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A Strategic Thinker

A Strategic Thinker | Sandro Perruzza

Sandro Perruzza

CEO of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers

Sandro Perruzza—who joined the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) as CEO in July 2014—is a strategic thinker and innovative leader who focuses on increasing revenue, refocusing strategy, improving member services, and building corporate government relations through a collaborative approach.

Sandro leads his team to advocate on issues of importance to society and the engineering profession and creates opportunities for engineers and engineering graduates to connect, collaborate and contribute as they progress through their careers. His goal is to ensure that government, media, and the public appreciate how critical the engineering profession is to growing Ontario’s economy while protecting the environment and improving the quality of life of its citizens.

Sandro has achieved this by:

  • Working with OSPE members to share research and information in a manner that demystifies technical data and makes engineering solutions more apparent and understandable to all
  • Leading his team to create proactive, strategic campaigns targeting the government, public, and media that effectively highlight engineering solutions and their benefit to the economy, the environment, and society
  • Ensuring that OSPE attracts and supports International Engineering Graduates (IEGs) in transitioning from their country of origin to the Canadian workforce
  • Creating opportunities for career builders and senior-level engineers to contribute to issues of importance and mentor younger members
  • Maintaining OSPE’s position as the leading provider of professional development for engineers across Ontario by ensuring all events contain impactful learning components that can be shared not just in the engineering profession but across the Canadian workforce, and securing strategic, long-lasting partnerships.

Working Towards his Goals

Sandro doesn’t have one specific  role model. He believes that everyone he has met or has worked with has contributed to his success. So, in essence, he has hundreds of role models. It is the uniqueness of one’s experiences and how they have had to adapt, persevere, and thrive that has provided him with multiple perspectives of how to address a multitude of challenges, but also understand that these challenges are best met by keeping an open mind and asking questions to understand better what obstacles exist and what risks need to be mitigated.

“As someone who is very competitive and wants to succeed, the hardest part is to not jump straight to a solution without first fully understanding the problem. It is also not asserting yourself too much with your staff, so that they can take the required time to learn and grow from asking their own questions, and hence, their own path forward to solve the problem,” says Sandro. “It may be quicker to just bark out orders to the staff and have them execute, but it builds more capacity in the long run for everyone to learn how to better understand a problem and work collaboratively to solve it.” For the innovative CEO, the easiest part of being a leader is celebrating the successes as a team. Armed with this ideology, Sandro has been taking the organization to new heights.

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) is the only association where engineers and the entire engineering community gathers, shares expertise, and provide recommendations on issues facing the profession and society. OSPE’s vision is to build a diverse and inclusive profession where engineers are bold, courageous, and respected leaders who collaborate with government, industry, and academia to seize new opportunities and solve Ontario’s problems with evidence-based, innovative solutions.

Offering Corporate Training Programs

One of OSPE’s most substantial differentiating factors is its ability to host impactful learning events that focus on achieving this goal. OSPE’s annual conference, which attracts more than 2,000 attendees, is Canada’s largest engineering, recruitment, diversity and inclusion, and professional development event. OSPE is known for starting conversations that will help make the engineering profession more equitable, diverse, and inclusive in Ontario and Canada and working with other institutions to find solutions to get there.

An example of how the clients have benefitted from the company’s solutions includes engineering employers who have put their staff through their Corporate Training programs.

Enbridge Gas delivers natural gas safely and reliably to more than two million homes and businesses in the communities they’ve proudly served for the past 169 years. Their organization, like many others, encourages employees to participate in professional development relevant to their development plan and position. For specific technical topics, Enbridge has historically partnered with outside organizations like OSPE’s Ontario Engineering Academy (OEA) to ensure their staff knows the importance of life-long learning through professional training, and that they feel supported on their career journey.

Enbridge Gas regularly goes through hiring cycles that result in an intake of new project managers to their System Improvement team. To ensure their new employees have the most up-to-date tools and techniques that would apply to their day-to-day work, Enbridge teamed up with the OEA for a custom training solution: Advanced Project Management: Processes, Tools and Techniques, totaling 35 hours of training.

Francis-Olivier Joncas, P.Eng., PMP, Team Lead for Enbridge’s Project Governance & Controls System Improvement, describes, “This course was developed by OSPE to meet our needs. We worked together to create an offering that addresses the developmental objectives we had.” When asked how important it is for Enbridge staff to train together in a team setting, Joncas explains, “There are economies of scale in training everyone at once versus having everyone pursue their own training. We were also able to control and tailor the material so that it is relevant to their day-to-day work.”

The Ontario Engineering Academy at OSPE provides Corporate Training to many other engineering companies in Ontario as well. OSPE’s partnerships with top industry experts sets it apart, in addition to consistently exceeding client expectations.

The Corporate Training program at the Academy also offers the opportunity for corporate clients to train together as a team, on their timelines. An array of courses are available all year round and are tailored to meet the objectives of each organization.

The OEA has created a roster of topics that reflect current industry trends through market research and analysis. OSPE’s corporate courses fall under the following six categories: Communications (Technical & Business), Business Acumen, Strategy, Project Engineering & Management, Leadership & Management, P.Eng. Licensure Courses.

For the Future

OSPE’s annual Engineering Conference will take place in person once again in the fall of 2022. The Call for Speakers is now open at www.engineeringconference.ca. “We will be building on the key themes of engineering leadership in society – like developing long-term solutions to the climate crisis, and building an inclusive and equitable engineering community by discussing what it takes to build a culture of belonging, and how we can hone our emotional intelligence to recognize biases,” says Sandro.

One of OSPE’s OEA members is a principal at one of the largest engineering firms in the country. After engaging in discussions around the role of engineers in creating more equitable and inclusive engineering communities and a better society for everyone, they re-examined how they were retaining and developing their future leaders. They transformed their leadership development programs to focus on these themes instead of simply technical competencies. “Within a short time, they began to realize improved innovation in their projects, better retention rates, more satisfied customers and increased profitability. They have continued to be corporate partners with OSPE and encourage all staff to become members of our advocacy association,” elucidates Sandro.

Sandro Perruzza Award

“With Sandro as its CEO, OSPE has elevated awareness of engineers’ role in making the world a better place and deepened respect for the engineering profession in Ontario.”

Sandro Perruzza

CEO of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers

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