Gary Drummond, Queen’s Counsel-turned-business-leader, has never been one to pursue recognition for his considerable achievements. Gary’s business pedigree, however, is just as impressive as his 18-year commercial and corporate legal career—making him a most deserving recipient of the ACAA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gary is a founding partner in Direct Energy, created in 1989 during electrical and natural gas deregulation. The timing was right and the business proved to be very successful. He was the President and CEO for Direct Energy Marketing Limited from 1991-2000 and was the lead partner in developing the ethanol plant at Belle Plaine. For the past 15 years, Gary has been a partner in real estate projects in Calgary and Toronto, and is involved in real estate and farming in Saskatchewan. He is a founding partner in the investment group that purchased the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League, serving as the team’s president for three years. Gary is also a founding partner of the CFL’s upcoming 10th franchise, the Atlantic Schooners.
His interest in sports runs deep. Gary played with the Regina Pat Blues of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and practiced with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats, but his dream of playing in the National Hockey League was not to be. Gary went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Regina in 1971, then pursued a Law degree at the University of Saskatchewan, and credits his time at university with helping him learn the value of relationships.
“I think focusing, prioritizing, and building long-term relationships all started for me in university, and that is reflected in the success I’ve had,” he shares.
Gary’s commitment to education, sport, and people is awe inspiring. He and his wife Audrey host the impressive annual “Hawg-a-Rama” at the family farm where they—along with the help of the friendships they’ve nurtured over the years—have helped raise $1 million for University of Regina athletic teams and $1.5 million for Regina Minor Football.
As a student, Gary says he did not put in as much quality time learning nor retain as much knowledge as he should have. “That said, the degrees gave me the foundation which led to the opportunities I’ve enjoyed. I think university is a fundamental building block to a creative, visionary, and successful career. It’s a much more difficult path without a post-secondary education.”
The ACAA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient feels strongly that, “having a university in a community is integral to creating a well-rounded and progressive environment within which to work and raise a family.”
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