Richard Lyall / RESCON
When RESCON was looking for a new director of government relations, it hired a seasoned political adviser in Anthony Fernando.
Among a slew of strong candidates, Fernando came out of a detailed interview process over the summer with flying colours, impressing our executive team with his interpersonal skills, political savvy and his vision for where our association could go through government relations.
Fernando is no stranger to the residential construction community. A number of builders contributed to his campaign when he ran for Toronto’s Ward 9 against Councillor Maria Augimeri – including Tridel, Laurier Homes and Great Gulf – and he has worked on several other projects over the years for both RESCON and our infrastructure affiliate, the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO).
The 34-year-old is also director of government relations for RCCAO.
“As a result of work done on organizing an event for us, Anthony has hit the ground running,” says RCCAO executive director Andy Manahan. “He has been a good fit for our team and has impressed us with his drive and organizational skills, especially with the planning for RCCAO’s 10th anniversary and the rollouts for our Dec. 1st infrastructure panel discussion with the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis at U of T’s Hart House. With two ministers due to attend and a stellar infrastructure expert panel, his work has already been paying off dividends.”
He’s also spearheading RESCON’s Dec. 9th event building on CANCEA’s report on affordability. (Go to rescon.com to register.)
Fernando says advocating for residential construction and infrastructure is a natural fit for him.
“I have a strong passion for cities and municipal issues,” said Fernando, who draws on 12 years of experience as a policy adviser with two levels of government, political staffer and political candidate. “Housing affordability is also a very important issue, and housing is a big part of our economy overall.”
He says being a team player has been an integral part of his career success.
“Public policy wins usually come out of collaboration. I try to focus on questions like, ‘who are the people who can ask the right questions? Who are the people who can validate and strengthen our case?’”
Aside from being a political junkie, Fernando is also a longtime fan of the Montreal Canadiens (we try not to hold that against him), and loves to roast meat of all kinds.
“I have been called the Da Vinci of meat,” Fernando says with a chuckle.
We haven’t tested that moniker out yet, but at least something’s cooking for RESCON’s and RCCAO’s government relations.
Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to the construction industry. Contact him @RESCONprez or at email@example.com.