Published on January 31, 2019
He’s spent 33 years growing his family’s Edmonton-based manufacturing business into a global export powerhouse – but the last thing Mark McNeill wants to do is keep the secrets of his success to himself.
McNeill is president and CEO of Stream-Flo Industries, founded in 1962 by his father Duncan McNeill (Distinguished Friend of the Institute ’03), and Master Flo Valve, which they acquired in 1982.
“As the experienced crowd, we need to educate and pass on our life’s learning – and learn from the new generation – to make sure we service our customers and our industry as best we can,” he says.
To that end, the McNeill family has a passion for sharing their expertise with up-and-coming businesses. NAIT’s Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation provides early stage businesses and entrepreneurs with office space and advice from NAIT experts.
And McNeill knows a thing or two about building a business. He joined Stream-Flo in 1979, sweeping floors and building wellheads, then put his aversion to losing and competitive nature to use with a shift to inside sales. He estimates he spent 40 per cent of his time on the road, living in most parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
But he really cut his teeth in 1986, when he started a five-and-a-half year stint in Indonesia, opening up Southeast Asia to the company, whose leadership in manufacturing wellheads, valves, chokes and other equipment for both the offshore and surface oil and gas industry has seen its products installed in at least 50 countries across four continents.
Doing business overseas means managing cultural differences and time zones, but McNeill says building and nurturing personal relationships with customers is a universal imperative.
His words of advice? “Be open-minded. And expect to work very hard.”
— Eliza Barlow