Leadership at the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) may be changing, but the new president plans to carry on with the association’s strong commitment to health and safety at a time when members need it the most.
“One of the main goals moving forward that I want to prioritize is health and safety,” Giovanni Cautillo told the Daily Commercial News. “I am fortunate to be coming into a role and an organization that its central focus has always been on health and safety.”
The membership needs guidance to help navigate through the global pandemic and Cautillo said that will be his number one priority.
“Nothing is bigger than COVID-19 at this point in time,” he explained. “We are going to have to formulate a plan with the executive and the board on what are the steps are for the next six to 12 months to help guide members through this.”
Cautillo’s first official day on the job is June 1. He brings a wealth of experience to the role as he was the executive director for the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association and the Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association for six years.
I want to get information to our members in a more live format so they can access it easier because information is power,
— Giovanni Cautillo
Ontario General Contractors Association
“In March, the sewer and watermain and I parted ways and I found myself searching for new opportunities,” said Cautillo. “I am raring to go with this new challenge. I come with a lot of transferrable skills that are necessary to succeed in the role.”
As the former head of a provincial association, he has connections with provincial ministries and municipalities. Some of the things he looks forward to learning more about are Infrastructure Ontario, Metrolinx and connecting with members.
“Giovanni’s extensive association background and knowledge of the ICI construction industry should help the OGCA continue our history of advocacy, further our excellence in health and safety and expand our presence among Ontario’s general contractors,” said Raymondo Mollica, chairman of the OGCA executive committee, in a statement. “We believe his strong leadership experience will bring the OGCA into the future of construction.”
As president, Cautillo plans to focus on advancing the needs of contractors, serving the needs of all members through advocacy and member engagement, the promotion of fair procurement practices, contract language and increasing communication and information flow.
“I want to get information to our members in a more live format so they can access it easier because information is power,” Cautillo said. “The more you know, the better you are able to make decisions.”
Now more than ever, it is important to share information, best practices and lessons learned, he said. He hopes to highlight members and their experiences to help others.
“If anybody has a success story that they should share about COVID it should be broadcast out to everybody. It shouldn’t be kept secret because it doesn’t do the industry any good, it prolongs closures and this state of flux that we are currently in,” said Cautillo.
“If we can take member success stories and how they were affected by a challenge in COVID and how they then reacted and succeeded to it and share it with all the members, then you actually share a general wisdom. That assists and lets us grow as an industry, and that in turn can be shared with other associations. It’s all about collaboration.”
Current OGCA president Clive Thurston will stay on in an official capacity until the end of June and will then transition to a consulting role for the next three years.
“I definitely have big shoes to fill when it comes to Clive being the face of the OGCA for almost 20 years,” Cautillo said. “I still have to prove myself to our members and the industry because I need them to feel comfortable with me – approaching me, engaging with me. I need them to feel rest assured that I’m always going to put their best interest forward. I’ve got to earn their trust and that can only come with time. As much as I would love to go out and engage with them personally right now, under these conditions I can’t. There will come a point where we’re able to shake hands and I look forward to those days. I hope to earn the members trust to a point where I am seen as Clive 2.0…the next face of the association.”
He thanked Thurston for years of service and creating a strong foundation. He also appreciates the warm welcome he received from the OGCA staff and board.
“It would have been a very easy transition to walk into this position if not for this global pandemic,” Cautillo said. “What the pandemic does is offers opportunity to demonstrate the direction OGCA will take and how we can really help our members out.”
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