INNISFAIL – For the past 28 years Patricia Bourne has led EQUS and its regional predecessor Central Alberta REA but now its time for her to embark on a new journey.
As of July 1 Bourne will no longer be CEO of the rural power company, moving aside for Andy Metzger, its operations team leader who was chosen after a national search.
However, the 62-year-old Bourne is not totally retiring from EQUS. She will continue in a special projects role.
“I am never going to be that person who just retires. That is not me. I have worked too long and have to much to give still,” said Bourne, who has been a resident of Innisfail for the past 13 years. “I am happy to be living in this community. I am looking forward to what comes next.”
One of those next things coming her way in the special projects role is “capturing the story” of EQUS, Canada’s largest member-owned utility that provides electricity distribution services to more than 12,000 rural homes, businesses and farms in 26 municipal districts and counties.
“The board has given me very broad parameters. However it starts to unfold to me — whether it is digital, or whether I write it as a memoir — I know one thing. It won’t just be a history. If I do it as a book it will be a creative non-fiction.”
Bourne is also passionately looking forward in taking a new journey through her company IN-SIGHT COACHING AND CONSULTING.
”I am very passionate about leadership and empowering leaders. I will miss that,” said Bourne, who is nearing completion of her master’s degree in leadership. She is a staunch believer of instilling the right core values into a corporate culture.
“What I was able to do at EQUS was really bring those values to life. We have taken a journey, and we are in year three of our journey now, to be seen as a values driven company,” Bourne said of EQUS. “As I started with this journey I became very passionate about it.
“What I have seen is the value to employees and the organization in general because when you lead with values your employees are more engaged.”
Bourne’s decision to step down as CEO was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It was one considered and talked about for a few years with the company’s board, and not final until the right plan, with a smooth transition, was determined.
“The success of EQUS is important to me today as the CEO, and it will still be as important when I am not,” she said. “It wasn’t that I just wanted to leave EQUS. No, I wanted to leave EQUS on terms that will continue to see EQUS be successful.”
What she will miss, however, are EQUS members, staff and the board. Bourne said she will especially miss their loyalty, support and commitment to excellence.
“I always appreciated and valued the relationship with the members and with our board, who have always been supportive and visionary and always interested in moving EQUS forward,” she said. “For me, the staff at EQUS are incredible and amazing individuals and nothing happens at EQUS without them.”
And then there is the multi-million headquarters in Innisfail that was conceived under her watch and is now nearing completion.
“Over the next month more people will be moving in. The inside is all done. It is looking amazing,” said Bourne. “We are really hoping that something changes come August, so we can actually have a community open house.”
And when citizens attend, it’s certain many, if not all, will thank Bourne for a job well done.