In 1959, Frank Flaman started the Flaman company in Saskatchewan with a little bit of equipment – a baler, swather, and 10 grain bins – and a fair share of entrepreneurial acumen. Today, the Flaman Group of Companies spans five provinces, has four divisions (Fitness, Trailers, Agriculture, Rentals), employs over 400 staff, and includes 42 fitness stores, 100 rental dealers, and 10 additional locations. But Flaman is not your typical company.
Flaman is a company set up for charity.
“We make a difference in people’s lives,” says Rocky Amson, General Manager of Flaman Group of Companies. Frank Flaman has always been a true philanthropist; it’s not surprising that supporting charitable work is core to the company he founded.
“I live in a very modest 2-bedroom condo,” Frank explained at a Gala last year. “I have a fridge full of food and enough money to put gas in my car. Who needs a million dollar home? If I can help relieve suffering, then I feel relieved.”
A large part of Flaman’s profit goes directly to the Frank Flaman Foundation to help provide the basic necessities of life for children and families. “Our primary goal is to invest at least $1,000,000 in our local and global community each and every year,” Rocky says.
Flaman also has two other unique and inspiring goals – to only employ positive people and to pay their employees to exercise. “Everything in business revolves around people,” Rocky says. “By working with positive people and giving our employees 30 to 45 minutes of paid workout time they are happier and healthier. That means we can work harder for our customers, do better business, and ultimately have more to donate to charities.”
Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area is one small piece of their work to support communities. For nearly 10 years, Flaman Group of Companies has supported our annual Lobster Lovers Gala.
“By sponsoring the event, we can help raise more funds and bring in more donations for the charity,” Rocky explains. “It’s also about that awareness piece. If people aren’t aware of what’s happening in their back yards, they don’t necessarily know how to help. Lobster Lovers is a great event for sharing stories about what’s actually happening in our community, in our backyards.”
Flaman is a company that leads by example. Their desire to support the local and global community has started to inspire many of their friends, partners, manufacturers, and suppliers. For instance Crystal Glass is the Platinum Sponsor for the Flaman Foundation and Entertainment Sponsor for our Lobster Lovers.
“We have good friends out there who help us support organizations like BGCBigs,” says Rocky. “Other local companies want to make a difference too and it’s encouraging to have more people do that. It’s not about what kind of car we have, it’s about what kind of difference we can make. Getting other people and companies to think that way makes a huge difference, even if they only give a little.”
“My favourite part about working at Flaman is the team atmosphere,” one of their employees writes in a recent newsletter. “We feel more like a family than co-workers which makes every day much easier to get through.”
Each year, Flaman holds at least 12 employee events to encourage the feeling that you’re part of a big family when you’re part of Flaman. They have barbeques, baseball and paintball tournaments, an annual gala event – the list goes on!
Another employee wrote “the best part of working with Flaman is the people. Although it’s a large corporation now, it seems that the staff at Flaman are still down to earth and have created a family style environment that makes coming to work more enjoyable and not just a job.”
When Flaman first starting giving nearly $1,000,000 away the employees didn’t fully understand why. So now, each year Flaman sends 14 employees to Guatemala to participate in community development. The trip is completely paid for by Flaman, and it allows those employees to experience why it’s so important that they continue to give.
“This is not just a job for the people at Flaman,” says Liz O’Neill, Executive Director of BGCBigs. “This is a lifestyle. They care about the community, the country, the world. They care about their employees and their customers. And they’ve figured out a way to link all those things to bring success to everyone.”
We are truly grateful, on behalf of our community’s kids, to be included in Flaman’s vision of community investment.