In their own words, Colas Canada's operating companies' employees in different job areas talk about express their sense of enterprise, their taste for responsibility and their passion for their work.

 

 

CLAUDE LAROCHE
WELDER AND SKILLED WORKERS GUILD MEMBER
SINTRA
 
It was a Thursday: August 8, 1957, to be exact. Claude Laroche remembers it as though it were yesterday.
Then aged 16 and still at school studying to become an electrician, the young man joined Modern Paving (later to become Sintra, in 1974, following a merger with Fabi & Fils), in Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, in the province of Quebec to work for a few months as a seasonal worker. “In the end, I never did become an electrician… I really enjoyed my experience at Modern Paving and I went back there in April 1958 to become a welder. I’ve been working for the company for 55 years now!” Claude mainly works in the BML Quebec workshop, one of Sintra’s many regional centers. He is responsible for the maintenance of heavy equipment. Always on the lookout for new solutions to tackle day-to-day problems, he thrives on the diversity of tasks handed to him. The longest-serving employee of BML Quebec and the winner of many awards for his outstanding loyalty to the company, he was promoted to the North American Skilled Workers Guild in 2009. “It’s an honor, and real recognition of my investment and hard work.”

 

 

NANCY BASTIEN
ASSISTANT, VICE PRESIDENT ACCOUNTING
COLAS CANADA
 
After putting her career on hold while she took care of her two sons, Nancy joined Colas Canada in Montreal in 2004 as accounting director. “I was given a warm welcome and I fit in easily thanks to my predecessor, who spent six months with me,” she says with admiration. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” The certified public accountant is responsible for consolidating the accounts of the four Canadian subsidiaries. A perfectionist who enjoys numbers, Nancy is proud to work for Colas: “It’s a company that works throughout the world and is always moving forward. That impresses me a lot.” Behind Nancy’s logical mind beats the heart of an artist! For the last five years, she has been taking classes at the Laval Fine Arts Academy in the suburbs of Montréal. After two years of drawing classes she took up painting, and now enjoys reproducing old master paintings using period techniques. “It makes me more creative… and indirectly, it helps my work, too.”
 

 

 

CHUCK VAN DYK
MARKETING AND BITUMEN DIRECTOR
CANADIAN ROAD BUILDERS / COLASPHALT
 
A few months after becoming general manager of Colasphalt, the division of Canadian Road Builders responsible for buying and selling asphalt concrete (logistics, transport and storage), Chuck Van Dyk smiles: “Colas and I are still in our honeymoon phase!” His job consists in developing Colasphalt’s business and ensuring it remains profitable on a market characterized by high price instability. He got where he is now through his experience in the oil sector. His career began at Shell, where he advanced as a result of internal training. He then became a senior marketer at Husky Energy, which gave him the opportunity to be in contact with Colas. “I liked the work culture and the human relations that exist in the Group,” he explains, “and I wanted to play a part in its development.” Chuck wishes that days were longer so he could give even more. Involved in charity work, he sees a link with his role as a manager: he provides support for others.

  

DANTE MASSARI
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
TERUS CONSTRUCTION
 
Born in Canada of an Italian family, Dante Massari lived from the age of 3 to 15 in Italy, before coming back to North America. “I played in the junior team and dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, but things didn’t work out. So, it’s almost by chance that I entered the building trade,” he recalls. Lukewarm to begin with, he changed his mind when Terus hired him in 1988. With its excellent organization, the company offered him real career opportunities. Today Construction Manager at 48, Dante loves his job: “I work a lot on remote sites which can only be reached by plane or boat, in areas where Indians still live. It’s always a challenge to see a project through, but once the mission is accomplished, there’s huge satisfaction.” And then the Group helps him achieve a good life and work mix by sometimes renting an apartment near to sites so that his 8- and 10-year old daughters can follow dad.