Alberta Roots. Global Reach

Pioneers in Refrigeration and Compression Solutions

Founded in 1976, Startec's unwavering commitment to solving client problems has driven our growth to become a leader in the engineering, design and manufacturing of compression, processing and refrigeration systems across North America and around the world.

Everyday Mavericks

Driven to Find a Better Way

We are a team of everyday mavericks — driven to find a better way to serve our customers. We collaborate to find solutions that say 'we' not 'me'. We challenge each other to create innovative ideas. We strive for long-term relationships with our employees, clients and suppliers. By working tirelessly towards these goals, we believe we can transform our industry.

Compression & Process Team

Portrait of Kristi Cawthorn
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who is driven to do things well, isn't afraid to try new and different approaches and has an internal entrepreneurial spirit. And they are likely a little bit quirky.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Assuming positive intent when looking at actions of others. It becomes easy to cut through disagreements when you consider that people simply have different perspectives, not because they are trying to harm one another.

Read Biography

Kristi Cawthorn

CEO

Kristi Cawthorn

Portrait of Kristi Cawthorn

CEO

Kristi's vision for Startec Compression & Process is to build innovative and pragmatic solutions that transform industry. A true maverick, she is determined to play a role in the evolution of the Oil and Gas industry and is passionately committed to finding a better way.

As CEO, Kristi leads the company in its growth, calculated risk taking and constant striving to improve. She believes in giving her team the tools to succeed while creating a dynamic culture driven by accountability and collaboration. Taking a page from founder Joe Cawthorn's book, Kristi believes in providing great service that creates a loyal customer and a long lasting relationship.

Kristi joined Startec after completing a B.Comm with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Chartered Accountant designation. Her early career was spent in public practice and the energy business. Dedicated to continuous improvement, she has been involved in TEC (The Executive Committee), Entrepreneur's Organization, has completed the Ivey Quantum Shift program and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) program. In addition to serving on Startec's Board of Directors, in 2016 Kristi was recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who is driven to do things well, isn't afraid to try new and different approaches and has an internal entrepreneurial spirit. And they are likely a little bit quirky.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Assuming positive intent when looking at actions of others. It becomes easy to cut through disagreements when you consider that people simply have different perspectives, not because they are trying to harm one another.

Portrait of Keith Nutting
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone with the drive to do better every day. Who believes that acting in a client's best interests is also in our long-term best interests.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Putting myself in the other person's shoes when analyzing an issue.

Read Biography

Keith Nutting

President

Keith Nutting

Portrait of Keith Nutting

President

Always an optimist, Keith brings his enthusiasm and nearly 30 years of experience to his position as President of Startec Compression & Process. Keith's lengthy track record of success provides valuable leadership and strategic guidance to the contributions of the Startec team.

Throughout his career, Keith has shared many of the characteristics that define Startec's 'Everyday Maverick' philosophy. Whether as the New Zealand CEO or UK Senior Vice President for WorleyParsons, or a key partner helping to grow Colt Engineering, Keith has always been driven to find a better way through teamwork and collaboration. A champion of company culture, Keith is passionate about modelling strong leadership and aligning his team through shared values. He is always first to demonstrate a willingness to confront right and wrong, taking a stand on larger issues that affect the big picture rather than promoting an individual agenda.

Keith has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and wide-ranging expertise in business management, project management, engineering and construction. Committed to delivering for customers, Keith is bolstered by a constant desire to get things done and done well.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone with the drive to do better every day. Who believes that acting in a client's best interests is also in our long-term best interests.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Putting myself in the other person's shoes when analyzing an issue.

Portrait of Kurt Schaerer
An Everyday Maverick Is...

A person who sees complex problems and can break them down into simple terms to bring a solution across the finish line.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Is always looking for ways to make today just a little better than yesterday.

