Hedgeford & Berkley, Inc
Martha Huk, P.Eng - University of Windsor
Executive Global takes an exclusive look at some of the most successful and competent executives in numerous industries around the world. From banking and finance, private aviation, energy, technology, lifestyle, corporate services, and wealth management, to legal advocacy, education and academia, we take a look at thought leaders and senior level decision makers
in their respective industres, in addition to their tips for success in business.
President and Chief Engineer, Hedgeford & Berkley, Inc
An interview with Martha Huk, Founder & Chief Engineer, Hedgeford & Berkley, Inc
Our special interview on Bespoke Luxury Design with MARTHA HUK, Founder & Chief Engineer of Hedgeford & Berkley, Inc, highlights the stellar contribution of one of Canada's elite luxury build and design firms characterised by an unsurpassable drive for clientele satisfaction through high quality building and renovations, with exceptionally thoughtful interior design. Executive Global gains an exclusive insight into how this award-winning industry leader in luxury living is servicing the needs of affluent institutional and private clients.
Martha Huk CV
England, United Kingdom
University of Windsor
Bachelor of Applied Sciences, P.Eng
2021 Completed 8,000 sqft residential design in 48 hours
2021 Opened a second Hedgeford & Berkley office in the Middle East
2018 First international design and build project
2015 First commercial project over $200k
2015 Selected participant on
The Search for Canada’s Next Designer
2015 Inception of Hedgeford & Berkley Inc
2017-2015 Developed six next generation propulsion cooling systems for military vehicles
Bespoke Luxury Design
EG: Tell us how your experience as a design engineer and how working with renovations early in your career, eventually led to the conception of Hedgeford & Berkley?
Martha Huk: Early in my career, I was working as a design engineer, prototyping propulsion cooling systems for military vehicles. For years, I had one vision: create a better vehicle so our troops could come home safer. I left it all up when I realised that the purpose to create something remarkable was being overshadowed by the need to just “get something out”. I saw first hand what happens when people lose inspiration and morale to do great things. I realised that if management could not create a progressive place for me to work in, I would create a company that could. So I set out to build a company with the other skillset I had: renovating. I never set out to create the greatest design and build firm; I set out to build the best company to work for. We just happen to be
good at design and build.)
EG: What are some of the ways in which Hedgeford & Berkley has distinguished itself as an elite build and design firm that has enabled you to become a household name today?
MH: Our clients ask for the extraordinary. They want to be wowed when they enter their space so we take the time to deeply understand what it takes to create that experience for them. We set audacious goals and figure out how to exceed them. We are uber committed to the cause. We operate as a boutique firm and work around the clock which allows us to turn on a dime and pivot when our clients’ needs require it. I think this addiction to client satisfaction has led us to be part of some incredible transformations.
EG: And how does your firm push the envelope to test the boundaries of construction and design in ways that your clients truly appreciate?
MH: Character is the ability to carry out what you promised to do, long after the excitement of the moment has passed. We don’t shy away, we don’t quit, we push forward. When we set project goals with our clients, we push forward with high momentum, and if we hit a roadblock, we tackle it from an engineering perspective. We do root cause analysis and ask why, and live by ‘why not?’. Our clients value our relentless focus on getting them what they want. The challenge of lofty goals both motivate and energise us.
EG: Are there any unique ways in which your approach to inspire clientele may vary when working with commercial building and design, compared with luxury residential projects?
MH: I find commercial building the most exciting. We venture into creative realms more rapidly because commercial clients tend to be more open to trying designs out of their comfort zones. We can push design boundaries because we can show at the same time that the developing designs meet the constraint requirements of time and budgets.
A One Stop Shop for Luxury Build and Design
EG: What additional benefits may be posed with Hedgeford & Berkley serving clients in the capacity of both a build and luxury design firm?
MH: Dreaming is one thing, executing is a whole other ball game. Understanding the effort it takes to bring a design to life, allows us to iterate between what we want to create, and what it will take to pull it off. We design structure into the designs as we develop the vision so we don’t get to the end and let someone else worry about the details. We are finding it rare to work with people who are obsessed with both the technical and creative aspects. We can’t help it, we are addicted to all parts of the process.
EG: Having designed and built wonderful kitchens, custom new builds and renovations, to technically capable recording studios for famous recording artists like Drake, has the required level of attention to detail, style and sophistication needed across the variety of projects, resulted in a greater demand for your skills among notable High Net Worth clients?
MH: The required attention and focus on details for high net worth clients is the same focus and dedication that was required of us every step of the way, in everything we do. We live by the understanding that you must be vigilant at all times. You have to hold the line on the things that seemingly shouldn’t matter, but do. That hunger for greater success means making a plan and seeing it through. The larger the project, the more stamina it requires and in high net worth projects, the commitment to seeing every detail through to the end, making sure that those big audacious goals that we set at the beginning, come to life- is what our clients value.
