Recognizing the best of the industry’s next generation
By Andrew Macklin
In September of 2013, Rock to Road magazine introduced 20 exceptional individuals under the age of 40 who are leading the next generation of this industry’s workforce in Canada.
In September of 2013, Rock to Road magazine introduced 20 exceptional individuals under the age of 40 who are leading the next generation of this industry’s workforce in Canada. Fast-forward 18 months later, and we are now proud to extend that recognition to 10 more outstanding people.
This list has a different look and feel than that of the original list of 20 that we profiled. These 10 focused less on the management of companies and more on some of the future careers that are driving the industry forward, battling with other industries for workers in an incredibly competitive skilled trades environment. They are the people who run parts of the overall operation, provide necessary support for company initiatives, and bring hard work and dedication with the knowledge of new technologies to create stronger companies.
Here are the Rock to Road Top 10 under 40.
Amma Wakefield | Manager of Materials Research & Design, Miller Paving – Aurora, Ont.
Amma Wakefield has become a familiar face in Ontario’s aggregates and road construction industry.
An active member of the Ontario Hot Mix Producers’ Association Technical Committee, Amma is also an active member of the Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association and recently won the Norman McLeod Award at the 2015 CTAA for Best Presenter.
As the manager of Materials Research & Design at Miller Paving in Aurora, Ont. Amma is constantly researching and recommending best practices for Recycled Asphalt Shingles, WMA, and coloured asphalt. She is also a tireless advocate for excellence in testing procedures.
All of the corporate labs under Amma’s leadership are certified to ISO 17025. Having quickly become an expert in the field of materials research and design, Amma is frequently looked to by other paving groups for mix design support. She was also the only Canadian invited to speak at the 2013 Zoomlion Ghana Conference on sanitation and waste management, where she spoke about quality control and materials research and development.
In addition to her regular duties in the lab, Amma releases the Miller Quality Bulletin quarterly to highlight technical asphalt issues. She has developed a course for estimators and people entering quality control roles that teaches material properties, mix design, and specifications.
Amma Wakefield has quickly become a leader at Miller Paving, and a leader in Canada’s rock to road industry.
Josh Safronetz | Operations Manager at HJR Asphalt – Saskatoon, Sask.
Josh Safronetz has always been a dedicated member of the road construction industry in Canada, but one event changed his life and turned him into one of the country’s greatest road safety advocates.
On August 24th, 2012, a member of the HJR Asphalt crew, Ashley Dawn Richards, was killed when a card drove through the company’s road construction site near Midale, Sask. Immediately following the tragedy, Safronetz spearheaded a call for the provincial government to create stricter penalties for drivers failing to follow the rules of construction zones, and the introduction of photo radar and increased enforcement to ensure a similar tragedy never happened again. That advocacy in memory of Richards was heard and acted upon by the provincial government and new measures were indeed introduced.
It is that style of leadership that has made Safronetz invaluable to the team at HJR Asphalt. The company lays over 400,000 tonnes of asphalt per year on Saskatchewan’s municipal and provincial roadways, and it is Safronetz who actively works to secure contracts to keep the company’s four plants operational and over 120 staff throughout the road construction season.
In addition to his work at HJR, Safronetz is an active member of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association, where he is heavily involved with the SHCA’s Standard Practices Committee.
Josh is dedicated to creating a safer environment for everyone working in Canada’s rock to road industry.
Pam Sullivan | Basin Contracting Ltd. – Enfield, N.S.
Pam Sullivan is carrying a strong family legacy while she charts her own course in Canada’s rock to road industry.
Sullivan followed in her parents’ footsteps by becoming involved in the family business: Basin Contracting in Enfield, N.S., following her studies at Acadia University.
Sullivan took on the role of construction coordinator for the operation, which handles both municipal and provincial road construction and asphalt paving contracts. In her leadership capacity at Basin, she has overseen the delivery of these projects from start to finish, ensuring that her team produces high-quality roads on time and on budget.
