12/07/2018 – “When I graduated from university, I was working as an environmental consultant doing land remediation and reclamation. I had to write lots of very technically detailed reports and the result of most of my effort was a bunch of 2” thick documents. That end product just wasn’t motivating for me. During this time, I decided to build my first house because I couldn’t find a house I liked in a community I could afford. I learned the entire design and permitting process from scratch and my father had raised me to be very handy, so we ended up building most of the house ourselves. When the house was finished, I was really proud of the end product and liked how tangible the end result was. I decided to send my resume out to every builder in the city, I was hired as an assistant site super intendant and my career in the industry has progressed from there.
Every project I work on helps to change the shape of the city and adds to the unique fabric that is Calgary. I love walking down the street and seeing how projects I was involved in are being used and integrated into the community.
I am a big skier/snowboarder, my wife and I have two awesome dogs, I am a runner, I love golfing in the summer, and I recently took up fly fishing. I am also a huge Oilers fan!”
–Joel Tiedemann, Anthem
11/02/2018- “As a kid, my dad was in construction. He’s a journeyman electrician. I loved listening to his stories of different challenges and successes of being on the job sites. I also loved looking at the blue prints he’d bring home; reading the symbols and hatching. So I guess for me, I grew up in the industry and have been intrigued by building something from a plan, watching it take shape, and then enjoying the finished master piece.
What I love most about the industry is being creative! My design motto is; Function will always over rule aesthetic, if it looks nice, but doesn’t work, then it defeats the purpose.
I love spending time with my family. In my spare time I enjoy staying creative with hobbies such as crafting, painting and sewing. My most recent project is a DIY button tufted headboard, which turned out amazing!”
–Megan Robinson, Superior Cabinets
10/15/2018- Effective October 31st, Allan Klassen will be leaving his role as Senior Vice President of Calgary Homes with Brookfield Residential Properties to join the North American BRPI team as the Chief Experience Officer. Allan will be responsible for leading the Brookfield team as an industry leader in customer experience in 12 regions across the continent.
Taking over the role of Vice President of Calgary Homes will be Chris Richer, who comes over from the role of Vice President of Business Development, Calgary Homes.
Allan will continue to work out of the Calgary office, and although he’ll be on the road much more, he will be at industry and charity events in the future.
Congratulations to Allan and Chris!
“When you walk in the room the team becomes priority, no passengers, all 100 percent effort. If we win awesome, if we lose, what did we learn? It’s all about learning and taking chances as a team.”
–Allan Klassen, Brookfield Residential
09/07/2018- “I have been in the building industry for 9 years, starting with Klar Interior Design in Edmonton, under the mentorship of Adele Maines.
I love spending time working on personal renovations with my boyfriend. We are renovating a 1948 bungalow and expecting our first child in November. In my spare time, I am passionate about working out, cooking and walking our two rescue dogs, Gus and Cali.
Calgary’s energy and proximity to natural beauty is a great setting for inspiration and innovation. No matter the project, Calgary’s building industry emits a vibrancy that embraces the elements of its surroundings and produces industry leading spaces where people love to live.”
–Caprice Chisholm, Hopewell Residential
08/31/2018- “I’ve worked in the industry for just shy of 20 years, which is my entire working life starting as a summer student at an engineering firm when in college.
What has kept me in the industry is that I feel genuine value in the work I do. I can drive through our communities point out to my kids what we have built. The work our industry does impacts so many peoples lives. People save for years to make the biggest investment of their life and we get to be a part of it. I have literally seen some of our customers insisting on hugging our employees when they got the keys to their new home because they were so overwhelmed with joy on this huge milestone in their lives.
One thing that has kept me in Calgary is that just outside of our city is some of the best landscape around for things we love doing such as skiing, camping, hiking and mountain biking. What is really great is our three kids all seem to love doing these things, too (even our three year old is on ski’s and a bike). I absolutely love mountain biking. You can find me on our weekly guys bike night out in the foothills, and although I may the last one of the group to finally huff and puff to the top of the hill, I’m usually the first to wipe out on a tight corner or rock drop speeding on the way down. And I still love it!
Be a tourist in your own city. You might be surprised by what all there is to do here.”
–Collin Campbell, Mattamy Homes
08/24/2018- “I followed my father into the home building industry at a young age, learning the inner workings of the company with a hands-on perspective at job sites. I moved into sales and marketing, ultimately taking on the role as senior vice-president of sales and marketing and then in 2010 I became President of the Shane Group of Companies.
I’m hard-wired into new technologies, and I enjoy social media, travelling the world, fitness, design and golfing.
2018 has been an amazing year personally, so far. I’ve watched my son Sebastian grow into a man and graduate & I was also fortunate to marry my partner Matthew.
