Although 13 in number, the 2010 class of Rising Stars is
a diverse group destined to make their own luck in the
Canadian oil and gas industry
BY DALE LUNAN • PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLES HOPE
t the risk of tempting fate, Oilweek’s 2010
A class of Rising Stars counts 13 among its
inductees—12 if you consider that two were
nominated as a team by a member of the
2009 class and will tie the knot sometime this
As with past searches, we went to our
readers for their suggestions, and this past
February our selection committee—Oilweek
publisher Agnes Zalewski, Oilweek editor Dale
Lunan, and John Waiand and Kevin Morihira
from our Rising Stars sponsor KPMG—began
culling through the nominations, searching for
the right mix of brains and ambition, common
sense and common touch.
Our 13 inductees range from a self-made
vice-president of one of Canada’s largest
service contractors to our soon-to-be-wed partners,
who launched their oilpatch careers on
separate sales tracks but are now partnered in
Calgary’s first dedicated geoexchange drilling
company, bringing geothermal energy solutions
to commercial and residential customers
There are a couple of communications professionals
in the class, helping their respective
associations respond to a daunting assault on
the industry by environmental activist groups
from around the world, and more than one
environmental professional dedicated to making
Canada’s upstream oil and gas business the
greenest it can be.
They’re having a substantial impact in
their respective business lives: Kim Farwell,
for example, is hydroprocessing operations
support leader for Syncrude Canada in Fort
McMurray, but she’s also the current president
of the Association of Professional Engineers,
Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta and
is a director of the Fort McMurray Chamber
And they’re having significant impacts
on the lives of others in their communities:
Jonathan Moser helps with the ongoing public
relations tasks for the Terry Fox Run in Calgary,
while Janet Annesley is a national board member
for the Canadian Association of Elizabeth
Fry Societies and serves on the local boards of
Inside Education and the Calgary Counselling
Take a few minutes to meet Oilweek’s Rising
Stars for 2010. They will be honoured at a
reception in June at Calgary’s Hotel Arts.
Visit oilweek.com/risingstars for exclusive
video interviews with our Rising Stars
oilweek.com | 23
active with the Canadian
association of elizabeth fry
societies, Janet also gives
her time to inside education
and the Calgary Counselling
communications for CAPP,
Janet spends many hours
meeting her industry
members at the Calgary
Petroleum Club. She’s
shown here in the Pete
Club’s extensive wine cellar.
Janet Annesley, 37
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
24 | oilweek May 2010
When someone calls Janet Annesley for career advice saying, “I’d really
like to get into communications because I’m really good with people,”
she has to break them the news that communications is about a lot more
than being good with people.
“You need to understand peoples’ perspectives and their needs, but you
also spend a lot of time staring at your computer screen,” she says. “You have
to be analytical to put together a lot of the business information. You need
a good eye for detail to make sure things are accurate. And you need to be
able to think critically about the things people tell you. So it’s the right balance
between people skills and the analytical and critical-thinking skills.”
You could say Janet has pretty much nailed this balance as a third
generation communications professional. There are three generations of
communications experience in her family: her father was in oil and gas communications
for more than 30 years. And her grandfather, a mining engineer,
ended his life-long career at the Aluminum Company of Canada in public
affairs and government relations.
As the first female executive team member at CAPP, Janet is responsible
for the full sweep of communications tasks, from issues management and
media relations to web strategy, social media, and member relations. She
also takes on an advisory role that calls upon her expertise and mastery of
oil and gas issues acquired at Royal Dutch Shell, where she led a communications
team of 13 in the company’s newest and perhaps most controversial
business, the oilsands.
“The opportunity [at CAPP] really appealed to me because of the challenges
the oil and gas industry faces,” Janet says. “As one of the board members said
to me shortly after I joined, ‘You’re doing God’s work now.’” ★
Family: Married to Erik langberg
Education: Studied English at University of Calgary
and University of Montana; Bachelor of Applied
Communications, Public Relations, Mount Royal
Favourite charity: Canadian Association of Elizabeth
Fry Societies, as a volunteer in Calgary and as national
board member; also board member of Inside Education;
and board member of Calgary Counselling Centre
First job: harvey’s restaurant (“I still love their fries!”);
first professional job was with Alberta Family and
Social Services as junior public affairs officer.
Best advice received: Follow the Golden Rule—Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you.
If not in her current career, what would she be doing?
She has a lot of energy and curiosity, so she’d either be
at home with a bunch of kids, working for a compelling
cause, and/or incarcerated.
Favourite pastime: Cooking and entertaining friends
Favourite book: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Other passions: She’s a newlywed, so her best times
involve her husband, family, friends, lots of good food,
• Well Control
• Blowout Recovery
• Emergency Response
• Emergency Firefighting
HSE’s emergency response
team is directed by seasoned
professionals with decades
of domestic and international
experience. We’re backed up
by the country’s largest fleet of
emergency response equipment.
Call us to find out more about
how we can help you in an
• High-Capacity Fire Apparatus
• Athey Wagons
• Hot Tap and Freeze Services
• H2S Safety Support
• Environment Monitoring
• Paramedic Services
• Blowout Contingency
• Blowout Recovery Tools
Call our toll-free,
HSE Integrated Ltd. - Oilweek Ad - 1/2-page Horizontal
January 12, 2010
oilweek.com | 25
a transplanted texan—where he led Burlington resources’ united
Way campaigns in midland—tom now gives his spare time to a
variety of organizations, from his local community association to the
Canadian heart and stroke foundation and habitat for humanity.
tom and a crew of his Caltex
energy employees had a role in
helping habitat for humanity on
this recent Calgary project.
