Paul Mayer becomes 2023 OCA chair as association reports healthy membership levels and finances

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Sapacon Drywall vice-president Paul Mayer took the helm as the Ottawa Construction Association’s (OCA) 2023 board chair last Thursday, as the association reported healthy finances and membership data.

Mayer received the gavel at the annual general meeting from 2023 board chair Tim Vizena, commercial construction manager at the Tomlinson Group of Companies.

He began working with Sapacon in the fall of 1986, rising to become a partner in the firm in 2001. He the OCA’s board a decade ago, in 2013, and rose through the executive ranks, most recently serving as first vice-chair.

“The shortage of qualified labour is still a hurdle that we all face,” he said in a statement.  “Encouraging the youth and individuals looking to make a career in construction will be my focus as Chair.

“We need to educate and mentor those who show an interest in our industry.  Being involved in OCA’s ConstrucTourh as shown me that there is definite youth interest in the many facets of our industry. These interests need to be nurtured into exciting and satisfying careers in construction.”

Honorary OCA board treasurer Ken Crawford of C&M Electric reported that the association had a $264,278 surplus last year, higher than the $213,111 surplus in 2021 and the originally budgeted 2022 surplus of $121,165.

Crawford said, as pandemic restrictions eased, members thronged to a diversity of events and programs ranging from golf tournaments to social evenings – increasing event costs that were more than offset by greater revenues.

Overall, the association’s net assets increased to $7,933,004 from $7,686,365 in 2021.  Membership held mostly steady, declining slightly to 1,107 from 1,125 in 2021. This means that the each member’s equity in the association was $7,166 at year’s end. The association spent significantly less on salaries and benefits and travel than budgeted, Crawford reported.

During the meeting, Ottawa Mission chief executive officer Peter Tilley received a $25,000 cheque from the association, which will be used to help support the organization’s food truck delivery service. The OCA allocates to charities an amount equal to 1 per cent of its membership revenues ($11,600 in 2022) along with surpluses from social activities. Last year’s overall contributions were $61,418, including a $25,000 contribution to Ronald McDonald House and $28,800 to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Association.

The latter contribution correlates with the retirement of the association’s longest-serving employee Pina Cammisa, responsible for membership service and administration. She joined the association in 1984 and has recently successfully won a two year battle against lymphoma.

Other OCA executive members and directors include:

Hubie Splinter, Graebeck Construction – First vice-chair and general contractors section chair; Greg Clarke, Valley Utilities -Honourary secretary and road builders and heavy construction section chair; Ken Crawford – second vice-chair and mechanical and electrical section chair; Dan Leduc, Soloway Wright LLP – Honourary treasurer and manufacturer/supplier section chair; Bruce Thomas, Ron Eastern – General contractors director-at-large; Steve Schmalz, PCL Constructors – General contractors director-at-large; Jason Adams, Duron Services – Trade contractors director-at-large; Vincent Lamont, Jacques Lamont Ltée. – Trade contractors director-at-large; Jeff Tremblay, T & M Electric – Mechanical and electrical director-at-large; Cathy Godin, SK Sheetmetal, Mechanical/electrical director at large; Bob Bent, Home Hardware – Manufacturers and suppliers director-at-large; John Graff, J.L. Richards & Associates Limited – Manufacturers and suppliers director-at-large; Humberto Ferrer, Marathon Underground Contractors –  Road builders and heavy construction director-at-large and Graziela Girardi, Tomlinson Infrastructure – Road builders and heavy construction director-at-large.

After the association meeting including a presentation from National Capital Commission CEO Tobi Nussbaum (see separate story), members shared in food, refreshments and socializing at the Centurion Centre.

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