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P. John Aldred

 

Born in Sunderland, England, in 1944, John emigrated to Canada in 1967 at the age of 23, as the British equivalent of an agricultural engineering technologist.


His introduction to the Canadian oil and gas business came with his first job as a heavy duty mechanic and field serviceman for Calgarybased Midwestern Compressors, the start of quite a meteoric rise within the service and supply sector.


In 1971, John left Midwestern to join PAMCO Limited, the Canadian subsidiary of an American parent, becoming its president just four years later. In 1980, John left his post as president of PAMCO to establish a business in the Canadian compressor rental market—Enerflex Ltd.—which in its first year of operation occupied 200 square feet of office space on the second floor of a bank on Macleod Trail. Later that year, it opened its first parts and services shop, a 3,000-square-foot facility on Barlow Trail, and in 1983 expanded that operation to Edmonton, followed by a lease expansion in Calgary to a 25,000-square-foot fabrication plant designed to increase its compressor unit packaging capabilities. The rest, to borrow a time-honoured phrase, is history

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Since its founding, Enerflex has benefited from the growing demand for natural gas both in North America and around the world. In 1988, it acquired PAMCO, vaulting it into top spot amongst Canadian compressor suppliers and making it the sole distributor of Ariel compressors in Canada. The PAMCO acquisition also brought with it the Alberta and Saskatchewan distribution franchise for Waukesha engines, and the company would later acquire additional distributorships, leading to the opening in 1991 of branches throughout Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.


But John's vision was focused on more than just Canada—his international aspirations were strong, and in 1992, Gas Drive Systems Pty Ltd. was established as an Australian subsidiary of Enerflex.


In 1993, Enerflex went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and in 1994 it became the first compressor packaging company in North America to attain an ISO 9001-94 registration of its quality management system.


By the time Enerflex was sold to Toromont Industries Ltd. in 2010 for $670 million, the company had more than $1 billion in annual revenues, maintained a workforce of 3,000 employees around the world and had established itself as an international leader in gas compression, processing and power generation solutions, with outlets in Canada, the United States, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, South America and Southeast Asia.

 

Named a Calgary Business Hall of Fame Laureate in 2011, John nurtures a strong passion for oilfield history, education and technical training. Enerflex was a supporter in the creation of the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre in Devon, while John himself serves as co-chair of SAIT Polytechnic's Campaign Cabinet, is a member of its Trades and Technology committee and in 2007 completed a six-year term as vice-chair of SAIT's board of governors.


In the spring of 2010, John and his wife Cheryl presented SAIT 's Promising Futures campaign with a $15-million donation, the single largest personal philanthropic donation ever made to a Canadian college or polytechnic organization. To recognize the donation, SAIT named the largest of three buildings in its Trades and Technology Complex after the Aldred family. The distinctive wave-roofed Aldred Centre is now a familiar site, bordering the northern edge of the SAIT campus on 16th Ave. NW, between 10th and 14th Streets.


John is a past member of the board of directors for Careers: The Next Generation and Alberta Junior Achievement and also founded the Cadmus Foundation, which was established to provide support towards the furthering of the trades and education.

 

   
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