Read Biography

Kurt Schaerer

VP of Operations

Kurt Schaerer

Portrait of Kurt Schaerer

VP of Operations

A self-made man, Kurt has always believed that nothing worthwhile comes easy. The approach that has been responsible for his success is simple: only through dedication and hard work can you achieve something of value, something that fills you with pride.

After graduating from the University of Calgary with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Kurt gained hands-on experience at Toromont as a Project Engineer in both compression and process, and rotary screw compression.

Recognized as the one who always stays calm under pressure, Kurt's leadership qualities were rewarded with senior appointments as General Manager of Gas Compression at Toromont, and General Manager of Compression and Process at Enerflex. Overseeing operations in facilities for both Canada and Northern USA, Kurt's responsibilities included profitability, staff, safety and quality while supporting growth in domestic and international markets.

Throughout his career, Kurt's most rewarding role has been in providing leadership to the people he works with. It's not surprising then, that Kurt shares the contagious enthusiasm that he sees, hears and feels every day with his fellow Mavericks at Startec.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

A person who sees complex problems and can break them down into simple terms to bring a solution across the finish line.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Is always looking for ways to make today just a little better than yesterday.

Portrait of Dominic Gaudette
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who is clever, smart, resourceful and naturally willing to take on challenges.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Being spontaneous and bold, while also wearing your emotions on your sleeve and constantly being grateful for what I have.

Read Biography

Dominic Gaudette P.Eng.

Engineering Manager

Dominic Gaudette

Portrait of Dominic Gaudette

Engineering Manager

Dominic loves a challenge. As Engineering Manager he is responsible for overseeing the execution of all Startec projects with a focus on ensuring quality, adherence to schedule, project costs and accountability while balancing customer requirements. In short, his well-honed engineering skills ensure our customers receive the highest quality product possible, delivered on time.

Dominic holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and has over 12 years of experience in the design of custom gas processing and refrigeration equipment. His knowledge covers all aspects of simulating, sizing, designing and commissioning gas plants. Dominic's solid background in process simulation combined with his extensive equipment packaging experience allows him to generate pragmatic and functional solutions delivered by Startec with drive, diligence and dedication every day.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who is clever, smart, resourceful and naturally willing to take on challenges.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Being spontaneous and bold, while also wearing your emotions on your sleeve and constantly being grateful for what I have.

Portrait of Malcolm Campbell
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Innovative and inventive, always thinking outside the box. Rebels who care about the world.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Turning away from family, friends and security to venture out into a new life and country. Setting for myself the goal to climb to the top of the ladder in my field.

Read Biography

Malcolm Campbell

Production Manager

Malcolm Campbell

Portrait of Malcolm Campbell

Production Manager

Malcolm's extensive experience and attention to detail help him oversee Startec's Compression and Process production. Always searching for a better way, he is focused on streamlining production processes to ensure our customers can count on superior product quality and "on time" delivery.

Malcolm has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of production, with over 20 years of progressive management experience within the industry, including onshore and offshore site work. With his "we" not "me" team approach, Malcolm's most recent position prior to joining the team at Startec saw him responsible for production, quality, safety and cost control for over 400 shop staff and supervisors within multiple, major production plants.

A veteran of several Startec expansions, Malcolm has been instrumental in executing the first stage of the company's ambitious growth plans with the opening of our new East Lake manufacturing facility.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Innovative and inventive, always thinking outside the box. Rebels who care about the world.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Turning away from family, friends and security to venture out into a new life and country. Setting for myself the goal to climb to the top of the ladder in my field.

Portrait of Leon Sutherland
An Everyday Maverick Is...

An adventurer that pioneers a new way of looking at an old problem.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Sometimes people just want to talk about a problem. You don't need to try to help to give them a solution.

Read Biography

Leon Sutherland P.Eng.

