|A Farmer's Best Friend|
Leon Malinowski never minded getting his hands dirty, or working twelve hours a day. Maybe that's why he's now Owner/President of "Leon-Ram Enterprises", a 15 million dollar a year operation that employs up to 150 people.
Thirty-eight years ago Leon was a journeyman welder repairing farm equipment in Bankend, Saskatchewan. In slow seasons he designed and made equipment, such as the "Leon Doer Blade" for clearing and digging. Patented, the Leon Blade was a humdinger of a success, and as time went by so was Leon's inventiveness.
In 1967 Leon made significant changes. He moved to Yorkton, gave up repairing equipment so he could concentrate on new products and research development. To help guide the company's finances he brought in his brother, Ray. At that time they worked in 8,000 square feet. Currently "Leon-Ram Enterprises" occupies 200,000 square feet, and has four divisions producing trend setting equipment that's sold the world over.
"We are now beginning to diversify," he told me. "We are doing more contracting and non-agricultural business. We had to because the ag business is so uncertain right now."
Is Leon optimistic about the future?
"Oh yes! I feel very optimistic. In fact, we've just bought a lot of equipment for expansion.
"One piece, a 350 ton Press Brake used to bend metal, costs us 150 thousand dollars. We bought several big pieces like that." Then he added, "By the way, that Press Brake was made right here in Canada, Richmond, B.C."
Leon is looking to expand his export business. Currently 25% of his sales are to the U.S., Australia and other countries. He hopes to increase this. His staff will tell you that like most self-made entrepreneurs, Leon is the hardest working person in the company. A trait that has made him a very successful Canadian Achiever.
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