In observance of our 35th anniversary year, this feature is one of a series of tribute articles acknowledging five seminal figures in IVES’ history whose contributions to the company were critical in its creation and continuing success. Each of these notable figures provided vital elements to IVES’ recipe for success and it is upon the shoulders of these five giants that the company was built and still stands today.
“Under-promise and over-deliver” was the motto that IVES founder Colin Ives often vocalized, and always lived by. As a well-established and respected safety professional in the late 1970s, Colin saw first-hand not only the tragic consequences of little or no training among powered equipment operators but the frustration of conscientious employers who felt they had no effective way to deal with preventing them. It was then that Colin’s vision of providing employers with an operator training program that they could deliver themselves was born.
Having the respect and trust that he did with his professional colleagues and associates across North America he formed strategic partnerships with well recognized safety institutions that shared his vision and were willing to host the programs he developed. And so in 1979, Ives & Associates was born and the legacy began.
Throughout the following years Colin worked feverishly in and on the company that bore his name. Knocking on doors, speaking at safety conferences and all the while fine tuning his programs and materials and of course training, training, training.
The company was officially incorporated in 1981 and through glowing word of mouth advertising generated by the contagious passion for safety that Colin passed along to his trainees, clients, and everyone he touched, the company truly began to gain traction.
By the end of the decade, Colin had established a brilliant reputation for himself and his company within the industrial safety training arena. When it came to powered industrial equipment, particularly forklift operator safety training, any discussion of the topic inevitably led to the name Colin Ives.
By the mid-1990s, the name Ives & Associates had become synonymous with top flite safety training and its programs and training materials were the gold standard of the industry. The company, now replete with a full administrative staff and a bevy of expert field trainers all drawn by the opportunity to work with its revered founder, had transcended its modest beginnings and arrived as a true giant of the industry.
Throughout the rest of the 1990s, Colin’s passion for his craft and phenomenal ability to inspire and motivate those around him never wavered as he spent most of his time managing the company and steering it toward greater horizons.
In September of 2001, Colin sold Ives & Associates, which was now a conglomerate of companies collectively known as IVES Training Group, and retired. He and his beloved wife Susan, who he always named as his inspiration through the years, currently reside in the pretty interior town of Kelowna, BC.
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