UCS Forest Group Acquires White-Wood Distributors Ltd. of Vancouver, Canada
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - February 24, 2015 – The UCS Forest Group of Companies (UCS) is pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement to acquire the assets and ongoing business activities of the British Columbia business unit of White-Wood Distributors Ltd. UCS does business in Canada as Upper Canada Forest Products Ltd.
“We are delighted with the opportunity to service the customers and support the suppliers that have been dealing with White-Wood throughout British Columbia”, stated Warren Spitz, President & CEO of UCS. “I would like to offer my thanks to Mark Yusishen for choosing us as White-Wood’s successor in this market. Our corporate strategy to grow in key markets continues across North America and we are very excited about this most recent opportunity.”
“Our decision to complete this transaction with Upper Canada was based in part on our shared values and commitment to excellence in customer service”, commented Mark Yusishen, President & CEO of White-Wood. “We are confident that our valued customers in B.C. will continue to be well-served.”
This is the third acquisition in the past 10 months for the UCS Forest Group, which recently acquired Reimer Hardwoods operations in Alberta and the Atlas Lumber Company in Los Angeles, California. Upper Canada Forest Products has serviced the British Columbia market for over 20 years and operates from an 80,000 sf warehouse in Burnaby and a second facility in Kelowna. In a timely manner White-Wood’s operations will be integrated into Upper Canada’s facilities.
Upper Canada is very excited to welcome White-Wood’s B.C. team into the UCS Family!
UCS Forest Group Acquires Atlas Lumber of Chino California
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - May 19, 2014 – Warren Spitz, President and CEO of the UCS Forest Group of Companies is very pleased to advise that the UCS Forest Group has purchased the Atlas Lumber Company, located in Chino, California.
Atlas Lumber Company was founded by the Porter family in 1944, and as such is celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year. The company has a proud history and is highly respected in the industry. We are delighted that the Porter family has accepted the offer from Sierra, which will create an opportunity for substantial growth for the company, its employees, and stakeholders. We are also excited that Randy Porter will continue to manage Atlas as a division of Sierra Forest Products Inc. We look forward to building on the successful 70 year history of Atlas Lumber, and to welcome its wonderful team of people as our new teammates and friends.
It was apparent from the start of this process that the Porter Family and the Atlas team very much share values with our group, as well as a culture of providing customers with exceptional service and delivering high quality, sustainably sourced wood products. We are very excited about this opportunity to enter the California market, and to having this well-managed company and proud team join our group.
This transaction is consistent with the UCS Forest Group's strategy of growth and expansion in key North American markets in order to provide those markets with our value creation distribution model and to provide new opportunities for our outstanding team and stable of suppliers.
UCS Forest Group Acquires Reimer Hardwoods Alberta Operations
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - May 5, 2014 – The UCS Forest Group of Companies, and its operating division Upper Canada Forest Products Ltd., today announces that they have reached an agreement to acquire the assets and ongoing business activities of the Alberta business unit of Reimer Hardwoods Inc.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to service the customers and suppliers that have been dealing with Reimer Hardwoods in Alberta and Southeastern British Columbia. We are grateful to Colin Reimer for choosing us as their successor in this market due to our shared values and commitment to customer service. This transaction is also consistent with our strategy of growth and expansion in key markets, and we are very excited about this opportunity” says Warren Spitz, President and CEO of UCS.
Upper Canada Forest Products has “Delivered the Difference” to the Alberta market for the last 15 years and operates a 65,000 sf state of the art warehouse in Calgary with a fleet of 4 trucks and trailers, and will be relocating Reimer’s operations into the Upper Canada facility.
Upper Canada is very excited to welcome Reimer’s Alberta team to the UCS Family!
UCS was the proud host of the successful 57th Annual IWPA Convention!
Vancouver, BC - This year’s IWPA Convention took place April 17-19 in one of the most beautiful cities in North America... Vancouver BC. The IWPA welcomed over 230 attendees from 20 countries for 3 packed days of great speakers and networking.
Warren, as the President of IWPA hosted this conference which addressed topics relevant to the international trade of wood products. The UCS Forest Group and their people were highly visible throughout the convention venue. From our product booth proudly displaying our products along with 2 coveted IWPA awards; the 2011 Innovative Excellence Award for Accoya and the 2012 Environmental Excellence Award for Red Grandis, plus a dynamic media presentation that ran throughout the convention to present the many strong points of UCS.
