Rick Gibbs


Neutron Factory Works

In the world of industrial contracting, you don’t find a lot of missionary types—but Rick Gibbs is one. The 44-year-old co-owner (with partner and CTO James Gibson) of Neutron Factory Works—which provides a one-stop shop of electricians, refrigeration mechanics, welders and fabricators to clients in industries from food processing to pharmaceuticals—passionately believes in making his factories safer and more energy efficient. “There’s massive opportunity, coast to coast, to save energy and do things more efficiently, effectively and safely,” says Gibbs. “That’s really where I see Neutron shining—not just with tools in our hands.” That socially conscious approach has hardly hurt Neutron’s sales, which have more than doubled since 2010 to a projected $6 million in fiscal 2014, with Gibbs expecting to open a second office in fast-growing Alberta in the coming year. —M.O.


Scott Edmonds

President and CEO Webtech Wireless Inc.

From Paris to Singapore to Burnaby: it’s not your typical career path, but in many ways Scott Edmonds’s decade of working for the Walt Disney Company informs a lot about how the CEO of Web-tech Wireless does business today. For one thing, he knows the importance of bringing new products to existing customers—which is critical as Webtech, which sells telematics (vehicle location, driver behaviour and vehicle diagnostics information), moves from a hardware- to a software-based company. Edmonds, 53, also understands the limitations of being small and service-oriented in a global industry: in 2010, he closed Webtech offices in London, Mexico and the Middle East to focus on the more profitable North American market (Webtech’s $30 million in projected 2014 sales now split 65:35 between the U.S. and Canada). “This is a highly competitive business where you need close contact with customers,” he explains. —M.O.

I knew my business was a success when…

Edmonds: We started to attract high-quality sales candidates from our competitors.

I get my best ideas when…

Gibbs: Mentoring others and working with my hands.

People tell me the phrase I most overuse is…

Gibbs: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

The most underrated trait of an entrepreneur is…

Edmonds: Humility, which I define as the ability to be teachable. If you can’t learn from others, and from your mistakes, you don’t stand a chance.

If I weren’t doing this I’d be…

Leavitt: Working in Developing World micro-finance.

The people I learned the most from were…

Edmonds: My greatest life lessons have come from my mother and grandmother—both very strong women who raised their families alone and instilled in me a strong work ethic. My greatest business lessons, however, came from some of the key leaders I worked with at Walt Disney: Philippe Bourguignon, who became CEO at Euro Disney while I was there, and John Feenie, my boss and mentor when I was in Asia.