On Thursday, the folks at MFX wanted to get together and celebrate our move to a new home. Robert suggested we try the par 3 golf course at Glen Ridge Golf.

It was a beautiful October day, hot and sunny. Although a few of us were new to the game, we did our best and had fun. Some loved the game, some not so much, but we all agreed that we aren’t quite ready for the PGA.

Our story is one of continuous evolution, and we are delighted to share the latest installment.

Since 2010, the Tannery has been the home of Machteld Faas Xander. We have loved our time and our space here. What initially drew us to this building were the creative spaces that encourage collisions among other local businesses, creating new relationships and fresh ideas.

We have always been proud of our space, especially since we were so intimately involved in the design, oversaw the build-out from raw space, and brought it to life (we even did some of the hammering and banging).

But times change…and as businesses in our vibrant technology community grow and expand, they require more space. The largest tenant in the Tannery, Desire2Learn, is such an organization.. To manage their growth and additional employees, they need more square feet for workstations. They came and saw our space, and after that visit, made us an offer that we couldn’t refuse. We are glad that our space is going to such a great organization, and one that will appreciate what we have created here.

In our search for a new home, Workplace One at the Breithaupt Block was a standout for us. The space is designed to build a community among the occupants, which is what initially drew us to the Tannery. The building also came highly recommended, as several of our friends had already moved from the Tannery to this space and were very pleased. We’re excited to join a workspace with this type of new energy and eager to connect with the bright people already there.

Our new adventure begins at Workplace One October 1st, 2013.

We will keep you updated as we embark on Machteld Faas Xander’s next chapter.

We want to send out a big thank you to everyone who submitted a pet photograph for the May Storytelling Contest. There were so many great entries that choosing a winning photograph was difficult. The photographs were beautiful, stunning, funny and adorable.

Congratulations to Scott Rowland for having taken our winning photograph! Although the winning photograph was not the most aesthetically beautiful of the entries, at MFX we are suckers for a great story. Everyone who saw the entries laughed at Millie and loved the story behind her photograph.

Scott Rowland and Millie’s Story:

We hadn’t owned a dog in over 12 years, but in December we took the proverbial ‘plunge’ and purchased an 8-week-old Hungarian Viszla.  Early on we set strict rules for our house management of the dog.  Rule #2 (because everyone knows what Rule #1 is when you are housebreaking a dog), is that the dog is not to be allowed upon the furniture.  Millie the Vizsla began testing this rule early and often upon her arrival but our crack team of internal trainers (6 in total) continued to be diligent in instructing Miss Millie where she was allowed and where she was not welcome. After several weeks of said training, my wife called me to the TV room to ask for my expert advice and ultimate ruling of Millie’s latest attempt to ‘find common ground’ with the discipline team. In the photos you find our Vizsla, fast asleep while standing on the floor and still resting on the couch.  After several minutes of discussion, we were unable to decide whether this showed uncommon restraint for a 4-month-old pup or this was the beginning of years of pushing the envelope, normally reserved for teenagers.  We ruled to let her complete her nap. You be the judge.

Because of the overwhelming amount of great entries, we had to share some of the other photographs that we particularly loved.

Jessica, our Social Media Specialist, has recently been volunteering with a few organizations to answer questions about social media. The success of these events has given us an idea. Tweet or e-mail (Jessica@machteldfaasxander.com) us your social media and online communications questions. We will be creating a series of short YouTube videos to answer the most common ones. Each video will be dedicated to answering a single question. If the question has a short answer, we will either respond with the answer or save it for a multi-question video.


Lately, there has been more than the usual amount of cat talk around the office. The culprit behind this welcome change is no other than N2 the Talking Cat. N2 is an Internet star who embarks on adventures, creates music and even brings attention to social issues through episodes of his YouTube channel, created by our friend, Clayton.

Clayton is the latest trainee in our Social Media Fun-Damentals in Business program. He, however, is no newcomer to the world of social media. N2’s YouTube channel has 12 000 subscribers and his Facebook fan page can boast over 31 200 likes. One of N2’s videos even has over 1 800 000 views.

All this talk of furry friends gave us an idea for the May Storytelling Contest. We had such a great response with March’s winter photograph submissions that we wanted to hold another storytelling contest that featured photographs and visual stories. During the Month of May, we want you to send us a photograph of your pet. Is your animal friend beautiful, loving, smart, hilarious, quirky or adorable? Send us a photograph that best shows their personality and you could win $100. Any and all pet pictures are welcome.

Tweet (@MachFaasXan) or e-mail (Jessica@machteldfaasxander.com) the photographs before May 31, 2013, to be entered into the contest. Our favourite will receive a prize of $100.00. The winner will be announced on June 3, 2013.

We will post your pictures on Pinterest and Facebook. Images that are submitted through Twitter will be retweeted and images submitted through e-mail will be tweeted. If you include your full name with your submission, we will credit you as the photographer. With your photograph, we encourage you to include description or the story behind your photograph but it is not required.


• You must have taken the photograph yourself.

• Photographs must feature a household pet.

• Photographs must be appropriate for all ages.

• You may submit more than one image.

• Winner must respond within 48 hours after we contact you.

• Winners will be contacted via the medium used for submission.

