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Editors Note: Making the List

It’s our pleasure to recognize 50 remarkable Albertans

Jul 3, 2014

by Michael Ganley

Building the list of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential people is one of the great pleasures (work-wise) of the spring.

We begin in March, soliciting names from the public, from our contacts and from our own experiences, to put together a long list of about 100 names. We search every nook and cranny of the province: geographically; by sector and industry; by area of interest and more. We also discuss the nature of influence and how it doesn’t necessarily equate to power in the traditional sense. The list is not simply made up of the province’s top politicians and business people, because influence may, in fact, run deep beneath those rungs of status. Influence includes people, well known or not, who are leading important conversations and who are changing the course of the province over the long run. Influence many mean that they are planting the small seed that will grow to be the great oak tree. The influence we choose to recognize, then, may also not be in any one particular person’s opinion, always good influence. We’re not looking for a lengthy and impressive resumé or a person who always makes others feel good. Instead, we’re looking for people whose influence has been real and visible this year.

Once we have our long list, we begin to whittle it down. That means more long discussions (or is that arguments?) about the work and the achievements of the people under consideration. It’s not meant to be some kind of fluffy lifetime achievement award, we constantly try to remind ourselves.

Many of the names on the list will be familiar to you. How could we not include Jim Prentice and Daryl Katz this year? One is the potential premier-in-waiting and the other is getting his big-dollar rink built. Many others will be unfamiliar, and that’s one of the exciting aspects of the exercise. It includes academics and volunteers, and passionate members of the public who either do not seek or have not received recognition. We know that everyone will not agree with our decisions; there is no mathematical equation to developing the perfect list. But we do hope that it will provoke your interest and conversation.

Aside from the 50 Most Influential list, in this issue we also bring you a guide to the office of the future (fewer cubicles, anyone?) and a special report on real estate investments. Has the tide turned in favour of Canadian properties with the ongoing economic recovery in the U.S.? What can you do to maximize the return on your investment and what options are there for deriving a little income from your property? We have the answers in our focus on real estate.

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