2022 Recipient

Photo (L to R): Leon Botham, MSCE, P.E., P.Eng. receives the 2022 Mentor Award from Ryan King, ACEC-SK Vice Chair

The 2022 Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Saskatchewan (ACEC-SK) Mentor Award recipient is Leon Botham, MSCE, P.E., P.Eng. 

Leon understands that Intellectual Growth is important for his colleagues, the business and the profession and supports that growth in his daily pursuits. He always puts people first and believes that for work to be performed properly colleagues require appropriate training and the access to contemporary tools to complete their tasks. He encourages colleagues to identify training opportunities that interest them and supports them in making it happen. “If we need it, we’ll get it” are words he speaks with confidence and without hesitancy.

Leon supports all his colleagues in improving their skill sets and growing in their roles. He exemplifies Career Development as he works to improve his own understandings of business, engineering and personal endeavors. He believes in building strong teams that enjoy working with each other for a common goal. Recently, he demonstrated this by introducing a professional coach to his team to help them build their business and understand how best to support each other in our daily work and future goals.

He believes every level of employee has valuable contributions to the following questions:

Leon believes in building relationships, and that if you take care of and support the people around you that business will follow. He has created a broad network of personal relationships across a wide range of professional disciplines. Through this network he is able to support his colleagues in their efforts to grow their careers in areas of most interest to them, and, more importantly, encourages them to do so. He encourages his coworkers to volunteer within the profession and attend technical events to meet likeminded people and allows them the time and resources to do so, as he knows these opportunities helped him grow in his career.

Leon’s door is always open, whether it is to chat about a difficult work assignment, how to handle a client situation, or what hot sauce he prefers. He makes a point of getting to know his coworkers on a personal level (not just professional), and genuinely cares about the people he works with and their families. His mentorship in this regard is more informal, but so important in that it shows his team that he is available if they need him, encourages communication (if you can laugh and talk about the fun things at work, it makes it easier to also talk about the hard things as well), and most importantly builds trust within the team.

Leon is an active supporter of Professional Development, regardless of his colleague's experience level. He shares through his own experiences on the ACEC provincial and national boards, professional engineering associations, business leadership roles and technical engineering experience perspectives and insights to support decisions of his colleagues in their careers. Leon enjoys sharing his knowledge and shows that by volunteering as a guest speaker at ACEC-SK YP events and at the U of S College of Engineering. He also believes that it is important for everyone (regardless of roll) to understand the consulting business. He recently put together a “Consulting 101” course for his office and encouraged active participation and discussion throughout.

Leon is an advocate in many connotations of the term. He will advocate for an individual who is being overlooked over underestimated, or simply needs encouragement to build confidence. He will advocate for a philosophy of people first as it pertains to consulting, business or design. He will advocate for the profession of consulting engineering and its relevance in positive societal outcomes. Advocacy is perhaps one of the most important parts of mentorship; at its core advocacy looks to support practitioners in the profession at individual, business and industry-wide levels.

A less recognized way Leon mentors is by letting colleagues ‘do’ different tasks and projects (essentially, he lets people run with an idea). This happens because he inspires confidence in the team. He acts as a sounding board but believes that people learn as they do. Sometimes he will let a colleague “pull” themselves through a decision and other times he will “nudge” them in a direction. Leon works hard to understand the people around them so he can provide the guidance needed in each situation.

Leon incorporates mentorship into his day-to-day activities. He leads by example but understands and respects that individuals are motivated by differing circumstance. He inspires trust and confidence and encourages coworkers to pursue their interests. Leon genuinely wants to build a work atmosphere everyone enjoys and is excited to participate in daily.

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