P.B. Health and Performance Inc. is a leader in providing comprehensive health, wellness and high performance services to corporations and individual clients. 

 

The official start date was October 15, 1991 when Barrie and Sheldon decided to work together in their own company (initially working in a small one room office). Once Caron joined the team, PB was set with the skills, diversity, and leadership necessary to grow into a company which has helped thousands of individuals, and dozens of corporations achieve their goals.  Personal Best also organizes events (which have supported youth anti-obesity programs, anti-bullying fundraisers, and animal shelters support) plus PB co-ordinates special active living and high performance camps in Canada, the United States and Europe.  Read below for a bit of information about our history, and why Gord and Barbara Brockie are our heroes. 

 

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SETBACKS ARE ONLY A MINDSET

It was 1991, Sheldon and Barrie had been given a termination letter from the company that they had been loyal to for the previous year.  With no real savings, Sheldon and Barrie had to decide if they wanted to start their own company or go their separate ways.   They took a full weekend to reflect, decided to trust their skills, work ethic, and each other enough to start the company formally in the fall of 1991.    

With no cash for a buffer, they put all their savings (less than $3000.00 dollars) into a Personal Best Corporate account and rented office space on Lawrence Ave at Bathurst in Toronto.  Thanks to Olympia Sports Camp owner Dave Grace who rented a room to Sheldon and Barrie at a great rate. They purchased a testing bike, one heart rate monitor, a printer, and two computers.  Thankfully they were loaned two folding tables and two chairs for the office.

With no excess cash to cover any unforeseen setbacks, they put their heads down and started working 12-14 hour days, seven days a week, willing to meet a client any time at any location. When a client did want to come to them, either Sheldon or Barrie had to leave their one room 200 sq. ft. office space so that the other could meet and test or consult with a client.  Sheldon thought big right from day one, and when a client would call for Barrie, he would answer the only phone and say "let me see if he is in" and then hold the phone for 20 seconds before he would hand it to Barrie to make it seem like our office was big and we were busy.

While they were working hard and generating moderate sales, they were too young and naive to understand cashflow projections and their budget was essentially day by day.  Just because they created a sale, didn't mean they had the cash to actually pay the bills.   They shopped every bank that would take a meeting, and while the account managers loved their enthusiasm and energy, none would lend them a penny because they had no collateral.  

As hard working and as enthusiastic as they were, things were looking very grim as the cash projections where not looking good to pay the modest office rent.

GORD & BARBARA BROCKIE TO THE RESCUE

Within days of their pending financial ruin of their newly created company, Gord Brockie asked to meet them at a regular Tuesday night Track Run at York University.  While Sheldon stayed at track side to finish coaching, Gord and Barrie met privately. Barrie was nervous thinking that Gord was going to terminate them because he wasn't confident they would still be in business when his Ironman race came around the next fall.  Gord inquired about how their finances were doing in their fledgling business, and Barrie shared that they were days away from insolvency.

Gord handed Barrie an envelope.  Barrie thought it was a final payment for the previous work they had done, but instead it was a cheque for $15 000.00.  Barrie and Sheldon had never seen a cheque for $1500.00 let alone $15 000.00 and wasn't sure what it meant.  "Barbara and I like you and Sheldon, we trust you and believe that you will pay us back when you can" said Gord.  Barrie was shocked.  At first, he said they couldn't take his money.  He assured Barrie that he had seen enough of their work ethic, believed they would be successful and would eventually pay him back. No contract, no documents, just a simple handshake.  

That money allowed Personal Best to then go to the TD Bank and get a New Business Venture Loan.  They would match, dollar for dollar, what was put into the business and it was  interest free for three years.   With $30 000.00 in their bank account, they could now start to take an actual monthly salary, pay their bills, invest in additional resources, and able to wait for the cashflow to come in from clients who took a few weeks to pay for their services.  Barrie and Sheldon were also fortunate, that had Gord and Barb not extended their assistance, Sheldon's parents were also willing to help too.   

In the 2021 monthly newsletters, PB will celebrate many of their achievements these past 30 years.  Most significant however, was the good will, faith and loan gifted to PB from Gord and Barbara Brockie.   

Sheldon, Barrie, and Caron took Gord and Barb Brockie out when the loan was paid off, to celebrate the corporate milestone and to thank them for their trust and belief.  The kind couple from Mississauga still come to PB's yearly celebration suppers.  One of Barrie's fondest sporting memories was giving Gord a big hug as he past him with 300m to go on Ali Drive at the famous Hawaii Ironman World Championships.  Gord finished that race (and many many others) as usual, with a big smile on his face. 

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