New team tackles new adventures at Yellowknife office

John Morris, Gina Vangoietsenoven, Susanna Nyitrai-Hacz, Max Hildebrandt and Ian MacDonald at the Joint Task Force (North) Headquarters in Yellowknife.
John Morris, Gina Vangoietsenoven, Susanna Nyitrai-Hacz, Max Hildebrandt and Ian MacDonald at the Joint Task Force (North) Headquarters in Yellowknife.

Gina Vangoietsenoven and the team at the new Yellowknife DCC office are tackling the challenges of setting up shop and getting work done in communities unlike many others in this country. With new “boots on the ground,” Vangoietsenoven says they’re offering a level of support that just wasn’t possible before.

In 2017, DCC awarded a five-year, $85-million contract for the maintenance (preventative and scheduled) of DND facilities in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. It was decided that, to ensure the best management of the contract, a new office in the North was needed to bring Vangoietsenoven and her five-person team closer to their Client-Partner, and to the work. “To be able to daily interact with them and troubleshoot – that’s very valuable,” said Vangoietsenoven. “We’re right here to help.”

Some troubleshooting specific to their location has been required too. The high security of the facilities has made finding contractors with the proper security clearance more challenging. The permafrost, frozen winters and bug-heavy summers are also challenges to manage – as are the logistics of things like truck transport in communities with such extreme weather conditions. Even from their base in Yellowknife, accessing remote locations can be difficult.

“It’s the harsh conditions that make it most challenging – weather and remoteness,” she said, who adds that, while the landscapes are different than what she’s familiar with, it’s a beautiful place.

They’re tackling those challenges though and looking for more. With the facility maintenance contract rolling, the DCC office is looking to take on construction management in the area as well, once their sixth team member joins shortly.

“The intent is to offer full services for DND in the North,” said Vangoietsenoven.


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