As we prepare to enter a new year, it is important to look back and reflect on the determination of our teams across the country, as well as the changes they had to make in order to persevere through this challenging period. We reached out to some of our Site Administrators from Modern Niagara’s Toronto Office, in order to share their stories and discuss their efforts in navigating these trying times. The Site Administrators play a major role in both organizing and maintaining Modern Niagara’s numerous projects in Toronto and are crucial for the successful completion of these jobs. One such Administrator is Maria Nucci. Maria, who has been with Modern for six years, works as the Head Office Liaison and enjoys the high level of interaction with the field teams that goes along with the role.
“I like being the go-to person at the office, and the field staff know that I won’t give up until I can give them an answer,” Maria said. “The best part is getting to know all the workers on the jobsites really well – the office staff and the crew become a tight knit family.”
Maria has been involved in many different projects over the course of her time with Modern Niagara. Currently, she’s working with the field staff on the Macdonald Block Restoration, the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
Coordinating the various components of a large project, like the many currently underway in Toronto, can be a difficult and stressful task. Emily Azucena, who also works in our Site Administration Team, is proud of the strong cohesion amongst her team and their continued collaboration to overcome all obstacles.
“My work is a challenge, but I look forward to coming to work every day,” Emily mentioned. “Everyone is passionate in what they do, and we all go above and beyond, and that is what makes me proud of this team; we help each other no matter what the job is.”
Another Site Administrator at our Toronto Office is Vanessa Frias, who has recently been helping her team with both the One Bloor and Bay Adelaide North projects. Vanessa also reflected positively on her experiences and the workplace environment during her time at Modern.
“What really stands out is how well Modern Niagara takes care of their employees,” said Vanessa. “They are always requesting feedback and looking for ways to improve. The overall environment is full of positivity, determination and admiration!”
Another member of the Site Administration team, Kelsey Booth, shared similar feelings about working out of our Toronto office.
“I like working at Modern Niagara because of the amazing staff, supportive management, and room for growth,” Kelsey said. Recently, Kelsey has been working primarily on the West Park Health Care Centre and Lakeridge Long Term Care Facility projects.
Emily Azucena is also a Site Administrator at our Toronto office, who has been working on The Well project, as well as supporting the 160 Front St. Tower site. Emily highlighted the importance of Modern’s core values in her day-to-day work.
“I love the company culture and enjoy working with everyone!” Emily said. “Modern’s vision and values are aligned with my own beliefs, such as being the best at everything we do and providing our clients, and our own co-workers, with exceptional service and experience.”
Nevertheless, this past year, teams across Modern Niagara saw their work and procedures significantly disrupted as the country was impacted by COVID-19, and the Site Administrator team in Toronto was no exception. Adapting to the new conditions created by the pandemic has been a team endeavour. According to Kelsey, an important part of the Site Administrators adapting to the new environment was making the new safety measures a priority, while continuing to focus on the work at hand.
“Our team has adapted by being conscious of the pandemic and respecting each other’s boundaries, while not compromising our dedication to our projects,” Kelsey said. Vanessa is also confident that her team has evolved their work in a safe and sustainable way.
“This year has definitely been tough and unpredictable,” said Vanessa. “However, with the protocols put in place, and my team following these protocols to the best of their abilities, I feel that we have adapted well.”
Despite the difficult circumstances and the changes brought on by the pandemic, Maria proudly commented on the experience of working in the field.
“Having worked at head office for a couple of years before moving to the projects sites, I much prefer being on site and watching all the work happen!” Maria reflected. “I’m proud of the fact that I am on the ‘frontlines,’ as we refer to it now with COVID-19.”
Throughout the pandemic, Modern Niagara has made communicating new COVID-19 protocols and information a company-wide priority, something that Emily feels has been important for ensuring workplace safety.
“The company continues to provide us with the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 and our team shares this information with our field staff as soon as we received it,” Emily said.
Furthermore, the circumstances of COVID-19 have also impacted the personal wellbeing of people across the world. As such, Modern Niagara not only focused on ensuring workplace safety and physical distancing this past year, but also promoted mental health awareness and provided resources for our employees. Emily reflected on a personal experience where she felt firsthand the importance of prioritizing mental health, as well as the physical safety measures, during COVID-19.
“Earlier this year, Erin Oliver (Modern Niagara’s Vice President of Health, Safety & Sustainability) took time to e-mail, text and call me to follow up on my health and wellbeing on a personal level,” Emily said. “That is something I’ve never experienced in any company I’ve worked for!”
The entire team continues to maintain a positive outlook, something that is crucial now more than ever. This hopefulness was summarized by Emily, who commented on what the near future will hold for her team as they continue to manage the circumstances of the pandemic.
“It’s been a challenge, but we’ve done it before and we are doing it again now that the second wave is here,” Emily said. “We stay vigilant, support each other and continue what we’ve doing since the beginning of the pandemic, and that is to always be safe!”