1985… the first cell phone call is made in Canada, the average cost of a new house is $89,330 the Nintendo Entertainment System is released in North American markets, Michael Jordan is named as the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year.” and I started my new career with Empire Sheet Metal Mfg. Co. Ltd.
Without any prior knowledge in the field, galvanized, mild steel, satin coat and metal gauges were soon everyday language as selling sheets of metal and “50ft Handy Coils” became part of the job.
Started in 1925 by Mel Manishen’s father the year Mel was born, Empire Sheet Metal Manufacturing was known in Canada for manufacturing quality HVAC ductwork and fittings. Locally the custom sheet metal work was a niche and by 1985 with Mel’s lifetime of contacts in the industry and zeal for marketing and direct mail we started up Empire Machinery & Tools as a division of Empire Sheet Metal.
Our first machinery catalogue was printed in 1987 and our last in 2006 as the digital world allowed for new on-line catalogues that were limitless in pages and never outdated!
Dusty boxes of letterhead and envelopes and shelves of literature are now evidence of the huge impact direct “email” marketing had on our industry.
Rick McLean moved to Manitoba to join Empire Machinery & Tools Ltd. as the world rolled over into the year 2000. Shortly afterward Rick and I bought the company and in 2006 we built our building at 390 Eagle Drive.
Sean Mashinter joined the team as our shipper in 2002 and it wasn’t long before we moved him into sales where his appetite for information on the equipment he was selling and his natural organizational skills led him to a partnership in the business.
Empire has evolved from Rick’s and my two desks side by side in a rented one room office across from Empire Sheet Metal to our beautiful 18,000 sqft facility with a team of 13 committed individuals, who continue to grow the knowledge and expertise Empire offers its customers.
It has been my greatest pleasure and motivator to work with customers and suppliers across Canada, the U.S. and internationally. I loved picking up the phone every day never knowing what part of the world might be at the other end. I have been extremely fortunate to have travelled extensively and met many of you at your businesses and at various trade shows.
As I retire this month after 31 years, Empire enjoys renewed motivation with our current team. Their energy and positivity with Rick and Sean’s leadership will serve our customers and suppliers well!
I wish you all the best in 2017 and thank you for your support and friendship!