Cardinal Concrete is excited to announce that two members of our team have been nominated for Squamish Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Cardinal CEO Bob Fast has been nominated in the Business Person of the Year category alongside Susan Chapelle (Aligned Collective), Jared Sissons (Executive Suites), Colette Morin (Glacier Air), Shannon Lorenz (Garibaldi Events), and Angie Vasquez (Thornhill Real Estate).
Since moving to Squamish 45 years ago, Bob Fast has been a dedicated business owner and community volunteer. In January 1974 he and a partner bought Cardinal Distributors and began to grow the business into the Cardinal Concrete you know today. In the beginning, they only had four mixer trucks, three dump trucks, and one location. Bob took on the role of mixer truck driver and loader operator, while his partner handled the dispatch and maintenance of the trucks and other equipment. In the early days, Cardinal Concrete supplied to projects including the Brennan Park Ice Area in 1979, the shops at the BC Rail Yards on Government Road in the early 70’s, Whistler Village in 1979, and the shops at Squamish Terminals in the early 80’s.
Today, Bob has grown the business to include not only Cardinal Concrete, but also Coast Aggregates, Westland Concrete Pumping, and Diamond Head Land Company. In all, the Cardinal Group of Companies employ over 50 people, have various locations in Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton, and are literally the foundation of the community. (Concrete pun intended!) In 2005, ahead of the curve, Bob wanted to build townhomes out of concrete and insulated concrete forms (ICF). When no local contractor would take on the relatively unknown product or style of construction, Bob started a construction company called Edgewater Projects to build a 36-unit townhome complex on Edgewater Drive – which went on to win the Concrete BC Home with a Difference Award in 2005. Only more recently are we seeing a broader uptake of this construction method. Cardinal Concrete & Coast Aggregates have also had the privilege of being involved in the construction of the Sea to Sky Gondola, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, and the 2010 Winter Olympic venues in Whistler and the Callaghan Valley.
Though Bob has always been passionate about his business, he is also a strong community supporter. As a volunteer he got his start locally with baseball – first as a player and then as a coach for a women’s team – and his ongoing support of local baseball earned him a Founder’s Award in 2011. For over 25 years, Bob has been an active member of the Squamish Rotary Club, where he has served on the Executive numerous times, including as Club President in 1995. He has also spent time as a board member for the Squamish Chamber of Commerce and the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation.
Bob’s love for the community has also been instilled in his company’s values and they support many local fundraising, charity, and community events either through sponsorship, donation of material, or access to land. These groups include the Squamish Days Festival, the Test of Metal, Squamish Hospital Foundation, West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Centrepoint, Bob McIntosh Triathlon, Squamish Youth Triathlon, SORCA, Mamquam River Access Society, Helping Hands, and many more.
Bob is now considering the options for the next phase of his career and has been a great mentor to the next generation of leaders in the group of companies he has built. He has seen a lot of change in the local community over the past 45 years and has guided the businesses through the good times and bad. Bob is a calm, thoughtful, visionary and is very deserving of the title of Squamish Business Person of the Year for 2018.
The other nominee from Cardinal Concrete is Amy Fast, Business Development Manager, who was nominated for the Bill Manson Citizen of the Year award for her volunteer work with the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival. Her fellow nominees include: Maureen Mackell (Squamish Helping Hands), Dwane Kress (Spakwus 50), Angus Thomson and Connor Lum (Amped in the Park), and Cydney Lyons (Squamish Arts Council).