Leaders Awards • Cover
Honouring Calgary’s Visionary Business Leaders By John hardy
he jury is still out whether business leaders are born or made, but some things are for sure. Leaders, especially Calgary-area business leaders, have guts, drive, determination, an entrepreneurial spirit and vision. They also tend to be high achievers who are growth and success focused, with a passion for people and their community. Each year, Business in Calgary is honoured to accept nominations based on various criteria. After a panel of three independent judges reviews all the nominations, the Top 20 outstanding business leaders are selected and receive annual recognition in the form of the Business in Calgary Leaders Awards. “Calgary is such a diverse marketplace. So it wasn’t surprising to have a stack of nominations that reflect the diversity of the area,” says David Allwright, dean of the Chiu School of Business and a third-year Leaders Awards judge. “In many ways, most of the nominees reflected the values and the spirit of Calgarians. They tend to be stories about innovation, hard work, success and a genuine caring and involvement in the community. And let’s face it, we all like to hear stories, especially when they are about people, achievements and success.” For Dan Allen, ATB Financial vice president, business and agriculture, it was his first Leaders Awards judging assignment. “What really impressed me was the different types of nominated businesses and the various vision and strategies of the leaders. “From high-profile businesses to small organizations, they share similar values and pride.” Various examples of giving back, being involved and helping to build and grow a better Calgary were leader traits that stood out in most nominations. “There was so much solid quality and
Trevor Winkler, regional managing partner of MNP
David Allwright, dean of the Chiu School of Business
Dan Allen, ATB Financial vice president, business and agriculture
diversity among the nominated businesses,” notes Trevor Winkler, Leaders Awards judge and regional managing partner of MNP. “But it was terrific that they – all of the nominated leaders – had a common theme of ‘not just about me.’ And not only the extent to which the leaders were active but their staff were hands-on and involved in the Calgary community. “Clearly it’s not just about success and money. Donations are important and good but most of the Leaders had more than monetary donations. There was lots of afterhours, volunteer time involvement in the community,” Winkler noticed. All the judges pointed out that, particularly from the descriptions and details on the nomination forms, it seems there is a subtle but strong evolution of business principles that follow the changing social norms – that three to five years ago, active involvement in the community was not such a common business priority. The 2015 Leaders — from a respected plumbing contractor, an iconic Calgary retailer, energy services businesses, the founder of a vocational college, one of Calgary’s most respected architects, executive and career placement professionals, a popular energy and utility land acquisition and land management consulting company, restauranteurs, a travel consultant, realtors, a craft beer vendor, dynamic new homebuilders, to the founder of a software solutions company, an insurance adviser, and the president of a popular multiuse Calgary event venue — are recognized and celebrated by Business in Calgary and guests on June 25, 2015 at the Business in Calgary Leaders Awards Gala. Congratulations and thank you to the business leaders who achieve and contribute to make the Calgary community so good.