Dennis Mozak created Synergy Projects in 1996 because he was ready for a change. After working for a large corporation for 15 years, he saw the need for a company that could really invest in its people, reward them for their hard work and help them grow personally and professionally.
“That’s why this company is named Synergy,” smiles Mozak, president and CEO. “It’s about all the components coming together to build a better unit.”
Synergy Projects is a full service construction firm specializing in general construction, design build and construction management. The company’s projects span the commercial, institutional, industrial and multi-family market sectors of the building construction industry. “We are a small company with big aspirations. It’s not our intent to become the largest construction provider in Edmonton or Western Canada. It is our position to become one that creates the most value for all of our clients from beginning to end, including warranty and service after the projects are completed. Currently we work with our clients across all of Western Canada, but we expand our territory depending on the needs of our clients.”
When he launched the company 20 years ago, it was named Synergy Developments. “At that point, we were looking at becoming more of a property developer and owing real estate, instead of being localized to the building function of real estate,” Mozak informs. “Fortunately for us, we negotiated a deal with a very good supplier who has since became a long-term partner: All Weather Windows. Our development purpose at the time was to take their eight facilities and amalgamate them into one 240,000 square foot building, but the building contractors we approached were very reluctant to perform this scope. With our deadline for the project in mind, we decided to leverage our construction expertise and perform the building project ourselves. Synergy Projects Ltd was born and we performed our first project, building the All Weather Windows facility. We were so fortunate to have Gord Wiebe (founder, All Weather Windows) believing in us then and now.
“It soon became very apparent that our clients were looking for bigger solutions to their construction needs, so we created a model called Complete Building Solutions. The model was built to assist clients with the whole real estate lifecycle, from purchasing and evaluating the land, conceptual financial planning (proforma construction budgeting) and decision making, project financing, engineering, project management and more. Clients that want to own real estate can depend on our knowledge and on our good relationships with all aspects of the industry. We have often heard from our clients that their backers like to see Synergy’s name on projects. They know it increases the chances of success.”
Another part of Synergy’s complete system is called Synero, which maintains contact with clients after their building is turned over to them to ensure their ongoing satisfaction.
Mozak’s dream of investing in his staff has also come true.
“One of my visions was to have the employees have ownership in the company. To date, very proudly, over 20 per cent is owned by our people. We are very fortunate to have many long-term staff that have been with us for 17 years. Our team has pride of ownership and you can see it in our efforts to make sure our clients are happy with our services. It’s not all about financial gain. It’s about customer satisfaction.”
Among the many projects Synergy has completed over its 20 years in business, Mozak is particularly proud of the Edmonton Brewery District, and his connection to this historic piece of the city.
“My father actually worked in the District when it was a Brewery,” reminisces Mozak. “The opportunity to build there was quite an honour.” Synergy completed the underground single story six acre parkade, all associated site work, and the development’s main buildings, and they did it all on time and on budget.
Mozak, and Synergy are also very fond of the community in which they have their roots. Synergy employees are encouraged to be active members in the community.
One particular example is Synergy’s longstanding relationship with Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton. “My wife Laurie and I got involved five years ago after we were introduced to the organization by Terri Duncan. We could see just how difficult it was for parents that had autistic children; we successfully worked with the group and raised capital to build a facility that has made so many parents’ lives easier. Most recently we completed a second facility on the south side to allow for the organization’s expanding needs.”
Mozak, Laurie and Synergy are also involved in St. Michael’s Health Group’s adult long term care facility. When Mozak and his wife visited the facility a few years ago, they felt Edmonton’s seniors deserved something more. After collaborating with other interested parties, they raised $6 million to improve the residence. This included renovations and an elevator expansion.
Synergy is also active with the Mental Health Foundation in Edmonton. “We are happy to focus on these and many other community initiatives, even though we face our own challenges right now.”
“We have had so much uncertainty over the last three years with oil prices and a new government that any business owner has really put a halt on wanting to do business in Alberta,” sighs Mozak. “Now, with the very recent approval of two pipelines, I think that will help, but it will still take time for Alberta’s major corporations to feel confident in Alberta.”
But the man that created a company specifically to help people and service clients knows that economic ups and downs in Edmonton are just part of the overall landscape, and he is thankful for the many great things he’s experienced with Synergy over the years: particularly, celebrating their 20th anniversary together.
Synergy is proud to have earned five Merit Contractors Association awards for being an employer of excellence. “It’s not based on peers. It’s based on employees submitting for you. To earn those through the years is very rewarding,” says Mozak with pride.
Every day, Mozak is thankful to his family, staff, management team, clients, vendors and everyone that has helped to make Synergy a 20-year-and-counting success. He would also like to
thank his accountant, Jim Stout, for his many years of service
and partnership with the business.
“Our next five years is really about continuing to focus on client satisfaction,” Mozak says about Synergy’s future plans. “We have been and will continue to expand into new markets.” With an eye on those new markets and with 20 years of experience backing a bright future, he concludes, “Give us the opportunity. We’ll earn your trust.”