January 21, 2013 by Andrew Snook
Michael O’Connor has retired from his position at the Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association (OHMPA) and the Toronto & Area Road Builders Association (TARBA), ending a 15-year run as CEO of both organizations.
O’Connor was involved in a variety of initiatives and projects at OHMPA over the years, since becoming president of the organization in 1981.
“I was probably too young to do it,” he said. “But the association has come a long way since that time.”
O’Connor said the organization plays several important roles in the industry these days. In addition to promoting hot mix asphalt, OHMPA works with organizations on greener practices and technologies for the industry, including recycling research with the University of Waterloo and promoting asphalt and aggregate recycling to municipalities.
Over his tenure, O’Connor has been proud of many different OHMPA achievements, like introducing Superpave to the industry and the helping create Aggregate Recycling Ontario with other industry associations, but nothing makes him prouder than the staff he has been able to help put in place at OHMPA.
“The thing I am most proud of in my career are the people I’ve hired, our staff have been excellent,” he said.
O’Connor said the biggest present and future challenges will be battling the industry’s competitors from the concrete paving industry, that are looking to expand their percentage of the road building market.
Although he doesn’t think asphalt will ever lose its large percentage of the market, he does see room for improvement, particularly on the marketing side of OHMPA.
One of the ways the organization has adapted to the world of social media is the hiring of Abigail Wright last February, as OHMPA’s new marketing and communications director.
Doug Duke, who serves as the new executive director for both organizations, has filled both positions. Duke was an executive officer for the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association (HHHBA) for more than seven years, as well as the chair of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) in Ottawa.