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Jason Ball’s Acceptance Speech on his Induction into the GVCA Hall of Fame 2024

This is an amazing honor. I’m humbled by everything I heard tonight, especially those very kind words from Martha George, Mike Jennings, and everyone else here tonight. We’re blessed to be able to do what we do. We work in the greatest industry anywhere. I mean, the construction industry is dynamic, challenging, and if you have a passion for it, it doesn’t even feel like work because you love going to work every day. It’s in your blood. You want to succeed, you want to build things, you want to create things. That’s what it’s all about. We’re all like that in this room. We’re very passionate people, and I am thankful and honored to be receiving this award tonight.

When you have an opportunity to give back to the community, take it. That’s what I did. My father and his father were on many boards. We encourage that in our company. Many of our partners here, like Gary, Cam, Brent, and Rod, are all on various boards and committees. But then you’ve got to get involved in the community too. So we want to give back to the industry itself and to your community. I’ve been very fortunate, blessed by God, to have that opportunity, and my wife and my family give me the opportunity to do that. I want to thank my wife Rosemary who’s sitting up front. Thank you. Thank you to my mom and dad for instilling the ethics, the drive to work, and the desire to do great things. That’s from my upbringing.

My parents and Jeff Kienapple did mention we grew up in a Catholic environment. I’m not pushing this on anyone, but there’s a really good grounding having a strong spiritual upbringing. So you want to volunteer. That’s just what you do. You have that in you, and I think we all have an opportunity to do that. Many of us do that in this room, and it’s a great thing. I was fortunate to get involved in the Arts. So I helped found an Arts program with Roger Farwell, one of the previous recipients. We created a program called “Eye Go to the Arts,” aiming to get high school students involved and engaged in Performing Arts. It really took off, went right across Canada, even into Europe, into Scotland and all places. We just wanted the opportunity for young people to get exposed to the Arts because we all play sports, but Arts are always pushed to the back. That was a program we wanted to kick off, and it became sustainable and works on its own.

Health and safety are big issues. When I was Chairman of the OGCA I worked with Clive Thurston, who’s here somewhere in this room with David Frame, Craig Lesurf, and Rob Ellis we came up with a program called the League of Champions to promote safety, and it’s really taken off. Most people in the construction industry are members of the League of Champions, and we’re very proud of that because it creates a stronger safety culture. It’s all about safety. We want everyone to go to work and go home at the end of the day. Nobody ever wants to hear about an accident or incident on any site. So we thought that was a great initiative, and I was proud to be involved in that with some great people.

Those are the things you do when you’re given the opportunity to help the industry and your community. It’s something so important. I’m very honored to be here tonight, humbled, and, you know, in retrospect, I’ve been in the industry since I was 16 years old, working as a laborer for my father on job sites. Then after University, I came into the office and worked full-time. You know, 40 years go by pretty quick. You have an opportunity in that career to do a lot of things, to help a lot of people, and I think that’s what our company’s always been focused on.

We try to be fair, have integrity, and treat our team that way. I’m talking about a team that’s made up of everyone: our internal people, our insurance people, our banking people, all our sub-trades, all our suppliers, all our people that work directly for us. I mean, they’re all part of the same team. They’re family. So we want everybody to be treated that way, like they’re part of the family. We never want to throw anybody under the bus. Everyone has a valid point, and we always try to be fair. Life is not always fair, but we do our best to make it fair for the people we work with.

We also believe that we need to give back to the community whenever we can. The partnership at Ball Construction started the Titans, which is a professional basketball team. We wanted something else in the city, some other sports venue, to draw people into the community, help grow the community. That’s what we’re here for. We want to grow this community and make it stronger and viable for everyone.

I got involved in quite a few charities, and one of them was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I was asked to be the corporate chair for several years, so I did, and then we did the local walk, and that was very successful. Tonight, because of this event, the money raised will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Diabetes is a terrible disease, and I’m proud to be able to help raise funds for it.

Also, the 50 years of the Grand Valley Construction Association. I was chair 20 years ago. It’s a great organization. Jeff MacIntyre has taken it in a great direction. I like the fact that this year, we’re going to raise funds at every event and donate to a different charity. I think that’s fabulous. It’s a great stewardship move, and I’m very happy to hear that.

Thank you all very much. I’m honored and humbled by this induction into the Hall of Fame.

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