ADK Holdings Ltd
ADK Holdings Ltd. is the parent corporation for a group of companies dating back to 1976. Barney Dohm, the group’s president and CEO, leads the family of nine companies serving the Northwest Territories and northern British Columbia. ADK Holdings is owned 100 percent through an investment trust of the Acho Dene Koe Band.
The Acho Dene Koe Band is an aboriginal organization that represents the Dene in Fort Liard, Northwest Territories. The Acho Dene Koe traditional lands lie in parts of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Northern British Columbia, over some 7,000 square miles. The ADK Corporate Group serves as the economic development arm of the ADK First Nation which owns the group of companies through an investment trust.
“The ADK Corporate Group has many similarities with other for-profit organizations,” says Dohm. “Where the organization differs primarily is having a mandate to create employment opportunities for members of the Acho Dene Koe community. Our priority is to hire first from our local communities where our employees are very involved and then from outside the community as required to meet staffing needs.”
The group includes construction, fuel, development and auxiliary resources serving the region’s rich and growing oil industry as well as other parallel markets. ADK is comprised of Beaver Enterprises, a civil construction firm, Liard Fuel Centre LP, a gasoline, diesel and propane distributor, Acho Real Estate LP, Acho Camps & Catering LP, ADK Petroleum LP amd Nehendeh Investments LP.
The corporate group also operates in partnership with Acho Horizon North Camp Services, which provides fully equipped base camps for oil and construction companies, Deh Cho Air LP, Acho Dene Koe/NCSG Crane and Heavy Haul LP, Shiha Energy Transmission Ltd., and Akita Sacho Drilling Ltd.
ADK was formed in 2013 to bring all the diverse companies under one corporate umbrella that services the Northwest Territories and British Columbia. “There honestly aren’t many competitors in our area, so an obvious competitive advantage is our strategic location and ties with the community,” Dohm explains. We also have close working ties with several large oil companies in the area and we get a lot of work directly from them.”
The group of companies performs a wide range of services throughout Western Canada. Beaver Enterprises, ADK Corporate’s construction division, is one of the larger components of the corporate group. Beaver Enterprises serves a broad target market, including large oil and gas companies, such as Nexan, Apache, Paramount and Spectrum Energy. These contracts typically involve site development and maintenance. With a large fleet of company-owned vehicles, Beaver Enterprises is able to take on large, complex projects throughout northern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
This construction division also has interests outside the energy industry. Beaver Enterprises has established a strong partnership with the Northwest Territories Department of Transportation for road maintenance. The company is responsible for the upkeep and repair of a large stretch of highway running up from the border of British Columbia and into the territories to kilometer 202.
ADK also helps oil companies and contractors build and set up camps in remote areas. The group offers remote campsite clearing as well as rentals for facilities. With Acho Camps & Catering LP and the group’s joint-venture partner Acho Horizon North Camp Services Inc., these large customers can rely on the ADK corporate group to make remote energy site work more comfortable.. This arm of the business provides reliable resources that exceed standards of quality and sustainability.
Relationships comprise the backbone of the business, both in terms of client partnerships and long-term working relationships with suppliers. “Because of our long-term relationships with the oil companies in the area, they often give us the first opportunity when work comes up,” Dohm explains. “They trust our team to provide efficient, quality services and know we have the resources to do so. We have a close network of repeat suppliers located around Western Canada, so we can get what we need to take on any given task. Fort Nelson is a big supply center for us and depending on what is available there, we source some supplies and materials from Edmonton, Grand Prairie, Calgary and Vancouver.”
This steady supply chain has made smooth delivery even easier for the company although Dohm says the staff of ADK has not faced any major challenges in the market over recent years. Major growth in the oil industry has kept Western Canada booming in recent years, although the cyclical nature of the industry has seen a recent slowdown with the dropping price of petroleum.
If anything, Dohm says his biggest challenge has been finding qualified operators to work for the business. “Finding skilled equipment operators has been tough, he explains. “We have a lot of people retiring from this industry and there are not enough young people interested in the field. To deal with that, we provide a lot of training ourselves and we are reaching out to new labor markets. We have been very aggressive in recruiting, advertising across the country to bring in talented people from wherever we can find them.”
The ADK team is looking ahead to further growth, expanding operations to serve a higher volume of customers, possibly branching out geographically to customers in Alberta. Regardless of where future growth takes the company, the group’s employees remain a major asset. Dohm is proud of his staff, which includes equipment operators, field supervisors, safety professionals, accounting staff and management, and lauds their dedication to safety, value and hard work.
He looks forward to moving ahead with this diverse team of professionals as ADK Holdings Ltd. experiences steady, sustainable growth.