Why I Chose Forestry and Safety

My path to a career in forestry and safety has had many curves. Working in the Forest Industry has always appealed to me. I like being outside so Forestry seemed like a good career choice. My career in Forestry began in 1990 after graduating from an Ontario college with a Forest Technician Diploma.

I kicked around Nova Scotia for a couple of years working in the forest industry before heading west to British Columbia. The only exposure I ever had to BC was watching the Beach Combers on CBC Sunday nights after Walt Disney.

Once here, I worked in various positions with the Ministry of Forests from 1993 to 2002. Places like Fort St. John, Quesnel and Alexis Creek. In 2002 I accepted a job with Riverside Forest Products in Williams Lake, as an assistant area supervisor and then later as a Forest Technician when they became TOLKO. I learned lots and enjoyed the challenges there.

Opportunities in Williams Lake BC

In 2006, an opportunity came up for a promotion as a Forestry Manager with Sigurdsons Brothers in Williams Lake. That was also a rewarding and challenging position, especially in tough economic times.

2007 found me moving on once again, although not by choice, you have to understand that there is no real job stability in the Forest industry. I applied for employment Insurance immediately and then went to ESP Consultants where I was introduced to the good folks at Community Futures.

I hadn’t really considered being an entrepreneur and the thought of it scared me. My idea was to start a business to help forestry companies develop a forestry safety program in BC and become Safe certified. I have to say thanks to my wife Sue for having confidence in me and supporting me throughout the whole process. She is one of the reasons for my success. Support is everything when you move into the unknowns in life.

A Business Plan About Safety

So with the help of the staff at Community Futures, I forged ahead with a business plan and was accepted into the Self Employment program. The whole process to get the business up and running was challenging and exciting. I officially started in February with 2 clients and now have over 30 who have hired me to help them become Safe Certified.

Most of my business has been picked up from word of mouth and a little advertising thanks to LeRae at the Cariboo Advisor. I enjoy working with people and get great satisfaction from seeing their businesses pass their safety audits and become Safe Certified. I love working for myself, it gives me the flexibility to spend more time with my family and be more involved.

Being Self-employed is a real confidence booster and it prepares you for even bigger challenges as you move through life. Opportunities always present themselves and self-employment gives you the tools needed to be successful in anything you do.