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Meet Nelson Ahumada, CCEC member since he received his first cheque as his own business, Andes General Contractors (and Concrete Services), says he is thankful to Canada.  Nelson has a concrete construction company working on large commercial and industrial complexes, that he has grown from 4 staff in 1998 to 38 staff in 2015.  He’s come a long way since arriving in Vancouver from Chile, with a wife and young daughter, looking to make a better life.

When he landed in Vancouver, as his brother-in-law was living here at the time, he spent three years working for a concrete company during the day and for a cleaning company at night.  He didn’t speak English and was self-taught.  His advice is, “Work hard, work smart, dream and try to make your dreams come true.”  He’s been a Canadian citizen since 2004 and is proud to have raised two daughters here and call Canada his home. 

He was referred to CCEC when a big bank was putting a $10,000 cheque on hold for 10 days that he needed cashed to pay his staff.  One of our Member Services Reps said, “Don’t worry.”  Our staff person made a few calls and, while Nelson waited, confirmed the cheque was okay to cash.  Since that day, Nelson says, “I haven’t looked back and wouldn’t think of going to another bank.”  He likes the community bank feeling he gets when he comes to the branch or does his banking over the phone. 

Just like CCEC who gets most of our new members by referral, Nelson doesn’t have business cards and relies on his network of friends in the industry for new business.  He is currently working on the New West Skytrain station and has worked previously with BC Hydro. 

Nelson doesn’t rest on his laurels and has started a new business in Cancun building houses.  He goes to Mexico every two months and builds up to five houses per year.  For more information on this venture, visit westvangroup.com  
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