A true mover and shaker of Brandon’s business community was honoured last night, with Jared Jacobson named Business Person of the Year.
The Jacobson & Greiner Group CEO received the Brandon Chamber of Commerce-awarded distinction several years after his father, Jack, earned the very same distinction.
Jared took over the family company in 2004 as its third generation of leadership.
Rather than coast on the accomplishments of his predecessors, this latest leader in the Jacobson family has taken the business to a new level, Brandon Chamber of Commerce president Terry Burgess said.
He has taken risks, tried new things and has maintained a steady involvement in the community along the way, Burgess added, noting that these are all qualities that are sought among those up for the prestigious award.
Jacobson’s company is difficult to pin down due to its ever-growing scale, with between 1,500 and 2,000 employees under its banner.
"We’re probably one of the largest taxpayers in the city," Jacobson said with a smirk.
It’s "a vertically integrated real estate company, right from the ground up," Jacobson described, adding that its leadership is trying to diversity their portfolio even further through the integration of more companies.
Some local companies under their banner include J&G Homes, RONA Brandon, Allen & Bollack Excavating, C&C Rentals, C&C Construction, All West Gravel, Western Concrete and Qualpor.
The company also builds revenue properties for commercial, residential and industrial purposes, renting them out to tenants while serving as third-party managers.
In short, it’s a big company.
Nothing this big happens overnight, and Jacobson points to his grandfather, Jake, as its founder, starting the business up in 1966.
Jacobson said that he remembers driving out to job sites with his grandfather where he watched him work, and that this practice continued as he watched and learned from his father, Jack.
Although he said that his parents never pressured him to get into the business, Jacobson said that he saw "huge opportunity" in its future growth and wanted to jump at it.
He didn’t come in blind, having earned a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Brandon University in 2003, after which he became a licensed realtor.
Brandon has provided fertile soil for the company’s business ventures, Jacobson said, noting that he credits their success as finding and meeting a need in their community and maintaining positive relationships.
"We’re a large city but small community, and if you’re ethical and do what you say you’re going to do you’ll succeed in Brandon," he said.
There’s further expansion on Jacobson & Greiner Group’s horizon, Jacobson said, adding that it’ll be diversified but complementary to their current operations.
And the people involved have to be solid.
"You can buy any business, but if you don’t have the key staff willing to stay you don’t have much," he said. "Surrounding yourself with key people as business partners is my strategy."
Jacobson received his award during the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s 134th Annual Dinner Award Gala at the Keystone Centre’s Manitoba Room, during which a few other awards were also handed out.
Redfern Farm Services Ltd. founder Ray Redfern was awarded a Lifetime Business Builder award for his various business ventures and community stewardship over the years.
Longtime businessman and volunteer Jim Brandon was given the Community Service Award, Brandon Source for Sports was given the Business Excellence Award and Daughter on Call was given the Outstanding New Business Award.