President & CEO
Chris has over 30 years of experience in the domestic and international energy business. Prior to this role, he spent three years as the Chief Executive Officer and Director at Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. Prior to that he spent 10 years as an executive with Petrobank Energy and Resources providing leadership throughout Petrobank’s corporate evolution. He has held the roles of Vice President Heavy Oil, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and Director.
Chris began his career at Shell Canada and moved with increasing responsibility from exploration to economics and corporate planning, oil sands development, oil sands operations and marketing. By the time he left Shell he was Director, Liquids Business Centre, responsible for crude oil and NGL marketing and business development.
Following his tenure at Shell he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Castel Energy, a NASDAQ listed company, responsible for its Canadian crude oil marketing business and its US exploration, natural gas production and pipelines. Subsequently, Chris was Founder, President and Chief Operating Office at Talon Resources Ltd. a TSX-V listed company, a Latin America midstream energy project development and crude oil marketing operation. After this, Chris spent five years as a Senior Client Partner at Korn/Kerry.
Chris has also served on Canadian public energy company boards and is a member of The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Jim Donihee, OMM, CD
Chief operating officer
Jim Donihee has served as Chief operating officer of CEPA since January of 2013. Previous roles in the energy industry include: VP & Chief of Staff at Pengrowth, Chief Operating Officer at the National Energy Board, and VP Organizational Effectiveness at EnCana. Jim, a retired Colonel from Canada’s Air Force, also has extensive multinational operational experience having served as a NATO Commander of forces in Yugoslavia, NORAD Commander in the Arctic, the US and as Base Commander of CFB Cold Lake, Canada’s largest operational CF-18 fighter base.
A passion for flight led Jim to become a single seat fighter pilot (CF104, CF5, & CF18 Hornet) in Canada’s Air Force where he served for twenty-eight years, retiring as an Air Force Colonel. For noteworthy excellence in Leadership, he was decorated by the Governor General of Canada and inducted into the Order of Military Merit.
A strategic thinker and skilled Governance practitioner, Jim is ICD trained and has extensive Board experience having served as a founding Board Member of Projex Technologies [Chair of Governance, and Chair of HR & Comp Committees] as well as having served as Chair of the Corps of Commissionaires of Southern Alberta where he led a governance review of the $1B National organization of 17 Divisions. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Enform, Canada’s upstream oil & gas association dedicated to improving safety performance, and has also recently been appointed to the Board of Directors for Legal Aid Alberta.
Jim holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the College Militaire Royal. He has also completed the Queen’s University executive program on Strategic Planning as well as Masters level studies in Systems Integration and Project Management, and the Australian Army’s Command and Staff College focusing on Strategic and Operational Leadership.
Patrick Smyth, AScT, MBA
Vice president, safety & engineering
Patrick Smyth is vice president of safety and engineering at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) where he and his team work with industry partners to enhance industry performance and reputation. Prior to joining CEPA in September 2014, Patrick spent seven years in an executive leadership role with Canada’s National Energy Board and eight years in various roles with the province of British Columbia where he split his time between the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Oil and Gas Commission. During his time with the B.C. Public Service, Patrick was instrumental in defining and executing the province’s oil and gas development strategy.
Patrick began his career in the trades and progressed into a quality assurance role obtaining certification in both Canada and the United States in welding inspection and non-destructive examination. With a passion for life-long learning, he has earned a diploma of technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and a BComm and MBA from Royal Roads University. He is a passionate safety professional holding designation as a Canadian Registered Safety Professional and a deep interest in advancing safety culture within the Canadian pipeline industry.