Steve Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Suncor Energy Inc., was honoured yesterday evening as the recipient of the 2019 Canadian Business Leader Award (CBLA) by the University of Alberta School of Business.
Williams has been a part of Suncor since 2002 and has more than 40 years of experience in the international energy industry, including 18 years at Esso/Exxon. As CEO of Canada’s largest integrated energy company, Williams has driven operational excellence across Suncor’s operations, profitably grown the company and delivered value for shareholders, creating a compelling investor proposition.
He has also been a strong advocate for sustainable development in the energy industry and continues to speak candidly about energy policy and climate change, pushing for science-driven conservation strategies.
During the event, Williams spoke passionately about the value of integrity. “What I mean by integrity is: you can say all you want in this world, but you have to walk the talk, and you have to walk the talk consistently through good and bad times. Most people under pressure decide that they’re something else, but that doesn’t work for senior leadership. You have to walk the talk every day,” Williams said during the fireside chat with Alberta School of Business Dean, Joseph Doucet.
In addition to receiving the 2019 Canadian Business Leader Award, Williams has received numerous awards and accolades recognizing his leadership and innovative thinking. In 2017, he received the Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy from Canada’s Public Policy Forum and was named CEO of the Year by Alberta Oil Magazine. He was also named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture in 2016, and Canadian CEO of the Year by the Globe & Mail, Report on Business magazine.
The CBLA dinner and gala event took place on April 3 at the Edmonton Convention Centre and was attended by over 600 members of the business community, including more than 100 students who were able to attend the dinner thanks to sponsoring individuals and companies. Hosted by Global Edmonton’s Su-Ling Goh, and with the support of the School’s Business Advisory Council (BAC) the Canadian Business Leader Award continues to be the School’s signature event.
Each year since 1982, the Alberta School of Business and the BAC have presented the Canadian Business Leader Award to a Canadian of distinction; CBLA recipients are individuals who have demonstrated leadership, business acumen and success, an entrepreneurial spirit, integrity and a commitment to the community. The selection committee is comprised of members of the BAC, as well as students, faculty, and alumni.
Past recipients include Elyse Allan of GE, Nancy Southern of ATCO and inaugural recipient, UAlberta visionary, Francis G. Winspear.
Photo: Steve Williams is presented the 38th Canadian Business Leader Award. (From left to right) Jim Carter, Vice Chair, ATB Financial Board of Directors; Joseph Doucet, Dean at the Alberta School of Business; Steve Williams, President and CEO Suncor; and Dave Mowat, Business Advisory Council Chair