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the record                                      S M A L L

BUSINESS
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2008
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Looking after the details
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOCAL SCENE


                                                                                                                                                                                                     Shartun heads
                                                                                                                                                                                                     K-W Real Estate Board
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Karen Shartun has been ap-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     pointed president of the K-W
Kitchener firm does the organizing                                                                                                                                                                   Real Estate Board.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Shartun, a sales representa-
for seniors who are downsizing                                                                                                                                                                       tive with Royal LePage-Scharf
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Realty has worked in real estate
and getting ready to relocate                                                                                                                                                                        for 18 years. She succeeds Tania
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Benninger in the board’s top
                                                                                                                                                                                                     post.
BY CHUCK HOWITT                                lyst with an advertising agency                                                                                                                           A board director for six years,
RECORD STAFF                                   in Cambridge, but hoped to                                                                                                                            Shartun spent the last two years
     ast summer Dorothy Shep-                  start her own company  .
L     pard faced a dilemma.
    She and her sister owned
                                                  When a friend mentioned a
                                               company in North Carolina that
                                                                                                                                                                                                     as the political affairs chair.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         The board has also an-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     nounced that longtime member
separate condos in Kitchener                   helped seniors move, she was                                                                                                                          Mary Bales is the recipient of
and Waterloo. But with Dorothy                 intrigued and phoned the                                                                                                                              the 2007 Realtor Merit Award.
in her late 80s and her sister in              woman who ran the company.                                                                                                                                Bales is a sales representa-
her early 90s, it was getting                  Because Varey wasn’t going to                                                                                                                         tive with Coldwell Banker Peter
tougher to make meals and get                  be a competitor in the same geo-                                                                                                                      Benninger Realty of Kitchener.
around.                                        graphic area, the owner was                                                                                                                               She was honoured for her
    They decided to move into a                willing to share advice.                                                                                                                              dedication to the real estate in-
three-bedroom apartment in a                                                                                                                                                                         dustry and for her community
seniors building in Waterloo                          “Every move                                                                                                                                    work, including the creation of
where meals could be prepared                      is different. There                                                                                                                               the local charity Heartwood
for them and they could help                                                                                                                                                                         Place, which converted an old
each other with the daily activi-                is no strict regimen. ”                                                                                                                             industrial building on Gaukel
ties of life.                                           BRYNN VAREY                                                                                                                                  Street in downtown Kitchener
    But the thought of moving                           SENIOR’S MOVE                                                                                                                                to 33 apartments.
scared Sheppard in a big way.
She had no children to help and
her sister had only one son, who                  After doing some research to                                                                                                                       Parts makers support
lived out of town.                             test the feasibility of her idea,                                                                                                                     UW robotics project
    “We were up the creek,”                    Varey launched Senior’s Move                                                                                                                             A University of Waterloo
Sheppard says.                                 in 2005, but kept her part-time                                                                                                                       robotics project is to receive
    Then the owner of Waterloo                 marketing job in case things                                                                                                                          $500,000 from the Automotive
Heights, the building they were                didn’t work out.                                                                                                                                      Parts Manufacturers Associa-
moving to, passed on a brochure                   But youth, enthusiasm and                                                                                                                          tion and the non-profit technol-
describing a local firm that                   an eagerness to learn were on                                                                                                                         ogy corporation Precarn Inc.
helps elderly people relocate.                 her side, she says.                                                                                                                                      With Tool-Tec Welding Inc.
                        ,
    Enter Brynn Varey owner of                    “I was just so excited to take                                                                                                                     and Omega Tool Corp. of Essex
Kitchener-based Senior’s Move.                 advantage of this new business                                                                                                                        County, the university’s me-
    Varey helped Sheppard and                  opportunity .”                                                                                                                                        chanical engineering depart-
