By Alison King

Chuck McShane is no stranger to his fellow members. A three-time president of the Niagara Home Builders Association, McShane is renowned for his passion, energy and dedication to his local and provincial associations. A powerful voice for the home building industry, he has travelled the province promoting careers in skilled trades to youth and advocating to the College of Trades for apprenticeship reform.

It’s a long way from McShane’s humble beginnings in the industry, for which he credits his wife Tatjana. “She was reading the newspaper and noticed a Sears Canada ad looking for storm door installers,” McShane relates. “I had a pickup truck and an old drill, so she encouraged me to start my own business. Before too long the business was doing well enough that I could quit my day job, and I’ve never looked back since. For a guy who didn’t even have a high school education, I couldn’t have imagined where I’d be 20 years later.”

In addition to his duties with the association and his busy job as division manager for St. Catharines Building Supplies, McShane is an active and dedicated member of his local community. He proudly serves as the CEO of the Steve Ludzik Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the former NHL hockey player to provide funding and assistance to those living with Parkinson’s disease, and is the current president of the Niagara Falls PC Riding Association.

“Chuck has been a champion within his local association as well as here at OHBA,” says OHBA President Neil Rodgers. “He’s Niagara’s ‘go-to’ guy. His can-do attitude and desire to effect positive change within the industry is inspiring. Never one to shy away from any task, he is always the first to throw his name in the ring.

“Chuck is very supportive of the work we do at the provincial level and works hard to recruit and retain members,” Rodgers adds. “He has spent many hours travelling around the province to challenge and question the College of Trades—its validity, its purpose and its efficiency. He has sought to educate and inform the public and membership about the College while developing practical ideas and solutions that could make this government initiative work better and more effectively. He’s always quick to call OHBA with opportunities and information that will support our efforts and he works closely with elected representatives to inform them on issues that impact our industry. His diligent efforts have significantly heightened the credibility and influence of his local.

Despite his many accolades, McShane is modest about this latest honour and says he was speechless when he heard the news. “It’s wonderful to be recognized by your peers, but I always feel there’s someone more deserving than me out there.

“I didn’t realize how much was done by OHBA until I joined my local and eventually became president,” McShane adds. “When you see the passion of the OHBA staff and directors, it’s infectious. This industry has provided for me and my beautiful family and has given us a very good life. Not to give back would be very, very selfish.”