The Grand Valley Construction Association (GVCA) commemorated Martha George’s 10th anniversary as president with a surprise presentation at its 2016 Building Excellence Awards gala in Kitchener, Ont.
"Martha is a force of nature and an exemplary role model for anyone in the construction industry," said association chair Wes Quickfall of Conestogo Mechanical Inc.
"Martha has transformed the GVCA through her leadership. And by leadership, I mean dragging the unwilling, inspiring the faithful, cajoling the grumpy, outworking the workaholics, informing the ignorant and fully supporting her team.
"Through conventional and unconventional means, she has molded the GVCA into a construction association known for its outstanding excellence, its forward-thinking strategies, and its strong commitment to all of its members."
Quickfall noted that George, who served as the association’s first female chair in 2000, prior to being appointed president, set out to make the GVCA’s mission "a sustainable and powerful reality."
Its stated mission is to foster building excellence by building awareness, building business and building careers.
George was said to have helped create the association’s award-winning safety group, ushered the GVCA into the 21st century with digital communications, launched members’ economic, procurement and business forums and inaugurated the Crystal Ball pre-bid reports.
Along the way, George also established the Women in Construction group that connects the association’s female workforce, as well as Leaders in Construction, a networking venue for younger members.
She also helped forge strong partnerships with Conestoga College, serving on various Conestoga boards and committees and spearheading fundraising initiatives.
Last year, George was named to the Waterloo Region Economic Development Board. She was recently invited to join the board of the University of Waterloo.
"We thought about giving her a medal," Quickfall said. "But she already has one, from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. It’s hard to top a Queen’s Jubilee Award."
Instead, the GVCA chairs from the past 10 years got together to organize the presentation and contribute to the gifts — flowers, a plaque and a bracelet decorated with 10 diamonds.
"I am speechless," George said. "I am totally blown away. Thank you very, very much."
The Building Excellence Awards were handed out April 29. The theme was construction superheroes. George dressed up as Wonder Woman while Quickfall donned a Superman costume.