The Rich 100: Bob Gaglardi & Debbi Nelson

Office mates: the executive assistants behind it all.

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Gaglardi & Nelson · Potter & Quirt · Sharp & Wilkins }

Canadian Business: How long have you worked for Bob?

Debbi Nelson, executive assistant: I started in early December 2004.

Can you tell me about any unique experiences you've had on the job?

I like writing cheques for hundreds of thousands of dollars; depositing a million dollars or so, here and there. That's been a thrill. We've had the TV show the L Word film at one of our Moxie's restaurants. I haven't gotten to make arrangements with the film companies, yet. I'd like to do that.

What is the best thing about working with Bob?

He's very easygoing, very willing to stop and just chat. He does that a lot. He looks out for people.

What can you tell me about Bob that no one else knows?

I think I'm the only person who knows he likes half a cup of coffee because he likes it hot. He doesn't really like computers–lots of people know that–but I have him on a computer. I have him checking his own e-mail. I'm almost to the point of getting him into a spreadsheet. We're almost there.

What do you think about Bob being a member of Canadian Business's list of the richest people in Canada?

I never think about Bob in that category. He doesn't live his life like he is. I'm thrilled to work for him because like most people who grew up in B.C., I grew up hearing about his father, Flying Phil. [The former B.C. highways minister and Pentecostal minister, so-called because he liked to test out new roads at high speed.]

How would you describe Bob's office?

Lived in. I go in periodically to clean out everything and find a place for it. By mid-morning it's filled again. There's a constant barrage of people coming through. His door is always open, behind me.