Canadian Biomass Magazine

Pinnacle CEO wins Entrepreneur of the Year award

October 3, 2017
By EY (Ernst & Young)

Oct. 3, 2017 - Rob McCurdy, chief executive officer of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., the longest-established wood pellet producer in Western Canada, is this year's EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Pacific winner.


“Rob is helping grow a successful, sustainable Canadian business,” says Lui Petrollini, Entrepreneur of the Year Pacific program director. “Some of the world’s largest energy generators are turning to wood pellets as an alternative to fossil fuel to create renewable electricity. Rob has played a vital role in helping Pinnacle succeed in developing a cultural shift towards safe, sustainable energy sources.”

Before joining Pinnacle, Rob held positions across the globe spanning chemical, construction materials and mining industries. Most recently, he was the India managing director for a world-leading producer of building materials. There he was responsible for turning the newly acquired business around financially, setting the course for it to double its size in five years.  

Rob’s international experience had positioned him well for success as he took on the chief executive officer position at Pinnacle in August 2012. Since then, he has led major transformation and improvement changes in the organization’s safety and culture. Taking a people-first approach, Rob headed Pinnacle’s Safety Champion Program, which develops talent from within and commits to investing in its people. Most notably, it has earned Pinnacle the reputation of “best operator” and “lowest risk supplier” in the industry.


Through his leadership, Pinnacle has improved its safety rate by 90 per cent, significantly increased employee engagement and improved EBITDA results by over 100 per cent. Today, Pinnacle is the world’s third largest producer of wood pellets, shipping over 1.4 million tonnes per year from its seven B.C. locations. The company is currently expanding into Alberta and forecasts shipping to boost to 1.8 tonnes annually by 2018.

“Rob’s inspirational and entrepreneurial leadership has played a key role as Pinnacle continues to capture greater market share and enter new markets,” Petrollini says. “He is very deserving of this award.”

What’s next?
As the Pacific region’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017, Rob will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Prairies, Ontario, Atlantic and Quebec regions for the national honour of Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, to be presented at a gala celebration on Nov. 30, 2017 in Toronto. In June 2018, Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year.

This year, Canada took home the gold. Murad Al-Katib of AGT Food and Ingredients was named EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 in Monaco this past June. Murad is a shining example of accelerating growth with purpose.

More information
Follow @EYCanada and #EOYPacific on Twitter for the latest event updates.

Visit for more program details and a complete list of category finalists and gala dates in other regions.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific category award recipients:

Business-to-Business Products and Services
Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. | Richmond
Rob McCurdy

Emerging Technology
Article | Vancouver
Aamir BaigFraser HallAndy ProchazkaSam Prochazka

Financial Services
TIO Networks | Vancouver
Hamed Shahbazi

Investment Services
Sandstorm Gold Ltd. | Vancouver
Nolan Watson (TSX: SSL)

AvenEx Coating Technologies Inc. | Vancouver
Gary Shokar

Mining & Metals
Lucara Diamond Corp. | Vancouver
William Lamb (TSX: LUC)

Real Estate/Construction
Western Wealth Capital | North Vancouver
Janet LePage

Software as a Service (SaaS)
Clio | Burnaby
Jack Newton

StarFish Medical | Victoria
Scott Phillips

Special citation: Social Entrepreneur
Lunapads International | Vancouver
Madeleine ShawSuzanne Siemens

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