We Love Our Community: 2016 Edition


$10 Can Feed A Lion For A Week

January 14

Logan Lean, 16, and her father, Shawn Lean, have created a fundraising raffle supporting the Feed the Lions program at Leo Hayes High School. The lucky winner will receive a $4,000 vacation package. Tickets are $10, and the draw is Jan. 15.

A $10 raffle ticket gives you more than a chance to win a $4,000 vacation package, and it can feed a student at Leo Hayes High School for a week.

The raffle is a fundraiser for the Feed the Lions program at the northside high school.

“At our school, we have approximately 120 students at least per day who have no access to food,” says Kim Lightfoot, a teacher at LHHS and the adviser for the school’s Feed the Lions program. “We started a partnership with the Community Kitchen and started serving 60 lunches once a week. Two years later, we’re offering 120 lunches every single day. We have a backpack program to send food home with kids in need, and we now have a five-day-a-week breakfast program.”

Logan Lean, 16, a Grade 11 student at LHHS, is one of those students.

“She joined our Feed the Lions committee this year, and on the very first day, we were talking about roles that the students could take, and she came up and said, ‘I’d really like to be on the fundraising committee,’” says Lightfoot. “So off she set and has come up with – with the help of her dad and her family – an amazing fundraiser that involved tremendous community support.”

Logan went home and talked to her father about it. Shawn Lean’s reaction was they needed to figure out what they could do to help.  “I was thinking of bake sales, and I thought of a 50/50. I was thinking of small stuff,” she says.

Her dad got behind the 50/50 draws at the Junior Caps home games, even matching any funds raised, but he also had something bigger in mind. “I sent a note out to a bunch of business friends that I have and asked who was in, who would be interested” in being part of a raffle, says Lean.

Within 24 hours, he had 11 businesses involved. Two are his, Office Interiors and the Junior Caps. The others were Andy Williams Insurance, Worrall’s Furniture, Taylor Printing Group, Fredericton Mitsubishi, Delta Fredericton, Modern Electric, Fredericton Royals Baseball, Transformations Salon and Dairy Queen.

Ten partners each threw in $400 to help purchase the travel card, with Taylor Printing printing all the raffle tickets.

“What we’re going to do is give the $4,000 to the Feed the Lions in cheque format through our businesses, and they will see if they can get a travel agent to cut them a deal on that,” says Lean.

“Team Logan has committed to raising $20,000 for the Feed the Lions program, and we will meet or exceed that,” he says.

Lean quickly notes that Team Logan involves more than he and his daughter. It also includes Logan’s mother, stepfather, stepmother and other family members, and the businesses and community groups that stepped up to be part of this fundraiser.

This isn’t the first time Lean has helped Feed the Lions. Last year, the 22 players he had on the Junior Caps each donated, and that sum was matched by the team and Office Interiors.

“It ended up being $1,800, so I went to the three schools on the north side because I’m a true blue Northsider,” he said and donated $600 each to Nashwaaksis Middle School, Devon Middle School and LHHS.

Lean hopes this is the beginning of this fundraising raffle, with more businesses getting involved next year.“The goal is to double what we do this year,” he says.

“It’s just amazing to have people like this step forward and get the community involvement and support,” says Lightfoot. “This makes this doable and sustainable. Our students in need hear about this and feel support by the community and their classmates, and that’s a great feeling.”

The draw for the $4,000 vacation package is Jan. 15. Tickets are $10 and are available by contacting Hepditch at 444-4787. To donate food or money to the Feed the Lions program, drop by LHHS any school day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Shawn Lean is Office Interiors’ Vice President of Sales in New Brunswick

Police Association of Nova Scotia – Benefit Hockey Game

January 15

Our Police Association of Nova Scotia proudly sponsors our 20th Annual Charity Benefit Hockey Game at the Halifax Forum. This year’s very special game will again be featuring the “PANS All Stars” versus the “Maritime All Stars,” a special of former NHL and other Professional Hockey Players from Atlantic Canada, including Nova Scotia’s former Buffalo Sabre, Mac Davis, playing off at the Halifax Forum on February 18th, 2016.

