Welcome to PBA’s Blog
Andrew Boblin sees dirt differently. Growing up on a farm and putting in hard labour during the fall harvest, riding semi-professional motocross (5 bikes met their maker during that time) and then with PBA Land & Development as our Senior VP Real Estate & Development.
There have been many more stops on his road between the farm and the office but no matter the position Andrew could always see the big picture. Not fussing too much about the details (unless it’s on his attire – check out that spiffy pocket square) but putting real deep thought into where the organization was going. Even with motocross, a beloved pastime, he had the forethought to see that it was in his best interest to keep his bones intact and in his words “time to grow up” and go to school. Wise for a 20 year old!
Sure, I could tell you about his experiences in architecture (architectural technologist *honours* via NAIT, drawing & designing with his own firm Matrix Design, curating massive projects like Calgary Co-Ops) or his expertise in construction and development (handling billion dollar pension funds through GWL Realty or Tonko Realty Advisors, now known as Triovest). Sure I could talk about his LEED Certification but it’s more important to showcase what Andrew is doing for PBA.
It’s a given that Andrew’s experience & expertise is essential to PBA. Andrew is the visionary behind all of the most exciting projects here. He’s the brains behind our latest project – Calgary’s ONLY 4+ star Marriot Autograph, Along with an urbanized Courtyard in the heart of downtown. This project, albeit fantastic to be partnering on, will not only propel PBA to the top of mind for development companies in town but it will undoubtedly boost Calgary’s status as a destination location for high end conferences and professional events. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a brilliant addition to the team but his quick wit and fancy socks have made him a valued part of the PBA family.
In 2012, our resident “Jersey Girl” Amy Kelso arrived at PBA as Administrative Services Manager. Soon, her skills and attitude captured attention and she was promoted to the leasing team – a role created solely with Amy in mind.
A New Jersey native, Amy grew up in the northeastern state’s suburbs with her parents, both teachers, and younger sister. She attended school at Towson University, in Baltimore, Maryland. Soon after life brought her to Canada – and finally, to Calgary where she joined the PBA team.
Amy has become ingrained in the DNA of PBA. From touring prospective tenants to managing all types of documentation, office manager duties, tenant coordination and more, she is a true ambassador for the company. In fact, she goes above and beyond her job description to take care of every task that comes up. Simply put, Amy does whatever needs to get done, not just what her job description says.
When the working day is done, Amy keeps busy with her two kids and their active sports and social lives. But she’s not simply a chauffeur for her children. She is a “bad TV” junky and loves celebrity gossip. Other endearing traits are her ability to mispronounce French names and her American-background’s instance on denying of the existence of the letter “zed” in favour of “zee.” Her PBA colleagues have also helped introduce Amy into the “foodie” world. By now she has sampled an array of delicious pasta, and has opened her taste buds to spices and sauces beyond everyday condiments.
PBA believes in a culture of respect and collaboration to inspire our team to fulfill their career dreams. Five years ago, Amy joined our company and has made her mark ever since. We are pleased to celebrate this milestone with Amy and are thankful for her contribution to the PBA culture – we hope to celebrate many more work anniversaries with her. As they say in Baltimore, Amy truly is “good people!”Read Less
On Wednesday, March 8, there is one important question to ask yourself: Will you #beboldforchange? That is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day and it is one that we can all get charged up about – women, men, young and old – as we work toward a more inclusive, gender-equal world.
The goal of International Women’s Day is simple: a better world for women and therefore, a better world for us all. The World Economic Forum predicts that it will take close to 170 years to achieve gender parity – that means it will be 2186 before the gender gap is closed. That is why now is the time to make a difference, to be bold and drive change for women.
You might ask yourself, what can I do here at PBA Land in Calgary, Alberta? In fact, we can all be leaders for change. Here is what International Women’s Day organizers suggest:
- celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women because visibility and awareness help drive positive change for women
- declare bold actions you’ll take as an individual or organization to help progress the gender agenda because purposeful action can accelerate gender parity across the world
As a trailblazer in traditionally male-dominated industries, CEO Patricia Phillips gets why #beboldforchange matters. In fact, at PBA, gender equality is important throughout the entire organization, from corner offices to out in the field. Challenge negative gender stereotypes where you see them; mentor a young female employee and encourage her to reach her potential; form support networks for each other.
Be engaged. Be fired up. And on March 8, and every day, #beboldforchange, to make a difference for gender equality, at home and around the world.Read Less
At PBA Land, we believe that building a better future for our company means believing in our employees. To have the opportunity to see that, in turn, foster loyalty and dedication is an inspiration for our whole team.