Applications Engineering Lead

Leon Sutherland

Portrait of Leon Sutherland

Applications Engineering Lead

Looking for a greater professional challenge, Leon joined Startec in 2013 as a Project Manager/Engineer working on gas plants, compression and stabilizer projects. His creativity, simulation knowledge and strong people skills were well suited to Startec's open-minded and collaborative philosophy and in 2015 he was promoted to Applications Engineering Lead. Today, Leon is in charge of the design and costing of new projects as well as developing tools to that give us better ways to provide solutions to our customers.

Prior to Startec, Leon worked in Ottawa at a waste gasification company where he oversaw projects from inception and design to construction, commissioning, operation and data analysis. Leon's "jack of all trades" experience in high temperature reactor design, gas cleaning and processing, natural gas liquids recovery and rotating equipment sizing makes him an invaluable asset to Startec's team of outside-the-box thinkers.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

An adventurer that pioneers a new way of looking at an old problem.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Sometimes people just want to talk about a problem. You don't need to try to help to give them a solution.

Portrait of Louis Wen
An Everyday Maverick Is...

One who confronts challenges, strives to make a difference and moves forward. Someone who speaks truth despite all adversities.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Putting others before myself, knowing the rewards may not be apparent and imminent, because you know it makes a difference in someone's life.

Read Biography

Louis Wen

Project Manager

Louis Wen

Portrait of Louis Wen

Project Manager

Never one to be content with doing the same job every day, Louis thrives in Startec's fast-paced work environment continuously finding solutions to new challenges. His ability to set goals and reach successful outcomes has held him in good stead as a project manager. With a natural combination of diligence and commitment, not to mention his humble personality, Louis helps move projects forward and delivers great packages that our customers need.

Louis has always had a passion for manufacturing. Throughout his schooling and the early days of his career, his aspiration was to be part of the automobile industry and see cars roll off the assembly line. Working in the telecom industry fulfilled part of that ambition, feeling a huge sense of achievement delivering high volume throughout every day. Louis attains that same level of satisfaction working at Startec where he knows he makes a difference, to his team and his customers, every day.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

One who confronts challenges, strives to make a difference and moves forward. Someone who speaks truth despite all adversities.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Putting others before myself, knowing the rewards may not be apparent and imminent, because you know it makes a difference in someone's life.

Portrait of Nathan Preet
An Everyday Maverick Is...

An individual who challenges themselves and their co-workers daily, to deliver on time quality projects, while maintaining our core values.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Is always finding a way to get a job done. Failure is not an option.

Read Biography

Nathan Preet

Plant Manager

Nathan Preet

Portrait of Nathan Preet

Plant Manager

Nathan has always created the right solutions for clients. After beginning his career in the automotive industry, he soon switched gears to his primary interest — heavy-duty mechanics. Following an apprenticeship at Caterpillar, Nathan put his "can do" attitude to work in the field on gas compression, drilling, gas and diesel power generation, and industrial equipment.

At Toromont's manufacturing plant, Nathan took on the challenging role of commissioning compression and process skids. He also honed his collaboration skills liaising between the engineering, design and manufacturing departments. Prior to joining the everyday mavericks at Startec, Nathan was surpassing customer goals as a supervisor at Finning Power Systems.

As Startec's Plant Manager, Nathan enjoys the pace and satisfaction of building a quality product that he and his team are proud to stand behind. Says Nathan, "I work with amazing, sensible, forward-thinking people at Startec."

An Everyday Maverick Is...

An individual who challenges themselves and their co-workers daily, to deliver on time quality projects, while maintaining our core values.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Is always finding a way to get a job done. Failure is not an option.

Service Team

Portrait of Joel Cawthorn
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Energetic, tenacious, adaptable and focused. I believe these are the characteristics of people who get things done; that's who I want to surround myself with.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Listening to my gut. I've learned to recognize what your body tells you, not just what your analytical brain tells you.

