Kelowna Chamber of Commerce names 2014 Business Leader of the Year

Mike Jacobs, head of Emil Anderson Construction group of companies, to receive prestigious award at Oct. 21 banquet

  • Oct. 2, 2014 10:00 a.m.

Mike Jacobs has been named Business Leader of the Year for 2014, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce announced today.

The award recognizes the contribution of Jacobs to the Kelowna business community.

Jacobs is the fourth generation leader of the family owned Emil Anderson Construction group of companies involved in road building, earthworks and heavy civil projects throughout the province; highway road maintenance in the Fraser Valley; and residential land development and housing in the Okanagan Valley.

The company’s recent highlight projects include the Whistler Bobsleigh and Luge Sliding Centre, the Whistler Ski Jump, a road/rail expansion for the Port of Prince Rupert, a rock shed in the Fraser Canyon for CN Rail, the WR Bennett Bridge/Campbell Road Interchange and Sneena Overpass projects in Kelowna.

Jacobs is now president and CEO of the family of companies, having moved to Kelowna in 1988 after obtaining a  Masters in Construction Management from Stanford University to help initiate a new venture for the company, the purchase and residential development of Dilworth Mountain.

During that busy decade, Jacobs expanded the business by founding Dilworth Quality Homes in 1989,  celebrating its 25th anniversary this year having built more than 1,000 homes and condominiums in the Okanagan which have received many regional and provincial awards of excellence.

“We’ve worked hard, and are proud of the infrastructure that we have built to help grow the economy of B.C. and make roads safer for the traveling public. We are also equally proud of the homes we have built in all price categories and the many repeat buyers who just love their Dilworth Home,” said Jacobs recently.

On top of being a busy contractor, developer and homebuilder, Jacobs has been active in industry organizations as a founding member and past president of the Okanagan chapter of the Urban Development Institute, past chair of the BC Roadbuilders, active in his church and past chair of the Kelowna Catholic School Council and a convener and coach for Kelowna minor basketball.

“We are very big supporters of local charities and organizations,” said Jacobs.  “We support many projects with our equipment and construction expertise as well as monetary support such as the Hope Golf Course, Mission Creek Greenway, the YMCA strong kids campaign, UBCO engineering and Okanagan College Bright Horizons.”

EAC has been a major roadbuilding and heavy civil contractor in B.C. for more than 70 years  since Founder and great grandfather Emil Anderson started the business in Fort William, Ont.

In recent years, Jacobs has diversified EAC’s business model to now include a golf course development at Tower Ranch, rental apartments and commercial holdings such as a Tim Hortons in Armstrong.

On a personal level, Jacobs met his wife Kim on a volleyball court at Parkinson Recreation Centre and not surprisingly have raised a son and daughter who both have played CIS volleyball for the University of Toronto while studying engineering and life sciences. The Jacobs are now transitioning into the empty nest lifestyle after many years constantly in gymnasiums or on ski hills supporting their children’s athletic endeavors.

Jacobs will formally receive his award at this year’s ceremony at the Coast Capri Hotel on Tuesday, Oct. 21. The awards mark the Kelowna Chamber’s 27th annual Business Excellence Awards, which fall during Small Business Week.

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