Professional Profile: Jim Abernethy, Broker
Some people have described me as a goal setting and result orientated individual who works well under pressure.
Currently my goal is to apply the knowledge and experience that I have acquired during four distinct and successful careers towards assisting my clients make sound real estate decisions. My primary focus is within the Municipality of Clarington, Region of Durham and County of Northumberland marketplaces.
However, I am a Registered Real Estate Salesperson/ Broker (since 1976) by the Province of Ontario and capable of trading real estate anywhere within Ontario.
My role as Mayor of Clarington and Regional Councillor for the Region of Durham allowed me to gain considerable knowledge about the relationships between our various levels of governments and community stakeholders; and the issues related to long term community planning & development, municipal waste, nuclear waste, nuclear energy, and other innovative forms of energy generation.
The Municipality of Clarington is a "Gem” and we are well positioned to take on the future!
In 2011 - I established the Clarington Promoter. This publication is a full coverage local Community Newspaper designed to help explore the richness of our historical past and to educate ourselves about the similarities and differences found in each of the more than 35 communities that define Clarington.
The Clarington Promoter is delivered by Canada Post to every home & business in Clarington. The Clarington Promoter is also available online where you will find the current and all past editions are archived in the “Past Issues” section. To read past editions simply visit: www.claringtonpromoter.ca
About My Community
The Municipality of Clarington is a diverse community, rich in heritage and history. For example we are birthplace & home to the companies and founders of the GM Canada Ltd, Massey-Harris Co., Canada Dry, The Toronto Star, Cream of Barley Cereal, Dominion Piano Company, Algoma Apple Orchards and more.
Our community incorporates vast tracks of beautiful and productive farmland, an abundance of fresh water streams, heritage main streets and well-defined communities.
Here we have a sense of time, a sense of place.
Clarington is the largest agricultural producer from the west side of Toronto to the Quebec border.
We are home to the OPG Darlington GS which now provides almost 20% of Ontario’s electrical energy, and the Province is making plans for us to produce more.
I invite you to learn more about Clarington…….. visit www.claringtonpromoter.ca
Personal Profile: Jim Abernethy, Broker
My spouse of 39 years and I were raised with strong family values in small rural communities that experienced the effects of rapid growth. We have two sons, both married, and three granddaughters.
Prior to becoming the Mayor of Clarington in 2006, I was fortunate to have enjoyed three successful careers and gained a strong business background as a corporate executive and later as an entrepreneur.
The first was that of Golf Course Superintendent, including the position Assistant Superintendent at The National Golf & Country Club in Woodbridge.
My second career was real estate sales north of Toronto in the areas of Vaughan, Caledon, and King with A.E. LePage. This led to a junior management position and later to the position of Vice President & Regional Manager with Royal Lepage Real Estate Services Ltd.
In 1987, I left Royal LePage to found a family business. Under my leadership as President & CEO, the Ste. Anne’s Pure Spring Water Company Limited grew into the 4th largest bottled water company in the GTA and was sold to the Danone Group in 1999. The sale allowed me the opportunity to retire and work closely with our sons who developed their own businesses.
In 2006, I entered the political arena and was successful in my first campaign to become the Mayor of Clarington. The Municipality of Clarington has a diverse rural-urban geography with a population of 85,000 and is home to the Darlington Nuclear Power Generating Station.
During my four year term as Mayor and CEO, I applied all of the knowledge and experience that I gained towards managing the municipality as a business. Clarington now enjoys the fifth lowest tax rate amongst all 25 GTA communities and boasts one of the highest ‘Bank Reserve to Operating Expense’ ratios amongst the 85 Ontario municipalities that participate in the annual BMA Management Survey .
I enjoy travelling, landscape & gardening projects (big or small) and playing golf.
