Tennant, Johnson on Venture Top 50 list

A former University of Lethbridge president and a U of L alumnus who parlayed his geography studies into a satellite imaging company with worldwide influence are among Alberta Venture Magazine's 50 Most Influential People in the province for 2012.

The annual collection of people from all walks of life provides a snapshot of the province's business, government, arts, culture, education and entrepreneurial communities.

President Emeritus Dr. Howard Tennant led the U of L from 1987 to 2001 and since his retirement has remained a member of the Faculty of Management – balancing his academic work with service to a number of regional, provincial and national boards and organizations.

In 2011, Tennant co-chaired the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel, a committee charged with making recommendations to create a world-class environmental monitoring system for the province.

U of L alumnus and CEO of BlackBridge Geomatics, Ryan Johnson (BSc 98, MSc 00, Geography) has taken his interest in imaging literally out of this world. While in school, Johnson founded a company that has since grown to worldwide influence as a leading provider of optical satellite imaging. Through the acquisition of a German company, Blackbridge is now the world's fourth largest private owner of space-based satellites.

As well as partnering with the U of L on imaging education and equipment use, Blackbridge is investing in technology to support high-tech startups at tecconnect, a new facility in Lethbridge that will serve as an incubator for companies in the information and communications technology sector.