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You Bet Your Glass: April 2012

Alberta’s industry hero, part 2

March 29, 2012  By Frank Fulton

During his tenure at the Calgary Construction Association, Don Ward was involved the Standard Practices Committee

During his tenure at the Calgary Construction Association, Don Ward was involved the Standard Practices Committee that dealt with contract issues including promoting the use of complete drawings and specifications prior to tender call. “I was a vocal member on the Task Force Committee that lobbied the provincial government to reduce the statutory holdback on the Alberta Standard subcontract document from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, thereby giving us all an extra five per cent on each progress payment! This was, needless to say, not an easy task to complete but we did win the day and accomplished our objective to the benefit of all trade contractors.”

Being a strong believer in fairness in bidding, Ward was involved for many years with the Alberta Bid Depository where he served as vice-chairman from 1984 to 1987 and chairman from 1987 to 1990. Ward became the initial chairman of the board of the Alberta Construction Tendering System when it came into effect in 1991.

Ward was also a member of the Alberta Construction Association’s Executive Committee for three years. This association deals primarily with the provincial government, conducting advocacy and public relations on all provincial construction matters of interest to all trades and contractors.


In 1992, as if he didn’t have enough volunteer positions to keep him busy, Ward accepted a position on the board of directors of the Canadian Construction Association. Ward says, “I spent 10 years on that board where I was heavily involved in the Standard Practices Committee dealing with contract document issues, tendering practices and the promotion of construction industry standard documents. I was also an active member on the Standard Practices Steering Group. I spent much time revising wording and conditions on CCA and Canadian Construction Documents Committee documents where I took great care to ensure that all sectors of the construction industry, not just trade contractors, were protected and treated fairly.”

During this 10-year stretch with this CCA, Ward also served a three-year term as the chairman of the Trade Contractor’s Council after serving two years as vice-chair.

Ward’s contributions to the industry are legendary and he has received a number of well-deserved awards of recognition, including the Ted Walden award “in recognition and appreciation of outstanding contributions, achievements and dedication to the objectives of the Calgary Construction Association,” as well as their Person of the Year award “in appreciation for outstanding service.” He was also awarded the Ernest Dobbelsteyn Memorial Trophy “for outstanding contributions made to the Canadian Construction Association’s Trade Contractor’s Council and Canada’s Construction Industry.” The Glass and Architectural Metals Association bestowed an honorary lifetime membership in 2001.

Dave Smith, executive vice-president of the Calgary Construction Association, says, “Don as CCA president led by example as he chaired the newly formed Alberta Construction Tendering System, formerly known as the Alberta Bid Depository. His belief in a fair, transparent and equitable bid system was unwavering. The industry needs his leadership once again to establish ethical business practices that will be embraced by contractors from coast to coast.”

Don Ward retired from Griffin Glass in September 2003. He had a small saying posted in his office at that read:
“There are three types of people:
Those that make things happen,
Those that watch things happen, and
Those that wonder what happened.
We must be in the first group if we have any hope of being successful.”

Frank Fulton is president of Fultech Fenestration Consulting. He has
been in the industry for 30 years and can be reached via e-mail at

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