Facilitator: Debbie Hicks, BSc
With a comprehensive and varied education background, learning has been at the core of her career. As former President of the Southern Interior Construction Association in BC for 22 years, liaising with the buyers of construction services, architects, engineers and contractors in advocacy and education brings a solid base to her expertise. In addition, her experience as the owner representative for the construction of the new Clubhouse for the Kelowna Yacht Club has provided additional perspective. She has been fortunate to work with the Alberta Construction Association to facilitate industry dialogue on “Optimizing the Flow of Money” and “Non-Standard Contract Clauses and their Costs”. Through these experiences, with a lot of passion and enthusiasm, Debbie is able to bring both knowledge and insight into her work and presentations for the construction industry.
Elizabeth Zhu, BSc, Fraser Health Authority, Procurement Manager
As the three-time recipient of the BCCA Best of Public Procurement Award, we are reminded of the responsibility that comes with it…to continue to work with industry best practices and maintain a fair, open and transparent procurement process.”
As procurement manager of Fraser Health for 15 years, Elizabeth Zhu has built a procurement team specialized in public construction procurement. The ten-person team manages facility maintenance and construction projects across four health authorities in the BC lower mainland.
Elizabeth is also an acting procurement advisor to multiple BC hospital redevelopment projects. She has a thorough understanding of federal and provincial public procurement policies, as well as various types of construction contracts.
Ms. Zhu is an active member of the BC Public Construction Council. Her procurement team is well known for being the two-time recipient of the 2017 and 2022 BCCA Best of Public Owner awards.
Bill Chomik, AAA, SAA, OAA, AIBC, FRAIC, RCA
A leading Canadian architect and considered a visionary in his field, Bill has 40 years of experience in architecture, overseeing the design and construction of over 750 buildings worldwide.
Bill’s accomplishments include the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library; National Music Centre, Calgary; Calgary Courts Centre; Guangzhou Planetarium, China; Alder Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois; Grande Prairie Library and Art Gallery, Red Deer Performing Arts Centre and Simon Fraser University Trottier Observatory. As a Senior Principal at Kasian, he leads the delivery of architectural, strategic planning (master planning and programming), and interior planning and urban planning services.
With 40+ years’ experience in the consulting engineering industry, Walter has worked in multiple roles, serving as department manager, project manager, corporate quality manager (ISO 9001), corporate risk manager, principal, director, and Chair of the Board at a major Atlantic Canada based engineering and environmental services company. Upon retirement from CBCL Limited, Walter opened Act 3 Advisory Services to continue a life-long obsession with all things related to project delivery in the design and construction industry.
Walter Strachan RSW, PQS (F), CSC (F) (retired)
Walter has extensive experience earned through over 40 years in the consulting engineering industry with CBCL Limited. During his career he has served as department manager, project manager, corporate quality manager (ISO 9001), corporate risk manager, principal, director, and Chair of the Board at a major Atlantic Canada based engineering and environmental services company. Upon retirement from CBCL Limited, Walter opened Act 3 Advisory Services, to continue a life-long obsession with all things related to project delivery in the design and construction industry.
Walter’s design and construction interest center around standard practices, project delivery methods, cost planning and control, risk management, and dispute resolution. Those interests resulted in tenures as Chair, Canadian Design Build Institute (CDBI); President, Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS); Chair, Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC); and Board Member, Canadian Construction Association (CCA). He has also served on several significant Task Teams including MasterFormat; CSC/CSI Uniform Drawing Systems; and the Integrated Delivery (IPD) Task Team.
Walter is the 2021 recipient of the Nova Scotia Consulting Engineers (CENS) Distinguished Service Award.
Michael Atkinson, LLB (retired), Past President Canadian Construction Association (CCA), Past Secretary Canadian Construction Documents
Michael Atkinson was President of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) from March of 1993 to October of 2017. He joined CCA in 1981. In November 1982, he was appointed Secretary to the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC), a position he held until 1993.
Michael has emerged as a leading expert in the area of standard construction contracts and practices in Canada. In 2013, he was awarded one of 38 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals designated for Canadians demonstrating outstanding service in the construction industry in Canada.
Michael served as the Private Sector Vice-Chair of the Municipal Infrastructure Forum established by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He was a member of the Federal-Industry Real Property Advisory Council, the Industrial Security Advisory Board, the CORCAN Advisory Board, and a long-time member of the Construction Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
Bob Hildenbrandt, P.Eng., LEED® AP, GSC (retired)
A dedicated construction professional with over 40 years of experience in the Alberta marketplace. Bob has recently retired from Graham Construction where he was Vice-President, Prairies. He developed and led a regional team of construction groups in Western Canada, focused on performance and client satisfaction.
His prior experience includes leadership roles at Ledcor and PCL with an extensive list of major projects as project manager and executive-in-charge. He was also part of a significant team executing major projects in Alberta’s Oil and Gas market by developing strategic initiatives. Bob has an excellent reputation in building teams, motivating staff, and overcoming challenges in the delivery of construction projects. He has developed strong personal relationships throughout all facets of the industry including Clients, Consultants and Trades.
Bob is a past Chair of the Calgary Construction Association and Alberta Construction Association, and was on the Board and Executive of the Canadian Construction Association, as well as chair of national construction industry organizations focused on BIM and Lean Construction.