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April 01, 2017

A silver anniversary

Trico Homes celebrates its past, looks to the future as it marks 25th anniversary


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The world has seen tremendous changes in the past quarter of a century. Technology has evolved to the point that it’s almost magic and has drastically changed the way we live our lives.

Calgary itself has seen a tremendous transformation over those years, but one thing that has remained the same in the face of these sweeping changes is how Trico Homes continues to conduct its business.

Trico Homes is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. Throughout this 25-year period, the award-winning home builder has continually improved on its methods, processes and designs in producing some of the city’s most innovative and stylish single-family homes, townhomes and condos.

What hasn’t changed is the way the company treats not only its customers, but its employees  as well. After all, the company is named after its core values of Trust, Respect, Integrity, Community and Opportunity, which have been the bedrock of its corporate culture.

Those values come from their founder and CEO, Wayne Chiu, who is passionate about supporting philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility and creating shared value for the community that has been so welcoming and supportive of Wayne and his business.

Wayne Chiu emigrated from Hong Kong in 1982 and started Trico Homes in 1992. “I am blessed and honoured that an immigrant such as myself was able to have the opportunity to build a business in a country like Canada that treasures multiculturalism and diversity. I believe Canada’s policies provide new immigrants with the opportunity to become successful citizens and make valuable contributions to our economy and society.

Trico has built in all quadrants of Calgary and its surrounding municipalities, and the company has increased their product offerings from single-family homes to all types of multi-family homes.

Today, Trico builds in 15 communities, offering Calgarians with a wide array of well-designed, value-added homes. From condos, townhomes, semi-attached homes (duplexes), detached garage homes, move-up and semi-estate homes, Trico has a product to fit a variety of lifestyles.

Success for them, however, is not only about numbers and percentages like sales, revenues, permits and buildings. “I believe success is also about the impact an organization can make by creating business opportunities through addressing issues challenging society today,” Wayne says.

“As a child growing up with limited means, I learned from a very young age to share with my family and siblings. The city I grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s was very poor and experienced many social issues. When I was about 10 years old I remember feeling very thankful for receiving a hot lunch at school each day. One day I was very surprised to learn that the hot lunches were provided from a group belonging to a Canadian church. This experience stayed with me and planted a small seed that has inspired me to become a philanthropist and life-long advocate of giving back and helping others.”

Trico has had its share of success with a slew of industry awards and public acclaim, but that is not how they measure success. “Throughout Trico’s journey, the company has experienced many ups and downs which have all helped to shape and evolve the organization, and most importantly to keep us humble,” Wayne says.

“One of the biggest challenges in the early years was attracting the best employees to work for Trico Homes. I knew creating a strong culture would be the foundation for creating a successful company. I remembered a quote by Stephen R. Covey that resonated with me and it said, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”

This is why Trico was named one of the nation’s best employer in 2016. For the seventh year in a row, Trico Homes was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces by Great Place to Work Institute Canada, a global research, consulting and training firm that helps organizations identify, create and sustain great workplaces through the development of high-trust workplace cultures.

Trico Homes has also been recognized as one of the Best Workplaces for Women in Canada for the second year running!

“This year’s Best Workplaces are Canada’s leaders in building high-trust organizational cultures and advancing best-in-class management practices to fully engage their workforces, delight their customers and contribute to their communities, says Jose Tolovi Neto, Managing Partner, Great Place to Work Institute Canada.

That feeling of belonging is immediately felt when you enter Trico’s corporate office, the first thing you will see is a large plaque where the company’s core values are proudly displayed. These values guide the organization in their everyday decisions.

The “Trico Spirit” extends through the corridors and beyond the walls of the office. Trico employees are a tight-knit and passionate crew who work closely together with the common goal of providing every homeowner with the best possible home and experience before, during and after their build.

This dedication and commitment goes beyond their staff and customers, to include the entire Calgary community.

“Their passion extends beyond the day to day work and into the core of the company’s culture. The camaraderie and team spirit is clearly visible through the lively kitchen conversations, the employee-led fitness classes, the Trigons Dragon Boat team and hockey team, the construction team’s annual Stampede Breakfast, the Chinese New Year celebration and volunteer work with community partners like Kids Cancer Care and GlobalFest.

According to a study by Cornell University, groups that eat together perform better together and food has certainly become a staple of the Trico culture. New employees are quickly exposed to the “Trico Ten”; which refers to the number of pounds most employees gain after their first six months at Trico. From the potlucks and Elliot’s prized baked goods to the Chinese buns, the samosas and of course the Chicken on the Way that magically appears in the kitchen many weekday afternoons, it’s no wonder Trico feels like home.

As members of Trico’s extended family, the contractors and suppliers experience the “Trico Spirit” firsthand. Each year Trico hosts a trade dinner to give thanks to their valued partners, share success stories and talk about goals for the coming year. “We have worked with Trico for over two decades and I can honestly say our organization is most proud of the relationship we have with Trico Homes,” says Nadeem Esmail of Classic Kitchens.

Trico is well prepared to meet the challenges that come its way, and has thrived through the rollercoaster economy of Alberta of the past 25 years. In 2017, the company has a diverse array of projects in the works. They are on the way to finish their Viridian multi-family development in the northwest, and have just launched Verona and are about to open Wentworth Point townhome project this year too.

So what’s next for Trico? Tom Chisholm, President, adds, “continue to raise the bar in our pursuit to be a leader in product development and innovation. It starts within, with the right team and the market intelligence to stay relevant and create value for our homeowners, and create pride for our partners and employees.”

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