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Trophy case gets bigger at Cementation Canada

The fall of 2008 was one to remember for North Bay's Cementation Canada and President/CEO Roy Slack.
CEO Roy Slack was honoured by fellow engineers at the 2008 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards

The fall of 2008 was one to remember for North Bay's Cementation Canada and President/CEO Roy Slack.

The highly successful 1,400-employee mine building company celebrated its 10th anniversary in November and marked it with its founder, Slack, being recognized by his peers at the 2008 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards in Toronto.

Slack was the recipient of an Engineering Medal in the Entrepreneurship category for his contribution to the profession. It was one of nine medals handed out Nov. 15. to professionals from across Ontario.

"It was a great honour," said Slack, who attended the gala accompanied by employees and his family.

"Because it's an entrepreneurship award, it's about the success this company has had. Even though they gave the award to me, it's all about what our people have done to build up this group."

In the PEO awards program, Slack was lauded as being a "force" in Northern Ontario's development by building a company focused on "value-added engineering."

Owned by parent company Murray & Roberts, Cementation has built a stellar reputation among clients and its own employees for doing a number of big and little things right.

The company is well-known in mining circles for developing the longest and largest diameter raise ever bored in the Canadian Shield and the world's deepest shaft outside of South Africa at the Kidd Mine Extension in Timmins.

In the late 1990s, when mine contractors outsourced their engineering, Slack established Cementation as a model of highly qualified and professional in-house engineering combined with a technical team to support the contracting division.This collaborative approach eliminating the often adversarial owner/contractor relationship that was part of the business.

The PEO said, Slack has influenced technical innovations in mechanizing mine shaft sinking, including using independent work platforms to enable shaft furnishings to be installed concurrently with other operations. These innovations have boosted productivity, decreased construction costs, and made operations safer.

During October, the same week as Cementation picked up a Northern Ontario Business Award, they were again selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers by Maclean's magazine for the third consecutive year. The company has consistently graded well for its work atmosphere and communication, and training and skills development.

Financial Post then recognized Cementation as one of their Top 10 Employers in Canada. The firm was also honoured by its hometown as North Bay's Business of the Year. Since 1998, company revenues have grown from $25,000 to gross annual revenues of more than $225 million. (Professional Engineers Ontario)