Dan Boulard – A Métis Entrepreneurial Success Story
Based on a story by Darren MacDonald, originally published in Sudbury Northern Life
Two years ago Dan Boulard’s company, FERUS Industrial Contracting, did not exist. Now, this Métis entrepreneur is the lead contractor for a $45-million project, and the recipient of $234,000 provided by the province to help create 31 new jobs at the company over the next three years. The announcement was made August 22 by Sudbury MPP and Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Rick Bartolucci. “I was always impressed with Dan, and his dedicated approach to the work”, he said. “This is really an incredible day in the economic expansion of how we view Sudbury.”
FERUS is a general contracting company that specializes in project management, new construction, and rebuilding industrial equipment for the mining, pulp and paper and hydro industries.
Boulard, a civil engineer technician and a journeyman iron worker, worked his way up to become a project manager on major projects. “I’ve been in the industry for 28 years, always working for someone else,” he said. “It came to a point where I said I wanted to do it for myself, with a business plan I created.”
Dan Boulard summarized his business philosophy this way: “We are an integrity company. We want to be compensated fairly, but we also want to give the client value for their dollars. We don’t operate with big profit margins, but we want to help people, and we want to help our clients.”
FERUS’ first job was a contract from Steelworkers Local 6500 for much of the steel work for the union’s Brady Street hall. Rick Bertrand, the union president, said: “He’s just an incredible person who really believes in doing a good job, and in helping others. He’s happy making a smaller profit margin if he’s creating good paying jobs. We need more people like Dan in the north.”
Currently, FERUS has 15 workers at job sites, and another five working out of the company’s headquarters in Hanmer. Funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund will allow them to add another 31 workers.