What is your role at Valard Geomatics?
Project Manager; Director, Valard Geomatics (Ontario) Ltd; Alberta Land Surveyor; Ontario Land Surveyor
Before working at Valard Geomatics, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
One of the most interesting- but ultimately frustrating- jobs I’ve had was as the Mapping Manager for the POLARIS Project in Ontario. My job was to oversee the production and delivery of all digital mapping from a consortium of private companies supporting the conversion of the entire Ontario Land Registry system- in reality I was managing unrealistic client timelines with uneven production from a variously talented pool of contracted mappers!
On the plus side, my office was at 1 Yonge Street, directly opposite the Hockey Hall of Fame and 4 blocks south of Sam the Record Man main store and the World’s Biggest Bookstore…
What is your favourite part about working for Valard Geomatics?
I really enjoy the comraderie and team spirit within the Valard Geomatics management team. There is a terrific group dynamic that comes to the fore when dealing with issues- whether it is field procedures, safety policy or crew assignments. All are encouraged to contribute to discussions and solutions, and I like the idea that all ideas are heard.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
That Lesley, Patrick and Kurt have allowed me the flexibility to contribute in a number of areas. While managing crews in Manitoba and City of Medicine Hat, they have also encouraged me to continue pursuing business opportunities within the Alberta Construction community. They have also encouraged me to pursue building our presence in Ontario through contacts with Hydro One, Valard Construction and other professional associations.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?
I lived on a small island in the English Channel from the age of 10 to 14- best years of my life!
What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
1. Don’t panic! Nothing we do in the survey industry is life or death but be prepared for challenges both from clients and staff. Take your time to develop best plan using all resources at hand.
2. Get to the field as often as you can. Nothing beats on the ground reconnaissance of your project and getting to know crews and clients on their turf is important.
3. Keep an open mind. Ideas and technologies evolve- be open to that. Clients and staff move around and this is a small industry – don’t burn bridges.
Favourite travel spot?
Algonquin Park in September! I love the Fall colours, the water is still warm, the canoeing spectacular and all the tourists have gone!
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
The logistical miracle that was the D-Day landings and Normandy campaign in June 1944 has always interested me. With the amount of emplaced armament and troops available to the German defenders, the landings should not have succeeded.
What places have you lived in?
Born in Newmarket Ontario
Lived in Portland, Oregon,
Guernsey, Channel Islands