Jack Schikofsky always wanted to see the world. He grew up in Germany, served in the Second World War and found a job at a particle board plant. In his late 20’s, while looking at maps, Jack noted the abundance of trees in Canada and the potential for work.
Arriving in Canada and not knowing a word of English, Jack immediately noticed the drastic difference in price, compared to his native Germany, and knew that he needed a good job. An interview with Abitibi in Toronto brought him to Sault Ste. Marie but he obtained a position with the company that eventually became Weyerhauser. With the goal to one day own his own business; Jack began work with Weyerhaeuser, the world’s largest forestry company, where his dream of travelling the world was fulfilled. Working on new developments, Jack visited places such as: Columbia, Costa Rica, Tokyo, Hong Kong and most notably, the Philippines. It was in the Philippines where Jack met his wife Luningning “Ning”, and the two were soon married and returned to Canada after a year in the United States.
After returning to Canada, they made Sault Ste. Marie a home with their two children, Michael and Victoria, a now three grandchildren. With such diverse backgrounds, both Jack and Ning bring their native cultures into their home and incorporate them into their family values. Affectionately referred to as Opa (Grandpa in German) and Lola (Grandma in Philippian), Jack and Ning place a high priority on family.
Jack established in 1978, Jack established, Jas Inc. Veneer & Lumber. Based in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, Jack still makes his way across the bridge four days a week as he believes any proud business owner should.
Jack and Ning have always had the giving spirit. Having travelled the world, they have seen real poverty and recognize just how fortunate we are. Jack and Ning support select local charities annually, noting that most are healthcare related because of Ning’s medical background. Having made a sizeable donation to the New Hospital Campaign, Jack and Ning were given the opportunity to name the “Spiritual Centre,” choosing the Spiritual Centre because of their belief in the power of prayer. “Prayer helps in healing,” says Ning.
Jack and Ning once again supported the Foundation by making a generous gift towards the new Chemistry Analyzers, a vitally important piece of lab equipment which impacts thousands of Sault Ste. Marie residents. “We donate to the hospital because Healthcare is important to us and will benefit everyone in this community,” answered Ning, when asked why they give. “It’s for our community and our family.”
Having first discovered the Foundation in 1985, during the Cat Scan Project, they have since been annual donors. Jack comments, “It’s nice to be in a position to help; it gives you a nice feeling.”
During his downtime, Jack enjoys reading his Kindle, while, come spring, Ning tends to her, very well-developed garden. Complete with their strong values, a love of their community and Jack’s creed, ‘Faith, courage and hard work, will continue to be the unbeatable combination of individuals,’ Jack and Ning continue to impact the lives of thousands of Algoma residents.