Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, I began my career in new home construction almost 20 years ago, as a young teenage girl. I remember feeling tremendously in awe when first learning of the profound impact of the construction industry. From building entire cities, employing masses of the population, to sustaining and growing local markets; The construction industry is a worldwide titan of the economy, and right from the start I wanted to be a part of it. It became my passion to excel in this industry, and in 2007 an opportunity presented for me to relocate cities and helm the first residential building project for new home developer, Tamarack Homes, in Kingston, Ontario. I hold the position of Sales & Marketing Manager and have been privileged to lead all our residential building projects in Kingston thus far. Despite being very busy in my career, my drive to do and achieve more within the industry has always persisted, and I have been fortunate to find an outlet of like-minded industry enthusiasts through my involvement with the Kingston Home Builders Association. I began by attending KHBA events and dinners, and it was an immense honour a few years ago to join the KHBA Board of Directors as a Builder Director and was appointed Chair of the Sales & Marketing Committee. The work that these local home builder associations do to connect our industry, and give a voice to all within it, as well as broaden the horizons for the future, is very much needed. As a woman, I could see that there has been a history of this industry as an “old boys club”, as the saying goes, but I can confidently reflect that both women and men are working hard to change that. I have been part of this evolving industry for the past two decades, and my confidence grows each day. In 2017 I was the winner of EnerQuality Corporations coveted ENERGY STAR Champion Award for Ontario, and in 2016 & 2017 I was named a finalist for EnerQuality Corporation’s Inaugural Builder Achievement Award, and was immensely honoured to be named the winner of this prestigious award in 2018. It was an immense honour to say the least. As only a handful of us in the industry made this final shortlist, I found myself overwhelmed with joy each year that one of the finalists for the Builder Achievement Award was a young woman in her 30’s. Although I was pleased that it was myself as a finalist, there was a deep sense of gratitude that I felt for it simply being a woman, any woman. The support and encouragement from my colleagues within the KHBA was beautiful and inspiring. I felt it spoke volumes to the changes happening in this beautiful construction industry, that in addition to building our cities, building our homes—it is also building up women along the way. A big take away for me there was the thought that another woman may see me win that award, and on a subconscious level decide to join our industry, or compete within our industry and reach for future successes and opportunities they may otherwise not have considered. That gives me a real sense of pride. My passion for this work and industry has also allowed me to be part of exciting positions including; sitting on the City of Kingston’s Housing and Homelessness Committee, Chair of the Board of Directors with Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region, on the Board of Directors with Big Brothers, Big Sisters KFL&A and the Board of Directors with Boys & Girls Club of Kingston. I host a weekly television segment with Global News Kingston/Corus Entertainment named ‘Design Ideas with Jacqui’, and am a contributing writer with local publications.

I continue to be inspired to carry on the work and traditions of those who strived in past generations before me, and am immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to do so. I am a mother to two daughters, and I know that the future gets brighter for them every single day.

Jacqueline Collier