Giovanni Cautillo to take helm as OGCA president as Clive Thurston retires

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Giovanni Cautillo has been appointed as president of the Ontario General Contractors Association, representing businesses that build about 70 per cent of the province’s industrial, commercial and institutional projects.

Cautillo will work with outgoing president Clive Thurston – who has been at the OGCA for more than 19 years – until June 30, when Thurston retires.

Cautillo had been chief operations officer of both the Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association (GTSWCA) and the Ontario Sewer Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA) for several years until March 2020.

In an interview, he said his first challenge will be dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring the industry implements effective health and safety standards in an environment that is “basically uncharted” for the association’s members.

He said the pandemic has created an environment where there can’t be an event where members can see him in person, but he will be working hard to communicate with contractors to earn their trust.

A key priority will be to quantify industry data. “What is the total revenue derived by OGCA members on an annual basis, the number of employees, and what are their actual gross domestic product contributions?”

The data will help the OGCA and its members navigate the challenging issues of COVID-19 cost recovery, namely extra health and safety measures and project delays.

“I am very excited to be joining the team at the OGCA,” Cautillo said in a statement. “I wish to further expand the OGCA’s significant reputation as leaders in the ICI sector and build on the great work that has come before me. As our industry evolves, I aim to continue the strong two-way communication with members and develop strong relationships with key groups such as provincial and municipal leaders. I believe the OGCA is in a fantastic position to grow with the ongoing need for institutional, commercial and industrial construction in our province.”

Giovanni says he wishes to continually drive efforts towards the association’s long-term initiatives. At the OSWCA, these efforts included: working to streamline permitting, lobbying efforts for full cost pricing, dedicated reserves for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure, and having municipalities move towards a provincially mandated asset management system.

The OGCA said in a statement that Giovanni will work on advancing contractors’ needs through advocacy, member engagement, the promotion of fair procurement practices and contract languages.

Cautillo has more than 16 years of senior management experience. During his time at the GTSWCA and OSWCA he grew the organizations with a defined focus on promoting clean and safe drinking water and the elimination of wastewater.

Previously, he served as executive managing director of the Residential Framing Contractors’ Association for eight years, and as president and CEO of DeNovo Builders Inc.

Thurston says he will continue as an external consultant for the OGCA for the years. He plans to travel with his wife (once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted) and is completing the process to become an adjudicator under the Ontario Construction Act.

He says he is thankful to the association members and staff for making everything work so well over the past two decades.

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