“Every changing environment comes with a number of different opportunities. I have certainly lived through enough ups and downs and seen companies succeed and fail during those times.” – Paul Douglas

In 2015, Connor McDavid was drafted. That is all you need to know about last year. Hockey aside, Alberta went through some major changes: the 44-year Progressive Conservative reign ended as the province was swathed in orange, Alberta officially entered a recession, Justin Trudeau became our new prime minister and President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. For Paul Douglas, CEO of PCL Construction and Alberta’s Business Person of the Year last year, it wasn’t hard to reflect on how the province has transformed in one short year. “Every changing environment comes with a number of different opportunities,” Douglas says. “I have certainly lived through enough ups and downs and seen companies succeed and fail during those times.” Although many businesses were – and still are – struggling through difficult times, Douglas would consider 2015 to be an “up” year for PCL. Construction on the Edmonton arena and surrounding area was in full swing, reinvigorating the city and the PCL team. “It is the talk of the town and our employees are excited and proud,” says Douglas. “It’s going to be spectacular and it’s going to do so much to change Edmonton forever.” The immediate future doesn’t look as rosy as the recent past. This building boom will pass in the next couple of years, and Douglas doesn’t see as many big projects coming down the pipe. “It is going to be a real hunker-down time in Alberta,” he says. Fortunately, work beyond the province’s borders and in other sectors will help keep PCL busy. Shortly after the arena’s grand opening, Douglas will retire. Although he has tried to slow down in preparation for his retirement, in this business it will “be like going from 100 to zero pretty quick,” he says. “You’re either all in or all out.” He will finally get to slow down and will spend his retirement between his homes in Kelowna and Naples, Florida. “I’ll have time I haven’t had my whole life,” he says. “Now I’ll be able to make [my family] the focus.”

The Year that Was 2015

Repsol SA buys Talisman Energy

The NDP takes power

The Edmonton Oilers draft Connor McDavid