Stephen’s on the air!

Stephen McDonald is a regular at 570 News!

Our Afterglow General Manager is now broadcasting through your local radio station. Stephen says, “There’s always something new happening and I want to share those stories with the community”.

He’s getting comfortable behind the microphone, recording a new spot every couple of days. “It’s a new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to the feedback” said Stephen. Tune in and listen for Afterglow!

We want to hear from you. Any radio tips for Stephen? Tell us what you think!

Wow! What a storm!

It’s been one week since the hurricane-like winds swept through Kitchener Waterloo leaving a swath of destruction. Thousands of  residents were left in the dark due to extreme weather and damaged hydro lines. Luckily, no major injuries occurred but many trees were damaged.

Like many families, Stephen McDonald, the General Manager of Afterglow has been busy cleaning up after the storm. “We had over a dozen trees in our neighbourhood go down” Stephen told us, “the damages are unfortunate, but it’s incredible to see everyone in our community come together to help”.

The McDonald boys, Sacha and Rowan had some fun after the storm with this photo shoot!

Several neighbourhoods went through extensive clean up after the storm subsided. The old saying… many hands make light work could not be more true. “We had five neighbourhood home owners banded together to help out, including helping the recently widowed lady down the street”. Stephen said.

The vice-president of operations at Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro, Wilf Meston, estimated the total repair bill for Kitchener around $300,000.

“Many areas experienced the same damages as Kitchener and Waterloo” said Stephen, “but in KW We are fortunate to have a community that works together”.

The hottest weekend events!

This is turning out to be the “do not miss Weekend of the Summer”!

Of all the weekends to live in Kitchener or Waterloo, this one may be the most exciting. From Jazz music, to beer tasting, to open streets and a rib fest midway, there’s something for everyone. We have the details you need to plan your weekend. Don’t miss out on these great events:

1. Sunlife Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is an annual 3 day FREE music festival held in Uptown Waterloo.  Look forward to a diverse line up of Jazz music all weekend long as well as Jazz for kids and delicious food vendors.

Fri 6-10:30pm, Sat 12-10:30pm, Sun 12-4pm

Click here for the festival schedule

2. Open Streets Uptown Waterloo is pairing with the Jazz Festival Saturday night. This will be the first ever Openstreets at night! Walk King St with friends and family.

Live Jazz artists, Uptown food vendors and an Artist Alley  from the Button Factory are just some of the highlights.

Sat 6-10pm

3. Kitchener Rib and Beer Fest has free admission with a food bank donation all weekend long. The 10th anniversary event will feature craft beer tasting, BBQ chicken and ribs and a MIDWAY.

Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12- 6pm

It’s a busy weekend that you won’t want to miss. See you at the events!

afterglow’s keep cool tips

We scoured the Internet to find you the best tips to deal with rising temperatures and heat waves. Whether you have an air-conditioning unit or not, we have some informative and fun keep cool tips to help beat the heat this summer.

1. Stay hydrated – In the summer it is more important than ever to stay hydrated. A hydrated body will stay cooler and keep you healthy and prepared for your day. Not sure how much water you should be drinking? Try this calculator that accounts for exercise, alcohol, and temperatures.

2. Protect your skin – You’re told this all the time, we know. And though sun exposure can be extremely dangerous for your skin, it can also hold in the heat. Your damaged skin will receive increased blood flow that will make you feel even warmer.

3. Don’t let the light in – Blocking sunlight is a great way to keep the heat out of your home. Over the summer months make sure all of your windows are covered with blinds or shades to avoid the direct light (and heat) from creeping in. The same is true for your body: covering your skin from direct sunlight, in natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen can actually keep you cooler than exposing your skin.

4. Heat free dinnersTry it yourself! On a hot day, rather than starting up your oven, try some heat free meals that are just as delicious. There are many No-cook recipes available on line.

You can also keep cool with healthy treats by freezing fruit such as watermelon, pineapple or lemons.

Did You Know?

  • Spicy food can keep you cooler? Spicy foods will increase your perspiration, which cools your body as it evaporates!
  • Running cold water on both wrists for 10 seconds can reduce your temperature for up to an hour

Afterglow Community Report – June 21st

The countdown to summer is over. June 21st marks the first day of summer, the longest day of the year and we are marking the occasion with lots of great events in Waterloo.

Uptown Waterloo has been bustling this spring, with cool car days like Cruzin’ in the Square classic car show, and memorable live musical performances and Open Streets. I’m amazed at the transformation this area undergone. Born and raised in Waterloo I’ve seen this city flourish and grow into what it is today. It wasn’t long ago the Public Square was a parking lot, surrounded by discount stores.

 My family and I are looking forward to spending the weekend at the public square.

 Grab some delicious edibles and crafts drinks at Solstice Sampling  this Friday June 21st 7-11pm in the Uptown Square.

Steel Rails 2013 departs at 7pm this Friday as well. Local artists and members of the community come together for party on a Waterloo train. (Unfortunately the event has been sold out for many weeks.)

Opening weekend has finally come for my friends at Taco Farm. This will be its first weekend with open doors and I know its unique menu and margarita list is sure to please!

All in all a busy weekend in Waterloo and there’s only more to come for my favourite community and home.

See you in Waterloo!

Stephen, Afterglow GM

FOR THE DAD’S!

We are a family-run business at Afterglow. George McDonald started the company in the early 1990s.  Over the years, both of his sons have joined him, and his youngest, Stephen, is now the General Manager.

In honour of Father’s Day, we asked George and Stephen what it’s like to work with each other!

