Photo credit: Xander Holcomb
Douglas Quinn grew up in Alberta’s oilfield industry, sweeping floors at 13 at Legacy Quinn Pump Operation, founded by his father, Jim, in 1965. Doug formally joined in 1991, taking over operation as president in 1996 when Jim retired. He took Legacy Quinn from a Canadian-based operation with eight locations to a North American leader in the oil and gas industry with over 45 locations across Canada and the U.S., winning the Ernest & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, Energy Private Sector, Prairie Region before selling to Lufkin Industries in 2011.
But Doug was hardly ready to stop working in the industry he’d come to love. In 2017, he founded Q2 Artificial Lift Services, so named to represent the second time around. In just six years, Q2 has grown into an industry leader in oilfield service in Canada and the U.S. with over 40 locations and 125,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities for sales, service, engineering, and manufacturing of down-hole reciprocating pumps. Q2-Trak, their well tracking system, allows customers to access data collected on pump inventory and repairs. Because Q2 integrates sales and manufacturing and has senior management with an average of 20 years in the industry, they can find answers for any problem, even engineering custom solutions, and remain far nimbler than large conglomerates.
His passion for the oil industry is rivaled only by his love of hockey, but for Doug, they both share a common critical element to succeed—team building. And as the head coach who led his team to win two Canadian National Midget AAA Championships in 2012 and 2013, he knows of what he speaks. “Whether it is building a team in business or building a hockey team, you identify the right people and recognize their strengths and weaknesses, you teach, educate, and reinforce. And if you can align everyone’s goals, you have a chance to develop in a championship team,” he says. In 2021, Doug and his wife, Jodie, started the Blackfalds Bulldogs as an expansion franchise, becoming a top AJHL program in less than two years. Now, they’re headed to the 2023 playoffs.
We met with Doug to learn more about his background, Q2, and what it means to lead to a championship team in business and on the ice.
You literally grew up in the oilfield industry. How has that led you to where you are today?
When I started with Legacy Quinn, it only had eight locations, and I thought running a pump company was easy. My first big move was to expand to the U.S. in 1999. My father never wanted to. After 18 months, I was thinking “Why did I do this?” because the competition was so tough, and my dad said. “I told you not to go into the U.S.!” That’s when I knew I had to make it work. By 2011, when I sold to Lufkin, we had a significant company, but I felt I didn’t have a purpose anymore. So when the opportunity to start Q2 came, I jumped at it. It’s what I know and love. It’s come full circle: I was given an opportunity by my father, and I’ve always pushed myself to grow and be better. It’s a way of life. It’s never felt like a job.
Tell us how your lifetime of experience and insight allows Q2 to supply clients with new innovations.
Innovation is what we’ve always done. It’s not just me; it’s the team. When I started over from scratch, I made sure to hire the best in the industry, an all-star team. It’s amazing when you bring together motivated people dedicated to a shared goal how you can build something special. That's why we’ve grown tremendously and created new solutions, products, and ideas: the right resources and the right mix of people. When we had to rebuild a manufacturing plant, we hired people from both Legacy Quinn and the competition, but we all came together toward a common goal and it just clicked. My lawyer and my friend Dave Manning was actually my hockey coach in minor hockey. When talking about business deals or structure, we use hockey terms!
Speaking of that, what compelled you to start a new AJHL franchise?
I played for years. I was drafted to the Vancouver Canucks in 1983, but was released after a car crash. It was a blessing in disguise, because I love business more than hockey and I love coaching more than playing. We recruit across North America and aim for these kids to go to NCAA Division 1. We have 12 kids already committed to Division 1 teams in the U.S. The first priority is to help them secure Division 1 scholarships and get an education; and for some of them to possibly play in the NHL.
What do you enjoy most about your work, Doug?
I just really love my jobs—both leading Q2 and our Blackfalds Bulldogs. They’re similar in that you have people with different goals, motivations, highs and lows, which is why you train, educate, motivate, and, when you do it right, you end up with a championship team.
President & Owner — Q2 Artificial Lift Services