Recently, we had the chance to honour two of our employees – Dennis Braunwarth and Janice Lynch – for 10 years of service. It is important to us to mark this milestone and show our gratitude, because indeed, hard work and dedication is what helps set PBA apart.
Every day, Dennis comes to work with a smile on his face. Janice has an eagle-eyed attention to detail that makes her work truly shine.
Dennis came to the company after initially managing the operations of some of PBA’s properties through CB Richard Ellis. A testament to Dennis’ good-natured approach, the tenants in those buildings were always happy – and soon, he was hired directly to manage the operations of PBA’s entire portfolio. His wife Joyce once told President and CEO Patricia Phillips he came home singing after his first day with PBA! Dennis is a dedicated ball player, a dog-lover and a big fan of a particular lunch: Dr. Pepper and hot dogs. He is also a tool fanatic, attached to the many items in his workshop.
Janice joined PBA from Robert Half as our property accountant. Her attention to detail at work is legendary to the point that it has even distracted her from details at home. She once discovered only a day before a trip to Cincinnati that her passport had expired – a rare occasion for such an organized person. She also has a great love for the outdoors and will often spend weekends hiking with her husband Steve. Singing is another love and Janice has been a choir member for years. Always quick to step up to any task required, she once organized an office choir within minutes to sing Jingle Bells at PBA’s Christmas party.
Committing to a certain team of people signals a belief in an ideal – to the company, the services it provides and to the job you are doing to help reach shared goals. PBA believes in a culture of respect and collaboration to inspire our team to fulfill their career dreams. We are delighted that Dennis and Janice have been able to share in those ideals and we salute their many contributions to the PBA family during their 10 years here.
PBA Land has always understood the importance of community involvement and of providing support to our youth. In the not too distant future, some of these youth will assume the roles of leaders in our community. Having an impact on these young lives can change the direction of our society’s future.
One organization we have supported for many years is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area (BBBS). As a PBA Land tenant since 2005, we believe it’s important to support this worthwhile organization. BBBS is a long-standing not-for-profit which changes the lives of young people and volunteers through the power of mentoring, helping young people reach their full potential. By partnering and working with our tenants, together we can build a lasting legacy that will have far-reaching impact.
Another long-time commitment of ours has been to support Business Fore Calgary Kids (BFCK). PBA Land CEO Patricia Phillips is one of the original founding members of BFCK, a foundation created to raise money for non-profit organizations supporting local kids in need through an annual charity golf tournament. By leveraging its success and strong relationships, PBA hopes to make a lasting difference in the lives of these children and contribute to stronger communities.
The PBA team is heavily involved in the organization of the annual BFCK golf tournament. The 11th Annual Tournament was held on June 6, 2016; over $2.3 million has been raised over the years with all funds directly supporting the Foundation’s charities:
- Even Start for Children Foundation
- Between Friends
- Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
- YMCA Strong Kids Campaign
- Hull Services
At PBA Land, we believe in potential. We also believe in building impactful legacies and strong communities. Positively influencing a child’s life can mean all the difference to his or her future, and to our community.
With a state of emergency being declared in the Fort McMurray area, it is crucial to show our support for the people whose lives have been devastated by the loss of their homes and their businesses, those who are volunteering their time and resources and the emergency responders putting their lives at risk. The team at PBA Land has made a donation to the Canadian Red Cross to help with their efforts. The federal government has committed to matching each dollar donated to the Red Cross.
Please join us in our efforts to support the Red Cross in anyway you are able to–the cost of this wildfire to the Province of Alberta and its residents is already in the billions of dollars. Donations can be made at
For other ways to provide your support to Fort McMurray evacuees, CBC Calgary has published a list of websites and organizations can be found here: CBC Calgary – how to help Fort McMurray
The PBA Land teamRead Less
When PBA Land was interviewing for management positions on its team, one of the key differentiators CEO Patricia Phillips was looking for in the candidates, was a history of athleticism and participation in competitive sports. As a former Alpine Ski Racer, she believes competing in a sport is one of the factors for producing strong leadership skills and a cohesive team.
How sports can lead to excellent leadership skills
One of the traits of an excellent leader is an ability to motivate people to challenge themselves and meet their goals. Sports are highly competitive, and by their nature, push people to achieve more than their rivals. Within team sports, participants are encouraged to foster team spirit, to collaborate and to, on occasion, ‘take one for the team’.