Tom Bieschke, 37
Co-founder, president, and chief executive officer
26 | oilweek May 2010
One of Tom Bieschke’s fondest memories is when he and business partner,
Brett Wrathall, went to get a light table and fiche reader. Tom was driving
the pickup and Brett was in the back making sure the equipment didn’t
tip over. In that vehicle was the company’s entire workforce and supplies.
Today Caltex Energy is a private oil and gas junior with 7,000 barrels a day
of production and 60 employees. Considering that cross-town haul took place
not even five years ago, it’s no wonder Tom also considers Caltex his biggest
“It’s been a great ride, but it’s also a great responsibility. It certainly brings
home that there a lot of paycheques on the line,” Tom says, characteristically
grounding his thoughts of success with a deep regard for the people around
him. You can see this quality in action even in the mundane daily tasks like
“When Tom gets a message, he’ll dial right back. He respects the
people around him, and that respect runs up and down the organization,”
says Wrathall, Caltex’s co-founder.
Coming to Alberta from Texas 10 years ago with Burlington Resources
as a production engineer, Tom took all of a year and a half before starting a
company of his own with some partners. That company was Krang Energy,
which grew from no production to 5,000 barrels a day before being sold to
Harvest Energy. Further building on his engineering strengths, he launched
Caltex a few days later.
“My university summer work programs were in West Texas and New Mexico,
which is probably why I always considered myself a well-paid plumber,” he
says. “I love trying to squeeze that extra barrel or Mcf [thousand cubic feet]
out of an area where maybe somebody else has tried before.” ★
Family: Married to Stephanie, with three boys: Jake (4),
Will (2), and Sam (11 months)
Education: Two Bachelor of Science degrees
(Petroleum Engineering & Mechanical Engineering)
from Texas A&M University
Favourite charity: Caltex Energy sponsors what is
important to its people—from hockey and softball
teams to work days at habitat for humanity and United
Way. When the earthquake hit haiti, the Caltex management
team matched staff donations and the company
raised over $20,000 in less than two weeks.
First job: Started a lawn-mowing business in 4th grade
Best advice received: love what you do and you’ll
never work a day in your life.
If not in his current career, what would he be doing?
Teaching—maybe engineering, math, or science
Favourite pastime: hanging out with my family—
whether it’s wrestling/playing with the boys, sharing a
meal together, or going camping
Favourite movie: The Band of Brothers TV miniseries
Other passions: he loves sports, whether it’s playing
team sports like football, softball, or volleyball; or individual
sports like golf, hunting, and fishing. he and his
wife also love travelling.
Proud sponsor of the Medicine Hat
2010 Gas City Petroleum Show.
We put our energy into knowing
At MNP, our team of Oilfield Service advisors are
industry specialists who are equipped to handle
challenges specific to the oilfield service sector. By
leveraging our experience we help you anticipate
risk, optimize the performance of your company and
provide practical strategies to keep your business
viable and profitable.
To find out how MNP can fuel your business,
contact Dustin Sundby, CA Oilfield Service Leader
Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors 1.877.500.0779 mnp.ca
oilweek.com | 27
michelle’s another on the growing list of newfoundlanders who’ve
made a mark in western Canada. she favours the Canadian Progress
Club, and in particular its empowering families program, with
whatever spare time she can come up with.
Michelle can often be
found meeting with
provincial officials at the
Mcdougall Centre in
Michelle Chidley, 31
Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (SEPAC)
Event and communications director
28 | oilweek May 2010
As a recent business and public-relations graduate, Michelle Chidley moved from
her native Newfoundland to Calgary in the boom days of 2005. Her first interview
turned into a position with a prominent communications firm. Just as quickly
and seemingly effortlessly, she ended up working for Jim Prentice, Diane Urquhart,
and Jim Dinning.
Michelle has that kind of appeal. People—often in high places—want her on their
public-relations teams. Some people are masters of drive, determination, and push;
Michelle is a natural at creating pull.
“Jim Prentice needed some help in an upcoming campaign,” she recalls. “I wasn’t
particularly interested in politics at the time, so it was more me interviewing him
than him interviewing me. But he impressed me. So I said okay.”
Working in Prentice’s constituency office, Michelle caught the political bug. She liked
the people that politics attracted and easily moved from federal to municipal to provincial
political communications roles. Michelle completed the circle when Prentice called
again, this time as a minister in Canada’s ruling party. Would she be his communications
adviser for Alberta and the Territories? It was an offer Michelle couldn’t refuse.
Over time though, the demands of politics took their toll and Michelle contemplated
a better life/work balance, which she found at SEPAC as a part-time event
planner. Crafting the organization’s first formal communication plan, Michelle’s
responsibilities soon expanded. She convinced the association’s board, embittered
by the ill-fated royalty review, to pursue a course of relationship-building with the
Alberta government. That work reached out to politicians, media, and opinion-leaders
and gave a stronger voice to small producers.
“It’s an easy story to tell—who doesn’t like an entrepreneur?” she says. “We’ve
been quite engaged in the Competitiveness Review, which is partly an outcome of
the relationship-building.” ★
Family: Partner, Mike
Education: Bachelor of Business
Administration (majored in Management),
St. Francis Xavier University;
Certificate of Public Relations Management,
Favourite charity: Canadian Progress Club,
especially the Empowering Families program
First job: She had a paper route when she
Best advice received: Dress for the job you
want, not the job you have.
