Top 10 Under 40
Foreman driven to grow the family business
December 13, 2022 By Andrew Snook
Rock to Road magazine celebrates 10 of the aggregates and roadbuilding industry’s young professionals rising up the ranks in their respective positions.
Editor Andrew Snook had the opportunity to sit down and chat with all of the winners about what attracted them to the industry, their favourite projects, career advice for young people entering the industry.
Here is the eighth of 10 that we are featuring online this month.
Territory Manager, B.C. Foreman Equipment Chilliwack, B.C.
For Chris Foreman, it was an easy decision to get involved in the family business his grandfather, John Foreman, started up in 1984.
“I was doing different odd jobs here and there around the business, but in 2017, I jumped in full force. I first worked in the shop, gaining an understanding working around and maintaining the equipment. When I was given the opportunity to grab a pack of brochures to take on a trip to to northern B.C., I never looked back,” he says.
Chris has worked extensively performing service and maintenance, has attended countless overseas OEM training seminars, and is now the technical sales lead. He applies his unique skill set and experience working on projects of all sizes and scope throughout B.C. and Alberta.
“In recent years, the British Columbia construction industry has been active and allowed Chris to share his expertise, working with contractors providing crushing and screening solutions on projects like the Site C dam, Prince Rupert Port Expansion, Transmountain Pipeline, LNG Canada, and several projects within Indigenous communities,” says Wade Bühler, marketing specialist for Foreman Equipment. The Transmountain Pipeline continues to be one of the larger projects for Chris and Foreman Equipment.
Some of the biggest challenges in B.C. have come from the massive devastation from the wildfires and floods that have plagued the province in the past year, and new environmental regulations.
“Wildfires and massive flooding have wiped out infrastructure like highways, bridges, and entire towns. The Province of B.C. has also implemented new excess soil relocation regulations to prevent usable soil from going to landfills and ensure that contaminated soil is disposed of safely and in an environmentally friendly manner. This is a huge concern for local Indigenous communities because they accept a significant amount of fill for their projects,” Wade explains. “All of the land used in new construction or where demolition has taken place now has to have all of the overburden and soil screened to be cleared by archaeologists. Under government legislation, operators must test soil for contaminants to determine if it can be reused or disposed of. Chris has worked extensively with contractors and Indigenous stakeholders, and is providing solutions to get all this work done. Our equipment is self-contained and track-mounted, so it’s easier to move and doesn’t require outside power to run, which makes it ideal for all of this work. Chris has been running full throttle on this for the past year.”
Chris says building relationships with the customers, problem solving and working with family are his favourite aspects of the business.
“That’s what I always enjoyed growing up. Somebody phones you up and says they’ve got to make certain products right now. You’ve got to put things together for them and have creative solutions,” he says. “I work with my uncle very closely, which has brought us closer over the past five years, and I work with my Dad, and that’s brought us closer. It brings challenges, too, but the family aspect is definitely the most rewarding. It makes you more engaged.”
Chris says managing costs and equipment availability has been a constant challenge in recent years.
“Supply chains have been the biggest struggle in the last one-and-a-half years. Demand is high, so it’s a tough thing to tackle and move through,” he says.
Chris’ advice to young people looking to get into the industry is to be willing to learn.
“Every day, try and take one thing away that you didn’t know at the start of the day. People do things their own way, so you need to take watch and listen, absorb advice, and apply it so you’re a bit smarter for the next job. My job is to go out and talk to all the aggregate producers, and everyone has a different style of doing things. The biggest thing with this industry is having an open mind and a willingness to learn,” he says.
Chris’ long-term goal is to continue growing the family business.
“I’d like to create some future locations and grow into a larger role,” he says. “There’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer relationships and building better connections with clients.”
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