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Employee Spotlight: A Passion for Public Service

By Gordian

An interview with Jonathan Burbee, Director of Business Development for Capital Planning at Gordian

Jonathan Burbee’s passion for service fuels his relentless pursuit to make a positive impact on the world. With over 30 years of public service experience, he has dedicated his life to the greater good of others. From his early beginnings in the armed forces and with two levels of government to his most recent role as Director of Business Development for Capital Planning at Gordian, Jonathan lives by the mantra to make the world better and has chosen to pursue career roles that benefit his family, community and the world at large.

“The best colleagues I work(ed) with live(ed) with the intention of making the world better than they found it through service to others, whether in the community or globally.”

Jonathan Burbee, RI

In our interview, Jon shares his thoughts on what makes a great public servant, what brought him to Gordian and how he recharges and challenges himself.

Tell us a little bit about your background in public service in Canada?

As with many others in Gordian, my career started out in the armed forces right out of high school. Initially, this was just a path to access subsidized university education, but it became much more. As a Construction Engineering officer, I enjoyed nearly every day of the ensuing 23-year adventure that took me and my family across Canada and beyond. After a brief three-year stint as a civilian public servant with National Defence, I joined the British Columbia provincial government as an executive director initially managing the corporately owned real estate assets, and then in a strategic and corporate support role with the primary public-facing service organization.

Jonathan Burbee Public Service Spotlight

What do you think makes a great public servant?

I would start with shared values, such as integrity, courage, commitment, working in the open and a bias for collaboration. The best colleagues I work(ed) with live(ed) with the intention of making the world better than they found it through service to others, whether in the community or globally. Finally, as a public servant, you execute the direction of elected officials as decision makers within legal, policy and ethical bounds while also providing of objective professional advice to the same officials, even if it may be unpopular.

What brought you to Gordian?

As I was transitioning from my prior role after over thirty years of public service, I was frequently asked what it was that motivated the change. The biggest reason is that the move gives me the chance to make a positive impact with multiple public organizations rather than just one.  It’s not enough for me to just use Gordian’s products for one organization – my new mission is to influence as many organizations as I can with an awareness of the powerful tools available in the market to deliver safe, reliable and functional facilities. The other reason was that during the recruitment process, our Chief Operating Officer, Ammon Lesher, answered my question about what sets Gordian apart was the affinity Gordianites felt with their customers; it was as close to being in the service of the public as one could get. That statement clinched it for me.

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

My family’s been the strength behind me throughout my career, and I spend as much time with them as they let me. It’s extra special that my adult daughters enjoy including me in their activities like taking in a concert or in a recreational mixed volleyball team. I’ve also had inspiring examples in my parents, who were educators by vocation and continue to serve in many ways in their community. They too include me in their activities sometimes. I recharge outdoors, whether it’s paddleboarding on local waters, walking with family (including my dog Barley) and everything in between. Going against a Canadian stereotype, I only took up hockey in my mid-30’s. It’s been a humbling growth-oriented journey to learn new skills when I was used to competing at high levels in other sports, but I manage to get on the ice over 70 times a year.

Employee Spotlight: A Passion for Public Service 1

What is your favorite part about working at Gordian?

Culture is the most important quality I consider when choosing where to work. Although no longer a public servant per se, I’m surrounded by others with a similar passion to improve the world around them. Whether it’s the data-driven Customer Value team, customer-facing associates in sales and operations or  internal services such as the IT helpdesk, Finance, or Human Resources, the standards are high to meet and continuously improve upon the practice of service. The commitment is sincere and the business results speak for themselves.

Visit our company page to learn more about our team and career opportunities at Gordian.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and expert services to fuel customers’ success through all phases of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. We empower organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.

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