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2017 Calgary Business Hall of Fame

Celebrating the City’s Finest

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When it comes to business greats, southern Alberta is home to a formidable club. By whatever name they’re called – pioneer, entrepreneur, visionary, leader – the achievements of these acclaimed business titans have formed, and continue to form, the province and its people. Whether it be in energy, communications, automotive sales or any other of Alberta’s strong industries, there are few sectors in the province that haven’t been touched by these individuals.

In honour of these achievements, for the 14th consecutive year, Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta (JASA) Calgary Business Hall of Fame (CBHF) inducted four more of these exceptional individuals into its ranks. The 2017 laureates are: Patrick D. Daniel, S.P. Shouldice (posthumous), Gerry Wood and Bill Yuill. The induction ceremony took place at a gala dinner on October 26, 2017.

“We live in a province that has so many business successes,” says Melissa From, president and CEO of JASA. “Alberta is an environment that encourages, supports and celebrates innovation, entrepreneurship and business. And it’s important for us to acknowledge and celebrate those successes of the past and the successes that are happening among us, even when times are tough.”

This year’s laureates hail from a range of businesses and have unique and fascinating stories. They were chosen by a third-party selection committee of well-respected individuals from the community, including Jim Davidson, Arlene Dickinson, N. Murray Edwards and J.R. Shaw, to name a few. “The criteria revolves around excellence, entrepreneurship, inspiring leadership, local influence, being somebody who’s a real community builder, serving the community and giving back – philanthropically and of their time and talent – being a role model, and having an enduring influence or legacy in their economic and community contributions,” says From.

“It sounds like quite a list of criteria, but what’s amazing is how, year over year, a great number of people meet that criteria. It’s never an easy discussion around that table,” she adds.

The CBHF is an important part of the work JASA does. Launched in 1960, the organization is dedicated to educating young people about business. Last year, the organization welcomed just under 30,000 students in southern Alberta from Grades 4 and up into the program. “We provide kids with the opportunity to actually start and run their own business with the support of mentors from the community,” explains From. “It sets these kids up to go on and be really successful business people and entrepreneurs in the future.”

Next year will see a restructuring of the CBHF – and a new name. Beginning in 2018, the CBHF and Edmonton Business Hall of Fame will collectively be known as the Alberta Business Hall of Fame. “We need these honours to reflect geography and the truth of what they really are,” says From, noting the fact that several laureates, including this year’s Bill Yuill, are not from Calgary. “So we will have one entity that’s honouring and celebrating business across the province.” She adds that each city will host its own separate gala event and will honour individuals selected from each half of the province.

The CBHF exhibit, which lists and celebrates the laureates – and can be found in Bankers Hall East Tower lobby downtown – will be updated to reflect the new names. Past inductees of the CBHF will be grandfathered into the new hall of fame.

Patrick D. Daniel

A veteran of Alberta’s energy industry, Patrick Daniel has never been afraid of hard work. From his early days as a young engineer to his eventual retirement as CEO of Enbridge Inc. – a position he held for almost 12 years – in 2012, Daniel approached business throughout his 40-plus year career with an enthusiasm for the work and a dedication to his team that put him in a class of his own.

“All I ever wanted to be was a really good engineer,” Daniel reminisces. “But along the way I was so interested in the profession and the work that whenever they needed somebody to do something I’d say ‘I’ll do that,’ and I just kept taking on more and more responsibility because I enjoyed it so much.”

A native Albertan (he grew up in Entwistle and Red Deer), Daniel obtained his chemical engineering degree from the University of Alberta and a master of chemical engineering from the University of British Columbia. He was hired by Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas as a process engineer in 1972, but with a background in computer programming, was soon transferred to the emerging computer field to manage HBOG’s information systems.

When Dome Petroleum acquired HBOG, Daniel moved to Home Oil. “Dick Haskayne had been president at HBOG and I was able to convince him that he should hire me at Home Oil.” Home’s merger with Interprovincial Pipeline saw Daniel continue to rise in the ranks. He ultimately became COO of the newly-named Enbridge in 1998, and CEO in 2001.

Under his watch, Enbridge experienced almost unprecedented growth and development. It grew from an approximately $5-billion company to a $40-billion one, making it Canada’s largest transporter of crude oil. As CEO, Daniel oversaw the start-up of Enbridge’s technology and consulting business unit, its international division, its expansion into the natural gas business and its entry into wind, solar and geothermal energy.

For Daniel, it was the corollaries of growth which most excited him. “We dramatically increased the size of the company which, to me, provides employment and opportunities for thousands of people. It increases the tax base of the country, contributes hugely to the economy and to the employees and the communities in which we operated.”