This convention was also Warren’s “retirement party” as he stepped down from being the President of the IWPA. One of his last duties was to introduce the new face of the IWPA Executive including new Executive Vice President, Cindy Squires, newly elected IWPA President, Cindy Newman, new Vice President, Chris Connelly and new Treasurer, Craig Forester.
This event was packed with exciting presentations on architecture, design, economic trends and on new regulations affecting our business. Participants enjoyed an in-depth briefing on the current economic situation by HSBC Chief Economist David Watt. In addition, Lacey Act and EUTR updates were provided along with a briefing on the services offered by IWPA to assist with import and logistic challenges.
The events keynote speaker, the Honorable David Emerson the former President and CEO of Canfor, Minister of International Trade and Minister of Foreign Affairs, provided a global perspective on North American trade. Presentations by Stephen Chung, architect and host of Cool Spaces on PBS discussed the use of exotic wood and the distinguished architectural panel of, Gerry McGeough, Jana Foit, and Brent Sauder presented award-winning case studies of wood building innovations.
Toronto holds NHLA Grading Course to Help Customers Accurately Specify their Lumber Requirements
Toronto, ON - The two day event held at our Toronto office gave 13 customers and 5 members of our Sales Team an opportunity to learn the grading rules from the interesting and entertaining National NHLA Inspector, Jack English.
The course focused on the tally and measurement of lumber and provided an overview of national hardwood lumber grading and standards that are in use across North America. Participants learned about the important aspects of purchasing lumber and provided customers with valuable information they need to consider when ordering and receiving the wood they purchase.
These grading courses also provide participants with a great networking opportunity and produce more knowledgeable staff and customers. By conducting these courses we will ultimately build stronger relationships with our customers and reduce errors associated with incorrectly specifying grade and calculating yield.
Sierra Salt Lake City helps a local nurse make the playtime of little Haitians brighter
Salt Lake City, Utah - Sierra SLC donated some odd-and-ends of scrap wood that accumulates over the normal course of our business to a great local company called “The Happy Factory” in Cedar City, Utah. The Happy Factory gathers scrap from local cabinet shops to build small wooden toys and ships them to needy areas all over the world.
Recently Eric Larson surprised the local charity when he delivered several boxes containing 300 of the cutest little wooden cars the nurse had ever seen. Soon they were in the hands of young Haitians. The nurse and her team travels to Haiti twice a year to conduct medical clinics in rural villages where there is no consistent medical care. The locals in these villages are incredibly poor and have very little. The children play in the dirt with rocks and cans because they have no toys.
It’s hard to express how appreciative the kids coming to the clinics were to receive these fun toys. While they are happy with anything they receive, there was such joy in the faces of these darling children when they received their "machin" (which means "car" in Haitian Creole)! They were showing them to one another, comparing and admiring the different designs. They were pushing them along the floors, on the walls, on each other and the medical staff. It doesn’t take much to truly make a difference and brighten the lives of young children.
To date, over 1,140,000 “Happy Factory” toys have been given to more than 600 different organizations, groups and people in 180 countries. Happy Factory workers don’t make a dime and the gifting is still gathering momentum... and we played a role in this too!
UCS Makes a Big Impression at the 2013 Vancouver Buildex Show
Vancouver, BC - The Vancouver Sales Team joined forces with the Seattle Sales Team and created a strong presence at the Vancouver Buildex show.
This regional “builders” show was very well attended by over 13,000 architects, designers, property developers and manufacturers. Our Sales Team generated a large number of leads to be pursued for their immediate and long term sales opportunities. We added significantly to our customer database for longer term marketing efforts with The Difference, Product Bulletins, and Product Specials.
The UCS booth was positioned across from the BC Wood Pavilion, a newly created show feature. This location provided a greater traffic flow of potential customers and those interested in the beauty and quality that wood brings to building projects. Next year we plan to take a larger booth in the same location.
The product focus this year was to heighten the awareness of 4 of our high profile brands of interest to builders: Panolam FRL, Accoya, Steven’s Textured Melamine and Element Veneers. Brochures and samples were a huge hit, and are still flying out the door in the after show follow-up.
Upper Canada Alberta is Growing!
Calgary, AB - On Monday Feb 18, 2012, Upper Canada Calgary Division expanded their warehouse facility by 50% increasing the total floor space to 60,000 sq ft! The expansive new space allows the Ops Team to pull orders more efficiently and with less digging since rows are only 2 deep now. This provides for faster turnaround time on orders... and happier customers!
