The 2012 class of Oilweek's Rising Stars may be the smallest, but its members are standing tall in the Canadian energy industry
Back in 2007/2008, when we first introduced our Rising Stars feature to the Canadian energy industry, we decided that the inaugural class should be big and brash to catch the attention of readers.
In that regard, I think we pretty much hit a home run. Members of that first class of Rising Stars included Leah Lawrence, who will assume the presidency of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA, formerly the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta) at the group's annual meeting in April (just about the time you are first reading this); George Gosbee, who founded investment bank Tristone Capital in 2000, sold it in 2009 and in 2010 launched another, AltaCorp Capital Inc., with partner ATB Financial; Scott Saxberg, who, as president of Crescent Point Energy Corp., has built the company into the leading producer in the prolific Bakken light oil play; Kris Smith, at the time Suncor Energy's vice-president, planning and strategy and now that company's senior vice-president, supply, trading and corporate development; and Peter Knapp, who founded his own investor relations firm, Iradesso Communications, in 2001, merged it with Toronto-based communications group The Bryan Mills Group Ltd. in 2007 to form Bryan Mills Iradesso, and left Calgary last September for the more sublime climate of Victoria, B.C., where he co-founded Upanup Studios, which provides digital communication solutions and services to business clients around the world.
Subsequent classes have been somewhat smaller than the 20 inducted that first year, but the quality of those selected has not diminished: Richard Campbell (2009) is the managing principal, general manager and chief operating officer of Vista Projects, a privately-held, full service engineering and procurement company; Ron Lewko (2009) is heading up Syncrude Canada's land reclamation research efforts at Fort McMurray; Janet Annesley (2010), vice-president, communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is one of the industry's leading spokeswomen; Jonathan Moser (2011), who was previously manager of government affairs and public policy with Dow Chemical Canada, now runs his own communications and external relations consultancy; Todd Hirsch (2011), who is senior economist for ATB Financial, is one of the most sought-after commentators on all things economic that impact the Canadian oil and gas industry or the Alberta economy in general; Susannah Pierce (2011) is now based in The Hague as vice-president, upstream international communications for Royal Dutch Shell.
In terms of size, Oilweek's Rising Stars, Class of 2012, is a bit smaller (nine in number, compared to 13 last year and in 2010, and 12 in 2009), but no less impressive. With more women than men (for the first time), this class includes self-made entrepreneurs, a roughneck who worked his way up from the field to the front office, an oilfield services worker who is now manager of engineering for a Calgary-based junior producer and a 34-year-old mother of three who rides herd over more than 1,500 engineers for one of Canada's leading engineering, procurement and construction services organizations and teaches disabled kids how to ski in her spare time.
This class of Rising Stars proves the adage that good things come in small packages. You'll see why in our 2012 Rising Stars issue!