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In 2018, Gary Mar was named as only the fourth President and CEO in the 38 year history of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC). PSAC is the national trade association representing the service, supply and manufacturing sectors within the upstream petroleum industry. As the voice of Canada’s petroleum service, supply and manufacturing sector, PSAC advocates for its members to enable the continued innovation, technological advancement and in-the-field experience they supply to Canada’s energy explorers and producers, helping to increase efficiency, ensure safety and protect the environment. PSAC is an advocate and lobbyist on behalf of the industry and Gary has been active with both the Federal and Provincial governments across Canada.
Gary is sought as a commentator on CBC, Global, CTV and other national media outlets on international trade and energy. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne Business School and is a public speaker at energy related conferences. He has maintained his connections in Washington DC and was invited to participate at an event on the impact of 2018 U.S. midterm elections on Canadian businesses, and he spoke on the cannabis industry.
After leaving government service in 2015, Gary was an independent consultant working for both Chinese and Canadian companies seeking assistance with trans Pacific trade and investment. In 2016, he co-founded Canadian Advantage Petroleum Corporation which has successfully purchased heavy oil in Alberta and sold it directly to refineries in China. He has also worked in the area of medical imaging devices, traditional Chinese medicine and commodities.
He served as the Province of Alberta’s Representative in Asia from 2011 to 2015. He led the province’s strategic outreach efforts from his post in Hong Kong and worked with Alberta’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei. His focus was trade promotion and investment in Alberta with a particular focus on energy. Exports from Alberta and Asian investment in Alberta increased dramatically during his tenure.
Gary also served as the Official Representative (Minister-Counselor) of the Province of Alberta at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C., from 2007 – 2011. He worked extensively with the Alberta energy sector on advocacy issues in Washington DC and many U.S. States. He has a broad network of contacts in both Canada and the U.S. with government and the energy sector.
Prior to this, Gary served 14 years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Province of Alberta, Canada. During his time as an elected official, Gary held several Cabinet portfolios – Community Development; Health and Wellness; Education; Environment; and International and Intergovernmental Relations.
Before serving Albertans as an elected Member of the Alberta Legislature, Gary practiced criminal, civil, corporate, commercial and real estate law in Calgary, Alberta. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994, a honourary designation conferred by the Crown in Commonwealth countries and recognized by the courts. He has also been been recognized with honours for his public service to two provinces and to Canada. Gary has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree from the University of Calgary, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta. Gary and his wife Nancy have three children, Lauren, Jared and Mackenzie.