Walking into the Graystone Dental clinic, I was immediately welcomed by the friendly ladies at the front counter. Going to the dentist can be a nerve-racking experience for some people, myself being one of them and I really found the positive and welcoming atmosphere of the office put me at ease.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Tod Beaulne one of the owners of Graystone Dental; together Dr. Tod Beaulne and his business partner Dr. Mike Brown own Graystone Dental.
MM: What interested you in coming to Fort McMurray?
Dr.Beaulne: Well I grew up in the Sherwood Park area and after graduating from dental school I was looking for a new opportunity. My wife had lived up here years ago and we found a great opportunity here. We moved up in 2001 and have been living here for eighteen years now.
MM: What are some things you love about living here in Fort McMurray?
Dr.Beaulne: We've really grown to love the community. We have five children; three were born here, this is home for them. We have good friends here and really love how the community is so diverse. We find people here tend to reach out when they're in need or looking for a connection, making it have a real small town feel to the city.
MM: Have you found any struggles having a business here in Fort McMurray?
Dr.Beaulne: Staffing tends to be an issue, we train our staff well and find it hard to replace a staff member when they move away. We've had good support from the community and we get good referrals. It's just a matter of ensuring we have a good team.
MM: What are some things you’re really proud of with your business?
Dr.Beaulne: We've always prided ourselves on how well we treat our staff and our patients. We don't usually advertise very often and most of our clients come to us by referral. We feel pretty pleased we've been accepted into the community.
MM: Can you tell me about some ways you're involved in the community?
Dr.Beaulne: We have many patients involved in sports whom we sponsor on individual bases. I also sponsor the U of A ringette team, I know many of the coaches and have sponsored them for about the last eight years. I'm currently the bishop at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So I spend a lot of hours doing volunteer work there as well.
I'd like to introduce you to Jodi Whalen, If you don't already know her, she is the sounding voice behind Whalen Mortgages. I recently was able to spend an amazing afternoon getting to know Jodi and a little bit more about her business.
MM: How did you come to decide to start your business and did you have any hurdles you had to overcome when you first started?
Jodi: I started this business 9 years ago when I got licensed as a mortgage associate; I was also working full time for the city. When I had my first baby I took maternity leave from the city and continued on with my company. At the end of my maternity leave, I decided to say goodbye to my position with the City and continue full time with my business.
We are now eight years later and I have my own brokerage, two full-time employees to help with our service levels and we will be introducing a third shortly.
I've also recently branched out to the Red Deer and Grand Prairie markets, offering mortgages and our services to clients in the area.
MM: What brought you to Fort McMurray or are you from here?
Jodi: I was born here, I'm the rare one!
MM: Has it always been your dream to stay in Fort McMurray?
Jodi: I have never left Fort McMurray! I can't see a reason for leaving. I love it here, this is my home town. I live 20 minutes outside the city where there are trails, quading and lots of things to do with my family; I can't see my self ever leaving.
MM: Can you tell me a little bit about your business services?
Jodi: We do mortgage financing, we can do renewals to get the best interest rate for clients when their mortgage term is up at their bank. We also do purchases, rentals, second homes, and raw land. We can also do credit coaching to get you into a home. All of our services are outlined in detail on our website. whalenmortgages.com/
MM: What are some things you're really proud of about your business:
Jodi: Our client service and our problem-solving ability. How we are able to get hard deals approved and how we can mitigate risk by explaining situations.
Our clients are amazing, Helping them make one of the biggest purchases of their lives is an incredible experience, its so exciting!
I only spoke with Jodi for a short amount of time but I was absolutely blown away with her knowledge and professionalism. If you're looking to buy a home I would highly recommend speaking with Jodi first.