Mike joined Campus Energy, a growth-focused power & midstream company, as CFO in late 2019. He is responsible for finance, risk, IT, and until recently, Mike also led the power division of Campus Energy. He is known for being a change agent, driving best practices, and striving for continuous improvement. He led the company through the energy downturn with contributions to strategy, data analytics, and acquisition activity. Mike obtained his CA while working at PwC in Vancouver in 2010, moving to Calgary at that time.
When Mike moved to Calgary in 2010, he joined the Equity Research group of CIBC, later transitioning to Investment Banking. During his four years there, Mike took the initiative to develop standard templates for models that incorporated up-to-date tax planning. He also took significant initiative around business development and was successful in bringing in two new clients. Later, as the VP of Finance for Torq Energy Logistics, Mike executed three acquisitions and led the consolidation of four separate accounting systems. Following Torq, he joined BMO Capital Markets as VP of Power, Utilities, & Energy Infrastructure, where he originated new business with new clients, maintained and built upon existing relationships with critically important clients of the firm, and recruited and mentored members of the team.
While his career accolades are impressive, what speaks loudest to Mike’s character is how he contributes to the broader community. He is a profound, invested volunteer and has been involved in many fundraising initiatives, such as his efforts with Heart & Stroke, where he co-chairs the Caring Hearts Council.
Outside of these accomplishments, Mike makes sure to spend time coaching and mentoring junior staff on skill development. He has created a supportive atmosphere enabling staff to pursue their educational endeavors, which include supporting the CPA program at Campus.
To what or whom do you attribute your success?
I was lucky enough to be a part of the student government at the University of British Columbia, where I had exposure to many successful mentors (of note were Dan Muzyka, Ali Pejman, and Maureen Howe). While my drive is my own, through speaking with them and getting advice from them I was able to see what was possible, which caused me to shift my sights higher. Managers along the way have continuously increased their expectations of me, which has given me the opportunity to meet those expectations.
What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?
My mom, Sue Woodward! I’m a second-generation CPA,CA—both my parents are CPA, CAs in Calgary. It means a lot and is the culmination of many long conversations with them.
What is your favourite quote and why?
I used to have one from Dave Barry about not getting invited to parties but I’m not sure it’s appropriate here… I’m not sure it’s a quote, but “You can’t get what you don’t ask for” comes to mind. It speaks to setting clear goals, clear communication of those goals, and then pursuing them aggressively—all things I aspire to for my business and my career.
How has the CPA designation impacted you?
It’s given me a desire to “get to the answer” which has served me well in my career. Not taking inputs for granted and “auditing” them is a big part of due diligence and something that’s served me well over time.
Why is it important for you to give back?
Early in my education and career I was given lots of time and attention by mentors and people senior to me. There is a certain aspect of paying it forward that I subscribe to. A former colleague from BMO used the term “send the elevator back down”. Many of the not-for-profits and charities operating in Alberta couldn’t do it without volunteer support—I think you have to pick a cause you support and literally support them!
What values do you live by?
Honesty, education, passion, and work ethic.
Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?
I’d like to thank my wife, Claire, for supporting me in my entrepreneurial endeavors and for understanding the work / volunteer schedules! I’d also like to thank the friends, family, and coworkers who contributed to my nomination and application. Thank you, this means so much!
What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?
I suppose the biggest one, was just after qualifying for my CA when I was considering a move back to Calgary. I thought I needed to go back to school to get a job in energy in finance, but from a number of places people told me to just try and get the job I wanted rather than putting in a roadblock that might not exist. So I did that, got the job I wanted, and have carried and lived that philosophy ever since.
What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution? What are you most proud of?
My 10-month-old daughter! She’s great!