My career as a financial professional
I’ve been a financial professional for the past twenty years. My most challenging and rewarding role was the five years I served as the Investment Officer of a local private equity firm.
Our opportunities ranged from early stage investments in biotechnology and high tech companies, to start-ups in oil and gas, service industries, mining, real estate development, and public equity trading. Direct involvement in resource development and new technology advancements provided a solid understanding of the oil and gas industry and the economic environment required for its success.
It also provided critical perspectives on what it means to achieve successful innovation – which is so vital to the future of Calgary’s, Alberta’s and Canada’s future economic strength and prosperity.
Working through obstacles in challenging market environments
That experience has since led to more focused career opportunities, but what stays the same is that all investments require significant effort to make the opportunity perform to plan.
When you spend time working through obstacles with your management teams, and finding solutions in challenging market environments, you get a sense of the people involved who can turn a business concept into a profitable reality. We’ve faced those challenges in Calgary – particularly over the past three years -- and strong leaders have come through and will continue to build our economy.
I think my background is incredibly valuable for a role in Parliament. There are too few politicians who really understand what it takes to invest, to risk, to build, and to succeed. I’ve seen that up close through my work.
Outside the office …
I have previously served as a director of a public oil and gas company and I am currently a director of a private oil and gas services technology company.
I’ve also been a director on my condominium’s board – when they needed assistance adjusting their reserve fund’s portfolio.
… and in the volunteer world
As a volunteer, I worked for years with the Canadian Progress Club and was the treasurer for two years. Our primary charity was Big Brothers and Sisters of Calgary and Area.
I also served as a volunteer with a United Nations-sponsored mission in Croatia in 1996 – immediately after the conflict. Along with volunteers from several countries, we assisted in the re-integration and re-building of a community divided by war.
Experience in government and governing
I spent six years working for two Cabinet Ministers in Ottawa during Prime Minister Mulroney’s Government. It was a rewarding time for someone like me who likes the challenge of facilitating change. I worked on files including the privatization of portions of Via Rail (now the Rocky Mountaineer), CN's eventual privatization, the transfer of airports to Local Airport Authorities, and the survival (for a time) of Canadian Airlines. I also mediated an impasse between the federal road safety directorate and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.
The foundation for everything I’ve been able to do in my life is the opportunity that I’ve had to earn a first-class education. At the University of Alberta, I obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and followed up with an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario).
My wife, Ruth, and I have a combined family of four young men – Sean is at the University of Calgary; Cameron is at Brock University; Luke works for Siemens here in Calgary, and Scott has settled in Toronto with his girlfriend, Sam, after finishing his University in Wisconsin. And, with our friends, we enjoy all that life in Calgary offers, including skiing, hiking and biking, and we love our time in the mountains.. And those that really know me know that I am a huge music fan.
Experience in the Conservative Party
My history with the Calgary Centre Conservatives spans decades. My involvement began with the PC Youth of Alberta, culminating in a term as President, after which I worked for the Minister from this riding in Ottawa. Subsequently, I spent five years actively involved with the Calgary Centre Conservative Association; serving two years as the Financial Agent, two years as the President of the Association, and as the Official Agent for the 2011 election.