FEATURE: Billion-Dollar Ambition – Meet Iggy Domagalski, the 36 Year Old CEO of Tundra Process Solutions
It’s a bold ambition, made all the more so given today’s energy economics. So where does Iggy Domagalski get off making such claims?
BY WILLOW WHITE
Iggy Domagalski always knew he wanted to be the boss. This spring, his dream becomes a reality, as the 36-year-old takes over as CEO of equipment sales, engineering and maintenance firm, Tundra Process Solutions.
Along with Mike Miller, his long-time friend, mentor and business partner, and Dan Peet, Tundra’s founder, Domagalski bought the company in 2006. Over the next 10 years, the group transformed Tundra from an $8-million business to a $150-million one. “We’ve had some pretty good growth,” Domagalski says. But this spring, Miller will be moving more fully into his position as chairman, while passing on the role of CEO to Domagalski, who has been serving as COO. Domagalski says he’s ready to embrace his new role and he isn’t shy about his goals—“to build a billion-dollar company.” It’s a bold ambition, made all the more so given today’s energy economics. So where does the 36-year-old get off making such claims?
Born in Wroclaw, Poland, and raised in Winnipeg, Domagalski learned early on the importance of entrepreneurship from his parents, themselves small business owners. From the time he was 12, he wanted to run his own company. So he did. Between the ages of 16 and 20, Domagalski ran a painting company and a small online marketing business. Later, he attended the University of Manitoba’s Bachelor of Commerce program and double-majored in finance and accounting, leading him towards a career in corporate finance. When the opportunity arose to move into the mid-sized business world by buying the former Tundra Controls, Domagalski jumped. He and Miller moved west and took over Tundra, which had been founded by Peet in 1999. Ten years and two name changes later, Tundra Process Solutions now provides unique, industrial equipment options for a variety of oil and gas plants. The company’s head office is in Calgary, with smaller offices spanning the province and beyond in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Red Deer and Denver, Colorado.
Domagalski takes the company’s exponential growth in stride. “It’s been fun trying to keep the train on the rails,” he says. The incoming CEO doesn’t lay any claim to the company’s successes as the result of any one great decision he’s made. Rather, he says he takes everything one day at a time. In 2007, Tundra grew significantly after purchasing Alberta-based Canadian Boiler Industries, and it continues to make strategic partnerships. And while Domagalski may not take the credit, Deloitte named Tundra one of the best managed companies of 2014.
Stepping up from COO to CEO won’t drastically change Domogalski’s role, as he’s already woven tightly into the fabric of the company. “My job, on a day-to-day basis, is to work on things like vision, forecasts and culture,” he says. That, and scouting for new employees. “That’s what I spend a lot of time doing; finding and retaining and training our awesome people,” he says. “I think we’ve built a very special culture—one where people really want to work.”
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