• Goal Setting
• Competitive Team Player
• Recruiting & Managing People
• Delegating Authority
• Chairing a Meeting
• Consensus Building
• Public Speaking
• Corporate Spokesperson
• Developing Business Plans
• Managing Budgets & Assets
Golf Course Superintendent/Construction (1966-76)
• What began as a part-time & summer job of golf course maintenance at Pine Valley Golf & Country Club developed into my first career as a Golf Course Superintendent. I was very fortunate to be influenced at an early age working with high profile people in the golf industry including Charles Muylaert, Rene Muyleart, George Clifton, Al Balding and Tom Fazio. Looking back, those were the years that I discovered my people skills and my ability to create, organize and manage. During those years I held the following positions:
- Assistant Golf Course Superintendent - Pine Valley Golf Club, Woodbridge
- Golf Course Superintendent - Glen Cedars Golf Club, Markham
- Assistant Golf Course Superintendent - The National Golf Club, Woodbridge
- Golf Course Construction Site Supervisor – Green Par Golf Design & Construction
(Green Par constructed numerous golf courses in Ontario including: Glen Cedars, Deer Creek, Nobleton Lakes, Spring Lakes, Strathroy)
Real Estate Sales & Management (1976-1987)
• Real Estate Sales - Salesperson
I learned that in order to be a successful real estate sales person you must be well organized and self- motivated, capable of building and sustaining relationships to create your business. Most importantly, you must always be focused on providing a high level of customer service. My duties were to develop my customer base and provide the following services: property appraisals, property listing & sales, marketing campaigns, mortgage financing, employee relocation, and land assembly. I received numerous sales achievement awards & acknowledgements.
• Real Estate Sales – Branch Manager
My sales successes attracted the interest of senior management who offered me an opportunity to manage the A.E.LePage Belleville Branch in late 1981. The primary duty of a Branch Manager is to ensure the Branch generates a profit for the corporation. My goals were to increase sales revenues and control expenses. I devised and executed a plan to recruit & retain some of the best agents available in the Belleville-Quinte marketplace, and worked closely with them to improve their individual sales records. Within 8 months, and during the 1982 recession, I built a sales team in the A.E.LePage Belleville Branch which generate more sales than any other competitor in the Belleville-Quinte marketplace.The Belleville Branch also became the top producing sales branch in the A.E.LePage - Northern & Eastern Ontario Region. I repeated this performance as manager of the A.E.LePage Oshawa-Cobourg Branch Offices.
• Real Estate Sales - Vice President & Regional Manager
I was promoted to the position of Vice President & Regional Manager shortly after A.E.LePage merged with the Royal Trust Corporation to form Royal Lepage Real Estate Services Limited. I was responsible for overseeing the operations of thirty (30) Royal LePage Branch Offices located north and east of Toronto, including all of Durham Region east to Brockville; and all of York Region north to Thunder Bay. My role was to ensure each Branch Office generated a profit for the corporation. I was responsible for recruiting and de-hiring Branch Managers; providing corporate support, guidance and advice to each of them to help recruit salespeople, improve sales revenues and control expenses; acted as the Corporate Spokesperson in each of the local marketplaces; responsible for opening, closing and renovating Royal LePage Branch Offices and reported to Corporate Head Office, Don Mills.
Entrepreneur – Bottled & Bulk Water Production, Marketing & Sales (1987-1999)
• Founding Partner, President & CEO - Ste. Anne’s Pure Spring Water Company
• I made a very difficult decision to end a successful and promising career with Royal LePage in July 1987 in order to found a family business – the Ste. Anne’s Pure Spring Water Company Limited.
• Under my leadership as President & CEO, Ste. Anne’s grew into the 4th largest bottled water company in the GTA with both home, office, retail and export sales.
• The business incorporated manufacturing, sales and distribution of spring water products and services. Spring water was extracted from ground sources, processed and then packaged for distribution to homes, offices, domestic retail outlets, and international export markets. In addition, a bulk water sales & distribution division was developed for bulk sales to beverage production facilities throughout Ontario.
• I received a great deal of personal satisfaction from developing an idea into a business plan and then executing that plan to create a thriving and profitable business.
