Russell Kalmacoff, President
Mr. Kalmacoff is President and CEO of Rockmount Financial Corporation, a Calgary-based company that manages investments, develops real estate and has interests in downstream cleantech.
Saskatchewan Roots 1941 – 1957
Russell Kalmacoff was born in Kamsack Saskatchewan on May 7th, 1941. He attended Victoria School and Kamsack Collegiate Institute there. Active in the Boy Scouts, he was Troop Leader and at 13 years old was awarded the Queen’s Scout by Governor General Vincent Massey. On weekends and summers he worked as a laboratory technician at a local oil refinery. In 1957, his family moved to Winnipeg and then Calgary, where at 18 he graduated from Vicount Bennett High School.
University 1959 – 1966
Mr. Kalmacoff began his post-secondary education at the University of Calgary, completing first year engineering in 1960, then transferring to the University of Manitoba, receiving a Bachelor of Commerce in 1964, followed by a Master of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley in 1965. At Berkeley, Mr. Kalmacoff was a research assistant at the Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics and received a research grant from the Institute for Urban and Regional Studies. Upon graduating he was awarded The Senior Fellowship of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation which allowed him to pursue post- graduate study at Berkeley and New York University during 1965-66. Mr. Kalmacoff also did papers in gasoline marketing and competition law at Manitoba and Berkeley.
Early Career 1966 – 1976
During 1966, he also worked on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers. In 1967-68 he was employed at Toronto head office of AE LePage, Canada’s largest realtor in mainly the mortgage department. He designed a financing model involving land purchase lease-backs and NHA insured leasehold mortgages with participating rent in addition to interest payable to institutional investors.
The following year he returned to Calgary as Manager of Land Development, NuWest Homes, which included responsibility for what eventually became Canyon Meadows. He also built housing in Canyon Meadows as a principal and for Paragon Homes in Penbrooke Meadows.
In 1971, Mr. Kalmacoff was hired by Nesbitt Thomson Securities in Montreal and Toronto as the real estate specialist in investment banking. He assisted the Government of Canada in the drafting of the Residential Mortgage Financing Act. He was responsible for one of the first real estate investment trusts in Canada and the first publicly-traded mortgage investment corporation. While at Nesbitt he wrote The Canadian Mortgage Market, a text used by the Investment Dealers Association in the Canadian Securities Course for over 20 years.
Self Employment 1977 – 1999
Mr. Kalmacoff acquired Rockmount Financial Corporation (formerly Security Home Financing Limited) in 1975 and has operated it and related companies continuously to the present. During the period from 1976 to 1996 the Security Home / Rockmount Group of companies originated, funded, serviced, syndicated and securitized hundreds of millions of dollars worth of mortgages across Canada. It was a pioneer in originating and issuing NHA mortgage backed securities. From 1988 to 1996 Security Home Mortgage Corporation, of which Mr. Kalmacoff was Chairman and CEO, was a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 1980, as principal landowner, Mr. Kalmacoff was responsible for negotiating a unique ground lease under the Suncor Tower, part of the development of Sun Life Plaza in downtown Calgary.
Since 2000, in addition to leading the Rockmount Group, he has been Chairman and CEO of family businesses, Hub Oil Company Ltd. and Kalmacoff Holdings Limited. From childhood to present Mr. Kalmacoff has been involved in various family businesses, beginning with his grandfather Jake Sr. and his father Jake Jr. and continuing with current activities involving his extended family. He emphasizes family business values with employees, children, nieces and nephews.
At UC Berkeley Mr. Kalmacoff chaired a campaign that established a Professorship of Canadian Studies. He is founder of the UC Berkeley Alumni Club of Canada and is a member of the Canadian Studies Advisory Board. In 2006, he organized an Alberta California Energy Conference at Berkeley. In 2012 he sponsored the Dean of the Business School at the University of Manitoba to speak at Berkeley on how Canada avoided the sub-prime meltdown. Mr. Kalmacoff is a member of San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Associates (SPUR), part of his broader continuing connection to the Bay Area which includes Silicon Valley.
In 2014 Mr. Kalmacoff also became a member of the International Advisory Council (US) for the University of Calgary. The University identified six countries/regions of emphasis and recommended the establishment of Regional Advisory Councils for Germany, Mexico, Middle East, Tanzania and the United States of America. The Councils bring groups together through the university and industry to develop a strategic direction for educational and research activities for the University of Calgary related to the country/region. The councils monitor trends and opportunities in the respective country/region. Mr. Kalmacoff is on the Advisory Council of the Real Estate Program at the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business.
At Athabasca University, Canada's largest open, on line distance learning institution, Mr. Kalmacoff is a member of the Business Leadership Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business and serves as On Line Executive in Residence.
Urban and Regional Development
In Calgary over the past decade he has been active in community development on International Avenue (17th Avenue SE), working closely with the Business Revitalization Zone. He also serves as a Director of the International Avenue Arts & Culture Centre which will be tied to and coordinated with the International Avenue Technology Centre which Rockmount is currently developing as a business incubator. Rockmount is a member of Urban Development Institute and its officers have served in several capacities, including the development of brownfield policy in coordination with the City, the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government.
In 2014 Mr. Kalmacoff became a Director of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. FCPP is Prairie- based independent Canadian public policy think tank. Founded in Winnipeg in 1997, the Frontier Centre currently has offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Frontier’s research aims to analyze current affairs and public policy and develop effective and meaningful ideas for good governance and reform. It provides a platform for public debate and engages with the public through numerous publications and events. The Board and team of expert policy advisors includes both experienced public policy innovators and prominent academic specialists from around Canada and the world. In this capacity, Mr. Kalmacoff is interested in regional capital markets and their impact on the economic base of the Prairie Provinces.
Also over the last decade, Mr. Kalmacoff has been active in public policy development and execution. In 2007, he served on the Value-Added and Technology Commercialization Task Force, a seven-member committee set up by the Government of Alberta to develop policy for broadening the economic base of the province. The task force proposed the 100 million dollar Alberta Enterprise Corporation for which Mr. Kalmacoff prepared an implementation plan. In 2010 Mr. Kalmacoff served on the Nominating Committee for the Premier’s Economic Strategy Council, whose recently issued report sets out a long-term vision for the province, which led to the Innovation Forum organized by Hon David Hancock, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education in April 2014. He participated in the Alberta Government`s Results Based Budgeting Challenge Panel in 2012-2013.
Mr. Kalmacoff is a property owner in Harvie Heights/Canmore which gives him a perspective on the Calgary region. He also owns property in Maui, Hawaii. He resides in the community of Elboya in SW Calgary with his wife Evelyn of 38 years. Their daughter Antonia is Manager of Philanthropic Giving at Covenant House in Toronto. Her husband Andrew Jennings is a consultant at Deloitte. Russell and Evelyn are members of The Glencoe Club, The Ranchman’s Club, The Calgary Petroleum Club and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto. Over the years in Toronto and Calgary they have been active members of the United Church of Canada.