A dedicated space for staging the next day deliveries has been created. This helps to optimize an increased number of loads going out of town. Starting Feb 25 we are increasing service to Edmonton to 5 days a week, Southern Alberta to 3 days a week and Eastern Alberta to 2 times per week. This increase in service level allows us to service more customers, more frequently, and more efficiently for an overall win-win.
The larger space allows Calgary Ops to preload trucks the night before allowing the drivers to get the trucks rolling first thing in the morning.
The new expansion also gives the Calgary Ops Team a dedicated office area, allowing them to work more efficiently.
The next stage for this expansion is to place an assortment of 4’x8’ panels in racks to reduce the time walk-in customers wait for their orders.
Ontario Team Host to Another Successful OAA Event
Thursday, October 25, 2012, the Ontario Team hosted architects, designers and customers at the Haworth showroom down in the heart of Toronto for a presentation on Frank Miller’s Rift and Quartered Lumber.
Criswell Davis was the guest speaker, accompanying him was Chris Moore and Mark Hoffman also of the Frank Miller Team.
The architects learned how to specify rift and quarter cut lumber to create spectacular and dramatic effects. Architects also benefited by earning a 1 hour credit towards their required Self Directed Learning Time by the OAA (Ontario Association of Architects). The session was followed by a meet and great with the 3 key knowledgeable Frank Miller team members to discuss any further interests.
The Ontario Team also included some key suppliers to be part of the opportunity and display their material and information including: Columbia Forest Products, Nevamar, Flakeboard and AWMAC.
A&M Hits Another Home Run Open House!
A&M packed the house with 220 to 240 visitors over two days! Over 200 enjoyed the BBQ beef on a bun and about 170 entered the draw to win A&M Gift Certificates, Lie-Nielsen Block Plane, wood scraper, and a Lie-Nielsen DVD.
Sales were brisk and produced 2 very good retail sale days as many customer made impulse purchases of wood, veneers and tools. We re-connected with a few good long-time customers that we had never met before and got re-acquainted with some folks that hadn’t been here in a long time.
In addition to putting a shine on the old building we had 5 supplier demonstrations. The day generated some orders for the suppliers and all suppliers were thrilled with the inquiries and the opportunity to share with others in the wood working community.
Canadian Luthier Supply makes guitars and the specialized jigs and fixtures used to form the bodies. These finely crafted guitars for sell for $7,000 to $10,000.
Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Inc. produces “heirloom” quality hand tools. And collaborates with woodworking guilds, businesses, and schools across North America to promote woodworking education – specifically geared towards hands-on skill building. Their demonstrations at A&M held visitors transfixed as they showed how to use and sharpen these fine tools to surgical precision.
Sauer & Steiner Toolworks. And while Lie Nielsen produces fine tools the Sauer Custom Planes are a step above and beyond. Hi grade steels, bronze and navy grade brass combine with exotic wood handles and infil create planes sell for $1,000 to $5,500. Taking one in hand I was making uniform shaving 1/1000 of an inch thick. These planes end up in the hands of discriminating woodworkers or collectors of exquisite tools.
A local craftsman Steve Der Garabedian demonstrated Vacuum Bag veneering techniques and Dunk’s Custom Log Sawing was showing our visitors custom sawing of Black Walnut, African Ebony and Bubinga logs.
A&M is planning another customer event in April to celebrate the start of our 40th year in business... look for more on this in the spring.
Upper Canada BC Wins AWMAC “Supplier of the Year” Award for a 4th time!
Congratulations on this very well deserved acknowledgement from BC millworkers. Upper Canada has won this award in 2005, 2007, 2010 and now 2012! Note that AWMAC rules stipulate that the same supplier cannot win in back-to-back years.
The presentation of the award was made before a gathering of 400 industry insiders: millwork companies that Upper Canada BC deal with, their purchasers, their estimators, their project managers, their owners, the heads of The Architecture Institute of BC and the Interior Design Institute of BC, and from academia the top joinery students from local colleges. This kind of exposure for our brand is nothing short of fantastic!
This award is presented annually to acknowledge the people and service given by the top supplier. It is not for the supplier with the most product lines or for the cheapest prices. This award is all about service!
Great service from Upper Canada starts with the contact at the consultative sales level, then reinforced and strengthened by customer interaction with the Inside Sales, Credit & Administration teams. Then it transitions to the best in class Operations team that prep orders, load trucks and deliver orders on time, as ordered day after day.
Every member of Upper Canada BC plays a large role in providing the "service" each and every day and this award confirms that the BC customers recognize and truly value our great customer service.
Congratulations BC Team - knowing you and the rest of the UCS Team are industry leaders is something to be very proud of!!
