Business Elite Canada spoke with CIF President, Jack Fomenoff, about CIF’s history and this milestone anniversary.
By Anna Guy
CIF Construction LTD, the Prince George-based concrete and civil contractor, is a well-known name in the mining, oil and gas, forestry, pulp and paper, bioenergy, wind energy, commercial and municipal industries. For 30 years, CIF has supported its clients’ operations with a dedication to professionalism and work ethic that has been the engine behind the company’s longevity.
Concrete and civil services are vital to operations in nearly every major industry. Early on, CIF Construction earned the trust of its clients through a deep understanding of the complex nature and locations of their operations, and a dedication to hard work that has thread throughout the company’s 30 years.
CIF was formed in 1991 after the construction company he and a partner worked at closed its doors. With strong roots in the construction industry, and relationships with local business owners, Fomenoff recognized a gap in the market for a speciality concrete company. “I got to know a lot of the owners of saw mills and other places where I worked, and I saw a need for a team that specialized strictly in concrete at the time,” says Fomenoff. “The construction company we used to work for had transitioned into an engineering firm and they started giving us work.”
Some of those contracts were with the biggest names in Canadian mining and forestry, and slowly, CIF started earning its reputation for honest, quality work. For instance, one of its first jobs was doing floatation cells “around the clock” for Gibraltar Mines which reached completion three weeks ahead of schedule. “The owners were happy with us,” says Fomenoff.
This dedication to client satisfaction has not wavered. CIF understands that each project is unique in its concrete specifications (depending on soil and load bearing capacities, and situational impacts) and so the business owns and operates an extensive equipment inventory, setting them apart in the industry.
CIF clients benefit from the team’s telebelt, concrete mixer trucks, and concrete pump trucks that are capable of placing concrete up to a distance of up to 40 meters, as well as fully portable, computerized concrete batch plants that allow CIF to produce all of the required concrete onsite—no matter how remote the location. CIF is also proud to have an in-house team that negates the need to hire sub-contractors which reduces delays and increases efficiencies.
“I wanted to do everything ourselves,” says Fomenoff. “We have all the equipment necessary to complete every task your project requires. We have our own concrete batch plants, concrete pump trucks, mixing trucks, excavators, rock trucks, dozers, and dump trucks. Most of our work is completed in house, in general the only work we subcontract out is the electrical grounding, but otherwise, we are a one-stop shop,” says Fomenoff.
CIF’s Civil works department has grown over the years to become a major component of the business—its recent multi-year contract for upgrading part of the Trans Canada Highway in Chase, BC is one example of this.
Pride in his team comes through in everything Fomenoff says. CIF employs journeyman carpenters, ironworkers, equipment operators, scaffolders, licensed mechanics, surveyors, engineers and technologists to complete their client’s projects professionally and efficiently—and Fomenoff credits his team with CIF’s success.
CIF is based on a foundation of strong values and inclusion and engages in partnerships with the First Nations communities. Fomenoff believes in celebrating Canadian diversity, and that diversity is what makes Canada a beautiful place to live. “We believe that success comes from not only being a diverse company but also in embracing the rich culture that makes Canada a beautiful place to live and raise a family.”
The basics of business remain the same as it did 30 years ago: the CIF team is dedicated to doing the best job possible for its clients. “We make sure we do a good job so we have an opportunity to work on more projects with them,” says Fomenoff. “That has always been our objective—do a good job and we’ll get asked to do something else or get the chance to bid on something else. That’s all I ask–to make sure that everybody’s happy.”