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.

The Claude Alston Award is intended to allow the Edmonton Construction Association to celebrate and honor persons of extraordinary leadership contributing to the “Common Good” of the Edmonton Construction Sector. The ECA seeks to recognize individuals whose accomplishments, leadership, and service will inspire future leaders to live out their lives with similar values which enable best outcomes for the Construction Sector.

Nominations will be accepted with all the following nomination requirements:

  1. Nominee's full name, mailing and email addresses, cell and office telephone numbers
  2. Summary of reasons why your Nominee should be considered and fits the criteria (above)
  3. Nominee’s career path, significant achievements, special honors, awards or offices held (with dates)
  4. Two distinguished persons reference letters communicating their rationale for the Nominee’s support.

Nominations are welcome at any time, but must be submitted to wendy.billey@edmca.com, no later than, November 9th each year, to allow full consideration by the Claude Alston Award Committee.

Ineligibility Policies

  1. Current members of the Board of Directors
  2. Active Canadian politicians

Claude Alston Award Committee 

A group of 6 will be comprised by persons in the following roles:

  • ECA Board of Directors Chair
  • ECA Board Stakeholder Strategies and Engagement Committee Chair
  • Three ECA members in good standing (chosen by the current ECA Board in the Q1 Board meeting of each year)
  • One ECA Past Board Chair (chosen by the current ECA Board in the Q1 Board meeting of each year)

ECA Claude Alston Award Past Recipients

1975   J.K. Campbell
1976   Dr. Kenneth Pugh
1977   R. Stollery
1978   P. Batoni
1980   W.G. Alexander
1981   G.D. Love
1984   A.S. Olson
1986   J.A. Norton
1987   W.A. Hiller
1989   Grant Duncan
1990   Triple Five Corporation
1992   Jake Thygesen
1994   Bill Weir
1995   Larry Kehoe
1996   Bruce Campbell
2001   Don Oborowsky
2003   Government of Alberta
2005   Gord MacPherson
2007   Peter Thomas Brown
2008   Bill McLean
2009   Henry Nimilowich
2010   John Moquin
2011   Phil Roy
2012   Stephen Mandel
2013   Bob Walker
2014   Gino Ferri
2015   Peter Dawson
2016   Tom Fath
2017   Paul Verhesen

 

Paul Verhesen, Clark Builders (2017)

Verhesen

 

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 - Claude Alston.jpg

 

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 - Claude Alston Award

 

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) 

Gino Ferri

 

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