Warren Spitz Rising Star at TIFF
Toronto, ON - A new twist for 2012: TIFF itself is entering in the fray of fundraisers, in a dramatic and splashy way — with a stylish fundraiser of its own called Friends of TIFF on Saturday, Sept. 8. It will be an ambitious outdoor/indoor event in the lakeside Corus Quay building.
It may well out-glitz all the other players if Warren Spitz — president of UCS Forest Group and rising star of the TIFF board — has his way.
“We are a charity, so why not us?” asks Spitz, chair of a small board committee in charge of the event. “We needed to move forward and this is a way of generating revenue. We wanted to create a special evening for our supporters, people who love TIFF as a renowned institution that does a lot of other great things besides the festival.”
The evening will have a James Bond theme, promoting a major exhibition opening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in October. Without a doubt the festival will corral some of its top red-carpet stars to show up. “There is going to be an exciting lineup of talent in town that weekend,” says Spitz. “I can promise some celebrities will be at our event. I just can’t say who.”
The price to secure a table of 10 is $25,000. Having sold more than 30 tables already, Spitz is expecting a full house. And now he is selling a few hundred tickets for $500 each to the late-night after-party that will wind up the evening. This year, fundraising events during TIFF should raise cumulatively close to $4 million.
It’s in this heightened atmosphere, when everyone gets to act like a celebrity, that charities can raise millions of dollars.
UCS Wins IWPA Environmental Excellence Award for Red Grandis!
IWPA Announces Environmental, Aesthetic, and Innovative Excellence Award Winners
Alexandria, VA, April 12, 2012 - The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) announced the 2012 IWPA Excellence Award winners on the opening day of the 56th Annual Convention, March 28-30, 2012 in Indian Wells, California. Winners were announced in three categories: Environmental Excellence, Aesthetic Design and Innovative Excellence. IWPA Awards Program voting was conducted by the Association’s active membership from over 30 countries.
Alan McIlvain, Jr., IWPA 2011/2012 President, “This awards program recognizes the innovation, environmental stewardship and best in corporate social responsibility conducted globally by IWPA members. We are constantly humbled by the submissions annually received for this program and welcome the opportunity to recognize these companies for some outstanding achievements.”
Environmental Excellence Winner: UCS Forest Group for distribution of Urufor's Red Grandis (hardwood species). The Urufor mill in Uruguay is almost perfect example of how to create and manage a forest ecosystem with a sustainably grown product. The UCS Forest Group of Companies is committed to sourcing environmentally responsible products and proudly distributes the product throughout North America.
Innovative Design Winner: Columbia Forest Products for their PureBond Formaldehyde-Free Assembly Technology. This EPA-award winning technology uses soy protein, water and a wet strength resin commonly used in the paper industry for decorative hardwood plywood assembly. This innovation has allowed Columbia to use imported veneers and phenolic substrates in panel constructions which do not off-gas formaldehyde.
Aesthetic Design Winner: Interwood Forest Products for incorporating multiple exotic species in the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. From Wenge to Santos Rosewood to Kawazinga and figured maple, 290,000 m2 of these fine wood veneers were used to decorate all 899 residences in the tower as well as in all the hallways, lift lobbies, sky lounges and amenity levels.
About the International Wood Products Association (IWPA):
Established in 1956, IWPA is the leading international trade association for the North American imported wood products industry, representing 200 companies and trade associations engaged in the import of hardwoods and softwoods from sustainably managed forests. Association members consist of three key groups involved in the import process: U.S. importers and consuming industries, offshore manufacturers and the service providers that facilitate trade.
Warren Spitz (Founder of UCS Forest Group) Elected President of International Wood Products Association
Alexandria, VA, April 10, 2012 - Warren Spitz, President and CEO of UCS Forest Group of Companies in Toronto, Canada, assumes the role of President of the International Wood Products Association (IWPA) for 2012/2013. The announcement was made during IWPA’s annual meeting March 28-30, 2012 in Indian Wells, California.
Spitz has been an IWPA Board member since 2006 and has served as treasurer and on the Executive Committee since 2008. “Warren’s background in international trading and innovative leadership style will help IWPA to continue to best meet the needs of our membership,” stated Brent McClendon, IWPA Executive Vice President.
Spitz founded UCS Forest Group twenty-five years ago and built it to one of North America's premier importer, exporter, and distributor of specialty wood products serving discerning customers in the architectural woodworking industry.
Sierra Forest Products Moves to a New Location
Doubling Its Size After a Decade in Chicago
Chicago, January 24, 2011 - Sierra Forest Products is moving to a new location, effective January 31, 2011.
