Meet our friends with Benefits!
(Employee benefits that is.)
“Everybody was happy and there was usually homemade pie,” laughs Loren, who started McDougall Auctioneers right out of high school in 1982.
“We treat everyone like family here. Chambers Plan’s a vital part of our hiring. You want your employees to have the same benefits bigger companies can offer. “Plus, I’ve seen how Darcy and his team care. It’s not just premiums to them. They’re in it for you.”
Today, 98% of his business is online, but Loren can still rattle off tongue twisters he learned in auctioneer school.
“Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said this butter is bitter. If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter. So she bought a bit of better butter, put it in her bitter batter, made her bitter batter better. So ’twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter!”
(Say that 10 times faster and you’ll get the idea.)
For Dan and Louise Yates, owners of K-Lane Kennels near Regina, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day! “Fortunately our own dog, Speck, loves the company,” says Louise.
“When I left the corporate world, I knew what I’d be giving up. I knew the benefits of benefits. Chambers Plan covers all the bases: it’s affordable, it’s fantastic medical coverage, and the travel insurance is smokin’! Plus Darcy and his team are fabulous. It’s not like dialing somebody, somewhere who might get back to you, maybe. They’re responsive, and they really want our business to be successful. I’ve recommended Chambers Plan to several people!”
The farm-raised, animal-loving couple left prior careers to own and operate their dog boarding business and live in the country. “Dogs are the most genuine creatures. There’s no ego. What you see is what you get!” What’s the best part about the shift to entrepreneurship? “Watching over the dogs at playtime outside on a beautiful day. They’re happy, we’re happy, their people are happy — it’s an amazing life!”
What’s the best way to describe the huge new Prairie Harley-Davidson showroom just east of Regina? “It’s like an adult Disneyland,” chuckles owner Caron Zora-Hertzog, who’s been riding motorcyles since she was 4. “You see customers get so emotional — you’re making people’s dreams come true.” “Men, women, blue collar workers, doctors, lawyers — we have grandmas, grandpas and whole families who love to ride,” says co-owner (and hubby) Robb Hertzog. “Our own kids work here now, too!”
“This business has been around since 1936 — and we have our employees to thank for that. When you have the best people, you want to take care of them! ”We tried other benefit plans — we recommend Chambers Plan to everyone. It’s reasonably priced for small employers and the support from Darcy and team is phenomenal!”
One of Robb’s fondest memories is wheeling a bike into a customer’s home on Christmas Eve to leave them the surprise of their life in front of the tree. “This isn’t just a business. It’s friendships, it’s family, it’s our life!”
St. John Ambulance
St. John Ambulance has been around for over 100 years, but Sumera Majeed says one thing never gets old: “Being able to help someone when they need you.”
We are so glad we switched to Chambers Plan! Thank you, Darcy, for saving our nonprofit thousands of dollars!
While the charity’s best known for first aid training, you may have spotted their red-vested emergency medical response volunteers at events like Country Thunder or a Rider game. Some of their volunteers have four legs.
“It’s amazing to watch our therapy dogs instantly brighten faces at a nursing home or make university students forget all about the stress of exams.”
Sumera’s even used her first-aid training in real life — she helped save a boy who was choking. “You really never know when someone’s going to need you.”
Avanti Office Products
Schools, car dealerships, even funeral homes. Mauro Montanini has furnished just about every kind of workplace since he started Avanti Office Products in 1985. “To us you aren’t account #78431. We love helping you, whether you’re outfitting a large organization or buying a chair for your home office.”
“We’ve been with Chambers Plan for years. Darcy and team are fantastic! They’re here in Regina and are so helpful whenever we have questions. They’ve even educated us about benefits we have and should be using!”
Online competition hasn’t hurt the Regina business, which has clients across Canada. “You can’t sit in a chair online. There’s no one to show you how to set it up just right,” says Mauro’s daughter, Michelle, also a co-owner who’s been with Avanti 16 years. “We have a lot of repeat customers. Not that the furniture ever wears out! Our stuff really holds up — kind of like we do,” laughs Mauro.
When Natalie Schaeffer’s dad opened Regina’s Village RV 50 years ago, things were different. “Everything back then was orange and green,” laughs Natalie, who joined the family business in 1989.
