OPTIMAX BENEFITS LEADERSHIP
Earl Shindruk founded Optimax Benefits in 1998 with the intention of operating a company that would always do the right thing for the right reasons. His personal philosophy of care helped shape the company into how it stands today; a small consultancy with exceptional client care and thorough, specialized services.
Earl started Optimax after working in a variety of industries.
He worked for large corporations like Laidlaw Waste Systems and TransAlta, obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree with specialties in Marketing and Human Resources, and spent four years managing a local contracting company. As well, Earl has been teaching Employee Benefits and Human Resources Introduction at MacEwan University since 2005.
Today, professional growth is something he highly values. Earl is always looking for opportunities to learn, and provides both formal and informal benefits and human resources education to clients, students, and friends.
As an experienced business owner and an inquisitive professional, Earl is happy to take an extra step (or more) to provide marketing and sales solutions and financial education to his clients. The most fulfilling aspect of his job is learning about clients’ businesses, and being able to offer insight that will aid in their success.
Earl is a strong advocate for initiatives that benefit the local community, and those that help nurture neighborhood and medium-sized businesses. An active member of the Edmonton business community, Earl attends and sponsors charity events, is a board member at Berdin Centre for Learning (though has sat on over 5 boards previously), is a founding member of 100 Men YEG, and has hosted an annual charity golf tournament, The Optimax Open, every year since 2010.
In his spare time, Earl enjoys being with his wife, children, and grandchildren, cheering on our Eskimos and Oilers, golfing, working out, gardening, and reading.
A SENTIMENT OF CARE
A story about the power of community and compassion Earl learned at an early age.
When I was growing up, we were never very rich and didn’t have a lot to our names. By today’s standards, we would be considered poor. But we always had enough.
In this picture is the store that was a big part of my life growing up. It was called the Sprucefield Cash Store, and there was an Esso gas pump right next to it.
It was where I spent a lot of time helping out as a young boy, probably from the age of 12 or earlier. I would help out stocking shelves, pumping gas, wrapping packages, taking payment and making change for the farmers from the area.
Business was slow, and one year, just before Christmas, my father was going to shut the doors to the store and close the business. He decided to give out boxes of chocolates that he had brought in but were not selling. He got in his car and drove around the community from farm to farm and dropped off a box of chocolates at each farm, along with Christmas greetings to each one he came into contact with.
What happened after is a bit of a miracle, as I see it. The farmers and their families began coming into the store more often, and doing their business close to home rather than in nearby towns or the big city. They wanted to buy from the local merchant and support business in Sprucefield.
In the following years, my dad would continue to give out other gifts at Christmas.
This was part of my learning to give back to others; I believe it was the generosity of my Dad that helped to save our store and brought more business to Sprucefeild.