He faced many challenges, too. “We’ve gone from a world in which pipelines were such huge drivers of the economy and brought energy security to so many people to an environment where society seems to think that pipelines are bad,” he laments. “The fact that society is so wrong on that is really frustrating and challenging.”

Since retiring, Daniel has kept busy. He is chair of Cenovus Energy Inc. and a director at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Capital Power. He also chairs the North American review board of Air Liquide.

He also created the Daniel Family Foundation, which supports the University of Calgary psychosocial oncology department, the Perimeter Institute, Outward Bound Canada, Servants Anonymous, students at UBC and McGill University and Light Up the World – an organization that installs solar power systems in remote parts of the world. Daniel has volunteered with the charity a number of times.

 

S.P. (Pat) Shouldice

To those who knew S.P. (Pat) Shouldice, he was a personable, generous and determined business leader. Highly respected and deeply loved by his colleagues, employees, friends and family, Shouldice left an indelible imprint on Calgary.

A third-generation Calgarian, he was a proud member of the well-known Shouldice family. His grandfather, James Shouldice, came to Calgary in 1901, and built the foundation for the family’s legacy of success and philanthropy that has spanned 116 years. Shouldice’s contributions to this legacy are many.

After graduating from Central High School in 1952, his original ambition was to be an architect. But when a friend who had been accepted into petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma couldn’t accept the position, Shouldice seized the opportunity. “Dad drove down there and asked to fill his friend’s position,” explains daughter Terri Shouldice. “He was in the right place at the right time and they said OK.”

It was in Oklahoma where he met and married his wife, Jane. Soon after graduating, the young couple moved back to Calgary where Shouldice began work as a petroleum engineer at Stanolind Oil & Gas. In 1962, at the request of some investors, he started NOWSCO (Nitrogen Oil Well Service Company). “He would have been 27 years old at the time, with three little kids,” Terri says. “He invested $37 of his own money and got shares in the company – of course those were worth nothing when it started. I don’t think he realized what he was signing up for.”

Under Shouldice’s stewardship, the company became one of Canada’s leading service companies and in 1972, went public. “Dad was really nervous because he had always known every employee’s name,” explains Terri. “He was adamant that if he knew everybody and made sure they were all good people and felt respected and appreciated, that they would work hard.”

Shouldice led the company through major growth, including international expansion, in the 1980s and 1990s. NOWSCO eventually employed 2,200 people worldwide. “It was his baby for sure,” Terri says. “It was TLC all the way.” In 1996, after NOWSCO was acquired, Shouldice retired. He had been CEO for 33 years.

Retirement, however, was not quiet: he served on the boards of many oil and gas companies, including Collicutt Hanover, Mullen Transportation, NQL Energy Services, United Industrial Services and Gardner Exploration.

He also gave back to the community and was a passionate supporter of STARS Air Ambulance, Fort Calgary, the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the cardiology division at Foothills Medical Centre. An avid fan of both the Flames and Stampeders, Shouldice was also a member of Earl Grey Golf Club, Camelback Golf Club (in Arizona) and the Calgary Petroleum Club.

He passed away in 2010, leaving a lasting impression on many. This summer, at a NOWSCO reunion of approximately 350 past employees, he was fondly remembered. “I took mom down and we got a whole evening of stories about the things dad did and why people loved him,” Terri recalls. “People kept saying he wasn’t your typical boss and NOWSCO wasn’t your typical company to work for. It was a second family.”

To his first family (which includes four children and 11 grandchildren), he was everything. “Dad was a very proud family man,” Terri says. “He did so much for us and gave us so many opportunities. He was a very generous man.”

 

Gerry Wood

It’s hard to believe that Gerry Wood, founder and president of Wood Automotive Group – which owns and operates six dealerships, a Collision Centre facility and other business enterprises in Calgary – first arrived in this city, some 48 years ago, broke. En route to Vancouver during a trip to visit his brother in New Guinea, the young Wood found himself penniless and in need of a job when he arrived.

“I hadn’t budgeted very well,” Wood reminisces, “and decided to get a job to keep body and soul together.”

After working construction for a time he was hired at Maclin Ford to sell cars. A natural fit, given his roots: Wood grew up in rural Scotland and worked at his father’s specialized car dealership, the only one in the country that converted cars to hand controls for disabled people. “From a young age I was involved in dealership activities,” he says. “It was very rewarding because you’d give somebody, who perhaps had no legs or ability to drive, a new lease on life.”

He also worked in his father’s manufacturers’ agency business, selling products to electrical jobbers. “I was allowed to call on these companies and introduce new products to them, and maintain a sales relationship with them – which was great training for the future.”

