Bright Leaders of Calgary: Brandie Yarish, ENMAX

June 5, 2024
Leadership General Business Team Calgary

Brandie Yarish, CHRO & Executive Vice-President, Safety and Information Technology, ENMAX Corporation. Photo Credit: ENMAX Corporation. 

This article is part of the Bright Leaders of Calgary series, which features prominent corporate leaders and their insights on the local business community and vision for the future. 

Calgary is uniquely positioned to be a key player in the global energy transition.  

With a critical mass of energy producers and leaders in cleantech innovation, companies in the city are advancing new solutions in the pursuit of net-zero. ENMAX Corporation, a leading utilities provider in Alberta, plays a vital role providing and distributing sustainable energy in Calgary. 

We had the opportunity to chat with Brandie Yarish, CHRO & Executive Vice-President, Safety and Information Technology of ENMAX Corporation for her thoughts on what sets Calgary apart from other cities as a place to solve global challenges, a priority in the community’s economic strategy. 

What’s your Calgary story? 

I came to Calgary for work and family, and it’s now been home for me for 13 years now. When we were relocating from Victoria, we had the choice between Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto. Even though we hadn't spent a lot of time in Calgary, it was by far the first choice for us in terms of opportunity, career growth and lifestyle.  

How would you describe Calgary’s talent pool, and how is it changing? 

Many people have relocated here to find meaningful work and lifestyle choices. With our vibrant and diverse culture and strong entrepreneurial spirit, we’re attracting a great talent pool who are drawn to Calgary and what this city has to offer.

Calgary, like other leading global cities, has a talent pool that is looking for career growth opportunities as well as the ability to show up as their authentic self in the workplace.  Professionals no longer live ‘work lives’ and ‘personal lives’. They want to show up as their whole person in a workplace and feel that's respected and encouraged, along with giving back to the customers and communities in which they work. We're doing a lot of things at ENMAX in Calgary to allow that to happen. 

ENMAX Power install a new service connection at Sovereign Crescent SW during the fall of 2022.

As an energy provider, what role does ENMAX play in addressing progress towards net-zero in the global energy transition? 

ENMAX is supporting emissions reductions from power generation and grid adaptations to support increasing levels of electrification. We’ve made some great progress to date, having achieved a 65 per cent reduction of our absolute GHG emissions since 2015.  

We are optimizing the use of our existing assets while investing in advanced technology to be more efficient, reduce our carbon footprint and get closer to a net-zero future. We're looking at grid innovation to ensure we have safe and reliable energy and electricity for the future, enabled by IT automation. 

As we look to the future in terms of the energy transition, we are also prioritizing education and knowledge-sharing to empower our customers and the communities that we serve. We need to work in partnership with the community and give them the power to be part of the solutions. 

How does ENMAX collaborate with Calgary’s seven PSI’s to employ the next generation of talent?

ENMAX Corporation summer students.Calgary has a strong post-secondary community preparing our workforce with in-demand skills.  

At ENMAX, we have an Engineer-In-Training program where we hire new engineering grads out of post-secondary, and pair their education with practical, hands-on work experience. We also sponsor co-op programs, where we provide a lot of great meaningful work experiences, and in return gain fresh ideas from students and youth through the programs.  

Through the University of Calgary, we’ve sponsored and participated in a female-specific program called Women in Science and Engineering, or WISE, which is essentially a one-year leadership challenge for females centered around leadership and equity. The overall objective is to advance recruitment, retention or innovation in industry and academia, and looking specifically at how we pull more women into those fields. It's driving really great results in terms of looking at women in science and engineering. 

How would you describe Calgary’s business community? How do you see companies working together and within the community? 

In Calgary, there is a philosophy that if you're part of the business community, you're part of the greater community. There's an expectation you're a responsible corporate citizen and giving back where you can and how you can – both as an individual, and as a business. 

For ENMAX, this materializes in the number of partnerships we have through the not-for-profit sector but also across various industries. Showing up in the communities we serve is a priority for ENMAX, and between Calgary and Maine, we donated over $3.8 million in 2023. Our focus areas include essential needs, energy safety, education and efficiency, and community enrichment through partner agencies like the Distress Centre and United Way.  

We also aim to empower entrepreneurism and startups within the Calgary community through our sponsorship of the Amplifier Fund that helps scale interesting ideas for the future.

What gives you optimism for Calgary’s future? 

We’ve created a hub in Calgary, where many things are happening. Here, we have world-class transportation, medical and education systems . 

Relative to other large global cities, Calgary remains affordable with attractive job opportunities and a strong sense of community, which is why so many are relocating here. Calgary caters to all personal interests - sports, the arts, or perhaps just getting outside and away from it all.  

We’re also home to cutting edge developments with technology advancement and the energy transition, so who better to lead the way forward than Calgary? There are all kinds of reasons to be optimistic.


About Team Calgary: The Team Calgary corporate partnership program engages our community’s visionary thought leaders to influence Calgary’s economic growth and create long-term prosperity and opportunities for all Calgarians.    

Together, we advance the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, as the path to make Calgary the place where bright minds and big ideas come together with an unmatched spirit to help solve global challenges.

Subscribe to Our Mailing List