Today’s up-and-coming leaders are helping to shape tomorrow’s energy future. Whether it’s new thinking, fresh attitudes or technical solutions, showcasing their work and vision is of tremendous value to the entire energy industry.
Daily Oil Bulletin’s Rising Stars Class of 2019 is a showcase event of the excellent work done by young emerging energy leaders.
Today, we profile Casey Bray, Perma-Pipe Canada.
Few business talents are valued more highly than the ability to sell. Casey Bray’s track record of sales growth in the last four years has established him as a key component of Perma-Pipe Canada’s success delivering pipeline coating solutions.
His knack for building relationships, together with an undergraduate degree in business and entrepreneurship and an Executive MBA from the University of Calgary, propelled Casey to become Perma-Pipe’s General Manager of Canadian Operations and Sales in seven years with the company.
“For me, its about building a team environment and coaching so that people enjoy coming to work and feel challenged,” he says.
A key steppingstone to his role with Perma-Pipe came in 2009/10. During the slowdown in the pipeline market, Casey and his wife, Jennifer, who also works in the oil and gas industry, came to an unusual agreement: “We said, whoever offers us an ex-pat assignment first, let’s take it.”
Most people would end up waiting for a long time to get such an offer, but not the Brays. Jennifer got the offer first. The assignment was in Doha, Qatar. Casey became the “trailing spouse.”
Casey recalls this as an interesting period in his life, allowing him to experience different lines of work. The Doha Film Institute, for example, hosts a giant film festival every year, which Bray helped set up.
“My job was to help organize the chaos,” he says.
But oil and gas was never far away. Aegion (Insituform at the time) asked him to represent their products in the Middle East. A year later, when Jennifer’s assignment ended, Perma-Pipe in Calgary tapped him for a management job.
“It was a challenging role. I was managing people that were significantly my senior in experience and age. I was about 31 at the time and had to make some tough decisions and restructure the department a couple times to improve the team’s experience level and ability,” he says.
But each time he recast the sales department the company gained market share.
“It was a matter of aligning the right people with the right customer, the right channel and the right focus,” he says.
In his home neighbourhood of Marda Loop in Calgary, Bray also puts his sales skills to work for its community association. When he was director for sponsorships, the community had a record fundraising year. That money provided more seniors’ programs, kids’ summer camps and events than ever before, including cash reserves for much-needed upgrades to the community hall and tennis courts.
“It’s exciting to see the direct impact you can have in the community,” he says.
United Way is an important charity for the Brays. At the corporate level, he acts as a match-maker, making introductions, setting up meetings and connecting United Way staff with companies that could help the group raise funds, put on events and find volunteers.
“One thing I’ve learned about the United Way is that each chapter focuses on the local community. So it’s great to see those positive impacts close to home,” he says.