her sister organize their belong-                                                                                                                                                                    ment is working on a robotic
                                               SPECIAL SKILLS
ings so they could decide what                                                                                                                                                                       system to re-mould auto parts to
to keep and what to get rid of.                   Helping seniors relocate re-                                                                                                                       accommodate changes in car
She also arranged for auction-                 quires a special set of skills,                                                                                                                       models.
eers to sell valuable but unwant-              Varey says.                                                                                                                                              The robot should perform its
ed items and hired a moving                       “How do you deal with some-                                                                                                                        tasks more quickly and accu-
company to handle the move it-                 one who is a hoarder? How do                                                                                                                          rately than humans can.
self.                                          you deal with someone at a time                                                                                                                          The school is helping devel-
    “On moving day, she told us                of loss (of a loved one)? How do                                                                                                                      op the robot’s weld paths and
to disappear,” Sheppard says.                  you deal with someone who has                                                                                                                         conducting welding experi-
    The sisters went to their new              dementia?”                                                                                                                                            ments.
apartment at about 3 p.m. Their                   Despite these challenges, she                                                                                     MATHEW MCCARTHY, RECORD STAFF       Prof. Jan Huissoon is the
furniture was arranged the way                 found early on that most of her      Jena Winterburn (left) and Brynn Varey of Senior’s Move in Kitchener help to organize all the details for        team leader.
they wanted because of a floor                 clients were healthy seniors, or     seniors who are on the move. Most of their clients are couples or widows in the 70 to 90 age range.
plan Varey had drawn up. And                   adults with aging parents who
“by five o’clock even the beds                 didn’t have the time or the ener-                                            well with me.”                         “I found them (Varey’s rates)     Laurier business team
were made.”                                    gy to supervise a move.
                                                                                       S E N I O R’S M OVE,
                                                                                                                                At times, she has had to work   not to be excessive for the work     brings home medals
    Varey came back the next                      To keep costs down, she                                                            .
                                                                                                                            quickly She once got a call from    that she did.”                          A team of undergraduate
day to unpack more boxes and                   worked out of her home, using                www.agewise.ca                  someone who had three days to          Varey estimates she has           business students from the Wil-
returned a week later to take                  boxes she picked up for free                                                 get their mother into a long-       helped with about 200 moves          frid Laurier University school
away items the sisters had de-                 from liquor and grocery stores.       Address: Suite 322,                    term care facility.                 since starting out and says the      of business and economics
cided they didn’t need.                        She stored them in her garage.         Trinity Village Care Centre,              The customer said: “Just        company is profitable.               came away with several medals
    “Brynn was a wonderful                        Every move is different,            2711 Kingsway Dr.,                    take the necessities out of            Last year she moved the           during the recent Inter-Colle-
help. We could never have done                 Varey says. “There is no strict        Kitchener, N2C 2T2                    mom’s house. I’ll take care of      business to an office located in     giate Business Competition in
it ourselves,” Sheppard says.                  regimen.”                             Founded: 2005                          the rest.”                          the Trinity Village retirement       Kingston.
    Senior’s Move is filling an                   Though she will help clients       Employees: 3                               Most Senior’s Move clients      complex on Kingsway Drive in            Jordan Schmidt and Dave
emerging market niche, helping                 decide what to keep or discard,                                              are couples or widows in the 70     Kitchener, which she shares          Bornstein won gold in debating;
both seniors and busy adults                   she has found that most want to                                              to 90 age range.                    with her mother, Mary Varey,         Mike Morrice and Chris DePaul
with elderly parents who don’t                 “take care of the downsizing            When it came to dealing with             “The women are outlasting       and a partner Jena Winterburn.       won gold in marketing
want to go through the hassle of               themselves.”                         moving companies, she learned           the men,” Varey says.                  The three run a company              Martin Melady and Anthony
downsizing and hiring moving                      So most often she does the        by trial and error. It wasn’t long          Depending on the job, she       called Age-Wise Solutions,           Milito won silver in ethics,
companies themselves.                          packing, lines up the moving         before she was able to compile a        has charged anywhere from           which provides a range of elder-     while Greg Overholt and Stew-
                                               company, supervises the move         short list of firms she wanted to       $300 to $4,000 to handle a move.    care services.                       art McKendry captured bronze
GROWING MARKET
                                               and unpacks.                         work with.                              Her longest job took 50 hours.         Senior’s Move is a division of    in management information
   While this market is just                      “I tell them, “Let me do the         “It’s a great advantage for              For Sheppard, it was money      Age-Wise Solutions.                  systems.
starting to grow in Ontario, it                dirty work.”                         (moving) companies to work              well spent.                            chowitt@therecord.com                The Laurier students also re-
is taking off in the United                                                                                                                                                                          ceived the chairperson’s award
States, where the National Asso-
ciation of Senior Move Man-
agers was created six years ago.
                                               ‘People want to know their things are appreciated . . .’                                                                                              for the school demonstrating
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the greatest team spirit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The competition is Canada’s
Membership has grown to 400                    GUELPH                                                                                                                                                oldest and largest undergradu-
             ,
firms today from just 70 only 18                                                                                                                                                                     ate business case competition.
