VAR-CONNECT Varcon Construction Corporation Employees and Friends Newsletter Issue #4, Winter 2014 Varcon Celebrates 20 years in Construction V arcon celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Construction. Varcon’s Owner, Angelo Riccio came to Toronto from Italy with his family in May of 1956. After high school, Angelo attended Marvel Hair Styling School where he met his wife Josephine in 1962. They opened several successful Hair Salon Shops throughout the GTA and the first salon still remains open on Rambler Drive in Brampton. In 1974, Angelo tried his hand in Construction and gained experience working with Bradsil, Gottardo, Gottcon and several other construction companies operating at that time. “Construction was very different in those days, Companies didn’t have to prequalify to tender work. You could bid on multi-million dollar projects with no experience and the low bid usually got the work. Deals were made on a handshake, sub-trades worked well together and Government jobs didn’t have upfront Consultants—you normally worked directly with the Architect and Government Inspectors during construction.” explained Angelo. In 1994, Angelo and Vito started Varcon Construction Co. Ltd. Josie came up with the Varcon name over dinner one evening. The V for Vito, A for Angelo, R for Riccio and Con for Construction. Their first projects included schools, health clubs, restaurants, plazas and they developed their own properties in Hamilton. In 2006, the business was Incorporated as Varcon Construction Corporation and since has grown from a small crew to almost 200 employees. Angelo attributes their success and growth to the wonderful employees and customers they’ve been pleased to know and work with over the years. We hope to continue our growth pattern. In 2013, Varcon was honoured as one of the top 500 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada as well as one of the top 50 General Contractors in Canada. In order to celebrate this achievement, Varcon will be tagging their vehicles with the above logo and we’ll also ensure our social functions this year are more special in order to celebrate this achievement. Christmas Colouring Contest Winners Ages 2-5 Winner Ciera Bambrick Ages 6-9 Winner Fionna Cruz Ages 10-12 Winner: Mackenzie Eremita Congratulations to everyone who took the time to colour a picture. The judges had a difficult time making their decision. The above winners were given a $25 Walmart Gift Card. Page 2 VAR-CONNECT Health & Safety - Cold Weather Alert! At very cold temperatures, the most serious concern is the risk of hypothermia or dangerous overcooling of the body. Another serious effect of cold exposure is frostbite or freezing of the exposed extremities such as fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Hypothermia could be fatal in absence of immediate medical attention. Warning signs of hypothermia can include: Complaints of nausea Fatigue Dizziness Irritability or euphoria Pain in their extremities (hands, feet, ears, etc...) Severe shivering Workers should be moved to a heated shelter and seek medical advice when appropriate. Additional Prevention Tips: To prevent excessive sweating while working, remove clothing in the following order: Mittens or gloves (unless you need protection from snow or ice) Headgear and scarf Then open the jacket at the waist and wrists, and Remove layers of clothing As you cool down, follow the reverse order of the above steps Prevent contact of bare skin with cold surfaces (especially metallic) below –7° C as well as avoiding skin contact when handling evaporative liquids (gasoline, alcohol, cleaning fluids) below –4°C. Cover metal handles and bars with thermal insulating material. Sitting or standing still for prolonged periods should also be avoided. Balanced meals and adequate liquid intake are essential to maintain body heat and prevent dehydration. Eat frequently—you’re body is working harder to keep warm. Hot nonalcoholic beverages or soup are best— avoid or limit caffeinated drinks such as coffee as they increase urine production and may cause dehydration. Wear the appropriate PPE: Multiple layers of protective clothing including a hat and gloves Felt-lined, rubber bottomed, leathertopped steel-toed work boots with removable felt lining Thick bulky socks or two pairs, one pair acting as a liner Face and Eye Protection Q the Differentiator In the last article I discussed how each of us impact Quality, for this article I would like to explore the question; “What differentiates Varcon from the competition?” Remember the last time you bought a car, what made you decide on the vehicle you purchased? Was it the GPS, the back-up camera, or the DVD system that caught your eye? These options are referred to as features (aka bells and whistles). Features are used to differentiate