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Celebrating the Faces of Small Business Week 2020


October 22 marks Small Business Week in Canada and a welcome opportunity to thank and celebrate the thousands of small businesses that we work with from coast to coast to coast. During the current pandemic they have risen to countless challenges and forged a way forward despite uncertainty and change. This year we are bringing a few of the many faces behind these small business into focus as we thank them for building or communities. 

Meet Ali Tregunno - Halifax Seed

Ali is the owner of Halifax Seed Company -- Canada’s oldest continuously operating family owned seed company. They were established in 1866 and have developed over the years to be the market leader in Atlantic Canada in the horticulture and agriculture industries. Operating with three locations- Halifax retail and commercial office, Debert NS distribution center, and in Saint John NB retail and commercial office. The numbers of employees fluctuate due to the seasonality of the business, with their peak being in the spring time. In total we employ 45 people, fluctuating up to roughly 60 in our peak season.

 Ali Halifax Seed


Halifax Seed has been working closely with many JDI businesses, dating back to when Ali’s grandfather was running the business. They are currently working on a large irrigation project in Juniper, and previously have put in multiple Priva Injection systems plus the computer installs, greenhouse upgrades including ventilation and irrigations. They also supply Premier Soil for our potatoes and Plant Product fertilizers for our tree seedlings!

"Having businesses value supporting local and the relationships that we have developed are extremely important to our business,” says Ali. “Thanks to people and businesses like JDI we are able to employ Atlantic Canadians year round and grow our business in order to create new jobs and opportunities for our staff.”

 Halifax Seed Logo


Ali says her family takes pride in being a local business and is grateful they’ve been able to keep their business running during turbulent times, such as the pandemic.

“One of the best things about being a small business is that the money stays local, we employ people who live in our regions and ownership is active in the day-to-day workings of the business,” adds Ali. “Being a 4th generation family member is very special to myself and my sister, we have staff who are currently working for us that were hired by our grandfather.”



Meet Debby Farnell-Rudolph - Farnell Packaging, Limited 

Farnell Packaging Limited is a family owned and operated business. Since 1988, this business has been been a long time supplier to many JDI businesses such as, Cavendish Farms, Juniper Farms, Sawmills, Woodlands, and Tissue. We connected with Debby virtually to learn more about her business. 




Meet Jack MacMillan - J & J Machine Shop LTD

"I have been a small business owner my whole life. I purchased a shop in 2005 to support my forestry operation. I'm proud of the fact that I have been able to build a business and that my employees are making a good living. Truthfully, that's what makes me feel the best."




Meet Scott Mason - S. Mason Timber LTD

Scott Mason started his company in June of 2014. He now has eight employee and is currently working on his 7th season on his own.

 Scott Mason


"The best part for me of owning a small business, is looking back at all the accomplishments which me and my team have had so far," says Mason. "From the start up period, to learning about new machines, to adding and expanding machines, and even having them break down - we have been able to overcome anything that was thrown at us!" 


Meet Lisa Kilpatrick - First Line Safety and Training Services

Lisa Kilpatrick is a seasoned paramedic and owner of First Line Safety and Training Services. Thanks to Lisa we have 25 trained responders at our pulp and paper mills. 




Meet Paula Walker - Industcom

Paula is the sole owner of Industcom, a Saint John based industrial insulation company started by her father in 1982. Her team is made up of 12-15 employees, all members of the Local 131 Heat and Frost Insulators, who are trained to insulate and apply metal finishes to piping, tanks, large vessels, and ventilation systems in the industrial field.

 Paula Walker 1


Paula’s team is currently working on the Digester Upgrade at Lake Utopia Paper, while also working on insulating the five new tanks at Irving Pulp and Paper.

Industcom has been a long time supplier to JDI operations, having worked on projects at Grand River Pellets, Atlantic Wallboard, Atlantic Towing, CFM, Irving Tissue, Irving Paper, and Lake Utopia Paper.

 Paula Walker 2


“90% of our work comes from JDI and we are very grateful. They have done a great job during the pandemic, keeping our employees safe and working,” says Paula. “Being able to ensure our employees safety and wellbeing on a more personal and individual level is one of the best parts of being a small business owner.”


Irving Tissue

Meet Christopher Paul Sr. - President/CEO, CP Security Group, Inc., Georgia

 Christopher Paul


CP Security Group, Inc. is operated by the President and CEO Christopher J. Paul, Sr.  He is currently a sergeant with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.  He has 15 years of law enforcement experience and began his law enforcement career in 2000.  He was also the operations manager for a local security guard company in Macon, Georgia for two years where, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of approximately 10 sites and up to 100 employees.

Christopher Paul, Sr. believes in giving back to the communities in which we have relationships with our clients/partners.  He is married to Shavonda Paul who is a Licensed Practical Nurse.  The Pauls have six children.  Their family attends Union Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia.  His lifelong mission is to do as much as he can to have a positive impact on his community.

Christopher Paul, Sr. is committed to excellence and proven results. This is the mindset and standard he brings to CP Security Group, Inc. and to the clients and partners he serves.

"Being a partner with the Irving brand legitimizes CP Security Group, Inc. as one of the premier security agencies in the state of Georgia because the core beliefs of our business and employees marries well with the core beliefs and philosophies of what the Irving names stands for."


