Claude Bigras, CEO
Since 1982, Mr. Bigras has spent his career in the construction, janitorial and facility maintenance industry. He joined GDI in 1994 and later became a major shareholder in 1998. Over the years, he has held many positions, and became President and CEO of GDI in December 2004. In his role as President and CEO, Mr. Bigras has overseen GDI’s significant organic and acquisition-based growth, leading GDI to become the largest janitorial services company in Canada, and one of the largest in North America. Through his leadership, perspective and experience, Mr. Bigras has driven the development of the company’s key financial strategic planning, and brings with him an exceptional track record of disciplined capital allocation and strategic acquisitions. Mr. Bigras also aspired to build a strong mechanical services company across North America, and with the acquisitions of Ainsworth, Airtron and other smaller mechanical companies in the past few years, his goal has been achieved. Mr. Bigras holds certificates in finance and management from École des Hautes Études commerciales in Montréal.
Craig Stanford, President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Stanford started his career in 1981 as a Field Technician with Honeywell. He held various management positions with several companies involved in the maintenance and repair of building systems. Mr. Stanford had a 15-year career with Honeywell in field operations, sales, and management and was Regional Director of Honeywell from 1990 to 1995. He held various senior management positions with Stannair, Enbridge and Direct Energy from 1995 to 2006. He also held the position of President of Modern Niagara HVAC Services from 2009 to 2013, and spent the following three years as President of Airtron. When Mr. Stanford joined Ainsworth Inc., a GDI company, following the acquisition of Airtron in November 2016, he became President of Ainsworth, and was also named Chief Operating Officer in 2019.
Alain Champoux, Vice President, Quebec and Atlantic Canada
Mr. Champoux holds an MBA from HEC Montreal, is a member of the Quebec Bar Association, and has extensive experience in private investments and corporate finance. He joined Ainsworth Inc., a GDI company, in February 2018 as Vice President for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. In this role, he oversees all operations for that area, including Simpkin and GDI Technical Services. Prior to joining Ainsworth, Mr. Champoux was Executive Vice President and shareholder of ESCo, a leading energy services company for more than a decade.
Darrell Driver, General Manager, Winnipeg
Mr. Driver started his career in 1981 as a System Designer and Programmer with Johnson Controls where he spent seven years in design, programming, and project management before moving to Honeywell as a Sales Representative. During his 12 years at Honeywell, Mr. Driver held several management positions including Senior Project Management, National Contract Management and Regional Manager, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 2001, Mr. Driver started BSD Solutions Ltd., a building automation and systems integration provider located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which serves clients across Western Canada and Nunavut. He joined Ainsworth Inc., a GDI Company, in June 2018, following the acquisition of BSD Solutions Ltd.
John Albers, Vice President, Finance
Mr. Albers started his career in 1990 at KPMG, where he obtained his Chartered Accountant designation (now referred to as CPA, CA). He remained in audit, as well as business valuations and litigation support, for six years. He left KPMG in 1996 for industry and held accounting positions in small- and medium-sized businesses in software and printing industries. In 2004, he joined Sears Canada’s internal audit department. Mr. Albers joined Ainsworth in 2006 as Corporate Controller and, in 2016, became Vice President, Finance.
Frank Martins, Director, Ontario Service Centre
Mr. Martins arrived in Canada in November 1971 from Portugal and started his life in Canada by upgrading his qualifications at George Brown College and the Canadian School of Business. He started his career with Ainsworth (then known as Ainsworth Electric) in October 1972 as a Technician at Ainsworth’s Service Center in Toronto. He was hired by Ken Ainsworth (one the three Ainsworth brothers) whose father, Jack Ainsworth, founded the business. Mr. Martins’ passion for the business, coupled with his desire to grow and excel, transformed the traditional motor shop business to a Center of Excellence that customers depend on. In 1978, he was promoted to Supervisor and, in 1985, he made a significant change to his career when he took on a management role as Assistant Manager. In 1993, Mr. Martins was promoted to Manager and, in 2006, was promoted to Director.
Gary Shaw, Vice President, Ainsworth USA
Mr. Shaw began his career working as a teenager for his father’s plumbing and heating company in Detroit specializing in plumbing and steam/hydronic heating. After graduating from college in 1988, his father was forced to retire, so he returned to the company in hopes of growing the business. After a few years, and successful growth, Mr. Shaw merged the company with Comfort System USA, and remained on as a vice president until 2003. Several years later, he began Mechanical Design and Installation with a primary focus on mechanical service and design/build projects. In 2018, MD&I was acquired by Ainsworth, and Mr. Shaw currently remains on as Vice President of Ainsworth USA.
