Former Stamp Covernton captains Flagworks sales, marketing team

After dressing in a suit and tie at his downtown job for the past decade, Bruce Covernton has made the move to Burleigh Crescent in the city’s southeast where he now wears more comfortable, casual work clothes as the head of Flagworks Group’s sales and marketing teams.

Two Grey Cup rings, seven years as an offensive lineman with the Calgary Stampeders and a keen high school football coach means Covernton is well- known in this city’s sporting circles. He has also given lots of his energy to fundraise for local charities as well as to an import coffee company that brings in beans from his favourite hideaway — Costa Rica.

For 10 years, Covernton worked with Mark Staffing Solutions as vice-president of sales, but following yet another surgery — professional football has taken a toll on his big body — he recently needed to take a rest.

Since the sudden passing of Flagworks’ Arlene Flock last year the company has been looking for someone to be the face of the company. Its accountant, Matthews Group, urged owner Bill McKen that Covernton was the ideal candidate. It’s a fit that seems perfect for the affable giant.

Flagworks has two major divisions. One designs and produces many types of signage; made in-house flags of all descriptions and sizes, banners produced in its own print shop, LED promotional signage, hoarding and window decals. The other division it playfully calls SWAG — Stuff We All Get. It supplies companies, organizations and associations with all of the many of items from T-shirts to sporting jackets, pens to iPads that produces half of Flagworks’ revenues.

This week, many of its products will be on display to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Spruce Meadows that has been a client for many years. During tournament times it also supplies all of the 1,400 street banners that promote the various events.

Flagworks is best known for its flags and you can view with pride the huge 20-foot by 40-foot Canadian flags it supplies to Husky stations across Canada. The flags are brought back to the Calgary facility for cleaning and repairs.

Flags need poles and McKen and his installation team have raised dozens like the 120-foot poles that tower above Woodridge Ford dealerships in Calgary and Okotoks.

McKen and a Toronto partner invented and own a patented systems that allow flags to spin around. Wind Boss 360 is currently used on hard-surface 4 x 8 material for the Jockey Club of Canada. The spin-around Teflon device can be used on round or square poles and has already attracted agents in the United States, New Zealand and Europe.

The same Toronto partner was involved in Flagworks’ most challenging job in wrapping the downtown Lougheed Building with a 200-foot-long and 80-foot-high printed wrap while it was under renovation. Another big project was the 120-foot banner made and printed at Flagworks to hang down the side of a SAIT Polytechnic building during the WorldSkills Competition.

The University of Calgary has different demands in decorating its Jack Simpson Gym for convocation ceremonies — ribbons, banners, fabric chair backs — are all designed, manufactured and installed by the project management team.

Flagworks has a staff of 25 and no doubt they will be kept very busy when Covernton gets around to calling all of his sporting friends and business associates to tell them of his new job.


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