Wayne Ford introduced himself as a "Prairie boy", raised in Yorkton, Sask. A prairie city of about 8-10,000 people at the time he lived there, dependant largely on farming The two biggest exports from the prairies — "wheat and people".

Wayne's dad owned a small service station with his partner Joe. They both started working there after the "Big One" WW2. Wayne's mother was "stay-at-home". Wayne  had   3 brothers and 1 sister. and he attended public school and high school in Yorkton.

Wayne met his wife Jane in high school as he was coerced into being the lead in a high school play called "Henry Hereafter" — a comedy about Henry the VIII and his wives. Jane constantly points out she played "Catherine of Aragon", the only wife to survive Henry.

Anyway, they won the Saskatchewan high school play that year. Wayne met his wife in high school but she lived about 1 1/2 blocks from their house but their public schools were different. She only went to the Senior Prom with him because he was the High School President. That title and ten cents would have got you a coffee at the Broadway Café in Yorkton.

Wayne left high school, worked on the oil rigs in Lesser Slave Lake, moved back to Yo r k t o n , drove truck, worked in warehouse and drove tractor trailer across the prairies and North-west U.S. He attended Brandon University and graduated "early" in his second year. Back to Yorkton, he started a career with CN.

He finally married Jane after dating for 7 years, and in 1972 and  transferred to the geographical centre of Canada — WINNIPEG!! Then he transferred to Thompson, Man in 1975 where they raised two boys — Geoff andDoug. Then, Wayne started as a terminal manager of a CN subsidiary. After a couple of years, in 1978, he  shifted to selling Caterpillar equipment for a Cat dealer with a head office in the geographical center of Canada — WINNIPEG!! His territory was Manitoba north of the 53rd parallel, the NWT and any part of Canada his customers went if they successfully bid a job. Exciting job, exciting times, exciting travel but hell on a family.

Wayne joined the Thompson Rotary club — remember this was a city of 17,000 people with only one of the residents being over the age of 65. When he went to his first Rotary convention in the geographical center of Canada — WINNIPEG!!, he could not figure out what all these old people were doing there. Now he is one of those old people — go figure!

Most people have made one or two mistakes in their careers, and Wayne's next one was a dilly as he moved his family to Kamsack, Sask in 1983 to become a Crushing Superintendent with a company doing large rock/quarry crushing contracts in Western Canada. Looking around from Kamsack, Sask at the mess he had made he then looked for a new career selling equipment was an excellent job but tough on a family.

A former Cat customer of his in Saskatoon Sask. convinced him to start in the commercial real estate field and as a result in late 1984 he  started his commercial real estate career in Saskatoon. He joined the Saskatoon North Rotary Club and served as a Director for a number of years. He started as a broker, leasing and selling commercial real estate in Saskatoon. There are significant differences between selling and leasing commercial properties vs. houses. The most significant differences in Wayne's mind are: 1. The dollar values involved; 2. Commercial real estate has less emotional responses than residential; and 3. The world of commercial real estate is smaller therefore less likely to be as fickle.

People sometimes ask what makes the "successful" commercial broker. - It is difficult to characterize - Product knowledge and hard work are a given; - Integrity is a "must" for longevity - But, in his opinion, the major difference is differentiation. The really successful ones can look at a real estate opportunity or problem with the same knowledge.  However, they generally can think of a slightly different twist a different perspective and then they can sell it and deliver on it. In late 1988, in the midst of a real estate depression in Saskatchewan, Wayne joined Colliers International in Vancouver.

After about 8-9 mos. with Colliers he was offered a job with British Columbia Buildings Corporation, a.k.a "BCBC" as a Lease Manager in August 1989. During his 16 yr. career at BCBC, Wayne became the Director of Leasing; Director, Development Services and lastly, Director of Real Estate.  Some less kind might start thinking "Holy mackerel, this clown can't hold a job!" — but these people are not kind — refer to 4-way test). It was during this stage of his career he was shown and taught effective leadership. The taxpayers of this province have no idea how much money BCBC saved them.

The leadership he was shown and was taught started at the top — Dennis Truss was an excellent President/Leader who managed to steer us through many troubled shoals and build an effective organization. For example, the government and environmentalists are all on the "green" bandwagon — BCBC was measuring energy usage and engaging in processes to reduce energy consumption in 1985 - 30 years ago.

In addition: The first successful P3 in the province of British Columbia? BCBC; The first Gold LEED renovated building in Canada? BCBC. Wayne said hecould enumerate other examples of corporate and individual leadership that were exhibited over the years. "Dynamic tension" was an internal tool used to make sure we were all working to beat benchmarks — there were no sacred cows.

Examples of leadership by people within BCBC abound. The BCBC model was investigated and admired by different governments and adopted by some of them. Dennis retired in 2003. On June 30 2005  Wayne left BCBC to work for the Jawl family in their commercial real estate division. On July 23 2005 government fired the Board of Directors, the President and Executive Vice-President of BCBC.  

Wayne's  story is that someone looked at his  departure and though t" Hell, Ford is gone, this thing will never survive — we better do something drastic!!" He tells his friends that landing a job working with the Jawl family is one of the luckiest strokes of luck hw would have had in his career. They are an excellent company to work for with excellent real estate and ethics.

Excellent leadership and again, no resting on   laurels —" we must get better". From his  perspective, the exciting parts of commercial real estate are — brokerage, leasing, development and acquisitions and disposals. What makes it exciting?? - Selling — the best sales people are the best listeners. They do not have to be bombastic blowhards. - The negotiating — remember the most successful negotiators are prepared — it's 90% preparation and 10% negotiating sessions; - The amounts at risk — can be millions of dollars or the loss of a leased property.

Doing deals — there is a level of satisfaction when you have been part of the team that has successfully negotiated a real estate deal and managed the process to deliver it. You can become a deal junkie. - Managing and developing people. He has worked for several good managers and a couple of excellent managers. 

 There are other aspects of the business that are exciting to other people: - Property management - without effective property management, you will not attain maximum profit with minimum cost to the tenant. -

Asset management — long term planning of the major repairs and upgrades 6 required for long term maintenance of the asset. When do you sell the asset? What do you buy? - Financing or mortgage brokering —He  has learned another adage which holds to be true "You will run out of money long before you run out of property to buy." A good financing/mortgage broker can help you leverage your effectively values when necessary. -

Accounting — Wayne realizes that most sales people generalize about the "bean counters", however the reality is accurate and professional accounting will lead to a more successful business. Wayne holds a professional designation as a CCIM — Certified Commercial Investment Member. He also held at one time the designation; Master of Corporate Real Estate granted by CoreNet Global. What these designations really mean is that he can tell you to the 4th decimal point, why I was wrong the last time and why I hope to be correct the next time.

Any discussion of his  life would also have to contain a reference to his  hockey career. Being a prairie boy, he started playing on frozen streets and outdoor rinks from a very young age. For whatever reason he had always played goal - some would argue not well, but those would be those same unkind people mentioned earlier. He  played hockey so far in the bush leagues that Daniel Boone couldn't have found me.