If not in her current career, what would she
be doing? horse trainer or makeup artist
Favourite pastime: Being in the mountains,
particularly hiking or skiing
Favourite movie or book: Gone with the Wind
Other passions: Playing instruments and
singing songs with good friends and family
(otherwise known as a Newfoundland
kitchen party). Also, skiing, dancing,
volunteering, music, family, home
Global Petroleum Show
the ultimate energy experience.
June 8 - 10, 2010
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Enter Invitation Code: GPS3B For Your FREE Ticket
Major Exposition Sponsor
Official Media Partner
oilweek.com | 29
lars was the first
environmental hire at
Penn West energy. now
he’s helping the Canadian
association of Petroleum
Producers strengthen its
stewardship programs and
working with the alberta
ecotrust foundation to
funding to environmental
causes is distributed wisely.
when he’s not at CAPP helping
fine-tune stewardship programs,
Lars can be found in his office at
Penn west energy.
Lars De Pauw, 36
Penn West Energy
Manager, environment and reclamation
30 | oilweek May 2010
lars De Pauw has some large shoes to fill. His father and mentor is a genetic
scientist who received the Order of Canada for his work.
At the award ceremony, Lars recalls listening to some of the most accomplished
people in Canada and considering his own professional trajectory. More specifically,
he was thinking—both in the big-picture sense and the immediate context—“What
am I doing here?”
The answer came later in the idea of balance. He recognized that his father’s
priority was work, whereas Lars, as much as he loves his job, aims to strike a
That said, Lars is no slouch professionally either. He has a Master’s in environmental
engineering. He was the first environmental hire at Penn West. And for
the last two years, he has acted as chair for several stewardship task groups for
the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, including the Benchmarking
and Stewardship Redesign working groups.
Growing up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Lars decided on the promising field
of environmental engineering at Guelph University in Ontario. He recalls his co-op
work with Environment Canada doing greenhouse gas calculations.
“At the time, people were saying how crazy that was and asking what the point of
it was,” he says. “That was 1994 and the industry has come a long way since. But the
environmental industry is still young. We really just got going in the last 10 years.”
Lars’ ability to strike a balance is a useful skill in the oilpatch. Since it doesn’t
generate revenue, the environmental component is typically considered a cost of
“I wouldn’t call myself a traditional tree hugger—or is that shrub hugger on
the Prairies,” he says. “But there’s definitely right ways of development and wrong
ways…. We need to ensure it’s done properly.” ★
Family: Married to Pamela, daughter Erika (4),
and son luke (18 months)
Education: B.Sc. in environmental engineering;
M.Sc., environmental engineering honours
Favourite charity: Just began his involvement
with Alberta Ecotrust Foundation; chairs
stewardship task groups at CAPP; coaches
First job: Research assistant at Environment
Canada developing methodologies for estimating
greenhouse gas emissions from various
industrial and non-industrial sources
Best advice received: May you love one
another, not in word or speech, but in truth and
If not in his current career, what would he be
doing? “Golf pro, but I’m not good enough to
make any money at it.”
Favourite pastime: Anything with his family,
Favourite book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Other passions: Spending time with friends,
enjoying the outdoors, eating scrumptious food,
and having a good time
Discover the best investment opportunities
in Canada’s oil and gas service industry
June 17 & 18, 2010 Hyatt Regency, Imperial Ballroom, Calgary, AB
Review dozens of investment opportunities in just two days!
Over two dozen of Canada’s top public petroleum service, drilling, equipment, manufacturing,
and processing companies will be showcased at the 16 th Annual Petroleum Services
In just two days, you’ll achieve what it would otherwise take months to do – gather facts,
figures and insights directly from leaders responsible for company performance and
Capture timely investment opportunities in the services sector
Canadian petroleum service companies are poised to offer an incredible upswing to investors.
This is your opportunity to hear about exciting new technologies, critical products and
services, and innovative companies, just in time to capitalize on the building momentum.
Use this efficient and timely symposium to target the most appealing investment opportunities
now available in the petroleum services sector.
Open to Private Investors at
no charge on June 18, 2010.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn
about investment opportunities
in some of Canada’s leading,
small-cap, public oil and gas
For information and
Call: (403) 213-2796
oilweek.com | 31
one of syncrude Canada’s
is currently serving as
president of the alberta
association of Professional
engineers, geologists and
geophysicists. she’s also
actively involved with the
fort mcmurray Chamber
of Commerce and is the
for fort mcmurray’s my
Community my Voice
kim is a key leader of Syncrude
Canada’s extraction and
Photo by Ben Ricetto
Kim Farwell, 39
Operations support leader—hydroprocessing
32 | oilweek May 2010
With the Syncrude court case underway, many in Fort McMurray, Alberta, have
heard more about ducks than they ever cared to hear. A growing sentiment
is, “I don’t want to hear anything more about ducks unless they’re on the menu.”
So while a Rising Star directly from Syncrude’s ranks amidst this unrest may
raise some eyebrows, it also speaks volumes about Kim Farwell. As a chemical
engineer, she’s a brilliant process troubleshooter who combines analytical
and creative thinking to ferret out the causes of operational breakdowns, trend
data, and optimize operations. As an MBA, her management skills benefit from
strategic thinking and understanding the broader perspective.
