2000 Winner: Outstanding Contribution To The Alberta Science And Technology Community
In 1980, David Mitchell mused over the absence of Canadian heroes and set out to bring public attention to the creative genius within Canada. To this end, he spearheaded the creation of the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, a Nobel-type awards program that recognizes leadership in science, technology and innovation. Today, this is one of the most prestigious recognition programs in Canada, with annual cash awards ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. There is also a $20,000 program for young Canadians of high school age that has helped to move many young people closer toward careers in science.
As president and CEO of the Alberta Energy Company from 1975 to 1993, Mitchell grew the organization from a staff of four to one of Canada’s largest oil and gas exploration and production companies. He retired as chairman of the Board in April 1999. Mitchell was honoured to be among the first inductees into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame in 1997 and was also inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
He has received the Alberta Professional Engineers Award for outstanding leadership, the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers Award for community service, a Governor General’s Medal for leadership and was named a University of Calgary Distinguished Business Leader. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Mitchell has served as an officer of Junior Achievement, was general campaign chairman of the Calgary United Way and is an Honorary Indian Chief (“Chief Generous Heart”). He served the University of Calgary for a total of nine years on the Senate and as vice-chairman of the Board of Governors. He is past president of both the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada and the Canadian Oilfield Technical Society and was chapter chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization.