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For the third year running, WalterFedy has made the list of Waterloo Area’s Top Employers.

 

The designation, now in its 14th year, recognizes businesses in the Kitchener-Waterloo area that offer an outstanding work experience. Competing workplaces are judged on their physical office space, atmosphere and social culture, benefits, vacation/time away policies, performance management, professional development opportunities, and community involvement.

 

This year, flexibility was the stand-out feature earning WalterFedy a top spot. The judges identified our flexible health spending, flexible work hours, and paid volunteer days as key factors in their decision.

 

"The collaborative efforts of our team at WalterFedy and the engagement of those that work here make all the difference,” says Victoria Campbell, Human Resources Manager.  “It's not a mindset of only a few that create the environment for which we are recognized today. It is the energy and passion of the entire team that enhances our culture and workspace each and every day."

 

Read more about our award.

 

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There is a lot more to creek design than meets the eye. When our Water Resources team was tasked with taking a Cambridge stormwater pond offline to make way for a more diverse creek ecosystem, we knew there would be a lot of challenges. Add in the removal of a 400m stretch of road and you’ve got the makings of a really complex water resources project.

 

The on-line pond had been used for decades to capture runoff from the adjacent agricultural land but had also been recommended for removal for over 20 years. When the Hunt Club Valley Estates subdivision broke ground on the old farmland around the pond, our team worked with GSP Group to devise a plan to take the pond offline and create a more cohesive environment for the wildlife in the area and to restore the coldwater characteristics of the creek which had been negatively impacted by the existing pond. We worked closely with the Grand River Conservation Authority to ensure our plan allocated enough land for enhancements, restoration, and floodplain.

 

Removing the pond meant this existing fish habitat was lost so our Water Resources team restored a wetland area in another portion of the site to ensure an equivalent habitat was reintroduced. A 400m stretch of Briardean Road bisected the wetland and, to restore the wetland into a single contiguous feature, the portion of Briardean Road through the wetland was removed. “Proposing the removal of a section of road isn’t something we regularly do, but in this case, it was what was best for the wetland,” says Brian Verspagen, leader of our Water Resources team. “Excavating out the road made it possible for us to turn the whole area back into a unified wetland habitat and reconnect Middle Creek so it could stay connected with the Speed River.”

 

With the road out of the way and the two sides of the wetland reconnected, the next major component of the project was the restoration of Middle Creek through the former farm pond. “We had to design a path for the creek to get from one end to the other without the pond in the middle, while also navigating a 1.5-metre change in elevation,” says Brian. “Instead of doing a 1.5-metre drop in one spot with a waterfall, which would make it impossible for fish to migrate up the creek, our team introduced a series of meanders [bends] with pools and riffles changing the grade of the creek just 6 inches at a time.” By studying the types of fish that would commonly live in this creek, the team knew the fish would have a spurt speed that could handle a 6-inch incline over a 2-metre distance if they had adequate rest time in a pool afterward.

The pool and riffle sequence also had an additional design advantage. “Middle Creek is a cold-water creek, which is quite rare for the area, so keeping the temperature of the creek down was important,” says Brian. “Running in and out of the shallow pond had been warming up the creek water, making it difficult for aquatic life to thrive. Each riffle section oxygenates the water, causing evaporation. The energy the water uses to change state from a fluid to a vapour cools it.” This means even if the water warms up in the pool sections, it can cool up to half a degree when it passes over a riffle, rebalancing the water temperature.

 

Within the pools, the team introduced areas that would enable the fish to breed and safely create nests for their eggs and fry. These spaces included fallen trees and root wads that would protect the fish from predators like raccoons, while also shading them from the sun. Overflow ponds were also introduced, creating the perfect habitat for the many frogs that live in the area.

 

This project has revitalized an underused ecosystem and breathed new aquatic life into the area for the whole neighbourhood to enjoy.

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CEO Garth CressmanKITCHENER, Thursday, October 1, 2020 – The WalterFedy Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Garth Cressman is the new CEO of WalterFedy and AEC.

 

Garth began his career at WalterFedy back in the early 2000s. Fresh out of school and eager to make an impact, he quickly demonstrated an aptitude for mechanical engineering design and leadership. In 2007, Garth changed direction and took on a project management role with a local construction firm. When he returned to WalterFedy in 2014, he brought with him a wealth of experience, an MBA, and a determination to give back to the company that kickstarted his career.

 

“So many people invested in my development as a young engineer here,” says Garth, “I’m honoured to lead the company in developing the next generation of leaders.”

 

The appointment comes on the heels of a new and profound strategic plan, nearly a year in the making.  

 

“As we prepared to launch an ambitious strategy laid out by our Board of Directors, we recognized the need for an agile leader to fully realize the potential in our goals,” says chairman of the board, Jamie Van Dyk. “We are excited by Garth’s enterprising nature and unshakeable drive which are well-matched to the challenge ahead for WalterFedy and AEC. Garth is and will continue to be a strong ambassador in our community and for the firm.”

 

“My primary goal is to help us realize our potential—to self actualize,” say Garth. “In general, we’re well-aligned as an organization, so now we are looking to provide clarity on what makes us special as a firm and in the marketplace.”