But it’s as a person and community builder that Kim particularly shines.
“You have to be part of the community to be happy and feel like you’re contributing,”
That philosophy isn’t always apparent in Canada’s frontier towns, which are
often just waypoints in people’s careers. When Kim arrived in Fort McMurray from
Ontario 16 years ago, however, she made it her home by plugging into a long list
of organizations and charities.
Today, she is the director of the city’s Chamber of Commerce and its official
spokeswoman for the My Community My Voice initiative. She’s also president of
the local Electoral District Association, the current president of the Association
of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, and a volunteer
for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, to name a few of her community roles.
As for the ducks, she says, “Having followed a lot of industrial issues, there are
a lot of things to not be proud of. But the oilsands really isn’t one of them. This is
an industry that has tried to learn things from other industries, so it’s a bit sad
to be in this situation now. But you can’t be this big and not draw attention. We
just have to make sure that the right checks and balances are in place.” ★
Education: BA Sc Chemical Engineering,
University of Waterloo, 1995; Certificate in
Oilsands Technology, University of Alberta
Faculty of Extension, 1999; MBA, University
of Alberta, 2002
Favourite charity: Crohn’s and Colitis
Foundation, and extensive involvement in
First job: Construction flag person
Best advice received: You are playing in the
world’s biggest sandbox—have fun!
If not in her current career, what would she be
doing? Out in space—possibly as an astronaut,
or an actress. Or dabbling in politics—a political
journalist or a star of This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Favourite pastime: Being on the water at the
cottage in Ontario or on the lakes and rivers of
Favourite book: Paddle-to-the-Sea by holling
Other passions: Skiing, rollerblading, wakeboarding—any
sport that involves strapping
strange things to her feet. Yoga and dance,
customizing cars, and politics.
oilweek.com | 33
Bryan has quickly become part of the “green conscience” at devon Canada. he’s helped
devise methods for using produced water in shale gas fracs. away from the office, he
serves as treasurer for his homeowners’ association, helps out with neighbourhood
beautification programs, and has been active in devon’s annual united Way campaigns.
Bryan’s green engineering
ideas have helped devon
Canada reduce its carbon
Bryan Helfenbaum, 34
Devon Canada Corporation
Exploitation leader, northwest region
34 | oilweek May 2010
Driving through a windswept prairie dotted with distant windmills on his
way to Devon’s gas plant in Coleman, Alberta, it just flat out bugged Bryan
Helfenbaum that there were no windmills in the windy pass.
So in thinking about the company’s mountaintop facility, which consumed a
considerable amount of electricity from the grid, Bryan did some research and
pitched his bosses on the idea of installing a 1.65-megawatt wind turbine. This
year, a gleaming new windmill stands in the Crowsnest Pass.
“We’re effectively offsetting all of the greenhouse gas emissions from that
plant,” says the former Torontonian who came west in 1999. “It’s a hedge on electricity
costs, and we’re now an electricity producer instead of [just] a consumer.”
The environmental ideas Bryan has turned into reality at Devon Canada aren’t
necessarily new, but their application in oil and gas often is. He isn’t afraid to
think outside the box and stand behind his ideas.
“Of course, risk-taking only works when you’re in an organization that embraces
entrepreneurial innovation,” Bryan notes. An MBA behind his name also helps
recommend his ideas.
Some of Bryan’s other innovations, which earned him recognition from the
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and newspaper write-ups, include
a Devon pilot program testing natural gas use in the company’s fleet of vehicles.
Another made Devon one of the first in the industry to use produced rather than
fresh water in their fracs.
For anyone who doubts an individual can make a positive difference in this
world, Bryan has this to say: “When I started work and saw the scale of industry, I
saw how much waste is generated. One day’s worth of waste at the industrial level
dwarfs anything that a household can do. Realizing that, a few small improvements
in industry can do amazing things. Here, one person can make a huge difference.” ★
Family: Married to lori, son Zachary (3), second
child on the way
Education: Chemical/Environmental Engineer,
University of Waterloo; MBA, University of
Favourite charity: United Way. he has also
used his songwriting and guitar-playing talents
to fundraise; treasurer of his local homeowners’
association; will be coaching soccer this
First job: Reservoir engineer, Imperial Oil; before
that, cashier at McDonald’s, and door-to-door
vacuum cleaner salesman (seriously!)
Best advice received: Scare yourself once a
If not in his current career, what would he be
doing? General manager/coach of the Toronto
Maple leafs, leading them to the Stanley Cup.
Otherwise, something more realistic, like developing
cold fusion or teaching pigs to fly.
Favourite pastime: Sports and general silliness
with his three-year-old son
Favourite movie or book: Lord of the Rings
Other passions: hockey, soccer, hiking, camping,
YOU’RE PROUD OF YOUR SKILLS AND KNOW-HOW.
You want to work where you can be proud of your
employer too. At Suncor Energy, we aim to earn your
respect by providing you with the tools and support that
enable you to do quality work.
Ready to be proud of your workplace?
Put yourself in our picture.
When you join Suncor, you enter a working environment
where how you get the job done is as important as the
goals you achieve. You’ll be part of a company that’s
guided by strong values and beliefs; that demands a
high standard for safety, integrity, responsibility and
always strives to exceed expectations – real reasons to
take pride in saying, “I work for Suncor.”
