BIE Feature: September
24 Years in Business
Submitted by Earl Shindruk, President — Optimax Benefits
What’s your story?
Successful businessman and community leader, Earl Shindruk, launched Optimax Benefits in 1998 after a vast career at TransAlta, Laidlaw Waste Systems and with Lafrentz Road Services. He combined a wealth of experience and his natural ability to deal with people when he founded Optimax.
He has grown Optimax by harnessing people skills, ‘being accessible’, ‘getting to know your client’, and ‘being innovative’.
Earl is a key contributor to his community, donating many hours and much expertise to charities and not for profits. He believes in giving back to his community. He donates a lot of his time and resources to organizations that serve the community. He is past board chair of the NPO Collective, as well as being a founding board member of the Meningitis Foundation of Alberta and 100Men YEG.
His legacy includes sharing knowledge and expertise. For over 11 years he was an instructor in Employee Benefits and Human Resources at MacEwan University, and is often a guest speaker there as well as at the University of Alberta, CPHR Alberta and IPMA.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce?
I really enjoy all of the events, where you can network with other business owners and leaders in Edmonton and area. One is able to meet people from various industries and company size.
What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business?
They are surprised to know that we are locally owned and that we have been founded by an Edmontonian.
They are also surprised to know that we are independent and not owned by a larger corporation.
Who is your ideal client?
Our ideal client size is 100 or more employees with decision making capabilities in Alberta.
What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it?
Some of the biggest challenges in business have been business disruptions, such as the pandemic.
We were able to create new ways of managing our business and having multiple annual touchpoints with all of our clients.
What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton?
My favourite thing to do in Edmonton is to take in professional NHL games and to watch the Edmonton Oilers in action at Rogers Place.
If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be?
One thing that would benefit all businesses is to focus on more collaboration and cooperation. Businessses of all sizes should initiate these activities and would certainly benefit from them.
Edmonton has a unique business community and we want to highlight hardworking Edmontonians who have a story to tell. Each month, we feature a member or two in the Business In Edmonton Magazine and take an opportunity to share their story and find out why they enjoy doing what they do. Follow along each month as we feature members while helping amplify their stories on our website and social media platforms.
If you are interested in this opportunity to be highlighted as a Chamber Member, please contact our Member Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org