Business & Oilsands(Archives)
HVAC Solutions: A True Leader in Our Community
Often referred to as ‘most giving community in Canada,’ Fort McMurray is known for its remarkable generosity towards causes it truly believes in. A vital part of the community’s generosity is the strong support from local businesses. HVAC Solutions Ltd. is a prime example of this. Through their significant support of community causes, they are playing an active role in ensuring our community remains strong, healthy and resilient moving forward.
HVAC Solutions is one of the leading mechanical companies in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas, offering a wide range of mechanical services to industrial, commercial and residential markets. Serving the Wood Buffalo region for the past 13 years, the company places significant focus on supporting their community.
“I recall Leo Roberts [of L. Robert Enterprises Ltd.] telling me that if you support the community, the community will support you,” says Brad Lucier, President of HVAC Solutions. “So I’ve taken that advice, and we manage our business around that [philosophy].”
According to Lucier, both himself personally and the company has made a point over the past 13 years to invest in a number of worthy causes including Educare, the Northern Lights Health Foundation, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Fort McMurray Minor Hockey, Big Brother, Big Sisters, Kids Forever, Ronald McDonald House, Halos and the Wood Buffalo Food Bank.
“Educare has been a big one for me. I sat on the Board for five years to try and help them. Initially they didn’t know where they were going to end up as they were on a month to month lease and were struggling for money. The Board of Directors started putting big functions together so they could raise the funds they needed to help fulfill their budget requirements.”
He also notes how he has increased his involvement with the Health Foundation in recent years.
“I’ve started to get more involved with the hospital. Having spent many nights there, it’s good to see your donations at work. The last two years we have donated a significant amount of wine on a specially made tree called the Wine Pine. It seems to be a big hit at the events,” he shares. “Last year was a big year for us, as we ended up with the winning bid for four trees which was more money than we’ve ever donated in one event.”
Additionally, Lucier goes on to share his involvement with Rotary International and how he has leveraged his involvement to support various social profits.
“As a new member of Rotary, we have met with Habitat for Humanity to talk to them about how to get extra funding from Rotary International. We have also met with Educare who were underfunded after the fire and are trying to replace a number of items from various sensory programs, advising them of the same thing,” he says.
Through using his connections through Rotary to support social profits, Lucier says its one way he can continue supporting these vital organizations while his company works through the realities of the wildfire.
“Business is down 50 per cent. It has really hurt us. We lost a lot of our employees because some were from out of town, and some had homes lost in the wildfire and chose not to come back. So, we’ve needed to rehire – and that involves training and getting them to understand our business and our way of thinking,” he says. “It has been quite traumatic and I understand, but it does make it that much more difficult to do business.”
That said, Lucier goes on to share what he feels are the unique strengths of the Fort McMurray business community.
“The business community in Fort McMurray is unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else, and I’ve worked all across Canada,” he says. “It’s almost like family. We look after each other. We talk to each other. It’s a big town, but a small town atmosphere.”
Lucier continues by remarking on the resiliency of the Fort McMurray community and its ability to support causes its residents truly believe in.
“I love it when the community can rally around something that’s important to them and come out shining,” he says. “For instance, look at the fundraising everyone did for Bo Cooper and the amount of money that was raised for that. If there’s a genuine cause out there, Fort McMurray will get behind it. And I hold that to heart.”
For HVAC Solutions, a crucial part of supporting the community is supporting their own employees and providing assistance they need when faced with challenges. According to Lucier, one way they recently did this was in supporting a number of employees in obtaining their permanent residency in Canada.
“Our company has supported three in total, including a husband and wife from New Zealand. They’ve been with us for almost six years now and it has been an almost two-year process trying to apply for permanent residency,” he says.
Lucier shares that the company hired immigration consultants and lawyers to support these individuals through the immigration process – something he notes as a difficult time, but something very worthwhile both personally and for the company.
“We’ve got good people and we want to keep good people in Fort McMurray because its what makes the place a better place. So as a company, I’ll forego some of the expense to get them here and keep them here,” he says. “The employees are a big part and we need good employees to help promote our business, and these people are dedicated to the company.”
Lucier goes on to share how the culture of his company is unique and has developed a close-knit family feel – something he credits for being able to recruit and retain quality staff who truly care about the business.
“Our company is quite unique and I feel we’re truly blessed with the employees we have, because they are there day in day out and they are giving their all for the company. It’s not about them getting a paycheck. It’s about them succeeding and making the company a better place,” he says. “Therefore, me as an employer, I feel very gracious about that, that I’ve managed to accumulate these types of employees so therefore they do become family and what do you do when family is in trouble? You help out family. That’s the way I look at it.”
For more information on HVAC Solutions and the services they provide, visit hvac-solutions.ca.