Put yourself in our picture by applying at www.suncor.com/careers
© 2010 NAS
(Media: delete copyright notice)
Oilweek, Oilsand Review, Oil and G
oilweek.com | 35
the youngest partner at Burnet duckworth & Palmer, James has
established his own donor-directed fund through the Calgary
foundation, and also gives freely of his time to the united Way and
to the many charitable organizations supported by BdP.
James kidd is the youngest
partner at Burnet, duckworth
& Palmer—his pal gracie often
accompanies him to work.
James Kidd, 33
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer llP
36 | oilweek May 2010
lawyering runs in James Kidd’s blood. His father is a lawyer with a general
practice out of Ponoka, Alberta. His father’s father was a judge in Calgary.
His father’s mother was also a lawyer, though she never practiced.
“And my mom’s grandfather, my great grandfather, was actually Frank Burnet,
the namesake to the firm,” James says.
So it was many unseen eyes that looked over young James’s shoulder as he
finished his Bachelor of Arts (honours in philosophy, minor in economics and
drama) at Bishop’s University in Québec and considered his next steps.
Having thoroughly enjoyed his undergraduate studies, he wanted to continue
his education and it was a toss-up between getting a Master’s in philosophy and
law school. Somewhere, there must have been a collective family cheer—or at least
a sigh of relief—when he opted for the road more travelled, by his family, at least.
Today, James is the youngest partner in one of Calgary’s top law firms. His
entire focus is oil and gas mergers and acquisitions.
“I absolutely love the practice of law,” he says.
What he admires most in others is hard work and determination. What he
attributes his success to is the team.
“I can look to the right and to the left of me, one floor up, or one floor down and
find some of the best practitioners in Canada. That’s an amazing resource,” he says.
That generous acknowledgment is rooted in James’s love of the community,
which also finds expression in James and fiancée Laurie’s newly established
family donor–advised fund through the Calgary Foundation. Seeded with their
own capital, grown through annual contributions and a dedicated life insurance
policy, the fund should ensure a sizable endowment.
“We’re also going to use it in connection with our wedding,” James says. “In
lieu of receiving gifts, we’re making it clear to our guests we’d like them to make
a donation to our fund, if they are so inclined.” ★
Family: Fiancée laurie (wedding in November), and
a black lab
Education: B.A., honours philosophy with a double minor
in economics and drama, Bishop’s University; Bachelor of
laws, University of Alberta
Favourite charity: James and laurie’s newly established
donor-directed fund through the Calgary Foundation, as
well as United Way and the many other charitable initiatives
supported by Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer
First job: Ranch hand
Best advice received: You have to step out of a cave to
see the sun.
If not in his current career, what would he be doing?
A cattle rancher carrying on his grandfather (laurence
Boyd) and his grandfather’s tradition of raising “cattalo”
(cross-breeding cattle bulls with bison cows)—the
respect for tradition appeals to him.
Favourite pastime: Pretending I’m the Dog Whisperer with
our dog Gracie only to realize I’m the one being whispered to.
Favourite movie or book: Movie—Any James Bond movie;
book—To Kill a Mockingbird
Other passions: Early-morning water skiing and contemporary
art. Both are challenging. Waterskiing for the obvious
reason and contemporary art for trying to interpret what a
particular artist is communicating in his or her work.
Alberta International House
One of the largest and most dynamic venues at
the Global Petroleum Show 2010.
What’s in it for you?
• A unique exhibit space showcasing governments,
industry associations and foreign oil companies.
• A presentation area to learn about opportunities in the
world’s major oil and gas producing regions.
• An executive area for one-on-one business discussions.
Powered by knowledge.
Driven by partnerships.
Visit us at
Global Petroleum Show 2010
June 8-10, 2010
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For more information go to
oilweek.com | 37
a resident of fort st. John, in the heart of the booming shale plays of
northeastern British Columbia, lance gives his time to the Canadian Cancer
Walk, to a local hospital and to the fort st. John tae kwon do society. you can
usually find him puttering in his greenhouse in any of his other spare time.
one of Lance kile’s outof-pastimes
is working in
his greenhouse—a slightly
smaller version of the one
here at Bluegrass Nursery
& garden Centre.
Lance Kile, 39
CCS Midstream Services
General manager of operations, NEBC
38 | oilweek May 2010
Logotype version Pantone
82, bd des Batignolles - 75017 Paris - FRANCE
Tél. : +33 (0)1 53 42 35 35 / Fax : +33 (0)1 42 94 06 78
Web : www.carrenoir.com
PANTONE 425 C
PANTONE 3285 C
As a manager, one of the most gratifying things for Lance Kile is seeing
people grow into bigger roles. Some of the folks he’s worked with have
even called him just to say, “Thanks, you helped me in my career.”
Lance has come a long way in his own career with CCS, a treatment, recovery
and petroleum by-products disposal leader in western Canada. Eleven
years ago, he started at its Unity, Saskatchewan, salt cavern as an operator
and worked his way up through the ranks to area general manager in
northeastern British Columbia. In this latest role, he earned CCS’s Werklund
Leadership Award for 2008-09. (The founder of CCS, David Werklund, was the
recipient of Ernst & Young’s Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005.)
But it’s the occasional phone call of gratitude that reminds Lance of what
he’s always maintained: making a positive difference in this world happens
one person at time.
