October 2019 – Making Waves

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1173482

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 71

BCBUSINESS.CA OCTOBER 2019 BCBUSINESS 47 E N T R E P R E N E U R O F T H E Y E A R 2 0 1 9 / C O N S U M E R P R O D U C T S + S E R V I C E S R U N N E R - U P Amin Shivji C E O , 1 2 3 D E N T I S T n Cautioned by his university professors that dentist jobs were limited in the Lower Mainland, Dr. Amin Shivji bought a practice with two classmates before he graduated from dentistry school at UBC in the 1990s. Shivji kept acquiring clinics and now runs the second- largest dental service organiza- tion ( DSO) in Canada, with 62 practices in four provinces. By the end of 2019, he expects to be approaching 100. Shivji was born in Tanzania and immigrated to Canada at age seven, following brief stays in Pakistan and Kenya. He attributes his success to rela- tionships. "Relationships with my partners, with the banks, with suppliers," he says. "My philosophy is pure and simple: it's inclusiveness. Make sure everyone has an opportunity." His Coquitlam-based company is set up differently from other DSOs, he notes, as dentists he partners with retain control at the clinical level, while 123Dentist provides the non-clinical support–payroll, accounting, human resources and real estate. –J.N.W. R U N N E R S - U P Caitlin Dunne, Jon Havelock, Jeff Roberts + Ken Seethram C O - D I R E C T O R S , P A C I F I C C E N T R E F O R R E P R O D U C T I V E M E D I C I N E R U N N E R - U P Vern Milani P R E S I D E N T , M I L A N I P L U M B I N G , H E A T I N G & A I R C O N D I T I O N I N G n Vern Milani was eight years old when he began helping his father, an Italian immigrant, with the family drainage business founded in 1956. His payment? A bottle of Coke and a hot dog on the weekend. As a teenager, Milani learned the inner workings of the Burnaby-based company, everything from digging ditches to his dad's leadership style. He eventually became a plumber and bought the company in 1986, adding heating and air condition- ing services. When he acquired Milani Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, it had two vehicles and a handful of employees; he now oversees 130 people and a fleet of 100 vehicles. "I'm always looking at better ways to do things–better processes, the latest technology, the latest tools–to make life for our staff and customers easier," Milani says, explaining that he opened a 25,000-square-foot warehouse so clients didn't have to wait for replacement parts. "We like to feel that our custom- ers are like our family." –J.N.W. n The Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine wants women to have it all: education, career and family. Operating four clinics in B.C. and one in Edmonton, co-owners Drs. Caitlin Dunne, Jon Havelock, Jeff Roberts and Ken Seethram recognize that women face a lot of pressure to achieve their professional and personal goals in a short time. "Women today are savvy," explains Dunne, who grew up in Toronto and completed her medical degree at the University of Western Ontario. "They're interested in their fertility, and what we've tried to do is edu- cate them with the best possible information…and come up with a plan that is perfectly suited to their fertility goals." This approach has helped PCRM become the fertility clinic with the most locations in Western Canada, as well as the only one with two full-service embryol- ogy laboratories. The company employs 120 people, 85 percent of them female, including some in key leadership positions. "We put our care of people and of our team first," Dunne says, noting that the team is committed to supporting women in science, technology, engineering and math ( STEM). "We're businesspeople second. That's true by our training, but it's also true by our fundamen- tals, and it's served us well." –J.N.W. (From left) Jon Havelock, Ken Seethram, Jeff Roberts and Caitlin Dunne

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of BCBusiness - October 2019 – Making Waves