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OSWCA conference 2020 to focus on team building

Angela Gismondi
OSWCA conference 2020 to focus on team building

The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA) is bringing a fresh perspective to its 2020 conference.

For the first time this year the conference, 20/20 Vision: Building a Team for Success, which kicks off Feb. 10, features two streams: the owners’ stream for contractors and the management stream for foremen and supervisors.

“This is the very first year that we have two streams of knowledge and influence,” explained Giovanni Cautillo, executive director, OSWCA.

The 49th annual conference will be held at Blue Mountain Resort in the Blue Mountains, Ont. Feb. 9 to 12.

“We’ve heard what our members and our delegates want and we’ve provided them with two streams of viable information,” said Cautillo.

“We put out a number of surveys asking members ‘what do you need from the association,’ ” he said.

“A lot of it came back ‘how do I connect with my employees,’ ‘team building,’ ‘how do we make it so that people in the field understand the people in the office.’ We are going to focus on the team atmosphere.”

Under the management stream on the first day of the conference, presentations include Substance Abuse: Safety & Support; Time Management; MOL: Know Your Rights; Navigating the WSIB. For the owner’s stream presentations include What to do When MOL Shows Up; Communicating With Millennials; Drugs and Alcohol; and Time Management. The lunch keynote will be Scott Kress, president, Summit Team Building.

There will also be a tradeshow on both days.


It’s an open forum to allow people to be themselves,

— Giovanni Cautillo

Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association


“There will be two simultaneous streams and we’ve offset them so they are not the same topic at the same time to allow for both groups to sit in and hear about, for example, substance abuse at the contractor level and substance abuse at the supervisor/foreman level and the differences, idiosyncrasies, the complexities of each and how they connect and how your actions in the field may affect the actions in the office moving forward,” said Cautillo. “We want that connection to be made. It’s the same topic but its different audiences so that topic will be tailored to the audiences.”

On Feb. 11, Mark Casaletto, president, ConstructConnect — Canada will be speaking at the breakfast. The agenda for the management stream that day is Technology and Innovation; Business Communications; Locates — A Field Perspective; and Personal Injury: Keeping Notes. For the owners’ stream, sessions include Navigating the WSIB; Employee Retention; Technology and Innovation and a Succession Planning Panel.

Town of Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson and R. Mark Palmer of Greenland Consulting Engineers will speak during the lunch.

“They are going to be talking about what they did in the Town of Collingwood, a smart stormwater infrastructure project,” said Cautillo. “They’ve made Collingwood a technological hub when it comes to the way water moves.”

The conference agenda wraps up with an industry rant.

“We want it to be unscripted and unedited,” said Cautillo. “We want none of the messaging that we provide to be contrived… It’s an open forum to allow people to be themselves.”

The rant will be followed by a closing dinner for the conference portion.

On Feb. 12, the association will host its annual general meeting which was previously held on the first day of the conference.

“We decided to bump the administrative stuff to the last day so we could focus on the educational component of our conference,” said Cautillo. “We hope that this format, this brand-new way of doing things, appeals to them.”

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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