Joseph Tolzmann

Forty Under 40 Winner 2016: President and CEO, Superior Flood and Fire Restoration Inc., Age 35

When it comes to answering questions about his success in business, Joe Tolzmann is a man of few words.

Known as a leader in the western Canadian restoration industry, Tolzmann launched Superior Flood and Fire Restoration with no external backing and few connections.

“When I started, I had one employee,” Tolzmann said. “At the time, his English was not great. Mine was not much better. We had a real fun time communicating.”

He said that helped them to keep it simple. 

Simplicity became a mantra for their restoration business as it evolved from just the two of them into a company with 60 full-time staff, 20 part-timers and branches in Vancouver, Abbotsford and Calgary.

The company has become known as a specialist in highrise and multi-unit damage restoration.

“I face challenges every day,” he said. “There is no particular one that stands out. And leadership is about finding solutions for the problems, resolving issues, navigating around obstacles no matter how difficult they are.”

The company remains focused on high-quality customer service and finding solutions to problems, he said. 

Tolzmann said he never had any doubt that he was meant to be a boss.

“I like knowing what needs to get done and finding the resources and making sure it happens,” he said, describing his leadership style as creating a shared vision with his staff. “It’s an ongoing process.”

Tolzmann marks winning the 2016 Consumer Choice Award as his proudest professional moment. In November, he was set to join Covenant House’s executive edition of the Sleep Out campaign that would have him spend a night out on the streets of Vancouver to help raise awareness about youth homelessness.

He said he doesn’t get much time off, but when he does he prefers to spend it with his wife and daughter.

Join us to celebrate the 2016 Forty under under 40 Awards January 25, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit