Maurizio Capano

Top 40 Under 40 2011

Photography Aaron Pedersen/3Ten Photo

Age: 36

Job Title: Vice President, Stuart Olsen Dominion – Northern Alberta Chapter

Why He’s Top 40: He fosters young talent in a corporate culture and passes on the lessons he’s learned to emerging engineers and project managers.

Key To Success: “You have to be a team player but, at times, you need to be like a striker in football [soccer]. You have to take the risk and try to make the play for yourself.”

Nine years ago, Maurizio Capano and his wife, Patricia, decided to leave their native Uruguay. Their country’s major trading partner, Argentina, was in the throes of a financial crisis that had, in turn, destabilized Uruguay’s economy.

The plan was to come to Canada, for Maurizio to get his MBA at the University of Manitoba and, once the crisis in South America had abated, to return home.

Capano got the MBA, but he and his wife never got around to moving back. Instead, they left Winnipeg for Edmonton, and Capano swiftly moved from senior project manager to construction manager at Stuart Olson Dominion – Northern Alberta Chapter. They now have an infant son, Luca.

“We never anticipated how well Canada was going to treat us,” says Capano. “We never knew how great the people we’d meet would be, or the opportunities we’d have in this country.”

Since Capano rose to vice president in 2010, Stuart Olson Dominion has secured more than $350 million in contracts, including a $138-million deal to construct the new Terwillegar Recreation Centre. He’s also guiding the completion of the new Edmonton Remand Centre, a project worth more than $500 million.

He’s one of three members of the construction industry to sit on the Institutional Infrastructure Partners Committee, which brings contractors together with various levels of government in Alberta. A major priority at the moment is making it easier for the industry to recruit workers.

Capano speaks bullishly about the growth of the construction business in central and northern Alberta. Stuart Olson Dominion, which used to exist solely on public-sector work, is moving into taking on more private-sector contracts. And, to service those clients, Capano is aggressively recruiting talent.

Already in place are deals with the University of Alberta and NAIT to bring graduates on board. Capano just signed a deal with Norquest College, to bring more recent immigrants and Aboriginal workers to the company, which is key for the construction business while it wrestles with staffing shortages.

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