“We started with another benefits plan. Any time somebody made a claim, the premiums went up. You want people to use the plan, but it got really expensive. “With Chambers Plan you’re pooled with other businesses — it’s much more stable. And the travel coverage is awesome! Plus, Darcy and team make everything so easy!”
“Now, you walk into an RV and you have stainless steel appliances, comfy leather chairs, replaces and all the high tech.” What does she love most? “Seeing the excitement of families when they leave with their trailer! When you can spend time with the people you love, relax around the campfire, play board games, go to the beach — it’s time you will always treasure.”
“We feel very fortunate to help families make those memories together.”
Action Sewer & Drain
When you call Action Sewer & Drain, you get the owner. Roy Diering LOVES the “honey business”!
In 30+ years of unclogging, he’s seen — and found — it all. Tree roots, rubber gloves, dinky cars, even Spiderman! “A little kid will be standing by the bathroom watching and we’ll whisper, ‘What did you put down the toilet?’ He won’t tell Mom and Dad, but he’ll usually tell us!”
“If we were going to be the best sewer company in town, I knew we needed to look after our staff, not just the customer. Chambers Plan’s been great for us!”
Though Roy misses going out on calls, he loves taking them. His scheduling software of choice? Sticky notes. “Once the customer’s called me, their problem’s off their shoulders. We love making people happy!”
What does Darcy Furber enjoy most about owning two Cora restaurants in Regina? “The world is so busy, it’s nice to give someone a one-hour oasis. That’s what we try to do here.”
“When we first opened, recruiting and retaining staff was a nightmare! I knew offering a benefits package would help us stand out from most other restaurants. Now our staff’s amazing and several have been here over five years. Chambers Plan is a big reason!”
To Darcy, food is only about 30% of the restaurant experience. The rest is the atmosphere and interaction. “Our staff is incredible! We have a handful of customers who come in every single day. There’s no better business to be in to meet and get to know people.”
How much has changed since Vince Pierno and Mike Burkart bought Regina’s Micro Tune Auto Centre in 1997? “Back then our hands were filthy,” laughs Vince. “Now, with computers, it’s a clean profession. That grease monkey stereotype is gone.”
“Everything changed once we had kids. You don’t know if braces are going to come up, if someone has asthma — Chambers Plan gives you that security that if something happens you can take care of it. “We’ve had other benefits plans. Chambers Plan is great coverage for a reasonable price. It’s the only one to go with!”
What hasn’t changed? “To us, it’s never been about the money,” says Mike. “It’s about, ‘What can we do to help this person?’ We want them to come back.” And come back they have. Vince, Mike and team have served generations of the same families. Customers have even invited them to weddings. “We’re a family here,” says Vince.
Rockford Engineering Works
When coworkers Brent, Jeff, Barry and Scott jumped ship to start Regina’s Rockford Engineering Works, they agreed to try it for six months. That was eight years ago.
“From day one, we knew we needed a benefits package. Professionals are looking for careers, not jobs. And we’re not just hiring the person, we’re hiring their family. As a small business, we really like the Chambers Plan model — you’re pooled with 30,000 other businesses, which lowers your costs. And Darcy and team are the best!”
“We really wanted to treat clients and employees the way they deserve to be treated,” says Brent. Today, Rockford (named for their childhood hero James Garner from The Rockford Files) is 18 people strong and creates one-of-a-kind equipment for industries all over the world.
Campbell & Haliburton Insurance
What’s John Grant’s favourite part about leading Regina’s Campbell & Haliburton Insurance?
“The people! The team in our office, our customers — I’ll be driving home sometimes laughing about a conversation I had with a real character,” chuckles John, bearing a striking resemblance to the cartoon mascot who’s been in the company’s ads since the ’60s. (He insists it’s not him: “I’m much younger!”)
“As an insurance broker ourselves, we could have done our own plan, but we chose Chambers Plan because it’s the best price and plan for our size of business and our staff. Plus, Darcy and team make it so easy. I recommend Chambers Plan to everybody!”
To what does he attribute the family business’s 50-plus years of success? No surprise here: “The people! We care about our staff, they care about our customers — it’s all about relationships.”