After moving from Alberta to Montreal with her husband, Marjorie Zingle became the first woman selling equipment to pulp and paper mills. But when the couple made another move to Calgary in 1971, the company feared a woman would never survive selling to the oil and gas industry.

Marjorie Zingle

She tried real estate and the tourism industry, but decided she would be better off working for herself and began selling professional services to associations in an office building she purchased.

It required a lot of data, and when the Vancouver-based company that stored her two servers was in trouble she flew out to the coast and bought what was left of the company by selling her building.

That was in 2003 and Zingle was already 68 years old, but with courage and a strong will she set about installing new wiring and cabling, a powerful new air-conditioning system and a dedicated backup generator, and reconnected with the firm’s other clients.

That was the birth of DataHive, and with the same courage and passion it continues to be an amazing success story, providing its impressive list of clients with security, privacy and accessibility, while guaranteeing that they always know where their data is.

Now in its 15 year, her company stays ahead of the game with new services and new relationships.

Over the past while, Zingle has been meeting and building a business relationship with Todd Coleman, president and CEO of eStruxture, a data centre based in Montreal. Recently over a lunch he informed her of his purchase of the Shaw Communications data centre, a 65,000-square-foot facility in southeast Calgary.

The two companies are now working together to move data in a breakthrough service available in the downtown in association with Brookfield Asset Management. In 2015, Zingle was, honoured as one of the Top 7 over 70 and had the opportunity to spend time with Jim Gray, the organizer of the annual event who wanted to know more about her business.

Since then he has been working with her and Brookfield staff to create a state-of-the-art Mini Connected City. Last week, the initiative was delivered to a showcase of Brookfield’s suppliers and tenants of its five downtown towers. Zingle explained how they could now be connected with secure, fast and direct access to anywhere in the world.

Zingle says it’s a “piece of cake” to connect, allowing data to flow into high-capacity fibre-optic cables under 7 Avenue into her centre in the west end.

Up until a couple of years ago, international internet services were only available to Calgary companies through the four traditional internet providers. DataHive’s data centre now has a total of 27 internet providers in its downtown centre, tucked away behind a secure, nondescript door on a Plus-15 level.

A carrier-neutral facility, it allows customers to choose the provider they feel is best suited to their requirements.

DataHive is now the global internet backbone hub for Western Canada, making Calgary a truly internationally connected city. Today, downtown commercial realtors are asked the question, “How am I connected to the internet?” when presenting space to prospective clients. The DataHive Internet Service Provider Hotel with communication links globally will be a hugely beneficial opportunity for established companies and in attracting new ones to locate here.