Calgary has been blessed with a number of successful business people who chose to move here from Prince Edward Island.
Following business administration courses at UPEI in 1979, Michael Dowling decided to take some time off university and work in the Alberta oilpatch. After three days, he got a job with a seismic company but a year later enrolled at SAIT to continue his business education majoring in management.
He says due to the NEP program in the early ’80s, jobs were scarce but thanks to Lou MacEachern, another relocated and generous P.E.I. businessman, he was offered a position with Servpro – the start of a wonderful career in the cleaning and restoration business.
Three years later, he was president of Servpro’s Residential & Commercial Cleaning Division and over the next seven years, he was able to travel throughout North America to industry conventions with what had become Western Canada’s largest cleaning company to further his education in the business.
In 1992, he made the decision to be his own boss. He purchased the assets of Proclean and launched ComPro Cleaning & Restoration in 1993, now proudly celebrating 25 years in business.
Dowling applied for the federal government’s new entrepreneur SEA (Self-Employment Assistance) program and after submitting a business plan and showing financial stability, he was one of 35 individuals selected to benefit from the program.
It offered monthly training at various professional firms, such as law, accounting, banking and safety – and thanks to the grant, over the next year, Dowling was able to hire trades while investing in office furnishings and new equipment without receiving a salary himself.
Over the next 10 years, ComPro was transformed into a full-service cleaning business offering carpet cleaning, restoration and other specialty services to commercial and residential customers.
Then in 2002, the new owner of Servpro Group of Companies approached Dowling to buy his carpet cleaning division, including its equipment, vehicles and extensive customer list. Along with Dowling’s own customer base, the acquisition propelled ComPro to one of the 10 largest firms of its kind in Calgary.
Dowling understood the benefits of owning your own building and in 2009, he was offered the opportunity to purchase what had been the original Servpro building on 41 Avenue NE. It was soon rebranded and is now recognized as the ComPro cleaning facility.
Today, the 8,000-square-foot building houses 18 full- and part-time employees and runs 12 vehicles. Its commercial cleaning division maintains approximately 1.8 million square feet of carpet every month and services 1,400 residential jobs yearly with carpet cleaning, upholstery, maid service and furnace cleaning.
ComPro’s boutique restoration services are for both “insured” and “non-insured” representing the homeowner, landlord or tenant. The company represents all insurance companies – refer to www.comprorestoration.com for more information.
Michael Dowling’s success, boosted by the efforts of the staff he is so proud of, has allowed him to support many local charities and be an active member of the Millennium Rotary Club.