On July 29, 2023, at the age of 78 years, Stan Grad passed away at the Peter Lougheed Hospital due to complications from a lung infection and cardiac arrest. A Calgary native, Stan was well-known in the local business community as an entrepreneur and leader in the energy and ranching sectors. He was the president and CEO of Grad and Walker Energy Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company, before it was sold in 1997. As the owner of Soderglen Ranches, Ltd, he ran the largest seedstock cattle operation in Canada, with ranches near Airdrie, Fort McLeod and Cardston.
An avid and committed sportsman who travelled the world, Stan was a great friend to upland birds and to Pheasants Forever. As a volunteer, he chaired the 17th Annual Dinner & Auction in 2010, helping raise $350,000 in the process. As a donor, among his many contributions, Stan was the lead donor as a Gold Patron in our recent Call of the Uplands campaign. A passionate pheasant hunter, Stan hosted eight hunts annually on his Cardston-area ranch, Chief Mountain. He donated one of those prestigious hunts every year to Pheasants Forever, to be sold at the banquet or used to steward major donors and future leaders. And, of course, Stan purchased a table at every Calgary banquet ever held.
Over the years, Stan maintained strong relationships with Pheasants Forever’s board members and staff, willingly offering his guidance and advice in the development of policies and programs.
Stan was never shy about using his political influence to help shape provincial policies of importance to upland bird conservation. When the provincial government determined to end Alberta’s annual pheasant release program, Stan stepped up. He pulled together a group of like-minded business leaders, re-established Upland Birds Alberta, and led the efforts necessary to ensure that the program would find a new home and sustain into the future.
Beyond his passion for pheasants and pheasant conservation, Stan was well-known as a generous benefactor to several worthy causes, including SAIT and STARS among many others.
A leader, a visionary and a conservationist, Stan Grad will be truly missed.