Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. earns top spot as Prairies Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur Of The Year(R)

Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs propel economy forward

CALGARY, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Dan Themig, Ken Paltzat and Peter Krabben of Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. - who created drilling technology that unlocks difficult oil and gas reserves that were previously thought to be inaccessible or uneconomical - are this year's Prairies Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.

"Packers Plus has been boldly and relentlessly innovative," says David Boomer, Director of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year for the Prairies region. "Themig, Paltzat and Krabben believed they could change the way we extract oil and natural gas. By challenging traditional thinking, they have developed and proven brilliant new technology that is profoundly changing the industry."

Formed in 2000 by Themig, Paltzat and Krabben, Packers Plus Energy Services introduced the StackFRAC(R) system - a technological application that has revolutionized the manner in which the drilling of oil and gas wells are completed - resulting in a dramatic increase in the amount of recoverable oil and natural gas. Packers Plus has made reserves, previously thought to be uneconomic, highly productive and profitable. Drawing on almost 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, the trio's invention has simplified pressure pumping operations and improved completion time. The technology also reaches large natural gas and oil resources that can't be tapped through conventional drilling and completion methods.

"By breaking through barriers and suggesting revolutionary ideas, entrepreneurs can make great changes that influence the economy and future generations," Boomer says. "Packers Plus has significantly benefited the oil and gas industry by redefining limitations and uncovering opportunities where none seemed to exist."

Themig has referred to the StackFRAC system as "one of the few technologies that will allow the oil and gas industry to add reserves in an increasingly difficult environment." Before joining Packers Plus, Themig, Paltzat and Krabben all worked at multinational oil services companies. Packers Plus was borne out of their common belief that innovative completion technologies would fundamentally change the economics and business practices of the oil and gas industry. With almost 400 employees, the company is expanding rapidly on a global basis - with offices and operations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, China, the Middle East, Chile and Argentina.

    Category winners of the Prairies Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year
    2009 Awards:

    Energy technology

    Dan Themig, Ken Paltzat, Peter Krabben
    Packers Plus Energy Services Inc./Calgary, Alberta

    High-value provider of technology-based solutions to the oil and gas
industry. Specializes in open-hole, high-pressure, high-temperature
retrievable packers and specialty tools.

    Business-to-business products and services

    Randy Gee
    Randy Gee Holdings/Calgary, Alberta

    Owns or partially owns businesses that serve the unique needs of the
oilfield services industry, particularly in the Fort St. John region,
including airline charters, platform piles, tool rentals, real estate and

    Business-to-consumer products and services

    David Farran
    Associate Veterinary Clinics Ltd./Calgary, Alberta

    Owns and operates chain of small animal veterinary clinics and hospitals.


    Christianne Carin EarthRenew Organics Ltd./Calgary, Alberta

    Develops, patents and commercializes technologies for electricity
generation, heat processing, fertilizer manufacture, water desalination and
water treatment for mine tailings and industrial lagoons.


    Linda Maslechko, Mona Rae Peterson
    Triple Flip Inc./Calgary, Alberta

    Designer and retailer of clothing for active pre-teen girls.

    Energy services

    Ron Carson
    Carson Energy Services Ltd./Lampman, Saskatchewan

    Provider of pipeline and facilities construction and maintenance services
to companies in the oil and gas industry in Saskatchewan, Alberta and


    Russ A. Edwards
    WGI Westman Group Inc./Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Operates manufacturing, sales and distribution facilities in 24 centres in
Canada and the US, maintains dealer networks across North America, and has a
worldwide customer base.

    Professional/financial services

    Charlie SpiringWellington West Holdings Inc./Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Provides full-service brokerage, financial planning, asset management and
capital markets services.


    Glori Meldrum
    Little Warriors/Edmonton, Alberta

    National charitable organization focused on the education and prevention
of child sexual abuse.

    What's next?

As the Prairies region's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 winners, Themig, Paltzat and Krabben will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Atlantic, Pacific, Ontario and Québec regions for the national honour of Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009, to be presented at a gala celebration November 24, 2009, in Vancouver. In June 2010, Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 will move to the world stage to compete with 50 country recipients for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year(R). Canada's own Guy Laliberté from Cirque du Soleil was the recipient of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 Award.

About the awards program

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. This year, the Canadian program is proudly celebrating 16 years of honouring Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs from all areas of business. For more information on the program, please visit

Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The members of the Prairies region panel for 2009 were Susan Gallacher, President and CEO, DirectCash Bank and 2005 Entrepreneur Of The Year winner; Barb Gamey, President and CEO, Payworks Inc. and 2007 finalist; Elson McDougald, Chairman and CEO, CanElson Drilling Inc. and 2005 winner; John Ferguson, Chairman of the Board, Princeton Ventures Ltd.; and Jack Donald, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Parkland Properties Ltd.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is sponsored nationally by Global Television Network, National Post, La Presse and RDI. Prairies region program sponsors are the Calgary Herald and Business in Calgary.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential. For more information, please visit

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: For further information: Brooke McLachlan,, (604) 899-3597; Amanda Olliver,, (416) 943-7121; Marie-Ève Graniero,, (514) 874-4313

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