Jenkyns Electric co-owners Mark Kohaykewych (beard), Todd Jenkyns, and Pete Chudley (shaved head) are photographed in Winnipeg, March 4, 2011. Canadian Press Images/John Woods

Jenkyns Electric shines a bright light on new markets

Jenkyns Electric’s three young owners have brought innovation and environmentally friendly practices to industrial customers in downtown Winnipeg and in remote communities in northern Manitoba. Undaunted by the logistical challenges of accessing these communities and always ready to target new markets, the trio continue to expand their electrical contracting business into new areas, while building a reputation for stellar service.

In recognition of their growing success, Mark Kohaykewych, 33, Todd Jenkyns, 34, and Pete Chudley, 34, owners of Jenkyns Electric (2008) Ltd., are Manitoba’s Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) 2011 Young Entrepreneur Award winners, and will be honoured tonight at a gala in Saskatoon.

“We are three young guys with fresh ideas and that’s what sets us apart,” says Mark.

Green opportunities are high on Jenkyns Electric’s agenda. The company is certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, conducts energy audits for its customers and promotes Manitoba Hydro’s energy conservation Power Smart program. Complementing the work the company does with general contractors is the service contract side of the business, through which Jenkyns Electric provides on-site electrical maintenance service to large commercial customers.

In 2010, the business targeted a specific market in the northern part of the province, taking on contracts associated with the building of four health facilities.

“Northern work is unique. One of the challenges is that material can only be delivered on winter roads or by air,” says Mark. “It requires a lot of coordination and organization.”

Sharing the workload has helped the three partners make this part of their business a success. Last year, the company added the installation of data and communication lines and fibre optics to its repertoire of services.

The first spark
In 2008, Todd and Pete, who had been working in the electrical contracting company owned by Todd’s father, Bob Jenkyns, decided to buy him out.

“We needed someone in the office who really understood the industry on a larger scale,” says Pete, “and we brought Mark in as a full-third partner.”

Mark contributed industry experience in project management and large-scale estimating. “Combining our services has caused the company to grow exponentially,” he says.

With 32 full-time employees, Jenkyns Electric aims to be known for how it treats its people, which the owners believe is where excellent customer service begins.

“It’s just as important for our employees to speak well of us as it is for our customers to do so,” says Pete. “We focus on keeping the morale up on our job sites and on making work in the North as comfortable as possible. We also hold charitable events to raise money for causes that affect our employees or their families. It’s a family atmosphere here.”

“There are 2,000 electrical contractors in Manitoba,” says Pete. “To stand out, we’ve had to think outside the box, foresee the changing needs of customers and sell ourselves. If a new idea presents challenges, we just use that as a motivating tool!”

“Mark, Todd and Pete have eagerly embraced new opportunities,” says BDC President and CEO Jean-René Halde. “Their refreshing approach has earned them a growing reputation for leading-edge energy conservation practices and reliable service that extends all the way to the Far North.”

BDC’s 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards winners

British Columbia: Arnold Leung, 25, Appnovation Technologies, Vancouver
Open source—the technology that powers social media—is Arnold Leung’s ticket to success. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, where he started a web development business with two friends, Arnold struck out on his own in 2007. With 30 employees, Appnovation specializes in open source websites and iPhone applications and has annual revenues of more than $1 million. Arnold was also selected for Business in Vancouver magazine’s 2010 Top 40 under 40 list.

Alberta: Jason Parks, 31, Profab Welding Ltd., Grande Prairie
After leaving school in his teens and leaving behind his dream of being a professional hockey player, Jason turned to welding, his other passion. Beginning with one truck in 2003, he used his flair for equipment design and his natural business instincts to land a major contract in the oil services industry. When the recession hit in 2007, Jason seized the opportunity to diversify his business and expand operations from northern to southern Alberta. Having secured international patents for some of his products, Jason is now searching for global business opportunities.

Saskatchewan: Rachel Mielke, 30, Hillberg & Berk, Regina
With plenty of creativity and just as much marketing savvy, Rachel turned her teenage hobby of making jewellery into a lucrative, high-profile business. Her handmade creations gained international attention when they were selected for the gift bags distributed at the 2008 Academy Awards. Rachel wants her Hillberg & Berk jewellery line to become a major Canadian fashion brand and appeared on CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den, receiving financing from business mogul and philanthropist, and fellow Saskatchewanian, W. Brett Wilson.

Manitoba: Mark Kohaykewych, 33, Todd Jenkyns, 34, and Peter Chedley, 34, Jenkyns Electric Ltd., Winnipeg
Mark, Todd and Peter founded Jenkyns Electric to bring energy-smart power solutions to industrial customers in Winnipeg and remote communities in northern Manitoba. Their company stands out in a crowded marketplace because of its solid reputation for customer service and environmentally friendly practices. Jenkyns Electric is certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program and recently added data services to its mix of customer offerings.

