Recognizing and rewarding those in our industry that have shown exemplary leadership and community contributions this past year.

Here are some of our 2019 Construction Month Award Recipients

Knappett Projects (Victoria)
Presented by: Rory Kulmala, CEO – Vancouver Island Construction Association
Accepted by: Roger Yager, Vice President – Knappett Projects

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.

Mike Maierle, Principal – ETRO Construction (Burnaby)
Presented by: Fiona Famulak, CEO – Vancouver Regional Construction Association

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-fabrication and virtual and augmented reality technologies; and going paperless by 2020.

Brandon Ponopoulos, Owner – TKI Construction (Kelowna)
Presented by: Jason Henderson, CEO – Southern Interior Construction Association

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.

DenMar Electric (Nanaimo)
Presented by: Lindsay Groves, Program Coordinator – Skilled Trades Employment Program

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.

Iain Elder,  Technical Customer Service – Armtec (Prince George)
Presented by: Scott Bone, CEO – Northern Regional Construction Association

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.

Farmer Construction (Victoria)
Presented by: Sue Connors, CEO – BidCentral

BidCentral is BC’s largest online marketplace for construction projects. The BidCentral Award goes to Farmer Construction, which has always been ahead of the curve in its use of technology for construction procurement and has set the standard for simplifying the intention to bid process. In just the last five years, hundreds of projects have been posted in their BidCentral private planroom. That accessibility has led to online collaboration with 643 companies who have downloaded tender documents more than 120,000 times.

Jamie McPherson, Chair of Plumbing, Pipe & Refrigeration Trades – Camosun College (Victoria)
Presented by: Eric Sehn, Dean  – Camosun College School of Trades & Technology

Jamie is a leader not only within the department but also a leader externally when it comes to equity and diversity within the Industry and leading in innovative Practices. Following in his father’s footsteps Jamie started his career in the piping trades back in 1987 when he started a sprinkler fitting apprenticeship and continued as steam/pipefitting. Jamie worked as a steamfitter as well as gaining experience in the plumbing and sprinkler fitting industry. He currently holds Red Seal Certifications as a Plumber, a Steamfitter, and a Sprinklerfitter. Jamie is an advocate for equity in the workplace working as a leader for the trades community. Jamie has worked closely with the women in trades department encouraging women to join the trades and encourages equal access to the trades for all.

Lui Garcea, Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships – BC Construction Safety Alliance
Presented by: Scott Construction Group

Lui Garcea cares deeply about the workers in our industry and demonstrates it by taking the initiative to drive real and meaningful change in health and safety. His proactive involvement is contagious and sends a ripple throughout our industry that helps to ensure we make it home safely after every shift. In recent months, Lui has been a driving force in Mental Health education in BC Construction. His strategic efforts to help reduce the stigma of mental illness have resulted in sold-out events that are igniting interest in leaders and decision makers throughout BC Construction. He has astutely recognized the appetite for Mental Health information and resources and he is working relentlessly to ensure those resources are being made available for those who need them most. Lui may not be the one most noticeable at his events because he is disinterested in receiving recognition for all that he does. He is far too busy ensuring his efforts have the greatest possible impact and benefit for the rest of us, and then he is tirelessly and immediately on to his next Health and Safety initiative. We are genuinely grateful for Lui’s advocacy and know he is very deserving of recognition as the Community Leader that he is.

Marita Luk, Business Development Manager – School of Construction and the Environment BCIT
Presented by: Scott Construction Group

Marita Luk goes well beyond the parameters of her role as Business Development Manager for the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. She is both a bridge and a conduit for those seeking a role in our industry and for an industry hungry for connections and highly motivated talent. You only need to follow her active social media to see she never stops advocating for BC construction. From dawn till…well, often dawn again, she is at every event, typically with a group of students by her side, ensuring they are seeing our industry from every angle and getting the introductions that will add fuel to their careers. She is equally committed to companies and organizations in our industry, responding to every enquiry or request with unwavering enthusiasm and resourcefulness. She is an incredible host, proudly touring groups through the BCIT campus, passionately describing everything they currently have to offer and everything she can envision for their future. It’s impossible to not get caught up in her compelling belief in all that BCIT and BC Construction can be. She is an enormous resource, making a tangible, meaningful difference for so many. Marita Luk is the embodiment of Community Leadership in BC Construction and I wholeheartedly nominate her for this award.

Mike Haley, Manager of Program Services – Scott Construction Group
Presented by: Scott Construction Group

As a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and a 31-year member of the BC construction industry, you could say Mike Haley has earned the right to slow down a bit. Fortunately for us, he is doing just the opposite. In his role as Manager of the WorkSafeBC Home Modifications Program team at Scott Construction, he compassionately assists workers who have sustained life-changing injuries on the job, ensuring their homes are everything they need to be to lighten the burden of their new circumstances. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Scott Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee and an active member of the Scott Mental Health Committee. In this role, he speaks at large industry events to share with others what it is like to live with depression. It’s a personal and difficult story, but he puts any pain or discomfort second to his desire to help others. As a respected role model at Scott, Mike’s honesty and candour have made it safe for others who may be struggling with mental illness to come forward and reach out for help. Mike is also raising one of his nine grandchildren, a 15-year-old who is very lucky to have such an incredible grandfather in his life. We all think the world of Mike. He would certainly never describe himself as one, but he is a genuine inspiration to us all.