New Brunswick has been known worldwide across generations for its billionaire families, the McCains and the Irvings who have made the lists of Canada’s and the world’s wealthiest individuals for decades. But the province is home to other business titans – some well-known to New Brunswickers, and some not.
For New Brunswick Day, we’ve compiled a list of 12 business leaders as suggested by some of their peers. Thanks for their suggestions go to Beth Webster of health records management company, Populus Global Solutions Inc.; Donald Savoie, a professor at Université de Moncton and author of Looking for Bootstraps: Economic Development in the Maritimes; and Andrea Feunekes of Remsoft.
Normand Cassie: Imperial Manufacturing, Richibucto
Cassie is the founder of Imperial Manufacturing, a manufacturer of more than 7,000 heating, air conditioning, ventilation and building products for residential and light commercial applications. The company has more than 1,000 employees working in manufacturing and warehouse facilities across North America. Caissie opened Imperial Sheet Metal Limited, the original firm that would become known as the Imperial Manufacturing Group of Companies, in 1979. Cassie comes from a family of entrepreneurs and began his career with the Bank of Montreal and Seagram Distilleries.
Glenn Cooke: Cooke Aquaculture, Blacks Harbour
Cooke is the founder of Cooke Aquaculture, which produces, processes and distributes salmon, wild-caught salmon, scallops, crab, oysters, shrimp and other value-added products. The Cooke family’s group of companies began with Cooke Aquaculture, established in 1985 as Kelly Cove Salmon. Gifford, Michael and Glenn Cooke’s original company was a single marine cage site containing 5,000 salmon. In just over 30 years, the Cooke companies have grown from producing 5,000 Atlantic salmon to 275,000 tonnes of seafood with global sales approaching $2-billion.
Roxanne Fairweather: Innovatia, Saint John
Fairweather is the President and CEO of Innovatia, which delivers knowledge management services in three areas including learning solutions, documentation and technical support. Founded in 1999, the company is global in scale, with 650 people working at offices in Saint John, Halifax, Calgary, Houston and India. Fairweather has been leading Innovatia since 2001 and has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications and knowledge management industries.
Andrea and Ugo Feunekes: Remsoft, Fredericton
Andrea, CEO, and Ugo, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), are the co-founders of Remsoft, which uses big data to bring business intelligence to managing and optimizing land assets in forestry, utilities and other resource sectors. Established in 1992, the company now has 200 clients worldwide and works with public agencies, leading products companies, timber investment management organizations and appraisal consulting companies to balance conflicting priorities and goals to more effectively manage risks, costs and decision complexities while creating sustainable value. A veteran of the New Brunswick technology sector, Andrea was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Startup Canada in 2015.
David Ganong: Ganong, St. Stephen
Ganong was the fourth of the generations of family members to be president and CEO of Ganong Bros. Limited, Canada’s oldest independently family-owned and operated chocolate company founded in 1873. He was president and CEO for 33 years until a member of the fifth generation of Ganongs, Bryana, took over in 2014. Now the executive vice-chair of the company, Ganong is actively involved in the life of his community as well, helping spearhead an effort to revitalize St. Stephen.
Terry Malley: Malley Industries, Dieppe
Malley, president and CEO of Malley Industries, has entrepreneurial roots that trace back to a family trip to Expo 67 in Montreal. They camped in less than ideal conditions and Terry’s father A.J. returned home inspired to design and build his own camper. That led to a business building them for others. In 1979, Terry and his wife Maude opened a factory in Moncton and Malley Industries is now a leading manufacturer of ambulances and other emergency vehicles, law enforcement and commercial vehicles, conversions for persons with physical challenges, design engineering and plastics manufacturing.
Francis McGuire: ACOA, Moncton
Francis McGuire is a man who won’t be slowing down, even in his “retirement” from Major Drilling. After serving 15 years as president of Major Drilling, McGuire continued to mentor and invest in Canadian startups and continued full-force with his role as chair of the Wallace McCain Institute. He was an active member of the New Brunswick Business Council and also sits on the board of four private companies: Major Drilling, Industrial Alliance, Shaw Group and Populus. Back in June, Mcguire took on his new role as the president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
Brian Neill: Star Choice, Fredericton
Brian Neill is the founder and former chairman and CEO of Star Choice Communications Inc., Canada’s first DTH satellite television service that was sold to Shaw Communications. A lawyer by trade, Neill is currently chairman and a shareholder of BTV+ and Ciel Satellite Group, a privately-held satellite operator based in Ottawa.
Sylvia MacVey: Barbours, Sussex
MacVey is president and CEO of Barbours, famous, of course, for its King Cole Tea brand. But since 2011, the company that is celebrating its 150th birthday has added to its product line, with more nut butters and baking goods, including extracts and spices. By adapting to changing markets and focusing on consistent products, Barbours has stayed strong in a competitive market and is now a company as old as the country itself. MacVey’s family has been involved with Barbours since 1952 when they bought the company from the Barbour family.
Derek Oland: Moosehead Breweries, Saint John
Oland is the former president and CEO, and now Chairman of Moosehead. His son Andrew is now president and CEO and credits his father for ensuring the survival and prosperity of the family business by developing the export side of the business beginning in the early 1960s. Moosehead has been selling beer in the U.S. since 1977, and developing more of a national footprint with the purchase of Niagara Falls Brewing Company, which is now known as Hop City Brewing. It’s home to beers like Barking Squirrel and Hopbot IPA.
Jean-Claude Savoie: Groupe Savoie Inc., St-Quentin
Savoie and his father mortgaged their homes in 1978 to buy a saw mill, and it grew to become the company that employs hundreds of people in Saint Quentin. Group Savoie is now a leading producer of a wide range of top-quality hardwood products, including pallets and pallet components, cabinet and furniture components, hardwood lumber, tone wood components, ecological fuels and wood chips. The company has production facilities in St-Quentin, Moncton, Kedgwick, and Westville, Nova Scotia.