Being a business owner is not a role I pictured myself in, but here I am with my husband – running a small Electrical Engineering company. Before ICI, Sean and I worked at a potash mine, in small town Saskatchewan. We managed to stay there for about 4 years before we moved to warm and sunny B.C. At Mosaic, I was the project engineer for the their “Underground In-Flow Department” and helped with the design and installation of multiple 4160/13.8kV underground power substation sleds. It was fun work. It was hard work. It was difficult work, especially for me, as a woman in engineering. After I had my first son, Henry – I became the“primary parent”. The parent that missed work to take care of a sick “pink-eyed, bacteria-infected” baby. After the third time my son got a throat infection and I had to stay home, my boss at the time told me I couldn’t take anymore time off. We had no family in town, and daycare would not take our sick baby. I was stuck. We were stuck. I loved my job but management did not understand my situation – being a young family with no family support. I wanted that support from my workplace – but it was non-existent. So, we left. I had found a job posting in Kamloops, a perfect-fit for Sean and I gave up my career to become a stay-at-home mom.
In 2012, we made Kamloops our new home. It’s a big town, but small city. A perfect place to raise a family, lots of activities geared towards little kids, mountain biking and skiing galore with super friendly people. Cost of living was low enough that, as a family, we managed on one-income. Life is good.
Fast-forward 7 years and 2 more kids; we have bought out the previous owners, Sean as Principal with me in trust. Risking everything we own; the company grows from a staff of 4 to 16 employees. We envision a workplace where time is flexible; since we experienced first hand how difficult it is to report to an inflexible boss. We create a comfortable work environment through team work, offering perks such as training, international conferences, health benefits, newly renovated office space, a kitchen stocked with snacks, automatic espresso machine, company-provided cell phones and regularly scheduled corporate events. I think to myself, “This is a company that I want to work for.” My hope is that these perks will energize and enlighten the staff, show them that they are appreciated and in turn, generate trust, loyalty, good teamwork and great engineering designs and ideas.
Thinking back on when I was working as an Electrical Engineer-In-Training at the potash mine, all the perks listed above were a fantasy. I am thrilled that Sean and I can make them a reality – accommodate the staff at ICI so they can work hard as a team and hope they know that all these little perks are a gesture of thanks for being awesome and making ICI a part their family.
As we continue to grow and support our communities, we welcome future industry professionals who possess the same passion and motivation to innovate and enjoys teamwork to be part of ICI culture.