Established in Chicago in 2000, Sierra Forest Products has made a significant impact on the local building and housing market in the Chicago land area. They have now outgrown their original Downs Drive facility and are relocating to 1801 Hawthorne Lane, West Chicago (a mile from the old location) on January 31, 2011.
At 100,000 square feet the new Sierra headquarters on Hawthorne Lane provides a fifty percent increase in warehouse and office space. The building is a much better facility for Sierra's business, providing nine loading docks and two rail doors. It is also more suitable for Sierra's lumber milling facility. Other new improvements include: energy efficient motion-sensor lighting; a sleeper truck that extends our customer service range and a more capacious cantilever rack system.
"At Sierra Forest Products we are sensitive to our customer's business and their need for timely supply," explained Joe Ventimiglia, General Manager, Sierra Forest Products. "With that in mind we carefully planned and worked through all the details in order to avoid any dropped calls and business interruptions. Shipments will continue at their regular pace. We are not planning any downtime during our move."
Contact numbers remain the same: toll free 1 800 646 7564, phone 630 231 0450, fax 630 231 0454, email firstname.lastname@example.org, web site www.sierrafp.com. The new address is 1801 Hawthorne Lane, West Chicago, IL 60185.
About Sierra Forest Products - Chicago
Sierra Forest Products is a division of the UCS Forest Group of Companies. The Chicago division continues to enhance its position in the central U.S. market earning a reputation for providing the highest level of customer service by adding value to their customer's business.
Beginning primarily in sheet goods and lumber, the Chicago division is now a leader in the expansion into imported products. Stocking one of the most comprehensive inventories of quality products in North America, Chicago manages its own state of the art warehouse facilities and fleet of curtain-side trailers, and utilizes leading edge practices and technologies to maximize customer service.
With Sierra's unique industry and product knowledge, it maintains key relationships with the top suppliers, which enable them to serve customers who require just in time, inventory either from its warehouse or direct from its suppliers. A key element of Sierra's philosophy is treating customers as business partners. Sierra provides a complete product management service that identifies your product needs, sources the product, secures the supply, inventories it, and delivers on time.
Special Assignment Inc.
UCS Forest Group Purchases A & M Wood Specialty Inc.
Mississauga, ON - September 28, 2007 – Warren Spitz, President & CEO of the UCS Forest Group, is pleased to announce that the UCS Forest Group has successfully completed the purchase of A & M Wood Specialty Inc. based in Cambridge, Ontario.
A & M is a highly respected retailer, distributor and exporter of wood and related wood products, carrying one of the broadest inventories in North America. The company offers over 120 species of fine hardwoods, veneers, squares, burls, specialty and furniture grade plywood. These products are used for furniture making, architectural millwork, musical instruments, wood turning, carving, flooring, model making, boat and aircraft construction, marquetry, and hobby woodworking. A & M ships to all 50 states in the U.S. and all Canadian provinces and territories, as well as around the world, including to Germany, Japan, Australia, Ireland, China and Romania.
A & M Wood was founded in April 1973 by Andrew Poynter, and with the support of his wife Madeleine, has established a highly regarded organization run by a team of dedicated, skilled and knowledgeable professionals. The company is well known and respected nationally and internationally by the community of high quality woodworkers.
Andrew and his team have had a relationship with our group since our inception in 1986. We have always had a very high degree of respect for one another and our companies, and very much share values about people, professionalism, and integrity. A & M also shares our philosophy of community outreach by supporting charities too numerous to mention here, but span the local community, the arts, our industry, the environment, and international relief.
We welcome Andrew and the entire A & M team to the UCS family, and look forward to working with them, learning from them, and helping them continue to fulfill their vision of being the most respected and enabled provider of specialty woods and wood products in the world. Andrew will continue to manage A & M as a division of the UCS Group of companies, and to work with our leadership team to expand our offering to the woodworking industry.
Please join me in offering our warmest UCS welcome to the A & M team! Together, we will continue to “Deliver the Difference” to “Lovers of Wood”!
UCS Forest Group Purchases Cambium Forest Products
CALGARY, AB - July 4, 2007 – Warren Spitz, President & CEO of the UCS Forest Group, is pleased to announce that they have successfully concluded an agreement to purchase Cambium Forest Products in Calgary, Alberta.
