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John fell in love with construction when he was a child growing up in Poland where he made small structures and bridges over creeks. After moving to Australia at the age of 18 to play professional soccer, he turned his passion for building into a career. He received his degree in Structural Engineering and then worked for an international construction company and contributed to projects in many countries around the world. John came to Canada in 1989 and worked as a project manager with a prominent construction company in Toronto for a number of years. In 1992 he set up his own firm, Roots and Images, which focused on building custom homes, commercial buildings, and historical restorations. Three years ago, he took the next step in his 25-year career and merged ‘Roots and Images’ with business partner Rob Allan’s ‘Stratus Homes Toronto.’ Together, they formed SIR Group Inc.
John now has the time to focus on his biggest strength, which is — as his business partner Rob Allan says — “getting things done.” He manages the day-to-day operations of the construction sites, co-ordinates sub-contractors, and oversees project timelines and tasks, all while keeping the client’s vision —and budget—in focus. With his years of experience, John is able to imagine the finished building before it’s done, giving him the foresight to make cost-saving suggestions and changes for SIR Group clients. John’s favourite part of his job is when the structure is complete and the team can add the details to turn it into the client’s dream. “When I worked for a big company I noticed the struggle they had to complete the projects on time and a high degree of quality and within the budget. We want to see clients who are 110% happy, not clients who are 95% happy. We don’t build houses – we build homes, and that’s our difference.”
When John isn’t overseeing one of SIR Group’s construction sites, he spends time with his two sons, Danylo and Matey, and volunteers in the community.
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Rob grew up helping his parents renovate rental properties and cottages. After spending a year at Indiana University on a football scholarship, he realized he was a Canadian hockey player at heart and transferred to Wilfrid Laurier University to complete his business degree. After he graduated in 1998, Rob worked at several large companies in a variety of high-level business roles including sales, marketing, finance and operations. But, throughout his business career, he always made time for what he loved — his construction projects. Finally, 10 years ago he turned his passion into a career and started his firm Stratus Homes Toronto, where he was involved in both construction and client relations.
Three years ago, Rob merged his firm with John’s company Roots and Images to form SIR Group Inc. At SIR Group, Rob applies his skills in business development, marketing, communications and administration. He tracks budgets, timelines, and contractors, and is the primary contact for clients. In other words, as John says, Rob is “the essential detail guy”. He uses his years of experience as an athlete and business leader on a daily basis. “My experience at corporations gave me the appetite to go out and work for myself. I don’t like to lose, and that applies to meeting clients’ expectations.” While John spends most of his time managing the SIR Group construction sites, Rob is focused on generating new business and spending time getting to know the clients and their needs. “My favourite part of the job is meeting new clients and helping them create their dream property. We’re happy if by the end of the day the client is happy.”
When Rob isn’t in the office communicating with clients, employees and contractors, he spends time with his two kids, his wife Casey, and stays active with skiing and hockey.