Sue Connors, CEO of BidCentral
While researching for my next interview, I came across the profile of Sue Connors, CEO of BidCentral. To give some background, BidCentral is British Columbia’s largest construction bidding marketplace, which operates through a secure online system. Discovering that this dominant platform (in a primarily-male industry) is backed by a female CEO was exciting, but also presented some interesting questions.
The British Columbia Construction Association (“BCCA”) announced Sue’s appointment in June, . Formerly VP of Business Development at RevenueWire, Sue has extensive experience with developing revenue, global expansion and strategic channels for e-commerce marketplaces and B2B platforms. Under her leadership, RevenueWire grew to an award-winning company with a diverse marketing portfolio, leading to substantial revenue growth.
In this interview, we touch on all aspects of Sue’s current role, including her road to CEO of BidCentral, what the company aims to do, and what capacity gender has in the workplace.
Claudia O’Neill: Hi Sue, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today! First off, can you tell our readers about BidCentral and what your position as CEO entails?
Sue Connors: BidCentral is the only bidding platform that brings BC’s public and private ICI and multi-residential construction projects together in one place. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years — 50,000 projects and $24.65 Billion have been tendered through BidCentral to date. We’re integrated with BC Bid and managed by the construction associations as a non-profit service to the industry.
The unparalleled combination of professional service from industry experts who live construction every day and the robust built-by-industry platform allow BidCentral to deliver the most relevant, complete, and timely project information in the market. And we have the tools to ensure contractors receive the updates and information they need — when and how they need it.
For 20 years, only members of the Regional Construction Associations could get total access to all the project information and tools – but demand was so great we decided to open up to the whole industry. It’s a really exciting time to be here. My role is to take this “20 year start up” and increase the public, private and prebid project content in the platform, while improving the overall user experience. In a nutshell, design and execute on a strategy to make sure we have every project and every owner and every contractor saving time and money on our platform, getting all the competitive and compliant bids they need to do the job right.
Claudia O’Neill: I’m sure every BC resident can attest to the immense growth we’re seeing in our towns and cities. How does BidCentral impact the projects developing around us?
Sue Connors: Our impact makes it easier and faster for contractors to find projects, for owners and GCs to send out docs to their preferred private networks, and for public owners to meet their obligations of fair, open, and transparent processes using our BOBS (BidCentral Online Bidding for Subcontractors) tools. If you’re an owner with a big project and you want to make sure all the local contractors know about it, there’s no better way to get the word out than through BidCentral. We have a directory with 30,000 contractors and everything you need to promote your project and track your bids.
Claudia O’Neill: Touching on your path that led you to CEO of BidCentral, can you discuss your role at RevenueWire and what you accomplished as Vice President of Business Development?
Sue Connors: I started with RevenueWire in 2009 in the start up phase when it was running solely as an affiliate marketing platform for software. I was brought with the responsibility for revenue growth, global expansion and strategic channel development of the business. During my tenure, RevenueWire expanded into payment processing and diversified their performance marketing portfolio becoming an award-winning industry leader in both channels achieving year-over-year rapid growth to hundreds of millions of dollars in top line revenue.
Claudia O’Neill: Although the BidCentral platform is online, I’m curious to know how working in a male-dominated industry such as construction has impacted your role. Have you faced any challenges?
Sue Connors: That is an interesting question. I’ve been in the technology field for close to 30 years now, which has historically been a very male dominated field. I’ve never really faced any gender specific challenges, but this could be because I’ve been lucky to work with strong women and men executives throughout my career. I find in tech, people will continuously test and challenge your knowledge, regardless of your gender.
Add in construction: I can honestly say that the men and women of construction are happy to work with and educate me on the ICI construction industry. I find they respect my technology background and are eager to help me bring BidCentral’s vision for bridging construction with technology for betterment of the industry to light.
Claudia O’Neill: Lastly, I’d love to ask what advice you would give to women hoping to grow within male-dominated industries?
Sue Connors: Be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone or anything different just to try to fit in. Be confident in yourself, your role, your passion and your goals. It’s not about being male or female in the industry or the workplace – its about your skills, your relationships and thoughtful communication. Treat everyone with respect and be sure to require respect from others – make that a non-negotiable.
If you want something – make it known, go for it and always lift others up and give credit where credit is due. My motto (which has always worked for me): You get what you give.
To learn more on BidCentral, visit www.bidcentral.ca.