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Bill Delainey leverages business acumen to build successful career in urban planning

Bill Delainey embarked on an interesting journey as an athlete and a small business owner before beginning his career as an urban planner. Entering university, Bill had athletic aspirations, playing football and running in track and field. Bill credits his parents as his biggest life influences. With his father’s guidance, Bill found his educational passion and graduated with a degree in rural and urban development from the University of Saskatchewan. Bill then operated a small business for 20 years before launching his career in planning with the Rural Municipality of Corman Park. 

Bill shares, “I was hired at Corman Park at the same time as Glen Grismer; he was instrumental in my career development. At the time, I didn’t have much practical planning experience, but as a mentor, Glen respected my business experience. I was given many opportunities to work on major projects that allowed me to gain valuable planning experience.” This experience led to Bill’s promotion to Director of Planning at the Rural Municipality of Corman Park.

One of the highlights of Bill’s career is his contributions to introducing a new level of planning to Saskatchewan communities. Bill explains, “Through my research in preparing a District Plan for Saskatoon and Corman Park, I developed terms of reference for a secondary planning process. Over time, more Saskatchewan communities have adopted this process, despite the process not being specifically enabled by provincial legislation. It is exciting to work in various jurisdictions and see how widely my work has been adopted by planners and communities.”

Bill joined Associated Engineering in 2012.

“I had a very positive experience working on a project with Associated on behalf of Corman Park. The team’s approach and commitment to client service aligns with my own philosophy.”

Bill says, “My first memorable project with Associated was preparing the Discovery Outline Plan for Lethbridge’s southeast sector.” Since then, our planning practice has grown in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and expanded to Ontario and BC. 

Bill advises, “I have been fortunate to have been given the freedom to manage and build the planning practice, which is both exciting and challenging.” Recently, to complete a project to inventory the lands available to the City of Regina, Bill had to conduct a level of market analysis - work that is very unique for Bill. The final report was well received and Bill found the experience to be tremendously rewarding.

As Manager of the Urban Planning team in our Saskatoon office, Bill has mentored several young planners seeking their professional planning designation and found the process and relationships to be very rewarding. He says, “It’s not until you are put into a position to provide advice to a more junior team member that you realize that you have acquired valuable knowledge that can enhance the careers of others.”

Bill believes that to be a successful consultant, you need to be observant, capable of assessing and analyzing situations and client needs, and able to maintain focus on project objectives. 

“An effective planner needs to be able to understand a situation and draw from their experiences to provide a tailored solution, as well as being focussed on client service.”

A long-term volunteer, Bill has served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute, including a term as President. He also served two terms on the Canadian Institute of Planners Board of Directors.

Outside of work, Bill is an avid Toronto Blue Jays and Indianapolis Colts fan, and enjoys going to watch live games. He also enjoys being physically active; typically, you can find him riding his e-bike to work each day, and working out or running during his lunch breaks. In the summer, he enjoys wakeboarding, wake surfing, and swimming at his family’s cabin. In the winter, he enjoys snowmobiling and cross country skiing.

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