But it is outside of the workplace that Sullivan has provided an even greater outward display of her leadership. She has been an active member of the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association for several years and, just a few months ago, was named the first-ever female president of the NSRBA. She also recently spent time representing the road construction industry on the board of the Employer Advisor Nova Scotia Society, an organization with business tools for companies throughout the province.
Through her leadership and dedication, Sullivan is helping keep a family business strong while providing a foundation for the growth of the road construction industry in Nova Scotia.
Derek Resendes | Construction Manager, 5 Star Paving – Cambridge, Ont.
Derek Resendes doesn’t know the meaning of quitting time.
When nominated for the Top 10 under 40, one of the first things said about Derek is that he never stops working, putting in multiple 12-14 hour shifts per week.
It’s that hard work that has seen Derek excel at 5 Star Paving in Cambridge, Ont. For over seven years, Derek worked hard to learn the industry, pushing himself everyday as a construction labourer for 5 Star’s paving operations. During that time, he learned and mastered all elements of the operation, including equipment operation, project design and monitoring, materials and more.
Derek was promoted in 2009 to operations manager at 5 Star, and the operation has since greatly benefitted from his leadership. In his role as operations manager, Derek supervises and delegates the day-to-day operations for each job site. He is in charge of monitoring projects from start to finish, executing all elements of the work in a timely and professional manner. In addition to this, he also gets involved with sales, estimating and scheduling operations.
Derek is currently working towards his Gold Seal Estimator certification. He is a member of the Grand Valley Construction Association, and a dedicated member of the road construction industry.
Alex Caruana | Ontario Regional Manager, Polydeck Screen Corporation – Brantford, Ont.
For Alex Caruana, a shift in his role in the Canadian aggregates landscape has allowed him to continue to leave his mark on the industry.
Caruana joined the aggregates industry in 2006, taking a role as a quality control technician for Dufferin Concrete following the completion of his education in civil engineering. In his role, he was able to experience all elements of the plant’s operation, as he tested materials in the lab, in the plant, and in the field.
It wasn’t long before Caruana began his acceleration through the company, soon taking on a position as a production engineer at three Dufferin Aggregates operations in southern Ontario. He excelled in his duties in a broad spectrum of lead duties while continuing to take courses to improve his overall knowledge of the industry.
Following his role as production engineer, he moved up to Dufferin’s parent company, Holcim Canada, where he managed several elements of pit and quarry operations while also working with the Cornerstone Standards Council on Responsible Aggregates Standards.
His leadership and dedication to the industry have helped provide the foundation for his new role, a shift into the aggregates equipment manufacturing side of the industry as a regional sales manager for Polydeck Screen Corporation. In his new role, he continues to provide leadership in producing real-time solutions for pits and quarries looking to create a more efficient operation.
Edward (Ted) Magnusson | Mine Manager Designate, Fraser Valley Aggregates – Surrey, B.C.
Edward Magnusson, or Ted as his team knows him best, has become one of the keys for the success of the Fraser Valley Aggregates operation in British Columbia.
Ted’s career in the aggregate industry started with operating heavy equipment on large-scale projects such as the Sea-to Sky Highway and the Port Mann Bridge. From there, he spent two years in Fort McMurray providing ground preparation for upcoming camp developments before settling with Fraser Valley Aggregates.
Ted has been a valued employee of Fraser Valley Aggregates for 2 ½ years, bringing with him over 10 years of industry knowledge. Ted started as a loader operator before quickly becoming a tower man, and currently is the acting mines manager designate of Fraser Valley’s Highland Quarry location. Ted‘s innovative ideas and mechanical knowledge have allowed the company to increase production while maintaining the quality of the product. Ted’s natural ability to communicate, organize, prioritize and problem solve make him the ideal team lead.
Karly Winfield | VP Marketing, Provix – Aliston, Ont.
For Karly Winfield, promoting the products of the company she works for has been less about helping the company meet sales targets, and more about helping the industry operate safer.
Karly has tirelessly advanced safety enhancements related to heavy equipment operations in mining, aggregates, municipal fleets, construction and waste management. As a member of CIM, Camese, MEOA, OSSGA, and others, Karly has participated in government, academic and industry forums for the purpose of advocating both vision enhancements and RFID systems for collision avoidance and proximity detection.