“Upper Canada Forest Products, our Canadian company, expanded its operations into Calgary in 2001,” said Warren Spitz, “and since that time has developed valued relationships throughout the Alberta market with customers and suppliers alike. Alberta is an extremely important market for our group, and to that end, this transaction is intended to add value to all of our stakeholders by bringing together tremendous people and knowledge, and a broader array of products and supply relationships. We will combine the best practices of each, to ensure that all customers benefit from an ever improving service and product offering.”
Cambium has been serving the Alberta market with panel products, veneers and lumber since 1984. The company was founded by Colin Brown, who has successfully run the company since that time and will continue in a key management capacity with Upper Canada, first assisting with the integration of the two companies, and then helping to develop various product and supply programs for the UCS Group while remaining an important member of the Alberta team.
Under the leadership of Jeff Floyd, Manager- Upper Canada Calgary, the merged teams will work together to continue to provide unique value to customers in the Alberta marketplace. The staff of Upper Canada welcomes the opportunity to serve Cambium customers, and to offer its current customers additional product offerings. The consolidated operations will offer an array of products that will include domestic and imported hardwood lumber, specialty softwoods, exotic woods, veneers, and a full line of panel products.
About UCS Forest Group
UCS Forest Group is North America's premier importer, exporter, and distributor of specialty products for the woodworking industry. UCS does business in Canada as Upper Canada Forest Products and in the United States as Sierra Forest Products. UCS Global is their international trade division with offices in Toronto and Shanghai. For over twenty years, they have focused on setting the industry standard for value creation. Through innovation, technology, but most importantly extraordinary people, the UCS team ensures that the quality of its products and of its service experience will be unparalleled. For more information, visit www.ucsforestgroup.com
Warren Spitz Appointed to Toronto International Film Festival Board of Directors
Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG) today announced that Vice-Chair and Chair Elect Paul Atkinson has officially assumed the duties of Chair of the Board of the Toronto International Film Festival Group. Former Chair Allen Karp will remain a member of the Board. In addition, the Board has elected four new members: William J. Fox, Deepa Mehta, Warren Spitz and Constance Sugiyama.
“We thank Allen Karp for the eight years he served as Chair, for the tremendous leadership he has brought to our organization, and welcome Paul Atkinson’s continuing commitment in his new capacity as Chair,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival Group.“
“It’s with great anticipation that I assume the Chair of our Board,” said Paul Atkinson, Chair of the Toronto International Film Festival Group’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members, campaign volunteers and all of TIFFG’s staff, continuing to build momentum towards the opening of Bell Festival Centre.”
Paul Atkinson is the CEO of Casero Inc., a leading provider of solutions for digital media and user-generated content. Mr. Atkinson serves on the Boards of Directors of the Institute for Enterprise Education and Variety - The Children's Charity, and is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Richard Ivey School of Business. Mr. Atkinson joined the Toronto International Film Festival Group board in 2004, and also serves as the Campaign Co-Chair for TIFFG.
William J. Fox is Executive Vice-President, Office of the CEO at BCE Inc.. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President, Public Affairs at Bombardier Inc., and previously Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, CN. Mr. Fox is founding partner of the Earnscliffe Strategy Group, an Ottawa-based public affairs company. Mr. Fox has a master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University and has also studied at l’Universitie de Paris (Sorbonne).
Deepa Mehta is an internationally acclaimed director who has earned global attention with her films. Mehta’s first feature film, SAM & ME, received the first Honourable Mention by the Critics in the Camera D’ Or category at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. Mehta’s distinguished filmography includes CAMILLA, FIRE, EARTH, BOLLYWOOD /HOLLYWOOD, REPUBLIC OF LOVE, and WATER, the third film in the “elements” trilogy, which opened the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and was later nominated for an Academy Award. In the spring of 2006, Mehta was recognized by the University of Western Ontario for her achievements, receiving an honourary doctorate.
Warren Spitz is President & CEO, UCS Forest Group. Mr. Sptiz is an active participant in the community, and has been involved throughout his career with organizations such as the United Way, The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and many others. He is also active in the business community, and is the incoming Chair of the Young President’s Association (YPO) Upper Canada Chapter, as well as serving on the Executive of the YPO Canadian Council and the 2007 Global Leadership Conference in Toronto.
Constance Sugiyama is Senior Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Founding Director, WCM and Founding Chair, Heather L. Main Memorial Scholarship Fund, Toronto. Ms. Sugiyama advises on a diverse range of domestic and international businesses on issues ranging from corporate finance and corporate governance to complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Sugiyama currently serves as board member of The Hospital for Sick Children, LuminaTO, and also serves on the Business Advisory Council to the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, the Advisory Council of Women in Capital Markets and as a Senior Advisor to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.
