Tuccaro Inc. arrow History
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STORY

In the late 1980s, Dave spent time working for his band in Fort Chipewyan. Although he did not have a college education (whilst a number of other applicants did), Dave was successful in becoming the Manager of the administration offices of the Mikisew Cree Tribal Council. Dave attributes this success to his practical experience in business management. Dave values the two and a half years he spent as Manager, particularly as it gave him the opportunity to work with, and contribute something back to, his tribe. During this time, Dave was responsible for tasks such as the development of a ten year community development plan covering areas such as, economic and educational planning.

Dave’s band was also involved in a heavy equipment construction company, Neegan Development Corporation Ltd (Neegan). ‘Neegan’ comes from the Cree dialect and means ‘first’ or ‘ahead’. Neegan Development was a joint venture established in 1985 with three other bands. Like many other businesses in the region, Neegan serviced the oil sands industry and was located in Fort McMurray, the hub of oil production in the region. Subsequent to his role as the Manager of the tribe’s administration offices, Dave was appointed as the General Manager of this construction company. Although he did not stay long in this employment position, the opportunity marked the beginning of Dave’s entrepreneurial activity within the construction industry.

“Within a fairly short period of time, I decided that the company wasn’t going to be successful if run under that structure,” Dave said. “So I decided to make an offer to buy out the owners. I had a contract in place that had a three-month clause. I was going to leave and so I basically said ‘Sell it to me or I will leave in three months. I’ll stay for the next three months and find you someone to take over, but otherwise, I’m done’. So I left the board meeting and said that I would be in the lobby for 15 minutes. Ten minutes later they walked out and asked me to come back in [to the meeting]. They decided to sell the company to me right then.”

An evaluation of Neegan was conducted and Dave sought financing to purchase the shares. To his surprise, about three weeks later, the bank contacted him to inform him he had approval for the entire loan. In 1992, Dave became the sole owner of Neegan. He worked hard within the business and, as a result, revenues began to rise. The following year he recruited a General Manager for the business, giving him time to focus on the role as President / Chief Executive Officer.

“It got to a point where, as an entrepreneur, you’re probably the person that holds back the growth of your company the most, because you want to do everything. You don’t have control over everything, you don’t think anybody else can do it better than you can, all those things sort of go through your mind. In the end I had to [let go] because there wasn’t enough time in the day anymore. I was the General Manager, I was the safety person, I was the guy who ran for parts, I was kind-of a duty mechanic, I was the guy who did proposals for contracts work, I was bidding on contracts, I was estimating jobs and, after a while, it was too much in one day. You had to start to hire other people, so that’s what happened with Neegan.”

Dave soon found after hiring a General Manager for Neegan, that he suddenly had a lot of spare time. Later that year, in 1993, he started another company. The new company, Tuc’s Contracting was a trucking business specializing in the transportation of potable water and the removal of liquid wastes. Initially, Dave started with one industrial vacuum truck and one water truck. However, after a few years, Tuc’s Contracting had grown to the stage where Dave needed to appoint a General Manager. Once again, Dave found he then had time available to pursue other opportunities. In 1997 Dave founded another venture, Neegan Technical Services (N.T.S.). As with Neegan and Tuc’s Contracting, this new business also serviced the oil sands industry, this time through providing laboratory technician services. Before long, Dave identified another business opportunity in the industry – a company called ‘Water Pure & Simple’ (W.P.S.).

“Because I was running these three companies, you’d see these opportunities out there,” Dave said, “You know how you buy bottled water in those five gallon containers that you put upside down in a cooler? Well, when a new camp comes into the region, it has 1000-1200 men in it and, well, those guys don’t like drinking the water at the camp - they want to drink water that is distilled and that they can trust. So I was referring business to this guy [who owned a water cooler business], then I was thinking, ‘what am I doing referring him the business? I probably just gave him three quarters of his business for the year!’ So I just went and bought him out. So now I have a water company as well that’s doing really well.”

