Rising Star Gives Back Through Mentoring, Volunteering
The accent in Alan McCarthy’s voice is unmistakable. It’s the lilt he carried with him when he moved to Canada in 2008 from Ireland — but it’s his talent as a leader in the environmental services field that made him one of this year’s 16 Rising Stars.
With an extensive background in the residential, commercial and industrial construction sectors, Alan has worked on construction projects in his home country, Australia and now Canada.
In 2013, the 39-year-old joined Tervita Corporation, one of Canada’s largest industrial waste and environmental services companies, and has since rapidly climbed up the management ladder. Currently he is the area manager of Pacific Projects for the Calgary-based Tervita Corporation.
“I like the variety of projects we are involved in,” said Alan, who has a degree in structural engineering.
“From environmental facility construction to site remediation and demolition projects, it’s a huge variety at different locations across Canada.”
In Ireland he worked in the residential construction area, moving on to large infrastructure projects like bridges when he worked in Australia. Alan also managed large infrastructure projects when he moved to Vancouver and played a key role in the construction of the Golden Ears Bridge in the Lower Mainland.
While Tervita isn’t considered a producer in the oil and gas sector, many of its clients are energy firms and Tervita manages significant volumes through terminal facilities in its energy marketing group.
“We do have many high profile clients that are involved in the oil and gas business,” he said.
As one of the company’s senior managers in B.C., Alan has overseen work at several large projects, including LNG and propane export facilities on the West Coast.
Alan said he values working with oil and gas clients because they are committed to environmental sustainability, rather than seeking “the cheapest price.” As well, he likes the partnerships Tervita forms, often with First Nations.
In his current role, Alan has supervised up to seven project managers and an overall team of 25. It is both a challenging and important role at Tervita, which employs 1,700 people overall, he said.
Alan said he was fortunate to be influenced by many mentors during his 17-year career. And now, as a senior manager “I try to provide mentoring to my team.”
While the last decade has been challenging for the oil and gas industry, Alan said he has been fortunate to be working in B.C., supporting demolition and remediation of oil and gas sites, and gaining experience from a diverse base of customers, which are somewhat insulated from the ups and downs of the energy industry.
COVID-19 has been challenging for the company, which, by its nature, needs to have personnel in the field. The pandemic has forced Alan and other managers to be very flexible, with most meetings being held virtually.
As an immigrant to Canada who has benefitted from the opportunities offered to him, Alan said he is committed to helping Tervita’s junior engineers and other enthusiastic workers succeed.
Alan and his wife are involved in a Canadian Government Sponsorship program that helps refugees settle in Canada. They played a direct role in helping a Syrian family establish a life and settle in the Lower Mainland.
While Alan sees the energy industry becoming “greener,” he doesn’t believe the fossil fuel sector will fade into insignificance.
“I see a transition to a cleaner and greener energy sector, with natural gas and LNG playing a key role,” he said. “The energy industry is successfully transitioning to a smaller environmental footprint and I’m optimistic to see what the future holds.”
The 2020 Class of Rising Stars is brought to you by Fluor Canada.
Since 1949, Fluor Canada has been involved in the engineering, procurement and construction of a wide range of energy related projects that are spread across the Canadian landscape. Fluor provides local, regional and international clients with full-service capabilities, which include economic evaluations, conceptual engineering, feasibility studies, program management, detailed engineering, procurement, transportation and logistics, modularization, fabrication, direct-hire construction, construction management, commissioning, start-up, operations and maintenance.
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