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Acden's CEO Wins 2024 RARA Leadership Award

Garry Flett, Acden President and CEO, standing at RARA event podium giving acceptance speech to event crowd

Image credit: Moccasin Media via RARA Event Gallery

Garry Flett, Acden’s President and CEO, was recently honoured with the prestigious Leadership Award at the 2024 Regional Aboriginal Recognition Awards (RARA). Over the past 15 years, Garry has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to steering Acden's growth, tripling the number of companies under its umbrella and achieving an impressive three decades of operation. His leadership has not only propelled the organization forward but has also made a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals within the Acden family and the broader community.

“Leadership, to me, is not about standing at the forefront, but about encouraging and supporting others to reach their full potential. Acden's success is a result of the hard work and commitment of every member of our organization, and this award is a celebration of our shared achievements,” shares Garry.

Garry’s leadership is characterized by humility, trust, advocacy, and decisive action in the face of adversity and emergencies. Throughout his 15-year leadership term at Acden, numerous crises have been faced, including the devastating Horse River Fire in 2016, flooding incidents, the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and most recently, the fire that threatened the Fort Chipewyan community. In each instance, Garry prioritized the safety of his staff and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation members, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to their well-being.

Garry understands that safety extends beyond the physical, emphasizing the importance of providing his staff with tools and resources that support their personal well-being and mental health. Under his leadership, Acden won the 2023 Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) ‘Trailblazer Award’ for the Wood Buffalo region and a 5-Star Psychological Safety Award from Canadian Occupational Safety. These prestigious accolades celebrate organizations, like Acden, that exemplify a steadfast commitment to workplace safety while actively promoting health and safety initiatives within the communities they serve.

Garry’s ability to navigate challenges with resoluteness and compassion has set a remarkable standard for leadership, earning him the respect and admiration of those who have had the privilege of working alongside him.

Sally Hamelin reflects fondly on her time working with Garry, “I am a retired employee of Acden where Garry was my boss for ten years. Working with Garry and walking safely under his direction was the ending highlight of my professional working life. As a leader, Garry’s decisiveness is his signature trait. He leads by example; he knows what the company’s vision is and motivates and delegates his staff in that direction at all times. He is a confident, honest man who takes his responsibility over hundreds of staff very seriously. His compassion and his strong faith in all that is good in this world guide him and make him the strong leader that he is.”

As we celebrate this well-deserved recognition of Garry’s leadership, we reflect on the profound influence he has had on Acden's journey and look forward to witnessing its continued success under his guidance and leadership.


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