Recognized by the Ministry of Labour in Ontario as a go-to resource on the subject of vision enhancement and reducing interactions between equipment and personnel, Karly has presented information seminars to industry participants from coast to coast. At the same time, Karly’s efforts have made her employer PROVIX recognized as a value added supplier and resource in implementing safety systems on heavy equipment from coast to coast.
Trevor Nabe | Estimator, Transportation West, AECON – Edmonton, Alta.
At the age of 29, Trevor Nabe never thought his job as a summer student working on a highway construction site in southern Alberta would develop into such a rewarding career; yet nearly 11 years later, he is still very passionate about what this industry has to offer.
Early in his career at Aecon Transportation West Ltd. (formerly South Rock Ltd.), he feels very fortunate to have had a great mentor (former SRL partner and vice-president, Rick Englot) who introduced him to the estimating and job costing side of the asphalt paving business. This area is still where his primary, day-to-day focus keeps him busy.
After graduating from the University of Alberta school of business in 2007, Trevor immediately completed a two-year civil engineering technology diploma at NAIT and then became a full-time project manager with SRL in 2009. Coupled with years of previous experience, his career as an estimator began in 2010. Since then, Trevor has played an increasingly significant role in helping garner much of ATWs yearly revenue in the publicly tendered sector of their business. ATW has recently expanded their highway asphalt paving operations into the Saskatchewan market following the introduction of the new End Product Specification (EPS) with Trevor playing an active leadership role in this pursuit. Currently, Trevor sits on the Standard Practices executive committee as a member of the SHCA.
Dani Miller | Safety & Technical Compliance Manager, Mainland Sand & Gravel – Surrey, B.C.
Dani Miller started turning heads from the first moment she was hired.
Dani was the first female employee based at Mainland Sand and Gravel’s largest quarry. Dani’s background is environmental, but she was brought on board to take direct ownership of Mainland’s safety program and learn to project manage the one-off projects carried out on an infrequent basis.
For the safety program, Mainland wanted to have her help develop a model that did not come from a binder; a program that ensures that the key concepts/components work everyday, a program that is ingrained into the company culture.
Dani took to the task with a passion. In 2013, Mainland won the Stewart O’Brian Award and the Chief Inspectors Award, both of which were granted by the B.C. Ministry of Mines. Dani has successfully managed a variety of projects of various complexities, and in each case, has done a superb job ensuring the work is finished on time and on budget.
For 2015, Dani’s responsibility is increased to include production quality managing the next development of Mainland’s Quality Management Program, with Dani taking on the lead role it is our intent to build a Safety, Environmental, Quality and Technical Projects Group.
With Dani leading, the company is very confident that this group will become an exceptionally effective part of the company. She expects the best from everybody (above and below her in the organization) but she generates respect and is very well liked both internally and externally. Dani has a tremendous future in Mainland Sand and Gravel and over the longer term in the Canadian rock to road industry.
Scott Creighton | Fmr. Marketing Coordinator, Creighton Rock Drill Ltd. – Mississauga, Ont.
Scott Creighton has worked in the family business for over 10 years despite being just three years out of college.
Having graduated from Toronto’s Humber College in 2012 with a degree in business administration and management, Creighton moved into the position of marketing coordinator. Because of his involvement in so many aspects of the company Scott has a clear understanding of the market, the customers and the suppliers. He has excelled in his work, whether it’s providing material for web and advertising, trade shows, sales and service or end user support. Whether it is for product training or promotion, Scott has always done an incredible job in the eyes of his peers.
Scott’s industry colleagues have found him to be professional, organized and extremely helpful. Scott promptly responds to any and all requests in an intelligent and productive manner. Scott’s work is recognized as an important driver for enhancing the quality of this family-run company.
In early 2015, Scott left Creighton Rock Drill to pursue another opportunity outside of the industry. For the sake of Canada’s rock to road industry, we hope he soon finds his way back.
Congratulations to all 10 of this year’s recipients. Their dedication to our industry provides promise for a strong future for Canada’s aggregates and road construction industry.