Dave also started several other businesses in Fort McMurray, including Tuc’s Rentals (in 1998), Creeative Custom Woodworking Inc. (in 1998) and Tuccaro Inc. (in 2001). Tuc’s Rentals is a real estate business started for the purpose of buying and constructing buildings to accommodate the operations of Dave’s other businesses. Creeative Custom Woodworking Inc. was a manufacturing and custom woodworking company that targeted the hotel and dormitory furniture markets. This business was closed down in early 2002 as its customer base (which was largely centred in the tourism industry) was adversely affected by the September 11th 2001 tragedy in New York.

Tuccaro Inc. was established during an organizational re-structuring exercise. Although each of Dave’s companies is individually incorporated and thus separate entities, the potential was seen for greater efficiency through centralising some of the management functions. Dave therefore decided to start a business that would provide key services to his other companies. This was supported by the establishment of Tuccaro Trust, an entity which focuses on providing financial services to the companies.

In British Columbia, Dave has bought ownership of other businesses. He now is the owner of the Okanagan Princess, a dinner cruise boat. The Okanagan Princess was opened for business in mid-2006. It is a two-deck cruise boat with a capacity of 81 passengers which docks at downtown Kelowna and cruises Lake Okanagan. The lower deck of the boat includes enclosed dining facilities, while the upper deck is an open-air observatory and entertainment area which includes a bar, a dance floor, hot tub and a large flat-screen television. Services include a regular dinner cruise followed by a later club cruise. The boat is also frequently booked for events.

The future of Tuccaro Inc Group of Companies is endless; In fact it’s just beginning. Since 2004 the group has grown 140% and is expecting to increase 33% per year for the next four years. Our employee numbers are constantly growing with no sign of slowing down; we are taking on more and more clients and purchasing more and more equipment. Expansion is our main focus for the future right now and although we may not expand externally by adding to the groups, internally, the existing companies are expected to flourish. Basically this is only the beginning for Tuccaro Inc. the Oil Sands which we serve are at a constant growth; they are the fastest growing industry in North America. We plan to be right on par or above, providing them the services they require for many years to come.

TIME LINE

1985
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Neegan Development became established in 1985 and began actively pursuing work opportunities as a provider of heavy equipment services within the Fort McMurray Oilsands Region.

 

1990
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Neegan aqquires Dave Tuccaro as President & General Manager.

 

1991

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Neegan becomes a faltering business and facing troubled times. Dave seized an opportunity to purchase the company from the four native bands who had been shareholders and partners in the business.

 

1992

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Neegan has a new direction implemented as Dave takes over in an ownership position. After much hard work and effort revenues begin to rise.

 

1993
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Neegan now witnessing growth. Revenues increased by $2m over 1990 levels.

Dave recruits a General Manager and focuses solely as President and C.E.O.

Tuc's Contracting incorporation documents are filed for  a new venture, establishing a water and vacuum truck business.

 

1994
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 Neegan continues to grow.

 Tuc's Contracting is launched.

» Dave receives nomination for Turn-around entrpreneur of the year.
» Dave receives the Regional Aboriginal Recognition Award for Entrepreneur of the Year.

 

1995
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 Neegan continues to grow.

 Tuc's Contracting begins to grow.

» The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce lists Neegan as as a finalist for Small Business of the Year.

 

1996
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 Neegan's revenues have now doubled over the past 3 years.

 Tuc's Contracting continues to grow.

 

1997
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Neegan sets its sights on achieving revenue target of $10m. Plans are made on expanding its equipment fleet, and entering into a completely new work application. Through the acquisition of a fleet of Haul Trucks, the company pursues the North Mine Contract for Rejects handling and removal.

Tuc's Contracting continues to grow.

Neegan Technical Services (N.T.S.) incorporation documents are filed for a new technical services company, entering into a ground breaking new line of work and requiring an entirely new suite of skilled people. This company will demand a higher skill level of employee and an educational partnership is established through Keyano College to promote a 2 year environmental program which will promote the acquisition of technical skills among the aboriginal community and encourage student placements and employment thereafter.

» Dave Tuccaro awarded a Regional Aboriginal Recognition Award for demonstrating: "Leadership in the Community".

 

 1998
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 Neegan continues to grow.
 Tuc's Contracting continues to grow.
 N.T.S. begins to pursue work. 

 Tuccaro Inc. is re-activated as a company ready for use, and sits poised to begin the task of organizing the companies.

 Creeative Custom Woodworking Inc. is created, a manufacturing and custom woodworking company aiming to compete in the production of high end office furniture.

