Most 22-year-olds have big dreams, but not all of them can make them come true as quickly as Kelcie Miller-Anderson has. Having developed her own myco-remediation technology that she plans to deploy in the oilsands, her ultimate vision for MycoRemedy is to take it worldwide under the banner of a non-profit organization to help people everywhere clean contaminated soils.
In a protracted low-commodity price environment, the adoption of new technologies is perhaps the best way to keep western Canada’s oil and gas industry competitive. Producers seem to know this, and Dan Reid’s efforts were key to his company’s 322 per cent revenue growth over the past two years. Being a good listener and problem solver makes him the ideal interface between commercial and technical teams.
Partner & manager,
Panoptic Automation Solutions
By day, Michael Geddes and his brother are the new owners of Zimco Instrumentation and have spent the last year transforming the company—overhauling the IT and inventory management systems, expanding the sales force, finding a new controller. By night, Geddes heads off to a local Calgary hospital and pulls a shift as an emergency medicine and trauma specialist.
Owner & corporate development
Manager, NGL market development Pembina Pipeline
Kevin Jagger has been instrumental in launching Pembina Pipeline into propane-based petrochemical development. It’s a big deal for Pembina, and it’s a big deal for Alberta, potentially creating thousands of jobs. But Jagger is no stranger to setting his sight on big prizes. When he was 25, after four years of investment banking, Jagger decided he wanted to become an Olympic speed skater, and that journey’s brought him to where he is today.
Stream Asset Management
From a soccer-playing kinesiology major looking at a health-care career in Halifax to a private equity investment banker in Calgary, Ryan Haughn’s career has taken a series of twists and turns. The main juncture in this transition was an MBA in finance from Carleton University in Ottawa. “Go west, young man” took care of the rest.
Elite Integrity Services
Shawn Kirwan is the kind of guy that employers push into supervisory positions because he gets great results by treating clients and employees with respect and encouragement. The problem comes when an employer doesn’t uphold the same standards of putting people before profits. So Kirwan and two like-minded business partners launched their own company.
Tulika Gupta refuses any constraints on her spirit, intelligence or interests. As an engineer, she is held in high regard at Suncor, but she is also a prize-winning painter, a certified Reiki master, a kick-boxer, a scuba diver, a 2016 Miss India Canada runner-up, and this fall, an MBA student at the Harvard Business School.
Manager, business development
As a journeyman electrician, Joel Heal was tapped for sales while on a golf trip in Las Vegas. His ability to talk to anyone caught that businessman’s attention. Since then, Heal has exceeded expectations in every sales position he’s taken on. In the process, he has built up an unrivalled network of industry colleagues and friends.
Director, service delivery and engineering
Brendan Boyle helps make pipelines safer and more reliable. With pipeline projects in the cross hairs of pretty much every protest group in North America, this is exactly what Alberta needs for its future. At Vintri, he wears a variety of hats, from business development and sales to software product development. It has been a steep but exciting learning curve for the mechanical engineer.
Stepping out of his comfort zone as a technical-minded engineer, Adam Douglas agreed to lead Fluor’s United Way campaign. Pushed into the spotlight of public speaking, organizing events and fundraising, he led a 30-person fundraising team to break past participation records and bring in $180,000 in tough economic times. Suddenly, he was getting noticed. Suddenly, he’s on a management track.
Owner & Chief Executive Officer
Harley-riding, tattooed Ryan Townend runs a pretty cool advertising agency with top-shelf talent, but don’t think for a minute that his key accounts—which include the likes of Enerflex, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada and CEDA—come here just for award-winning creative concepts and a slick image. They look to Townend because of his unwavering focus on business results. Sometimes old-school principles still work.
Behind the scenes
The last two years have seen western Canada’s oil and gas workforce wither away as the investment drought forced both operators and service companies to hack back their operations to survive.
But, despite the climate of uncertainty pervading the industry, work continued and people built careers and hunted for opportunities.
The 11 members of this year’s Rising Stars class have survived the downturn. That is an accomplishment in itself, but more than just survive, they have thrived, and they have positioned themselves to help lead the industry as it moves into a slow recovery.
And that is worth celebrating.