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Edward M. Lakusta
Edward M. Lakusta spent three decades with Gulf Oil, where he rose to the position of senior vice-president. During that time, he became not only a highly regarded manager of that company but also a well-loved member of the Canadian oil and gas business community.
Born in the village of Opal, Lakusta grew up in Alberta during the Depression. Right after high school, he got a job in the oilfields with a company called British America. Determined to succeed beyond the level of oilfield worker, Lakusta enrolled at Mount Royal College, where he studied petroleum engineering. With this preliminary training, he successfully applied to the University of Oklahoma from which he graduated in 1955 with a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering.
By 1976, Lakusta had risen to the position of manager of production at Gulf Canada and was in charge of drilling, production, and heavy oil. His career at Gulf spanned 30 years and took him to Houston, Texas, where he was promoted to senior vice-president in charge of manufacturing. In June 1982, he was named president and chief operating officer of Petro-Canada.
During the three years that Lakusta spent at the helm of Petro-Canada, he oversaw the integration of Gulf Canada's downstream operations into the company. One of his nominators writes: "He was clearly the leader who made the transformation of the Petro-Canada brand to a respected and much appreciated petroleum company."
Lakusta worked to improve the lives of people in the Calgary community through volunteering with the Calgary Stampede, the Stampeders Football Club, and the United Way. In 1989, he chaired the United Way. He was instrumental in involving Petro-Canada in the Olympic Torch Relay across Canada and was part of the first four-man bobsled run at Calgary Olympic Park in March 1987. After retiring, he remained active in the oil patch community by chairing two annual Oilmen's Tournaments.