The Claude Alston Award is the ECA's highest honour, given in recognition of an individual's distinguished contribution to the Edmonton construction industry. The ECA Board of Directors created the award in 1975.
The award is named for Claude William Alston (1883-1975), a charter member of the Edmonton Builders Exchange (est. 1931 and renamed the Edmonton Construction Association in 1965). Alston, a General Contractor, was one of the association's greatest contributors, serving as its President from 1947 to 1949, at which time he retired from Poole Construction Limited. The following year, Alston was appointed Secretary-Manager of the Association, a position which he retained until 1960. He passed away in 1975.
Shortly after he passed away, the ECA Board of Directors developed criteria for a special award in Alston's name. Since then, the Claude Alston Award has been given at the ECA Annual General Meeting in February.
ECA Claude Alston Award Past Recipients
||Dr. Kenneth Pugh
||Triple Five Corporation
||Government of Alberta
||Peter Thomas Brown
Paul Verhesen, Clark Builders (2017)
The ECA Board, Staff, and entire ECA membership offer warmest congratulations to Paul Verhesen – President & CEO if Clark Builders – and winner of the 2018 Claude Alston Award.
Paul's longstanding service to the construction industry – at local, provincial, and national levels – has been his discipline for so many years that any list of his contributions is bound to be incomplete:
- Past Board Member and Chair of the Edmonton Construction Association
- Past Board Member of the Canadian Construction Association
- Past Chair of the Alberta Construction Association's Management Committee
- Board contributor, GO Productivity
- Founding member of Canadian Construction Innovations (CCI)
Of course, Paul's 'day job' has been at the helm of Clark Builders, where his team has been singled out for nine consecutive years as one of "Canada's Best Managed Companies" and "Best Employers". We at the Edmonton Construction Association have been the direct beneficiaries of Paul's ongoing legacy of service, as he has encouraged and supported the involvement of his key leaders in many ECA initiatives, especially the YBG.
From your entire industry family, Paul – "Thank You" and "Congratulations!"
Watch the VIDEO TRIBUTE to Paul Verhesen
Tom Fath, The Fath Group (2016)
Tom Fath is co-owner with Dave Fath of The Fath Group. Tom is President of The Fath Group which includes: O'Hanlon Paving, Fath Industries, and a number of other prosperous companies employing up to 600 people. Tom started working for O'Hanlon Paving in 1968. In 2016, O’Hanlon celebrated its 60th anniversary.
Tom is very active in the Edmonton community and participates on numerous Boards and advisory committees throughout the city. As well, The Fath Group owns and operates the FC Edmonton professional soccer team (NASL).
In 2015, Tom was awarded Start-Up Canada's Senior Entrepreneur of the Year for the Prairie region and then the National Award for all of Canada. In 2011, Tom was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Construction in the Prairie Region. After years of work the Fath Group, in cooperation with Parkland County, saved a large section of eco sensitive land as Environmental Reserve and was awarded an ARHCA Environmental Award.
Tom continues to support community initiatives by contributing at the local, national, and international levels in a wide range of areas including: sports development, cultural and environmental initiatives, as well as health and well-being of children, youth, and adults.
Tom bridged the gap between the ECA Board of Directors and road builders across the city. His familiarity and passion for the road building industry and his extensive infrastructure made him a valuable contributor to the ECA, and helped us enhance relationships with all road builders. The ECA was privileged to have Tom serve as a member on the Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009.
Thank you, Tom, for your contributions to the Edmonton construction industry.
Watch the VIDEO TRIBUTE to Tom Fath
Peter Dawson, Dawson Wallace (2015)
Peter Dawson was born in the UK in 1948, but at the age of 3 he moved with his family to Australia, where he spent his remaining childhood years. In the late 1960s, Peter obtained his degree in Civil Engineering with Honors from Monash University in Melbourne. With a desire to see the world, Peter left Australia a few years after his graduation, first travelling to South Africa and then to London, working various jobs in the construction industry along the way. In 1974, after seeing a Syncrude advertisement in the local paper, Peter took another leap of faith as he made the move to Fort McMurray, where he initially worked as a field engineer, before moving to an office position in Edmonton, where he worked until 1979.
That year, Peter joined Ric Forest at Forest Construction. It was 2 years later, in 1981, when Peter met his future business partner Wayne Wallace. Both worked at Forest Construction until 1986, when Peter decided to start a company of his own. Wayne joined Peter a year later, and Dawson Wallace Construction was born.
Since 1987, the business partnership of Peter and Wayne, and the company have flourished. Since opening its doors, Dawson Wallace Construction has grown into a company of some 150 employees, with offices in Edmonton, Lethbridge and Calgary, and $300 million in annual sales. In 2017, the company will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Throughout the years, Peter has been highly involved in the community and a strong supporter of our industry. Peter was elected to the ECA Board of Directors in 1991 and became President of the Board in 2001. At that time he stated of Dawson Wallace’s success: “the key to our success has been having good people, both at the office and in the field.”
As a Past President, Peter has remained active at the ECA, and can be seen at major ECA events throughout the year. In particular, Peter enjoys the ECA’s traditional Glendale Golf Tournament, where he and Wayne (and their children!) have won several competition prizes over the years.
Peter remains active in the community, at the ECA, and in business. His two children, Sharon and Jeff have now joined him there, solidifying a bright future for Dawson Wallace Construction.
Watch the VIDEO TRIBUTE to Peter Dawson
Gino Ferri, Reed Jones Christoffersen (2014)
In early February, the Claude Alston Award, given in recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the Edmonton construction industry, was presented to Gino Ferri of Read Jones Christoffersen. Congratulations Gino!
Watch the VIDEO TRIBUTE to Gino Ferri