The determination and drive it took for Tara Chahl to become one of Canada’s first battle-ready women soldiers, are the same attributes that, when combined with a remarkable intelligence and capacity for learning, have allowed her to succeed in the technology sector. Breaking down barriers is nothing new to her, and her current role as Project and Quality Manager at Sherwood Park’s Keymay Industries, a pipeline and civil construction materials supply and service company, is in many ways an extension of her time in the military, allowing her to dispel myths and erase stereotypes. Her work has included training, developing, and leading specialised crews, building and maintaining a Quality Management System, monitoring and controlling a wide range of important project metrics, and devoting herself to the corporate R&D program.
Tara joined ASET in 2011, two years after graduating with top marks from NAIT’s Chemical Technology Program, a stream she chose for its diversity, an important consideration given Alberta’s uncertain economy. She recognised that her chosen discipline afforded her opportunities in a range of sectors, including O&G, environment, agricultural, and food processing.
Her motivation for obtaining both the C.E.T. and P.M.P. designations was simple: having those letters after her name meant not having to prove to anyone that she possesses the competencies required to do her job. Furthermore, clients gain comfort in knowing they’re dealing with a certified professional who can manage their projects from start to finish. The proof of that particular pudding lies in the success she has enjoyed and in the opportunities that have come her way.
A natural leader whose innate abilities were honed, quite literally, in battle, Tara believes in leading from the front. Which explains why she ran for Council. During her first term, she is seeking to give back to an organisation and a community that have contributed significantly to her career advancement. She is focused on improving relevant policies, standards, practices, and ethics, and is particularly looking forward to growing ASET and encouraging more women in technology to take on senior leadership roles.
Tara’s devotion both to education and to improving working conditions for technical occupations generally, and for women in particular, has not gone unnoticed. The Government of Alberta obviously goes by the maxim that, “If you want to have something done, give it to a busy person.” Accordingly, Tara has been appointed to a three-year term as a member of the NAIT Board of Governors. And it doesn’t matter that she really doesn’t have the time. She’ll just do it anyway, and do it well.