Facilitator: Debbie Hicks, B.Sc. DSH Consulting
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.
Mark Scharf, BA Hons, MHA
Mark recently retired from the University of Calgary where he was responsible for the delivery of capital projects across the organization. The annual workload entailed approximately 400 capital and renovation projects per year with an annual project spend of approximately $150M. During his 12- year tenure as Director, the Project Management Office delivered 9 new buildings including multiple teaching and applied research buildings, major infrastructure renewals, new residence halls and a new main library. Mark was actively engaged with procuring design and construction teams and negotiating and overseeing a wide variety of contracts including Design Build, Construction Management at Risk, Lump Sum and performance-based engagements.
Mark brings 30 plus years of public sector experience with both post-secondary and health organizations including the Calgary Health Region and Age Care Senior Communities. Mark takes pride in building strong teams, mentoring the next generation of project professionals and engaging diverse stakeholders in achieving outstanding results.
Walter Strachan, RSW, PQS (F), CSC (F)
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’s design and construction interest center around standard practices, project delivery methods, cost planning and control, risk management, and dispute resolution. These 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.
Bob Hildenbrandt, P.Eng., LEED® AP, GSC
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.
Roy Timms | P.Eng. (Retired), GSC
Roy’s career in design build construction started about 50 years ago as a student construction labourer and then a superintendent on a small design build renovation project. Roy is a Professional Engineer who owned a design build company from 1974 to 2019, and a Professional Engineering company for over 30 years.
Roy has served on the Ontario Building Code Commission, is a Past President of the Ontario General Contractors Association, past Chairperson of the Canadian Design Build Institute, the Niagara Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Niagara Industrial Association, as well as other organizations.
Currently Roy acts as an owner’s agent and a strategic advisor to design build contractors. Roy has experience in private sector industrial, commercial, and retail projects plus municipal work as an owner’s agent and a design builder. These projects have ranged from small to $32,000,000. Roy has received many honours, including a Life Membership from the Ontario General Contractors Association, and a Niagara Engineering Award of Merit.