 

Garth is the company’s 9th CEO and is taking over for Paul Reitzel as he rounds out his term.

 

ABOUT WALTERFEDY

WalterFedy is a dynamic, integrated firm delivering creative design solutions and practical built environments. Our expertise includes architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering; energy and carbon management; asset and facilities management; project management; and construction management through our sister company, AEC Developments.

 

Our staff of nearly 200 people serve from two locations in Kitchener and Hamilton. Together, we support clients across Canada with their commercial, healthcare, education, municipal, industrial, and residential projects.

 

--

 

Website – walterfedy.com
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/walterfedy/
Facebook – facebook.com/walterfedy
Instagram – Instagram.com/walterfedy 

 

WalterFedy Media Contact
Katie McQuaid
519-576-2150 x229
kmcquaid@walterfedy.com

 

 

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On December 13, 2019, two groups of WalterFedy volunteers visited the St. Jacobs Lions Club to help fill Christmas stockings for StuffIn Stockings.

 

Established in 2010, StuffIn Stockings is led by the St. Jacobs Lions Club, a group that believes everyone should feel special and remembered on Christmas day. What started as a small passion project has grown exponentially over the past nine years and, along with many community partners, is helping create holiday memories for many in need. This year, volunteers stuffed almost 3,000 stockings for infants to seniors, for 27 different charities.

 

Melissa Fishman, WalterFedy Lighting Team Leader, is the Vice President of the St. Jacobs Lions Club and connected us with StuffIn Stockings for the 2019 holiday season. We began collecting stocking stuffers in November. In early December, we teamed up with several committee members to fill stockings and learn more about the program’s impact in Waterloo Region.

 

“I’ve been involved with StuffIn Stockings for a number of years and as we get bigger, having corporate support is so important,” said Melissa. “I love being a part of something that means so much to the community and can bring a smile to someone’s face over the holidays.”

 

While we were volunteering, CTV News came for a visit to learn about the StuffIn Stockings story for their In Your Backyard segment. Mellissa also put CTV’s Max Wark to work stuffing stockings for different age groups.

 

Congratulations to the StuffIn Stockings team for all their hard work and another successful holiday season.

 

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For two weeks in October, the WalterFedy community rallies around our Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) tournament team. This year, Lutherwood, House of Friendship, oneROOF Youth Services, and YW K-W Emergency Shelter split the funds raised at the tournament.

 

Our Team Captain, Steve Hales, has been involved with HHTH since the tournament’s inception six years ago. “Our company hockey team was participating in other local fundraisers when the opportunity to join HHTH came up and we knew it was a great fit with our corporate values,” says Steve. “The chance to play with ex-NHL and Olympic athletes and hear stories from their playing days also made it a unique experience to take part in.”

 

But what is it about this tournament that keeps our employees coming back year after year? “This tournament is a great opportunity to give back to several local charities at the same time,” says Jordan Hardy, WalterFedy HHTH team member. “I’ve been volunteering with my family since I was young, but what I didn’t know growing up was just how many charities there are. Contributing to four charities at once reaffirms my belief of how critical it is to give back, provide support to your neighbour, and be thankful for what you have.”

 

Jordan’s project management skills have been called on this year to manage the overall internal fundraising efforts for our team. Along with a BBQ, a jersey day, and a 50/50 draw, the team also coordinated an internal silent auction to fundraise for the tournament. “The entire company comes together to support the fundraising efforts of our team and we really appreciate it,” says Jordan. “It shows how important community support is to our company.”

 

The tournament is run entirely by volunteers from industries across Waterloo Region. For the past five years, coordinating all those volunteers has been Donna Lloyd’s role within HHTH. As a long-time WalterFedy employee, well-known community member, and hockey enthusiast, she rarely turns down an opportunity to give back to the community. “I’ve been volunteering in our community for as long as I can remember, but being involved in this tournament has brought together my passion for hockey and my love of working with the community,” says Donna. “I truly believe in why this tournament is run; every Canadian needs a safe place to call home and the support to thrive.”

 

This year’s tournament exceeded its fundraising goal of $235,000 and raised $260,000. It also surpassed a total of $1 million raised since the tournament’s inception. We’d like to wish a big congratulations to this phenomenal community event for all its success. We’re happy to be a part of all the amazing work Hockey Helps the Homeless has done supporting our community.

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Every October, the WalterFedy community rallies around our Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) team. The annual tournament supports local charities and in 2019, Lutherwood, House of Friendship, oneROOF Youth Services and YW K-W Emergency Shelter will split the funds raised at the tournament.

 

Our Team Captain, Steve Hales, has been involved with HHTH since the tournament’s inception six years ago. “Our company hockey team was participating in other local fundraisers when the opportunity to join HHTH came up and we knew it was a great fit with our corporate values,” says Steve. “The chance to play with ex-NHL and Olympic athletes and hear stories from their playing days also made it a unique experience to take part in.”

