People on the Move: Erin Binks set to nail it with Terlin Construction

Editor's Note

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Erin Binks doesn’t mind being treated like one of the guys. In fact, she prefers it when it comes to her new role as director of business development for Terlin Construction, a multimillion-dollar, family run business based in Ottawa.

“I’m very excited,” she says a few days into a job that – let’s be honest – isn’t easy to do when a contagious virus goes global and throws a wrench into building and maintaining strong business partnerships. 

Terlin Construction was founded in 1989 by businessman Terry McLaughlin. The full-service construction company has a clientele that includes restaurants and retail stores, medical and dental centres, health and wellness spaces, and schools and foreign embassies. During the pandemic, Terlin repurposed its millwork production facility to produce plexiglass service desk shields to help businesses protect their staff and customers against COVID-19.

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“They have a really good reputation in the city,” says Binks, who conducted some preliminary word-of-mouth research. “I asked around my trusted network first to make sure I got the real story, and they checked out on all fronts.”

Terlin is in the process of opening a satellite office in Calgary as it expands into Western Canada. As well, it sees a lot of potential business growth in Ottawa.

“I think I’m going to have the opportunity to help contribute to that,” says Binks, 40, who was born and raised here. “I’ve always been a big fan of Ottawa. We have a great work-life balance. It’s not only such a beautiful place to raise a family but also to form meaningful business relationships.”

Binks didn’t grow up dreaming of a career in business development, but it’s a strategic role that certainly suits her leadership skills and personality.

“I’m naturally curious. I love hearing people’s stories. I love figuring how I can help them, how I can connect people – personal benefit is secondary.”

You don’t have to be a gregarious, social-butterfly type to work in the field, she’s learned.

“I like to ask open-ended questions to see where they choose to take it. I’m not trying to be the centre of attention or dominate the conversation. I want to know about you.”

The mother of two, ages 11 and nine, expects to fit into the construction industry just fine.

“I notice that men speak candidly around me. Maybe it’s because I’m six feet tall, or because of the relaxed nature of the conversations I tend to have with people,” she says. Boys clubs are certainly fading with younger generations, she notes.

Prior to joining Terlin, Binks worked in business development for nearly three years at Ottawa-based Grade A, an IT managed services provider.

“I really loved my time there,” says Binks, who describes the workplace environment as “very supportive.” It recently merged with Portland, Ore.-based Convergence Networks

She was also Ottawa managing director with the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (now known as Family Enterprise Xchange).

“I understand the complexities of family businesses very well,” says Binks, who put herself through school at Carleton University by working full-time at her father’s commercial insurance brokerage. She majored in psychology.

Binks is “absolutely” looking forward to when the business community can gather again at events.

“I miss the organic conversations that can spring out of them – that magic, if you will, when you just happen to be in the right place at the right time and you’ve discovered a problem you can solve for someone, or when you land a chance introduction.

“I’m really looking forward to continuing to develop relationships in this community and seeing what we can build together.”

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People on the Move is a monthly feature highlighting Ottawa-based professionals, managers and executives starting new positions. Want to see your appointment featured? Share your news with

People on the Move is supported by Boyden, connecting great leaders with great companies in Ottawa, across Canada and worldwide. Explore executive insights, human capital trends and talent solutions here.

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