"The Council may confer Honorary Membership in APEGGA upon any person who, through initiative and leadership, has rendered eminent service allied with the professions. The nominee's work will have contributed to the betterment of society through the development of new material, equipment, techniques, philosophy or management related to engineering, geology or geophysics."
David Peter O'Brien
David O'Brien was born and raised in Montreal. He graduated with a B.A. (Honors Economics) from Loyola College in 1962 and a bachelor's degree in civil law from McGill University in 1965. Mr. O'Brien practiced law for ten years before moving to Calgary to begin his oil and gas career. From 1978 to 1989, he held various management positions with Petro-Canada Inc., culminating as executive vice-president. In 1989, he returned to Montreal as president and chief executive officer of Noverco Inc. In 1990, Mr. O'Brien came back to Calgary as president and chief executive officer of PanCanadian Petroleum Limited, and he has been chair of PanCanadian since 1992. In 1995, Mr. O'Brien was appointed president and chief operating officer of Canadian Pacific Limited, and in May 1996 he was appointed chair, president and chief executive officer.
Mr. O'Brien is a director of the Royal Bank of Canada, Inco Limited, Laidlaw Inc., various subsidiaries of Canadian Pacific, including PanCanadian Petroleum Limited, as well as The Conference Board of Canada, and the Business Council on National Issues.
Mr. O'Brien is consistent in his support and appreciation of the engineering, geology and geophysics professions, particularly in the energy sector. He has created an environment that fosters growth and innovation, especially in terms of technology. He also recognizes the importance of continuing professional development and encourages employees to take advantage of training opportunities. Mr. O'Brien established a technical ladder within several companies that recognized the contribution and leadership of technical specialists is as important to the growth of a company as that of management personnel. He has also been very supportive of initiatives aimed at encouraging students to pursue careers in technical fields. Through his support of programs, like Operation Minerva, and influence the corporate decision-making process, he continues to promote opportunities for women in technology positions.
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