The envision Group

Decentralized management allows The envision Group to grow. The envision Group – a group of companies providing construction, electrical, environmental contracting and remediation services across western Canada – has grown rapidly since its inception in 2005, largely due to its mission of providing cost-effective and innovative solutions to a diverse range of clientele.

According to President and CEO Frank D’Addario, the Ottawa-based organization has significant experience in the petroleum, realty, government, commercial, institutional, industrial and private sectors, and intends to continue expanding through strategic acquisitions while organically growing its complementary member companies.

“Through our strategy of decentralized management, we integrate the services of our acquired companies, share business information and create an organizational structure synergy that aligns with our overall strategic objectives,” he states. “In this way, we combine the advantages of a large company with the agility and focus of a small company environment.”

D’Addario’s Vision

Before founding The envision Group, D’Addario was president and CEO of Environmental Management Solutions Inc. (EMS), a company he founded in 1995 that succeeded through a similar business model. EMS was recognized by Profit magazine as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies with annual revenues exceeding $100 million.

Before, D’Addario was a senior environmental officer with Environment Canada at the Federal Program Division, acting as project director or technical advisor on more than 400 environmental projects for more than a decade.

“My background is in the environmental field, and that is where I am comfortable,” he says. “From that nucleus, I expanded the company through acquisitions into three main components: environmental contracting and remediation services; construction management and general contracting in the public and private industries; and electrical contracting for the industrial, institutional and commercial markets. So, it’s a multifaceted company with an objective goal to provide clients with a total solution, from cradle to grave.”

Distinct Business Model

As president and CEO of The envision Group, “part of my job is to provide that vision, that strategy of where we are today and where we want to bring the company tomorrow,” D’Addario explains. “In doing so, I identified potential acquisition targets that fit the business model that we adhere to. My philosophy is if you like them – after all, that’s why you bought them – then why not let them continue doing what they’re doing?”

He believes it is important to give each company operating under The envision Group umbrella a fair amount of autonomy because it allows them to continue excelling at what they do best. “They’ve been around for a long time, have a good client list and a great reputation within that industry, so we want to work with that and provide resources from a corporate business development standpoint,” D’Addario says. “We just provide the level of bonding, banking and finance they need.”

This arrangement benefits the individual companies within The envision Group who are now able to hone in on one another’s unique skill sets. “The people that are in our segment have been in the industry for 25 years, so are we leaders?” D’Addario asks. “Yes, we are a focus group that focuses on areas that we know well. I believe that if you do something well, you should stick to it because if you become overconfident or overzealous and get in areas you are unfamiliar with, you could run into [some] trouble.”

Limitless Opportunities

The economic downturn has poised unique advantages for The envision Group. “Within the last 14 months, there was a downside to the economy, and we felt it,” D’Addario admits. “Near the latter part of 2009 and as we entered into 2010, the companies that were unstable and didn’t have the banking and financing did not fair well. Going into 2011, there will be an increase in opportunities for companies that are strong likes ours to continue making strategic acquisitions.

“We can grow at least 10 times bigger through acquisitions in a relatively short period of time,” he continues. “There are great opportunities to look at devaluated companies in the United States, which was hit hard with the recessionary period, and we will take advantage of those opportunities. At present, there is no need to look at the European market, as there are plenty of opportunities within our backyard.”

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