You might say Maurice DiMonte has a door fetish. I mean, how many people do you know who’ll adjust the door in a restaurant using a dime as a screwdriver?

Maurice is a perfectionist when it comes to door frames, sashes, knobs and fittings. He expects a door to click closed with a whisper, fit like a glove, and do its job perfectly.

He admits with some embarrassment that when he and his wife are watching a movie, he can tell her about every door in the film, but little else!

So, it makes sense that Maurice has abandoned his former trucking career to pursue his true passion in life... doors!

After spending a few years learning the business side of the door industry, Maurice decided to locate his own manufacturing, fitting, hardware supply, and door inventory in an industrial unit in the south end. And DoorWorks was born.

With sincerity and integrity, Maurice set about introducing himself to builders, industrial developers, industrial landlords with leasehold orders to complete... even to his perceived competition. And in each case, he’s discovered that integrity goes a long way in the door market.

As he looks at his original business plan, Maurice is quick to point out that being in business means never turning down a job. Consequently he’s now pretty good at making steel railings, grillework, other incidentals to the industrial field. Each customer he serves ultimately returns to buy industrial or residential doors of every description, and Maurice makes sure they don’t have to shop elsewhere for hardware... he has it all!

Lorraine Rice is another generous entrepreneur... owner of BOSS Technologies (Big On Service and Support), Lorraine is one of the city’s most generous business people. Whether she’s volunteering at her Toastmasters Chapter, helping with the “Neighbours” Trade Show, or tapping out minutes at the Small Business Networking Association, Lorraine puts her community experiences at the forefront of her business development.

Lorraine Rice loves disasters. That’s when she’s at her best. When your computer freezes, or when you hit the delete key when you intended to hit F9, or when your screen comes up blank or not at all, Lorraine is like the queen of ghostbusters... who’re you gonna call?

And why am I writing about Lorraine, and about Maurice?

Well, this week they both took time from their businesses to share their early fears and emerging attitudes as small business people in Barrie.

They willingly gave their energy and their honesty to a group of aspiring business people. Like themselves, these folks were part of a business idea development class at the Career Centre in the Bayfield Mall. As they contemplated their fledgling ideas, they sure appreciated meeting Maurice DiMonte and his enthusiasm for doors, and Lorraine Rice and her enthusiasm for computer disasters. From them they learned about the importance of doing business plans; Maurice actually admitted how intimidating the plan seemed when he began. But, when he finished it, he says not only was he sure of his business direction, but he felt very sure of his ability to operate a business, too.

And Lorraine said that researching the competition was revealing as it identified a ready market niche for her.

Giving back. As alumni members of the Self Employment Assistance Program in Barrie Region both Maurice and Lorraine are generous with their time, and kind as they stretch out a helping hand to other people who are considering self employment. They both commented that over a year ago when they were sitting in a similar class at the Career Centre, they benefitted from listening to someone who’d gone before them.

And isn’t that what a circle is all about? Paying it forward?

Thanks, Maurice. Thanks, Lorraine.

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