Retired Saskatchewan Roughrider Neil Hughes and Bob Cockwill

Flyer Electric’s Founder, Bob Cockwill, Retires After 33 Years

September 5, 2015 in People
Explorer: Fall 2015

It was 1982 when Bob Cockwill started his flagship company, and after 33 years of providing powerful solutions for the commercial, industrial and mining industries, Bob has officially retired from the electrical business.

A few years ago, Bob had begun thinking about retirement and how he would transition from his role as Flyer Electric’s CEO. After meeting with Athabasca Basin Development’s CEO, Geoff Gay, Bob decided to sell his company to Athabasca Basin Development and Sakitawak Development Corp in 2011. “As the founder of the company, I really wanted to ensure the company continued to succeed after I retired,” says Cockwill. “I felt that Athabasca Basin Development and Sakitawak were a good fit to assume ownership and continue the growth path that our team started for Flyer Electric. It has turned out to be a very good move for Flyer Electric and I’m very happy with how everything took place.”

Bob stayed on board for the next four years to transition the new CEO, Terry Tessier. “Turning over the helm to Terry was an easy transition,” says Cockwill. “Terry has excellent leadership qualities and I am very comfortable leaving things in his capable hands. I know Flyer Electric has a great future under his leadership.”

Terry Tessier has assumed the CEO role for Flyer Electric for the past 3 Years. “It’s been great having Bob there for the transition,” says Tessier. “He started this company in the eighties, and has a wealth of knowledge about the industry and the company. It’s been great working with him, and I hope he thoroughly enjoys a well-deserved and happy retirement.”

“Bob has done an excellent job of developing a good electrical business with a strong management team and core group of employees, and this transition has been very smooth,” says Geoff Gay, CEO of Athabasca Basin Development. “His role has been instrumental in ensuring a great future for Flyer Electric. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with him, and I’d like to wish him all the best in his retirement.”

While retired from Flyer Electric, Bob remains busy – he owns two other companies, travels to Mexico in the winter, and of course, there’s always golf. In addition to being a fan of the sport, Bob is also actively involved in organizing and running an annual golf tournament that has, to date, raised over $60,000 towards a new club house at the Birch Hills golf course. For this year’s tournament, Flyer Electric matched the money raised in the tournament, making a $15,000 donation to the Prince Albert Salvation Army for assisting the Northern Forest Fire Evacuees. “The annual golf tournament is one of the ways Flyer Electric gives back to the local community,” Bob says. “And I’m proud to be a part of it. I’d like to thank my wife, Heather, who has been amazing helping me with this huge event each year – her efforts in getting the house and food ready for over 60 golfers really make the tournament possible.”

As far as his plans for the future, Bob plans to keep busy. “I’m not the kind of guy who will ever stop working completely,” Bob says with a laugh. “But, of course, I do plan to do a lot more golfing!”