In supporting and aiding the economic activity and development of localCree communities, Gestion ADC has found itself playing a vital role formany aboriginal populations in eastern Canada. Founded in 1996, Gestion ADC describes itself as a 100 per cent Cree company, and is owned entirely by Cree Construction and Development Company (CCDC), which is in turn part of Cree Regional Economic Enterprises Company Inc. (CREECO).
It has become one of the largest and most successful catering and janitorial services companies in Quebec and has obtained ISO certification in Canada. “Our clients range from mining companies to major developers in construction or project management,” says Gestion ADC director Anthony MacLeod.
The company has been working with and maintaining camps for major clients such as Hydro Quebec for many years, but as the mining sector continues to grow across Canada, it is fast becoming a key focus for Gestion ADC.
Recognized as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies by Profit Magazine as part its annual Profit 100 listing, Gestion ADC was ranked highly among companies from Quebec in 27th place. On its website, the group has published a selection of general objectives, which range from improving the satisfaction rate of its clients to integrating and developing Aboriginal personnel.
Its commitment to the development of its staff is reflected in its aim to recognise their sense of involvement within the company, and its ambition to continually improve its customer service credentials. Gestion ADC is also working hard to optimise its internal communications and reduce the frequency and severity of accidents at work, while becoming a distinguished market player through the excellence of its services.
Looking after remote populations
Gestion ADC provides remote camp services to companies that require it, with a range of services that include catering, janitorial, housekeeping, facility maintenance and security.
“We’ve operated restaurants, bars, convenience stores, kiosks, cafeteria and anything the client requires in the remote site,” says MacLeod. “But if you can imagine when there are 2,300 men and women living on a camp, all the necessities of a small town need to be there,” he adds.
Having been operational for more than 15 years, MacLeod says Gestion ADC has enjoyed continually growth as it carries out work at a range of mining and resource-based projects.
The firm started life as a joint venture with a company that specialises in the food and beverage industry in remote areas.
“Gestion ADC started in 1993 with a joint-venture partner and in 1996 Gestion ADC bought out the JV partners share. Since that time we’ve been operating as a 100 per cent owned and operated company.”
Looking at Gestion ADC’s present situation, it appears to be experiencing a successful 2011. “It’s been great in regards to the goals and objectives set by our board of directors,” says MacLeod. “Our services are important to the mining companies we work with, because their main objective is to extract that rare mineral. They have to focus on developing that side of the business, but they need happy workers, and that’s where we come in. For us, our mission is to bring all the comforts of home to these sites, because if you’re comfortable then nothing bothers you,” he remarks.
Supporting the Cree Nation
Along with the support the company offers its customers, Gestion ADC is owned by nine Cree communities and its core objective is to support its own people by providing as many opportunities as possible.
“That’s the objective for the board of directors, and there are two representatives from each of the communities on the board of compensation and in turn make up the board of directors of Creeco,” says MacLeod.
“As an aboriginal company aboriginal appointmentsare very important to us and we have recently hired a lot of new staff, which we have complemented by organising a lot of training. We’ve also made good earnings and when you put these things together it demonstrates how well we’ve done in the past two years.”
Gestion ADC’s parent company is a major stakeholder in the Cree Jobs Partnership, a group that aims to get as many people from within Cree communities into the workplace. “What we focus on is the training of aboriginal people,” remarks MacLeod. “Employment is one key factor, training is another. But we don’t just train aboriginal people, this is something we tend to market more because of our aboriginal origins.”
The growing company is enjoying the good times and as it takes on more and more work, is finding that opportunities are beginning to present themselves in a region where the mining opportunities are increasing, benefitting aboriginal locals. “Lots of developments had stopped in our area, but they’re coming again because of the mining industry and the extension of a major road heading north where there are a lot of opportunities in mining,” says Macleod.
Gestion ADC’s ability to provide professional and respected camp services to those firms heading into ever more remote territory, is giving many firmsthe opportunity to concentrate on their core business without having to worry about the wellbeing of their staff. By providing such welcoming relief to many firms looking to expand in remote parts of eastern Canada, while working for an honourable and worthy cause, it is perhaps no surprise that Gestion ADC is succeeding in this tough segment of the hospitality sector.