Like a lot of people, Jocelyn Williams Bamford had some trepidation about anything east of Yonge Street. Her opinion shifted after moving to Scarborough to be part of a family business. “I love it here,” says the Burlington native, who holds degrees from the University of Guelph and Carlton and had worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies.
“I love the stories of Scarborough. The story of Scarborough itself is people coming here and building a better life for themselves and their families.”
Jocelyn is a vice president of Automatic Coating Ltd., a Scarborough-based manufacturer of liquid and powder corrosion protection founded by her father-in-law in the 1950’s. Automatic Coating Ltd. is now considered a world-leader in industrial corrosion coating. Her husband Brad, self-taught, developed environmentally friendly, technologically advanced processes and holds patents that have allowed the company to grow and thrive. The plant employs 75 people and has contracts serving the U.S. and Canadian navies, nuclear power plants, wind turbine operators, pipeline companies, the mining sector and other industries. Jocelyn says her husband’s love of Scarborough and determination to stay has been a driving force in her family and the business success. “He’s the real hero here,” she says. “He loves Scarborough without reservation. In addition to the company, he’s a hockey coach and general Scarborough booster.”
Success is not without its concerns, however. Joycelyn is the founder of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers, a grass roots, non-partisan coalition that aims to preserve the manufacturing sector in Ontario.
“We see family businesses here, people that have come here and built businesses. The first generation wants to hand off to the second generation,” she says, expressing concern about companies leaving the province in response to rising overheads.
She understands Scarborough well. Having served for a number of years as vice chair of the parent council and fundraised for Elizabeth Simcoe Public School, she was approached about fundraising for the Scarborough Hospital. “I thought hospitals had loads of money,” she says. “I was shocked to learn that every piece of equipment is paid for by fundraising.” She now serves as co-chair of Women of Philanthropy for the Scarborough Hospital Foundation. “Sixty percent of our population are new immigrants who are just getting themselves established, and aren’t necessarily in a position to make donations. We have dedicated doctors who are brilliant at making do with what they have. But we need to become the hospital we deserve to have.”
In moving east of Yonge Street, Jocelyn Williams Bamford now works to ensure Scarborough thrives and continues the story of people coming to build better lives for themselves and their families.