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than an ‘and’ could ever do.

Older And Bolder – The Ampersand January 2020

January 1, 2020

Dear Friends & Colleagues,


It is said of back-country ski guides that there are old guides and there are bold guides, but there are no old, bold guides.  The inference, to those on whom it may be lost, is that one can take unnecessary risks, have a great time and die young or one can take fewer risks, have a good time, and live long.


Equally true in business, I submit.


So here we sit, another year, another decade down. Having squeezed all available juice out of our 10-year celebrations throughout 2019, we’ll spare you more of that in our brief New Year’s greeting today.


Though, if you are feeling nostalgic, you may complement your holiday Netflix binge with one more screening of our commemorative 10th anniversary video.


In keeping with the skiing metaphor, 2019 was a double black diamond, the symbol used to designate very advanced ski trails down which only the most advanced skiers should descend. Steep terrain, poor visibility and unmarked hazards obstructed our path.


Notwithstanding the difficult conditions, our team was a Sentinel in the storm. A veteran squad, battle-tested, calm and composed.  We bundled up and hunkered down and steadily went about our business.  Undeterred by the losses, humbled by the wins, our keel was even, even when it wasn’t.


A few highlights.  We experienced exactly zero turnover.  No departures, no arrivals, no drama. We ended 2019 the same side we started it with; the team we’re fielding again in 2020.


2019 saw us work on 73 Searches for 54 Clients. Of those, 19 were C-Suite and Executive Director leadership roles. Our legacy legal search work continued to anchor our business with 32 Legal Roles, 15 of which were In-House Roles, including six General Counsel searches, five for public companies.


We served 14 different Industries (government/municipalities, engineering, legal, oilfield services, Not-For-Profit, Marketing/Communications, Manufacturing, Tourism, Power & Utilities, Financial Services, Real Estate/Property Development, Transportation, Oil & Gas & Agriculture) across six cities and four provinces and led searches in seven different functional verticals (Legal, Sales & Marketing, Corporate Services, HR, Finance, IT and Board recruitment).


But who’s counting?


As importantly, we steadfastly sustained our deep connection to community.  It is said that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.  While most, including us, were laser focused on the bottom line, our continued philanthropic efforts in a trying economic environment were an ongoing priority.  Adam was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, while also completing his fifth year on the Board of Directors of the YMCA and his second year teaching a business development course of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.  11-year P&Co. veteran, Ranju Shergill, was instrumental as a Board Member for the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, including spearheading a Pekarsky & Co. gift drop for a deserving immigrant family in mid-December.  P&Co. Client Partner, Cam McDonald, volunteered time and expertise to the Top 7 Over 70 Awards Gala, the Pekarsky & Co. Pro Bonos once again laced up the skates for the Gordie Howe Pro-Am in support of Alzheimer’s raising another $41,000 for the cause this season (and re-upped their commitment for 2020 – watch this space) and the firm re-affirmed its commitment as a Bronze Sponsor, for the eighth time, of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter Turning Points Gala.  We quietly performed countless other unseen good deeds, evidenced by a kitchen corkboard overflowing with heartfelt thank you notes and a rapidly depleting pile of P&Co. Thanks A Latté coffee cards sent to all those who do us a good turn.


Our strategic alliances remained strong, both with Creative Coaching, to whom we referred several clients they ably guided with industry-leading coaching, assessment and leadership development expertise.


We enjoyed another year with Panorama, a global alliance of like-minded boutique executive search firms, where Adam was promoted to North American Chair and Ranju provided invaluable counsel to the global marketing committee.  Finally, the firm’s involvement as a member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants once again proved valuable not only to us and to the AESC but to our clients as well through our access to proprietary tools and resources that directly benefit those we serve and virtually neuter the perceived advantage espoused by global firms.



While 2019 didn’t involve a Vegas run or a firm Ski Trip, we still managed to balance austerity with hilarity. A June firm retreat in Fernie, a summer-long birthday party capped off with our annual rooftop Stampede whoop up, and several impromptu patio gatherings, mid-summer rounds of golf, mid-winter darts challenges and other shenanigans not suitable for print. The year saw us named as a finalist for the ATB Small Business of Year Awards and recipient of a second consecutive Canadian Lawyer Reader’s Choice award for best legal search firm in Canada. It ended with gifts of AirPods and BeanPods (handmade Fernie chocolatier chocolates) for all.  Most importantly, we had each other’s backs throughout the journey, we worked creatively with our loyal clients to find ‘win/win’ arrangements in a tough market and, above all, we took great care of our candidates who, though invisible to most, see us and our work more than anyone.


We head into 2020 brimming with optimism; not because of any underlying economic fundamentals, but because it’s in our nature to be doggedly positive people. We have completely diversified our client base.



We have geographic, functional and industry hedges built into our business that smooth out of the peaks of valleys of Calgary’s boom and bust cycles.  And we quite simply have the best team, the best clients and the most fun of anyone in this crazy business.


You could say we are a little bit old and a little bit bold; a winning combination.


2020 is already greeting us with several intriguing opportunities and sits before us like a field of sun-soaked, untouched powder snow. Speaking of which, time to go skiing.