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Pekarsky Stein Halloween – November 2014 Newsletter

November 12, 2014


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Another Halloween in the books.   This year was particularly ghoulish as my family and I awoke at 2 a.m. Calgary time and departed Disney World in Orlando to make the cross-continental trek to ensure we got home in time to trick or treat.   Because 8 days in Disney World isn’t quite enough candy, costumes and over-stimulation.
Adam w Goofy
It was quite the stomach-churning week.  Lots of roller coaster rides, sudden drops and a rather large dent to the wallet.   But enough about the markets.    As one of my oil and gas General Counsel friends noted in an email exchange as I was lined up at It’s A Small World:   “’A world of laughter and a world of tears; a world of hope and a world of fears’…sounds like the oil and gas business.”  Or, indeed, the search business.   My Disney review in 100 words:  Magic Kingdom is the best park, though It’s Tough to be a Bug at Animal Kingdom is a must.  Hollywood Hotel is pretty freakin’ freaky.  Obesity is alive and well in America (note to self: invest in motorized scooter company).  The ‘Magic Bracelet’ is the future of commerce.   Harry Potter at Universal Studios is great but the Forbidden Journey ride will make you sick, though apparently only if you are over the age of 13.  Popcorn and ice cream bars will haunt your dreams.  Adults wearing Mickey Mouse ears with no kids in tow will too.  Avoid the Krusty Burger.


Back at the ranch, the crew at Pekarsky Stein was working some magic of its own.   Whilst expertly executing over a dozen active searches, our Edmonton team (celebrating its first birthday today!) managed to move into brand new space on Jasper Avenue and 104th street on time and on budget.   Speaking of spooky (should be read in your best Rod Serling voice), that particular intersection in downtown Edmonton was for years home to my grandfather’s clothing store, Henry Singer Menswear, occupying the old Birks Building directly across the street from where the new Pekarsky Stein office now sits.  I remember visiting that store as a young boy growing up in Edmonton.  To think that Rick’s dad and mine were practicing law together just a few blocks away from that very location some 40 years ago….cue the Twilight Zone music.

In Calgary, renovations are almost complete (our five day plexiglass installation now in month 3) and workloads appear thus far undeterred by $80 oil, though perhaps we are a lagging indicator, not a leading one, of what’s really going on out there.   In addition to working through a very high profile EVP and General Counsel search for a major E&P company, October saw us launch multiple searches for Legal Aid Alberta and Finning Canada in Edmonton, and Collins Barrow in Calgary, to name a few, while successfully closing several others including a Director of Human Resources for the Alberta Accountants Unification Agency, a Regional Manager for a multinational management consulting and training services company, and a Tax Partner for a leading Vancouver law firm.

Calgary Collage


The Calgary partners and families enjoyed their annual Thanksgiving in Fernie tradition by eating, hiking and even doing some strategic planning between red wine and tryptophan-induced naps.   The Calgary office also resumed a search for an Office Manager, a role that has thus far eluded even our ability to recruit.  Perhaps we’re the shoemaker’s son.  Notwithstanding our ability to attract and retain the best recruiters in the industry to our firm, we’ve had a heckuva time finding that all-purpose, uber-organized, financially-literate, university-educated, Jack-of-all-trades, mother-hen who can prepare RFPs, plan parties and change the toner…all while handling our various idiosyncrasies and nuanced personalities for average pay and long hours.   Perhaps I need to work on the pitch… But seriously, we are close and I expect by our December 1 edition, we will have news to report.

In terms of community, our own Rick Vogel was privileged with presenting the Vogel Award (named after his father, Barry) at the annual CARNA (College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta) President’s Dinner in Edmonton.  In Calgary, we again proudly supported the Hospice Calgary Sage Soiree Fundraising Dinner, continued our work on the YMCA and Tourism Calgary Boards and volunteered time and talents to numerous other worthy causes.
Jerry Macdonald Vogel Award with President and Vogel Family - 2.
If you’ve read this space for long enough, you’ll know my feelings about November;  Easily my 12th favourite month.   But, we’re in this together and you’ll soon have our mid-month edition to lift your spirits and signal the halfway mark.   Until then, stay warm and be good.