CYAN MAGENTA F1 -KJ #
the record S M A L L
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2008
BUSINESS EDITOR: RON DERUYTER 519-894-2231, EXT. 2622 firstname.lastname@example.org
$89.21 US $889.60 US
–$0.71 US +$8.80 US
Looking after the details
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
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
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
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. email@example.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-
She stresses that seniors- life,’ ” says Kathy MacLean, nomics professor, to its Mone-
move managers or consultants who runs the Guelph-based
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.
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