For 45 years of our 50-year history, Rob Campbell played an integral role in our story. As Binnie expanded from a small firm to a company of over 300 people, Rob steered the ship through that growth, pushing the team to aim high.
Rob Campbell, former President (1988–2013)
Scott Campbell, Senior Principal
Edoardo Ballarin, Highway Design Division Manager
In the early 2000s, Binnie pursued a vision for a new arm of the business, which is now one of the fastest-growing in the company.
Rob believed that taking on new specialties was key to Binnie’s future—and his sights were set on transportation. “Expanding our operations to more significantly include transportation and highway engineering changed the direction of the company,” he says.
Knowing he’d need the right team to make this new division a success, Rob invested time in building relationships with key people in the transportation industry. While the wait for the right people was long—it was worth it. “I had been looking for ten years when the Liberal Government decided to make internal changes in the Ministry of Transportation. I had a good relationship with Gebre Libsekal, and we had an opportunity to bring him on to start something from scratch,” Rob explains. “He’s been with us for 17 years.”
Many early Binnie employees remember the start of this new chapter, and commend Rob for his willingness to pursue a vision—and stick to it. “Rob took a gamble to bring some key staff over to Binnie,” Frank Riccardi says. “He had that vision and saw the opportunity. That was a big change and a big milestone.”
Scott Campbell, Senior Principal (and Rob’s son—the third generation of his family to join the Binnie team) elaborates on the increased scale and impact of the division’s projects over recent years. “Starting with a small group of former MOTI people, we grew to be on the province’s owner’s engineer teams for the Sea to Sky Highway, Port Mann Bridge, Massey Tunnel replacement, and some other major projects serviced by multinational firms. We like to say we punch above our weight. We’re entrusted with some major infrastructure projects.”
Edoardo Ballarin, Binnie’s Highway Design Division Manager, has witnessed the division’s upward climb over recent years. “Last year Binnie hired over 80 people. We’ve become one of the go-to consulting firms for highway design. The growth has been significant.”
The impact and hard work of the Transportation Division can be seen around the province. “It’s so rewarding when you drive by your projects and get to see your resume in the landscape,” adds Scott. Rob agrees, adding that “seeing our work out in the world gives an internal feeling of satisfaction—you know what you did and what you were involved in. You can go to communities and see your work.”
With the division growing in number and gaining industry recognition, opportunities for the team’s personal development have also expanded, as Edoardo has experienced himself. “I’m proud of my growth and moving up from a junior engineer, to senior engineer, to senior manager.” The wider variety of projects has also given the team the chance to challenge themselves and expand their expertise. “The work we do is interesting and every day is a challenge. There are new challenges all the time—be it on a current project or managing the people,” Edoardo explains.
Binnie has played a key role in infrastructure projects that carry thousands of people to work, school and home every single day. His vision, and the hard work of the dedicated team have ushered in a new chapter of Binnie’s story. “We have been brought to the forefront of the industry because of the higher-profile projects we’ve been working on,” says Edoardo. “Our name is out there. We’re also one of the preferred consultants for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. It’s a long way from where we started.”
As a new cohort of leaders sets forth to carry Binnie into the next chapter, Rob believes the division, and the company as a whole, is in the best hands possible. “Binnie has a very exciting future ahead. I’ve been able to leave the company in better shape than when I got it, and pass it off to a group of people that will make it even more successful.”