AnaTechINC - History

DadOriginally formed in 1985, Anatech started life as Imperial Orthoflex Manufacturing Ltd, a manufacturer of high quality custom-made orthopaedic bracing.  Our founder, Jim Boyle’s background in custom made wetsuits was easily transitioned into the growing bracing market, catering to the aging, but active baby boomer generation.  Jim listened carefully to customers and professionals and sought to understand what was needed in a good bracing line.  

Our reputation for quality grew and in July 1987 a distribution division was created to promote our increasing range.  In 1990 Anatech, Anatomical Technologies Inc. was incorporated.  It was a more meaningful name aligned with a broader vision.
On a tight budget Jim worked to raise the company’s profile, which included attending industry tradeshows. There is a great story from those early days (still told today by those who were big in the sports medicine in the late 1980s).   Jim and Les Pasko, our lone salesman, were attending Anatech’s first CASM show (Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine) being held at the Banff Springs Hotel during a very cold February.  Jim and Les were the talk of the show - there was a buzz about our superior bracing line, but the bigger buzz was the talk about the two crazy guys in the trailer coming into the show, freshly showered straight from the campsite, in their business suits with frozen hair.  

It was Jim’s enthusiasm to promote his company, and his drive to learn from the brilliant people he met, that have brought us to where we are today. His early focus on understanding customers’ needs has never been forgotten and has helped Anatech grow to become Canada’s leading distributor of sports medicine products.

Our customer base during the 90s and early 2000s was predominantly specialist sports medicine stores, orthotic and prosthetic facilities, as well as pharmacies and hospitals.  This early focus on the medical sector led to a sixteen year partnership with W. L. Gore & Associates. From 1994 we helped to promote and distribute their Procel waterproof castliner throughout Canada and despite the high cost of this exceptional product, we enjoyed a successful and profitable relationship.  

In December 2010 W. L. Gore decided to discontinue Procel.  Despite being an excellent product, Procel did not fit into Gore’s strategic, long-term focus on the surgical markets.  We worked diligently over the few months looking out for a line to replace the loss of Procel in our product range.  Because of the strong customer relationships we had forged within the hospital sector we were approached by 3M with a proposal for Anatech to represent their Immobilization portfolio.  It was the perfect fit for our sales force at the time; and there is no denying the timing was serendipitous.  

In March 2012 Anatech lost its founder, Jim Boyle.  It was a challenging period for his wife Lorna and his daughter, Karen Sabourin; who had both worked with Anatech for many years.  Lorna joined the company two years after its inception and Karen since 1992. 

In May 2012 Lorna took on the role of President and Karen is now Chief Operating Officer.  Between them, urged on by Jim’s legacy, they found a new determination to take Anatech to greater heights. 

Things haven't been easy since that dark day in 2012, but the determination to succeed has been strong. They have forged new partnerships, and taken on new challenges, taking the company in a different direction.  Lorna and Jim's son, Mark joined the company in 2014 when Anatech took on the Canadian distribution for OOFOS Recovery Sandals.  This has proved to be an important decision and the last few years have been an exciting ride. They are ready for more!