The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) has new leadership, but neither the new CEO nor the COO are new to the association.
Tania Johnston, former executive director, education and special projects, is now the association’s CEO and Ken Lancastle, former executive director, communications, industry outreach and innovation, has taken on the role of COO.
The two started transitioning to the new positions at the beginning of March after Pierre Boucher stepped down as CEO.
“The executive committee felt with Pierre’s departure, there were some skill sets internally that could step up to fill the capacity,” said Lancastle. “Recognizing Tania’s tenure and experience in the industry and what she has done here with respect to the education portfolio as well as a number of other special projects, they thought it would be a great fit for Tania to step into that role and at the same time have some support through my capacity as a COO.”
“She lives and breathes MCAC and it means a lot to her to see this association do well,” added Lancastle. “I think that leadership is going to be very important for us in the coming years.”
Johnston, who has been with MCA Canada for 20 years, is the first female CEO of the association.
“It’s a huge honour to be given this role,” said Johnston. “I oversee the Women in Mechanical Construction Program as well. MCA Canada has been so supportive of that program and now they have been progressive enough to see the value of a female in the CEO position.”
Over the years, Johnston has held several roles with the association. She started as national program co-ordinator for the education foundation, followed by executive director. Two years ago, she was given additional responsibilities and her title changed to executive director and special projects. She took on the Richard McKeagan Scholarship Series, the Student Chapter Program and most recently the Women in Mechanical Construction initiative.
Lancastle started with MCA Canada a year and a half ago. Prior to that, he spent seven years with the Canadian Construction Association in communications, industry practices and the innovation and technology file.
“When I came here (MCAC), I was managing the communications, industry outreach and the innovation file,” said Lancastle. “It’s been enlightening and exciting at the same time watching the progress we’ve made on a couple different issues but also the potential we have to grow here representing our members across the country.”
Johnston and Lancastle will work in close partnership on the strategy and operations of the association. Much of that will consist of providing the resources and support to help the 1,000 members in the mechanical contracting sector across the country succeed in their business.
“We do that through a federation with our provincial partners across Canada so it’s working closely with all of our partners, all of our stakeholders to address those issues that matter to our members and then provide the national support and leadership where we can to make sure our members are getting that value out of their membership with MCAC,” said Lancastle. “The issues change but our approach is the same and that’s to ensure that our members can succeed.
He added, “this provides an opportunity to look at what we are doing and determine what we are doing well and where we can best expend our resources to make sure that value is consistent or better.”
Although they have just started in their new roles, Johnston and Lancastle do have a vision for the future which focuses on building on the association’s strong foundation.
“When we talk about change and where we’re going, at the end of the day the important part for us is that MCAC has a long history and a good track record of success for our members and it’s important for us to continue build on that track record,” said Lancastle.
“Whether it’s continuing to monitor the prompt payment file, whether it’s the promotion of skilled trades in the industry, whether it’s assisting our members in education or adopting a new technology in innovation, our role here is to provide that to our membership. I think we are well positioned to move forward on a number of initiatives.”
They are also planning the association’s upcoming conference in Napa, Calif. Oct. 21 to 24.
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