Message From the President

Connecting families with success to propel business forward.

We are off to another great year at Family Business Atlantic - due in large part to the great leadership Alan Stretch, Fiona Diamond and our board members have provided over the last few years transitioning from CAFE to Family Business Atlantic. Your vision and steadfast commitment to creating a more nimble grassroot organization has translated into so many successes.

The programming has been stellar with an incredible presentation recently delivered by Jessie Jollymore and some of the youth at Hope Blooms. It was an inspiring family business dinner and we were delighted to celebrate their many successes.   We have some other great events coming up with a breakfast session happening on November 27 at BOYNECLARKE which will address how businesses should be dealing with the introduction of cannabis in the workplace.  The year will end with our annual Holiday Social on December 5, taking place this year at one of our members’ business - Northeastern Protection Services in Dartmouth. Go to our event page for a listing of more events including our 2019 Peter Wilson Dinner with Tim Moore. 

We have also seen growth in our Peer Groups with the launch of a sixth group. With the growth in our membership over the past 18 months, we have seen an increased demand from members wishing to join a group.  This membership increase has been steady and I want to recognize our Membership Chair, Ron Cluett, and our Advisor Chair, Andre Boudreau and their respective committee members for this 40% bump in our membership numbers. Please log on to our members only page to familiarize yourself with our list of trusted advisors – they are only to happy to connect with our Peer Groups and family members to discuss issues that are important to business owners. They are a tremendous resource and add value to your membership – so visit the site often to view their skills and competencies.  

We have secured some ACOA funding that has helped up to better understand businesses in Atlantic Canada.  This has helped us create a stronger brand and we now have a communication plan in place that includes a billboard and digital media campaign.  I hope that you have seen these ads and I would encourage you to share names with us of any prospects during this media campaign. With your help we can as we connect more businesses and families with the kind of resources and support they need to prosper.  We know from our research that 70% of businesses in Atlantic Canada self-identify as a family owned and operated business, so, there is lots of opportunity for us to grow.

I would be remiss if I did not promote the John Abbass Sr. Scholarship. This $2,000 scholarship helps to promote post secondary education for those students pursuing their first educational program. This is a benefit to our members, their family and staff, and is also extended to any Nova Scotian who is looking to pursue higher education. Please feel free to share the application with anyone who you think might qualify. Go to familybusinessatlantic for more information and to download the application form.  Please note the deadline is March 31, 2019.

Finally, I want to recognize and thank our out going Board members who have served Family Business Atlantic with so much dedication: Fiona Diamond, David Humphreys, Chace Hynes, Gina McFetridge and Ali Tregunno – is has been a pleasure to work along side you all and we appreciate all you have done to support our Association. I know you will continue to be active members, but you will be missed on the Board of Directors.

Alan Streatch is now our Past President and we are honoured to have Margie Humphreys of Watermark Partners, Robert Carr from MNP and Leanne Salyzyn of Salyzyn and Associates joining our Board. We also welcome Patrick O’Connor of MNP who will chair our Family Business Excellence Awards program.  Michelle LaVigne and Sarah Wilson are important members of our team and work with our Board and Committees to ensure you are receiving value from your membership. With their support, and with our capable volunteers, Family Business Atlantic is well positioned to help propel business forward in our region. Please, stay connected and stay active.

Keep well and regards,

John Abbass
President, Family Business Atlantic       (902) 423-1966




Melissa Brenton, Don Brenton Fire Protection
“I think people would get the most out of Family Business Atlantic by joining a peer to peer group”
Fraser Moir, Halifax Seed
“It's a really great environment to bounce different ideas, problems of other people. The objective isn't to give advice so much but perhaps to gain perspective and guidance from other people, as to how well they might handle a certain situation.”
Chris Rideout, Rideout Tool and Machine
“People go to peer to peer groups, I think for different reasons sometimes. For me its that ability to express myself without being judged”
Melissa Brenton, Don Brenton Fire Protection
“I look to my peer to peer groups as trusted advisors. I go to them for advice on both issues that I have in my personal life and in/ or business”
Emily Tregunno, Halifax Seed
“When you get to leave a peer to peer group, I feel like I’m where I need to be when it comes to family business. I feel more relaxed, I feel like I am supported, I feel like whatever stress I had during the run of the day. It kinda makes me feel centered again”
Emily Tregunno, Halifax Seed
“Every family business has very unique challenges but yet they are all the same, so its really a support system of people that know what you’re going through”
Fiona Diamond, Brookes Diamond Productions
I am so inspired and motivated by this group of individuals who come from widely different business backgrounds and life experiences. We share so much in common and support each other in so many ways.
Mary-Ellen O’Regan, O’Regans Automotive Group
As a member of a Peer to Peer group we talk about business issues that are unique to family-run enterprise. Yes, it is an investment of time, but it is one that has become invaluable to me.
Gina McFetridge, CAIB, Archway Insurance
The support and advice both given and received by family businesses involved in Family Business Atlantic is invaluable. Family business supporting the growth and development of family business.