One of its first hires when Chandos Construction opened a Calgary office, Scott Price felt he was ready for a change after 20 years. He joined a smaller company specializing in tenant improvement work — then COVID hit and things didn’t go well for a time.
Price, armed with the confidence of 40-plus years in the construction industry, felt it was time to start his own company and build a legacy for his family to continue.
Swift Builders was launched in March of 2020 and had to scramble somewhat to get going, but by the end of that year the new venture had booked $600,000 of work, including replacing balconies for an apartment block in Kelowna, B.C.
This year, Swift is working on a variety of projects totalling $28 million.
And Price is well on the way to establishing his dream of a family firm, with son Carson already doing a good job as site supervisor, while his brother, Parker, recently joined the company in a starter level position.
Persuading qualified people to join a new company takes strong leadership and a confidence in the future.
Price has been fortunate in hiring senior staff, including director of corporate services Cara Luciani, a graduate of the University of New Brunswick with a strong business background and a comprehensive knowledge of the construction industry. His strong project management team offers a systematic approach to project deliverables and experienced customer service.
Much of the earlier business was built on referrals from satisfied clients but it soon became obvious that the firm needed a business development manager.
Diagnosed with bone cancer at age 13, Ryan Daynes overcame his illness with a passion for competitive sports and a belief in team dynamics.
He and his wife moved here from Ontario to enjoy a healthier lifestyle in Alberta and settled in Cochrane, where the CPGA professional served as the golf pro at The Links at Gleneagles.
Daynes says things were just fine, but with his school teacher wife having free time in the summers when he was busiest, a change was needed. He took a position representing an architectural lighting company, and his performance led to an invitation to join a construction company in a similar role. Two years ago, he was persuaded to join the team at Swift.
Renovations are still a key area of business for Swift, many with longtime clients such as Sunbelt Rentals with current projects at seven locations. Working with Heather Barnsley and her design team at T.i. Studios Architecture, Swift recently completed a $1-million renovation to the Ferrari of Alberta dealership on Blackfoot Trail S.E., but the number of new builds is increasing.
Swift will turn over the new $5-million Belvedere Fire Station No. 45, designed by Zeidler Architecture, by month end, and work has begun on a new 5,000-square-foot repair shop in Cochrane for Knibbe Automotive.
Fueling Brains Academy, a leader in early childhood education that opened in 2012 and now has eight campuses in Calgary and Strathmore, is building a new flagship location at 1415 1st Street S.E. In the design phase by Abugov Kaspar Architecture, Swift Builders has been appointed as construction managers for the five-storey complex.
Daynes says a gigantic job of earth moving has begun on Swift’s largest project to date, the integrated composting and digestion facility for Catapult Environmental at Aldersyde. The $11-million plant on a 40-acre site will develop critical organics processing capacity to the Calgary and Foothills regions of southern Alberta, while also creating bio natural gas.
Price has been successful since launching his own firm. Swift Builders has earned a fine reputation as problem solvers and has been able to give back to the community through its golf tournament in support of Ronald McDonald House, and staff clothing and food drives for the Veterans Food Bank.
A monument is to be unveiled Sept. 28, recognizing the past contributions of individuals who had an immense impact on Alberta. The Field of Fame Seven event, presented by Alberta Champions Society, will be held at the Meadow Muse Event Centre behind Annie’s Café in Fish Creek Park.
David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected]