Ironside Manufacturing is a family-owned business, led by three generations with 40 employees.
Jim Nyssen purchased Ironside Manufacturing on Hocking Avenue in the mid 60s. The company has been a neighbour of the YMCA across the street since the old building first opened its doors.
In addition to being a neighbour of the Chilliwack YMCA, Jim was introduced to our Cardiac Care class when needing to take care of his health. He inspired many people in this class as a result of his discipline and perseverance. After a few months, he returned to work across the road.
As an entrepreneur and inventor who is committed to family values, giving back to his community and taking responsibility for his health, it was natural that Jim would become one of the initial donors of the new Chilliwack YMCA.
In fact, he pledged to become a donor in 2012, prior to the YMCA planning the new state-of-the-art centre of community. Seeing that the vital and popular YMCA Healthy Heart program needed larger programming space, Jim offered a donation pledge written on his business card six years ago! His intention was to help improve the lives of his fellow YMCA Healthy Heart participants by offering to renovate the program space to accommodate more participants.
As the future of the old building was unknown at that time, YMCA leadership chose to “put his pledge on hold” until a concrete plan was in place.
Since then, Jim has graduated from the YMCA Healthy Heart program. He lives a healthy lifestyle and continues to go to work every day. This would sound like a normal thing to do for most of the working force; however, Jim is in his mid-80’s and taking a day off is not in his plans for the near future.
When the YMCA made the decision to build the new Y, Jim not only honoured his six-year-old pledge, but also invited his Ironside family to join in on his gift to the Y.
Jim has passed on not only his generous community spirit but also his knowledge and company leadership to his son-in-law and two grandchildren. Presently, three generations lead the team at Ironside and are proud to offer the Ironside Design Manufacturing Welcome and Access Centre to our community at the Y.
Ironside’s family-oriented business culture extends into the broader Chilliwack community in the form of the company’s award-winning apprenticeship program. Like the YMCA, they also have a strong emphasis on youth leadership development and helping people reach their true potential.