Jon Friesen + Randy Shier

BC Business Magazine - - Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 - – F.S.

CEO + PRES­I­DENT, MIS­SION GROUP EN­TER­PRISES

Jon Friesen and Randy Shier met in 1984 through a Van­cou­ver church group for young adults but didn't work to­gether un­til 20 years later. Co­in­ci­den­tally, both switched from other pro­fes­sions to prop­erty de­vel­op­ment in 1987–Friesen, born and raised in Ja­pan, started off as a Van­cou­ver-based chem­i­cal trader for Mitsubishi Corp., while Van­cou­ver na­tive Shier was an ar­chi­tect. In 2004, Friesen sug­gested that Shier join him in ex­pand­ing Mis­sion Group, the de­vel­op­ment firm he had founded in Kelowna two years ear­lier.

The com­pany, which has 59 full-time em­ploy­ees, builds condominiums to sell and rental apart­ments to hold and lease. Be­hind the scenes, Mis­sion Group has do­nated con­struc­tion, new ap­pli­ances, time and re­sources to non-prof­its. Re­cently “we just thought, if we're go­ing to make a so­cial im­pact, maybe we should share some of what we do and maybe we can in­spire oth­ers to do the same,” Shier ex­plains. Un­like low-in­come fam­i­lies and se­niors, sin­gle peo­ple are less likely to qual­ify for af­ford­able hous­ing. Mis­sion Group's Build It For­ward pro­gram will pro­vide a num­ber of suites for be­low-mar­ket rents to this so-called miss­ing mid­dle.

What do you do to un­wind/re­lax?

Go for a bike with my hus­band, or hang out with my kids and sing to­gether at the top of our lungs

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