COCA 2016 Award Winners

The success of COCA is the result of the important contributions of numerous volunteers from our member associations. Each year COCA recognises and honours outstanding contributions made throughout the year.   Each year COCA recognises these contributions at the COCA Annual General Meeting and Awards Presentation.

The 2016 Awards were presented at COCA's 2017 Annual General Meeting which was held at the offices of the Interior Systems Contractors Association (ISCA). Photos of the awards can viewed on-line at:

The COCA Construction Hard Hat Award

This year we are introducing a special new award, The COCA Construction Hard Hat Award.  It’s awarded to an individual or individuals who do something truly special to advance the interests of the construction industry.  The award itself is very special also, to reflect the significance of the recipients’ contributions.  The awards are works of art in the form of construction hard hats created by reputed Canadian artist David Arrigo.   David is perhaps best known for the masks he has customized and decorated for numerous NHL goalies. 

  • Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. In February 2015, Sharon and Bruce were appointed as Counsel and Co-counsel to lead the Construction Lien Act Review.  .  In May 2016 they submitted their report to the Ontario Government.  This report was made public on September 26th   Their report has laid the foundation for generational reform of the Construction Lien Act and the introduction of real time dispute resolution and standard payment terms for our industry. 
  • Ted Dryer Ted practices construction law, with the Kitchener-based firm of Madorin Snyder LLP.  Little more than a year ago, volunteered to serve as the chair of COCA’s Construction Lien Act Reform Task Force.  Ted performed most capably in the role and led discussions among a large and diverse group of knowledgeable volunteers during numerous teleconferences.  Ted took the input he received from those teleconferences and drafted COCA’s submissions to Bruce and Sharon’s review. 

Bulmer Award

The Cliff Bulmer Award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in furthering the relationship between the construction industry and the Ontario Government.  It is COCA’s very highest honour.  This year we recognize the steadfast and unwavering efforts of Ron Johnson. 

Ron had an inkling for partisan politics at a very young age.  He began by licking envelopes, delivering flyers and pounding in lawn signs for the Tories in his hometown of Brantford.  In 1995 Ron was elected as the MPP, a foot soldier in the Common Sense Revolution that swept Mike Harris into the Premier’s office.  But Ron found life as a government back bencher not to his liking and he left government on his own terms.  Somehow Ron found a home at ISCA,  where his political instincts have served him well.  He was been a driving force behind Construction Lien Act reform and the pursuit of prompt payment legislation for construction projects in Ontario.  About 2 years ago, when the role of chair and chief spokesperson for Prompt Payment Ontario became vacant, Ron was there.  For his very capable leadership on the Prompt Payment file, this year’s Cliff Bulmer Award goes to Ron Johnson. 

Chair’s Award

The Chair’s Award is presented at the discretion of the Chair and recognizes a volunteer or an organization whose contributions to the success of COCA go above and beyond what is normally expected.  Let there be no mistake, this year’s four Chair’s Award recipients have gone way beyond the norm. 

Denis Shank

If you ever have to go to war, you will want Denis Shank on your side.  Denis is among COCA’s very strongest and most outspoken supporters and promoters.  Denis particularly distinguished himself in 2016 by hosting  the hugely successful annual construction associations curling bonspiel in Sudbury .

Jim DiNovo

Jim uses his management accounting background in his role as our Treasurer.  He is also an active member of our Construction Lien Act Reform Task Force.  Jim is among COCA’s most dedicated, committed and reliable volunteers.  As an example, as a follow up to last summer’s planning retreat, Jim arranged for meetings with two prospective member associations.

Electrical Contractors Association

What needs to be said about the ECAO?  Whenever we need a sponsorship, a meeting space or volunteers, the ECAO is always there.  We are grateful for the ongoing support provided by the ECAO.

President’s Award

The President’s Award is awarded at the discretion of the President and there’s a long list of criteria associated with it.  It goes without saying that it’s always difficult to identify recipients for this award, since each and every one of our member associations and volunteers contributes enormously to the success of our provincial federation.

COCA as an organization has a lot of interests but we have a staff of only two.  So it’s simply impossible for staff to take part in every industry committee, task force or roundtable that presents itself.  From time to time, we have to recruit  volunteers to ensure COCA is at the table so  the voice of the Ontario construction industry is heard.  Sometimes a volunteer comes forward, keen and willing to serve. 

This year we are recognizing two truly outstanding individuals who not only at the forefront of the association management business in Canada but are also respected leaders in the construction industry.  

John Mollenhauer

John serves as a member of COCA’s Executive Committee and as a Director at Large on our Board of Directors.  His extensive knowledge of the construction industry coupled with his very likeable personality make him a contributor that everyone wants to listen to and take seriously.  It’s important to note here that John has made the TCA a leading provider of construction education in Ontario with an extensive offering of courses through the TCA’s Construction Institute of Canada

Martha George

Like John, Martha’s extensive knowledge of the construction industry and her superior association management skills have made her a respected leader in our industry.  Martha is a member of COCA’s Executive Committee and a Director at Large on our Board of Directors.  She is on the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo and was recently named as a member of the Ontario College of Trades Appointments Council.  What separates Martha from the pack is her creativity, her innovation and her constant pursuit of the next big thing.  It seems like she has a thousand ideas swirling around in her head at all times

Industry Ally Award

COCA’s Industry Ally Award recognizes an individual or an organization involved in a related industry, government department or agency whose efforts or assistance has aided COCA and the Ontario construction industry to recognize improvements in the areas of standards, efficiencies or health and safety.  This year we are presenting three Industry Ally Awards.

Mark Casaletto

Mark is the President - CMD Group LLC Canada, the publisher of our industry’s bible, the Daily Commercial News.  Mark is a former Director of the Canadian Construction Association and is currently a Director of the Toronto Construction Association.  He is well known for his presentations on the state of the construction industry and for the his company’s annual industry leading CanaData Conference.  Mark and his organization keep our industry informed and connected

Enzo Garritano. 

Enzo is the President and CEO of the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, the construction industry’s partner in workplace accident and sickness prevention.  Under Enzo’s leadership, the IHSA has aligned its operations with the new provincial strategy and has effectively delivered all the new training requirements that have been placed on our industry.   You may have heard Enzo recently on the radio promoting the IHSA’s working at heights program in advance of the March 31st deadline. 

George Gritziotis

George was appointed as the province’s first Chief Prevention Officer in October 20011.  Since that time, as its very first employee, he built the Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office from the ground up.  From the “get-go” he has worked with stakeholders on the development of the province’s first integrated health and safety strategy and and on the implementation of many of the recommendations of the Tony Dean Expert Panel Review. 


Anniversary Recognitions

Many of our member associations are long established and at least two are celebrating significant birthdays this year

Toronto Construction Association

The Toronto Construction, a founding member of COCA, is celebrating their 150th Anniversary this year.  What a remarkable milestone. 

Sault Ste Marie Construction Association

The Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association is celebrating 60 years.

Board Service Recognitions

COCA is a volunteer driven organization.  Without the contribution of our Board of Directors and others, COCA could not be able to fulfill its mandate.  Everyone here is well aware that volunteering can be a lot of work and can demand a lot of time. 

Anita Stacey

Today we want to recognize Anita Stacey who is stepping off the Executive Committee and Board of Directors after today’s Annual Meeting.