Read Biography

Joel Cawthorn

President

Joel Cawthorn

Portrait of Joel Cawthorn

President

Joel isn't just the President of Startec Service, he's also the Chief Optimist. With equal parts drive and persistence, he oversees the operations and performance of both the Construction and Field Service Divisions. He holds a shared belief here that we can achieve our goals without compromising our values of accountability and performance.

With an engineering degree from the University of Calgary and over 20 years of leadership experience at Startec, Joel spearheads the company's continued growth while building a dedicated team committed to excellence. He takes great pride in the strong partnerships forged with clients, building trust and working together to solve their business challenges.

In addition to his management responsibilities, Joel is a shareholder of the company and serves on Startec's Board of Directors, along with being actively involved in the Calgary chapter of TEC (The Executive Committee).

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Energetic, tenacious, adaptable and focused. I believe these are the characteristics of people who get things done; that's who I want to surround myself with.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Listening to my gut. I've learned to recognize what your body tells you, not just what your analytical brain tells you.

Portrait of Gord Kelly
An Everyday Maverick Is...

A team player not afraid to challenge ideas and the current norm, always finding better solutions.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Not being afraid to take chances. I don't always follow the herd; I like to find my own path.

Read Biography

Gord Kelly

Service Operations Manager

Gord Kelly

Portrait of Gord Kelly

Service Operations Manager

Having successfully run his own Instrumentation and Electrical company for many years, Gord is no stranger to strong, independent thinking — a trait shared by many of his fellow everyday mavericks. Following rapid expansion, a large service company acquired his business, and he later joined the Startec team in 2016. In his current role, Gord drives positive change by ensuring the day-to-day operations of Startec Service go above and beyond customer expectations.

Gord is an accomplished operations manager with over 15 years of progressive management experience in both private and public service companies. In addition to being a Journeyman Instrumentation Mechanic, he has a strong HSE background and experience managing multiple teams across North America. Gord holds an Occupational Health and Safety Certificate with distinction from the University of Alberta.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

A team player not afraid to challenge ideas and the current norm, always finding better solutions.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Not being afraid to take chances. I don't always follow the herd; I like to find my own path.

Portrait of Darryl Calkins
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who has the drive to bring their best in every situation, who knows the value of hard work and plays even harder.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Staying calm and demonstrating resilience, drive, and focus when things get tough or I’m faced with a difficult decision.

Read Biography

Darryl Calkins

Regional Manager (North)

Darryl Calkins

Portrait of Darryl Calkins

Regional Manager (North)

Darryl is an individual who is driven to be the best, an attitude that has made him a natural fit at Startec when he joined the team in 2017 as the Northern Alberta Regional Manager. His energy combined with a passion for figuring out system issues and refrigeration design drives him to consistently find better solutions for customers. As a leader, he is known to ignite the same enthusiasm in his team and with our partners.

Having been on the front lines of operations throughout his career, Darryl initially apprenticed while earning his Journeyman Red Seal ticket, before advancing to become an Industrial Service Manager focused on refrigeration and A/C.

Darryl’s unwavering commitment to continuous learning has served to hone his unique ability to effectively communicate, mediate and liaison for both client-side and trade issues within the industry. Whether working for private firms or the City of Edmonton, he has always strived to lead with tenacity and a calming influence. Today he rolls up his sleeves to deliver the highest standards that people have come to expect from Startec.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who has the drive to bring their best in every situation, who knows the value of hard work and plays even harder.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Staying calm and demonstrating resilience, drive, and focus when things get tough or I’m faced with a difficult decision.

Portrait of Neil Eastwood
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who strives to change the norm, in order to help customers.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

I'm not afraid to say what's on my mind. I believe honesty and integrity are the key to happiness.

Read Biography

Neil Eastwood

Construction Manager

Neil Eastwood

Portrait of Neil Eastwood

Construction Manager

Neil became a member of the Startec family of everyday mavericks in 2002, starting in the Shipping, Receiving and Parts department. After moving into the Construction group, he entered the Refrigeration apprenticeship program from which he received his journeyman certification in 2009. Neil's broad experience, spanning from recreational and industrial refrigeration to the oil and gas market, allows him to provide innovative technical solutions for our customers.

