Change Takes Time

For this year’s Honorary Life Membership Award recipient, Leo Broks, change takes time.

“The City of Edmonton up until 1972 did not allow private developers to develop as they do today,” he recalled. “Previously, the city’s staff engineers would design infrastructure and administer contracts for construction. But in the early 1970s, there was more pressure to build, and because of the city’s inability to accommodate all development in this way, they started to let the private sector do their own development and construction.”

He worked with a group in establishing policies and procedures for private development as an engineer with the City of Edmonton. Prior to his work within the municipality, he worked in various northern communities.

In 1974, he moved back to the private sector, with a consulting firm, and in 1976, he incorporated Al-Terra Engineering, for which he provided general management for 32 years, and since 2008, has remained as part of the management team while continuing to do project work. With decades of experience, Leo shared his thoughts on the opportunities for the land development industry that lie ahead.

“UDI has a role to advocate for quicker processes that allow for earlier construction of development,” he said. “City regulatory processes have become very lengthy, which affects housing affordability and impacts city vibrancy.”

While Leo is transitioning into full retirement, he said he wants to stay connected and to continue supporting UDI’s advocacy efforts, and, to help those starting out in the industry.

When asked to provide advice for those who come after him, he said with a smile, “Enjoy the journey. This is something you’re going to miss – I know I will.”

Come celebrate Leo and his achievements at the 23rd Annual Spirit Awards.