Published on October 3, 2014. Calgary Herald (original article may be viewed in their October 3, 2014 print issue)
Versatile HR Specialist's Career Spanned 30 Years
During the past 30 years, Gary Agnew has become a highly respected and experienced human resources generalist in the fields of talent management, career transition, coaching and mentoring, executive search and succession planning.
By the end of 2014, Agnew will have retired from Career Partners International - Calgary, where he is a founder and senior partner, although he intends to remain just as busy pursuing his passion for tiger conservation in Thailand and children's education in poorer, remote parts of Cambodia, among the mounting list of must-do projects on his bucket list.
Agnew began his career with Ernst and Young. When the firm divested its external practices in 1995 he and two other partners bought its human resource practice and founded Canadian Career Partners. The name was changed to Cenera in 2004.
The company was designed to be recession proof with well-balanced pillars of any combination of search and recruitment, consulting, executive coaching and career transition. A newer and highly successful area is consulting to small and mid-size companies through Career Partners International - Calgary's human resource advisory group.
During almost 19 years the company has performed very well and today has a full-time professional staff of 19 plus 20 closely connected associates.
It is an employee-owned firm of experienced individuals who work together as a team, not competing with each other for business but co-operating for the benefit of their clients.
Agnew is a leader within the industry having served as vice-president of the Human Resources Association of Calgary, president of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta and the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations, and many terms in advisory capacities.
He also found the energy to serve as the Alberta chair for the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, encouraging corporations to allow employees to serve as reservists, and is a senator of the Calgary Zoo after serving on its board for nine years.
During the time he was involved with the zoo, a tiger died of cancer and he began to study the regal animal and became very interested in conversation of the big cats. He founded the Save Tigers Association of Canada and further research took him to contact the Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple in Thailand.
Agnew has visited the Buddhist tiger sanctuary each year since 2006 as a supporter and "care-giver" - feeding, bathing and walking the magnificent endangered creatures. The sanctuary's oldest tiger, an 11 year-old male named Humpha, recognizes him and welcomes him on each visit with some friendly nudges.
His interests are not solely with the animal kingdom.
Agnew also travels every year to Cambodia where he sponsors three schools in villages where children have no education unless they can afford uniforms, shoes, and textbooks. He supplies them for 600 kids who, thanks to a Calgary businessman who looks forward to being able to spend time with them, get schooling.