– The Ontario Construction Report Special Feature
Growing up working with the company his father established, Michael Leone always envisioned he would be part of the company one day. Today, at 39, he is Procon Constructors Inc.’s operations manager, vice president and partner.
Leone says he began working for Procon part-time and summers while he was in school, watching and learning the business. After he graduated, he went to work full time in project management and estimating. With his father now considering semi-retirement, he says over the past two years he has learned more about various aspects of the work and the roles of everyone in the 60 plus person company, but understands there is still much to learn.
“That’s one of the things though that always interested me about the construction industry. The diversity in projects, the fact that one day is very different from the next…. These are all challenges I look forward to.”
He says he also enjoys that, despite the ever changing landscape and demands, there is the opportunity to put a plan in place for the day and to achieve what you set out to.
Procon specializes in providing mechanical, electrical, controls, instrumentation and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) services to industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. Leone says the company initially began in industrial work and diversified into water and wastewater and school and hospital projects as the needs and demands in the industry changed. As he moves forward with the company, this kind of growth and adaptability is something he hopes to continue to move forward.
The company has been involved in many large and notable projects including working with the City of Hamilton on its SCADA upgrade, City of Toronto water and wastewater upgrades, Region of Niagara water and wastewater treatment plants, Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Welland Canal Bridge #13 LED lighting, and the Niagara Health Systems St. Catharines Hospital.
Leone says he never considered that he was young to be doing what he is doing, in part because of Procon’s project delivery model. “The way we structure jobs we always have a project management team and a field service team involved. Each involves a well-diversified team of professionals so on each project there is ample support, both in experience and new ways of operating to ensure a project’s success.”
As a young person coming into the company, Leone says for instance that he has both learned from the seasoned professionals around him, and has introduced new systems and processes to make the company more efficient. He says while the young learn and the older staff learn to adapt, everyone comes together and benefits.
He says teamwork is vital to success in the industry, learning from colleagues’ skills and experience.
“It’s really important to communicate with your direct supervisors the career path you want to follow. That way they can set you up with mentors who would be appropriate and with opportunities that can help you grow along that path. Spending more time listening as a communication skill is key.”
Looking at his own career, Leone values the time he has had and is still spending working with and learning from his father and the company’s family environment. As he continues to evolve his own career path and to take on even more responsibility, he recognizes his father will continue to be his mentor and advisor.
Understanding that the construction industry continues to evolve and the environment changes along with it, Leone says his goal is to ensure Procon continues to adapt as well. “Our goal is always to provide costeffective solutions for our clients and that means tapping into all that is good about us, embracing what can make us better and moving forward with that balance of experience and innovation.”
For more information about Procon Constructors Inc., visit http://procon.ca.