Whether working in geophysical exploration, the service sector, or as a volunteer, Perry Kotkas, P.Geoph. has always conducted himself with thoughtful dedication, insight and a most friendly demeanor. Perry’s leadership, generosity and engaging spirit with individuals of all ages make him a most deserving recipient of the 2006 Honourary Membership Award.
Born and raised in the agricultural community of Barons, in southern Alberta, Perry the farmer went on to become Perry the geophysicist, graduating with a B.Sc. in Geology (Geophysics) from the University of Calgary in 1972. Perry elected to make Calgary home, and for the first two thirds of his career, worked in both domestic and international venues of the exploration sector as an interpreter, chief geophysicist and exploration manager. Perry went on to become President and co-owner of SourceX Geophysical, a well known, Alberta based, data acquisition company. Subsequently, SourceX was acquired by Arcis Corporation, where Perry worked until early retirement in 2003, assuming various senior roles, most recently as Senior Vice President, Services and Development.
Perry claims that he “had to” join the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists in 1974, in order to be allowed to curl in the Doodlespiel. It is a marvelous thing that he did, because the Society caught his interest and has benefited from his lengthy involvement. Kotkas spent five years on the Doodlespiel committee, and also served on the Doodlebug and the CSEG/APEGGA Liaison and Geosciences committees. He has served on numerous CSEG convention committees, including GeoTriad. Perry went on to serve as a popular Vice President, President and Past President of our society and while President, particularly enjoyed representing the CSEG as it celebrated its 50th Anniversary and the SEG 2000 Conference in Calgary. A second highlight of his term was being involved in the hiring of Jim Racette, CSEG Managing Director.
Since his retirement in 2003 Perry has been even more active in CSEG activities, including responsibilities on the President’s Advisory Council, and in particular, involvement in the CSEG Outreach Committee, where he is currently Student Outreach Coordinator. In many ways his current involvement in the CSEG represents a second career for Perry. The CSEG and society in general is benefiting greatly from his efforts.
I personally have had the privilege of crossing paths with Perry twice in my career. The first time, as an aspiring seismic broker, I “cold called” Perry. He very kindly took the time to schedule a face-to-face meeting, and I was treated by someone whom I’d never met to tons of professional advice, encouragement and with all the warmth of an old friend. Happily, five years later, Perry and I ended up working together at Arcis, where we all benefited from his thorough yet outgoing style and the wisdom that comes from experience and maturity.
Perry is also active outside of the geophysical community and has dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to Scout’s Canada. He sings with the St. Thomas United Church choir and enjoys hunting, fishing and golf. Since retirement, through a healthy regimen of daily exercise, he has regained the physique of a younger man while maintaining the mind of an experienced senior. Perry is married to Karen and they have two grown children, Jillian and Stephen.
Perry’s dedicated service to the CSEG, his unique and successful work history, his generosity with time and knowledge and his ongoing contribution to the CSEG and the community at large make him an outstanding recipient of the Honourary Membership Award.