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The high-performance builder

Brad McAninch, BEng 97
By Jasmin Legatos

Brad McAninch, BEng 97 “Concordia did a great job preparing me and I was ready to go out into the real world and contribute.”

As the chief executive officer of Modern Niagara, Brad McAninch is tasked with making some of Canada’s landmark buildings work — think Parliament Hill’s West Block, which will house the House of Commons for at least a decade while the iconic Centre Block undergoes an enormous renovation.

Modern Niagara provided all mechanical construction elements for the West Block’s own massive and much-needed renovation, including plumbing, an HVAC system and mechanical installations.

Modern Niagara has been a fixture of the engineering grad’s life from when he was a boy. His father led the firm from the late 1980s until his retirement in 2004.

“To be trusted with the responsibility to continue to grow and improve Modern Niagara is huge. To be promoted to CEO was really a dream come true,” he says.

How Concordia paved the path to success

“It gave me a great technical foundation and real-world engineering skills specific to construction and buildings. I had a huge advantage over other recent engineering grads when I started my career.”

Roadblock along the way

“Staying motivated and focused on school toward the end of my undergraduate degree was a challenge. Concordia had done a great job preparing me and I was ready to go out into the real world and contribute. But I still needed to get my degree!”

Biggest challenge as a CEO

“Modern Niagara has a terrific 60-year-old culture. Our 2,500 employees are spread across five cities and three time zones, so our One Modern philosophy — working as a single, integrated, supportive team — has been crucial.  Scaling processes is one thing, but scaling culture is something else. I’m proud that we’ve been successful in maintaining our small-company feel.”

Best career advice

“Ask lots of questions and never stop growing and learning.”

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