GOHBA Recognizes Outstanding Members with Special Achievement Awards
Each year GOHBA members have the honor of acknowledging three of their own with distinguished awards for outstanding accomplishments and service to the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association and the residential construction industry.
Numerous people are committed to making the mission of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association a reality. Without each of these people, we would not achieve the successes that we do on a regular basis.
These Awards are but a small token of our collective appreciation to the recipients:
COLONEL BOSS AWARD
The Colonel Boss Award is named in honour of the first Executive Director of this association. This award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding dedication and service to the association.
Growing-up the son of a licenced carpenter, Serge developed an interest in construction at a very early age. He began his professional career in the field of Architecture which led to a position with Minto Communities where he continues to pursue his passion in various leadership roles. Some of his notable achievements involve industry leading sustainability projects in partnership with CMHC, NRcan and NRC. Serge is the Chair of the Building Innovation Committee with the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association. He is a member of Algonquin College ACCE Program Advisory Committee, the lead with La Cite, The Minto School of Trades as well as with le Conseil des Ecoles Catholiques Du Centre Est, Academie de Construction Intelligente Minto.
FRED NEILSEN AWARD
Named after the second Executive Director of this association, the Fred Neilsen award is presented annually to a company that has made outstanding and lasting contributions to the association and to the housing industry.
Fotenn is an award-winning planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm with offices in Ottawa, Kingston, and Toronto.
With over fifty staff, each with unique specializations, Fotenn consistently provides successful planning and design services for a range of long-time clients. While projects are diverse in nature, they share one thing in common: a need for practical, high-quality and attractive results. Fotenn’s expertise in site planning, land usage, policy development, urban design, and landscape architecture, leads to communities that are appropriate to their environmental setting and context. Working closely with clients Fotenn identifies ways to involve and receive feedback from residents, community groups, businesses as well as public sector stakeholders before, during and after the process. The firm has a reputation for its balanced portfolio of policy formulation, project management, strategic analyses and land development approvals. Fotenn is a leader in community planning, innovative land use plan implementation and expert evidence. Its clients include all levels of government and a full spectrum of private development enterprises.
ENBRIDGE HALL OF FAME AWARD
Presented annually to a member company or individual who has provided 20 years or more service and dedication to the local housing industry and to the GOHBA.
Greg Graham was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Cardel Group of Companies in January 2017. He was previously the President – Cardel Homes – Ontario. Greg holds his ICD.D and Prof. Dir. Board Certifications. As COO, Greg is responsible for providing company-wide leadership, strategic direction and oversight of land acquisition and strategic financing; as well as operational management to drive continued growth and profitability of the land development and residential home building companies in Florida, Colorado, Alberta, and Ontario. Greg currently sits on the Boards of Directors of Tarion Corporation and Cardel Group of Companies. He is a past Director and President of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association;
Over the past 40+ years and prior to joining Cardel Homes, Greg served in various senior level management positions, including his role as an executive with NetActive Technologies; the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club; Palladium Corporation and Terrace Investments where he had primary responsibility for the design, development, and construction of the 18,500 seat Home of the NHL Ottawa Senators – Canadian Tire Centre. He started his career with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Today, he actively serves as a Mentor and Coach to senior level managers both inside and outside of Cardel.
Born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Mr. Graham graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1981. He is a widower and has two adult children and two beautiful grandsons.
The awarding of an Honourary Membership is for a rarity in the Association – only 9 members can say they are part of this exclusive club. This year the Board of Directors wanted to acknowledge two individuals for their contribution, dedication and leadership:
Chuck graduated From Mohawk College with honours in Architectural Technology and began his design career in 1979. After working for various Architects & Builder developers from 1980 to 1994 from Calgary to Ottawa, he opened Chuck Mills Residential Design & Development Inc. and joined GOHBA.
Chuck was an active association member who served on many committees over his decades of membership, including chairing the Building Innovation & Housing Design Awards committee’s to name a few. He served on the GOHBA Board of Directors for more than 20 years. His design firm regularly worked hand in hand with industry leaders like Amsted Design Build & custom home builders like Patterson Homes, garnering over 30 GOHBA, OHBA and CHBA design excellence awards along the way.
In the spring of 2017, Mills merged Chuck Mills Design with Amsted Design Build, who both had a shared vision to create beautiful homes tailored to the individual needs of their clients. Chuck spent the final 4+ years of his 42 year career working as Director of Design and a member of the leadership team with Amsted and his long-time business associate & good friend Steve Barkhouse.
Gerhard Linse retired after 45 years in the industry. Most of this time was as the creative and driving force behind the award-winning design firm Gerhard Linse Design Inc. and the construction and project management firm Hardlin Holdings Inc.
Gerhard received numerous awards for his work locally, provincially and nationally including a Governor General’s design award early in his career. He was a member of the Association from 1985 to his retirement in 2019. Gerhard served on the GOHBA Executive Board, was Chair of the Home Show, Chair of the Housing Design Awards Committee and as Vice President. He is the recipient of the CHBA Award of Honour, GOHBA’s Colonel Boss Award, and the Enbridge Hall of Fame Award for his many contributions to the local homebuilding industry. He also served as a judge for the National Housing Design Awards and the prestigious BC “Georgie’ Housing Design Awards. Gerhard was also an active participant and supporter of GOHBA’s Housing Infill Committee.
During his tenure as Chair of the GOHBA Housing Design Awards, the Committee expanded and laid the groundwork for the modern-day Housing Design Awards Program—one of the best in the country.
Gerhard today enjoys an active and rewarding retirement. His only advice to fellow members is—don’t wait until you are into your 70s to retire even if you love what you do. There are too many other challenges and interests to explore.