Mar 17th, 2022
Employee Spotlight: Meet Claude
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Claude Louisseize Celebrates 40-year Service Milestone with OCH
In February, we sat down with Project Manager Claude, celebrating 40 years with OCH. Claude started in 1982 as a superintendent, which held the responsibility of a Maintenance Worker currently.
Claude was the first superintendent hired to take care of City Living’s “Old Portfolio” in Overbrook. Back then, City Living only had 1,500 units.
He laughed, remembering the story of how he came to work for City Living.
“I was working on the Lebreton II construction site near Rochester Street. Someone came by and said to me: ‘I have been studying you and I like how you work.’
The position he was offered was the superintendent of a community. While he accepted the offer, he didn’t get a call until three months later.
Claude said he was not sure about what working for the city meant exactly at the time but confessed that it was nothing like he thought.
When it was time for the interview, he met with J. Doherty, who hired him on the spot. He was a superintendent for four years.
In the ’80s, City Living was broken down into three parts: The Old Portfolio, the New Portfolio and seniors’ buildings.
The Journey from Superintendent to Project Manager
After four years working as a superintendent, Claude moved up the ladder. An opening for a Project Supervisor became available for the New Portfolio. The focus was the management of all new developments. From there, he took a post as a maintenance supervisor.
Before taking on his current role as Project Manager, Claude was a Tender Officer; in that role, he wrote service contracts for the Corporation.
Today he works as a Project Manager. In this role, Claude “wears two hats.”
He oversees the OCH emergency disaster restoration and recovery contracts. That includes rebuilding or renovations because of fire, water, mold and trauma losses, and natural, “manmade” disasters and unforeseen events. As part of his work, he oversees the restoration budget, which is $3.5 million.
Claude’s second hat is preparing and issuing capital contracts for the Asset Management Operation department.
Claude said he gets an early start when asked about his typical day.
“I am an early bird – sitting at my desk at 5:45 a.m. every day,” he said. “I review and respond to all emails, review and approve estimates, emails, and phone calls to keep in tune with all four restoration contractors and prepare capital contracts. Then it’s more emails and phone calls!
There is never a dull moment or a chance to sit idle in this hectic department. Claude deals with approximately sixty to seventy active work orders between the four restoration contractors.
Claude said one of his strengths is moving from one file to another efficiently. To stay on top of everything, Claude created project trackers for each contractor where real-time updates are made. Claude strives to collect data and has multiple project trackers and spreadsheets where he can provide answers at the snap of a finger. He is constantly keeping in contact with the tenants to ensure they’re in the loop.
In his time with OCH, Claude went through six corporate changes. He’s happy to be here and has no plans to leave.
“I love what I do. I wouldn’t sit at my desk that early in the morning if I did not love what I do. Every day when I wake up, I am excited to go to work.”
Claude says he loves the challenge of taking a project from start to finish.
Claude also likes working with his team.
“The people I work with at AM – O (Asset Management Operations) are very focus oriented. They know they’re stuff. It’s a pleasure to work for the department,” he said.
Claude likes to hunt and fish when he’s not at work, but his favourite hobby is line dancing. He dances to all kinds of music – rumba, mambo and salsa, and he’s been doing it for 26 years. The pandemic has slowed him down a little bit, but he’s anxious to get back to doing it again once he can.