Skip to main content

Congratulations to our CEO Ann Squires Ferguson, who was awarded Woman of the Year in Construction at the inaugural 2024 VIBI Awards, the inaugural Vancouver Island Building Industry (VIBI) Awards, presented by the Urban Development Institute – Capital Region (UDI-CR), Canadian Home Builders Association – Vancouver Island (CHBAVI), and the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA).

47 awards were handed out during the ceremony on June 1, applauding the world-class builders and developers who reside on Vancouver Island. Submissions for the VIBI Awards were administered through each association, with CHBAVI presenting 24 awards, UDI-CR presenting 10, and VICA presenting 13. Each association had award categories specific to their sector.

In our submission for Woman of the Year in Construction, we wrote that in an industry where women take up only 5 per cent, “Ann Squires Ferguson teaches us to confidently take up space, physically and vocally, and not to shrink ourselves. To know our worth, to own our intelligence, and expect respect. This philosophy spills over into our personal lives as well.”

Kate Ulmer, P.Eng Principal at Herold Engineering Ltd wrote the following in support of Ann’s nomination. “Under Ann’s leadership, Western Design + Build has flourished, earning a solid reputation as a premiere firm for interior design and construction projects… Ann provides inspiration and encouragement to women, whether it is through the direct mentoring she provides at her company or by being a shining example that success is possible for women in the construction industry.”

Deborah Moore, Managing Broker at Breakwater Realty Inc. wrote “Ann is an exemplary individual whose dedication, leadership, and contributions have touched many people. I had the pleasure of meeting Ann in 2015 when a client of mine sought to renovate and upgrade the common areas of their office building… 

From our initial interaction in 2015 until today, it is evident that Ann possesses a rare combination of expertise, professionalism, and passion for her work. Her ability to navigate challenges with grace and determination, while maintaining focus on quality and client satisfaction, is remarkable. It is in her consistent ‘showing up,’ and I would suggest it enriches the reputation of the construction industry.”

And Kathy Price, BT, LEED Green Associate at Knappett Projects said: “Ann’s dedication to giving back to her community and supporting the next generation of construction professionals further underscores her commitment to making a lasting impact for women in this industry.

What truly sets Ann apart is her ability to inspire and empower those around her. As a woman in construction, she has broken barriers and paved the way for others, fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity within the industry. Her leadership style, rooted in mentorship and collaboration, has created a positive and supportive work environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to succeed. She serves as a role model and mentor to many, embodying the spirit of leadership and service.

We view this award as a win for women, in construction and elsewhere, who are taking up space and expecting respect. And, for us, it emphasizes the importance of lifting each other up.

Our first thought after receiving the award was how can we ensure we do our part? How do we encourage mentor- and mentee-ship among our team, our network and our community? We’re exploring more ways to do that. Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply