March, 2002 will end a 3 year stint, from Vice President to President to Past President.. .if I'd only known the effort & time needed way back when Nancy Shaw asked me to run.... Actually, although the workload has been significant, and we've gone through a couple of difficult times, the past three years have been enjoyable, serving the CSEG. ['II especially remember the SEG 2000 convention in Calgary coincident with our 50th Anniversary, very positive changes to the Executive Committee structure (2 year terms for each director), the Master Licence Agreement, the "wow" Recorder, and a host of other continually well-run events and activities.
The CSEG has grown in the services provided over the past while, thanks to the efforts of a very large number of your peers... people who have "day jobs", kids, sports and other outside commitments. Those people are the "doers" in our world, and we have our fair share in our society. If you're not one of those...be thankful for the doers; if you are one, be proud that your efforts make so many good things happen. At the next CSEG Volunteer Appreciation event, please attend and share a moment with your fellows. ..you all deserve huge credit for your efforts. If you are a person who likes to get involved (and aren't yet) call Jim at the CSEG office...we need new volunteers to help us grow.
To my employer, Arcis Corporation, and my wife, Karen, and our family.. .thank you for the understanding and the time over the past 3 years. To all the countless volunteers, committee chairs, executive members, Heather, Debbie, and Jim...you've done an outstanding job. I am truly honoured to be associated with you. As you go forward, some advice. ..be friendly, be reasonable, do your best. .. there are 2000 CSEG members counting on you and watching your efforts...remember "the Code of the Doodlebugger".
About Perry Kotkas
Perry was born "Perrin Thomas Kotkas" in the "deep south" of Alberta in June, 1950, in the small farming community of Barons. Barons had been originally settled mainly by Estonians. Perry's dad had been born in an "Estonian sod ho use" near Barons in 1907, and became a farmer there, following his father, who was a homesteader "off the boat" from Europe. There was not enough land for two sons to farm, and Perry, the younger by 16 years...knew he'd better figure out something. "Uncle" Oscar Erdman, a geologist with Gulf in Calgary advised a career in geology or geophysics; Perry had seen seismic crews on the prairies and in the Porcupines Hills "out west" and liked the idea of trucks, cats, dynamite, drilling rigs and such...so the seed was planted.
Perry's jr. high school class in had 10 students; luckily the high school closed and he was bussed into Lethbridge. The opportunity for academics and sports was very fortunate, as Lethbridge Collegiate Institute was well-known for both. In the "deep south" from a very young age, you either played basketball or curled...and curling became a passion and created a number of opportunities (and great memories) through high school. Football was his other main sport, and that unfortunately left some physical "remnants" that have recently become a bit of a problem. Perry graduated with honours in a class of 500 (remember the 10 classmates in Barons) from "LCI" in '68 and was off to the University of Calgary. A short distance in miles, but a long way in culture from home. Moved into residence at U of C...800 new "brothers and...sisters" ... hmmm, for a farmkid raised pretty well as an only child.
Perry graduated with a B.Sc. in 1972 and took a job with G.S.I. in Calgary as "Geophysical Engineer" doing marine processing. At that time, GS.1. was the largest seismic company in the world (GSI developed Texas Instruments as a "sideline"). Ted Potts (of Anderson/Devon) was his first supervisor; pass on sympathies to Ted. Also, in 1973, Karen Soderberg decided it was OK to marry Perry; Karen was teaching school, drawing a higher salary than Perry. Luckily, he was offered a job as an interpreter at Skelly Oil in late 73. At Skelly, being by fa r the youngest geophysicist, Perry ended up as "client rep" on most of the seismic jobs Skelly ever did ...and they did a lot! Experiences that got filed away for a number of years.... While in Calgary, Perry did have time to curl in the 2nd annual CSEG Doodlespiel, with Barry Johnson, and both have been able to attend ever since, and have been big supporters of that event.
In early 1979, after Dome bought Siebens O & G, Perry was hired by Ocelot Industries Ltd., as Geophysical Manager...quite a ride, working international & domestic projects. Exotic travels, $40 oil prices, great successes...then the dreaded NEP ( National Energy Policy) of Trudeau. Perry stayed on at Ocelot, became Exploration Manager for 3+ years, then the oil price crash of '86-87. He likes to remember that he and the president of Ocelot got laid off the same day.
On to Columbia Gas and his first seismic workstation, ahhh now this was good. Hamilton Brothers, then Petrocorp were later "working homes" (companies kept being taken over). In 1994 Perry got a wonderful opportunity to become a partner with Gordon Westwood and Brian Montgomery at SourceX Geophysical (a small but very reputable contractor). A bit later, Tim Wilson and Perry were able to buy SourceX; the field experience from the 70's looks good now.
In 1998, Arcis Corporation conducted a friendly buy-out of SourceX, and all the staff, including Tim and Perry put on "Arcis hats". Today, Perry is Sr. Vice President, Services & Development at Arcis. As Dave Siegfried recently noted...careers of interesting changes and opportunities. He and Karen are happily married "a millennium or so" (she says); son Stephen is graduating university, daughter Jillian is attending university. Looking back over 34 years, he would say "be nice to your processors and your field people"...nobody ever worked as hard as those two groups. Volunteering has been a very rewarding life for both Karen and Perry, having met and kept so many friendships in our geophysical community and elsewhere.