Larry Pals, on the occasion of the
presentation of the Professional Recognition Award to John Holmlund,
It is my pleasure this afternoon to introduce to
you this year's recipient of the Professional Recognition Award. The
Professional Recognition Award is presented to a member who has attained
a high level of office within our Association, has attained national or
international recognition, has developed new systems or methods or in
some other ways has contributed to the profession of surveying.
This year's recipient of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Professional
Recognition Award is John Howard Holmlund, ALS, SLS.
John was born in Cranbrook, BC in
and graduated from SAIT in
He received his ALS commission in
and his SLS in
1986. He was auditor of our Association in
and served as member of Council from
John was elected vice-president in
and served as our president in
I had the privilege of serving on Council with John and found him to be
extremely dedicated, hard working, and full of energy. Over the years,
he has served on numerous ALSA committees and was the Alberta director
to the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors for three years, during which
he served on the North American Free Trade (NAFTA) Committee. He also
served on the University of Calgary Advisory Committee for three years.
Currently, he is the president-elect of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.
John has always been involved with various committee and
non-professional activities. He was involved in minor hockey in Leduc
and was a director of the local golf club.
Now a little personal information
about John - but a very impressive resume so far. In
John and I both attended Survey Technology at the Southern Alberta
Institute of Technology. As we got to know each other better in the
second year, it became very evident that John had exemplary
organizational and social skills. It became a regular occurance for
meetings of our second year class to be called over at the H block. John
usually had something of great surveying importance to discuss. The
letter H stands for the Highlander Hotel.
John fine-tuned his organizational skills and
started his very successful surveying company, HDS Focus Surveys now
known as The Focus Corporation Ltd. Over the years, through his
leadership, his company has brought innovation and a dedicated level of
service to the oilfield sector of not only Alberta, but British Columbia
and Saskatchewan as well. The Focus Corporation is well respected
provincially, nationally, as well as internationally.
Mr. Holmlund addressed the luncheon as follows:
I certainly didn't expect this. I was in Nova Scotia a number of years
ago and one of the surveyors there received an award that he wasn't
anticipating and I think I'll start with those words, "I can hardly wait
to hear what I am going to say."
It seems like the appropriate thing might be to take a shot at
Bob Wallace or tell a story about Shirley
Hall, but I won't do either of those. It's unbelievable to get
acknowledged by your peers. I really don't know what to say-I really
didn't expect this.
I was looking at the list of people that was on our table and it's a
real honour to be included with all of those esteemed surveyors. What I
would like to do and probably a lot of people would join me in doing
this is thanking my real support, and that's Jane, in being able to do
what I've done. She has certainly supported me through all of my
professional undertakings. She has supported me back to my room at three
o'clock in the morning after the president's suite. She has been a
pillar of strength.
I'll just tell a story about when we started our company. She hates it
when I tell this story, but I think it's appropriate. I came home one
day and we decided to start a business-we'd been working at Midwest
Surveys and we certainly enjoyed our time there but I guess we were
anxious to do some other things-so, I came home and I said to Jane,
"we've decided to start a business." We had two little kids, Eric and
Erin, and Jane just looked at me and said, "how are you going to feed
the kids; how are you going to have money?" I said, "well, I never
really thought about that, but I know it's going to work." I hadn't
really thought about that, so Jane sort of left the room and started
crying. She came back about twenty minutes later and said, "well, if
that's what you want to do, I'm with you."
Quite a few years later, we had a
twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and Jane got up a told a story that
night and said, "I never ever got really mad enough to leave you, but
the closest I ever came was the day you came home and said you were
starting a company."
I'd like to thank everybody that
was responsible for this. I'd like to particularly thank Larry for
considering me for this award. I'd like to thank all of the people from
Focus, particularly that are in this room, and I'd like to also
especially thank Len Leiman. It was through
Len that I got started in land surveying - he was my big cousin, that's
what he was doing and that's kind of how I got here.