Most importantly, of course, is that the proceeds from our game will again directly support some of PANS’ favourite local charities, including donations to FEED NOVA SCOTIA, the distribution centre for all of Metro Halifax’s and Nova Scotia’s Food Banks and the Children’s Wish Foundation which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

We thank Office Interiors for the generous support regarding the benefit hockey game, which helps out the Children’s wish foundation and Feed Nova Scotia. Your support is a big help!


Terry Johnson
PANS Benefit Hockey Game
Campaign Office

Thank-you from ANAVETS

January 22

As President of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAVETS) Association, I would like to thank you for supporting our association and the work we do for our Veterans, our communities and our great country.

The association’s objectives are to advocate for veterans and their families to improve the services and benefits available to them. We also unite fraternally, ex-service personnel and those committed to serving our veterans through good fellowship, mutual improvement, patriotism and service to our communities.

To that end, our Units across Canada provide clubs, homes and meeting places for veterans’ benefit, providing them camaraderie, social events and services. Units also raise awareness within their communities on Military History and Veteran’s issues and support local hospitals, cadet corps and other charitable endeavours by donating monies raised by their activities.

Your support will help ensure that the needed changes to the New Veterans Charter are carried out and other issues affecting Veterans and their families are identified and addressed in the future.

Yours in comradeship,

Brian Pheonix
Dominion President

Thank You Office Interiors

January 22

Thank you for your generous gift of $2000 representing instalment 4 of 5 in support of Catapult Leadership Society.

This year, our Catapult Plus program has been recognized as a personal development credit for our students. This means that our students’ work in the Catapult Plus program will now be recognized as a credit on their high school transcripts. Our students are truly being launched at Catapult, and they are continuing their leadership growth throughout high school with Catapult Plus. They are developing into young adults with the abilities and tools to succeed in their personal lives and their communities.

We appreciate your trust in us and our mission to cultivate youth leaders across Nova Scotia. With your help, we inspire our youth to step outside their comfort zones, provide them with tools and support to succeed and empower them to reach their full potential.

Once again, thank you for your generosity and for supporting Nova Scotia students. Through increased acts of volunteerism and community projects, our student leaders are paying your generosity forward and helping Nova Scotia become a stronger province.

Thank you for your ongoing trust in Catapult and our mission to empower NS youth to succeed!

Lori Baker
Executive Director
Catapult Leadership Society

Crime Watch Canada Thanks Office Interiors

January 28

Thank You for supporting Crime Watch Canada and allowing us to advertise your Organization as one of our valued sponsors.

With the assistance of Organizations such as Yours, Crime Watch Canada Magazine has grown to a quarter million readership since 2003 and is Canada’s leading Crime Prevention and Educational subscription-based Magazine. The dollars raised from our Community and Business Members enable us to distribute this crucial information, with two of our primary focuses being the Fugitive Alert & Reward Program and Missing Person notifications.


Tony Russo
National Accounts Manager
Crime Watch Canada

Stephen Sorrey Memorial Scholarship Pool Tournament

April 7

My name is Darren Sorrey, and my life (and several other people’s lives) changed forever on July 11th, 2010. I had spent the day working with my son Stephen doing a hardwood floor for a friend like we often did, and we parted ways around 8:30 that night. He went home, and I went home, both exhausted. I had some supper and collapsed in bed. The doorbell rang in the middle of the night, just like you see and hear about. Like a dream, I was standing at the door with two CBRM police officers telling me they had to talk tome. Well, the rest was a nightmare, not a dream, and my beautiful son was gone forever…..

We have all suffered losses, and almost everyone reading this will have gone through the gruelling months of pain that I went through. I was determined that I could handle it one of two ways. I could let it consume me for the rest of my life, or I could be thankful for all I was left with and try to make some positive out of this terrible negative. Stephen and I enjoyed playing pool together, and with the help of some good friends and sponsors, we started an annual pool tournament in Stephen’s memory to raise money for students entering any trade at the NSCC. Considering we held this year’s tournament in a raging snowstorm, we did quite well and raised over $3,000! We had 19 teams, down slightly from the usual 25 or so. We are already planning for the 6th annual next spring, hoping it will be the biggest yet!

Through the wonderful letters I receive from the students that have been helped, I know that some good has come from this. I also tell people I get to keep Stephen’s name alive, as people will come up to me and ask, “When is Stephen’s tournament” and “ I can’t wait until next year.”