‘I may not make all the right decisions but at least I make a decision’ is advice from my father, Cal, which is important to me.”
–Shane Wenzel, Shane Homes
08/17/2018- “While my full time start was as a Coordinator at Hopewell, I come from a paving company family so I started with a lot of knowledge about the industry. It also provided the opportunity to gain lots of experience for my summer positions with various engineering firms to learn more about my future career.
This industry is incredibly interesting — it feels so small and you know so many people. While we are all competition, we are competing for the general public’s attention, so it drives everyone to be their absolute best at all times. Outside of work, I like to spend time with my family, including two very busy young kids. Otherwise, golf, skiing, playing hockey and boating are things I love to do.”
–Brett Friesen, Hopewell Residential
08/10/2018- “Being a part of the building industry has really allowed me to experience a lot of positive changes in and around a city I grew up near. It is not just about developing new communities, but bringing life back to old ones. There is something really special about being a part of building someone’s next step- whether that is creating a home for a new family or a home for a downsizer, we are helping to create a new space where memories can be made.
I love being outside, and being active with my friends, family and my dogs. I am finishing up my bachelor’s degree on Vancouver Island, so visiting the beaches and exploring new places keep me sane during school. When I come back to Alberta, I love going back to my parents’ farm to unwind.
One of my favorite memories was a trip to Salt Spring Island I took with my boyfriend last winter. We did an impromptu canoe trip around the inlet we were staying in. It felt like we were in a tourism ad- fish were jumping around us, there was a perfect mist just over the water and the tide was really low so we could look over the edge of our canoe and see crabs scuttling around. That was definitely a cool experience!”
–Erica Barker, Homes by Avi
08/3/2018 – “I have worked in the housing industry, more specifically at Excel Homes for 4 ½ years. I started as a Receptionist, then I became a Housing Assistant, I then took over the Customer Care department for a few years, and now I work as Excel’s Marketing & Communications Specialist.
I have been running for two years. I started running because my semi-newly acquired office job caused me to gain weight and raise my blood pressure. I wanted to be healthy and happy in my body again. I’ve never been into the idea of going to a gym and I tried strength training at home but absolutely hated it! I fell in love with running within months. Now on days that I do get out running it is by far the highlight of my day. I don’t ever see myself stopping. I’ve successfully lowered my blood pressure and lost 38 pounds, plus “Runners High” is totally a thing!”
–Stephanie Chapman, Excel Homes
07/19/2018 -“I have been in new home construction for nearly 25 years. I am a born and raised Calgarian. In 1994 I moved to Vancouver but returned to Calgary in 2000 to continue my career.
The industry here is innovative and exciting and the people are hard working. My team at Avalon Master Builder has devoted a lot of attention to small details, ensuring the weather stays outside and warm healthy air stays inside. “My goal is always to achieve the desired results efficiently by understanding challenges throughout the building process.”
“Some of the things I love about working in this business is being hands-on and spending a lot of time in the outdoors. This carries through my personal life as well, making to most of Alberta winters chasing the best snow for skiing and camping through the spring, summer and fall.”
–Neil Hawkins, Avalon Master Builder
07/9/2018 -“We have a very unique industry, I’ve met all different kinds of people with so many stories. I enjoy the diversity that our industry offers in terms of different types of work; There is always something new every day that I learn and every day is different.
I’m happy when I’m around friends and family and connecting with the people I care about; Helping people also fulfills me. It doesn’t matter if it’s something like helping a friend move or volunteering at the mustard seed. I always have a great sense of contentment helping people as it is always a humbling experience and leaves me feeling refreshed.”
–Stuart Clare, Stepper Homes Ltd.
06/29/2018 -“I’ve been playing rugby for 45 of my 49 years, 20 in South Africa, and 25 here in Calgary. I enjoy playing rugby because I am naturally competitive, and this is truly is a game like no other, in terms of having a position for every body type and ability; where you get to stay on for the full 80 minutes in defense and attack; very few whistles; and it clears my mind of all other thought when I’m out there. And when the game is done, common practice is to enjoy a beer with your opposition. I like working in our industry for similar reasons, comradery amongst competitors, business partners and other companies in the supply-chain; I know this sounds corny, but the Alberta “can-do attitude” and resilience is evident throughout our industry. The fact that there are very few huge ego’s throughout the developer-builder-supply chain, is also very comforting.”
–Brad Cuthbertson, Tech-Wood Building Components Ltd.