George McDonald, Afterglow President, (Dad)

What is it like working with your sons?
It is a great feeling to realize that we have created a rewarding business that allows the three of us to work together.
Did you think Stephen would go into the family business?
He always took a special interest in the business, and puts a lot of effort in business development, from computer systems and internal processes, to sales and technical installations. With his energy and conviction, I feel confident that the next generation of Afterglow will be even more successful. Now we will have to make sure that the third generation keeps it up.
What is the best part about working with Stephen?
His positive attitude is contagious. Everyday he is in a good mood and making work fun. And he approaches the challenges of running a business with a smart, up-beat attitude.

Stephen McDonald, General Manager (Son)
What is it like working with your dad?
When I was younger I didn’t think much of it. But as I get older, and I have boys of my own, I realize how special it is. Maybe someday we will have three generations will work at Afterglow.
Did you think you would take over the family business?
Not right away, but later I did. My dad is a fantastic engineer / inventor. He loves to find solutions to technical problems and that is how the business was started. I realized that I had to step up on the business side to make sure all those details were looked after.
What is the best part about working with your Dad?
His wisdom and his technical expertise. You know the current business books talk about being genuine and to follow your gut instinct – well that is how he is! And technically, I think that his ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions has rubbed off on me a little bit, and I’m thankful for that.

Happy Father’s Day from Afterglow!

Top Marks!

Recently, our GM Stephen McDonald of Afterglow had the honour of awarding Jay Everitt, the top HVAC student from the technician program at Conestoga College, with the HRAI Top Student Award.

“We look forward to hiring and working with these well trained graduates.” Says Stephen McDonald.

The beauty and difficulty in technology and trades is that it is always changing. Evolving technologies mean more study, dedication, and hard work – a daunting task for the future workforce. Afterglow understands the new challenges and believes in rewarding students that demonstrate a willingness to learn and to adapt to new technologies.

Congratulations to Jay Everitt and all the successful Grads! Afterglow wishes you all the best in your future!

TIPS FOR YOUR CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONER

It is great to turn the corner on the cold weather and look forward to warm and sunny temperatures. But before we get too deep into the heat, make sure that your home comfort system is in good working order. We have some tips to make sure your start to summer is not met with indoor sweat.

“HONEY, DID YOU TAKE THE COVER OFF THE AIR CONDITIONER”

Sound familiar? Every year we get calls for this. The extreme heat may surprise us, then we reach for the thermostat only to hear the air conditioning unit outside whimper. Someone forgot to take the cover off! And while you are out there, check on the cabinet to see if any animals have nested, or if there are spiders near the controls.

TEST THE AC, BEFORE THE HEAT WAVE

Don’t wait until until the 2nd day of a 30 degree heat wave. When it is around 20C, turn the cooling system on and see how it performs. If you think it might not be working, call Afterglow before the rush of calls come in – you get the air conditioning service faster and maybe cheaper.

CHECK THE FURNACE FILTER

A dirty filter may be the Number One culprit for service calls. Check your home air filter at least once a month, and replace it if necessary. VALUABLE TIP: buy the pleated filters, they let the dust and debris build-up in the valleys and air to still flow through – call Afterglow for details.

SET THE THERMOSTAT

Change the program of your thermostat to reflect your summer activity. Remember, you don’t want your house to be a walk-in freezer – it will be expensive and unhealthy.

OPEN YOUR WINDOWS FOR FRESH AIR

Unless the Landfill Site is next door, open your windows to let some fresh air in, especially around this time of year – before it gets too HOT!

Enjoy the Spring and good luck with the cleaning.

CONNECTING AT WRAMA TRADE FAIR

Afterglow is attending and is a proud Waterloo Region Apartment Manager Association Trade Fair Sponsor tonight. It is an annual trade fair for residential landlords, condo managers, and property managers.  “We have been members for more than twenty years.” Says Stephen McDonald, GM of Afterglow.  “It is a great place to connect with our clients and meet new customers.”

The WRAMA Trade Fair begins at 5 pm at St. George Hall with a buffet dinner, followed by the trade show from 7-9pm.  Admission is free with a donation to the Food Bank.

More than 3500 area property managers, owners and condo mangers are invited.  There are over 50 exhibitors.  “Afterglow is an event sponsor, we believe that this event is a really important place to network.”

Click here to learn more about the Trade Fair.

Huge Heating Savings for Multi-Residential

Herb Layh and the residents of the Eastview Apartments were fed up with their heating situation. “Our oil system was an absolute nightmare.” Herb Layh, the COOP President explains. “One day I came in and I found black powder so thick we had to shovel it out.”  Oil was expensive to heat the building. The COOP was struggling with costs that averaged nearly fourteen-thousand a year including the repair bills.

The COOP made the decision to rip out the oil heaters and move to natural gas.  After reaching out to ten heating and cooling companies, they decided to work with Stephen McDonald GM, from Afterglow Heating and Cooling.  “Stephen listened to what we needed.” Layh says the Coop didn’t have a lot of money, “So he tailored the system to meet our needs.”

Afterglow installed an innovative multi-boiler system that can heat the entire building on the coldest days and not cost the COOP an arm and a leg to maintain on the average days. Stephen McDonald explains, “we designed and installed a system that is an extremely efficient way heat the building, and also save them money.”

The multiboiler system has paid for itself in savings for the COOP says Layh. “Our savings are around 40% a year. And the treasurer tells us we have more money in our reserve than ever before. “  That great working relation continues between the coop and Afterglow.  “We have a maintenance agreement, we come every year to do the necessary service. “ Explains McDonald, “It’s a great win win situation.”  Layh has high praise for Afterglow and McDonald. “We consider him a friend and a partner,” Layh says. “He is very attentive and he doesn’t overcharge. He wants the system to work for us.  Working with Stephen is one of the best relationships I have had with a company.”

WATCH THE VIDEO! CLICK HERE

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