Dave Filipchuk to receive 2023 Canadian Business Leader Award

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PCL Construction will be recognized for his innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit.

17 November 2022

Dave Filipchuk

Dave Filipchuk is President and CEO of PCL Construction and the recipient of the 2023 Canadian Business Leader Award.

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PCL Construction will be recognized for his innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit.

Dave Filipchuk, '84 BSc(CivE), wrote his last exam at the University of Alberta on a Saturday and started with PCL Construction the following Monday. Thirty-nine years later, as PCL’s president and chief executive officer, he will be honoured with the annual Canadian Business Leader Award, to be presented by the University of Alberta in Edmonton on March 23, 2023.

Filipchuk is the eighth president and CEO of PCL Construction, a firm that was founded in 1906 and has had its headquarters in Edmonton since 1932. During his time with the company, Filipchuk’s innovative vision, entrepreneurial spirit and people-first values have seen him progress through the ranks of leadership: from his first post-grad job as a field engineer to leading Canada’s largest general construction company, with an annual construction revenue of $9 billion and projects across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Australia. Throughout Filipchuk’s tenure with the company, PCL has built some of the most significant and recognizable projects in Canada and beyond.

In 1984, when Filipchuk was a new graduate from the U of A’s civil engineering program, he thought he’d soon go back to school to complete an MBA or a master’s degree in engineering. But right from the start of his career, Filipchuk demonstrated a genuine passion and natural aptitude for the business of construction.

“Construction is about the built environment in which we live, work and play,” says Filipchuk. “Ultimately, it’s a people business. We don’t just build buildings – we build community. PCL’s purpose is to build a better future, together, and that means creating environments where we can make a positive difference and everyone can prosper.”

With his keen attention to detail and his dedication to creating success for PCL’s clients, Filipchuk grew into leadership roles naturally at PCL, where he worked alongside colleagues who shared his passion and enthusiasm. He moved from field engineer to project manager for several assignments in Canada and the U.S., and then to construction manager in Calgary in 1997. He was appointed Calgary district manager in 2004. He then returned to Edmonton, his hometown, in 2008 where he became first regional vice-president, Western Canadian Buildings, then president and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian and Australian Operations. The role of deputy CEO followed and then, in 2016, Filipchuk became PCL’s president and CEO.

“With so many tremendous leaders in our business community, it’s extraordinarily humbling to receive the Canadian Business Leader Award from the University of Alberta,” says Filipchuk. “Operating within a strong team makes a leader look good. And certainly, I have the benefit of an extremely strong team that deserves a lot of credit for the success they drive in our organization. PCL is 100% employee owned, and our team puts our culture of ownership to work every day, building exceptional relationships and demonstrating a deep commitment to the success of our communities. This team makes my job a lot easier.”

"The reason why Dave has been so successful in growing one of Canada's great companies is because he puts people first and wants them to succeed," says Kyle Murray, dean of the Alberta School of Business. "Whether it's by hiring co-op students for work integrated learning opportunities or sharing stories and advice for the benefit of the business community, our students — the future leaders at the University of Alberta — are lucky to have his support and influence."

Filipchuk believes in leading by example and working collaboratively — within and beyond his own business. Whether through mentorship or partnerships, he says, it’s important to share knowledge and experiences with others for the benefit of the greater community.

A champion of community engagement, Filipchuk is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta as well as the Business Council of Canada, where he sits on the Higher Education Roundtable, which champions work-integrated learning experiences for post-secondary students across the country. He is also a director of the Business Council of Alberta and a former member of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation board of trustees.

Filipchuk attributes his strong work ethic to his parents, who both graduated from the U of A, and his continued success in his career to his wife and two daughters, who give him a strong support system at home.

"We're excited to celebrate Dave's achievements as the 2023 CBLA recipient," says Elan MacDonald, vice president of external relations at the University of Alberta. "PCL has long been a pillar of Alberta's economy and with his innovative leadership and commitment to the community, it will continue to make positive impacts in our province and beyond."

About the Canadian Business Leader Award

Each year since 1982, the Alberta School of Business and its Business Advisory Council have presented the Canadian Business Leader Award to a Canadian of distinction. CBLA recipients have demonstrated leadership, business acumen and success, an entrepreneurial spirit, integrity and a commitment to the community. The selection committee is made up of members of the Business Advisory Council, as well as faculty and alumni.

The award will be presented to Filipchuk at the annual CBLA dinner — a University of Alberta signature event, attended by hundreds of members of the Alberta business community, on March 23, 2023, in Edmonton. More than 100 students will be able to attend thanks to individual and company sponsorships.

If you would like to attend the event, watch for more information on the CBLA website.

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