Meet CPA Canada member Laurie Tugman, FCPA, FCA, corporate director

Learn about the career path taken by CPA Canada member and corporate director Laurie Tugman.

Meet Laurie Tugman, FCPA, FCA. This corporate director holds more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational management in the environmental compliance, waste management and oil and gas industries.

Laurie has held roles ranging from board member of Pinova Holdings to president and chief executive officer of Marsulex Inc. He currently advises a number of private equity firms.

Laurie graduated with a BA from the University of Western Ontario in 1975, earned his designation in 1977, and was honoured as a Fellow in 2011.

Has there been a defining moment in your career?

There have been several. My first was getting my accounting designation. The second was making the move to Fort McMurray with Suncor from 1981 to 1985. I got 15 years’ worth of management experience in five years, before my 30th birthday. The third was becoming a CEO. As someone said to me recently, you study what it takes to be a CEO your entire career and therefore you know what to do when you get there.

I feel blessed for the opportunities that I have had, and the people and organizations I had the pleasure of working with. The tough times and situations made me stronger and ready to take on new challenges that presented themselves.

What piece of advice would you give someone moving into industry?

Seek third party advice combined with a professional career assessment. While people can and do move to industry and back to public accounting, industry itself is quite varied. For example, financial service companies are quite different from industrial companies or manufacturers.

What is your favourite book, and why?

I read almost everything that Jack Higgins, David Baldacci, John Grisham and James Patterson have written, for pure entertainment and long airplane flights. I also have read much of what Jim Collins has written and everything that I can get of Don Coxe. I can always walk away with ideas to implement after reading Collins or listening to him speak, which I have had the opportunity to do three times over the course of 10 years. Don Coxe is a very entertaining writer of investment strategy, with a good mix of history thrown in.

What important concepts have helped you succeed in your career?

As an accountant I understood how important it was to ensure financial information was correct and I always made sure the analysis was done. When I combined that with my intuition, I could ensure we were making good business decisions. As a leader, it has been Jim Collins’ concept of “getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats.”