Howell appointed chair of Lakeland College Board of Governors

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January 12, 2015
Lakeland College is pleased to announce Darrel Howell, PEng, is the new chair of the board of governors
Howell was designated as the chair for a three-year term effective Dec 19, 2014 by the Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education.

“It’s a privilege to be selected. We are so fortunate to have the quality of people that we have at Lakeland. We have a tremendous board and I am excited to continue our work together. The college is a well-run and innovative institution,” says Howell. “Lakeland plays a significant role in preparing students of all ages for a career that they can move into as well-educated and highly skilled professionals. I am very proud of the college and honoured to be the chair.”

Howell, a member of the board since 2012, succeeds Milt Wakefield as the new chair. Howell has worked in the energy sector for over 30 years in senior management and has extensive experience in strategic planning, maintenance, construction, engineering and operations, as well as financial management, internal and external communications, and community and business relationship management. Most recently, Howell was president and then chairman of Tartan Canada Corporation. He has also worked with Flint Energy Services, Husky Energy, and Syncrude Canada. He is currently semi-retired, and doing some consulting work.

“Lakeland College Board of Governors is pleased to have Darrel Howell as our new chair. He brings a wealth of knowledge, valuable leadership skills and passion to this position,” says Gary Moses, vice chair of the board. “As a longstanding supporter of Lakeland College, Darrel’s dedication and commitment are an asset to our board and to the college. I am thrilled to have Darrel’s continued involvement with our board as the new chair.”

Howell says there are number of priorities the board is focused on including the selection of a new president, infrastructure maintenance and renewal, and fiscal sustainability. Ensuring leading-edge equipment, technology and instruction continue to be available to students, and building on the college’s successes are also key in the board’s work going forward, says Howell.

“I think we have to improve but I think it’s more of a process of evolution than revolution. The college functions extremely well; we have exceptional programs, talented people and we are in good financial shape but we have to continue to look for new opportunities,” he says citing the increase of online and blended learning programs as examples of how Lakeland continues to innovate.

The completion of the Energy Centre this spring will be an important milestone for Lakeland. When the facility is fully operational, students will be able to simulate completed heavy oil upgrading and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) processes, as well as achieving advanced power engineering certification.

“The Energy Centre is really going to put Lakeland College on the map for the oil industry,” says Howell. “We will absolutely maximize the use of this state-of-the-art facility for power engineering and heavy oil students. Students are already coming from long distances to take many of our programs, including agriculture and environmental sciences in particular, and I think we are going to see the same thing happen with our Energy Centre. That’s really exciting and of course energy is my background, which makes it even more exciting for me.”

Howell holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta. He previously served on the University of Calgary Senate, Alberta Chamber of Resources, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Construction Owners Association of Alberta and Grace United Church Central Board. Howell is also the current chair of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation.

Current members of the Lakeland College Board of Governors include Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO; Gary Moses, vice chair and public member; Ken Baker, public member; Michael Kotelko, public member; Jason Bazinet, public member; Bryan Perkins, public member; Scott Webb, public member; Linnea Goodhand, public member; Wanjiku Kaai, academic staff member; Carla Anderson, non-academic staff member; and Greg Sutherland, student member.

January 12, 2015