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One on One with Dianne Holmes, Operations Manager at DriverCheck

November 10, 2016 [AYR, ON] – DriverCheck Inc. is proud to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. To commemorate this achievement, we are running a four-part series that features the DriverCheck family as they each reflect on the past twenty years of business. In the third part of this series, we recently sat down with Dianne Holmes, Operations Manager of DriverCheck, and pseudo family member to the Page clan, including Dr. Chris Page and Dr. Mary-Jean Page, the founders and owners of DriverCheck since 1996.
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You were the official first employee of DriverCheck. Tell us how this came about and how you learned about the opportunity?

Dianne Holmes (DH) – In the beginning, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. In 1996, I had just finished University and had moved to the Ayr area from Eastern Ontario looking for full time work. My cousin who was a nurse in Kitchener knew Chris (Dr. Chris Page) was starting a new business and put us in contact with one another.

A day later, I was sitting around the Page family kitchen table having an informal and laidback interview speaking with Chris and Mary-Jean. From that moment, we just clicked. The Pages were warm and inviting people. From the moment I met them, I felt at home and their passion for this new business was infectious.

I guess I was hired on the spot because shortly afterwards I started showing up for work at the barn and I’m still showing up twenty years later. It was a leap of faith taking this opportunity, ultimately with strangers that I just met. But, Chris’s vision and focus got me excited for this opportunity.

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(Left to right: Dianne Holmes, Maggie Dunnett, Dr. Mary-Jean Page)

You’ve been with DriverCheck for twenty years. Tell us about the early years.

DH – I worked side by side with Chris and Mary-Jean, not really knowing what the next day would bring. The early days were very busy and there was always something new going on. However, that still hasn’t changed!

When Maggie came on board only a few months after me, we clicked immediately. We worked together very closely and shared many of the early day tasks like processing results and doing collections. We even shared the vacuuming duties on Fridays when we were still in the barn. Those days back in 1996 are fond memories.

Most of our time was focused on marketing and sales, which I had no experience with. But Chris was the face of DC, and I was happy to be back in the office supporting him from behind the scenes.

It was a huge learning curve, but I just dove in and did whatever was necessary to be done. For anyone who has ever started a business from scratch can attest to not much is laid out for you. You have to figure things out as you go, and there was a lot of that.

One specific memory that stands out is when I was a few weeks in to my new job, and travelled with the Pages to the US to tour the testing lab we were going to be using and attend MRO training.

It was my second time flying and as we hit some insane turbulence, I instantly had a white knuckle grip on the back of the seat in front of me. Chris could sense my fear and started trying to calm my nerves by making me laugh and ribbing me about the scary situation.

I remember that flight like it was yesterday, and the support the Page family has provided over the past twenty years was apparent in that instance.

You’re referred to as a member of the family, but there is no actual blood relation. What does this say about DC and its culture?

DH – I’m flattered to be called a ‘family member’. It confirms the incredible trust and confidence that the family places in me, and all of its employees. This has resulted in a work culture that focuses on transparency and treating everyone like they are part of the team, and part of the family.

I value the trust they have granted to me. This propels me to work that much harder, and not let them down. I also want to pay the trust forward. I value the trust the staff put in me to be one of their leaders.

This sort of caring and connection is fostered by the management team. Managers, supervisors and team leads, all care for their team members, striving to keep them connected and again part of the DC family.
The company is unique, and like one big family itself, which was created by the original family roots of the Pages. Chris, Mary-Jean, Maggie and Connor have a genuine appreciation for the work the staff does on a daily basis.

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(Left to right: Maggie Dunnett, Connor Page, Dianne Holmes)

What makes DriverCheck different from its competitors?

DH – Our culture. I firmly believe that our entire staff put their heart and soul into their work. The end result is top notch quality service to all of our clients. Because we are a family based culture, people are motivated to work hard and do their best for the company. This results in exceptional service delivered to our clients.

As industry pioneers, we have a rich and long history. We can say we are among the first companies to provide workplace medical testing and assessments, ensuring fitness for duty of our clients’ employees.

To get to this point, we knew that having credible resources, such as physicians on staff, would help us earn the trust of our clients.
Our physician base is the strongest in the industry, many of whom specialize within specific sectors of our business model.

What is your proudest achievement with DriverCheck?

DH – In the early days I found the most exciting and rewarding part was when we actually started to sign up our first clients. Without clients, there wouldn’t have been a business!
It meant the business was actually coming together like Chris had envisioned. We had companies to serve and they were depending on us to deliver back for them.

I think back on starting with one, then five, then ten clients, and twenty years later, here we are now, with over 5,000 clients that utilize our services across Canada. This makes me extremely proud!

Also, seeing staff being promoted over the years, growing and taking on new challenges makes me proud too. This company was built by hard working, loyal people who have helped the company grow, and they have grown too.

Tell us about the pros and challenges of running a family business?

DH – A family run business allows the freedom to create the business you want, your own culture and values. We have the ability to hand pick the right staff that best fit our culture and ethics.

The biggest challenge at times can be the grueling hours. Long hours and not seeing the fruits of your labour until years later. This takes faith and patience, virtues that I’ve acquired over the years because of my role with DC.
The Page family is able to balance the pros and cons of family business very well. They are humble people, and add a sense of humour to challenging times to reduce the challenges of the daily grind.

What are you most excited about for the future of the company?

DH – The future is very bright for DC, and I get excited watching new service offerings take off and be successful! I look forward to the day when government regulations in Canada make alcohol and drug testing mandatory in workplaces for those in safety sensitive occupations.

Mandatory random testing would dramatically reduce the safety risk in the workplace and for those who share this environment.
After twenty years, there’s still room to grow! We’re adding new services, and as demand grows, we’re constantly in hiring mode. I enjoy adding new staff to the team. These are people who share are similar family values, and want to make DC their home and help us continue to grow the company. That’s what makes me excited every day.

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We hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for being a part of the DriverCheck family over the past twenty years – without you, we couldn’t have done it! Have comments or questions about this article? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.

About DriverCheck Inc.:
Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck Inc. (DC) has been the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in Canada. Physician-owned and operated, DC has grown to become the largest national provider of workplace medical testing, and was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. DC’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub. DC currently serves over 5,000 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DC services a wide array of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, forestry and medical.

As Canada’s fitness for duty leader, DC’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace.

To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.