Please be kind to the people around you; if you have children, hold them close!

Darren Sorrey
Account Manager – Imaging
Office Interiors

Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation

April 14

Every day in many places across Canada, an alarm sounds, and the men and women we know as firefighters respond to help their neighbours. Leaving warmth and safety, they frequently put themselves in harm’s way to save life, protect property and reduce community loss. Most of these dedicated firefighters return from the alarm to answer other calls at other times. Some, tragically, do not. Also, others are so harmed by the effects of an incident that their lives are cut short due to their selfless rush to help.

Over the years, more than 1100 known firefighters from every part of Canada have lost their lives in service. This number continues to grow as we collect historical data from across the country. Tragically, this number also continues to grow with each passing year.

The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation has been established to honour these brave and caring Canadians who have sacrificed their own lives for others. Just as firefighters answer the alarm when called, you have responded to our call to honour them. For this, we say “Thank You” in their names. Your generous contribution assists us in realizing the Objectives of the Foundation, namely to:

  • Maintain the Canadian Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa.
  • Provide scholarships for the children of fallen firefighters.
  • Conduct the Annual Canadian Firefighters Memorial Ceremony.
  • Develop Support Programs for the families of the fallen.


Captain Robert Kirkpatrick
Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation

2016 Unsung Hero Award

April 19

From all of us here at Office Interiors, we would like to thoroughly congratulate Shawn Lean, our VP of Furniture Sales for New Brunswick, for receiving the 2016 Unsung Hero Award. Shawn consistently represents Office Interiors’ values for his extensive work in the community and is an example for the rest of our team.

Below is the nomination letter to the award selection committee detailing how many community groups, sports teams and youth he has personally supported. It is both well worth a read and motivational, to say the least. Shawn, your dedication has not gone unnoticed. Congrats, and keep up the amazing work!

“Shawn is a well-known business manager in the Fredericton area. He also strongly advocates for young athletes and believes that all youth deserve an opportunity to play sports. With high operating costs, teams rely heavily on fundraising activities to help cover costs such as ice time, travel, etc. This is where Shawn comes in. Shawn sponsors/supports many, many teams financially here in the city. Among them are: Pee Wee AAA Baseball, Tommies Volleyball, Fredericton Royals Baseball, UNB Caps Intramural Team, Cap City Hockey, Bantam Minor Caps, Taymouth Tigers Baseball, Junior Caps Hockey … and I’ve probably missed some as well.

In addition, Shawn has always had a special place in his heart for kids who cannot afford to play. His running tally at MacTavish’s will attest to this. He has sent numerous individual athletes in there and made it clear to the owners that they are to have “whatever they need.”

Not only does Shawn invest in these teams financially, but he invests his time and personal interest in them as well. In the case of the Office Interiors Junior Caps hockey team, I’ve volunteered alongside Shawn for a few years now with that team. I can tell you that he constantly strives to make everything that he is involved in a positive experience for these student-athletes and those he’s ‘roped’ into helping in his causes. He not only believes in helping these young people become better athletes, he believes in helping them become better citizens. He also has a way of making all of the adult volunteers on his team feel very much appreciated and valued.

Most recently, Shawn’s daughter Logan signed up to be the fundraising coordinator for the “Feed the Lions” project at Leo Hayes High School, and she asked her dad for his help. As Shawn does, he agreed to help and went at this project like he does everything he’s involved with, at 100 mph! My understanding is that they had a fundraising goal of $20,000 and that they met that goal and, in fact, exceeded it by raising a total of $22,000.

Shawn is currently the Vice Chairman of the Senior Nationals Baseball Championship, a volunteer position for the tournament, which will be held in Fredericton this August.
Shawn volunteers on numerous Boards, including Fredericton Sports Investment Inc., President of EDZA, Hockey New Brunswick. He is passionate about his city and was brought up in, specifically, his Northside roots.

I hope you will give this nomination every consideration, and thank you for the opportunity to nominate Shawn. The City of Fredericton, particularly the youths who live here, is fortunate to have someone of Shawn’s giving nature reside here. I honestly can’t think of anyone more deserving.

