Athabasca Basin Security has come a long way from its humble beginnings back in 2002. The first company formed by Athabasca Basin Development, it started with fourteen employees and a wooden gate on a northern Saskatchewan mine site. More than 15 years later, Athabasca Basin Security employs more than 300 people across the western provinces, working with companies like Orano, Nutrien, Mosaic, Conoco Phillips and more. “We’ve grown the company by building relationships within the communities we work,” says Ron Hyggen, CEO of Athabasca Basin Security. “We find opportunities by working with the people that we will eventually employ, and then build the relationship with the company that will hire us.” It’s this unique approach that has made Athabasca Basin Security the success it is today.
Hyggen joined the company in 2010 after a career that took him across Canada, gaining experience in IT Systems implementation and project management. “I started out as a teacher, and ended up in IT,” says Hyggen. “My IT career started with SIGA, and led me to Deloitte, where I worked in offices all over Canada. My dad told me when I was done travelling that I should come home to Saskatchewan.” In 2010, Hyggen did just that and became a vice-president at Athabasca Basin Security and was promoted to CEO not long after. “I had a very quick transition into my leadership role, and began work replacing systems that needed upgrades,” he says.
Hyggen led the company through a massive transformation, replacing every system, rebranding and preparing the company for a major push for new work. After their overhaul, the Athabasca Basin Security began bidding on new contracts and looking for ways to grow through acquisitions. Their formula for success has worked, and worked well. The company expanded into Alberta in 2014, and started a new medical division. In 2017, Athabasca Basin Security purchased All Peace Protection in Grande Prairie, Alta., securing a major foothold in the Alberta market. In 2018, the company won the 2018 SABEX Growth & Expansion Award from the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. “It was an honour to receive that recognition for our team,” says Hyggen. “We’re proud of the hard work and dedication that has gotten us to this point.”
Hyggen credits their connection to the community for much of their success. When the company spots an opportunity for growth, the first place they reach out to is the communities in the area. “Our goal is to bring jobs to the people who need them, in rural areas and on First Nations,” says Hyggen. “We actively pursue relationships with our future employees. It benefits them, and us.” Athabasca Basin Security provides free training for the jobs they need done, and shares profits back into the communities they work in. “By building relationships first, we know we can do the job we’re hired to do with the people we have gotten to know,” says Hyggen. “That, plus our commitment to safety and planning, has made us the company we are today.”
Hyggen offers the same advice to aspiring entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan. “Build your local presence through relationships. That will raise your profile and in turn, attract interest in what you’re doing,” he advises. “People make the difference when it comes to success.”
Athabasca Basin Security
324 – 2555 Grasswood Road E