Since being established in 1973 by founders Frank and Elsie Van Bree, Birnam has seen considerable growth throughout decade to decade. Expanding from a history in municipal drainage, Birnam became well sought after for our ability to work efficiently in difficult and complicated situations, specializing in solutions in the quicksand and swamp drainage industry. In the mid 80’s, an eager and ambitious son Mark and his wife Teresa came on board and Birnam quickly expanded into the sewer, watermain and road building industry. Thanks to our founders, Frank and Elsie, a strong foundation was formed at Birnam.
With Mark and Teresa on board as the second generation, a commitment to teamwork, and dedication to quality and service has been “a tradition since 1973”. This second generation of owners has always been keen on making a positive impact on the sewer, watermain and road building industry with Mark serving as a board member on the SHCA, OSWCA, and the CCA Boards. They are committed to giving back and contributing to continued growth and success of this thriving industry. They are proud to be recognized as a Gold Seal certified company.
The third generation of Birnam is now Building Today for a Stronger Tomorrow. Brothers Kevin and Bryan Van Bree joined Mark and Teresa in the early 2000s, with brother-in-law Phil Coeck joining more recently to manage the General Contracting division. All three are committed to Birnam; it’s growth, development and continued success. Through steady progress, Birnam has grown from a staff of 5 to 70. Like their parents, Kevin, Bryan and Phil are also dedicated to making a positive impact on the industry, through service on a variety of different industry related boards (LDHCA, OSWCA Young Executives Committee) as well as community organizations.
Birnam’s growth and expansion continues with all five owners who offer a unique take on the industry and recognize the value of their team, understanding that the foundation of a great company lies in its employees. Through the ongoing mentorship and training of their employees they will continue to meet the challenges and demands of this thriving and ever changing industry. Birnam is dedicated to Building Today for a Stronger Tomorrow.
At Birnam, we work together to meet all aspects of our projects on spec, on time and on budget. We have demonstrated success with challenging contracts but provide quality service to all projects that we’ve been awarded, providing the expertise, tools and hard work required to complete each project with excellence.
Team Member Profiles
MARK VAN BREE – Owner / President / CEO
Mark is the President and CEO of Birnam Excavating Ltd. He has 40 years of industry experience and 26 years as President. Mark oversees all of Birnam’s Operations. Mark is at the forefront of industry change and influence, notably serving as the 2012 President of the Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA), and currently sits as a member of the OSWCA and CCA Board of Directors and is active in the local Construction Associations. He has earned his Gold Seal designation in Project Management.
TERESA VAN BREE – Owner / Controller / CFO
Teresa has been the CFO and Controller of Birnam for the past 30 years. Her extensive and diverse experience includes a diploma from Lambton College, as well as many post-secondary financial and business courses. As CFO/Controller, Teresa oversees the overall Financial & Administrative performance of Birnam. In addition to her financial role, Teresa oversees the Human Resources Department. Teresa takes the lead in team building at Birnam, ensuring that our Employees benefit from the highest standards in safety, training, and coaching that are available.
KEVIN VAN BREE – Owner / Operations Manager
As a third-generation Owner of Birnam, Kevin is our Operations Manager. Kevin has been a Birnam employee for over 15 years and has earned a diploma from Fanshawe College’s Construction Engineering Technology Management program. Kevin loves to be where the action is and oversees the external operations/construction on all projects from the most challenging and ambitious to our small projects as well. In addition, Kevin is on the Advocacy Board for a major equipment supplier, where he is involved in representing the industry when discussing the future of innovation in construction equipment. Kevin has earned his Safety Officer designation and acts as our Employer Safety Representative.
BRYAN VAN BREE – Owner / Sr. Project Manager
Also a third-generation Owner, Bryan is our Sr. Project Manager and oversees all internal operations and sales at Birnam. He graduated from RCC Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree and diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology. Bryan uses administrative and technical thinking in his role as Sr. Project Manager, making sure that projects are monitored, followed through and kept on target. His involvement starts at sales and pre-qualifications to estimating and follows through to project completion. Bryan works to ensure Birnam’s standards and ethics are maintained throughout the company. Bryan is currently working towards his Gold Seal designation in Estimating and Project Management.
PHIL COECK – Project Manager, GC Division / Health & Safety Coordinator
Phil brings his experience to Birnam where he estimates and project manages our General Contracting division with projects under his belt including sewer treatment plants, pump station upgrades, lagoons, subdivisions and a variety of smaller scale jobs such as pedestrian crossings too. As a Red Seal Certified Sheet Metal Worker, Phil has worked for more than 10 years in the construction industry, as an apprentice, sheet-metal worker, foreman and mechanical project manager before coming to Birnam. He excels at project managing Birnam’s vertical construction projects, as a good team player and communicator and has a keen eye for Health and Safety. He is our Health and Safety Coordinator and heads our Birnam Health & Safety Committee. Phil is also working towards his Gold Seal designation in Estimating and Project Management.
BRUCE CLARKE – Sr. Estimator
Bruce Clarke has been estimating at Birnam since 2011. An alumnus of the University of Western Ontario, Bruce brings over 40 years of experience as an Estimator in the industry and is a Certified P. Eng. Bruce has kept ahead of industry innovation and change and has worked on every type of project. Bruce also brings a high level of knowledge and a large list of industry contacts.
BRAD EASTMAN – Site Supervisor
Brad Eastman is a Site Supervisor at Birnam and has been with us for more than 20 years. His experience started as a Topman, excelling to Foreman and has carried him to where he is now as a Site Supervisor. Brad excels in projects where communication with Owners is key. Brad has managed major projects in the downtown cores of St. Thomas, Petrolia, Wingham, Exeter, Bothwell, Mt. Brydges and Goderich. Brad has been recognized for maintaining an injury-free workplace for over a decade by the IHSA. Brad has completed many Gold Seal Courses and continues to participate in annual training and industry conferences.