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New leadership at Northern-based engineering firm

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - FSC Architects and Engineers is evolving its leadership as the engineering consulting company celebrates 35 years serving Northern Canada.

NNSL photo/graphic

Kevin Hodgins, former head of civil engineering for FSC Architects and Engineers, has been promoted to chief operating officer, and Rod Savoie has taken over the role of chief executive officer. - photo courtesy of Kevin Hodgins

With Rod Savoie as the company's new chief executive officer and Kevin Hodgins stepping up to the role of chief operating officer, the two are quick to point out that this is not a change of leadership, but what they call a "growth of leadership."

"We've been with the company for a long time, and this was a natural progression," said Hodgins.

"I mean, we've had great people at the top, but they can't stay there for ever. Everybody wants to retire one day," added Savoie.

Savoie and Hodgins are humble about their promotions, saying they want the whole FSC team to benefit from the change.

"And this isn't just a change for us. This is a change for the whole company," said Hodgins. "We want to provide opportunities for growth for everyone on our team so they can develop their leadership abilities and aspirations in our structure."

The duo's philosophy hasn't changed much from that of their predecessor - Jerry Jaud - who is moving behind the scenes after 10 years as manager of operations.

They say they still believe in engineering sustainable buildings that are not just good for the environment, but more cost effective in the long run too. They also said they feel a strong connection to the North and its people.

"We're a company that started in Yellowknife 35 years ago, and it's not common for a consulting company to be around that long," said Savoie.

He said the fact that they and roughly half of their employees are from the North gives them an advantage against southern competition because they are familiar with the challenges of operating in Northern communities.

"We like to think we do it better because we live here," said Savoie.

"One key challenge up here is logistics - the weather, transportation, manpower. We're from here and have experience with it, so we know that stuff well," said Hodgins.

FSC is the largest engineering and consulting firm serving Northern Canada, but it wasn't always that way.

The company, which now boasts 85 employees in four cities - Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Iqaluit and Edmonton - started off with four employees in one Yellowknife office.

In those days they spent a lot more time doing construction work, but now prefer to tackle the consulting end of things.

FSC Architects and Engineers is known for its involvement in many projects throughout the North, including the legislative assembly building in Yellowknife, the air terminal building expansion in Whitehorse and Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit.

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