The Zenith Commissioning Team
Zenith Commissioning is a specialized commissioning company founded by Daniel Boyton in 2014. We are local Vancouver firm with great presence in both our industry and local communities and have forged great relationships with our peers and clients. Our team is what continues to make Zenith successful.
BEng | Director & Commissioning Specialist
As founder and Director of Zenith, Daniel Boyton is invested in every project in Zenith’s portfolio and believes that great commissioning work takes a passion for collaboration and communication.
Originally designing airplanes as an aeronautical engineer, a single conversation in an English pub altered his career course into building commissioning. The rest, as they say, is history.
This history spans over 15 years, working in both Europe and Canada in a variety of sectors and building types including Healthcare, Institutional, Industrial, Laboratories, Schools, Mixed Use, Residential, Retail, Commercial and Government projects.
Daniel measures success by how well the buildings he commissions support the intent of his clients and how they perform long term operationally, functionally and environmentally. He believes that an integrated approach empowers the team, enhances the commissioning process and ultimately, increases the success of the construction process at every level. Daniel values real conversations to find solutions and is a champion for the building.
Daniel has a successful track record in managing the commissioning process for a range of complex projects. His natural curiosity brings an added skill by being able to identify potential issues and solutions to help minimize delays and mitigate costs. Problem solving and superior client relationships are at the core of Daniel’s values, informing his collaborative and inclusive approach. We see the results of his passion and his leadership by the repeat client base that Zenith has built since its inception.
Outside of work, his outgoing and affable personality, combined with his many interests, means he’s the one bringing people together, wether it be for a group bike ride, a ski trip or social pub night.
Russell Smalley has been involved in the construction trades for over 20 years; starting in DDC controls installation, programming and engineering, and moving into mechanical systems commissioning 13 years ago. His driving philosophy with regard to building systems is: “Trust, but verify. If you don’t see it yourself, how can you know for sure it works?”
Initially brought in to work at a small west coast controls contractor by a close friend, Russ learned the trade the old-school way; from the top of a ladder and by doing. Staring with basic installation, this learning continued through to engineering the installations and ultimately to managing projects. This knowledge and experience provided a path to transition into mechanical systems commissioning where he ultimately went on to manage the department.
Through his commissioning career, Russ has worked in every market segment within the lower mainland and BC region, from residential to even a small medical isotope reactor project for the BC Cancer Agency. Regardless of the project size or scope, Russ’ collaborative, problem-solving approach and passion for understanding the ‘Why?’ behind all things has led to his success in the commissioning industry during his professional career.
This curiosity extends through all aspects of Russ’ life and the list of hobbies and interests is wide and currently include silversmithing, blacksmithing, motorcycle trail riding and coaching beginner-level Olympic 3-position marksmanship.
DipIET | Commissioning Provider
Ron Foley joined the Zenith team in 2019 and brings his hands-on experience of installation, trouble-shooting and start up of various equipment. Originally from Alberta, Ron graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a Diploma of Instrumentation Engineering Technology.
He has spent over 5 years working in the automation industry, starting with oil and gas projects in 2014, then moving to building HVAC systems in early 2015. Ron has experience in designing, programming, and commissioning HVAC systems for office towers, schools, greenhouses, and industrial process facilities.
In his free time, Ron can be found keeping active with snowboarding and other outdoor activities in and around Vancouver.
MEng | Commissioning Provider
Desmond Wan brings in a wealth of knowledge from building science principles and theoretical understanding of building systems to practical experience in control systems. Originally from the United States, Desmond graduated from British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Master of Engineering in Building Science.
Before coming to Vancouver for his Masters, he spent 4 years working to develop a quality-first approach to different controls projects. These projects ranged from thermostat automation to home lighting controls, as well as understanding how continuous iterative feedback can increase the sustainability of the built environment.
In his free time, Desmond can be found tinkering with computer projects, following the latest updates to Japanese manga and animation, and exploring Vancouver to find great restaurants and cultural activities.
BID (Applied), DipBA | Office Manager
In her capacity as Office Manager, Kris Cox is responsible for all the behind the scenes management at Zenith. Her varied background includes a Diploma in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design, coupled with years of experience with Human Resources, administration, and bookkeeping. It’s this diverse experience and skillset that has contributed to not only the smooth operation of the company, but also in making the Zenith values come to life both in principle and in the everyday practice.
Kris’s addition to Zenith was in 2017, bringing her from Calgary to Vancouver. She has the ability to recognize both the needs of the staff, as well as identify the requirements of Zenith as a company. Her personality and abilities are a natural compliment to the team as she believes her most important goal is to support and build up its people. Her compassion, dedication and professionalism is continually demonstrated on a day to day basis.
When she’s not working, you’ll likely find Kris training for her next triathlon, enjoying a quiet night in or eating her way around whatever city her and her husband travel to.