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Pekarksy & Co. September 2015 Newsletter – You Know What We Did Last Summer

September 1, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Here’s a question: How do you stay positive in the face of such overwhelmingly crappy news? And how do we maintain our light, at times irreverent, tone when so many around us are hurting? Oscar Wilde said “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Maybe so, but these blessings are extremely well hidden. Come out, come out wherever you are.

It’s discouraging, indeed, to make the daily walk from my half full parkade, along 9th Avenue past the just-closed Rush restaurant, a beacon of better times in Calgary, and then cross in front of the recently-closed Wolford store. In fairness, the only time I ever saw someone in that store during the past 5 years was the day a guy got stabbed out front and fell through the display window. Still, it’s a sign of the times. There is very real pain and no obvious end in sight. Neighbours are losing jobs, businesses are failing and people are worried. As Ice District takes shape in Edmonton, is Calgary turning into Detroit? Is a city linked so closely to an industry in decline a city in decline?  Perhaps decline is too strong. How about transition? Regardless, as my most quotable source famously said nearly 100 years ago in a speech to the House of Commons, “[The] truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.” And here we are.

Another great orator of the 20th century, Jack Handey of Saturday Night Live’s Deep Thoughts, said “Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis” and here at Pekarsky & Co. we had a summer with more than a few good laughs and we head into the teeth of this storm smiling. Well, gritting our teeth, but it looks like we’re smiling. We actually managed to keep ourselves pleasantly busy this past summer, our brand strong and our dream team in fighting form. Our annual summer scrapbook can be found below, but lest you think it was all fun and games, here are a few highlights since last we spoke.

The summer started with our recognition in Business in Calgary for a Leaders Award recognizing our success both in business and in our community. Nice to be able to add the adjective “award-winning” to our collateral material. Nicer still to celebrate with friends, family and long-time clients on our rooftop patio on a perfect summer night.


We also sponsored a session at the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference and I enjoyed playing the part of Dr. Phil as I moderated a lively panel amongst three opinionated yet thoughtful panelists who shared their thoughts on Creating the Career You Want.Moderating a lively discussion on Managing your Career with Leanne Cherry (BLG), Mike Thackray (McMillan), Nicole Springer (Pure Technologies).

PicMonkey Collage

In conjunction with the CBA Conference, I was privileged to be published in Lawyers Weekly for this article, my inaugural Canada-wide audience, 80,000 readers strong, after six years of writing to you, my 8,000 closest friends. In addition to the initial stage fright that accompanied writing for a much broader and likely less forgiving crowd, they shackled me with an 800 word limit. But, the article was well received and since it was in a newspaper, it must be true.

And though we certainly felt the effects of the summer slump (anyone who tells you they haven’t is probably lying), we managed to stay out of trouble landing new and interesting mandates from organizations with the resolve to buy in to this market; something several clients who can do, are doing. In July and August we were fortunate to close searches for the YMCA Calgary, VP of Human Resources; the JUNO Awards General Manager, the CNIB Director, Philanthropy; three roles for Current Financial, including a VP Business Development and two Document Control leads; the Al Osten – Buddy Victor Acadia Tennis Centre General Manager; the Canadian Propane Association Senior Director; Goldec Hamm’s General Manager in Red Deer and our usual steady diet of in-house counsel and law firm lawyer searches, to name a few. From tank manufacturers to awards shows; tennis centres to not-for-profits…perhaps the diversification of our little Pekarsky & Co. micro-economy is a microcosm of the massive challenge (and opportunity) before us all.

Unfortunately, we have also been kept busy assisting clients with our career transition offering for senior members of their organizations who find themselves in between opportunities and needing help updating skills they likely haven’t needed in many years. The last time many of today’s displaced found themselves looking for work, LinkedIn wasn’t a thing, resumes were faxed and job boards were made of cork.  We can help.

But it wasn’t all work. Most of the team managed to get away for some time off, clearly booked and paid for in happier times. Members of the Pekarsky & Co. team had a front row seat to the Greek referendum, spent a night in a sketchy Italian emergency room, saw the lights of the Eiffel Tower at dusk, enjoyed the bustle of New York City in July or just dressed up in silly costumes and performed in sold out international festivals.


PCo_2015_3PCo_2015_4PCo_2015_5PCo_2015_6If you are new to our newsletter, please stick with us. You can always unsubscribe if you must. We’ve been writing for six years, twice a month. The first of every month, or as close as we can, is typically my musings along with some of our current searches, community initiatives and good press. Mid-month we feature one of our team authoring their own piece striving to provide original content and honest thought leadership on topics light and heavy.

For a sense of what to expect, over the past 12 months we wrote about turning five, Gus the Wonder Dog; the importance of giving the gift of time; how  improv is like search; our very own Sinead O’Connor; the colour red and much more. You can visit all of our past editions by visiting the newsletter section of our website.

So, strap in. Between now and June 30, 2016 you will receive another 20 (or so) editions of this labour of love we call our newsletter. We hope you like it. If you do, please tell us and please keep our readership growing. If you don’t, feel free to unsubscribe and we’ll talk about you when you’re gone.

Just in the past 24 hours, the smoke has cleared from the Alberta landscape, oil prices are on the rise, our NDP government has brought some certainty around royalty reviews and the Calgary Herald ran this quintessentially optimistic headline: Housing Affordability Continues to Improve in Calgary Market. To the well once more: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  We choose to be optimists.

Whether you’re worried about losing your job or losing money on the markets or losing your sanity, try not to lose your sense of humour.  We promise we won’t.

Adam Signature


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