President, Clark Builders

Paul Verhesen, president of Edmonton-based Clark Builders, is a man who "lives, breathes, and leads this company by our core values," says a colleague who nominated him as one of this year's Movers & Shakers.

And what are Clark Builders' core values? They're summarized in these three words: Respect. Communication. Trust.

Respect is important because it knows that relationships drive the company. Good communications lead to win-win outcomes. And it's difficult to work with others without trust. "It's not only as a company that these values should be embraced, but also as individuals, everyday, all day," Verhesen has said.

Verhesen understands the value of an open dialogue with employees, so it should come as no surprise that he writes his own weekly blog-"some insightful, some encouraging, some just plain ol' funny," says his colleague. Staff response is encouraged.

"I would not have stayed with [the company] for 10 years if I did not believe that the culture was honest, supportive, and visionary," one blog reader responded. "I especially like the idea of a company taking responsibility for the continued education of its employees. I am often trying to figure out how I got to be in the position I find myself, and where I would like to go next in my career, but I couldn't think of a better group to pursue those dreams with."

Under Verhesen's leadership, Clark Builders has dramatically grown its revenues and staff size. In fact, the 35-year-old company recently moved to a new headquarters off Whitemud Drive in Edmonton.

As well, the company has won numerous awards with Verhesen at the helm. In 2008, Clark Builders was named one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC Commercial Banking, the National Post, and Queen's School of Business, and was recognized for construction innovation in Canada's Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program.

One other item of note is CB University, another Verhesen initiative. CB University is a leadership program that was launched last October. It was created around modules that focus on the individual, the team, and the community.

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