months ago.                                          elping their aging clients           M ETH O D I C AL
   “Older clients really need
that little extra layer of support
                                               H      decide what possessions to
                                               get rid of is the big challenge
                                                                                             MINDS                                                                                                   WLU prof will help
                                                                                      www.methodicalminds.ca                                                                                         advise Bank of Canada
where the moving companies                     for two partners behind a com-
leave off,” says Mary Kay                      pany called Methodical Minds.                                                                                                                             The C.D. Howe Institute has
                                                                                     Address: 9 Valleyview Dr.,
Buysse, executive director of                      “It’s a hard process. For them            Guelph, N1H 6E2                                                                                         appointed Pierre Siklos, a Wil-
the association.                               it’s like, “I’m getting rid of my                                                                                                                     frid Laurier University eco-
                                                                                     Founded: 2003
   She stresses that seniors-                  life,’ ” says Kathy MacLean,                                                                                                                          nomics professor, to its Mone-
move managers or consultants                   who runs the Guelph-based
                                                                                     Employees: 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                     tary Policy Council.
try to work in harmony with                    business with Liz Vogt.                                                                                                                                   The council consists of the
moving companies.                                  While the clients of Senior’s       They try to keep enough of                                                                                    chief Canadian economists
   “It’s a collaborative relation-             Move in Kitchener have usually       their client’s treasures so that                                                                                 of JPMorgan Chase, Merrill
ship rather than adversarial.”                 opted to decide by themselves        when they walk into their new                                                                                    Lynch, RBC Financial Group
          ,
   Varey 26, had no previous ex-               what to get rid of, this has not     place, it’s a smaller version of                                                                                 and the Ontario Teachers’ Pen-
perience in the moving indus-                  been the case with Methodical        their old home.                                                                                                  sion Plan, plus academics from
try when she formed her compa-                 Minds, which also helps seniors         While the partners are based                                                                                  seven universities.
ny three years ago.                            to downsize and move.                in Guelph, they have also had                                                                                        Before each scheduled Bank
                                                                                                                                                                       DAVE CARTER, GUELPH MERCURY
   But her mother had worked                       MacLean and Vogt say they        clients in Waterloo Region.                                                                                      of Canada announcement on
with the aged as a contractor                  work hard to sell or find uses for      No task is too small. They           Liz Vogt (left) and Kathy MacLean of Methodical Minds volunteered
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     interest-rate policy the council
finding social workers for long-               discarded items. They will con-      will even contact utilities, social     their time one day in 2006 to help organize the Guelph Red Cross
                                                                                                                                                                                                     surveys its 12 member econo-
term care facilities.                          tact antique dealers, auction-       services agencies and friends to        Society’s storage room.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     mists to determine what they
   A marketing graduate from                   eers, thrift shops, group homes,     notify them about their client’s                                                                                 believe the central bank should
Conestoga College in Kitchener,                crisis shelters, animal shelters.    changes of address.                        Methodical Minds got start-      well over half of their cus-         do.
Varey has a bachelor of com-                       They’ve even gone to theatre        Sometimes they also provide          ed five years ago with the part-    tomers are seniors                       The median recommenda-
merce degree in entrepreneur-                  groups with items such as old        a sympathetic ear.                      ners offering their services as        Even when clients have fami-      tion is adopted as the recom-
ial management from Royal                      military uniforms that might            “We do a lot of listening as         “professional organizers” for       ly members available who can         mendation of the council.
Roads University in Victoria,                  serve as costumes.                   we go through the china,”               the home or businessplace.          help them downsize, they often           Siklos has done a great deal
B.C.                                               “People want to know their       MacLean says. For the client,              Over time, they found that       feel more independent by bring-      of research on monetary policy ,
   On returning to Kitchener,                  things are appreciated and val-      “the whole process can be quite         more and more of their cus-         ing in outside help, MacLean         including central banks, infla-
she took a job as a market ana-                ued,” MacLean says.                  overwhelming.”                          tomers were seniors. And today ,    says.                                tion and interest rates.




                                                                          The Right People. Right Here.
       R001074726




                                                                              Gowlings Announces Its New Partners
                                                                              The Waterloo Region office of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP welcomes two new partners.
                                                                              Jacqueline Armstrong Gates’ main practice area is civil litigation, with an emphasis on commercial and banking litigation,
                                                                              insurance and professional liability, and restructuring and insolvency.
                                                                              Rosa Lupo’s practice focuses on debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, and general
                                                                              corporate/commercial advice.
                                                                              Gowlings is proud to add able and experienced professionals such as Jacqueline and Rosa to the partnership.



                                                                                                                          Montréal | Ottawa | Toronto | Hamilton | Waterloo Region | Calgary | Vancouver | Moscow
                    Rosa Lupo and Jacqueline Armstrong Gates
                                                                                                                                                                                                gowlings.com/waterloo

				
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