Entering the ATM industry was a bit of an accident for Mack Erno of Jade Cash ATM Inc.
The Teepee Creek, Alberta, resident was studying agriculture at the University of Lethbridge when he landed part-time work servicing and operating ATMs at nearby Lethbridge Community College. The position helped him with expenses as he earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural studies with a concentration in agribusiness.
After graduation, Erno stopped servicing ATMs and started his professional career with Farm Credit Canada. But the ATM industry wasn't finished with Erno — within a few years, Jade Cash offered him the opportunity to become a partner in the business.
The Alberta-based company has now been serving western Canada — including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northern Territories — for more than 18 years.
Today, Jade Cash is a mid-size operation with approximately 800 ATMs. But what sets the business apart, other than its hands-on team and top-flight service, is a penchant for agriculture and community.
"My partners farm and operate a grain operation of about 7,000 acres," said Erno. "I own about 800 acres of farm land myself. We are in the process of fencing right now, but plan to run beef cattle ... and we have a small herd of horses."
[caption id="attachment_920" align="alignright" width="313"]
Mack Erno demonstrates his roping skills
during the Teepee Creek Stampede[/caption]
When he's not building fences or roping cattle, Erno works with community organizations such as the Teepee Creek Stampede Association and Huntington Society of Canada. He has volunteered with the Stampede Association for 12 years, and served as president and vice president.
Erno has also helped with fundraising and construction for the Teepee Creek Ag Events Center, service that earned him recognition by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association as "Committee Person of the Year" in 2012.
Erno is the current president of the local chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada and sits on the national board of the organization, which supports people in Canada affected by Huntington's disease, a genetic neurodegenerative brain condition.
Erno led the charge to start the HD Ride 4 a Cure, an annual fundraiser that has raised more than $600,000 for Huntington Disease research.
Erno's community involvement also brought him recognition in the United Farmers of Alberta "Small Town Heroes" contest. A $10,000 cash prize helped local organizations, and a benefit concert for the community raised another $40,000 for the two organizations Erno is most involved with.
Erno and his partners have carried service to community into their ATM business, as well. Erno sits on the ATM Industry Association
Canada Board, and Jade Cash is a regular contributor to the ATMIA Canada Advocacy Fund.
"The plan was never to be in the ATM business," Erno said. "But life has a way of changing things and here we are 13 years later."