BRITISH COLUMBIA – BC’s construction community honoured six companies and individuals for their leadership and contributions to the construction industry this week at the annual Construction Leadership Dinner held at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria.

Hosted by the BC Construction Association (BCCA) and attended by Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, the gala dinner is one of the many festivities and events celebrating Construction and Skilled Trades Month in BC.

The winners included:

  • Roger Yager, Vice President, Knappett Projects (Victoria)
  • Iain Elder, Technical Customer Service, Armtec (Prince George)
  • Mike Maierle, Principal, ETRO Construction (Burnaby)
  • Brandon Ponopoulos, Owner and Operations Manager, TKI Construction (Kelowna)
  • STEP Award: DenMar Electric (Nanaimo)
  • BidCentral Award: Farmer Construction (Victoria)

Sponsored by BCCA, LNG Canada, BCIT, WorkSafe BC, Coastal GasLink, the BCCA Employee Benefits Trust, and others, BC Construction and Skilled Trades Month celebrates the many contributions B.C.’s construction industry makes across our province, in every community, every day.

It also highlights construction’s status as No. 1 employer in B.C.’s goods sector, with more than 242,000 people relying directly on construction for a paycheque: that’s up 21 per cent since 2014, and at 10 per cent of the workforce, is more than any other sector, including forestry, mining, agriculture and fishing combined.

“On behalf of everyone at BCCA, and our dinner and BC Construction and Skilled Trades Month sponsors, I want to congratulate our deserving winners tonight for so ably representing the nearly one quarter million women and men in construction who are helping build a better BC,” said Chris Atchison, President, BCCA. “These awards and BC Construction Month are a chance to showcase individual industry success stories like tonight’s winners and how they’re using innovation and best practices to grow their businesses, diversify our workforce, and support our communities.”

Construction Leadership Award Recipients:

(From Burnaby)

Mike Maierle is an Under-40 leader on the rise in the construction industry. He started ETRO Construction in 2015 as a one-man operation and has grown the company to nearly 50 employees for 2018. Examples of ETRO’s innovative approach to success include: leveraging systems, programs and construction methods such as Passive House, Zero Emissions Building, Green Built, and CLT construction; using technology such as 3D BIM, REVIT in pre-fabrications and virtual and augmented reality technologies; and going paperless by 2020.

(From Kelowna)

Gold Seal certified Brandon Ponopoulos joined TKI Construction in 2010 as a partner and became its sole owner in 2017. With a head office in Kelowna, TKI’s full-service building operation supports commercial, institutional, light civil and residential projects throughout BC. At TKI, Brandon has created a workplace that is supportive of women and diversity, and free of harassment and bullying. The company’s helpful and caring team culture also encourages constant continuing development for staff and a sense of family and teamwork. This same culture was a key focus for the design of TKI’s new office space.

(From Nanaimo)

The BCCA’s Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) finds ready-to-work candidates for construction employers with jobs to fill. The STEP Award goes to DenMar Electric who are champions for apprenticeships. Dedicated to the community and its customers, DenMar’s motto is “We’ll be there today!” To that end, DenMar has worked closely with STEP for several years and sourced many electricians through the program. The company is committed to providing equal opportunity employment in the trades. Owned by Rick Bayko and Chris Turnbull, Denmar has been a “Best of the City” recipient every year since 2009.

(From Prince George)

Iain Elder began his career in construction in 1978 and he has worked in many levels of the industry since then, from building fences and houses, to pulp mills and coal mines. In 2007, Iain was hired by ARMTEC as their Technical Support Manager. Over the past 12 years, Iain’s leadership has focused on critical opportunities in the area of trades training, advocacy, and Women In Trades. Along the way, his commitment to the construction sector and his community have been recognized by Prince George’s mayor and city council as well as other community and business leaders. Among his many accomplishments are: Chair PG Construction Association; Chair, Northern Regional Construction Association (NRCA); Chair, NRCA Industry Advisory Council; Co-Chair Heavy Metal Rocks; Chair Entertainment and Education Committees; Chair, Mining Association of BC; and Chair, Hospice House Construction Project.

(From Victoria)

Victoria-based Knappett Projects is one of Vancouver Island’s premier Construction Companies. Their impressive experience includes 35+ years of construction management and general contracting work and more than 600 institutional, commercial, civil, highways and industrial projects. Not only are they very active with the boards of the Both the Vancouver Island Construction Association and the BC Construction Association, Knappett Projects is also a strong supporter and promoter of apprenticeships, gold seal credentials and best-in-class fair, open and transparent procurement practices.