Taking calculated risks is the right move for this leader
Proform Concrete Services Inc.'s CEO Curtis Bouteiller isn't afraid to go where no concrete services provider has gone before.
Determined to achieve his company's growth objectives, Bouteiller, with the support of seven others in the company's ownership group, makes a point of looking for opportunities and taking on challenges. As a result, he's brought new capabilities to Alberta, including concrete paving and custom precast catch basins and stormwater vaults.
Since taking the helm in 1992, Bouteiller has helped grow the Red Deer-based company from 30 employees to almost 200. Diversification was key. Proform has a precast division and contracting division, both of which are growing.
About 10 years ago, Bouteiller and his team realized that no one in Alberta offered concrete paving, required at airports. They bought a slipform concrete paver and started doing jobs at small airports to build expertise and a reputation. With more than a dozen slipform paving projects behind them, Proform is starting a 17,000 cu. m project at the Calgary airport.
The precast division has expanded to include industrial products as well as custom steps and decks and miscellaneous projects. Additionally, Proform sells architectural products and is the western Canadian distributor for Harristone and Colonial Stone.
Bouteiller has been with the company, which recently acquired a competitor in Grande Prairie, since he was 14 years old. He has a keen understanding of the business, industry and the market. Trained as a civil engineer, his leadership abilities and business sense come naturally.
"I've always had a hobby of doing my own investigating and finding out what makes good companies tick," he says.
He also knows a good idea when he sees one. "If you want to grow a business, you have to take a team approach and have the members of your team buy in," he says. "We wanted our employees to know that we value their input and that we value them as people."
After seeing the profit-sharing program developed by Border Paving in Red Deer, Alta., Bouteiller implemented his own, giving employees 15 per cent of profits. Since 2007, millions of dollars have gone back to their staff.