EG: Possessing the skills and talent of both an engineer and designer, how do you often strike that balance between a beautiful, luxurious design and functional utility?
MH: I Function first, wrapped in beauty haha. When I first started in the industry, I felt conflicted with the real need for beauty. I had worked in a military environment where as an engineer, your design must work, but it is not meant to be luxurious. I had not yet understood why beauty had the power to change your state of mind and how changing your state of mind, allows you to surpass your own expectations in what you can accomplish. Functionality is for your mechanical needs, luxury design is for your soul because at the end of it all, I believe that when you are inspired, you can do great things.
EG: You also featured prominently in The Search for Canada’s Next Top Designer. Was this level of recognition a turning point at which you realised you were becoming a nationwide success?
MH: This opportunity came when I was three months into my entrepreneurial journey. I had a heavy sense of impostor syndrome from jumping into a new world where I had no formal training and when I was sent home, it hurt. In my mind, it validated that I wasn’t cut out to do this, but around the corner would be another opportunity. The journey to be successful is long. It’s flawed, it’s painful and it’s hard. There is nothing easy about pushing to be at the top of your game at all times. It is a relentless pursuit of bettering yourself in the hope that your work speaks for itself. I was born to grind, to push, I don’t want to rest and I don’t want to coast. That feature was just the beginning of what would be in store for me as the years went on, I just didn’t know it at the time.
EG: You have also won several awards and notable accolades for your work. What would you say are the most important characteristics required to be a successful entrepreneur in this industry?
MH: You need to be addicted to your purpose because you don’t wake up with a goal and then stand back as its path unravels before you. You get beaten up, you make strides, you get knocked back down and it is an endless, demanding pursuit. The accolades you win along the way are the pats on the back that I believe help you get back up and keep aiming higher. Early in my career I set my sights on winning accolades that meant I was sitting amongst the world’s best. The rare opportunity to see the others who produce such high calibre work, inspires me to keep pursuing the same.
EG: How would you say your rigorous training as a mechanical engineer prepared you to succeed as one of Canada’s foremost entrepreneurs redefining luxury construction and design?
MH: My training prior to starting a business, prepared me with the sense of great responsibility and a deep sense of urgency. My engineering work directly affected people’s lives. Not just the quality, but whether they survived a situation or not. I held this responsibility with a tremendous drive to succeed for them. This purpose has not changed. My work may not be life saving now, but I treat every project as if it was. I make sure our clients know that they have a fierce resource at their fingertips and that we are committed to their success.
EG: Given your success as an engineer, what would you say to encourage the next generation of young STEM graduates who may have an eye for this business?
MH: Dedicate your career to science because you crave understanding how the world works. Use this understanding to make the world better. Understand that science and math can be wrapped up in beauty and the ability to change the way someone feels from something that you not only dreamt up, but also executed is unparalleled. But above all else, remember that how you do anything, is how you do everything.
EG: How may your military discipline and the impressive connections you have established throughout your career, save money and improve bottom-line profitability for future clients?
MH: My military discipline allows me to find a way to succeed when it means making personal sacrifices. Too many people get upset by the goals they don’t achieve because of the work they didn’t put in. I own my mistakes and I confront them. I do not give up and I do not give in. There is no compromise when I advocate for my clients and I am relentless when it comes to bringing their vision to life. These beliefs ensure that our clients’ bottom line is always looked after, the end result is of the highest quality and their satisfaction is of the utmost importance.
EG: As a trained mechanical engineer, problem-solver and head of an award-winning firm with a long line of positive testimonials to your credit, why should every High Net Worth real estate investor and developer contact you before embarking on their next project?
MH: Haha, well that’s simple. We create the product they need while taking care of all the details. We turn work around quickly and effectively. We are dedicated to the success of their project and the momentum we create around their projects provide a key part in their success. EG
Deep focus and discipline above all.
How you do anything, is how you do everything.
Profit is the blood flow crucial to every business.
» Awarded Best Boutique Design & Build Firm for Canada by Acquisition International
» Awarded Top 30 Influential Entrepreneurs to Watch by Silicon Review
» Awarded Top 20 under 40 entrepreneurs by London Inc.
» Awarded Buildings & Infrastructure Industry Gamechanger by ACQ Gamechangers
» Nominated in 8 categories of Design et Al’s International awards
Founded by Martha Huk – an engineer by trade with an unparalleled drive for modern aesthetics – Hedgeford and Berkley has firmly established itself as a design and build firm that turns the traditional approach to construction and design on its head. For further information about Hedgeford & Berkley, please visit: www.hedgefordandberkley.com