On-Site Magazine

ORBA holds successful virtual summit

By Adam Freill   


Road builders association recognizes present members as it prepares for the future.

Ontario Road Builders’ Association CEO Bryan Hocking during the ORBA 2022 virtual summit.

With a renewed set of Covid-19 restrictions hitting the province of Ontario, the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) took its 2022 Summit virtual for the second straight year. The event, with the theme “Driving forward together; join us on the journey,” was held over four days, January 26 and 27, and February 2 and 3. It provided the industry an opportunity to hear from special guests and speakers, as well as presenting a forum to honour members for service and commitment to the association and the road building industry in Ontario.

“I’m optimistic for the sector,” stated opening-day keynote speaker Stephen Poloz. Poloz, special advisor at Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt, and former governor of the Bank of Canada, explained that between the need for new infrastructure to support Canada’s growing population and the renewal of infrastructure that was build 50-plus years ago, “the infrastructure deficit is large enough that we’ll be working on it for some time to come.”

Additional insights as he spoke about the coming year, and the decades to come, focused on such topics as a changing supply chain, the need to target Net Zero, and a bit of reality about fossil fuels.

Poloz says that companies are moving from just-in-time procurement models to just-in-case supply chain models, trading off the additional costs associated with adding redundancy to be able to absorb unexpected delays. “Globalization has peaked,” he stated.


And while he said that it was important to have a net-zero plan for business, since investors have embraced the concept, with a target of 2050, he said that we need to be realistic in understanding that 80 per cent of energy needs are currently fossil-based.

“By 2050, it’s not unfathomable to assume that 50 per cent of the world’s energy needs will still be fossil based.” Based on that, he said, carbon capture technologies would be a good area of focus.


Industry recognition

Over the course of the event, the association presented a number of awards.

“It is always a great pleasure to recognize the best our industry has to offer,” said Bryan Hocking, CEO of ORBA. “The road building industry takes great pride in health and safety, infrastructure innovation, governance, academic achieving in engineering, and excellence in construction.”

Awards presented, virtually, during the ORBA 2022 Summit included:


The 2021 Routly Safety Awards

The Routly Safety Awards recognize ORBA member companies for their superior performance in worker health and safety in three categories. Recipients are determined from statistics provided annually by Infrastructure Health & Safety Association.

  • Category One Routly Safety Award: B.R. Foulton Construction Ltd., for achieving up to 100,000 average person hours without a lost-time injury.
  • Category Two Routly Safety Award: L B Leveque Bros., for achieving more than 100,000 average hours without a lost-time injury.
  • Milestone Award: Roto-Mill, for 1,034,479 hours without a lost-time to injury.


2021 ORBA Transportation Infrastructure Innovation Award

The Transportation Infrastructure Innovation Award recognizes innovative techniques and methods, applied on actual projects or in activities or processes, performed by an ORBA member company, which improve the quality and/or reduce the cost of construction.

Winner: Kiewit, for the Eurovia Vinci Ottawa LRT Stage 2 project.


2021 ORBA Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes a representative from a member company who has contributed significantly to the objectives of the association during the past year, through volunteering of time and resources and through the leadership shown in achieving those objectives.

Winner: Steve Manolis, general manager, Coco Asphalt Engineering, A Division of Coco Paving Inc.

Manolis was elected to the OAPC Executive (formerly OHMPA) in 2016. Steve’s contributions, commitment and dedication to the road building and asphalt and paving industry has earned him several recognitions including OAPC’s Earl Kee Volunteer of the Year Award (2016) and the Bleeds Black Award (2017).


2021 ORBA Director of the Year

The Director of the Year Award recognizes an ORBA director who has contributed significantly to the objectives of the association during the past year through leadership, volunteering of time and resources and working on ORBA committees and special projects.

Winner: Rocky Coco, president, Coco Group.


OAPC Honorary Life Membership

This award recognizes a member for their dedication to advancing the objectives of OAPC and their notable service to the council.

2021 Recipient: Cosmo Crupi, D. Crupi & Sons Ltd.


ORBA Scholarship recipients

  • ORBA Civil Engineering University Scholarship: Duncan Waugh, first-year civil engineering student at Western University.
  • ORBA J.D. Chick Scholarship: Andrew Pavan, civil engineering, final-year civil engineering student at McMaster University.


MTO 2021 Asphalt Paving Contractor of the Year

Winner: Lavis Contracting Co. Ltd. for its work on Highway 21, near Forest (Contract 2020-3042).


  • Dufferin Construction Company for work on Highway 402, near Strathroy (Contract 2020-3022); and
  • Pioneer Construction Inc. for work on Highway 17, near Bruce Mines (Contract 2020-5163).


MTO 2021 Concrete Contract of the Year

Winner: McLean Taylor Construction for its work on Highway 21, near Bayfield (Contract 2020-3044).


  • Louis W. Bray Construction Limited for work on Highway 401 at Flagg Road near Morrisburg (Contract 2018-4023).
  • McLean Taylor Construction for work on Highways 7/8, near Kitchener (Contract 2020-3074).


New association president elected

Kevin Machej.

Kevin Machej. (Submitted photo)

The ORBA also elected a new president during its 95th Annual General Meeting, which took place on January 28. Kevin Machej, executive vice-president of strategy, development and partnership ventures at CRH Canada, takes the helm of ORBA’s Board of Directors from Rocky Coco, who served as ORBA’s president from January 28, 2021, through January 27, 2022.

“Since 1927, ORBA has been the voice of the road building industry and has grown to become a great organization with a solid foundation and world class members,” said Machej. “As we look into the future, we have an exciting journey ahead of us.”

“I am very pleased to pass the president’s gavel on to Kevin,” said Rocky Coco. “Kevin brings a unique set of skills and a wealth of knowledge to the road building industry. His experience in finance, operations and strategy is a boon to the association.”




Stories continue below