Competitive team sports creates an environment where its participants must collaborate to achieve their goals. This team spirit and the capacity to work well with others is essential to leadership. Leadership also means the ability to listen to the opinions of others and an openness to different points of view. In order to lead a team, one must also be able to play for it.
The team spirit and competition within sports provides an excellent analogy for the teams within organizations and the competition within business leaders face in today’s world. The skills learned in sports can provide a solid foundation for success in many areas.
At PBA, we believe this background of competition and all the elements of of being on a sports team, including working closely with teammates towards a common goal, have helped to create the PBA management team which strives for excellence in its business and focuses on a collaborative approach.Read Less
When PBA Land Development CEO Patricia Phillips skied competitively, one of the keys to her success was to perform a series of actions at the same time each and every day. By ritualizing these actions or habits, she ensured she wasn’t distracted from her training. From the time she got up to the time she finished her conditioning that day, she knew what was next. Her schedule was already in place and she didn’t have to think about it. When she took over the helm at PBA Land, she continued with this practice.
PBA Land has sponsored Alpine ski racer and two-time National Champion. Watch Trevors incredible 14th place finish at Kitzbuhel http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2682518445/
Why business leaders should imitate athletes to achieve success
Although it may seem a stretch to compare the world of a competitive athlete with that of some-one running a business, both require the same strategies in order to be successful. I believe maintaining the ‘habit of being habitual’ — of sticking to a routine — has been one of the keys to leading a successful private land development company. Several of our team members also have competed nationally in sports and they follow the same habit of starting out their day with a routine. We all know what we need to do and we don’t have to waste energy thinking about it.
Make prioritizing another key habit
As a team, we recognize how essential it is to prioritize. Whether you’re a world-class athlete, running a company or your part of it, executing the priorities is critical. When they’re left to later in the day, distractions show up and there’s less energy. As an athlete, I always trained first thing in the day. If I’d postponed it until later in the day, there was the chance I wouldn’t train as hard, as my energy levels were depleted. Business is no different.
PBA Land has sponsored Alpine Canada ski racer and two-time National Champion Trevor Philp, who is an excellent example of how routine habits and prioritizing leads to wins. Trevor is the only World Cup skier who has competed while simultaneously obtaining a university degree. He couldn’t have accomplished all this without having a routine and doing first things first!
Trevor – 2015 Graduation from the University of Denver with Bachelors of Business Administration, Major in Finance
These traits are why PBA believes Trevor will achieve greatness. Implementing these practices in our lives has helped us to achieve this level of success. Maintaining these habits keeps us on track.Read Less
At PBA, philanthropy has always been integral to our corporate culture. Last Christmas when the Magic of Christmas called the media looking for warehouse space to house their operations, we took immediate action and provided them a home.
The Magic of Christmas is a non-denominational not-for-profit organization “delivering hope, joy, and love” to Calgarians for over 32 years. A grassroots organization, the Magic of Christmas is 100% volunteer operated with a commitment to ensuring that the spirit of Christmas is brought to people going through hardship or those who may be alone at Christmas. Using donated Calgary transit buses driven by bus drivers who donate their time and volunteer “elves”, the Magic of Christmas serves over 500 families and over 4500 people in hospitals and other institutions each Christmas.
This year, we had another vacant space available, which has again become home to Santa’s elves at the Magic of Christmas. On December 16th, PBA along with 60 of our colleagues had the opportunity to volunteer in the warehouse, sorting toys, food, and household items. In light of particularly hard times in Calgary this year, PBA also opted to scale back our usual Christmas gala and, in lieu, made financial contributions to the Magic of Christmas and other charitable organizations.
According to PBA’s Director of Leasing and Asset Management, Jordan Martens, “This charity is important to us because they truly make a difference in the lives of everyday Calgarians, especially the ones who are less fortunate or have fallen on tough times. It is great to be a part of the good work they are doing.”Read Less
With several members of PBA Land and Development having competed in sports at a national level, the team understands the powerful connection between leadership in sports and in business. Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Phillips, uses the skills she honed in her own sporting career to lead PBA, one of Calgary’s premier land developers.
So, when the opportunity arose for PBA to support Alpine Canada ski racer Trevor Philp on his journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics, the synergies were obvious. A pioneer in Canadian Ski Racing, Trevor is a two- time National Champion, has competed in one Olympic games and two World Championships, all while attending the University of Denver full-time. He completed his business degree in four years with excellence, while skiing for the university and for Canada.
What do successful business leaders and top athletes have in common?
