GBA Group


LF - Aqueduct

With almost 40 years of development and project management experience, GBA has learned to solve complicated projects with innovation and tenacity.

This experience covers the full scope of public and private sector partnerships, and many large-scale, multi-stakeholder redevelopments.

Extraordinary developments happen when the right solution, financial modeling, design, project management, lease and funding negotiations, political and stakeholder consultation, construction and completion are all brought together harmoniously. 

We succeed by collaborating with clients and meeting their needs in every step of the development process. We value the power of politics and inventiveness, and we pride ourselves on a bold commitment to efficiency and fiduciary responsibility.

Building great communities is in our DNA.







President and CEO

The roots of the Bird family are several generations deep in the Ottawa area, instilling in Graham the belief that as a native son he had an obligation to future generations to keep making Ottawa better. As President of GBA, Graham often says that helping to build Ottawa is a great privilege — to imagine what could be, to work with visionary partners, and then together, to build and achieve that vision. “Getting to be creative and help shape the city you were born and raised in really isn’t work – it’s play,” he says.

Graham spends his days — and often many evenings — playing out possibilities to solve complex redevelopment projects to ensure they are completed on time and on budget. Most importantly, he works to ensure they are built so that a community becomes more memorable and more relevant.

With more than 30 years of experience in the development business throughout Canada, Graham has managed a wide variety of multidisciplinary projects for both the public and private sectors. He is particularly respected for understanding the business force of development — the need for building solutions into the design, the construction and the operations of new infrastructure; solutions that are flexible and respond promptly to the requirements of clients or markets.

Graham has a successful track record in leading-edge, complex redevelopment — whether it is institutional, commercial, residential, or mixed-use — through all of the applicable phases including planning, design, construction, financing, approval, communications, and operations. A member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, Graham holds a degree in Applied Science from Queen’s University.


Manager, Projects and Operations

A graduate of Algonquin College’s Business program, Mitchell Bird joined GBA full time in January of 2013 after spending the summer of 2012 working with the GBA team as a Project Management Intern. To augment his business education and his experience at GBA, Mitchell continued his professional development by completing Algonquin’s Project Management program.

Mitchell has been instrumental in developing work-plans and redevelopment approaches for the LeBreton Flats Redevelopment, Tunney’s Pasture Redevelopment, the Brockville Health & Wellness Centre of Excellence, Carp Retirement Residence and the restoration and re purposing of the heritage Davidson-Hope House.

A competitive hockey player for many years, Mitchell lent his organizational skills to the Ottawa Senators as a member of the Marketing Community Relations team before moving to GBA. He values the importance of working with communities as they grow and change, and has learned firsthand as a GBA team member how integral it is in the redevelopment of new infrastructure for clients and organizations.


Vice President – Community Design and Development

John is a seasoned experienced planner who began his professional career in 1985. He spent 34 years with the City of Ottawa growing his career from a junior planner to a senior leader, acquiring progressively more responsible experience in municipal planning and related fields through out his years with the City. Following his retirement from the City as the Director of Economic Development and Long Range Planning, John established John H Smit Consulting, specializing in Planning and Urban Design Services, and aligned himself with GBA Group as Vice President, Community Design and Development to continue his contributions to city building in the private sector.

While with the City, John dealt with many complex multi-disciplinary and multi-agency planning, development, transportation and economic development projects/initiatives. Throughout much of his public sector career and in the various leadership roles he held, John provided leadership, supervision and management to staff teams and consultant work with a results-oriented focus, and applied project management practices to ensure provision of timely quality service delivery. As a leader, John subscribed to and advanced the principles of change management to support and promote Corporate goals and objectives.

In his current role, John specializes in providing strategic advice and urban planning and design services to various private and public sector clients engaged in development and city building projects. This advice is grounded on the solid appreciation that John has gained through his public sector career of the multi-disciplinary interrelationships between those elements that drive a city’s growth including an understanding of how governments work, drivers of development and change, and the effects of external influences on urban development as well as an understanding of what cities need to do to position themselves in an increasingly complex global world to remain resilient, adaptable, competitive and successful. John understands that financial viability is the cornerstone of success in bringing projects and plans to fruition.

John’s specialties include Progressive Management, Leadership, Sustainable Land Use Planning, Planning Policy Development, Development Review, Urban Design, Economic Development, Transportation Planning, and Heritage Planning.


Vice President – Finance and Procurement

David Laird is a specialist in capital projects and facilities outsourcing procurement, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property licensing. He works with GBA as the lead on financial and operations management counsel for infrastructure renewal and procurement from concept to completion.

Prior to David’s association with GBA, David was a senior advisor for infrastructure, corporate finance and M&A transactions for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ for more than 16 years and spent 20 years as a finance and operations executive in the high technology industry.

