LandSolutions: providing industry-leading land expertise in Canada
By: Fadeke Adegbuyi
Founded in February 2000 by Ron Vermeulen, LandSolutions started as a small firm providing solutions to Energy companies with short-term land administrative needs via an outsourcing service. Chad Hughes, current CEO and President, came aboard in 2001 with the goal of expanding the services provided by LandSolutions. 13 years later, the firm has offices across Canada that provides land acquisition, land management, public involvement, and environmental expertise to companies in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The solutions they provide are expansive and include guiding firms through the land acquisition and public engagement process, managing land assets for firms without the in-house capacity to handle it internally, negotiating rights to mineral interests, and navigating companies through any regulatory required environmental obligations. “We’re a turn key solution to the industries which we serve,” says Hughes. Their wide array of service offers enablesthem to provide effective land access solutions for oil and gas, power, renewable energy and infrastructure projects throughout Canada.
In its early stages LandSolutions had a staff of 10. Today, the firm has blossomed both in concept and size, with 110 people spread across the country. It’s impossible to pinpoint the success of LandSolutions to just one thing. Instead, Hughes attributes the continued prosperity of the firm to a culmination of elements. “In terms of project delivery, we were applying the right expertise to our clients projects,” notes Hughes. Prior to involvement in LandSolutions, both Hughes and Vermeulen had started their careers as Land Agents on the consultant side of the businessand moved on to work as in-house Land Agents in the Oil and Gas sector. This experience allowed for exposure to best practices. “We brought new insights to the consulting side of the industry,” says Hughes. He adds that opportune timing and the appeal to others of being a new company were components to their early success.
Today, their strong network in the Land, Oil and Gas, and Power communities, as well as focused marketing and development strategies, allow them to garner and retain a myriad of clientele. “We’re highly relationship driven,” notes Hughes. LandSolutions is currently providing public consultation services for a pipeline conversion that runs from the Alberta/Saskatchewan border almost to the Quebec border, spanning 3000km in length. “We adapt our services to projects of all sizes, and this is one of the largest ones we have been engaged on,” it’s a significant project for Canada and we are excited to be a part of its success” says Hughes.
LandSolutions has garnered a reputation for providing industry-leading land expertise in Canada. Within the United States, LandSolutions has aligned with local services and used their expertise and process to support local resourcesfor existing clients. Though, LandSolutions has an U.S. subsidiary, aggressively expanding outside Canada is not currently a priority. “The U.S. is in our future plans for expansion,” notes Hughes, “but there’s still a tremendous need in Canada and our focus is on providing a solution for that need.”
In differentiating LandSolutions from competitors, Hughes cites the company culture and reason for being. “We believe that our reason for being in business is to help people provide for a better future in the community – where we live and where we work.” Simply put, projects that strengthen economic development and lead to better infrastructure require access to land. LandSolutions prides itself on enabling companies, small and large, to carry out these projects that in return help communities, and society prosper. Ingrained within the company are three core values: “we care about people, we help our clients succeed, and quality without compromise.” These values drive decisions at every layer of the company, they are alive. LandSolutions is always active ingiving back to the professional community with active involvement in industry committees, but also the local community by supporting worthwhile causes through donations and volunteering. In 2013, such endeavors included raising over $38,000 for multiple sclerosis research through participation in the MS Bike Ride,volunteering at Calgary’s 46th annual Pathway and River Cleanup, and getting their hands dirty this past June in helping the Calgary communities affected by the flood.
While Hughes notes that companies such as Results Canada Inc. and F12 Networks Inc., are some that have been excellent service providers to LandSolutions, he ascertains that those who have helped the company the most are in-house staff. “Our suppliers are our people, we’re a people based business and would not be in business without these great people,” They have made LandSolutions what it is today, and I am proud to be associated with them all” says Hughes.
As for the future, LandSolutions sees continued improvement and expansion in the future with further penetration of our services in Western Canada, the recent opening of our office in Vaughn Ontario, and a more established presence in Atlantic Canada. Hughes concludes, “Our plan is to reach across the country with our services and be part of the solution.”