The Building Industry Loses A Friend

Last Thursday night was supposed to be a good night.

Not only did the OHBA Awards ceremony take place, but also one of our clients won an award.

Moreover, my good friend BILD CEO Stephen Dupuis received the inaugural David Horton Lifetime Leadership Award of Excellence, which he reacted to very emotionally, given that David Horton was a friend of his who recently passed away.

But the night’s success was overshadowed by what happened next. Because on Friday morning, I learned that Stephen had passed away sometime after leaving the OHBA Award ceremony. He was 52.

I knew Stephen for a long time. He had an impressive resume. After working for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, he joined in 1988 what would later become BILD. He also wrote a column for the Toronto Star and worked with Habitat for Humanity to create affordable housing for all.

What was the reason for this impressive resume? It wasn’t just hard work. In fact, I’m not sure any of it felt like work to him.

Put plain and simple, Stephen excelled at what he did because he loved what he did. And he loved helping people fulfill the dream of having a home. Some of us may forget that’s what it’s all about. But not Stephen.

His passion, his humour, his contagious laughter, and his sense of respect ensured he had many friends in the industry. I am proud to have been one of them, and I join them and his wife Linda and his children Kendall and Carson in mourning the loss of a great man.

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