David applies his extensive advisory and executive management experience to bring practical solutions throughout the procurement process to ensure specification, cost and schedule compliance.

David developed finance models for The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, the Shaw Centre, Lansdowne Park and the Bank of Canada redevelopment projects.

David has raised millions in long-term debt and equity for clients, and arranged for interim financing for acquisitions in amounts of up to $125 million.


Development Manager

Alannah has over 9 years of progressive management experience, mainly focusing on real estate and infrastructure development, strategic planning and financial analysis, and business development.

Alannah joined GBA in 2017, and she enjoys the pursuit of working through to the best solution in complex financial planning and determining the most innovative and cost‐effective approaches to delivering a project.

She was a founding member and executive of Bridgit Inc., a successful construction Software Startup which began as a small office in Waterloo to become a North American enterprise success, with over $15M in venture capital raised.
Alannah holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate and Infrastructure from York University, finishing first in her class.

A passionate environmentalist, and the builder of her own ‘tiny home’, Alannah is a longstanding community volunteer, and sits as a committee member for the Centretown Citizens of Ottawa Corporation, and Invest Ottawa’s Bayview Yard’s Expansion.


Project Research Coordinator

Laura Crawford joined GBA in the summer of 2022 as a Project Research Coordinator. She assists the team with background research as well as administrative tasks to ensure each project is moving efficiently and with the most up to date information.

Laura completed the Tourism and Travel program at Algonquin College and has always been passionate about working with people. She brings her experience from the fast-paced hospitality industry with her teamwork, organizational and time management skills to the team at GBA.


Office Administration

Chantal Langevin is the Office Administrator for GBA, a position she has held since 2010. Chantal manages the day-to-day aspects of client communications, as well as billing and finance administration, web and data maintenance, plus general administrative support and customer service.

Chantal’s strength as an organizational strategist ensures that the GBA team, and their projects, run seamlessly and smoothly.

A graduate of Algonquin College, Chantal is the accommodating and friendly administrator that clients quickly become very accustomed to and know they can count on. She takes great pride and care in ensuring that every call and request is attended to in the most timely and efficient manner.

An annual volunteer in the Ottawa Christmas Smiles campaign which arranges gifts for seniors over the holidays, Chantal is strongly motivated to give back to her community and to help those less fortunate.

It is these kind of values that make Chantal both an integral part of the office team and a shining example of the GBA way in action.


Communications Manager

Sue Walton, Manager of GBA Communications, is a seasoned administrative and communications professional who brings over thirty years of experience in the health care sector.

Sue was a key player in developing and managing several award-winning mental health awareness programs at The Royal, including Conversations at The Royal and the influential high school series designed to open informal conversations with youth on mental wellness and mental health struggles – the Is It Just Me program.  She was also proud to manage, in partnership with RBC Bluesfest, the highly popular Be In The Band music program for youth in the National Capital region.  

Her leadership and collaboration skills at The Royal were instrumental in building effective community partnerships with several advocacy groups and stakeholder engagement. 

Known for her strong administrative and organizational skills, Sue worked in senior support roles within the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal), including The Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre, The Robin Easey Centre for care of patients with traumatic brain injury, and as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer and CEO.   

Sue was recruited to The Royal’s Communications and Public Affairs department 15 years ago as the Communications Coordinator to help manage media relations and special events related to the redevelopment of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and the complete re-brand of the organization.

A devoted mother of two, Sue enjoys running and spending time with her family and friends — and as a volunteer with the Capital City Condors Golf Planning Committee, she is a proud parent of one of their outstanding athletes.


Senior Construction Project Manager

A graduate of the University of Ottawa Science and Engineering program majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Richard Leduc joined GBA full time in February 2022.  Richard decided to return to work after retiring from PCL Constructors in the spring of 2014.

For forty years, Richard has worked various positions in the design and construction field with completed projects being the Belleville Courthouse and the Kingston General Hospital while it was operational.

Richard was involved with football for many years in Ottawa and Ontario, as well as the Boy Scouts of Canada.  Presently is a volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Ottawa and enjoys being a member of a local gym and the Opimian Wine Society.


Senior Project Controls Manager

A graduate of Queen’s University, Sarah pursued teaching and travelling in Australia and England before returning to Ottawa to focus on project management. A certified Project Management Professional and Disciplined Agile Scrum Master, Sarah is experienced in schedule and risk management as well as the design-build and P3/PPP/AFP project delivery methods.

Sarah has over 10 years experience delivering major infrastructure and construction projects in the Ottawa area, most notably the West Block Rehabilitation, Ottawa Light Rail Transit Confederation Line and Ottawa Light Rail Transit Stage 2 Expansion projects.  

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Sarah is a mama to twin boys with a passion for finding unique solutions to complex problems both at work and at home

Staff member