The Leader Magazine

MAR 2019

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the leader March 2019 45 How long have you been at Public s ervices and Procurement Canada? a nd how long have you been in corporate real estate (C re )? A long time, actually. I started with Public Services and Procurement Canada in 1987, more than 30 years ago. I've been working for this federal department since then, moving to progressively more senior roles over the years. We're the federal government's corporate real estate arm. We provide corporate real estate services for all the other federal organizations in Canada, particularly as far as office space is concerned. What do you see as your biggest accom- plishment? I would say the project we are currently undertaking in Toronto, which was recently highlighted in an article in Urban Toronto. We are in the midst of a complete renovation of the Arthur Meighen Building, at 25 St. Clair Avenue West, which was constructed in the 1950s. We are demolishing the building to its structure and completely rebuilding. In the meantime, we've had to relocate our federal tenants outside of the building until it's ready for occupancy again. This is a very critical $200-million project. One of the cool things about this project is that we are pursuing a deep carbon-reduction Ted Ebbers Ontario Regional Director Accommodation and Portfolio Management Public Services and Procurement Canada strategy, which will cut the building's carbon emissions by 80 percent. We're also deploying geothermal energy and using the latest in photovoltaic systems on the roof to generate our own energy on-site. The building will also have really interesting and modern architectural features, and we'll be deploying some state-of- the art design elements. We're in the demolition phase now, and the building will be in service in 2022. I was involved early in the project and provided the leadership to get it off the ground. But it's the strength of our team at PSPC that will see it through. I've got a great team with some truly stellar people. What's one of your favorite quotes? I have a couple of favorite quotes. One is from Amelia Earhart: "The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity." You must have courage to start things, to start big projects. Then you have to stick with it. You will have ups and downs along the way, but if you stick with it, you will succeed. That's been my approach throughout my career. The second quote is by Wayne Gretzky, the great Canadian hockey player: "You'll miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." What is the last book you read? I just finished reading "21 Lessons for the 21st Century," by Yuval Noah Harari. It's an excellent book, in which he discusses the challenges we face today. He has a really unique perspective and a way of explaining the modern world that simply makes sense. He's an excellent writer, thinker and visionary. I really enjoyed his book. People would be surprised to know that. . . The organization I work for actually predates the federation of Canada. We're also the biggest corporate real estate organization in Canada. We manage 75 million square feet (6.97 million sq. m.) of office and related space across the country, with 8 million square feet (743,224 sq. m.) in the province of Ontario. What was the best advice you ever received? It came from my uncle. At the time, I was already working, and I was contemplating starting a new degree program. I told him that it would take me many years to complete it, until perhaps 2009, since I'd be working at the same time. I remember him saying, "2009 is coming whether you do it or not. Take the chance. Take the initiative." I always remember his words when I'm contemplating the long journey involved in a major project or initiative. What is your favorite pastime? I like cycling. I do a fair amount of road cycling. I also love to ski in the wintertime. I also play a bit of golf, but I'm not very good. What do you want your legacy to be? It's twofold. I would like to leave the organization in good shape and well prepared for the future. And I would like to have delivered some projects that have made a difference to the federal government of Canada. t ell us about your family. I'm married, with two adult sons. My son Ryan designs bicycles and motorcycles, and he lives in Austria now. My younger son is studying in Toronto, and he's in his final year. We're a small family, and we reside in Newmarket, Ontario. To learn more about the CoreNet Global Corporate Partner program, contact David Vining at dvining@corenetglobal.org. CORPORATE PARTNER PROFILE

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