As CEO of a highly-successful mechanical contracting company, Brandon Bird is an ambitious dreamer who embraces life and where it has taken him.
Built from the ground up by his grandfather and father, Bird Mechanical Ltd. was where Brandon spent the summers and weekends of his youth. When it came time to decide on a career path after high school, though, he was determined to try his hand at something different and move in his own direction. He eagerly jumped at the opportunity to study film – hoping to break the family mold and do his own thing.
It wasn’t long before Brandon learned that life has a funny way of bringing people back to where they’re meant to be, and he soon found himself once again working for the family business. What was meant to be temporary – a part-time job to help out between film projects – soon turned into full-time hours in the fabrication shop where he was learning new skills.
Eventually, Brandon found himself doing what he never expected; falling in love with the trades and cultivating a passion for the family business. It was this newfound passion that led him to pursue a plumbing apprenticeship at Durham College (DC).
“Part of the agreement I had with my father when I officially joined the company full-time was for me to do an apprenticeship,” says Brandon, who completed the advanced portion of his apprenticeship and secured his Red Seal plumbing license in 2012. “DC allowed me to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the industry through a mix of theory, hands-on application and business, and exposed me to many situations that I hadn’t yet seen in the field. The first residential bathroom I ever roughed-in was in trade school.”
Today, at age 30, he is the youngest CEO in Bird Mechanical’s history and credits his success not just to his own business expertise but to his employees and their shared commitment to constant improvement.
“Quite often I have people say they can’t believe the size of the company I run at my age but it takes a great team to be successful,” he says. “When you have a dedicated and passionate group of people, and you’re willing to take risks and push not only yourself but your team out of their comfort zone, everyone involved strives to be better and to do better.”
Despite his youth, the years he spent gaining experience working for his father, along with his DC education, are paying off.
Last year under his leadership, the company hit $32.7 million in sales, opened up a new office in Halifax, NS, to expand their operations into Atlantic Canada and acquired a small civil-contracting company. A month into 2019, Bird Mechanical already has over $25 million in work secured and Brandon is focused on streamlining operations and further reinvesting in the company through new tools and equipment.
“I’m always looking at what’s next to see how we can improve. While a lot of my team focuses on the day-to-day, I’m looking six months to a year or two ahead, always considering our long term goals,” Brandon explains. “No matter how good you are as a company, even if you’re the best, you can always find ways to improve and evolve.”