Ottawa’s Young Construction Leaders: Networking opportunities for the upcoming generation

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By Louis-Pierre Gregoire

Special to Ottawa Construction News

The OYCL (Ottawa’s Young Construction Leaders), formerly known as the Ottawa Young Construction Executives’ Club, creates networking opportunities for local construction industry leaders 40-years-old and younger.  The group, established in 2007, currently has 300 members.

OYCL activities are a great way for young leaders to meet other like-minded individuals in the industry who they might not otherwise meet through regular projects. These relationships benefit not only the individual, but also their employer, and ultimately, the industry, as acquaintances develop into friendships and into working relationships that contribute to a more connected Ottawa construction industry.

Each OYCL activity is educational, social or community oriented. In the spirit of getting to know each other better, the following regular activities (with alternating sponsors) take place:

  • monthly pub networking evenings (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.);
  • family skate day (hosted by Capital Cutting and Coring);
  • family BBQ (hosted by CRS and Gowlings);
  • charity poker tournament;
  • new and exciting construction site visits;
  • golf tournament;
  • one-day community volunteer build; and
  • wine and cheese event (hosted by Gowlings).

Other past events have also included paintball, lunch and learns on various topics, and a ski outing.

A highlight of the year is the annual charity poker tournament. In exchange for their entry fee, each member receives play tokens at the start of the evening. All monies raised, which average about $3,000 annually, are donated to a local charity. Door prizes and a prize for the overall winner add to the fun.

Young professionals in a demanding industry work hard and deserve to play hard.  Joining the OYCL is a way to achieve both.

At the heart of OYCL is a team of dedicated individuals who organize activities for the members. New members and volunteers are always welcome. The group’s steering committee is a great introduction for those who wish to take part but don’t know specifically how they might help. Ideas or expression of interest can be sent to oycl@oca.ca.

The OYCL’s 2014 committee includes:

Chair: Ryan Warner, Covertite Eastern Ltd.

Past chair: Jeremy Lemieux, Greenbelt Construction Ltd.

Founder: Louis-Pierre Gregoire, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Communications officer: Jen Siba, Merkley Supply Ltd.

Steering committee members extraordinaire: Marc Parent, Longhill Energy; Tyler Morris, Drycore Electric; Mark Watson, CRS Contractors Rental Supply LP; Jason Adams, Duron Services Ltd.; and Keith Osler, TAL-CO Building Innovations Limited.

            OYCL founder Louis-Pierre Gregoire practices construction law as a partner Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.  Membership in the OCA is not required to attend OYCL events and there is no roster of OYCL members. If you would like to receive email updates for upcoming events simply send an email to OYCL@oca.ca,

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