products; unfortunately since they are easily replicated the difference is short lived. Remember it was only a few years back these items were only offered on the high end vehicles; lately, these options are quickly becoming commonplace. Features are not a way to set Varcon apart from the competition. Maybe you decided solely on price; buying the lowest priced vehicle. Not finding the lowest price for the vehicle you want but finding the cheapest car offered. They say you get what you pay for. What about companies getting into a pricing war for our business? I know we all love a deal but unfortunately this method is not sustainable. Companies must earn a profit to stay in business to support their products, to honour warranty commitments and to continue improvement of their product. Lowest price is not a great way to set Varcon apart from the competition. Maybe you decided on what vehicle to buy due to availability or short lead times. These days this is not a differentiator as every car maker has ample inventory and short lead times. Furthermore as a Lean practitioner I am aware of the costs and wastes associated with maintaining high inventory levels. Lead times or inventory is not a way to set Varcon apart from the competition. Since our clients don’t award contracts based on features, or lead time; and lowest price is no longer the most important differentiator what are they looking for? Clients want to partner with a Company that not only have the capability to construct the project but also experience minimal issues during construction. After all you don’t want to buy a car from a dealership known to have substandard service or employees that are often less than desirable to deal with. As mentioned previously, Quality is about the entire experience; both the product and the process must be pleasant. So what is it that differentiates Varcon from our competition, it’s us. The people in the Company, the choices we make and the processes we use are what creates Quality and prevent problems or conflict. These attributes are nearly impossible for our competitors to copy. Good people, good choices and good processes make Varcon effective, efficient and profitable; this makes us a strong, competent and fierce competitor. Quality is the Differentiator! Canada’s Top General Contractors Varcon has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Leaders in Construction for Eastern Canada, in the recent “The Leaders in Construction” magazine published by Reed Construction Data. We are very proud to receive this honour and will continue to plan, execute and be the Leader on every project we are involved in. As the demand for quality and leadership grows, we will endeavour to continue to strive for success as one of Canada’s Top General Contractors. Issue #4, Winter 2014 Page 3 The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success The Law of Value Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. The Law of Compensation Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. The Law of Influence Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first. The Law of Authenticity The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. The Law of Receptivity The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. © Bob Burg and John David Mann New Varcon Projects starting Soon Anne Street Off-Line Storage Tank, Whitby Varcon was recently awarded a $3.4Million project which involves the construction of a new large sanitary detention tank with a wash water system. Varcon will install a shoring system in order to excavate the area where the tank and underground piping system will go. Our work involves restoring, paving, grading as well as landscaping services. Congrats to our Project Team! Project Team: Chief Estimator: Jay Vaithlingam Construction Manager: Dan Gargaro General Superintendent: Mark Beatty Project Manager: Paul Ficara Site Superintendent: TBD Hanlan Road Feedermain Contract 1, Mississauga Varcon’s Formwork Division will begin work on three Chambers over the next two years. Our scope includes supply and installation of formwork to base footings, rafts, walls, columns, suspended slabs and curbs as well as rebar and accessories. Project Team: Chief Estimator: Elias Haddad Construction Manager: Mark Golding General Superintendent: Nello Cocchi Project Manager: Nofal Boulos Site Superintendent: TBD 2013 Christmas Gala V arcon was pleased to welcome their employees, customers, suppliers and friends to the 2013 Christmas Gala held at Le Jardin Banquet Hall in Woodbridge. The warm ambience of the party was a welcome respite from the extreme cold weather and impending snow storm brewing outside. A special thanks to Tania Riccio for organizing and Connie Beatty and her team for decorating the hall and making it so festive. Raising Money for Charity Want