• My goal in 1987 was to create, build and sell the business. I fulfilled that goal in 1999 with the sale of the operating division to The Danone Group. The sale allowed Cathy and I the opportunity to retire and work closely with our sons who developed businesses of their own, in Clarington.
Managed Investment Property Portfolio – Ottawa (2001-2007)
• During this period I managed my personal portfolio of investment properties in Ottawa. Primarily high end student housing, catering to the living accommodation needs of international students attending the LeCordon Bleu Culinary Institute located in the City of Ottawa.
Municipal Politician - Municipality of Clarington & Region of Durham (2006-2010)
• Mayor & CEO – Head of Council for the Municipality of Clarington
My role as Mayor was to act as the Head of Council and Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, uphold and promote the purposes of the municipality and promote public involvement in the municipality’s activities. Also, I was the official representative of the municipality at official functions and provided leadership to the Council when presiding over Council Meetings to ensure that the business of the municipality was carried out efficiently and effectively.
• During my four year term as Mayor and CEO, I applied all of the knowledge and experience that I gained toward effectively managing the municipality as a business, and led Council in developing a Long Term Strategic Business Plan. In 2010, Clarington enjoyed the fifth lowest tax rate amongst all 25 GTA communities and boasts one of the highest ‘Bank Reserve to Operating Expense’ ratios in all of Ontario.
• The Municipality of Clarington has a population of 85,000 and is home to the Darlington Nuclear Power Generating Station. This facility is owned and operated by the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and produces about 15% of the electricity used in Ontario. The Province of Ontario has announced plans to build two additional nuclear reactors adjacent to the current facility.
• One of the most important duties of every Mayor is to participate in and encourage activities that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality and its residents. Under my leadership, Clarington successfully negotiated ‘Host Community Agreements’ with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for these additional reactors and with the Region of Durham for siting the York-Durham Energy-from-Waste (EFW) facility in the Clarington Energy Park. This will be the first EFW facility to be built in Canada in more than 20 years, and the first new nuclear reactors built in Canada since the mid 1980’s.
• Both agreements will provide benefits to the community for many years to come. For example the agreement with OPG provides for $10 Million dollars in benefits to the community once the project begins; and the agreement with the Region of Durham will act as a catalyst to speed the servicing & development of employment lands in Clarington. More importantly, the Energy-from-Waste facility will effectively reduce our carbon footprint by off-setting our greenhouse gas emissions with: 1) the generation of enough electrcity to light 10,000 homes, and 2) a district hot-water-heating system capable of heating another 10,000 homes, and 3) the elimination of deisel emmission from the garbage trucks required to transport our garbage to landfill sites as far as 1,000 km round trip. Prior to the agreements taking effect, these projects were rigorously subjected to the open, transparent and democratic Environmental Assessment Approval process for the protection of the health and welfare of the people of the community.
• During my term I represented Clarington as a member of the Canadian Association of Nuclear Host Communities (CANHC). I regularly attended meetings with members of our association and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). The purpose of these meetings was to assist this Federal Agency in developing a site selection process for Canada`s Deep Geological Repository, a permanent storage site for used nuclear fuel. Currently, NWMO is now implementing the Adaptive Phased Management System which is a based on phased and adaptive decision-making supported by public engagement and continuous learning.
• The Municipality of Clarington is host to a historic low level radioactive waste management facility currently undergoing a Federal Environmental Assessment process. Through a special Host Community Agreement executed between Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Clarington, the Federal Government has committed to developing a long term safe storage facility within Clarington to store the existing low level radioactive materials currently buried near the north shore of Lake Ontario at the eastern edge of the municipality. Known as the Port Granby Project, it is a federal project designed to implement the safe long-term management of historic low-level radioactive waste. I played a key role in mediating the differences between the Federal Government of Canada’s Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO) and our South East Clarington Ratepayers Association (SECRA), including the introduction of a Property Value Protection (PVP) Program – a first for the Government of Canada.
