Week 1 – Heinz Hasselmann

Heinz Hasselmann, Keven McTaggart, Eric Hasselman

Each week in 2012, we are going to chat with a successful business leader who started small, and struggled.  People who I strive to be like.  The first week, we chose to talk with the owner of Century Pacific Foundry Limited, Heinz Hasselmann and his son, Eric Hasselmann, the General Manager of Century Pacific Foundry Limited.

We approached Heinz and Eric for the first week because I have known Eric and his family for almost 5 years.  We coach hockey and baseball together so I figured, who better to get your feet wet with than someone that you know.  I knew that he worked at Century Pacific and that his father owned it, but I didn’t realize how fascinating his work really was.

Who is Heinz Hasselmann and Century Pacific Foundry Limited? 

Heinz Hasselmann immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1952 when he was 18 years old where he worked in the mines in Northern Ontario.  He moved to BC in 1954 and worked in a mine in Bralorne BC before moving to Burnaby and took a job as a foreman at McDonell Metals Manufacturing Limited, a small foundry in Burnaby BC.  In 1968 Heinz started up Century Pacific Foundry Limited.

On to our meeting…

On January 3, 2012, my assistant Lucie and I went to the foundry to meet with Heinz and Eric.  Walking into the offices, you can tell that they are successful and you can tell that they aren’t the type of company that flaunts their money.  Heinz greeted us and took us into his office where we were joined by his son Eric.  When walking into his office you can’t help but to notice a couple of neatly framed awards on his walls.  Heinz proudly explained to us that on one wall was his New Canadian Entrepreneur Award and on the opposite wall is his Canada 125 Medal.  This medal was issued in 1992 to only 42 000 Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, to their community or to Canada.

Our Questions…

Our first question was asked by Rob Maar of REMAX SABRE REALTY

Q:   How did they find their clients/prospects when they started?

A:   “His first Partner was one of his customers” said Eric “so it became self sufficient. Through that it became word of mouth.”

Next Jeanne Marie Eng asks

Q:   How did you stay inspired?

A:  “I am an immigrant”  Heinz explained.  “And when I came here in ’52, the Germans were known as pretty rough.  Well, in the back of my mind I thought, well I will show you guys.  I am going to start something.  And I did.”  When asked “what motivates you to do it today?” Heinz replied “I enjoy working.  I love to work.”

Then Eric adds “This is an industry that challenges you on a daily basis.  You have a different challenge every day.  Because we are a job shop, the variety of who we deal with, what we do and how we do it changes on a routine basis.”

Lastly, Sean Stewart of Sean Finally Fit Training asks:

Q)   When you first started, what was your biggest fear?

A)   “It was payday” Heinz answered.  “All my life, as long as we’ve been in business, we never had a bum cheque.”

In conclusion…

Heinz Hasselmann is a immigrant of Germany ho came to Canada with almost nothing in 1952.  He struggled with the perception of being a German in Canada in 1952.  In a time where Canada wasn’t as culturally diverse as it is today.  And yes, he struggled financially at the beginning.  With the help of a few suppliers and having ideal customers at the beginning, Heinz was able to grow Century Pacific Foundry Limited to one of the main foundries in North America.  Thanks to his stubborn German pride, Heinz Hasselmann is the definition of success.



About KevenMcTaggart
I own a small business called Anything on a Clock. I started Anything on a Clock in 2007 when my son was about a year old.

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