While Lance has the usual skill set of a manager—an aptitude for
strategy-charting, goal-setting, and motivating others—what sets him apart
is the respect and trust he feels for those around him. He also goes out of his
way to make the workplace a positive and fun environment, which earns him
sometimes fiercely loyal employees.
“I’ve always said, ‘The day Lance goes, I’ll quit,” says CCS area administrator
Lynn Yake. “He has a great sense of humour and a way with people.”
Beyond his time with CCS, Lance comes by these people skills through a
varied professional and social background, including a stint as a town councillor,
sitting on library boards, and involving himself in a variety of non-profit
“Surround yourself with the right people” is Lance’s motto. ★
Family: Married to Sherry, stepson Richard (25), daughter
Education: Fifth-Class Power Engineering; Wildlife,
Forestry Conservation Diploma
Favourite charities: Various company initiatives in support
of the Canadian Cancer Walk, a local hospital, and his
involvement with the Fort St. John Tae Kwon Do Society
First job: In the oilpatch it was Mike’s Mobile Mechanical
Best advice received: Work smarter not harder. ”I have
used this as a guide throughout my career. It’s not all about
making the job easier; it’s to achieve the best possible outcome
to any situation.”
If not in his current career, what would he be doing?
Following the wildlife/forestry path he had started down 20
years ago, a park warden perhaps
Favourite pastime: he really enjoys spending time in his
Favourite movie: Black Hawk Down, the movie adaptation
of Mark Bowden’s book
Other passions: Tae kwon do has become a strong passion
over the last two and half years. This is something that he
enjoys doing with his daughter. he also loves taking kickboxing
classes with his wife. Reading, fishing, and boating
fill out the rest.
one of the high-level
gatherings of 2010, after
g8/g20 and before coP16.
XXI st World Energy Congress
September 12 to 16
to global challenges
Energy in transition for a living planet*
Premier World EnErgy EvEnt
3,500 leaders from all EnErgy sEctors
300 EXHIBItors | 5,000 vIsItors
over 200 sEssIons and EvEnts
>>> register now at
and sold by
* Authorized by the WWF.
oilweek.com | 39
originally destined to
become a rancher, Brad got
sidetracked into the well
servicing business early
on, and was hooked. now,
he spends his free time
motorcycling across north
america with his wife and
two kids and helping out
with organizations like
habitat for humanity.
Brad, his wife, and two small
children have already visited
disneyland via motorcycle–their
next excursion is planned for
disney world in florida.
Brad Kingston, 38
Savanna Well Servicing
Vice-president and general manager
40 | oilweek May 2010
This summer, if you see two motorcyclists—one bike hooked to a sidecar with
two grinning little children, and the other a cruiser towing a small trailer—you
can be reasonably certain it’s Brad Kingston and his clan. They’ll be headed from
Calgary to Disney World in Florida. And then back.
Sure they know how far that is. Last summer, they rode to Disneyland in
California and back.
“The kids love it. They’re asking all the time when we’re going riding,” Brad says.
A lot of people give up the things they love doing when they start a family. Brad
and his wife Lisa included their family in their passion. Since they were born, their
children Eva and Jude have ridden 30,000 kilometres—and the eldest is only four.
Of course, this takes a bit of confidence and initiative. It always does to shape
a life in the way you want. But these qualities are not in short supply with Brad.
Growing up in Brooks, two career streams typically awaited: the rigs or Lakeside
Packers (the local slaughterhouse). Brad was having neither of them; he wanted
to be a cattle rancher. That is, until a family friend convinced him to help on a rig
one September long weekend 18 years ago.
Turns out Brad liked the money, the hard work, and the team atmosphere.
His work grad ually shifted away from equipment to people and he took on more
responsibilities. One of his proudest professional moments was his role in bringing
together the current company after a merger with Great Plains Well Servicing
and the acquisition of a couple of smaller companies.
“There’s the adage, ‘I won’t believe it until I see it.’ For me it’s more, ‘You can’t
see it until you believe it,” he says.
This inner direction guided Brad from roughneck to vice-president of Savanna Well
Servicing. He always believed it was possible. He always told people what his intentions were.
So just for the record, Brad has this to add: “I certainly have intentions of moving
further within this organization.” ★
Family: Married to lisa, daughter Eva (4),
son Jude (2)
Education: Grade 12
Favourite charity: habitat for humanity and the
numerous charitable initiatives supported by
First job: Sweeping floors at a local department store
Best advice received: Always share your intentions.
“Too often people assume others know what
their expectations and desires are, only to be left
behind. I realized doing this small thing opened many
If not in his current career, what would he be doing?
“After high school, I had full intentions of cattle
ranching. I pursued this for many years and managed
to get 50 head of cattle and a small place south
of Brooks. The service rigs pulled me away from this
time-wise, and I changed my focus.”
Favourite pastime: Riding my motorcycles throughout
North America, and attending motorcycle
fundraising functions with his family.
Favourite book: The Shack by William P. Young
Other passions: Camping and quadding with his family,
snowmobiling, attending automotive events of
any kind. Enjoys building and carpentry projects.
oilweek.com | 41
Oilweek’s rising star
duo for 2010, Jason and
melanie share their working
days, but pursue somewhat
divergent tracks outside
the office. for Jason, his
philanthropic efforts are
directed to habitat for
humanity and the heart
and stroke foundation of
Canada, while melanie is
involved with Big Brothers
Big sisters of Calgary, the
salvation army’s agape
hospice, and Calgary
Women in energy, among
Jason and Melanie have plans
to marry this summer—and
a possible location for their
nuptials is Calgary’s historic
knox united Church.