Ontario: Jeremy Gutsche, 32, Trend Hunter Inc., Toronto
An innovation enthusiast and natural-born entrepreneur, Jeremy is the brains behind TrendHunter.com, a website that tracks hot trends in pop culture, technology and fashion. Trend Hunter’s platform brings together data from 40,000 contributors around the world, then hyperlinks the research and compiles it into value-added trend reports. The website attracts 35 million views a month, and some of its content has gone viral. As an author and keynote speaker, Jeremy makes regular media appearances.

Québec: Steve Couture, 35, Frima Studio inc., Quebec City
In 2003, Steve founded Frima Studio with two partners and turned it into a leading game developer on platforms ranging from the Web, consoles and mobiles, to handheld devices and TV. After investing hundreds of thousands of hours in research and development, Frima has won acclaim for its hit creations, including A Space Shooter for 2 bucks!, Pocket God on Facebook and Zombie Tycoon, and for its major youth brand products. The company has more than 260 employees and is focused on bringing entertainment to screens both big and small—from IMAX to iPhones.

New Brunswick: Pierre Martell, 29, Martell Home Builders, Moncton
After founding Martell Homes in 2006, Pierre introduced a web-enabled customer interface and transformed the house purchasing experience for new home buyers. Martell Homes offers clients a 99-day construction guarantee for homes of 2,000 square feet or smaller and consistently delivers them on budget. Client satisfaction is so high that Martell Homes won the Atlantic Home Warranty Customer Choice Award in 2010 and 2011.

Nova Scotia: Anaïs Guimond, 32, Atlantic Cirque Agency and School, Halifax
Intrigued as a young girl by the artistry of Canada’s internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil, this former bungee-trapeze performer opened a circus performing arts school in 2002 in a province and in a language that were new to her. Residents in the Halifax-Dartmouth area quickly embraced her ideas and enthusiasm, and Atlantic Cirque soon had 150 attendees at weekly classes. In addition to circus arts, the school offers summer camps, workshops and corporate team-building programs. Anaïs is currently producing the company’s 10-year anniversary show and plans to expand her popular cirque school concept into other markets.

Prince Edward Island: Rachelle Wood, 29, Rachelle Wood Nutrition Inc., Charlottetown
Rachelle launched her nutrition practice in 2005 to help people lose weight and develop a healthier relationship with food. Her 52-week online SeeResults program features recipes and customized meal plans, self-help advice and one-on-one coaching. Her success has attracted interest from other nutritionists, and Rachelle has developed a software version of SeeResults that sells across Canada. With an eye on continued growth, she is developing French and Spanish versions of her program, as well as iPhone and BlackBerry applications.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Greg Hanley, 31, Hanley Construction and Renovation Inc., St. John’s
Greg recognizes a competitive advantage when he sees one, and was quick to bring green, environmentally friendly construction standards to the first-time, residential housing market. After starting a renovation business in 2001, Greg moved into new home construction before diversifying into land development and excavation services. Using insulated concrete building forms that are well suited to Canada’s harsh climate, Hanley Construction and Renovation provides energy-efficient products that reduce energy consumption and cut costs.

Yukon: Cole Hodinski, 33, Horizon Helicopters, Whitehorse
Cole established Horizon Helicopters in 2007 after working as a pilot in North America and Asia. While vacationing in Yukon, he recognized an opportunity to fly light aircraft and serve the territory’s air transportation market. He introduced helicopters with improved operational and safety performance, and low fuel consumption. With a roster of experienced pilots, Horizon now serves clients in such sectors as mining, mineral exploration, environmental assessment, tourism and medical evacuation. Cole’s goal is to deliver a sustainable helicopter service to Yukon. 

About BDC’s Young Entrepreneur Awards
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the Young Entrepreneur Awards pay tribute to successful Canadian entrepreneurs between 19 and 35 years of age. YEA winners are recognized for their business prowess, creativity, innovative spirit and community involvement. The BDC 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards are sponsored by Deloitte, Cisco, BLG, Sage and The Globe and Mail.

About BDC
Canada’s business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada’s economic prosperity. http://www.bdc.ca/ 

For further information:

Maria Constantinescu
Advisor, Media Relations
Business Development Bank of Canada
514-518-1577 (cell)
1-888-683-0485 (media room in Saskatoon)
mailto:[email protected] 

Geoffrey King
Director, Public Relations
Business Development Bank of Canada
514-496-4351
[email protected]