I must have sent out 50 resumes to potential employers from California to Fort St. John BC. prior to the February break of 2000. There were approximately 30 students in the Land Acquisition and Management Program at Olds College in 2000 so thankfully I had a few job interviews. One (unsuccessful) interview took me to Regina, SK. While traveling the scenic lanes of Highway 1 back to Alberta I get a call from a long-time friend.
“Why are you in Saskatchewan?” he asks. “Job hunting”, I reply.
“I know a guy that just started a land company in Eatonia, SK and is looking for help; you want to meet him” “Sure”, was my quick and grateful response.
I met with Brad Rudy at a gas station/diner in Gull Lake, SK.
Him: You want to move to Saskatchewan?
Me: Sure (not realizing the ridicule I would get from my Alberta friends & family)
Him: When are you done College?
Me: Friday, April 21.
Him: Good; see you Monday April 24.
It was only a 15-minute meeting that ended with me starting with Millennium Land Ltd. April 24, 2000, I’m now on day 7165… but who’s counting.
As the only employee I had the distinct pleasure of being crowned employee of the month, every month, for the first year… and I don’t think I’ve had it back since… but, that just tells me we have an awesome team.
The Oil and Gas industry ramped up in the early 2000’s with a major focus on shallow gas plays. With a small group of landmen and great administration support, we completed a few thousand shallow gas wells through- out southern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta. A few pockets of oil mixed in but mainly shallow gas, pipelines and facilities. With the average drill time of 30 hours we had some intensive field days acquiring wells.
Our Millennium family grew from 2000-2007 to include 2 offices (Swift Current and Eatonia) and an Environmental division to assist clients in that regard. I took over the role of President in March 2007, and over the next few years, with a new ownership team, Millennium made some bold and strategic moves to grow in a sustainable fashion while operating in a very volatile economic climate.
A few of these steps were:
2000 – Incorporation in the Province of Saskatchewan.
2005 – Expanded to include Environmental Services.
2007 – New ownership as a result of the retirement of Brad and Melanie Rudy.
2014 – Opening of Regina office and Mineral Land Services.
2015 – Purchase of Palliser Land Ltd.
2016 – Business combination with Rudy Land Ltd. to form Millennium Land (AB) Ltd. in Calgary.
2017 – Opening of Lloydminster office.
2017 – Purchase of Mammoth Land Services Ltd.
2018 – Opening of Grande Prairie office
2019 – Development and Launching of CrownReserve app.
The last 20 years have been an amazing journey. We have endured the downturn of 2008/2009 and the oil price crash of 2015 to present. During the downturn of 2015/2016 we saw a large increase in renewable energy activity and, as a direct result of the hard work and ingenuity of our team, we were able to secure over 1,000,000 acres of land for renewable projects in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
We have developed strong relationships and alliances with Provincial Government agencies to assist in policy creation and combat the forces (political or otherwise) that are trying to hamper our industries.
Today Millennium has over 50 employees in 7 offices throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The success of our company is based on a few key principles I’ve adopted over 20 years. One of the most important, is that the company is only as good as the people who run it. Surround yourself with smart, ambitious and talented individuals. I truly believe we have assembled the best team in the industry.
Another key principle that I stand behind is; don’t ask any team members to complete a task that you are not willing to do yourself.
Find good business partners who bring to the table the skill set that compliments yours. In every partnership ensure you work hard, and always prepare for the worst.
In our industry you must be proactive, not reactive while at the same time understanding your clientele and anticipating their needs. Provide them with outstanding service at a reasonable cost and you will have a long-standing relationship.
And in the office, have an open-door policy. Give your team a place to come for advice, express concerns and/ or strategize whether it be work or personal reasons… Give them the time they need and deserve.
With all that being said, one of the most important aspects in all of our lives should be family. At Millennium Land family comes first. Do your best to not take the day’s stress home with you at night and give your attention to your loved ones (something I still work on every day!).
As we crest the 20-year anniversary of our company, and interestingly enough my 40th year in existence, I would like to say thank you.
- To the management and employees (past and present) for all your hard work, dedication, ingenuity and things you have taught me.
- To our clientele for your commitment to our company, trusting us with your projects and the great relationships we have developed.
- To our industry colleagues, survey companies, lawyers, accountants, Municipalities, Government Agencies and suppliers for the ongoing commitment to us in completing client’s projects in a timely manner and keeping the wheels in motion.
- To my business partners (past and present) for your trust in me and continued support
- To the spouses and families of our team. Your unwavering support is much appreciated
- Most importantly to my wife Krista and our boys. The commitment and support you have given me through the good times and the bad times is unbelievable. You have allowed me to pursue my goals with no hesitation
So… what’s next for Millennium? Well… the first 20 years was just a warmup, there a bigger and better times ahead for us.
I am proud to work in the energy industry and call Western Canada home.
Donny Duncan, President & CEO