Wayne Jennings to lead OCA in 2019 as Ottawa construction industry thrives: Association reports slight membership decline, budget deficit

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Wayne Jennings accepts the OCA's gavel from 2018 chair Brian Vlaming

Doran Contractors president Wayne Jennings took the helm as the 2019 Ottawa Construction Association (OCA) chair at the association’s annual general meeting on Feb. 27.

The meeting, held as OCA conducted its first annual symposium and trade show, occurred as the city’s construction industry continues to thrive. The OCA reported that the City of Ottawa issued nearly $2.97 billion in building permits in 2018, the highest ever, and symposium speakers described a massive volume of public and private sector projects under-way or planned for the immediate future.

Despite this generally good economic news, treasurer Roy Shannon reported that the association experienced a financial deficit in 2018 for only the second time in the past 20 years and, despite new initiatives to attract and retain membership, membership declined slightly in the past year.

Last year, there was a “$129,000 deficit compared to a $79,000 surplus projected,” Shannon said. He said a variety of reasons caused the deficit, including lower-than-forecast education net revenues, and a $50,000 membership revenue budget shortfall.

Education has become an increasingly important part of the OCA’s strategic plan, reflected in the association’s move to its new headquarters at 9 Antares Dr., where the old plans room has been replaced with several new rooms for meetings and educational programs.

During the year, Kit Sculthorpe took on responsibility as manager of education development and facilities, and the OCA said that nearly 1,300 people attended more than 110 courses.

The need for educational programs has “varied year to year,” Shannon said. While the financial statement shows the OCA collected $10,777 more than the budgeted $280,000 in education revenue, education costs increased to $218,844 from $165,000. Some of these costs were attributed to the licensing payments for new programs relating to supervisor training, which the OCA expects to recoup in future years.

Meanwhile membership declined for the second year in a row, to 1,151 from 1,160, only the third time in the past 18 years. Membership fees – the largest source of association revenue – of $1,085,690 were about $50,000 lower than the budgeted $1,139,215.

Stephanie Wallace has taken on the role of director of membership liaison and development.

Despite the operating deficit, the OCA still had $6,744,816 in assets at the end of 2018, “so in an overall aspect perspective we’re still in fairly good shape,” Shannon said.

In transitioning to the chair, taking the gavel from RTL IndustriesBrian Vlaming, Jennings observed in a statement that education will be a primary focus in his year as the association’s chair.

“Education is a life-long process,” he said, “Whether on the site or in the office, people across our industry alway have more to learn. OCA is pleased to offer a full suite of high-caliber educational opportunities to its members.”

“It’s my aim to connect more of our members with these valuable sessions – not only to ensure our members stay current with the latest developments they have to know, but also to ensure they have all the tools they need to remain successful in today’s ever-changing and highly competitive marketplace.”

Jennings’ first connection with the association occurred in the 1980s, when he received a $500 OCA bursary while enrolled in the university of Ottawa’s civil engineering program, from which he graduated in 1987.

During his career, Jennings has held increasingly responsible management positions including his first role as an executive with Colonnade Development Inc., where he served for six years as vice-president construction and director of development. He moved in 1997 to serve as Ottawa vice-president and general manager for the Canderel Group of Companies, and in 2010 he joined Aecon Buildings in Toronto, where he was senior vice-president, responsible for business development, preconstruction and estimating for the Greater Toronto Area.

Jennings returned to Ottawa and joined Doran as president in 2012. Doran is the Taggart Group of Companies’ construction management, general contractor and design-build wing.

Other OCA executive members appointed at the annual general meeting include: Past chair, Brian Vlaming, LTR Industries; first vice-chair, Dan Dillon, Dilfo Mechanical; second vice-chair, Ray Shannon, Bradley’s Insurance: treasurer, Tim Vizena, Tomlinson; and secretary, Paul Mayer, Sapacon Drywall.

Directors (by section) include:
General contractors: Wayne Jennings, Doran, Hubie Splinter, Graebeck Construction and Kevin Skinner, PCL Constructors
Mechanical/electrical: Dan Dillon, Dilfo Mechanical; Ken Crawford, C&M Electric; and Peter Tuck, Black & McDonald
Trade contractors: Paul Mayer, Sapacon Drywall, Jason Adams, Duron Services; and Vincent Lamont, Jacques Lamont Ltee.
Manufacturer/suppliers: Ray Shannon, Bradley’s Insurance; Tony Johnson, Hanson Ready Mix; and Daniel Leduc, Norton Rose Fulbright
Road builders and heavy construction: Tim Vizena, Tomlinson; Greg Clarke, Valley Utilities Ltd.

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