DCN ARCHIVES

February 16, 2006

Architecture

Watkinson leaves OAA for consulting career

Helping with mergers a natural progression

After a 15-year stint at the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), executive director Brian Watkinson has tendered his resignation. He will remain on the job until the end of July.

“What I’d like to do next is look at some form of consulting,” said Watkinson, who was named executive director in 1995. “There are huge opportunities out there just in the design and construction sector alone.”

Brian Watkinson

His resignation was announced recently by the association, which regulates the practice of architecture in the province.

Watkinson, who joined the OAA in 1991 as deputy director of practice, has a degree in architecture from the University of Waterloo. He practised in the Niagara peninsula prior to his move to the association.

“There is a part of me that is sad to be leaving the OAA, to be sure,” he said. “But I am incredibly excited about my next career.”

Watkinson said a number of people have suggested that he consider advising groups of architectural and design practices which share common interests or objectives and advocating on their behalf with key clients or government agencies.

“I’ve done a lot of that while at the OAA.”

Watkinson foresees “lots more” mergers and acquisitions in the design profession, “given our rapidly changing marketplace.

“I’m pretty good at brokering those kinds of deals.” Watkinson, who ran his own architectural firm from 1982 to 1991, has been studying the genesis of integrated practice in the United States. He thinks this approach could well be “the next big thing.

“I could have a lot of fun helping firms embrace that (concept), provide a much broader range of diversified services to their clients and make a lot more money.”

Newly elected OAA president David Craddock said he is looking forward to working with Watkinson during the six-month transition period “and having his input as we begin to solidify the policy and direction of the 2006 council.”

Clive Thurston, president of the Ontario General Contractors Association, said he is sorry to see Watkinson leave the association but is looking forward to working with Craddock and the new executive director.

“Brian has been very helpful and supportive,” Thurston said. “He was instrumental in helping set up what we call our triumvirate with Consulting Engineers of Ontario which has proven to be extremely successful in dealing with government, owners and others.”

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