Top 10 Under 40
TOP 10 Under 40: Mark-André Grenier, Lafarge
By Andrew Snook
By Andrew Snook
Mark-André Grenier joined the construction industry working in precast concrete, spending 11 years with his first company.
“I was a floor-level supervisor looking for advancement, which led me to my career with Lafarge.”
In 2017, Mark-André started his career with Lafarge as a ready mix plant manager in Chilliwack, B.C.
“Precast and ready mix are worlds apart, but it’s still the concrete industry. I wanted to join a larger corporation where there is endless opportunity,” he says.
After roughly one year in the plant manager role, Mark-André moved on to a safety position covering the ready mix business across the Greater Vancouver Area, overseeing safety operations for nine plants and over 150 employees. In late 2019, he progressed to his current position of Fraser Valley Area manager overseeing three plants and more than 45 employees with full P&L responsibility.
In his first full fiscal year in his current role, Mark-André and his team were able to increase the profitability of the business by nearly five times over the previous year and create a solid framework for achieving strong results going forward.
“We were able to do this by having a much more disciplined approach to variable costs and labour, as well as using the vast amount of data at hand to price projects appropriately while strategically pushing for increases across all levels of projects and customers,” Mark-André explains.
“The business is on track for another great result in 2021, even with the challenges that the pandemic and flooding have brought to the Fraser Valley.”
Health & safety at Lafarge
Mark-André has also been heavily involved in health and safety with Lafarge Canada.
“While working in health and safety, I was able to successfully guide our business through the COR audit process, as well as achieve strong results and excellent feedback on our internal five-day HSMS audit,” he says.
“During my numerous site visits and audits, I focused on engagement with the frontline workforce, which resulted in the workforce’s proactive safety activities increasing by 85 per cent from 2018 to 2020, and contributed to the long-term impact of overall TIFR reduction to 0.00% in the 2021 year to date. With such successful audit and certification outcomes, I was subsequently selected as an auditor for a five-day audit of our Hamilton-Niagara-Simcoe business in Ontario.”
A dynamic industry
Mark-André’s favourite aspect of the ready mix industry is how dynamic it is.
“With ready mix, specifically, every day is different. I could have my week completely planned out, and usually that all goes down the drain because everything is changing constantly, and I love that. I have never been bored since I started in the ready mix industry,” he says.
“You also have the opportunity and pleasure of working with a wide range of people. From form work contractors to concrete placers, to business owners and executives.”
Mark-André recommends the industry for anyone who is looking for a challenging and engaging career.
“If somebody wants to be part of an industry that’s exciting and dynamic, ready mix would be a good choice. This is for somebody that wants to face different challenges from one day to the next, have an interesting career, and have a lot of potential for future development,” he says.
“Most importantly, make sure that you have good people skills. If you look at our management team, we have people with varying backgrounds, culture, level of education, and ages. The common trend between the top performers is they’re really good with people and they are trusted and respected by their entire workforce and their colleagues. There are few roles in this industry where you’re not dealing with people on a regular basis.”