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Insist on the Highest Standard of Leadership, Teamwork & Accountability​

Posted on January 26, 2023

When the leaders of JDS Mine and Civil Contracting (MACC) describe their services as “world-class”, they’re speaking from proven experience. 

President Cody Stibbard, for instance, has worked at open pit and underground mines in Canada, Mexico and South America, first as a labourer and operator before progressing to management in 2009 (while earning a Mining and Mineral Engineering degree at the University of Arizona). Then there’s Firas Alali, JDS MACC’s Project and Contract Manager. Firas has over twenty-five years of engineering management experience including lead work on Qatar’s 195-kilometre Orbital Highway, Saudi Arabia’s Mecca-Medina high-speed railway, and many other pipeline, reservoir, bridge, airport, marine, railway and mining megaprojects across the Middle East & North America. 

“In our meetings with (JDS Founder and CEO) Jeff, he constantly reminded and encouraged us to stay ahead of the game, deliver world-class work, and maintain the highest standard of leadership, teamwork and accountability for our clients,” Firas says.  

“This commitment to leadership, teamwork and accountability can be infectious,” Cody adds. “Winners love to win, and when you’re working on a project that has a really good team, like most of ours do, everybody’s focused on producing a world-class result, excitement, enthusiasm and pride are emotions we can all relate to.  To us that is winning.”

Having the right tools, for any given project, is a key aspect of world-class performance, and JDS has been making great strides in this area. “Growing and diversifying every year since the Underground Division launched has enabled us to acquire better equipment, hire the best people, move more into direct contracting, and do bigger, more technically challenging jobs,” Cody says. These jobs truly are “world-class” by any definition. For the New Afton gold and copper mine just west of Kamloops, B.C., JDS was contracted by New Gold Inc. to supply skilled underground miners and equipment to support and accelerate the development, production and construction of the B3 and C Zone block cave.  The effort by JDS extended the mine’s life by more than a decade, until at least 2032.

(New Afton Mine, Kelowna, B.C.)

That said, the best spraybooms and cable-bolting rigs are of little use without the right people operating and maintaining them.  And that is where JDS’ experience pays off. “We have one of the highest employee retention rates because people see themselves staying here for the rest of their careers, and enjoying themselves while they’re at it,” Cody says. “It can be a high-stress environment, but it helps that we see problems more as opportunities. A potential client sends us a bid package, asking ‘How do we do this?’ and ‘What resources, equipment, people and expertise do we need?’ and it’s like solving a giant puzzle. Every day is interesting and challenging. The minute you stop problem-solving, you stop adding value to the project.”

Above all else, it is the passion of JDS team members that stands out to Firas. “I’ve seen employees in their 70s and 80s show up just to help out and get the job done. That’s super-cool to see and it inspires me in my work. Even when things are going well, these veterans are doing what they can to make them be better. It’s all part of this continuous desire to do better, to be more efficient, and to solve more problems on behalf of our clients.”

(Broadway Tunnel Project, Vancouver, B.C.)