An Inspiring Story from Patrick Brooks – Communications Professional with the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC)

When I reached out to Patrick and asked him for stories of people who had been important mentors in his life, he responded by saying that although Ron Southern wasn’t an actual mentor to him, per se, he found the time to impact and influence Patrick in a way that will never be forgotten. Thank you, Patrick, for sharing this beautiful story as it reminds us that the simplest acts of kindness and generosity towards others have profound impact. 

“Both my father and late brother worked for Alberta Power Limited (now ATCO Electric) back in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so the Southern name was talked about peripherally in my family for years.

While I never worked for ATCO or any of its affiliated companies, I did cross paths with Mr. Southern in 1988 in a very serendipitous way…

In my second year at ACAD, I had drawn a portrait of him and took it down to his office in the hopes he would autograph it for me. To my surprise, I got a call from Frida, his executive assistant, inviting me down to meet with him. I was floored that the head of a $3B organization would show interest in a 21-year-old art student.

I spent fifteen minutes in his office talking about life, his boyhood dream of wanting to be a basketball player, and how he didn’t want to “vandalize” my portrait by signing the front of it. I found him to be genuinely kind, funny, and inviting.

While the portrait was resting against Frida’s desk waiting to be signed, Gene Zadvorny, the unofficial corporate art buyer for ATCO, asked her about it. My contact info was on the back so he called me up and asked how much I wanted for it. He had been looking for a suitable item that he could use as a corporate gift that would be presented to Mr. Southern on behalf of all ATCO employees, so he felt that my portrait would be ideal.

We agreed on $500 and I forgot about it until two years later when, in another moment of unscripted serendipity, I ran into Mr. Zadvorny at an ACAD grad committee meeting. After getting re-acquainted, he informed me that the portrait was indeed presented to Mr. Southern and the last he heard, it was hanging above the fireplace in their home.”

‪#‎ATCO‬ ‪#‎RonSouthern‬ ‪#‎sprucemeadows‬

Quote from Dave Dudus –President/Petrophysicist, INTEG Petrophysics

Dave Dudus

“Owing to the state of industry here, I am greatly invested in mentorship as opposed to actual work for my small company. Surprisingly, many of my mentees are foreign (in addition to the young folks remaining at the company I worked with). I haven’t met many in person, although some visiting Calgary have called me up to a coffee to discuss their training and the breadth of knowledge they might need going forward in my discipline. The big thing for me is the fun that mentorship brings and the opportunities to share my body of experience. That’s where companies are failing – you can replace retirees, but you can’t replace experience.”

Quote from Jorge O. Avilés Senior Advisor, Shareholder Engagement and Indigenous Relations at TransAlta Corporation

Jorge O. Avilés

“Without the many great mentors I had throughout the formative years in my career, I would never be where I am now. Success means so much more than just business growth. It’s my turn to give my time to others.”

Introducing Cam Brewington

Meet Cam Brewington: A Young Professional Committed to Mentoring Others

Cam Brewington is a retired ski racer, a business professional, a coach and a passionate mentor.

I (Linda) had the pleasure of meeting Cam via LinkedIn back in April of 2017 and was thoroughly impressed with his passion an purpose surrounding mentorship. I asked him if he would be willing to share his story, which he has generously done to serve as an inspiration for others. We finally had a chance to meet in person last week and I believe we have much to learn from one another and have formed a lasting friendship and mutual mentorship.

His athletic career started with his first ski competition at 7 years of age, after which young Cam promptly announced to his Dad that he wanted to be a ski racer. After being named to the Canadian Ski Team and crowned the Canadian Junior Downhill and Super-G champion in 2008, he made the decision to shift his ski career to include academics. He attended the University of Alaska Anchorage where he competed on the NCAA ski circuit and graduated with a degree in Economics in 2013.

Cam realized his passion for mentorship and coaching as he started his professional career in corporate Calgary. While working as a commercial analyst at Shell Canada, he mentors new professionals as they navigate through the early stages of their careers. He continues to stay involved with the local ski racing community by coaching young racers and providing mentorship as athletes and their families progress through the sport.

He often talks about the challenges he had with the transition out of competitive athletics and into the business world. After coming to the realization that he wasn’t alone when it comes to dealing with change, he started a project called TheBrewcast, a podcast featuring high performing guests and their strategies for navigating change and life. It can be found at on iTunes and Instagram @thebrewcast. You can also learn more about Cam via his LinkedIn profile located at