Movers & Shakers 2010: Alan Kuysters, district manager of PCL Construction Management (Edmonton)

He has all the right moves to see big projects come together

As district manager of PCL Construction Management Inc. (Edmonton), Alan Kuysters works behind the scenes, ensuring that some of the biggest, most complex projects in the Edmonton region are completed on time and on budget. His expertise in large-project development is legendary within the company. It's also indicative of his ability to put the pieces of any puzzle together in a way that creates success.

That PCL Construction Management Inc. (Edmonton) is a leader in large-scale projects is itself a result of Kuysters's ability to fit the right pieces together. When he took over operations in 2004, he knew that big projects were the wave of the future. He also knew his company had the in-house experience and knowledge to excel in that market.

"Positioning ourselves was a matter of getting ready in terms of understanding people, getting the right people and processes in place, and preparing for the complexities and necessities of running large projects," he says.

Today, Kuysters oversees operations with revenue of over $500 million, up from $150 million in 2004, and a staff that's grown from 90 to 250 people. Big projects are the norm. The company is working on several, including the $445-million Edmonton Clinic South and the $297-million Edmonton Clinic North, the $240-million Edmonton International Airport Terminal Building expansion, and the $167-million interchange at Anthony Henday Drive and Stony Plain Road.

Watching the elements of a project or team come together was what first attracted Kuysters to the industry. "Construction is very unique, where you take a diverse group of companies, through subcontractors and tradespeople, and make something out of nothing and walk away with a building," he says.

Some of the right pieces are the smaller projects completed by the Special Project division. Although the company plans to maintain its current market share, smaller projects provide opportunities for the staff to run entire projects from start to finish.

"With the coming years and the aging workforce, people need the ability to regenerate knowledge on an accelerated timeline," Kuysters explains. "Growing people takes time, and small projects turn over often enough that they can gain that experience faster."

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