With his background in field service as well as sales and construction, Neil's diverse talents are now utilized in bidding tenders, and providing oversight in new construction projects, existing facility modifications, and start up and commissioning. Employing an honest and straight-forward approach, Neil also solves ongoing construction challenges and provides assistance in troubleshooting difficult process related issues.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who strives to change the norm, in order to help customers.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

I'm not afraid to say what's on my mind. I believe honesty and integrity are the key to happiness.

Portrait of Dan Belliveau
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who creates opportunities for others to succeed. Someone who is diligent in producing results and opinions for the improvement of the team.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Putting in a hard day's work and knowing at the end that I've accomplished something. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't put in the hard work.

Read Biography

Dan Belliveau

Commercial Manager

Dan Belliveau

Portrait of Dan Belliveau

Commercial Manager

Dan gets things done. Like all Everyday Mavericks he is driven to have positive interactions with customers and solve problems. He's had that same determination since arriving at Startec when the company first expanded into the HVAC and Commercial market. Growing that division to it's full potential is his next goal.

Dan has almost 15 years of experience working in all aspects of the refrigeration trade. Through his 12 years as a service and construction mechanic Dan has worked on all types of equipment relating to the residential, commercial and industrial refrigeration applications.

In addition to being a Journeyman Refrigeration and HVAC mechanic, Dan also has his Class B gas fitting ticket, and is certified in Cross Connection and Backflow prevention.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who creates opportunities for others to succeed. Someone who is diligent in producing results and opinions for the improvement of the team.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Putting in a hard day's work and knowing at the end that I've accomplished something. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't put in the hard work.

Portrait of Mike Kelly
An Everyday Maverick Is...

A believer in hard work; true, honest dedication and commitment to all customers and fellow employees.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Being known for being 100% honest. I define success as accomplishing a task with true honesty.

Read Biography

Mike Kelly

Technical Sales Representative, Southern Region

Mike Kelly

Portrait of Mike Kelly

Technical Sales Representative, Southern Region

Mike's commitment to developing strong business relationships with clients and helping them overcome challenges is second to none. His extensive industry knowledge and background experience allow him to quickly respond to their needs providing innovative, efficient and trustworthy solutions.

With over 23 years of experience in industrial and recreation refrigeration, Mike has worked both in the field performing service and construction work, as well as in the office as Technical Sales Representative managing projects. Playing a pivotal role on the Startec Refrigeration Services team, Mike's approachable interpersonal style, technical knowledge and true dedication continue to build loyal, long-term clients.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

A believer in hard work; true, honest dedication and commitment to all customers and fellow employees.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Being known for being 100% honest. I define success as accomplishing a task with true honesty.

Portrait of Merlin Scabar
An Everyday Maverick Is...

An individual that is serious about putting the needs of others first, treating people with respect and showing integrity in what you say and do.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Holding myself personally accountable to our clients and our teams, ensuring we’re always coming up with creative ideas to meet our customer’s needs.

Read Biography

Merlin Scabar

Technical Sales Representative

Merlin Scabar

Portrait of Merlin Scabar

Technical Sales Representative

Merlin revels in the challenge of coming up with creative ideas to improve plant performance. He excels at the technical nature of the task as well as thriving in the collaborative environment at Startec, developing innovative solutions with a team of people he likes and respects. His positive, get-it-done-better attitude is well-aligned with Startec’s belief that there is always a better way, and Merlin’s dedication to mentoring means the entire team benefits from his drive to transform the industry.

