Calgary Small Business Wins $20,000 National Grand Prize in Scotiabank's 'Get Growing Challenge'

CALGARY, Oct. 23 /CNW/ – Scotiabank is pleased to announce that Alisen and Mike Dopf, owners of Ingrained Style Furniture Co. based in Calgary, are the national grand prize winners of its ‘Get Growing Challenge’ contest.

The contest, which closed on September 12, 2008, was part of Scotiabank’s ‘Get Growing to a Million’ Campaign launched in June 2008. Small business owners who visited Scotiabank’s were invited to submit a written 500 word entry or a two-to-three minute video to explain how $20,000 would help their business grow to the next level. Small business owners from across Canada had a chance to win one of six regional prizes of$5,000 cash and be eligible for the national grand prize of $20,000.

Ingrained Style Furniture Co. is a family-operated business with five employees, including three craftsmen. From its Calgary workshop, Ingrained Style Furniture Co. manufactures custom, solid wood furniture for the residential, corporate and hospitality industries. The Dopfs were also the Prairie regional prize winners of $5,000, bringing their winnings to a grand total of $25,000 cash. The company’s growth plans are focused on “leanmanufacturing” principles, with the goal of producing high-quality products with half the effort and space. Alisen and Mike plan to use their winnings to help finance the purchase, installation and training on a CNC router, a manufacturing tool that will help reduce their workshop space by 700 square feet while increasing production four-fold. To view a short video on Alisen and Mike, please visit

“On behalf of Scotiabank, I would like to congratulate Alisen and Mike on their win. They exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well across Canada,” said Kyle McNamara, Managing Director of Small Business Banking. “I would also like to extend our congratulations to all the regional finalists and thank the more than 700 small business owners across the country who entered the ‘Get Growing Challenge’.”

“At Scotiabank, we understand the importance of small business to Canada and are constantly working to find new and relevant ways to help small business owners succeed. The online contest was part of Scotiabank’s commitment to small business owners and was created to encourage and spotlight entrepreneurialism coast-to-coast,” explained Mr. McNamara.

The Dopfs were one of six regional winners that included:

– Davin Peterson, Owner, Base Technology Ltd B.C. – Yukon Region Winner;

– Donna Murphy Del Cueto, Owner, Shin Wa Kan Dojo – Ontario Region Winner;

– Marc Javet and Mark Wilson, Owners, Marcket Fine Foods – Toronto Region Winners;

– Driss Barrada, Saad Sebti and François Baron, Owners,Concept 3Dvisionic Inc. – Quebec Region Winners; and

– Travis Barlow, Owner, Blazin’ Barlow’s BBQ – Atlantic Region Winner.

The six finalists of the ‘Get Growing Challenge’ contest were interviewed individually via conference call by a national judging panel of top business experts that included:

– Catherine Swift, Chairwoman, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Willowdale, Ontario;

– Richard K. Power, C.A., Partner, Belanger Clarke Follett & McGettigan, Chartered Accountants, Clarenville, Newfoundland;

– Dean Magnus, C.A., Partner, Meyers Norris Penny, Winnipeg, Manitoba;

– Andrew Patricio, Vice President of Marketing,, Toronto,Ontario; and

– Diane Giard, Senior Vice-President, Scotiabank Quebec & Eastern Ontario Region, Montreal, Quebec

“While the interview was an intense experience, it provided a rare and valuable opportunity to showcase our business model and growth plans to high level business experts with the knowledge and experience to make informed decisions on our strategy’s viability,” said Mike Dopf, President of Ingrained Style Furniture Co. “We would like to thank Scotiabank for recognizing that small businesses have a profound impact on Canada’s economy, and for fostering and encouraging our growth with positive contests like the ‘Get Growing Challenge.'”

In addition to the online contest, the ‘Get Growing to a Million’ Campaign included a five-month cross country tour, live speaker events, and the launch of, all aimed at helping Canadian small business owners get to the next level of success in their businesses.

Since June, the touring ‘Get Growing to a Million’ RV has made more than 80 stops across the country, giving local small business owners an opportunity to visit the new ‘Get Growing for business’ website and test drive the tools, as well as discuss their growth plans with local Scotiabank Small Business advisors. The tour is wrapping up in Halifax this week as part of Small Business Week.

“We were on more than a road trip. The RV tour gave us the opportunity to meet and speak with small business owners in communities, both large and small, from Vancouver right through to Halifax,” added Mr. McNamara. “We got first-hand accounts from the entrepreneurs who are truly the engine of the Canadian economy. They told us about their challenges and opportunities, and along with our local Small Business advisors in each community, we discussed practical strategies to help them take advantage of opportunities for business growth.”


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