  and considering the time of action – will have a high chance of failure.

Strategic Perspective
Succession planning must also address the strategic context of the organization. Meaning that if the present leader, for example, did a good job turning around the business in the past, the next leader will probably need a different set of skills; those of building the business. A business that had a strong record of consistent earnings growth would benefit from an innovative leader who can take the organization to the next level and so on.

In short, a succession plan must plan for the future rather than copy the past. A common pitfall is when an organization wants to find a leader similar to the one they have. Another, is when organization “fall in love” with the incumbent to the extent that they “do not want to rock the boat”. The former happens with the retiring CEO while the latter may apply as a result of an emergency such as a “heart attack”. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat if it is the right thing to do.

A Process – Not A Destination
The search for candidates should take a balanced approach too, meaning looking for successors from within and from outside the company. Depending on the context of the organization, there are pros and cons for internal vs external candidates. Good succession plans are not made effective overnight. They take time to be made, planned and executed. This is a process and not a destination. A good succession plan is always a work in progress.

Family Owned Business
For family owned businesses wishing to keep it in the family, sometimes a separation between ownership of the company and management of the company is needed. As the business grows, a separation is not only healthy but is also desirable.

Expertise, Independence and Objectivity
This may be self-serving, but it is of paramount importance to seek independent and expert advice. Experts bring wisdom and the benefit of trials and errors. External experts also bring objectivity to your organization.

Advisory Board
An advisory board made up of independent and external counselors allow the owner/operator of the business to receive regular business advice and counsel without any dilution of equity.

The advisory board can then “push” the organization to excellence by requesting that a strategic plan be made, a succession plan be implemented, quantifiable financial targets be established and so on. This disciplines approach is certainly helpful in keeping management on track and in building shareholders value.

Conflict of Interest
All too often, we read about the directors who also provided services, the auditors who were also the consultants and the public servants that enjoyed these so called privileged relationships with third parties… This is conflict of interest. Be watchful and do not compromise on principles. Making exceptions on the ABC’s of business fundamentals and Ethics 101 will rrturn to haunt you.

The bottom line is this: a succession plan is a necessity and not an option. Good planning includes a broader outlook, expert advice, common sense, objectivity and business flair. Approach it as a process rather than a destination and you will pass through the succession minefield safely.

Hugh Latif & Associates
Management Consultants & Corporate Governance
416-229-0520, hugh@hughlatif.com, www.hughlatif.com

Jun
23

The New Energy Project

Post contributed by Ruth Noordegraff

The New Energy Project is an ambitious, long term initiative to position and market the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) area as a region with ‘new energy’. A steering committee representing private companies, local governments and institutions in KFL&A (including the Frontenac CFDC) have joined forces to collaborate, coordinate their efforts, and to capitalize on a flood of new activity as the region develops its new economy opportunities and renewable energy resource.

This region has many strengths: we have existing wind and solar farms, extensive biomass capacity, development of sustainable tourism and creative economy, unique programs at Queens and St. Lawrence, SWITCH, a powerful network of cooperation and the Frontenacs Green Energy Taskforce. These initiatives have already added jobs to the local economy and attracted new companies.

The future is about more conservation technologies, manufacturing and distribution of environmentally-friendly products, green chemistry, bio materials and about smart grid technologies and the nee information technology. By sharing information, by coordinating efforts and by helping us all see the benefits of change, the New Energy Project Project will multiply the current successes and ensure that the whole region’s new economy continues to grow even faster than the sum of its many impressive parts.

Results of the New Energy Project: Growing numbers of new jobs and (re)investment in next generation business; a skilled labor force that attracts companies, who attract more skilled workers; efficient homes and buildings, shielded from the prices of fossil fuels; strong supply chains for sustainable materials and services a natural transition to better products and services and facilities the social benefits of cleaner, more efficient practices, the best region in Canada to live, work, study and play.

You have a role to play. Do you have ‘new energy’? Join this unique collaboration. Do you have questions, ideas and/or suggestions? Contact Ruth Noordegraaf, Project Manager: info@newenergyproject.ca or 613-893-1980 or go to www.newenergyproject.ca

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