 Tuc's Rentals is created as the company to assume the "property management" function and become the important future facility to house a host of businesses located at: 283 MacAlpine Crescent, Fort McMurray.

» In April, Dave Tuccaro is included in Financial Post's Top 40 Under 40 List; a title reserved for Canada's most influential young leaders.

 

1999
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 Neegan achieves $10m targeted revenue.

 Tuc's Contracting continues to grow.

 N.T.S. services expand.

 Creeative emerges and allows our group to begin diversifying outside of the oilsands industry and outside Northern Alberta by entering into the manufacturing and construction of woodworking furniture within Calgary's hot business and 'corporate headquarter' economy.

 Tuc's Rentals $3.5 million construction project continues.

» In March, Dave receives the coveted National Aboriginal Achievement Award.
» In August, Dave is included in Alberta's 50 Most Influential People List, Cover Issue Alberta Venture Magazine.

 

2000
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 Neegan loses a significant Contract and yet over the year is able to maintain revenues close to previous levels ($10m). But secures a new client in the Corridor Pipeline Project.

 Tuc's Contracting continues remarkable growth despite challenges presented by key personnel falling ill.

 N.T.S. after almost facing closure the company begins showing signs of success.

 Creeative continues to follow its learning curve. Demonstrating confidence, this new company submits a single bid to the value of $2.5m as it targets its efforts towards the hotel and dormitory furniture markets.

 Tuc's Rentals building is finally completed. A huge celebration in the form of a "Grand Opening" is held, showcasing our commitment to the local community.

» Tuccaro Inc. becoming increasingly important and emerging as the management catalyst to drive all of the related companies.

 

2001
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 Tuccaro Inc.  An orgnizational re-structuring exercise is commenced to examine the best structure and effectiveness models for the corporate group.

 A Vice President is appointed to the Group of Companies.
 A Human Resources Manager is appointed to the Group to begin to establish an HR department and focus on key future recruitments.
 A Corporate CSO is recruited for the HSE (Health Safety and Environment) Department.
 A Corporate Controller and CGA is recruited to provide added sophistication in financial management of the corporate Group.
 A Business Development Manager is recruited to the Group.

 Neegan continues to work for Corridor Pipeline on major pipeline contract.

 Creeative suffers an enormous setback as the September 11th (9/11) events push the tourism industry into rapid decline eliminating many of the planned hotel refurbishment programs, that the company had begun to target.

 

2002
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Tuccaro Inc. is officialy launched. Personnel switches are made from the core businesses to the corporate entity.

 An Executive Group is formed and an official corporate stewardship format is implemented at operational and senior levels.
 Strategic Planning is instituted through all facets of the organization. The Financial Department begins to expand.

 Creeative suffers in the months that followed the 9/11 tradgedy and after very careful consideration, the difficult decision is made to close the business. Creeative is dismantled and an asset recovery exercise begins that involves selling off equipment piece by piece. 

 N.T.S. Ltd. and Tuc's Contracting doubles the size of its workforce in a 4 month period.

 

» Dave Tuccaro is awarded the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A medal awarded to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, community or to Canada.

» Dave receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tribal Chiefs Institute of Edmonton, Alberta for outstanding work provided to mankind and in particular, improving the lives of aboriginal people in this country.

 

2003
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Tuccaro Inc. 1st Quarter Only A 2003 Operating and Capital Budget Plan was developed to assist with our Group's financial forecasting.

 Neegan sets the target of diversifying its client base.  A General Manager is recruited to provide much needed added support to the operation and assist with expansion plans.

 Tuc's Contracting achieves unprecedented growth.

 N.T.S. Ltd. achieves unprecedented growth.

 Plans to construct a new facility at the Fort MacKay First Nation Indian Reserve are unveiled.
 Group begins to develop the project that will see extensive further investment in the community and expansion.

 

2004

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2005

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Tuccaro Inc. expands its structure by hiring technical staff to assist with the daily operation of its offices and administration.

2006

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2007

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Tuc's Rentals plans the development of a building to house W.P.S and N.T.S., providing a high grade facility.

2008

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Tuc's Rentals celebrates compleation of new 40,000 Sq Ft. facility