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Keith MacPhail

2007 Distinguished Alumnus

Keith MacPhail, 2007 SAIT Distinguished Alumnus

2017 Update

Keith MacPhail (PT '81), Executive Chairman and Past President, CEO and Chair of Bonavista Energy Corporation

"Ten years since I received my Alumni Award? It seems like a blur. I have been trying to establish more balance in my life between work and fun things. So, in 2007, we bought a property in Palm Springs. We are getting down there a lot, and golfing, biking and hiking. Also, I would say one of my biggest passions in the past 10 years has been doing more boating on the West Coast. We've had three different boats in the past decade, progressively working up in size. I find being on the water relaxing, as well as challenging. I own part of a fishing lodge on the north end of Queen Charlottes, so I generally go up there a few times a year and do some salmon fishing, too.

An initiative that I'm involved in is the SAIT Board of Governors. It takes a considerable amount of time, but I really enjoy it. I feel like I am having an impact there. I'm also involved with some volunteer activities with the U of C Faculty of Medicine and the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute.

My involvement in the community is about what I have said for a long time: I have benefited from opportunities that the city, SAIT and other people have given me. It just feels like I owe something back. I am not going to give all my money to my kids, so I feel like some of it should get spread around a bit."

By age 39, Keith MacPhail was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Natural Resources and selected one of Canada's "Top 40 Under 40". A year later, with his own money and the help of a few financial backers, Keith and Ronald Poelzer took over Bonavista Petroleum. They later formed Bonavista Energy Trust which went on to become one of the top Canadian income trusts. Keith MacPhail chaired SAIT's Promising Futures Campaign from 2007 to 2012 and currently serves as vice-chair of the SAIT Board of Governors. In establishing balance between his work as executive chairman of Bonavista Energy and chair of the board of Nuvista Energy, and fun, Keith and his wife Kathy spend time at their house in Palm Springs and boating on the West Coast.