Mentorship and professional development are a core part of Binnie’s culture—and have been since our early days. Young people can grow their career at Binnie, and talented minds stick around to expand their knowledge and pass it down to the next generation of young leaders.
Richard Bush, Vice President and General Manager of Binnie Construction Services Ltd.
Michael Carreira, Highway Design Engineer, Chair of the Young Professionals Committee
Frank Riccardi, Geomatics Group Manager
Richard Bush started his career at Binnie almost 20 years ago, inspecting water mains and working on municipal design projects. In 2002, he took the opportunity to explore a new part of BC—Fort St. John. Working on the Construction Services team for five years took Richard all over the province—from Dawson Creek to Port Alberni—and helped him develop his experience in surveying and construction inspection. Richard came back to Vancouver to work out of the Surrey office, and in 2009 when the Project Services division was formed, he joined and began his journey as a Project Manager.
For the last decade, Richard has been refining his project management expertise and passing it along to others—a major point of pride in his career at Binnie. Richard explains that “when I started, there were 30 people and now we’re 300. For me, it’s not my projects that are the milestones; it’s seeing other people and their success. I’m more proud of helping develop other project managers.” He describes this knowledge transfer as a two-way street. “I go to the project managers I trained for help on certain things. Now they’re much better at this than I am,” he explains.
Michael Carreira, a Highway Design Engineer at Binnie, participates in our Young Professionals committee to carry on the culture of mentorship that Richard experienced. The committee works to foster young professionals in the company. “It helps us grow and lets our coworkers interact with people on a more personal level. We really try to get people from all divisions together.” As a mentor to two junior staff, Michael meets with his mentees monthly to provide guidance and advice. “They’re at a point in their career that I’m close enough to, but still removed from, so that I can give some feedback. We talk about anything from work to personal finances, to health and fitness. It helps me with my communication and how to give feedback. And it helps them with some of their issues that they’re going through,” says Michael. The group also hosts social events, like laser tag or hockey games “to get our Burnaby and Langley offices communicating,” Michael adds.
In addition, the committee organizes professional development events. “We had younger managers come together for a panel discussion where people could ask questions about what it was like to become a manager,” Michael explains. “In the first couple of years in a company or in your career, it’s important to foster relationships and to learn about the company and culture. With the YP committee—knowledge transfer is happening. YPs can learn from each other. They can learn what other team members do, and get contacts in the company in different divisions. They can learn about a different opportunity or pursue a transfer to try something new. It also helps with Binnie processes. It’s easier to ask a fellow YP for help with something simple, like a timesheet, that you might feel nervous to go to your manager for.”
Similar to Richard and Michael’s experience, Frank Riccardi has felt the benefits of Binnie’s focus on personal growth. Frank leads the Geomatics Group, and has been with the company since 1989—which means he’s witnessed firsthand how the company has expanded in numbers and service areas.
The growth Frank has seen gives him a sense of pride and gratitude. “I’m proud of our success and growth in geomatics and survey. I built my unit from one person up to 30, and we’re recognized as a leader by our peers.” He credits his career growth with Binnie in part to a valued mentor, Rob Campbell. “Rob Campbell let me take things and run with them and explore and learn and gave me support the whole way,” he explains.
Over Frank’s time with the company, the size and scale of the projects haven’t been the only change—the use of technology in his field also increased dramatically. Binnie’s deep collaboration with ASTTBC has helped our company remain on the cutting edge of what’s possible. By not only welcoming more technologists onto our team but promoting them into leadership positions, we empower leaders like Frank to infuse this spirit of innovation into the organization as a whole. “The way we do survey has changed a lot, says Frank. “When we first started there was no electronic equipment being used and now we use all the state-of-the-art tools. In the early days, Rob allowed me to embrace technology and trusted that I would only try something new if I knew we could advance with it. I’ve been fortunate to grow survey within Binnie and embrace technology.”
When Frank reflects on the company’s 50-year milestone, the spirit of growth is what shines the brightest to him. He adds that “Rob had the vision that technologists can advance and move the company forward, and he’s allowed us to challenge ourselves and work hard and set our goals high. He trusted we’d get there. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of it. That part of the culture is embedded in me. I try to carry that on day-to-day.”