In this day and age, businesses cannot survive unless they invest in progressive met­h­ods. Technology, if not undergoing a com­plete change, is being updated almost on a daily basis, and successful companies must compete on a certain level of sophistication. 

When a heavy frost damaged the orchards owned by John and Ross Gorman, the brothers came to realize that their only source of income was not going to be as steady as they had thought. With the fruit industry in need of better packaging, the Gormans began a fruit box business as a temporary second income until new fruit trees started to produce. However, making boxes led to the brothers setting up a small sawmill, and nearly 60 years later, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. is a leading lumber supplier serving a global market.

For more than 20 years, Constant Fire Protection Systems (CFPS) Ltd. has served Calgary with the design, installation, maintenance and inspection of high-quality fire suppression systems. After gaining experience from a former employer, owner and President Jim Anderson incorporated the company in 1988, but discovered that starting his own fire systems contracting business was a little challenging at first.

When President Steve Barkhouse began the Amsted Group of Companies in 1989, he was the only employee. It was the beginning of a recession in Canada and he was beginning to wonder what he was thinking opening a design/build construction company. “I watched a lot of companies go under because of mistakes they made,” he recalls.“You had to be good at what you did or you’d go under,” he adds. “I learned a lot from those difficult times.”

At WesTower Communications, the construction of towers never gets boring, Richard Kirby says. “There always seems to be a challenge, whether you’re building a tower in a very remote location with helicopters or putting a stealth site up in a major city,” he says, “it’s different, and it’s changing all the time.”

S.E. Cline Construction is about as versatile as a general contracting land development firm can be. Its crews will even go beyond the shorelines to develop land below the waterline. The Palm Coast, Fla.,-based company serves northeast Florida, “but we tend to look further as times get more interesting,” says Sam Cline, president, and have even ventured into South Florida and Alabama. Cline is on the board of directors of the Palm Coast chamber of commerce while Scott Sowers, vice president and director of land development, is president of the City of Bunnell chamber.

As anyone who seen the Las Vegas skyline can attest, some of the most well-known hotels and resorts in the world reside in this locale. If any construction firm has cracked the code to successfully delivering these palatial projects, it is M.J. Dean Construction. The general contracting firm, which began in 1989, offers clients consulting, cost analysis, construction, operations and project management in the Las Vegas area.

With the economy in the doldrums, many contractors across the United States and Canada have been forced to close their doors, or at the very least, reduce their staffs to cut down overhead. The idea of a general building contracting company growing during these difficult times is practically unheard of, but this is precisely the case for Lavergne Construction.

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