After 10 years at the helm of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP), president and CEO Mark Romoff has decided it’s time to step down and look at other opportunities.
“I’m not planning to retire,” Romoff told the Daily Commercial News. “I don’t want my next job to be a CEO job. I don’t want to be going full bore because I do want time to myself and with myself, but I also want to continue to make a difference.”
The council is well positioned and ready for a new generation of leadership, he added.
“It’s also a good opportunity now as we move into our next fiscal year that some fresh leadership comes in,” said Romoff. “I think every organization needs that.
“I feel very comfortable stepping back at this point knowing that the council is on very strong footing. We have a very strong membership and I think we are viewed as a valued asset by our members.”
Romoff reflects on years of service
Romoff said he is proud of CCPPP’s accomplishments over the last decade.
“We have this unique relationship with governments and Indigenous communities across the country where we are truly seen as a partner,” he said. “There is a strong foundation upon which the next president can build.”
He also said he is proud to see the annual CCPPP conference grow into a “must-attend” event in Canada and around the world. Creating the Young Leaders in Infrastructure group and the Women’s Infrastructure Network were also important achievements for Romoff and the CCPPP.
“We’ve been very focused in the council for many years around supporting the next generation of talent in this space,” he said. “I’m so pleased with the way the council has been able to support that group (Women’s Infrastructure Network) because it’s really important that women are recognized for their contributions to the sector and enabled to get opportunities to advance in the industry.”
During his tenure, Romoff has seen many changes occur in the infrastructure space in Canada.
“What I have noticed over the years is that what constitutes a P3 has evolved over time,” said Romoff, adding in the last few years different ways to deliver projects such as the alliance model, Integrated Project Delivery and progressive design-build are increasingly being used.
“My view is less about public-private partnerships per se and more about governments and Indigenous communities identifying innovative and sustainable approaches to infrastructure that will get them the very best outcomes for their investments.
“The council are huge proponents of public-private partnerships but we also know it’s not a panacea. The world of infrastructure investment is changing and the council is evolving with it.”
Ready to begin the next chapter
Romoff said he is going to miss collaborating and working closely with stakeholders.
“As a people person what I love is the opportunity to be constantly engaged with our stakeholders…it’s what I will miss about being at the helm of the council,” said Romoff. “’I’m guessing I’m going to keep one foot firmly in the infrastructure sector if I can, so I’m not going to be completely out of opportunities to engage with the community.
“Being able to make a difference through the services and advice that the council provides to governments to really help them drive their agenda, that opportunity to be a low key but effective advocate and encourager of infrastructure investment is what I would miss because it’s a unique opportunity that the council has to make a difference.”
In addition to pursing personal interests, Romoff is also hoping to find a position that capitalizes on three very different aspects of his career: 25 years as a diplomat, running the Ontario Centres of Excellence and head of CCPPP.
“At heart, I guess I’ve always had public service as my driving force,” Romoff explained. “I think in the end I’m looking for an appropriate board appointment which would enable me to keep my feet in the areas where I have experience and I will also probably do a little bit of project work.”
Romoff steps down effective May 31.
“Come June 1, I will miss what was an unbelievable 10 years,” he said. “I can turn the page and I’ll be very proud to have completed that chapter and hopefully do something next that will enable me to be as impactful in another area.”
A recruitment process is currently underway to fill Romoff’s position. In the interim, Andrew Koolsbergen, vice-president, strategy and stakeholder engagement, will take over the role.
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