Canada’s Best 14 of 2014
2014 comes to an end, we would like to shine a spotlight on 14 of Canada’s noteworthy businesses and business owners. Our list consists of businesses and people in a wide range of categories.
1-Best Job in Canada:
2014’s best job in Canada was calculated by using market data to rank the best-paying, fastest-growing positions with the brightest outlook for the foreseeable future. With a median salary of $85,342, salary growth of 14% and a 25% increase in the workforce size, in the past 6 years Lawyers took the first place on the list of Canada’s best jobs. (Source: CanadianBusiness.com)
2-Best Workplace- Large and Multinational:
Great Place to Work Institute Canada has elected Google Inc. as the best workplace for a large company in Canada. Their list recognized 50 large and multinational companies with more than 1000 employees working in Canada or worldwide. The metrics used by Great Place to Work Institute, consist of assessing a company’s Trust Index employee survey, workplace cultural assessment process, Trust Audit and Trust Appraisal
3-Best Medium Workplace:
The list of best medium workplaces in Canada, published by Great Place to Work Institute, consists of 50 companies with 50-999 employees working in Canada. With 106 employees, the software company 360 Incentives ranks number one as the best medium workplace in Canada.
4-Best Workplace for Women:
This list reported by Great Place to Work Institute recognizes 25 best workplaces in Canada for women. Royal LePage Performance Realty, a privately owned company with 393 employees, has been listed as the number one 2014 workplace for women in Canada.
5-Best People Practice:
For attracting and retaining Aboriginal talent, TD Bank Group was named the company with the best people practice in Canada for the year 2014.
For the next four categories, Corporate Knight measured variables such as, carbon emission, energy consumption, use of water, non-recycled waste produced, diversity, executive compensation linked to clean capitalism-themed performance and CEO pay expressed as multiple compared to average worker.
6-Best Sustainable Company in the Energy Industry:
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Husky Energy ranks number one as the 2014’s best performing company in the energy industry in Canada.
7-Best Sustainable Company in the Financial Industry:
The member-owned financial co-operative, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union is named 2014’s best sustainable company in the financial industry.
8-Best Performing Company in the Industrial Sector:
The aerospace and transportation company, Bombardier, ranks number one as the 2014’s best performing company in the industrial sector in Canada.
9-Best Performing Company in the Material Industry:
The best performing company in the industrial sector, Teck Resources, a metals and mining company, was chosen as the best performing company in the material industry.
10-Best Responsible Corporate Leader in Canada:
Corporate Knights list of Future 40 Responsible Leaders in Canada consists of Companies that disclose environmental, social and governance data. Greater Toronto Airports Authority ranks number one on 2014’s best Responsible leaders in Canada.
11-Best Female Entrepreneur in Canada:
The women chosen for this category by the Profit, Canada’s leading media brand dedicated to entrepreneurial business, were ranked based on the combination of the sales, three-year revenue growth rate and profitability of their businesses. Shannon Rogers, president of Global Relay Communications, with a three year revenue growth of 102% has been named the number one female Entrepreneur in Canada for the year 2014.
12-Best Brand in Canada:
Based on a survey performed by Reputation Institute, Tim Hortons ranks as the number one Canadian brand of 2014. The poll seeks opinions on aspects of a company’s reputation ranging from product quality to governance, citizenship and workplace culture, among others.
13-Best Province for Canadian Entrepreneurs to Launch a Business:
The annual national ranking, compiled in the 2014 Entrepreneurial Communities report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, places eight of the top 10 municipal areas to start and grow a business in one province: Alberta. The report assesses how municipalities are enabling entrepreneurs and small business to start, grow, and prosper.
14-Best Fastest Growing Company in Canada:
The PROFIT 500 evaluates businesses in all sectors on five-year revenue growth, meaning that each company on the list has a) proven itself viable, b) found a stable and scalable group of customers and c) sustained growth for longer than many companies even exist. And in almost every case, they have a strategy to keep the momentum going. With a revenue growth of 7,308%, FourQuest Energy INC. is placed at the top of the 2014’s fastest growing companies in Canada.
From the fallen oil prices to the recent rise in Canadian stock to the large acquisitions such as Repsol’s plan to purchase Talisman and Burger King’s merger with Tim Hortons, 2014 has been an interesting year for business in Canada.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.