I believe that while the ‘X Factor’ behind the success of some athletes is usually intangible, there is no doubt much can be attributed to a positive state of mind, commitment to excellence, drive and a steadfast belief in a vision.
There are many similarities between what it takes to be an elite athlete and what is needed to successfully lead an organization. Business leaders today face many of the same challenges as athletes: intense competition, hard work, setbacks, and multiple priorities and time demands, to name a few. In order to succeed in sport or as a business leader, the characteristics of those that rise to the top are identical:
- Strong work ethic
- Intense focus and awareness
- Good communication
In addition to these characteristics, elite athletes and top business leaders are influential mentors to their teammates and lead by example. They celebrate success and look at setbacks as learning opportunities. They stay focused on their intention in the face of a mass of distractions. And, possibly most importantly, leaders inspire their team members to work collaboratively towards a common vision.
The importance of supporting other leaders
Skiing the anchor leg of a team event for Canada at the World Cup skiing championships in Beaver Creek in February, Trevor earned a silver medal, which had never been done by a collegiate skier. In fact, prior to Trevor’s win, no collegiate skier had ever won a medal in a World Cup event. Following this win, Trevor also won the University of Denver’s most prestigious award, the 2015 Pioneer Award. The Pioneer Award is the highest honor given to undergraduate students. It recognizes students who demonstrate strong academic performance, leadership, community service, campus involvement, strong character and pride in the university. Not coincidentally, these are also hallmark traits of strong leaders, and it’s here that Trevor is paving the way for other high performance athletes through example and support for his colleagues. Trevor continues to demonstrate leadership in anything he puts his mind to, and Team PBA and I are delighted to join Team Philp on the road to Korea!Read Less
Making a Difference
One of our core philosophies at PBA is “making a difference”. There are numerous causes that we believe in and support, but sometimes there is an issue that stops us in our tracks.
On Sunday August 23rd, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM, the second annual Brandon Thomas memorial car show – Show Your Ride For Brandon! – is set to take place at 205 Quarry Park Blvd SE. Brandon was a 17 year old with an affinity for cars when he was killed by an impaired driver on December 6th, 2012.
To remember him, Brandon’s family put the Show Your Ride for Brandon together, which is a car show and shine memorial for his life. As “he loved everything from driving to mudding and everything in between,” it is a great event to raise awareness about drinking and driving, as well as being surrounded by good people who share the same passion. You can follow this on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ShowurrideforB or use the hashtag #showurrideforb
Brandon’s mother, Cochrane resident Kim Thomas, has been a tireless advocate for stiffer penalties for those who cause harm to others from drunk driving. All funds raised from this event will be going towards a scholarship in Brandon’s name at SAIT Polytechnic for their auto mechanics program.
Brandon’s tragic story can be found at the following Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/RipBrandonThomas. It is incumbent on all of us to speak out against the senseless loss of a life in these circumstances. The selfish act of impaired driving can alter a multitude of lives, not just the immediate victim. It is something that is entirely avoidable if we all just focus less on our own satisfaction and realize each and every one of our actions has an impact on another human being. Making a difference does not have to be a grand gesture, something as simple as showing support for a cause that can impact all of us is a start.
PBA Land & Development is honoured to be a sponsor of this event, and will host the 2016 event on our Southbow Landing development lands in south Cochrane.
Let’s all try in our own way to make a difference.
One of the phrases we often use internally at PBA is “building communities within communities”. But what does that really mean? By developing our 17th Avenue site into a mixed-use development, are we not automatically creating a small community within the Beltline?
One really needs to go to the essence of what a community is and what it accomplishes. Mother Teresa once said “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things”. Society is filled with examples of the truth of this statement. Successful sports teams, companies and alliances are all built on the fundamental principle of achieving more collectively than as individuals. So how does this relate back to PBA?
When we look to develop a property, our goal is to create an environment where everyone involved succeeds. For PBA, we obviously want a building or buildings that are full of happy, paying tenants. But it is much more than that. Understanding our tenants businesses and their goals helps us create an environment where they have a greater chance of success. Creating synergies between tenants provides opportunities for everyone. Every day we try to foster and grow relationships with our partners, be it the tenants, our consultants and contractors, the brokers who bring the deals. By creating those connections, we personalize our business relationships. The old adage, “sorry, it’s just business” doesn’t fly at PBA. Surrounding ourselves with individuals and companies that have a similar approach and ethics makes each day a new and exciting journey.
Being honest with our partners and ourselves is the best first step to creating a community. A quote by Marcus Aurelius sums up our approach to business. “If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it”.Read Less