The Power of Integrity
Kris Mauthe, CMA
Alumni Award of Distinction 2015
President and CEO, Argus Machine Co. Ltd.
From the back of a pickup truck to the president’s office
Kris Mauthe began his working life in the oil patch. He had no vehicle but needed to work on the road, so his parents lent him their truck. Kris spent the first few weeks sleeping on a foam mattress in the back “until I could afford to eat and sleep with my crew,” he recalls.
His wife, Shannon, stuck with him through those lean years. Then, Kris suffered a workplace injury. It was time to think of plan B.
“We moved to Edmonton so that I could attend NAIT. With family help, we were able to purchase a mobile home for our stay in the big city,” he explains. His parents also helped cover the $2,500 cost of an Intel 486 computer.
His time at NAIT was focused. “I had a goal and needed to reach it. There was no time to mess around. Being a student meant no salary and the reality was it was tough to make ends meet.”
Mauthe was ready for NAIT, though. And the instructors were ready for him. “The instructors at NAIT ‘get it’. They are passionate about their profession, use real life examples, and prepare students for exactly what is waiting for them outside that door.”
In particular, Mauthe remembers Peter Nissen and Bob Wishloff as influential NAIT instructors. “I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship based on Bob’s letter of reference, at a time when Shannon and I desperately needed it.”
Today they are raising three children, Jazmyne, Taylor and Brayden, and certainly aren’t “scraping by” anymore. Kris’s career took off when he left NAIT in 1995 with an accountancy credential. After brief stints in public practice, he went to work for Argus Machine Co. Ltd., first as corporate controller, then general manager. In 2009, he was promoted to chief operating officer and then was recently named president.
Today, the president and CEO of the company that put so much faith in him is charged with maintaining its strong reputation. Known for precision, quality and service, Argus has been around since 1958. Today, Argus manufactures oilfield products and services that employ 230 staff with world-class skills – handy when over 30% of its revenue comes from international exports.
Not surprisingly—given Mauthe’s deep roots at NAIT—Argus backs the institution big time. “This year our endowment fund will distribute nearly $40,000 to students in five programs and the team at Argus is proud to continue our support.”
At a recent ceremony at which he received NAIT’s Alumni Award of Distinction, Mauthe reflected on his good fortune. “I believe that much of my success has been because I have surrounded myself with people who do the right things for the right reasons.
These people aim high and are active in their communities. My parents, Wayne and Rose, have exhibited that same level of dedication, which makes it so easy to know that it is the right thing to do.”