A century of roots: following is the sixth of an eight-part series in commemoration of Saskatchewan's 100th anniversary, appearing exclusively in Saskatchewan Business Magazine.Rare is the business that can hold tight to its values while adapting to a changing economic landscape. Even more remarkable is the business that can manage this feat for a full 100 years. There have been a number of businesses that have displayed the foresight (graphics, tool) Foresight - A software product from Nu Thena providing graphical modelling tools for high level system design and simulation. and flexibility needed to endure through the province's first century. In recognition of Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 we celebrate the longevity longevity (lŏnjĕv`ĭtē), term denoting the length or duration of the life of an animal or plant, often used to indicate an unusually long life. and integrity of such businesses:
Early's Farm and Garden Centre
The secret was in how S. A. Early ran his business, not the business he was in. In the opening decade of the 1900s it was obvious to all that Saskatchewan's fortunes would spin on the wheel of agriculture.
"We've always been agriculture-related but through the years, management has had the foresight and the initiative to grow with it and adjust with it," says Early's Farm and Garden Centre management consultant Joe Bloski.
At its inception in 1907 the business was strictly hay, grain and feed. During the second generation, headed by Tom Early, the seed industry changed as on-farm producers grew and evolved. Early decided against throwing money into fatigued equipment that had served its purpose and chose instead to turn his attention to retail.
"We got in on the threshold of the pet food and pet supplies business," says Bloski, an Early's employee since 1966. "The last 20 years we have been fortunate in being in on the golf course business and being able to serve the entire province in what is a very specific business."
The gardening, greenhouse and outdoor seasonal decor businesses have each been part of the Early success story. Now presided over by Spencer Early, S. A.'s grandson Grandson (gräNsôN`), Ger. Grandsee, town (1990 pop. 2,473), Vaud canton, W Switzerland, at the southwestern end of the Lake of Neuchâtel. , Early's Farm and Garden Centre remains on alert for the next new wave.
"As a family-owned business it gives us a little more ability to move to the left or to the right," Bloski says. "We can react to the situation but at the same time we remain true to our key strengths of dedication, commitment and knowledge of agriculture."
The company's long history and reputation for treating people fairly, he believes, makes it easier to recruit and retain good employees. The combination of great customers and excellent employees has made for a grand century of Early's business in Saskatchewan.
"The opportunity to grow with the province has been wonderful," Bloski says. "This is a place where your own initiative is your only limitation. There are many resources still to be explored."
In a business where name recognition takes on great meaning it's good to have a name worth recognizing. In Saskatchewan legal circles the name McDougall Gauley holds tremendous worth thanks to the lasting reputation of its founders and the people the company employs.
The formal name McDougall Gauley identifies a company created this century but refers to a lineage LINEAGE. Properly speaking lineage is the relationship of persons in a direct line; as the grandfather, the father, the son, the grandson, &c. of influential law firms This list of the world's largest law firms by revenue is taken from The Lawyer and The American Lawyer and is ordered by 2006 revenue:
He was born in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. He fought during World War I. , K.C., in 1891 while the Gauley law firm has been under the watchful watch·ful
1. Closely observant or alert; vigilant: kept a watchful eye on the clock. See Synonyms at aware, careful.
2. Archaic Not sleeping; awake. eye of Tom Gauley Q.C. in Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. since 1945.
"Each predecessor firm had a rich history and an outstanding reputation for providing quality legal services legal services n. the work performed by a lawyer for a client. to a wide range of clients," McDougall Gauley states. Partner David McKeague David W. McKeague (born November 5, 1946 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Nomination and confirmation
McKeague was originally nominated on November 8, 2001, but opposition from U.S. , Q.C. believes Tom Gauley stands as an icon of the company's ideals.
"Tom steered his law firm through good times and bad and he remains at the very centre of our firm culture in Saskatoon," McKeague says. "He quietly commands the utmost respect and receives genuine affection from his colleagues and friends in the firm."
Gauley's work both professionally and in the community has given him a well-deserved reputation for leadership and integrity. He has trained many of Saskatchewan's top lawyers and has been a mentor Mentor, in Greek mythology
Mentor (mĕn`tər, –tôr'), in Greek mythology, friend of Odysseus and tutor of Telemachus. to generations of lawyers in the province, all the while contributing greatly to the advancement of his profession provincially, nationally and internationally.
The Hill Group of Companies
"We attribute much of our success not to ourselves but to the many blessings from God and the talent of those around us," says Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, affirming up-front that her's is a family of faith. "We have a family-type culture. We believe in not just shareholder value but in family values family values
The moral and social values traditionally maintained and affirmed within a family. ."
Those values have carried through each generation as the Hill Group of Companies has grown to become one of the most influential business entities in Saskatchewan. Beginning with Rosanne's great-grandfather when he arrived in Regina, continuing with his son, Frederick, and on to Rosanne's father, Paul, the Hill name has been closely associated with both good business and good work.
The Hill business philosophy is fairly straightforward. Real estate and insurance remain the mainstays of a company that is, as Rosanne says, fluid yet disciplined. "We have a saying: 'Let's make sure we're sticking to our knitting knitting, construction of a fabric made of interlocking loops of yarn by means of needles. Knitting, allied in origin to weaving and to the netting and knotting of fishnets and snares, was apparently unknown in Europe before the 15th cent. .'"
To some this value-based philosophy must seem an artless, even simple manner of business, yet therein lies a Hill advantage. Frederick, a strong Roman Catholic, believed that business people failed their mission if they couldn't contribute to the world and help people. It also goes against Rosanne's Roman Catholic grain to do business in any other manner and, she believes, this philosophy has led to their success.
"We have been very fortunate in that we have been able to attract phenomenal people, people who are exceptionally competent and who share our values as a fluid, empowering company," she says. "That really has made all the difference."
Known today for a portfolio of office buildings, the company shifted from an institutional focus in its early days to a residential push in the 1950s and then back to a corporate bent in the 1980s. They've always had very good relationships with municipal and provincial bodies, Rosanne says, and have done business in good faith with each different administration.
Successful forays into industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing and broadcasting have, at different times, involved joint venture activity and partnerships with outside entities. Still, the Hills are mindful mind·ful
Attentive; heedful: always mindful of family responsibilities. See Synonyms at careful.
mind to focus on specific projects and do them well, preferring to have each of their companies operate distinctly and separately and with their own presidents.
Rosanne believes operating from Saskatchewan allows them to do business from a strong base both economically and philosophically.
"All across North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. people equate e·quate
v. e·quat·ed, e·quat·ing, e·quates
1. To make equal or equivalent.
2. To reduce to a standard or an average; equalize.
3. goodness to the way Prairie prairie
Level or rolling grassland, especially that found in central North America. Decreasing amounts of rainfall, from 40 in. (100 cm) at the forested eastern edge to less than 12 in. people live. There is a sense of belonging to the community and a sense of needing to contribute," she says. "We feel blessed to be in Saskatchewan and blessed that we are in a great place."