• Serving my community as Mayor was both an enlightening and rewarding experience. I gained considerable knowledge about the relationships between our various levels of government and always ensured that Clarington maintained a positive working relationship with the Region of Durham, various Ministers of The Province of Ontario, our local MP and MPP, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and St. Mary's Cement, along with the many other stakeholders within our community.
Regional Councillor – Region of Durham (2006-2010)
• The Municipality of the Region of Durham is comprised of eight (8) municipalities with a total population of about 700,000 people. As the Mayor of Clarington, I had the privilege of being one of the 28 Members of the Regional Council who are responsible for the governance of the Region of Durham.
• The duties of a Regional Councillor are very similar to those of the Municipality of Clarington – to discuss, debate and collectively decide upon the direction that council gives to staff in order to carry out the business of the municipality, or in this case the Region. The Region provides a different set of services to the public than those provided by Durham’s eight (8) local municipalities; for example: transit, police, ambulance, social services, Regional roads & bridges, water, sewer and waste (garbage) are exclusive services provided by the Region.
• The Region of Durham has a Capital & Operating Budget of more than $1.5 Billion Dollars. Members of the Regional Council appointed me to the Regional Finance Committee for a four (4) year term. We met regularly with staff to develop and execute each of four (4) annual budgets. The role of the Finance Committee is to make financial recommendations to the Council of the Whole (all 28 members) for Council’s approval. The Region of Durham is one of only five (5) municipalities in North America that has received and maintained a Triple A financial rating from Moody’s of New York.
• Provincial Statutes: I have a good working knowledge of many Ontario Provincial laws and statutes including: Ontario Municipal Act, Environmental Assessment Act, Waste Diversion Act, Clean Water Act, Ontario Municipal Board Act, Ontario Planning and Development Act, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Act, Places to Grow Act, Greenbelt Act, Oak Ridges Moraine Protection Act, Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, Residential Tenancies Act and others.
Editor & Publisher – Clarington Promoter (2011-present)
• This publication is a full coverage local community newspaper designed to help explore the richness of our historical past and to educate ourselves about the similarities and differences found in each of the more than 35 communities that define Clarington. The Clarington Promoter is distributed by Canada Post to every home, business, apartment and farm located in Clarington. Currently, you can read on-line the more than 29 editions that have been published. Go to: ClaringtonPromoter.ca and click on "Past Issues".
Education & Certifications
• Langstaff SS – Vaughan, Ontario
Business & Administration, 1969
• University of Guelph – Guelph, Ontario
Turfgrass Management Diploma Program 1971
• Province of Ontario Ontario – Registered Real Estate Salesperson/Brokers Licence (since 1976)
• Numerous workshops and courses dealing with a range of leadership, management & financial topics.
Past Director/Member of the following Boards and Organizations
• Municipality of Clarington - Mayor & CEO
• Region of Durham – Regional Councillor & Member Durham Region Finance Committee
• Canadian Association of Nuclear Host Communities (CANHC)
• Veridian Corporation
• Veridian Connections
• Clarington Museum Board
• Orono Arena Board
• Newcastle Area Board
• Clarington Green Committee
• Rotary Club of Woodbridge
• Woodbridge Agricultural Fair
• Canadian Bottled Water Association
• Valleys2000 Fund Raising Committe (Honourary Chair 2011-present)
Past Membership with the following Organizations
• Rotary International (Clubs of Woodbridge, Belleville and Oshawa)
• Kinsmen Club of Bowmanville (Honourary Member)
• Canadian Golf Course Superintendents Association
• Ontario Bottled Water Association
• Canadian Bottled Water Association
• Ontario Real Estate Association
• Toronto Real Estate Board
• Belleville & Quinte Real Estate Board
• Oshawa & District Real Estate Board
• Brampton Real Estate Board
• Cobourg & Northumberland Real Estate Association
Current Membership with the following Organizations
DRAR – Durham Region Association of Realtors
Toronto Real Estate Board
Ontario Real Estate Association
Rotary Club of Bowmanville
Valleys2000 Fund Raising Committee