 

But what is it about this tournament that keeps our employees coming back year after year? “This tournament is a great opportunity to give back to several local charitable organizations at the same time,” says Jordan Hardy, WalterFedy HHTH team member. “I’ve been volunteering with my family since I was young, but what I didn’t know growing up was just how many charities there are. Contributing to four charities at once reaffirms my belief of how critical it is to give back, provide support to your neighbour, and be thankful for what you have.”

 

Jordan’s project management skills have been called on this year to manage the overall internal fundraising efforts for our team. Along with a BBQ, a jersey day and a 50/50 draw, the team also coordinated a huge silent auction to fundraise for the tournament. “The entire company comes together to support the fundraising efforts of our team and we really appreciate it,” says Jordan. “It shows how important community support is to our company.”

 

The tournament is run entirely by volunteers from industries across the Waterloo Region. Donna Lloyd, a long-time WalterFedy employee, well-known community member and hockey enthusiast has coordinated all those volunteers for the past five years.  “I’ve been volunteering in our community for as long as I can remember, but being involved in this tournament has brought together my passion for hockey and my love of working with the community,” says Donna. “I truly believe in why this tournament is run; every Canadian needs a safe place to call home and the support to thrive.”

 

This year’s tournament exceeded their huge fundraising goal of $235,000 and raised $260,000! They also surpassed a total of $1 million dollars raised since the tournament’s inception. Congratulations to this phenomenal community event for all your successes. WalterFedy is happy to be a part of all the amazing work you’ve done supporting our community.

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This April, we had the privilege of receiving recognition from Sustainable Waterloo Region for our sustainability efforts in 2018. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Award recognizes the organization that has reduced the most GHG emissions relative to their size. 

In 2018, we successfully worked to reduce both our direct and indirect GHGs by 6%. We also re-committed to reduce our GHG emissions by an additional 40% after achieving our initial Silver Pledging Partner reduction goal. In order to meet this new reduction goal by 2027, we've developed a five-year action plan and now have annual implementation projects and reduction forecasts in place.

 We take our commitment to sustainability seriously; it’s one of our core values! The nature of our work affords us the opportunity to have a significant impact on environmental sustainability through both project work and through our own corporate actions. We are grateful to our internal Sustainable Advisory Committee for continuing to push us to improve, and to organizations like Sustainable Waterloo Region for helping us set smart goals for a greener future.

 

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The wait for a new, consolidated office is finally over for WalterFedy. After 18 months of searching for the perfect space, and several weeks of intensive renovations, our Hamilton team has settled into the tower at 20 Hughson, complete with soaring windows and panoramic views of the city.

 

The move is a direct result of the remarkable reception we have received in the Hamilton-Halton-Niagara area. “Our team has grown at an unprecedented pace,” said Dave Thompson, General Manager of the Hamilton team. “We started with one room in somebody else’s office in fall of 2015. That turned into a smaller office in the Port Authority Building. Then two floors. Then an additional space in the Hamilton Technology Centre.”

 

As our team grew, we recognized we wanted to become part of the core fabric of Hamilton, and support the amazing things happening in the community – the redevelopment, downtown expansions, and the future LRT. Having the entire integrated team together in the heart of the city will help us continue to grow our presence in the area and offer value to the community.

 

Finding an ideal space for a rapidly growing team is no small feat. The acquisition team evaluated several buildings in the core before settling on 20 Hughson.

“Location was crucial in our evaluation matrix,” said Chief Operating Officer Mark Christensen. “We wanted our staff to have access to amenities and transit, and to be in the core of Hamilton. This space is culturally aligned with the sense of community that the company values.”

 

WalterFedy is known for its collaborative approach to projects, and the new office was no exception. The mechanical and electrical engineering elements were driven by the Hamilton team, and AEC Developments, WalterFedy’s sister company, served as the Construction Manager. “A lot of the design principles we used here we use with our clients, like open concept office space, breakout areas, and a combination of small and large meeting rooms,” said Mark.

 

The Hamilton team is looking forward to taking advantage of all the benefits this new space has to offer. “I’m really happy to be together with everyone now,” said Shelby Johnson of our Asset and Facilities Management group. “My work touches on a lot of fields. It’s going to be great to be around every single department and share knowledge together.”

 

While plans for an official open house are still underway, clients are invited to reach out for a tour of the office space in the meantime. We couldn’t be more thrilled with our new home in Hamilton and look forward to strengthening our roots in the community.

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It’s the time of year where a group of architects, engineers, techs and support staff get together to build something beautiful out of cans for The Food Bank of Waterloo’s CANstruction Event. 2018 was one of our most ambitious builds to date, both in the number of cans and cost. Our CANstruction team fundraised for two months and the design team worked for even longer perfecting the design for us to build and show off at Conestoga Mall from May 6-13.

 

Our build took hours (and hours and hours…), but we finally finished our CANmeleon after six hours and one partial tail redesign. We think our sign description of why we chose this design says it all – “Hunger isn’t always visible to the naked eye, like the beauty of a Chameleon. People you work with and talk to daily might be users of the Food Bank and you’d never know. We want to encourage people to support the community members you can’t always see, but are all around you. Show your true colours and support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and this year’s CANstruction efforts!”

 

Congratulations to the Food Bank on yet another fantastic CANstruction event!

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