The Power of Community
Chair – NAIT Campaign Cabinet
Chair – NAIT Board of Governors
CEO – Fountain Tire Ltd.
Brent Hesje, CEO of Fountain Tire Ltd., believes in the NAIT community. First appointed to the Board of Governors in 2008, Hesje recently agreed to chair the largest fundraising campaign in the institution’s history.
“We have three important priorities: First, to support student success at a time when our graduates are in high demand,” explains Hesje. “The province’s employers need NAIT grads more than ever. And second, we need to support applied research and find solutions for many of the province’s economic and environmental challenges. We are the place Albertans turn to for answers.”
Hesje says the construction of the Centre for Applied Technology, the largest capital project in NAIT’s 50-year-plus history, will enable the institution to grow dramatically. Expected to open its doors next year, the new building will be home to 5,000 students and enable the institution to grow by 1,700 students.
Hesje’s support for other communities in the Edmonton area is well known. Active with industry associations and community organizations, an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2000), Hesje is past chair of the Western Canada Tire Dealers and a board member of the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council. In addition, he is a board member and past Chairman for The Support Network, an organization that provides 24-hour distress line support to greater Edmonton. And he supports the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.
Hesje was raised in Saskatchewan. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1985. He and his wife Deborah Hesje live in Edmonton with their two children, Jonathan and Katherine.
Immediately after completing his degree, Hesje landed a job as a sales representative with Procter & Gamble. He spent seven years learning about the supply end of retail sales through sales management and merchandising positions throughout Canada. Before joining Fountain Tire, he was responsible for the company’s western region. In 1992, he joined Fountain Tire as its Marketing Manager; in 1994, he became an owner as part of the ownership group of Fountain Tire. In 2005, he was appointed CEO.
Hesje is well known for his belief in the power of leadership, speaking at a number of public events and seminars about the growth and success of Fountain Tire. He attributes the company’s growth to increased brand awareness and having good leadership throughout the company.
“I believe that a leader is not only constantly growing more leaders within an organization, but their own capacity as well,” he explains. “If your organization has more capacity to lead, then you as a leader become stronger. Leaders look at change, internal and external, as opportunities to refocus the organization on areas for improvement.”