HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!!! June 30 2015
A Calgary man who patched his business together like a quilt is coming to Nova Scotia next week to visit a Mahone Bay outfit that he hopes will inspire his managers across Canada.
Nils Bodtker, who heads Great Western Containers Inc., said Friday that it was more than 20 years ago that he spied and bought a Suttles & Seawinds quilt hanging on the wall of a shop in Banff.
“They picked up a whole bunch of leftover pieces of fabric and found a way to piece them together and create a beautiful piece of art called the Canada Quilt,” Bodtker said.
“The business that I have put together across Canada has kind of been done in that same way in that I have aquired little bits and pieces of businesses in the industrial container world that families or major corporations have chosen to kind of just discard as things that don’t fit into their bailiwick anymore.
“And I have fashioned this cross-country business network pretty much quilted together from pieces of rejected fabric.”
Founded in 1979 with the purchase of a small drum reconditioning business in Calgary that had an annual revenue of $150,000, Great Western Containers now has about 600 people on the payroll.
“With the aquisitions and expansion that we’ve done this year, we’ll top $100 million in gross revenue across Canada,” Bodtker said.
The company sells and reconditions barrels to hold products including paint, food, chemicals and mining materials.
The Canada Quilt hung in Bodtker’s games room in Calgary until he realized recently that it pretty much summed up his business that now includes operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.
He’s bringing 25 of his managers from across the country to this province, where they’ll visit Suttles & Seawinds on Tuesday and each will get an identical quilt.
“I’m 67 years old, so I’m kind of ready to kind of put my feet up and let the next generation of managers take the business where it needs to go,” Bodtker said.
“And I firmly believe that an image of this quilt on the wall in each of my operations is going to be the inspiration in the minds of those managers as well as all of their employees to continue the process.”
Gary Bardon and his wife Vicki Lynn own Suttles & Seawinds. To say he’s tickled with Bodtker’s idea would be an understatement.
“He just came out of the blue,” Bardon said. “It’s good exposure across the country.”
While Great Western Containers doesn’t have an outfit in Nova Scotia, one of its major suppliers is Ropak Can-Am Ltd., a manufacturer of plastic packaging products in Springhill.
ISN'T THAT A COOL STORY!!!
If memory serves me correctly, I believe the cost for each quilt was $3,000, but please DO NOT quote me on that.
Here is a photo of ONE of those quilts hanging at the Suttles & Seawinds shop in Mahone Bay.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
Wishing all quilters everywhere a wonderful Canada Day!