COPA is pleased to announce that Ted Hoxie has been awarded this year’s Individual Award of Excellence, the Association’s highest honour. The Award recognizes the achievements and contributions of our industry’s most outstanding business leaders. Ted’s success will be celebrated on November 16, 2017 at the COPA Stars Gala at The Vue in Toronto, ON.
Ted Hoxie has had a long run in the Canadian OP industry, but it wasn’t by design. He had no plans of working in the office products industry when he was growing up. In fact, his first job was about as far from an office setting as you could get.
“Growing up, I took care of the horses on my grandfather’s farm,” says Ted. “It was only a part-time job. I cleaned the stables and got my driver’s license so I could drive the horse trailers to the county fairs. When I turned 16, my grandpa asked if I wanted to help him at the store he owned.”
The store was Beattie Stationery Limited established in 1860 in St. Catharines, Ontario, which, today, is the business solutions company, Beatties.
“I always admired my grandfather,” says Ted. “He was quite the entrepreneur and was active in the community. He wanted to give me that same opportunity, but only if I showed interest in the business.”
That opportunity and interest aligned after Ted enrolled at the University of Waterloo Lutheran (now Wilfred Laurier University), taking an honours business program. Unfortunately, the class schedule was getting in the way of the fun of being a first-year student, so Ted completed his first year and returned to St. Catharines. In 1979, Lawrence Beattie passed away, leaving his grandchildren trust accounts.
“My trust was never disclosed to me until I returned [to the company]” says Ted. “It was when I asked my cousin Rodger Beattie—who purchased the business from Lawrence—for a summer job so that I could go back to university, that my trust was activated. I learned that my grandfather left me 15 per cent of the company if I returned to work there before I was 21.”
Ted relied on the support and advice of Beatties senior management team to guide his career as he worked in a variety of company areas: delivery and installation, retail sales, purchasing, operations, and even IT. Ted became president of the company in 1994, and, to this day, believes mentorship is key to a successful future in the office products industry.
“I am fortunate to lead a great team and I respect them all,” says Ted. “Throughout my career, every day was a new learning opportunity—I learned early in my career to be honest and ethical, to delegate, be committed, lead by example and, of course, listen more than you speak.
“I think we all have an obligation to encourage the next generation in our business,” says Ted. “I think we need to seriously consider some sort of mentorship program to bring the millennial group in. They bring in a different viewpoint and perspective.”
Ted has been part of many boards and committees in his personal and professional life, with focus on the environment, community organizations, and professional development. He says it’s important to be part of professional organizations that align with the needs of the industry. Ted is currently chairman of the Board of Directors for Basics Office Products.
“As times change, it’s important that you have an association,” says Ted. “Whether it’s social gatherings or business meetings, I think every industry needs an association; you need someone to represent your industry.”
Keeping a close-knit and supportive business network has helped Ted with his success over the years and paid off big when he was faced with a seemingly impossible task.
“It was a number of years ago when I was still in purchasing,” says Ted. “We were awarded a large furniture and installation contract in Accra, Africa. I got a call from the head contact of our client. He told me they overlooked the need to purchase copiers and they needed five of them on-site by Friday. This was on a Monday.”
After reaching out to supply companies overseas to find machines with the correct wiring and specs that could meet the deadline, Ted was coming up empty-handed. So, he dialed up an industry friend in Ottawa to pick his brain. This individual connected Ted with one of his best friends, who happened to own the largest Canon dealership in Zurich, Switzerland. A few phone calls later, the copiers were on-board a Swiss Air flight for delivery, arriving a day earlier than the deadline.
Ted is married to Maureen and is celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary next month. They have a vacation home in Scottsdale, Arizona where they enjoy visiting, especially during the winter months. They have two children Jordan and Alex. Receiving this year’s award has been an unexpected delight for Ted.
“I’m very humbled to have been nominated for the Individual Award of Excellence,” says Ted. “There have been so many great leaders in our industry over the course of the years, and I’m honoured to be included.”
Join us as we celebrate with Ted and the 2017 COPA Awards recipients at the Vue in Toronto on November 16th. The Gala is a great opportunity to expand your business network and support the OP industry in Canada. Get all the event and registration details at https://www.copa.ca/annual-copa-stars-gala/.