Parker: Clark Builders strengthens corporate leadership amid busy time for construction firm

Clark Builders appoints Kim Connell as senior vice-president of development and strategies amid a busy time for the construction firm

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Clark Builders has been a force in the Alberta construction industry since it was launched 50 years ago. A young Andy Clark launched his company in 1974 in Yellowknife, and his success prompted him to relocate his office headquarters to Edmonton in 1957.

The following years were quite hectic with projects accepted in Siberia and other parts of Russia, Japan and China. Construction projects on the home front also kept the company busy, and in 1999 it expanded into the southern Alberta market with the opening of an office in Calgary.

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Since then, Clark Builders has become one of Canada’s leading general contractors and, after a partnership with U.S.-based Turner Construction in 2012, is now part of one of the world’s largest building construction companies.

Over the past few years, the Calgary office grew and became responsible for all work across southern Alberta. A couple of years ago corporate changes were made to streamline decision-making to enhance the overall business and support for its clients. Brad Regier, who had served the company as vice-president for southern Alberta was named COO of the firm in 2020, with responsibilities for offices in Edmonton, Yellowknife, Calgary and Vancouver. Last year an office was opened in Kelowna, B.C.

Kim Connell was promoted to take over Regier’s role here, and last month her abilities were further recognized with her appointment as Clark’s senior vice-president of development and strategies.

A native of Nova Scotia who grew up in Cole Harbour, Connell earned her bachelor of science in mathematics and bachelor of engineering (civil) degrees at Dalhousie University

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After early employment with W.M. Fares Group in Halifax, she relocated to Calgary when her husband was transferred here by Nortel. Her first position here was as project manager on the construction of the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hotel. Owner Pacrim Developments offered her another project manager position at one of its hospitality group properties in Markham, Ont.

It was an interesting challenge but, after too much time travelling back and forth, Connell was ready to stay home and joined CANA Construction to work on Calgary projects.

She spent 18 years there working on some exciting developments, but in 2020 was invited to join the executive team of Clark Builders as vice-president of project development.

In her new role, she is responsible for all of the front-end operations throughout the company. She will lead teams in the various offices in all pre-construction activities — including pursuit of business, marketing, communications and community engagement — before handing over projects to Randy Kyrzyk, senior vice-president of operations in the Edmonton office, who will ensure construction is completed.

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Steve Lenarduzzi is president of Clark Builders and CEO Andrew Ross made the organizational changes to enable the company to grow its business and support the development of its people.

Connell says decision-makers in all of its offices felt at times a bit like working in a silo — now there is a positive feeling of collaboration with simpler reporting to a leaner management.

She has a lot on her geographic plate, but Clark is also busy locally.

Crews are about to start work on the new Wing Kei Village development on Centre Street N. The first phase will provide 180 suites for long-term, hospice and senior care. Pre-construction continues on an affordable-homes project in the downtown, and on the Bridgeland Care Centre.

Clark Builders is also busy on the Kainai reserve with the Peacemakers Courthouse across from the Red Crow College it built in Stand Off, and is also under construction with the Aahsaopi Elementary School in Levern.

There is a lot on her plate, so it is a good time to have completed her terms as president of the Cascade Swim Club, the board of the YWCA, and after an eight-year involvement as a board member of the Calgary Construction Association, although she remains a trustee of its education fund.

Notes:

University District has announced Jayman BUILT is the newest builder to join the northwest urban community. It will soon launch a new luxury condominium project in the Discovery Centre called Magna that will offer one and two-bedroom units and six larger penthouse suites.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected]

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