Why have one president when you can have two? Plumbing specialist Oram plomberie du bâtiment has created a powerful leadership suite, complete with two co-presidents who each bring coveted expertise to the table. Jean-Paul Allaire started the company in 1970, eventually passing it down to his son; five years ago, his granddaughter Marie-Claude Allaire joined, holding the positions of assistant controller and VP of finance before ascending to the co-president’s chair. “I always had an interest in entrepreneurship, and it was an opportunity to join a great team and a growing company,” she says. Her co-president, Olivier Mongrain, is practically family at this point — he has been with the company for 18 years, working as operations manager and VP of operations on his way to the top.
Together, they have more than doubled the company’s earnings over the past four years and expect revenue to grow by nearly 50 per cent in 2021. Based in Mirabel, Que., Oram has 250 employees and provides plumbing installation for properties like condos and retirement homes.
“What makes us different from our competitors is the relationship we have with our clients,” says Mongrain. “We treat them as real partners and work with them on the planning of the various steps before construction even starts. This leads to projects being delivered on time and repeat business from our clients.”
He and his co-president have built the perfect workforce to forge these all-important relationships and do industry-leading work. “We are constantly innovating and improving our ways of doing things,” says Allaire. Recently, for example, Oram invested into additional training for the foremen who manage their construction-site teams. “In order to sustain our growth, many of our plumbers have moved up to the foreman role,” says Allaire. “We offer a lot of management coaching to help them grow.”
Oram also prides itself on creating a vibrant company culture; it has an HR and marketing coordinator who makes site visits to help maintain positive company-culture vibes and, before the pandemic, organized in-person group activities, from go-karting to escape rooms. All this keeps employees around for a long time: the average tenure is a half-decade, with many folks in the company having worked there for up to 30 years. “We have committed employees who have adhered to our vision over the years,” says Mongrain. “For us, this is a source of pride and a pledge of commitment between the company and our team.”