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Harley N. Hotchkiss


Since moving to Calgary in 1951 with an honours degree in geology from Michigan State University, Harley Hotchkiss has achieved great success in the Canadian petroleum industry.


He avoided the lure of large public companies, preferring to work independently with a few capable and trusted business partners. His is not a story of building a large venture through mergers, acquisitions and public share offerings. His story is about achieving success through hard work, integrity and a commitment to technical excellence in exploration for oil and gas. It is difficult to identify one or two specific examples of Harley's contribution to the Canadian petroleum industry. The simple truth is that his technical ability as a geologist combined with his commitment to hard work resulted in his success at finding oil and gas. He is an outstanding geologist.


Harley began his career as a geologist at Canadian Superior Energy in 1951. In 1953 he moved to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Department. In 1959 he became president of Alcon Petroleum, a post he held until 1967. Since 1976, he has been self-employed, along with being one of the owners of the Calgary Flames NHL hockey team.


Aside from his business success, what qualifies Harley for recognition in the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame is his unwavering and unselfish commitment to the oil industry, and to the community in general. Harley has devoted much of his time and energy to a wide variety of petroleum industry and educational associations as well as numerous charitable causes. His dedication has been recognized as evidenced by the long list of educational and honorary awards he has received.


Harley became an officer in the Order of Canada in 1997, and received the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1998. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Calgary in 1996, an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Michigan State University in 2000, and a host of other honours. He is the current chairman and a trustee for the Alberta Heritage Research Foundation for Medical Research, and served for six years as governor and two years as vice-chairman of The Banff Centre. He also served for six years as a member and five years as chairman of the Foothills Provincial General Hospital Board of Management, along with a host of other volunteer community efforts too long to list.


Harley is well known in the petroleum industry in Canada. Others may have been more successful in terms of building larger, more visible companies, but very few have earned the degree of respect that Harley has within the industry and the community. He has been an outstanding contributor to the Canadian petroleum industry.


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