Jeff Jarvis, Vice President, Eastern Ontario
Mr. Jarvis graduated from the Instrumentation Engineering Technology Program at St. Lawrence College in 1994 and, shortly after, started his career with BASE Controls as part of the design and engineering team. Over the past 25 years, he has held a variety of Operational, Technical, Sales and Management Roles allowing him to learn all aspects of the BAS and HVAC industry. In 2016, Mr. Jarvis led the building automation team at Airtron Canada in Ontario. When Ainsworth purchased Airtron Canada in 2016, he continued to lead the Ontario building automation team until 2018. Mr. Jarvis is now focused on growing the Eastern Ontario business and developing an Ainsworth national building automation strategy.
Matt Hale, Branch Manager, Saskatoon
Mr. Hale began his career in the commercial refrigeration trade in 1998 with National Refrigeration Heating in Saskatoon where he spent eight years as a Technician and obtained his Journeyperson’s Certificate as a Refrigeration Mechanic. In 2006, he moved to a Project Managing and Estimating role split between Regina and Saskatoon. In 2008, National Refrigeration Heating was acquired by Ainsworth and, in 2011, Mr. Hale moved into the role of Branch Manager for Ainsworth/National Refrigeration Heating, for Saskatoon and Northern Saskatchewan. Since 2017, he has been supporting the entire province of Saskatchewan.
Michelle Kirkland, Vice President, Human Resources and Payroll
Ms. Kirkland began her career in 2002 with Tyco Thermal Controls as a Human Resources Coordinator where she quickly transitioned into a national HR Manager role, supporting various national and global initiatives involving performance and talent management, talent acquisition and compensation planning, as well as leading labour relations for the Canadian manufacturing division. In 2014, she transitioned to a Labour Relations role within the automotive industry and later moved to become Director of Human Resources for the Swish Group of Companies. In 2017, Ms. Kirkland joined Ainsworth as the Vice President of Human Resources.
Paulo Mota, Vice President, Business Analytics and Performance
Mr. Mota holds an MBA in finance and the Certified Financial Analyst designation. He started his career in the energy and services industry in 2007 as an analyst with Direct Energy. In 2011, he moved to the role of Head of Financial Planning and Analysis for North America, and then to Director of Finance and Accounting for Airtron from 2013 to 2016. Mr. Mota joined Ainsworth in 2017, following the acquisition of Airtron.
Randy Carr, Vice President, Central and Western Ontario
Mr. Carr is Vice President Central and Western Ontario and is responsible for all building automation, mechanical and facility services in these regions. He joined Ainsworth Inc. a GDI company, in November 2016, following the acquisition of Airtron Canada where he held the position of Director, HVAC Services, Ontario. His career began in 1997 as a HVAC apprentice with Stannair Conditioning. Over the past 20-plus years, he has held several managerial positions through multiple acquisitions of Stannair, Stannair-Enbridge and Direct Energy. His career path has guided him to specialize in operational management, strategic planning, sales growth and client retention.
Randy Topp, Vice President, National Operations Support
Mr. Topp is a professional engineer and a PMP holder and started his career as a mechanical engineer and estimator in 1984 with Black & McDonald. From 1990 to 2012, he was involved in building and energy solutions as an Engineer, Project Manager and Operations Leader with Rose Technology Group, Direct Energy Business Services and Johnson Controls. Mr. Topp progressed through various management levels over that span from Operations Manager to Vice President. He was branch General Manager with Automated Logic before joining Ainsworth in 2014, and later became Vice President of National Operations Support following the merger with Airtron. His present role is focused on energy services, electric services, project management, and various business initiatives related national operations.
Steve Horwood, Vice President, Business Development
Mr. Horwood has been active in all aspects of facility maintenance, operations and construction industry for more than 35 years. His 10 years in operations and project management in the hospitality industry in Canada and the United Kingdom helped him develop first-hand knowledge of the importance of understanding the client’s business processes and their goals and objectives. This, combined with his 25 years of P & L and business development leadership roles with technical services providers, has formed the basis of Mr. Horwood’s ability to professionally challenge a customer’s status quo and achieve measurable financial, operational and sustainable objectives.
Wayne Fernandes, Vice President, Ainsworth Power Group
Mr. Fernandes started his professional engineering career with Enbridge, working on a Smart Meter Deployment initiative. He has held various design and construction management positions within the gas, water and electric utility industries prior to joining Ainsworth as General Manager for the High Voltage Power Construction division in 2015. With 15 years of sustained experience in the industry, Mr. Fernandes now leads strategic leadership, corporate governance and key stakeholder relationships as Vice President for Ainsworth Power Group, comprising of the high voltage power services, distribution design and construction.