A small unassuming town in rural Alberta may not immediately jump out at you when looking to relocate the central operations of your multi-national environmental tech company – that is, unless your name is Ken Zimmer – president of RRAI (Recycling & Recovery Assets International Ltd ). Ken left the big city, and moved into a beautiful Vulcan heritage home with his wife Michelle and son Jon in the Fall of 2012. “We fell in love with the town, the people, and the prospects of competitive high-speed internet… a pre-requisite to moving my company here”. RRAI purchased the old veterinary clinic building in the summer of 2013.
What does RRAI do? “We specialize in enterprise e-lifecycle security consultancy, technology processes implementation and risk mitigation program development for big oil and gas companies in both Canada and the United States.” What do they actually do? “We provide IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) solutions – specifically enterprise-level information technology & telecom equipment retirement logistics, secure on-site hard drive shredding, data sanitization, data centre decommissioning, and value recovery” explains Ken, adding “We also recycle computers, although it accounts for less than 2% of our business.” Ken was invited to join VBIT in 2014 to represent the technology sector. http://www.rrai.com/
Growing up on a farm in the rather quiet Ensign District of Vulcan County in the 50’s and 60’s may have given Sandra Haga Scott the desire to travel early in life, but it was her love of home that brought her back when the opportunity arose in 2013. During the years away she lived and started businesses in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Toronto. But it was the 23 years in Toronto and the building of a large drug licensed cosmetics manufacturing plant with her husband Daniel that proved to be the key to success. The company, Cosmetica Laboratories Inc., was sold in 2004 to Canada’s wealthiest woman and after a few years in Vancouver, Sandra decided the allure of Vulcan was just too strong to ignore. It was about this time she learned of the activities of the Vulcan Brand Innovation Team and eagerly joined their ranks. With her many years in sales and marketing, she knew that to build upon Vulcan’s unique relationship to Star Trek would give Vulcan the leverage needed to develop a fresh new tech-related image. Sandra is currently acting Co-Chair of VBIT.
As the daughter of third generation farmers, a career in jewellery wasn’t on the radar for Sandra Locken while growing up on the family farm near Blackie. But the glitter of precious stones and fate allowed her to find her niche.
After working in the industry for several years, she opened her own store at Market Street in 2009. In 2010 Sandra and her husband Dale purchased one of Vulcan’s first bank buildings on 2nd St. and moved the business there. The store, which gets its name from the first two initials of each of her son’s names, is now well established and flourishing.
“People said I was crazy to open a jewellery store in Vulcan,” says Locken, “But I believe that this town is on the cusp of greatness – we just need collaborative work between our councils and the vision to believe in the ‘totality of possibilities’. Sandra was invited to join VBIT in 2011 to represent the business sector and just recently was elected Chairman of the organization.
Like so many country kids before him, Ray Shaw left Vulcan after high school but fortunately he returned in 1986 to farm and raise a family, now married to Bev Knutson- Shaw and the parents of three children, Nick, Keegan and Claire. Ray started a greenhouse business with bedding plants which evolved into a wetland plant supply and installation service (Knutson & Shaw Growers). In 2007, Ray invested in a wind turbine as a grid tied power source. Forty – five solar pv panels were added later to now produce 100 % of the electrical needs for his residence and greenhouse. Ray was invited to join VBIT in 2012 and is very excited about promoting the environment pillar of VBIT.