With these new appointments comes the departure of four board members. Retiring from the board are Niv Fichman, Rhombus Media, Mary Schectman, Beverly Topping, President & CEO, Institute of Corporate Directors and Robb Chase, former President of Papa John’s International in Louisville Kentucky.
“We’re very grateful to our departing Board members for the excellent service they’ve provided to the Toronto International Film Festival Group,” said Mr. Atkinson. “Their insights and contributions have aided the Group’s continued growth.”
Toronto International Film Festival Inc. as at June 20, 2007
2007/2008 Board of Directors
Chair Emeritus: William Marshall (Producer, Xybermedia)
Chair: Paul Atkinson (CEO & Chairman, Casero Inc.)
Barry Avrich (President & CEO, Endeavour Marketing.)
Ian Bandeen (CEO, Canadian Trading & Quotation System Inc.)
David R. Bloom (President, DGRB Consultants Inc.)
Brendan Calder (Professor, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto & Corporate Director)
Irene Chu (President & Producer, Goldspin Productions Inc.)
William (Bill) J. Fox (Executive Vice President, Communications & Corporate Development)
Jan Innes (Vice President Communications, Rogers Communication Inc.)
Ellis Jacob (President & CEO, Cineplex Galaxy LP)
B. Denham Jolly (President & CEO, Milestone Radio Inc.)
Allen Karp (Chairman Emeritus, Cineplex Odeon Corporation)
David J. Kassie (Chairman & CEO, Genuity Capital Markets)
Bill Kurtin (CEO, The Plan Group)
Kenneth W. Lalonde (President & CEO, The CUMIS Group Limited)
Ralph Lean, Q.C. (Senior Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell)
James Little (Chief Brand & Communications Officer, RBC Financial Group)
Michael MacMillan (Executive Chairman, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.)
Deepa Mehta (Filmmaker) Ron Moore (Chairman & CEO, Sonar Communications Group Inc.)
Leslie Noble (Principal, Strategy Corp Inc.)
Warren Spitz (President & CEO, Upper Canada Forest Products)
Rajesh Subramaniam (Senior Vice President, International Marketing, Federal Express Services)
Constance Sugiyama (Senior Partner, Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP)
Lisa de Wilde (CEO, TVOntario)
Ex-Officio: Slawko Klymkiw (Executive Director, Canadian Film Centre)
Designed by world-renowned architectural firm KPMB, Bell Festival Centre (placeholder name) is a dynamic, open and inviting facility located on the northwest corner of King and John Streets. The five-storey podium building houses the Group’s operations, a gallery, five cinemas, educational suites and a film reference library. Construction of TIFFG’s Bell Festival Centre marked the launch of the Group’s landmark destination facility dedicated to the moving image.
The project is a co-development between TIFFG and the King and John Festival Corporation (KJFC), comprised of The Daniels Corporation, filmmaker Ivan Reitman and the Reitman Family. Atop Bell Festival Centre sits Festival Tower, a 37-story residential condominium which will be built and operated by KJFC.
TIFFG thanks its founding sponsor Bell, who through an innovative marketing alliance, will have naming rights to Bell Festival Centre and retain exclusive telecom sponsorship of the Group. TIFFG also thanks its philanthropic donors as well as the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, who have each contributed $25 million towards the capital costs of Bell Festival Centre.
The Toronto International Film Festival Group is a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world. Its vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image. For more information, please contact the Communications Department at 416-934-3200.
Upper Canada Forest Products is Bullfrog Powered
Upper Canada Walks the Talk on the Environment with Green Energy from Bullfrog Power™
TORONTO, ON - September 28, 2005 - Bullfrog Power, Ontario's first 100% green electricity retailer, announced today that Upper Canada Forest Products' 100,000 square foot warehouse, Toronto office and North American data centre have become bullfrogpowered operations. Currently, the Upper Canada warehouse is the single largest building in Ontario to be bullfrogpowered. By choosing Bullfrog Power, Upper Canada is demonstrating its commitment to support clean, renewable power sourced exclusively from pollution-free wind and low-impact hydro power generators that are EcoLogoM certified under the Federal Government's Environmental ChoiceM Program.
Toronto-based Upper Canada Forest Products is North America's premier importer, exporter and distributor of specialty wood products for the commercial wood working industry. While their product is wood, their twenty year success is defined by a culture of caring for employees, customers, the community, and the environment. Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Upper Canada participates as a member in this non-profit organization, together with select environmental and social groups and progressive forestry and wood retail companies, to improve forest management worldwide. Upper Canada Forest Products is also active in developing industry standards and species alternatives to help reduce waste of our forest heritage. Together with its employees, the company is active in several community initiatives including Habitat for Humanity. Now, the company is further enhancing its reputation for caring by supporting renewable power from Bullfrog Power.