With a combination of 29 years as both a mechanic on the tools and as a superintendent in the field, Merlin easily stepped into his role as Technical Sales Representative with Startec. Building on a reputation for honesty, integrity and approachability, Merlin earns an unparalleled level of trust with every customer who encounters him. His ability to understand the issues from every angle is invaluable to finding smart solutions and developing a solid rapport with clients. The result is a true trailblazer committed to challenging expectations of the impossible in helping our customers succeed.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

An individual that is serious about putting the needs of others first, treating people with respect and showing integrity in what you say and do.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Holding myself personally accountable to our clients and our teams, ensuring we’re always coming up with creative ideas to meet our customer’s needs.

Portrait of Todd Hunt
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who discards the “usual” and thinks outside the box for solutions.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Always giving that little bit more to exceed expectations and knowing that any extra effort no matter how big or small can go a long way in producing big results.

Read Biography

Todd Hunt

Technical Sales Representative

Todd Hunt

Portrait of Todd Hunt

Technical Sales Representative

It’s no surprise that Mavericks can come from anywhere. While Todd began his career in broadcasting as an on-air announcer and producer for radio stations in Edmonton and Victoria, his progression to Startec as a Technical Sales Representative was a natural one due to his outgoing nature and caring attitude.

It is his tireless approach to doing what is best, paired with a relentless commitment to building meaningful relationships, that makes Todd a perfect fit for helping clients find better solutions.

Todd launched his trade career as an HVAC/Refrigeration Technician at Trotter & Morton in Calgary. This experience, combined with a real passion for connecting with people thanks to his unique background in broadcasting, makes him a valuable contributor to Startec’s mission, challenging the status quo to find unique solutions. He is a powerful advocate of championing higher standards and transforming the industry, with a laser focus on discovering customized and effective solutions to help our clients succeed.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who discards the “usual” and thinks outside the box for solutions.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Always giving that little bit more to exceed expectations and knowing that any extra effort no matter how big or small can go a long way in producing big results.

Corporate Services Team

Portrait of Bob Ashauer
An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who values integrity and is committed to continual improvement.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Asking why or how we do something and finding innovative ways to improve on it.

Read Biography

Bob Ashauer

Chief Financial Officer

Bob Ashauer

Portrait of Bob Ashauer

Chief Financial Officer

As a Certified Public Accountant Bob brings over 25 years of financial and strategic leadership to his position of Chief Financial Officer. He is an agile and entrepreneurial leader, driving corporate growth by providing a strong financial base and connection for marketing, sales, manufacturing and operations.

Proud to be described as “not a typical accountant”, Bob brings his financial knowledge, experience and out-of-box thinking to the Startec team, fostering new ideas and innovative ways of doing business.

Bob has gained a wide array of skills from his diverse experience with growth-oriented companies in various types of businesses from both an owner and CFO perspective. He has contributed to the growth of private and public companies, both organically and by acquisition.

In the spirit of Startec’s Everyday Maverick approach, Bob continually challenges the status quo, encouraging himself and others by continually evaluating how things are done and actively seeking ways to improve.

An Everyday Maverick Is...

Someone who values integrity and is committed to continual improvement.

My Everyday Maverick Moment...

Asking why or how we do something and finding innovative ways to improve on it.

Portrait of Randy Karren
Read Biography

Randy Karren P.Eng.

Advisory Board Member

Randy Karren

Portrait of Randy Karren

Advisory Board Member

Randy's experience spans both public and private companies with a strong background in engineering, procurement and construction services. He has been the Managing Director for WorleyParsons Canada, and also served for five years on the Executive Committee there. His background also includes experience as an owner in the Colt Companies, where he developed it into a major, EPC company prior to their sale. During his career Randy has been involved in many significant projects and long term alliances as project sponsor and/or responsible execution partner for companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Syncrude, Suncor and Imperial Oil.

Randy has served on the joint venture Board of Directors for companies in Norway, Quebec, Alaska and Australia. With his wide background, Randy provides strong leadership in regard to capital project stewardship, business operations, mergers and acquisition analysis, business turnarounds as well as strategy, planning and implementation.