Meet Denika Coakley - DC Woodworks

With a love for carpentry and design, DC Woodworks has grown from furniture building to flipping homes. 

Based out of Halifax, NS, Denika Coakley has been a carpenter for just over 6 years and just completed her first home flip where she documented the process on social media with tips and DIY tutorials to inspire people to pick up their tools! 

As a content creator, she has partnered with Kent Building Supplies on multiple projects: 

"Having collaborated with Denika for a few years, she really is the epitome of DIY. She takes otherwise complicated home renovation projects and breaks them down to simple steps and really empowers others to tackle their own projects. We are thankful to be partnered with talented individuals such as Denika, it allows us the opportunity to build relationships in the community and develop expert content on our social and digital channels." Laurie Diver, Digital Marketing Lead, Kent Building Supplies



"There is no better feeling then walking away at the end of the day/job and physically seeing the change you made," says Denika. "Watching your skill grow over the years is something I love to do. Partly why I started documenting the process. In times of doubt, you can really see how far you have come."

For DC Woodworks YouTube Channel, click here.


Meet Greg Dickie - Atlantic Windows

Based out of Port Elgin, NB, Atlantic Windows understands the harsh Atlantic Canadian weather that we face.
Join Greg Dickie, company president, as he gives you the story of the company's inception, product history, community focus and charitable work.




Meet Heaton Rosborough – Rosborough Boats 

Rosborough Boats started in 1955, refitting classic wooden fishing sailing schooners into yachts that lead to the design and building of their own sailing vessels that were built in yards throughout Nova Scotia in the late 70s and early 80s.  The second Generation turned to commercial fishing and pleasure vessels which turned into vessels for government agencies.

Now with its 3rd generation of family management, Rosborough works with government and official marine operators around the globe, as well as individual mariners. Our Rough Water Multi-Role Rescue Boats were selected by ISI and Canada as the multi-function auxiliary boats for the Harry DeWolf Class AOPS.

Rosborough Boats is providing the Rough Water 8.5 meter Multi-Role Rescue Boats for the Harry DeWolf Class AOPVs and has worked closely with ISI and the Royal Canadian Navy to tailor our craft to meet the demanding current and future operational needs of Canada' sailors.

"While well known in Canada through our work with the Canadian Coast Guard and other federal departments, we were not that well known to navies outside of Canada. Being a part of the Royal Canadian Navy's future fleet has given us exposure to navies and other user groups around the world," says Heaton Rosborough. "The contract to build our Rough Water 8.50 for the AOPS has allowed us to further diversify our product offerings and reach new markets."



"We have become known for our Pro-Series Vessels with primarily Government and Commercial Users, although we still build  semi-custom boats for the recreational users, says Rosborogh. "Also, our second facility is located on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in the 100 Wild Islands, which is one of the most beautiful, pristine unknown boating areas on the east coast," says Rosborough.


 Meet Jason Soubliere - Day Nite Neon Signs 

Day Nite Neon Signs, which began as a small business in 1948 in Halifax Nova Scotia, now employs approximately 55 sign industry professionals in three provinces.


 Day Nite
Photo taken prior to COVID-19 


“We have been supplying the aerospace industry for over 50 years and have worked with the Coast Guard and now with Irving Shipbuilding,” said Jason Soubliere, Account Executive at Day Nite Neon Signs. 

As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Day Nite was selected as a vendor to supply a variety of products for the new Arctic and Offshore Patrol vessels including: valve tags, photoluminescent signage, placards, chrome name plates and various decals and signage. Day Nite's proposal included analyzing their current equipment to maximize efficiency. 

 “We ended up manufacturing some equipment specific to this project to minimize waste of material and ensure top productivity,” explained Jason. This preparation included drawings for over 30,000 different items for the first ship. 

 Day Nite has two manufacturing facility branches in Toronto, ON and Dartmouth NS, as well as a sister company in St. John's, NL. While working with Irving Shipbuilding, Day Nite has been able to add new equipment to their facility in Dartmouth and hire new employees. 

From Jason’s perspective, the contract has provided, “job security as well as growth.”  

Jason believes this opportunity has also enabled Day Nite to review processes and policies and make many improvements to their work. “We are constantly looking for ways to increase productivity, decrease waste and have a low environmental impact.”  

A little-known fact about Day Nite Neon Signs: they have manufactured the industrial markings, plates and tags for the wiring harness that were used on a space shuttle arm.  Their products have made it to space!  


Small Business Updates: 

$69 Million Investment at Lake Utopia Paper in St. George, New Brunswick  

Lorneville Mechanical of Saint John is one of 130 New Brunswick businesses that have been working on modernization projects at Lake Utopia Paper this year. 




Annual Maintenance Shutdown at Irving Paper

This past summer our team at Irving Paper in Saint John tackled a two week maintenance shut down with the help of more than 350 local contractors from 50 NB businesses.  

The project involved a number of diverse local tradespeople including pipe fitters, welders, machinists, mechanical technicians and electricians. 

To keep these people fed meant over 1,500 slices of Vito's pizza! Vito's is one of thousands in New Brunswick that JDI is proud to work with.



Doaktown Expansion

The $35 million expansion at the Doaktown Sawmill will see 32 contractors on site over the course of the project, with the majority of them being small, local businesses. The project will see 40,000 person hours of work and will employ a team of 60 people during peak construction. 

 Doaktown Expansion