Jason Munro, 37
Melanie Hamilton, 33
GeoWest Drilling Services
Co-founder and president (Jason)
Co-founder and managing partner (Melanie)
42 | oilweek May 2010
One of the hardest things about running
a company with your significant other
is knowing when to quit talking about the
“Sometimes it’s eight or nine in the
evening and Mel will look at me and say,
‘We’ve got to talk about something else,’”
says Jason Munro.
In the nine years the couple has been
together, both halves charted successful
sales careers in oil and gas services.
Melanie capped her time in the oilpatch
as a co-founder in a production optimization
company, but was dealt an unethical
card that forced her out of the company.
The upside to that ordeal—if pressed to
find one—was Melanie’s realization that
trust and loyalty needed to form the
corner stone of any future venture.
As for Jason’s oil and gas sales career,
in its later years he couldn’t shake the
sense that he could do more than hawk
other people’s goods. This led him back
to university. After completing his MBA
in 2005, the couple took a trip to Thailand
and reconsidered their lives.
At the back of both of their minds was
a desire to make a difference in society.
Both were drawn to green technologies.
So when a good friend in British Columbia
talked to them about geothermal heating,
Jason ran a business case on launching
the first Calgary-based drilling company
dedicated to geoexchange and decided it
They bought a shallow drilling rig
just before the downturn. A rocky ride
through the recession followed. But now
the business has turned the corner—
albeit with sales in Ontario, where the
technology is better understood.
“One of the challenges they face is
they’re at the front end of the adoption
curve,” says Jason’s father and mentor,
Neil Munro, chief executive officer of
Seven Energy Canada. “There’s certainly
a need for the technology, and I’m incredibly
impressed with their dedication and
tenacity in pursuing geothermal. They
work like dogs and they deserve some
Family: Fiancée Melanie hamilton, labrador
Education: BA, psychology; MBA, Queen’s
University, Kingston, Ontario
Favourite charities: habitat for humanity and
heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
First job: Calgary Co-op
Best advice received: listen to your intuition.
If not in his current career, what would he be
doing? Travelling and spending more time with
family and friends
Favourite pastime: Running and biking
Favourite book: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Other passions: loves to play hockey when time
allows, and golf.
Family: Fiancé Jason Munro, labrador named Red
Education: Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation
from the University of Calgary; ongoing
GeoExchange industry courses and training
Treat your clients to a day of golf at the stunning Kokanee Springs Resort on
BC’s Kootenay Lake, or to a Calgary Flames home game in a private luxury corporate box!
Online bidding for the PSAC 2010 Golf Classic Online Auction now open at www.psac.ca
All proceeds go to the PSAC Education Fund, supporting Canadian students and helping to
build a future labour force for the oil and gas industry.
To place a bid or for further
details on the items, go to:
Golf & stay at the stunning Kokanee
Flames Fever: Luxury box for 10,
Bids close at 1:30 pm, Thursday, July 22,
2010. The winning bidders will be
announced at the PSAC Education Fund
Golf Tournament and on www.psac.ca.
PSAC EDUCATION FUND
Favourite charities: Big Brothers Big Sisters,
Salvation Army Agapé hospice, Calgary Food
Bank, Red Cross, Calgary Women in Energy
First job: Cashier at OK! Economy grocery store
Best advice received: Growing up, her grand father
always emphasized: “People’s true character
comes to light in times of hardship. It takes a very
long time before you really know somebody.”
Another favourite piece of advice: Doing things
right is always in fashion!
If not in her current career, what would she be
doing? Travelling the world experiencing other
ways of life and culture, and volunteering in
Favourite pastime: Soaking up the sun, lake scenery,
and water activities in the interior of British
Favourite book: The Seven Spiritual Laws of
Success by Deepak Chopra
Other passions: Family and close friends, eating,
walking trails, and serving people and
Calgary Flames or
Sponsors: (current at time of printing)
• Calfrac Well Services Ltd.
• Canamara United Supply
• CEDA International
• ComplyWorks Ltd.
• Ensign Opsco Energy Industries
• Halliburton Group Canada
• Import Tool Corp. Ltd.
• KPMG LLP
• National Oilwell Vacro
• Pajak Engineering Ltd.
• RBC Royal Bank
• Stream-Flo Industries Ltd.
• Topco Oilsite Products Ltd.
• Weatherford Canada Partnership
oilweek.com | 43
a political junkie since the age of 23, Jonathan has spent time on Parliament hill, where he has managed the
day-to-day activities of former prime minister Paul martin and served as director of parliamentary affairs for
the federal minister of health. these days you’ll find him in a quieter environment, helping the Calgary terry
fox run meet its public relations needs and serving as a board member for mckenzie towne council.
dow’s Calgary headquarters,
where Jonathan spends his
off-the-road work hours, is
in the heart of the downtown
Jonathan Moser, 39
Dow Chemical Canada UlC
Manager, government affairs and public policy
44 | oilweek May 2010
At the tender age of 23, Jonathan Moser was already a hardened political
junkie. Chalk it up to falling in with the wrong crowd early in life: several
years as a Young Liberal at the University of British Columbia; a long history
as class president or vice-president in high school, junior high school, and
even grade school; captain of the school rugby team; and miscellaneous leadership
roles within any group in search of direction.