a way to keep cool this summer? Get down and dirty by participating in Mud Hero. This year the Toronto event will be held on August 23, 2014 at Albion Hills Conservation Area in Palgrave, 15 minutes north of Varcon’s office off Hwy #50. Helen Hynd and friends Before & After Photos Mud Hero raises money for Princess Margaret Hospital, Camp Oochigeas (provides sick children with a camp experience) as well as other local cancer charities. The idea is to get people out of their comfort zones and experience an amazing time with friends and family knowing you’re helping to raise money for cancer. At last year’s event more than 5,500 people participated and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised. The event is very well organized with many volunteers working at registration, handing out water, and hanging medals over your neck at the finish line. No matter your age or fitness level, you can complete the 6km and 18+ boot camp inspired obstacles. Afterwards you can chill out at the Beer Garden, enjoy the BBQ, swim in the lake, listen to the DJ or live entertainment. Basically for $60 you get entry to the race, a chip that monitors your time, a ticket for a free beverage, group photo and a lot of fun in the mud! Check out their website at www.mudhero.com. New Office Staff: Owen Gao, Site Administrator Dan Gargaro, Construction Manager, ICI Prem James, Site Superintendent, Niagara Regional Police HQ Dhiya Mohammed, QC Inspector Hourly Field Employees: Peter Cox Uka Demokrat Gazmend Kajtazi Andrew Maguire Local 18—Carpenters, Hamilton Robert Alves Berry Brandon Marvin Cameron Ryan Lepp Local 27—Carpenters, Toronto Michael Johnson Frank Longoi Luis Lopez Local 183—Labourers, Toronto Michael Beron Darrell Critch Laurindo DaSilva Bryan Randle Carlo Rodriguez Shawn Sousa Local 247—Labourers, Kingston Stuart Bisset Dylan Hewitt Local 249—Carpenters, Kingston Local 397—Carpenters, Pt. Hope Roy Blakely John Kosichek Chase Palmer-Roussy Local 506—Labourers, Toronto Andrew Antoniak Local 793—Operators, Toronto Joe Azevedo Local 837—Labourers, Hamilton Joe Scaringl Harold Wutzke Zack Kukavica Roland Wilson Vito and Sue Riccio are the proud parents of a new baby girl, Alyssa born Jan 8th, weighing 6lbs 13oz. Brothers, Angelo and Michael are excited to be big brothers. Congratulations to the Riccio and Deyhori Families on their new bundle of joy! Anne Thomas, Varcon’s Receptionist has become a Grandmother for the 3rd time to daughter Amber’s new baby boy Xavier, born Feb 1, weighing 8lbs 1oz. Congratulations to Anne and her family on the new addition to their families. Carlo Osellame, Project Manager at our CFB Trenton project welcomed a new grandson Liam Paul on Dec 17 weighing 7lbs 2oz. This is Carlo & Mary’s fourth grandchild. Congratulations Carlo and family. We need your contributions for future publications. Let us know when there is a newborn, wedding, milestone event, anniversary or a community or charity event that you’re involved in. We want to share our wonderful news with other Varcon employees and friends. With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games recently being held in Sochi, Russia, we thought it would be fitting to focus the Wellness topic on the values of having a balanced, healthy and fit lifestyle. Activity and exercise gets more important as we age and with our busy lives there are always excuses for not taking the time to exercise. Physical activity actually increases our energy levels, both physically and mentally, so anyone who thinks they are too tired to get up and go—they are the ones who need to do it the most! Exercise can help you work through emotional and stressful issues—start listening to your body as it has a natural intelligence that will tell you what’s going on. Forget the weight- loss medication—there are no magic solutions, no pills but instead, it’s all about a balanced lifestyle. Start with small steps and keep adding one more step every time you move. The partner to healthy moving is healthy eating—stop eating muffins, candy, breakfast bars, sugary pop and juices. They are fattening and bad for your general health. Join a gym, fitness class or just get out in the fresh air and walk—and stick with it. Dust off that treadmill or elliptical you bought a few years ago and get busy. With only 30 minutes a day 3 times a week, you will start feeling the benefits almost immediately—physically and mentally. You need to find something you like to do indoors that you’re comfortable with. Variety in workouts can ensure you retain an interest in working out so mix it up—yoga, running, bicycling, stretching and weight lifting will ensure you work all aspects of your fitness. You’ll not only set a good example for your children but you may never have to diet again.
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