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Focus on Leadership ATB steps up to support Albertans

Curtis Stange is the president and chief executive officer of ATB. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Plan for the unexpected.

It’s an idea ATB has long taken to heart as a leader in building a better tomorrow for Albertans. While no one could have foreseen this pandemic and its impact on Alberta, ATB’s leadership wasn’t caught flat-footed. 

“When COVID-19 hit, we quickly had a plan with three clear goals,” says Curtis Stange, president and chief executive officer of the home-grown financial institution. “Keep our team members and customers safe, continue to support Albertans and businesses, and protect the long-term sustainability of our organization.”

Certainly, ATB has a vested interest in the well-being of its customers and Alberta. The financial institution — an Alberta Crown corporation — has supported Albertans for more than 82 years, through good times and bad. 

Unquestionably, recent months have been challenging for many. 

But from the start, ATB focused on supporting Albertans. Early on, ATB created a relief program for customers and helped businesses get federal government support quickly by building an automated system. 

“That led to far fewer opportunities for errors and less time businesses had to wait to get help, as well as easier followup if they had concerns.” 

Stange notes the impact of ATB’s effort was significant since one in four Alberta businesses work with the financial institution. 

“Confidently, I can say we distributed in excess of $700 million to small businesses across the province through the federal program.” 

Meanwhile, ATB reached out to thousands of businesses and individual customers to see how it could help even more. That included helping companies reduce costs and find new revenue. 

“For example, we supported a small business owner as he adapted his oil transportation fleet into refrigerated trucks to haul frozen food. We also saw a specialized vehicles dealership pivot to focus on rentals and repairs after demand for new vehicles shifted.” 

ATB also helped Albertans most in need by raising much needed funds for the United Way and mental health organizations across the province, and reaching out to tens of thousands of ATB customers with critical advice for their financial future. 

More broadly, Stange says ATB is focused on supporting Alberta as it shifts gears economically, providing expert advice to help core industries like energy and agriculture create the jobs of tomorrow. In particular, ATB envisions helping to build a diversified Alberta economy. 

“At ATB, we’re working with Albertans — from supporting innovation in our agriculture, technology and energy sectors to improving mental wellness — so our province can thrive once again,” Stange says. 

And ATB aims to foster advancements and digitization in the province, serving as an anchor for business resiliency and future economic growth. For example, Stange points to ATB’s financing of a new solar power generation facility near Claresholm. Upon completion, the facility is expected to generate 132 megawatts of power. 

However, ATB does not solely focus on one economic sector. Rather, Stange says the financial institution is dedicated to raising the financial well-being of all Albertans. While that’s always been its mission, ATB’s leadership is even more important today given the challenges Albertans face and will eventually overcome. 

“Building a brighter future is not about looking back on what’s already been done,” Stange says. “It’s about considering the possibilities of tomorrow.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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