Ivan left the country of Croatia to come to Canada to seek a better life. It was here that he began to sharpen his skills. He started off working at Niagara College in Welland Ontario where he became the program coordinator for their Power Engineering program. He started to envision a private enterprise where he could provide consulting services as an Operating Engineer.
He became the head Power Engineer for St Lawrence Starch in Port Credit Ontario in 1986 where he was responsible for the entire plant. He was in charge of power plant maintenance managing 3.2 megawatt (MW) generators. He eventually installed a system that would end up saving St Lawrence Starch $3.7 million per year, a number that they were quite content with. The opportunities in consulting forced Ivan to eventually leave Niagara College and continue using his knowledge with large companies in order to increase their saving annually.
These types of savings caught the interest of a few other companies including Imperial Tobacco. Ivan was in charge of rebuilding both the Alymer and Guelph plants where he managed to save $800 000 and $600 000 respectively with the boiler rooms he designed from scratch.
After a successful attempt at consulting, he realized his love of teaching and decided that it was something he wished to continue doing. He began negotiations with Stelco in hopes of using his knowledge to help train their operating engineers and IBA's Industrial Training center was born in 1992. He was responsible for the training of 200 plus employees. Soon many companies like Ontario Hydro in Kincardine became interested in Ivan's philosophy of providing theory along with hands on experience in a work environment similar to what operating engineers were used to.