Nancy Southern is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of ATCO Ltd., a publicly-traded Canadian engineering, logistics and energy holding company based in Calgary, Alberta. She is also the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company.
Southern was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.
Southern studied Economics and Commerce at the University of Calgary.
Southern joined the ATCO Board of Directors in 1989. She served as Co-Chair of ACTO for 16 years before she was elected Chair in December 2012. In 2003, Southern was named President, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of ACTO Ltd. She serves on the boards of all ACTO subsidiaries and is also the Executive Vice President of Spruce Meadows, a founding director of AKITA Drilling Ltd. Southern is a Director of Sentgraf Enterprises Limited, an honorary Director of the BMO Financial Group and a member of the Rideau Hall Foundation Board of Directors.
As Executive Chairman of the Board of Canadian Utilities, Southern’s total compensation was $831,078. Nancy Southern has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
Southern has long had an interest in advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples and the role of women in business. She is an Honorary Chief of the Kainai (Blood Tribe of Alberta, Canada) and was given the name Aksistoowa’paakii, or, “Brave Woman,” in 2012. In 2015, Southern joined 100 other global leaders for the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women in Berlin. She is a member of the U.S. Business Council, the American Society of Corporate Executives, the Business Council of Canada, the University of Calgary School of Public Policy Advisory Council, the South Australian Minerals and Petroleum Expert Group and a Canadian member of the Trilateral Commission. In 2005, Consumer’s Choice Awards named Southern its “Business Woman of the Year.” Southern has been included on Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business: The Global 50” and was named one of the “50 Most Important People in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine. In 2011, Alberta Venture Magazine selected Southern as “Business Person of the Year.” In 2012, Canada’s Public Policy Forum honoured Southern with the “Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy.” In 2013, Southern received the “T. Patrick Boyle Founder’s Award” from the Fraser Institute. In 2014, the University of Calgary awarded Southern with its highest academic honour, an honorary Doctor of Law degree. In 2016, Southern was included on Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women” outside of the United States and was recognized by Financial Post Magazine’s “The Power List.” Southern was inducted as a Companion into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2017 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Western University. In 2018, the University of Calgary School of Public Policy awarded Southern the Distinguished Policy Fellow Award and the University of Alberta School of Business granted her the “Canadian Business Leader Award”.