Community as a Value

May 4

One of the things that I am most proud of at Office Interiors is our “Values.” We live them, breathe them, and we believe in them. We actually run our business by them. And it starts at the top, with myself and our entire Leadership Team. You can see them here.

Our Community is one of them, and I am constantly amazed at the many things our team does in Atlantic Canada to help others. We get lots of feedback, such as the note below, which reminds us of how important this work is.

I believe that companies attract people based on the culture they create. Our Values are one of the reasons we have such a strong team. It’s a pretty thing about being an entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy the read!

Jim Mills
Office Interiors

Love The Way You Learn

May 4

One of Office Interiors’ Core Values is Our Communities, and it’s letters like the one below that remind us just how important giving back to the community truly is.

I would like to express my utmost gratitude for being selected as the successful applicant for the ‘Love the Way You Learn· Award. I have been ecstatic since I reserved the phone call this morning.

I was initially nervous about my entrance back to school as a mature student; however, I am exceedingly glad now that I have. I have worked very hard in my program; this often means that my family and I need to make sacrifices In order for me to succeed. It is extremely rewarding to know that the hard work and dedication have been recognized. 

I believe that the diploma at the end of the program is important, but perhaps the most important part of school is the journey through it to me, this means not just maintaining my grades but working on being a good citizen in my community and giving back when I can. In my role as President of the Student Association, I hope to help my fellow students through their own personal experiences in college too. 

As a newly single mom, there have been more challenges this year than I originally anticipated when I started my program. I have no way to convey the amount of appreciation that I have towards your company for granting me this award. I wholeheartedly believe that my experiences at NSCC will bring me more than a diploma, I now have been given a chance at a bright future, one to which your generous gift brings me that much closer. Thank you so much.

Cory Porteous
Marketing Manager
Office Interiors

MADD Canada

June 7

Dear Sponsor;

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Members and Volunteers of MADD Canada, I would like to thank you for supporting MADD Canada by placing an advertisement in our MADD Message Yearbook.

The generosity of community-minded people like you makes it possible for MADD Canada to pursue its much-needed programs, including victim support services, educational programs, youth programs and public awareness programs.

By placing an advertisement in our publication, you help us in our mission to stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime.

Thank you again for your support. Together, we will make a difference in the fight against impaired driving.


Dawn Regan
Chief Operating Officer
MADD Canada

Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up

June 13

Since 2014 Ricoh Canada Inc. has been a national sponsor of the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up, helping to remove garbage from our lakes, rivers, and shores. This year Office Interiors decided to lend a hand as well, and we are proud to announce that on June 10, the team from OI and Ricoh’s Halifax branch spent the afternoon cleaning up 22 bags of unsightly garbage from Burnside Drive.

A big thanks goes out to those who participated and Ricoh for being such a great partner. It’s so much easier to Love the way you Work when you do business with partners who share your Values.

Cory Porteous
Marketing Manager
Office Interiors

Third Annual Love The Way You Play Ball Game

July 19

Last weekend was the third annual Love the way you Play softball game, and despite the intense heat and humidity, the turnout was great. Batman and Superman even decided to show up and captain the teams! Once again, the game was held at the BJ Higgins field in Cole Harbour, and the action did not disappoint. There were plenty of runs scored and laughs earned before the smell of the BBQ demanded a break for a bite to eat.

A big thanks to all those who participated, and in particular to Albert Gosse, for putting the time and effort into organizing the game.

Until next year!

Living Your Values

October 11

I love arriving to work and getting a message like the one I received this morning from our Sales Leader, Shawn Lean, in Fredericton below:

“The local homeless shelter… had a post on Facebook Sunday (Oct. 9) that they needed some help with replacement beds. Heather read the post to me while we watched the ball game Sunday evening. She said we should help them by donating a couple of beds!!!

I said leave it with me for a day and let’s replace them all. I sent out a Facebook Post, and in 24 hours, we replaced all 25 required beds (all new), with more coming in this morning. We’ll have 30 by noon today. That is a feel-good story!”

Lots of organizations have “values” posted somewhere in their documentation. But when “values” come to life in real ways, when they become embedded in your work culture, when they result in real work getting done, well, that’s when you know that you are truly making a difference in your people, in your work, AND your communities.

Have a great week!

Jim Mills
Office Interiors