• Submitting photographs shows that you agree with these rules and that you have given us permission to post the photographs on our social accounts.


If you haven’t already, check out N2’s videos or connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


We are thrilled that local company, Axonify, founded by our John and Rebecca, has been nominated as a finalist for the Canadian Digital Media Network’s “Moonshot” awards. These awards recognize Canadian companies that create jobs and wealth for Canada through innovation in digital media.

Axonify is Waterloo based and has created a revolutionary online employee training process. The company is dedicated to changing the way employees learn and retain knowledge through the continuous delivery of personalized, bit-sized content in a fun, social and rewarding way.

In addition to Axonify, the other great finalist companies include Desire2Learn, Vidyard, Miovision, Magnet Flowers, Voices.com, Nionik Labortories, TalentEgg Inc. and Zighra.

There are four categories in the competition and Axonify is nominated for two:

CDMC Digital Media Globalizer of the Year
An award recognizing the Canadian company that has contributed the greatest increase in international sales, investments or other contributions to the growth of the Canadian digital media industry (2012/2013).

CDMN Digital Media Company of the Year
An award recognizing the Canadian company that has made the greatest contributions to the growth of the Canadian digital media industry (2012/2013).

We eagerly anticipate the May 14, where the awards will be presented for the CDMN Moonshot Awards at the Toronto Convention Centre and look forward to seeing what Axonify has in store for the upcoming year!

For more information about Canada 3.0 or the Moonshot awards visit their website.


We want to send out a big thank you to everyone who submitted a winter photograph for the March Storytelling Contest. There were so many great entries that choosing a winning photograph was difficult.

Congratulations to Joe Martz for having taken our winning photograph!

When asked about the story behind the photograph, Joe Martz shared:

“I remember it being a very mild day and we had a dose of hoar frost in the morning. That stuff is pretty sensitive to temperature so I knew it wouldn’t last very long at all so I just wandered around in the backyard with no coat on photographing it. I tried a bunch of different compositions and even used my macro lens to get real close to some of the detail. For the winning shot I purposefully used a shallow depth of field to give it sort of a surreal look. I thought the frost on the branches and thorns had an interesting look and the little bits of red added just a bit more interest to the photograph.”

If you want to check out more of Joe’s work, you can find him here. Or you can tweet him.


Here at the Tannery, we are huge boosters for the planned LRT. Leading up to the Regional Council¹s vote to approve the project back in June 15, 2011, we volunteered our space for several pro LRT meetings and many of us made presentations before Kitchener, Waterloo and Regional Council urging our elected officials to vote yes.

On Thursday evening, January 17, 2013 about 25 of us met again at Machteld Faas Xander to hear from Regional Administrators about their progress on the LRT project. This was followed by lively discussions. All-in-all, it was a very productive meeting where everyone shared, learned and gained a greater understanding of nature and complexity of the process.

I caught some of the meeting guests off guard during introductions when I confessed that I had already ridden on the LRT! My experience was unique to the assembled, younger audience, some of whom had rather incredulous looks on their faces until I explained.

My mother loved shopping in downtown Kitchener and, as a boy, I was always in tow. I seem to recall that Goudie’s department store was a regular destination and, after her shop, she would always take me to their restaurant for a plain chicken sandwich with the bread crusts removed (yes, I was spoiled).

This was the late 1940s, before mother owned a car. We lived in Galt. Getting around wasn¹t a problem however, since there was an electric train service through Galt, Hespeler, Preston, Kitchener and Waterloo. The service was called the Grand River Railway and there were 6 trains joining these communities each day.

I can¹t remember much about those trips except that the train-cars seemed awfully big and they were wine coloured with gold lettering. Apparently, I was always excited for a chance to ride.

Trains have always fascinated me and I think these first experiences are what started it all. It also helps explain my interest and enthusiasm for the new LRT service; and the positive contribution it will make to the many ‘parallel’ initiatives that are happening now and are slated for the future in this vibrant, dynamic Region of ours.

‘Here’s a picture of what I’m told the new, Regional LRT trains will look like (sample only)–colours and graphics will probably change somewhat.’

Looking forward to getting back to LRT riding.

Congratulations to Tracey DeVille for winning our November Storytelling Contest. Tracey’s name was drawn from the list of Twitter followers who submitted a tweet to continue the ongoing saga of Machteld’s story. Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s contest.

The story continues! The December Storytelling Contest will continue Machteld’s story as she embarks on a quest with Faas and a yet unmentioned third member. Follow the @MachStory Twitter handle for updates of the story. To join the contest, submit what you think should happen next. Don’t forget to @mention @MachStory in your tweet!

See the November Storytelling Contest blog for more information.

It should be no surprise to any of you that, again this year, the social animals here at Machteld Faas Xander are looking forward to sharing good food and cheer with you in celebration of the Christmas Season. Please note that this year, we are collecting for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region so please bring a non-perishable food contribution if you can.

FESTIVE FOOD FRIDAYS- December 7, 14 and 21, 2012
Please join us, and our space-mates Mad Hatter, on any one, or all of the above dates to share the goodies we have prepared just for you. Visit any time between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. No RSVP required but please, don’t forget to bring a Food Bank contribution, if you can.

We are looking forward to seeing you here:
121 Charles Street West, Suite 230,
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 1H6

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