May 19, 2020

The River Introduces Luxe Living in Calgary

The River Calgary
luxury real estate
Chris Bourassa
Bizclik Editor
3 min
The River Introduces Luxe Living in Calgary


The River is a residential condo development that is making headlines as the most expensive condo ever sold in Calgary’s real estate history selling for $8.3 million. But it’s not just the price tag that has our attention. The River has introduced a brand new concept of luxury estate condominiums that has never been done in Calgary before, and that has our interest.

“Luxury estate condominiums encompass all the good of an estate home such as size, privacy and exclusivity, but with the convenience of a condo lifestyle. I envision this as a concept that is going to simplify the lives of our 38 residents,” says Chris Bourassa Chief Operating Officer of Ledcor Properties Inc. “This enables a lock-and-go lifestyle, meaning they can travel for weeks without being bogged down by yard maintenance or security. In fact, our concierge service can prepare for their return, by booking out the dog grooming space so that Fido can get a haircut while the homeowner is relaxing in a private yoga session with their instructor on-site.”  Thoughtful considerations such as these have put The River on a prestigious level of its own, which offer much more than bricks, mortar and a highly sought after location.

Typically, if consumers are in the market for a high-end piece of real estate, they are essentially limited to the top five per cent of the market as a whole,” says Bourassa. He goes on to explain that this five per cent represents the handful of penthouse units that are mixed in with the 95 per cent of standard units. This is a typical mix of  residential building.

While some enjoy being the King of the Hill, this can get problematic when the homeowner of an entry suite, who has invested only a fraction of what the penthouse owner has, may have differing objectives but an equal amount of rights. Alternatively, The River offers 100 per cent large penthouse units, and can be better described as a collection of estate condominiums. With only 38 units in the entire project, this is a decidedly boutique building. High-end finishings and a thoughtful space design also attract buyers who expect only the highest quality.

Although zoning allowed for five times the site area (205,000 square feet) only 132,000 square feet will be built. This allows for larger units ranging above 5,000 square feet with additional outdoor living space up to 2,950 square feet. “Research showed us that downsizing buyers still wanted three to four thousand square feet of space or bigger and we didn’t want to build a property where buyers had to compromise their wants. We want to deliver everything they desired and more,” says Bourassa.

So why Calgary? Calgary is arguably home to the most reliable oil source in North America and has employment and population growth that is forecasted to lead the nation. With this growth largely driven by energy companies, The River caters to these executives who are looking to trade in their detached homes for estate condominiums. Unlike Toronto and Vancouver that has garnered much international investment, Calgary’s high-end condo market has yet to be serviced adequately. The River uniquely caters to locals and will serve as their primary residence as many already own homes in sunnier parts in the world such as Phoenix, Palm Desert or Hawaii.

While many properties are built each day, only a handful is game-changing. The River is well on its way to being an iconic project in Calgary and we look forward to seeing it lead the way.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for 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.

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