Three awards for outstanding leadership were presented to members of the BC construction community as the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) wrapped up the celebration of the fifth annual Construction and Skilled Trades Month last week.
The Leadership Awards are an annual opportunity for the industry to recognize its exceptional people and companies. This year, the awards recognized those who have helped others weather the impacts of recent extreme weather events, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Knowing that the homeless population is particularly affected by floods, fires and the pandemic, in February 2021, the winner Scott Construction (Scott) took on the task of construction manager for a 60-story homeless shelter. beds in Vancouver. The accelerated project went from an empty warehouse with no drawings or permits to a fully functional emergency shelter in just six months.
The whole team moved with incredible speed, while ensuring a quality product and a safe space for the occupants. The synergy between all parties illustrated how Scott produced significant benefits for the project by keeping team members working during the unprecedented challenges of the combined pandemic and homelessness crisis.
The Klahowya Tillicum Lalum (meaning “welcome to a friend’s house”) shelter is operated by the Lu’ma Native Housing Society and is funded by BC Housing.
Another award winner, Philip Robinson of Pitt Meadows Plumbing and Mechanical (PMP), took action after learning of the flooding in Abbotsford in November. Growing up on a farm, he knew how devastating flooding would be to so many large family farms.
His company offers holidays to employees who undertake humanitarian actions. Phil was therefore able to spend time helping with the restoration of several properties. There was a crucial moment when a group of people were working day and night to prevent another breach in the levee and Phil was there with sandbags, helping the farming families.
He also brought PMP’s emergency response trailer to Abbotsford for farmers to use, and his sincere efforts motivated PMP to donate to the Red Cross.
Phil and a small group of three PMP staff went from farm to farm to assess needs and provide assistance. In some cases, they removed drywall, insulation and flooring right after the flooding, then cleaned up trash and went into basements and crawl spaces to help residents.
“Phil has a knack for connecting with people and motivating them to do well and has a big heart for those who are struggling,” said Sara Searle of Pitt Meadows Plumbing.
The third recipient, Tammy Olsen of Acres Enterprises Ltd., was able to keep field employees safe during the historic British Columbia heatwave in June 2021. In addition to rescheduling work to avoid the hottest hours of the day and providing cold towels, she also checked on the well-being of all staff on projects near fire zones, reaching out to employees who were being evacuated from their homes or placed on notice of ‘evacuation.
When flooding hit in November, Tammy and site supervisors coordinated emergency procedures for project evacuation. Fortunately, only one site was hit, where Tammy led the safe evacuation of team members.
“We go through tough times when we stick together and rise to the level that the situation demands,” said Chris Atchison, president of BCCA. “These awards celebrate just a few of the thousands of leaders who got our industry through floods, fires and the pandemic last year, and we thank them for all they do to keep our industry safe and the productivity of our workforce.”