06/22/2018 -“Riding is like breathing to me. I can’t imagine life without horses. They are inherently gentle souls and seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to how a person is feeling. Whenever I’ve had a bad day or week as soon as their velvety noses start searching my hands for treats I instantly feel a weight off my shoulders. On the flip side it’s insanely humbling, more than once during a competition I would win one class, and promptly fall off and into the dirt before I even started the second. I love the fast pace of the building industry, it’s always changing, always different, no day is the same. It really challenges me and forces me to grow professionally and broaden my skill set. I’m really lucky to work with some incredible people who choose to push me and are there to answer my questions along the way. One day I want to live in the middle of nowhere in a Tiny House.”
–Jenn Fong, Excel Homes
06/13/2018 -“I have been in the building industry for 27 years. It’s the hard-working, humble, competitive and passionate people who make-up the industry that I enjoy the most. I started coaching hockey when my son Zak turned four, I couldn’t wait to be part of his journey when he started Timbits. Now, 14 years later, he just played his last game as a third-year midget player. One lesson I have learned is that each player is unique and is motivated differently. Our responsibility as coaches and leaders is to be able to communicate in a way that connects with the individual’s personality and character. One lesson that I teach the players is to leave egos at the door. When you walk in the room the team becomes priority, no passengers, all 100 percent effort. If we win awesome, if we lose, what did we learn? It’s all about learning and taking chances as a team.”
–Allan Klassen, Brookfield Residential
06/06/2018 – “I have been in the Calgary Building industry for 21 years. I began my professional career as a junior design technician in January, 1997. I became a partner and second-generation owner of our family business at the same time we started our Calgary operation in 2007. When I’m not at work I love spending time with family and friends in the great Canadian outdoors. Our weekends are often spent in backcountry huts or what I call, Calgary’s “backyard”. My most memorable adventure was hiking the Lost City Trek in the mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Colombia in 2016 with my daughter. The people we met and the stories we have of our adventures in Colombia are unique. I am incredibly proud of our children and the young adults they have become. This trip was incredibly memorable and an experience that she and I will reflect upon forever –not all mothers get that opportunity. As my daughter enters the corporate world I want her to know every person brings a unique perspective to an organization and our industry. Regardless of gender; work hard, be kind, be you – the genuine you.”
–Wendy Going, Timber-Tech Truss
05/30/2018 – “I’ve been in the industry for 13 years and have worked at Genstar for 11 years. The passion and the energy of the people in our industry makes work so rewarding. When I’m not working, I love skiing with my family. We go every chance we get in the winter months, it brings my family together and, let’s face it, the winters are long in Calgary. If I could give one piece of advice to my kids it would be to be kind, work hard and think big.”
–Paul Boskovich, Genstar Development Company
05/23/2018 – “I love business and getting to know people and the businesses they operate – I find a lot of fulfillment with my current role at Marsh when I can help homebuilders improve their businesses, avoid unnecessary risks, provide different forms of insurance protection and save them money. There are many moments and people who have helped define who I am today. My wife, Theresa, has certainly had the most impact on my life. I work a lot and enjoy what I do – so her ability to keep things stable on the home-front is invaluable to me. I could not do what I do in my career without her. Having four daughters and has given me a real soft-spot for women in leadership positions in the work-force. Specifically, equal opportunity. The best part about the industry is the entrepreneurial nature and how the successful pioneers of our industry are so willing to share their knowledge and make time for the next generation to continue to build great homes and communities. I would not be where I am today without some very special mentors within our industry that have continuously made time for me whenever I needed it. I was new to this industry only five years ago and I have been welcomed with open arms by numerous pioneers that have taught me so much. I will be forever grateful to them.”
–Fraser de Walle, Marsh Canada
05/16/2018 – “I strive to do things in life that I am passionate about. I love being an Entrepreneur! My passions include my family, raising French Bulldogs, motorbiking and water skiing.
I started breeding French Bulldogs because I love animals, how you could not love something so small and precious. Owning Kon-Strux Developments allows me to do what I love, work with people and breed Frenchies, in my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds.”
– Shannon Lenstra, Kon-Strux Developments
05/09/2018 – “When I moved to our acreage in Okotoks it had all the amenities for horses, a barn, water, and the shop. So, I decided to buy two horses off Kijiji. I knew nothing about horses before that. I met the owners at a Starbucks where I put a down payment on the horses. The owners allowed me to come over twice a week for two months so they could show me the ins and outs of how to be a horseman. I have been with Borger for 22 years. My career is a huge part of who I am, but the other part is on the family side of things and personal achievements and goals, like buying horses at Starbucks.”
– Darryl Conroy, Borger Group of Companies
05/07/2018 – Introducing People of BILD – a campaign highlighting the talented, hardworking, generous, innovative, compassionate, resilient people that make up the building industry in the Calgary Region. Follow along as we feature people from across our industry and get to know the community that builds communities from dirt to doors. Have someone you think should be featured? Please send us a message.