EllisDon has transformed itself from an old school 'concrete and cranes' contractor into an entrepreneurial pioneer striving to change the way construction projects are conceived, executed, and maintained over their lifetime. The company is renowned for consistent execution on the most difficult projects, but also has a well deserved reputation for challenging conventional wisdom at every opportunity.
Join Canadian Club Toronto on January 12 to hear CEO Geoff Smith talk very candidly in conversation with The Logic's Catherine McIntyre, about how the company got there, how it very nearly didn't, how to keep an entrepreneurial culture alive in a growing organization and why EllisDon is convinced that fully realized ‘Employee Capitalism’ is its key to a prosperous future in a digital world (and also the right thing to do).
President and CEO, EllisDon
Geoff Smith is the President & Chief Executive Officer of EllisDon, an employee-owned, $5 billion-a-year construction services and technology company that has grown exponentially beyond its modest origins in London, Ontario. With over 5,000 salaried and hourly employees across fifteen national and international offices, EllisDon has become a leader in every facet of the construction industry.
Geoff earned his law degree from the University of Toronto and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1981. After joining EllisDon in 1983, he quickly gained experience across various management positions, including Field Operations, Legal and Labour Relations and Executive Leadership.
In 1996, at the height of a trying time at EllisDon, Geoff was named President and CEO. Through a redefinition of its construction offering, Geoff reinvented EllisDon as a ‘Cradle to Grave’ services provider with guaranteed performance outcomes through its Capital Services, Facilities Management, and Sustainable Building Divisions. EllisDon is determined to lead the coming disruption in the construction sector, having recently created pioneering initiatives in Energy Management, Smart Buildings Software and Data Analytics.
Geoff’s community involvement has covered a broad spectrum. He has served as a Curriculum Advisor to Ryerson University, on the Board of Halton Health Services, and chaired the Technology in the City Campaign for George Brown College. Geoff was past Chair of the Ontario Liberal Fund and is a founding member and Chair of the Ontario Global 100 (OG100) Board, an initiative to enable Canada’s fastest growing companies to become exporters to the world. Geoff also co-Chairs the Unity for Autism Golf Event and is on the Board of Directors for the Business Council of Canada.
Geoff views EllisDon as a values-based proposition above all else: Trust, Complete Openness, Mutual Accountability, and Entrepreneurial Enthusiasm serve as the company’s foundation, wherever it goes, whatever it does. These core values have earned EllisDon consistent accolades, including Aon Hewitt’s 50 Best Employers in Canada, Deloitte’s Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, Canada’s Top 100 Employers, and Waterstone Human Capital’s Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures.
Geoff has also earned recognition as the recipient of the Ontario General Contractors Association’s Jock Tindale Award for Integrity in 2011 and EY’s Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2013.
Reporter, The Logic
Catherine McIntyre is a feature writer who worked for Maclean’s and Canadian Business prior to joining The Logic. She was named Best New Writer at the 2014 National Magazine Awards for her investigation into cancer clusters in New Brunswick industry towns. Catherine moonlights as a section editor at This Magazine, an independent politics, arts and culture publication.