Warren Spitz, the founder and President of Upper Canada Forest Products, says he is thrilled to become a bullfrogpowered organization. "Bullfrog Power is an unmistakable way for us to demonstrate we walk-the-talk in caring for the environment that sustains us," said Mr. Spitz.
"We're delighted that Upper Canada, a leader in responsible forest management, has made a substantial contribution to supporting green power production in this province," said Tom Heintzman, Bullfrog Power President. "With Upper Canada's warehouse now the largest bullfrogpowered site anywhere, the company has definitively demonstrated it is a true supporter of green power, and a company that is ready and willing to make a difference."
About Bullfrog Power
Bullfrog Power™ is a 100% green electricity retailer in Ontario that sources electricity exclusively from wind and low-impact water power producers who meet or exceed the federal government's EcoLogoM standard for renewable energy. Bullfrogpowered™ customers' electricity dollars support clean, renewable electricity from producers who are displacing polluting and CO2-emitting electricity on the Ontario grid. Bullfrog Power has pledged 10% of company profits to organizations that promote sustainability. Visit Bullfrog Power on the web at www.bullfrogpower.com.
Transportation Health and Safety Association of Ontario: Achievement Award
On May 25, 2005, Trevor Chambers (Toronto) accepted an award on behalf of Upper Canada Toronto at the Transportation Health and Safety Association of Ontario (THSAO) Annual Awards Ceremony. THSAO is one of 14 associations mandated by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to advance and promote safe workplace practices in businesses across Ontario. Their focus is on companies and personnel in the transportation industry.
We are pleased to announce that the Toronto drivers have achieved an award for operating with an injury frequency and cost rate factor below the rate group average for three consecutive years. This achievement recognizes companies that are 25% below the average in their category in injury and cost rate frequency (according to WSIB claims) and who drive 100,000 to 250, 000 person-hours in a three-year period.
Not only is this a great achievement for everyone at the Toronto region, but it also reinforces that UCS has the best fleet of drivers in the industry, and more importantly, the safest!
Clean Sweep at the BC AWMAC Awards
The BC Architectural Woodworking Millwork Association of Canada (AWMAC) presented UCS with two awards during their Awards Night, April 22, 2005. Congratulations to the entire Western Region staff for all their hard work.
Supplier of the Year
Upper Canada Forest Products: Vancouver/Kelowna
Sales Representative of the Year
UCS Forest Group to Sponsor Habitat for Humanity Homes
TORONTO, ON - September 29th, 2004 - Warren Spitz , President and CEO of UCS Forest Group is pleased to announce a corporate donation to Habitant for Humanity, Toronto that will manifest itself as new homes for three families. The announcement was made at the UCS corporate event at Casa Loma, in celebration of the National Hardwood Lumber Association Convention that took place in Toronto in September.
"With what we do at the UCS Forest Group, Habitat for Humanity provides us with a custom made opportunity to help and to give back," said Mr. Spitz. "For all our success and I am humbled by our good fortune, the opportunity to show compassion and to do something good seemed like a great idea. We wanted to act on that and thought it appropriate in light of our celebration tonight. I know our staff will get involved in a hands on way and you will certainly see us on-site helping to build the UCS Habitat for Humanity homes."
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for people who need them. Habitat for Humanity Toronto is a non-profit, non-governmental, charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of economically disadvantaged persons through home ownership and to the belief that decent, affordable housing is a basic human need.
Habitat for Humanity Toronto was established sixteen years ago and is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, which in turn is part of the Habitat's International organization. The organization works with corporate, faith and individual donors and volunteers to build simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with families in need of adequate shelter. In the Toronto area, forty-six children and thirty-two adults currently live in their own newly constructed or renovated Habitat homes with another forty-eight homes planning to be built in the GTA within the next year. It is their mission to eliminate poverty housing in the GTA in partnership with volunteers, donors, sponsors and the homeowners themselves.
About UCS Forest Group
The UCS Forest Group attributes their success to the corporate philosophy of treating their customers as business partners. Based on our core values of honesty, loyalty, trust, respect and creativity, our mission is to exceed customer expectations by adding value to their business by developing an intimate knowledge of their goals and satisfying their unique product and service requirements. The UCS Difference is a combination of service and quality products; but most of all, people.