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Jack C. Donald
Jack C. Donald, 67, injected the "upstream" exploration sector's streak of entrepreneurial independence into "downstream" refining and retailing from his home base in Red Deer. Starting with two gas stations and a truck in 1977, he built Parkland Industries into a chain spanning western and northern Canada with 445 retail locations, a trucking fleet and a refinery.
The firm was a case of building an entry in a hotly-competitive field virtually from scratch. In 1971-76, Mr. Donald honed his skills as marketing vice-president of Turbo Resources, a highly successful refiner and retailer of the period. Mr. Donald and his wife Joan charted an independent course by buying control of Parkland Beef Industries Ltd., which was at the time a 15-year-old operator of a cattle feedlot and meat-packing plant. Within a year, the Donalds dropped the beef and steered the firm into oil products.
Although Mr. Donald retired as president of Parkland at the end of 2001, he remains chairman. He also continues to put his stamp on the industry as president of River Ridge Resources Ltd. and as a director of TransAlta Corp., Ensign Resource Services Group and Del Roca Energy Ltd. His expertise has also been recognized with appointments such as chairman of Canadian Western Bank, Alberta Opportunity Co. and provincial tax reform commissions.
Mr. Donald is an active member of the Red Deer community serving two aldermanic terms and as a member of the board of Red Deer College. He has also received the Pinnacle Award for Business Excellence.