February 16, 2010 06:00 ET

Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies Announced

Winners set pace of change that all businesses should heed

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2010) -

Editors Note: There is an audio file associated with this Press Release

After opening up their books, operations and management to careful scrutiny, 50 of the country's leading private organizations now have the distinction of being recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for 2009. These companies, spanning every region across the country and an array of industries, have demonstrated business excellence through a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

"In tougher economic times, great management shines," says John Hughes, Deloitte partner, Private Company Services, and national leader of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies Program. "One of the most impressive aspects of this year's award recipients is the commitment by management teams and employees to work in concert to develop innovative ways of tackling their company's strategic issues in the face of a reset world."

The 2009 50 Best Managed Companies generated $9.8 billion in combined revenue, had an average revenue increase of 23 percent and employed over 39,000 Canadians.

"CIBC is proud to recognize this year's Best Managed companies who have clearly established leadership and an ability to grow their businesses and generate value in today's highly competitive market," said Jon Hountalas, Executive Vice-President, Business Banking, CIBC. "We have the opportunity to offer advice and to learn from companies involved in the program, and we are continually impressed with their vision and commitment." 

All businesses can benefit from the characteristics and common themes exhibited by this year's winners:

Best Managed Companies are builders. 

Many of this year's winners had completed one or more acquisitions over the past 12 months or had a significant pipeline of opportunities for acquisitions, joint ventures or structured alliances. A number of these opportunities are global in nature.

Best Managed Companies invest in their information systems.

This may be counter-intuitive in a soft economy, but Best Managed Companies use this period to acquire systems at a reasonable cost understanding the investment provides better information for decision making, improved customer service and enhanced visibility of the company's operation revenues and cost.

Best Managed Companies put extra focus on their balance sheets.

In light of last year's credit crisis and the absence of liquidity in the marketplace, Best Managed Companies looked to deleverage balance sheets and renegotiate debt and worked to ensure the right capital structure was in place.

Best Managed Companies plan for succession or business transition.

With the aging population, planning for a massive transfer of wealth, including the ownership of a significant number of Canadian private companies; preparing strategic succession plans emerged as a key theme with this year's recipients.

Best Managed Companies understand relationships are everything.

Key activities of management teams involved deepened relationships with all company stakeholders with a focus on customers, talent and business partners.

Best Managed Companies respond to the volatility of the U.S. dollar head-on.

Best Managed companies continue to alleviate the impact of the Canadian dollar by exploring hedging strategies to reduce volatility and protect margins and to search for customers that do not trade in the US currency (think European Union).

Best Managed Companies recognize they don't have all the answers.

They realize that they need to look outside their own business, industry and geography to tap into other sources, like the Best Managed Companies network, to search for ideas that could help their companies become even more successful.

Best Managed Companies employ a less for less strategy.

Instead of losing margins as customers pressured for price reductions, Best Managed Companies employed strategies that managed key business metrics and overhead costs to operate a more efficient infrastructure. They reviewed variable costs and worked with vendors to reduce costs, enabling them to protect margin and satisfy customer requests for lower prices and to build value-based business relationships.

2009 Best Managed winners

Company Name City Province
altis-excel HR Ottawa ON
Ames Tile & Stone Ltd. Burnaby BC
Bayshore Home Health Mississauga ON
Bluewave Energy Limited Dartmouth NS
Cahill Group of Companies St. John's NL
Colemans Food Centres Corner Brook NL
Dilawri Automotive Group Winnipeg MB
Dillon Consulting Toronto ON
E.B. Horsman & Son Surrey BC
EastLink Halifax NS
Evans Consoles Corporation Calgary AB
FirstEnergy Capital Corp. Calgary AB
Forensic Technology Inc. Cote St-Luc QC
Fournitures Funéraires Victoriaville Inc. Victoriaville QC
Groupe Deschenes Inc. Montreal QC
Groupe Sportscene inc. Boucherville QC
Harbour Air Seaplanes Richmond BC
Harry Rosen Inc. Toronto ON
JV Driver Leduc AB
Kemptville Truck Centre Limited Kingston ON
Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions Toronto ON
Kramer Ltd. Regina SK
Kultur Hardwood Flooring Renfrew ON
M&M Meat Shops Ltd. Kitchener ON
Maison Laprise Inc. Montmagny QC
Mastronardi Produce/SUNSET® Kingsville ON
Morrison Homes Calgary AB
Nienkamper Toronto ON
NRT Technology Corp. Toronto ON
Omicron Canada Inc. Vancouver BC
Pelmorex Media Inc. Oakville ON
Pomerleau Inc. Saint-Georges QC
Procom Consultants Toronto ON
Richardson International Limited Winnipeg MB
Russell A. Farrow Limited Windsor ON
Saskatchewan Minerals Inc. Chaplin SK
Sifton Properties Limited London ON
SIRIUS Satellite Radio Canada Toronto ON
Solutions 2 GO Inc. Mississauga ON
Southmedic Inc. Barrie ON
Standard Products Inc. Saint-Laurent QC
Tarpon Energy Services Calgary AB
Tenaquip Limited Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue QC
The Driving Force Inc. Edmonton AB
Triple M Metal LP Brampton ON
uniPHARM Wholesale Drugs Ltd. Richmond BC
United Van Lines (Canada) Ltd. Mississauga ON
Upside Software Inc. Edmonton AB
Wakefield Canada Inc. Toronto ON
Wellington West Holdings Inc. Winnipeg MB

2009 Best Managed winners, Platinum Club members, and Requalified members will be honoured at the 17th annual, invitation-only Best Managed Symposium and Gala on March 8, 2010 in Toronto.

About Canada's Best Managed Companies

Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies continues to be the mark of excellence for Canadian-owned and managed private companies with revenues over $10 million. Every year, since the launch of the program in 1993, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies have competed for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates their management skills and practices. The awards are granted on three levels: 1) Best Managed winner (one of the 50 new winners selected each year); 2) Requalified member (repeat winners retain the Best Managed designation for two additional years, subject to annual operational and financial review); 3) Platinum Club member (winners that maintain Best Managed status for a minimum of six consecutive years). Program sponsors are Deloitte, CIBC Commercial Banking, National Post and Queen's School of Business. For further information, visit

Listen to the interview with 2009 Best Managed Winner United Van Lines: 

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