Brother named top business of the year

Anthony Abbondanza
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To the average contemporary computer user, they're best known as the company who sells printers.

Brothers Canada was named the West Island’s top business of the year earlier this month by the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce.

But what most don’t know is that Brother International Canada has been helping West Island communities with their personal and business needs over the last two decades, selling an ever-evolving assortment of products, ranging from the historic typewriter to today’s laser printer.

The Dollard des Ormeaux company was recognized for its commitment to the West Island during the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce (WIMCC) 2014 Accolades Gala June 12 at the Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel in Dorval, winning three awards, including the prestigious ‘Company of the Year’ trophy.

According to Victoria Salvador, director of marketing and communications, Brother was surprised to learn of such a category. “We didn’t know it existed so it came as a big surprise. In Brothers fashion, we all jumped up and were ecstatic about it,” she said.

Executive director of WIMCC Joseph Huza told the Chronicle Brothers was the chamber’s “hands down favourite” and the unanimous choice as the West Island’s top company. Brothers also won in the human resources and distribution categories.

The company won the human resources award because it offered its employees innovative programs, such as the logistics career development program; and the distribution award for its clearly-defined national logistic activities in supplying a line of printers, labellers, and faxes for personal and business use.

What stands out at Brother, however, is their attention to recruitment and development of employees.

“We put such an emphasis on development that it makes sense we excel in categories like human resources and distribution,” said Salvador, adding Brothers had such a great time at the gala they will undoubtedly try to defend the awards again next year.

Brother history

Brother was an established sewing company when Hal Kalker and his partners brought the Japanese company, founded by Masayoshi and Jitsuichi Yasui in 1908, to Montreal. Kalker had already established a solid reputation within the Brothers USA ranks, selling sewing machines.

Over the next three decades, Brother yielded typewriters, cash registers, and scientific calculators among other machines. By the time Kalker retired in 1990, Brother Canada was operating from a brand new office building, transforming a Dollard des Ormeaux drive-in theatre to a 200,000 square foot head office – a sign of the evolution to come. The last two decades saw the company become a leader in multi-functional centres, otherwise known as the all-in-one printer, scanner, and copying machine, and fax machines among other products.

“As we move forward, more and more work will be devoted to get people to understand what Brothers is about,” said Salvador.

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Organizations: Brothers International Canada, Montreal Chamber of Commerce, Montreal Airport Marriott Terminal Hotel Company of the Year Chronicle Brothers Brothers USA

Geographic location: West Island, Dorval, Montreal Canada

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