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Guide: 6 influential & inspiring Calgarians to keep your eye on

Photo via @lukesdrugmartPhoto via @lukesdrugmartPhoto via Canadian ArtPhoto via University of CalgaryPhoto via Calgary HeraldPhoto via Calgary HeraldPhoto via Gather With Jim

As you may have heard, TEDxYYC is coming to Calgary on June 15th. Their theme this year is You Are Here. In spirit of their event, we want to highlight some other inspiring Calgarians, businesses and entrepreneurs. These guys either know where they are or know who they want to be. Bottom line: they’re making a big difference in our community.

Gareth Lukes- Lukes Drug Mart

inspiring calgarians
Lukes Drug Mart originally started up in 1951. That means Gareth is actually the third generation in charge of operations! Recognizing the need to rejuvenate the Bridgeland icon, he began to incorporate products that he would buy. First choice: vinyl records. What we like about Lukes is the synthesis between contemporary, ‘trendy’ stores and honest to goodness drug mart amenities. Send some mail, pick up a prescription… Then treat yourself to a lotion from Malin + Goetz.

James and Susan Hill- The Esker Foundation

inspiring calgarians
You wouldn’t know it from a trip to this free gallery space… But James is a heavy hitter in the world of oil and gas. In fact, he sits on the board of directors at Pason. After recognizing the need to showcase contemporary art in Calgary, these two started up the Esker back in 2012. They’ve been showing high-quality, politically charged exhibitions ever since!

Claire O’Gorman- Program Coordinator, Safeworks

inspiring calgarians
We couldn’t write this article without drawing attention to social and political issues, that would be naive of us. As program coordinator for Safeworks, Alberta’s first harm reduction initiative, Claire is on the front line of the opioid epidemic. Let’s face facts– the belief in ‘out of sight, out of mind’ ends with more people dying on the streets. Safeworks helps them receive necessary medical care and take concrete steps towards ending drug use.

Ben Gerwing- Alberta Boot Company

inspiring calgarians
Another third-generation owner, Ben Gerwing has taken over his grandfather Clem’s operation. As the only Western boot manufacturer in the province, Alberta Boot Company carries the proud torch of life in the prairies. Here, quality boots and cowboy hats are the norm, not the exception. It’s about time you invested in a new pair for the Stampede, no?

Mary Moran- Calgary Economic Development

inspiring calgarians
Mary took over as President and CEO of CED in 2015. Since then, she’s committed herself to showing companies that Calgary is as good a place as any to set up shop. While she has a great team to help, one cannot argue how important a CEO is in running something of this scale. And succeeding, too, with year over year growth between 2017 and 2018. This resulted in a combined 14,018 jobs created or retained through their efforts! As far as inspiring Calgarians go, Mary is definitely up there on our list.

Jim Button- Village Brewery

inspiring calgarians
Calgary loves beer, and Jim loves beer. It’s a match made in heaven, especially for someone with a background in community building. As co-founder of Village Brewery, Jim invested in Calgary’s craft brewery scene long before the rest of the city caught on. Of course, before that he was at Big Rock and Evans Hunt Group, where he honed his skills in the combined worlds of beer and marketing.

And the best part about Jim? He will be speaking at this year’s TEDxYYC! You can hear him talk about his battle with terminal cancer, his corporate and personal endeavors, and his view on what’s next for Calgary. If you’re looking to get motivated by some other speakers at this year’s event, check out their site for the full line up of inspiring Calgarians.

TEDxYYC 2019

Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall
When: Saturday, June 15
Cost: Tickets starting at $50.25

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