Richard Lyall / RESCON
I can remember a time many years ago, the industry slowed down in the winter and you could count the number of issues facing builders on one hand (OK, maybe two). Fast-forward to the end of 2018 and the issues have multiplied in number and increased in complexity: the idea of a less busy period automatically brings memories of the good ol’ days: today we're focused on fixing the growing challenges facing builders including the overwhelming growth in regulations, red tape and development charges they deal with every day.
Our members' needs have increased and so have the services provided by RESCON.
We are again listening to our board and membership and have hired an associate of member and corporate services. Her name is Cassandra Dobrzynski and her focus will involve enhanced interaction and service for existing members as well as pitching non-members on the benefits of joining RESCON.
Cassandra Dobrzynski: RESCON associate of member and corporate services.
“Cassandra is a multi-talented person who came to our attention through the joint RESCON-Humber career-ready project. She has a fantastic family with strong ties to construction, has excelled academically and demonstrated an ability to recruit young people to the trades,” said RESCON vice-president Andrew Pariser.
All of that makes her ideal to expand our membership services, which will be a vital part of 2019 for RESCON. We are thrilled to have her on board with our team as she brings a lot to the table.
Cassandra said she knew her future would be somewhere in construction or possibly psychology, for which she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph. “I knew I wanted to work with people but I didn’t know in what capacity,” she said.
She was first introduced to RESCON through a posting at Humber while completing her one-year post-graduate program in human resources management. She had to complete a field placement and saw an industry-sponsored project within the trades field looking for a student with previous research experience as well as an interest in construction.
Cassandra was a leader on the joint RESCON-Humber project and worked hard to research and write modules for both new graduates and employers based on health and safety, onboarding and retention best practices for students interested in the skilled trades. After writing the modules, Cassandra began recruiting students for placements. Through this program, she met Pariser and Amina Dibe, RESCON’s policy and programs analyst.
About Cassandra, Dibe said: “She was the top student available throughout the RESCON-Humber project based on personality, professionalism and academic aptitude which included excellent marks.”
Cassandra comes from a construction family and has grown up understanding the construction industry. Family members have worked or been involved with developers, material manufacturing, HVAC and plumbing. “One way or another, I was always going to come back to construction,” Cassandra says. “I feel like no matter where my path was going, I always knew I would end up in construction in some capacity.
CONSTRUCTION IN HER BLOOD
“In my family, that’s what our conversations always revolve around – construction – whether it’s Christmas or just getting together on the weekend.”
She’ll now have a lot more to talk about with her family, including her three goals for the new job.
First, Cassandra said she’ll be working on expanding awareness of RESCON “and the breadth of resources it provides to its members” – including labour relations, health and safety, training and education, technical standards, innovation and government relations. Second, she will update the membership database. Third, and most importantly, Cassandra will look to recruit new members and expand the membership: “I am excited that my new role will include getting new members on board.”
Cassandra will also put together membership packages, work with Dibe in promoting our partnerships with Humber, George Brown and other educational institutions, as well as on membership events including those related to technical issues, member education and the annual general meeting.
In her spare time, Cassandra is very sporty, playing softball, volleyball and soccer. But her biggest passions are food and travelling.
‘I LOVE COOKING’
“I love cooking. My favourite pastime is grocery shopping. I can spend hours in a grocery store,” she said with a laugh. Cassandra's favourite cuisine is Thai: she learned how to create her own dishes after taking a cooking course in Bangkok, part of a year of travel to Australia. She has also visited Denmark, Costa Rica and Japan among her favourite destinations.
All of her work, schooling and hobbies have one big link: “I like learning from people. And I think the best way to learn about the construction field is to meet members and prospective members and learn what they do and where the industry is going for the future.
“RESCON is the perfect place to be to learn about what’s happening in the industry right now. I’m looking forward to meeting more RESCON members and stakeholders in the New Year.”
We’d like to welcome Cassandra to the team, and wish her the best going forward in 2019. Please feel free to drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. Reach him at email@example.com or @RESCONprez.