Breaking down silos and bridging the gap for successful collaboration
Will McCrae is no stranger to consulting engineering, with over 35 years of experience in delivering municipal engineering solutions to public and private clients. He has been with CIMA+ since 2014 and has managed and encouraged multi-disciplinary teams to deliver context sensitive, innovative solutions.
We caught up with Will recently to speak with him about his career and his new appointment to Vice President, Roads & Bridges, Ontario.
As the founding Partner for CIMA+’s Bowmanville office, can you share some highlights of watching CIMA+ grow to the company it is today?
It has been an amazing experience to be part of the growth of CIMA+ in Ontario. When we opened the Bowmanville office in 2014 we started with 14 employees and now have over 50. At one point we were working out of 4 different locations in Bowmanville as our original office only had the capacity to accommodate 20 people. Certainly, a highlight was reuniting all the Bowmanville employees into one newly renovated, modern office space with more room to grow our team. This all occurred not long after the Toronto and Kitchener offices had relocated to modern new spaces really signifying that our roots were set in Ontario. It’s amazing to think that we now have over 350 employees in 6 offices in Ontario, with the most recent addition of the London office, after starting with just 2 people in Burlington and few more in Ottawa in 2009. I am so thankful that the leadership in Québec had faith in the Ontario team and supported us through the challenges of establishing the CIMA+ brand in a new market.
Can you share some highlights or projects you’re most proud of?
I enjoy projects that bring value back to the communities that we live and work in. Some of the smallest projects are the most difficult to deal with because they occur on local streets where residents are most engaged and impacted. These projects have really helped me develop listening skills to understand issues from multiple perspectives and solve problems with innovative solutions that are context sensitive but still able to meet the technical requirements.
As a newly appointed Vice President at CIMA+, what is your main priority?
At an Annual General Meeting several years ago the existence of “silos” within CIMA+’s operations were noted as a concern and an impediment to our growth. I am very committed to breaking down “silos” and encouraging collaboration across geographies and sectors. Through our COVID-19 pandemic experience we have learned how amazingly resilient our organisation is and that we can deliver projects successfully from remote locations when our talented staff are empowered with the right technology and tools. We need to leverage these lessons learned as the launching pad for the next wave of CIMA+’s growth.
When you are not busy working for CIMA+ where do you spend your time?
I enjoy playing golf, sailing, skiing, and spending time with my family and friends. I volunteer at the Cobourg Yacht Club organizing the lifting of over 50 sailboats into and out of the water every year with a large crane and help to run the racing program. I am also the volunteer treasurer for the youth basketball league in Cobourg, which provides an opportunity for over 200 children to play recreational and competitive basketball and learn what it means to be part of a team.