Wood learned many lessons from his father, which have impacted his business success. “He taught me to take really good care of our customers and make sure that the experience would be seamless for them.” He also learned to be innovative and creative. “Part of my dad’s advice to me was ‘dare to be different.’ And that really has bode well for me over the years, because I’ve been able to take on some challenges that I wouldn’t normally have done had it not been for the encouragement and example that my dad and mum set for me.”

Wood spent 10 years at Maclin Ford, in sales and then as a manager. In 1979, he jumped into ownership and acquired a General Motors dealership in Vulcan. He returned to Calgary in 1983 and acquired Southridge Lincoln Mercury (now Woodridge Ford Lincoln), and then Village Honda in 1987. “We went from 15 employees to 100 overnight,” Wood reflects. “That’s a huge jump. We learned in a hurry.”

Part of this growth involved pioneering automobile leasing in the 1980s. “We were one of the first dealerships in Canada that really embraced leasing,” Wood explains, noting the mentorship he received from some U.S. dealers. “We were able to fine-tune the model in Canada and become one of Canada’s largest Ford dealerships very soon.”

Today, Wood Automotive Group employs over 600 people. It is one of Canada’s top Ford dealerships and one of Alberta’s largest retailers of automobiles.

Heavily involved in the community, Wood also gives much time, money and energy to various charities. For 30 years (last year was the final year), he and wife, Elaine, held the Woodridge Charity Golf Tournament, which raised just under $5 million for the PREP Program, a school and resource centre for individuals with Down syndrome. He is also a big supporter of the Salvation Army, having been on its advisory board for 16 years.

Wood is also involved with the Calgary Stampede corporate hospitality committee, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, the United Way, Inclusion Alberta, the Robbie Burns Club of Calgary, the Mustard Seed and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

 

Bill Yuill

Mention the name Bill Yuill to anyone in Medicine Hat, and you’re bound to receive a positive reaction. The third-generation Hatter and CEO of the Monarch Corporation has, through his business, sports and philanthropic efforts, played an immeasurable role in the development of the city.

“I don’t think I had any direct motivation to become a businessman or leader when I was a kid,” Yuill recalls. “But growing up you live in a certain situation, so it was a natural progression when I had the opportunity to get involved in the family business.” That family business, begun by his grandfather, Harry Clinton Yuill, included Alberta Clay Products, which he started in 1909. Harry’s son, Harlan ‘Hop’ Yuill, expanded it to include a radio station, cable television, a broadcasting business and three movie theatres.

With the youngest Yuill at the helm, Monarch expanded to 38 cable systems in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C., while the broadcasting arm grew to 16 stations. Never afraid of hard work, Yuill did all the various chores that were needed in the businesses. This work ethic, a penchant for kindness and a dedication to being true to his word, are what guided him along the way.

A sports enthusiast himself, the broadcasting business soon involved sports broadcasting and then programming. An opportunity to become involved at the ownership level arose in 1977, and Yuill and a group of friends acquired a franchise in the Pioneer League of professional baseball, making Medicine Hat home of the Oakland A’s farm team (in 1978 they became the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm team).

The venture would result in a highlight from Yuill’s career: in 1994, the two-time World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays played an exhibition game in Medicine Hat. “We had 10,000 people at the ballpark,” Yuill recalls. “Nine of those players had started their careers in Medicine Hat.”

Yuill’s company, Consolidated Sports Holdings Ltd., went on to own and operate seven minor league baseball teams in Canada and the U.S. – the first group to put together an independent minor league farm system in organized baseball. “We’ve taken that style and moved it over to junior hockey, where we currently operate teams at four different levels of junior hockey in North America,” he says.

A dedicated supporter of the community, he chairs the Yuill Family Foundation, which supports numerous charities and non-profits. One notable contribution: a $2-million donation to help create the Margery Yuill Cancer Centre at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, in honour of Yuill’s mother, who was a nurse. The foundation also supports Medalta (the industrial heritage museum dedicated to Medicine Hat’s clay industry), Medicine Hat’s Family YMCA, Edmonton’s Mazankowski Heart Institute, and St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario.

In addition to his business and community work, Yuill is a director of Shaw Communications Inc. and the chairman of their human resources and compensation committee, a director of the Western Investment Company of Canada Ltd., a trustee of the St. Andrew’s College Foundation and a governor of the Western Hockey League.

When it comes down to it, Yuill is still guided by his family’s legacy. “I have two pictures on my boardroom wall: one of my grandad and one of my dad. I call them ‘the boys.’ And I think ‘the boys’ are still watching. And that’s why I do what I do.”

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