Bertram Construction a multi-generational success story

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Lisa Bertram

Ontario Construction Report is honouring some of the many family-owned and operated construction companies and multi-generational families working in the skilled trades across the province. Families have a unique commitment and a focus on ensuring longevity for future generations.

Special Report

From grandfather Ross’s work constructing homes and barns, Bertram Construction grew to include a brother and brother-in-law and added lumber retail and rentals. Over time that would see the sons join, and elder family transition out, then the granddaughter join after she completed her structural engineering degree from university.

“I actually started when I was in high school working on tenders, then got into estimating,” Lisa Bertram said. “My university co-op gave me exposure to work outside of the family business, and then I took over the presidency about 20 years ago. Thirty years into my career, I represent the third generation of family ownership and work alongside my sister in our accounting department.”

The multi-generational nature of Bertram extends beyond the immediate family multiple to families where parent and later child came to work for the company.

“Family has always been at our core. We treat people like family, believe family comes first, and for those reasons, are able to help our team succeed, to manage the balance between work and home,” Bertram said.

The company’s core also includes a commitment to doing it right and is so embedded in how and what it does that people don’t have to decide between two ways of proceeding, never having to question the right way forward.

Bertram says: “Barrie is our home and we work and are known within the area. Having your name attached to the company, your family’s reputation, how you are known is important.”

Committed to its work family and its community, Bertram gives 20 percent of profits back to employees, 10 percent to community efforts, and they offer in-kind support, including construction management and other services, to local charities.

“When we give back to local hospices, women’s shelters and so on, our subcontractors see that and the give is amplified. Knowing they will get quality from our end at a reduced cost allows the organization to use more of its funds in places that matter.”

Approaching its 90th anniversary, Bertram Construction has embraced multiple variations of family ownership and remains true to its values of community, family and commitment.

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