So with some high expectations and the ink still drying on his political
science degree, Jonathan set out for Parliament Hill. There he mailed out letters
to Members of Parliament asking for work, sat back, and waited for the
phone to start ringing.
And it did.
“The hook in my letters was ‘If you don’t have a paying job for me, I’d love
to come in and volunteer,’” Jonathan says.
And there was no shortage of tasks MPs Marlene Catterall and Lloyd
Axworthy needed doing before the 1993 federal election. In short order,
Catterall hired him on.
Here are some of Jonathan’s high watermarks from his 10 years in Ottawa:
senior advisor, operations in the Office of the Prime Minister, managing the
day-to-day activities of former prime minister Paul Martin; director of parliamentary
affairs for the Federal Minister of Health; senior advisor for British
Columbia; and director of political appointments.
Impressive yes, but the pull of Jonathan’s western Canadian roots eventually
brought him to Calgary. Here he re-geared his public sector experience
for the private sector and hit his stride with Dow Chemical. Getting the position
demanded a six-hour marathon of interviews, but for an accomplished
polit ical junkie in his prime, six hours of talk is like clearing his throat. ★
Family: Married to Catherine, daughter Madison (7),
son Duran (5), and English bulldog Guinness
Education: BA, political science, University of British
Charitable activities: Terry Fox Run, member of public
relations team; Grey Cup Committee volunteer in 2009;
United Way campaign volunteer; McKenzie Towne
Council board member; community soccer coach; and
past board member of Fund for a New Generation
First job: Yard assistant, Beaver lumber,
Best advice received: Although difficult, being patient
sometimes is the best approach to resolving an issue
and may bring the best results.
If not in his current career, what would he be doing?
Professional athlete or a sports broadcaster
Favourite pastime: Family time
Favourite books: Generation X by Douglas Coupland,
and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Other passions: Politics, sports (playing, watching,
coaching), and being in the great outdoors
oilweek.com | 45
another transplant to Canada from south of the border, dave came to edmonton from
atlanta, georgia, where he was actively involved with the u.s. special olympics
organization. here in Canada, he gives his time to the kids forever foundation in fort
mcmurray and to various children’s organizations in edmonton and fort mcmurray.
Relaxing briefly before hitting
the road again, david reflects
on his athletic pursuits.
David J. Witsken, 42
President, Canada region
46 | oilweek May 2010
Dave Witsken keeps a pile of rocks on a shelf behind his desk. He picked up one of them
from a beach in Hawaii when he competed in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.
The others are souvenirs from several mountains he’s climbed (including Mount Rainier,
a glacier climb, and Mount Whitney, the highest in the contiguous United States. He now
has his eyes set on Alaska’s Mount McKinley, at 20,320 feet the highest in North America.)
While he’s reaching such great heights in his personal life, he’s making sure Aluma Systems
rises there too.
Dave became president of Aluma Systems (a wholly owned division of Georgia-based
Brand Services) in late 2006 when he moved to Edmonton from Atlanta. He is responsible
for approximately 4,000 employees and generating revenue of over $600 million.
Recently, the company did some restructuring, adding the eastern United States to Dave’s
responsibilities, and while his work schedule keeps him busy—and often on the road—he
still manages to find time to spend with his children, and speaks of them with immense
pride. His oldest son just received a four-year scholarship to study engineering at Louisiana
State University; his daughter is near the top of her high school class; his elite-level tennisplaying
twin sons are also in the academics honours program.
Building on years spent as a volunteer with the U.S. Special Olympics, Dave now focuses most
of his personal community activities on children’s programs, and Aluma Systems supports the
Kids Forever Foundation in Fort McMurray, Alberta. In the days following the Haitian earthquake,
the company donated $30,000 with a proviso that the funding be directed to children’s charities.
In his professional capacity with Aluma Systems, Dave sits on the board of directors of the
Construction Labour Relations Association of Alberta. He is a member of the Construction
Owners Association of Alberta and the WorkFace Planning Committee, and is a certified black
belt holder in the Six Sigma management program. Under his leadership, Aluma Systems
received Suncor Energy’s President’s Award in contractor team safety for safety leadership.
If Dave’s goal is just to get better continuously, then it’ll be exciting to see what he does
to top all of this. ★
Family: Married to Kim, with children
Nathan (18), Kylie (16), Quinn and
Education: Bachelor of Science in
Mechanical Engineering, University
of Cincinnati; MBA, Westminster
First job: Machinist, GE Aircraft
Engines Metallurgical lab
Best advice received: have great
people in your corner and return the
favour as often as you can.
If not in his current career, what
would he be doing? Producer and
host of an adventure travel television
show or running barefoot cruise sailboat
expeditions in the Caribbean
Favourite pastime: New experiences
with family and good friends, and
coaching kids’ sports
Favourite movie: Saving Private Ryan
because of the ‘earn this’ message
Other passions: Fitness, competitive
sports, adventure travel
Interested in Alberta’s energy future?
A new publication, Energize Alberta links agricultural,
rural and urban Albertans through a unique
approach to petroleum, power,
and renewable coverage.
coming this May!
For more information, contact Rhonda Helmeczi at
403.516.3475 or email@example.com
Brought to you by: JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group, Great West Newspapers,
and Farm Business Communications, members of Glacier Media Inc.
We’ll help make
sense of the areas
where energy, the
economy, and the
oilweek.com | 47