Raminder Grewal

Partner, Keystone Environmental Ltd., Age 39

Despite a highly competitive marketplace crowded with global and national engineering firms, Burnaby's Keystone Environmental has continued to grow since Raminder Grewal became the youngest partner of the firm.

Under Grewal's leadership, the firm has seen revenue grow by 30%, stemming from continued expansion in the company's business of providing environmental consulting for government and private sector clients all over the province and Canada.

Among his major accomplishments was expanding the company's services to include emergency response for clients that have to deal with environmental issues stemming from incidents like fuel spills.

By the time he was 32, when he became a partner of the company, he was leading the firm's largest division and was responsible for half of the firm's revenues. A couple of years later, he became the youngest department head in the company's history, responsible for the contaminated sites group that evaluates the environmental liabilities of properties and solves environmental problems for clients.

A few years ago, he also helped reorganize the company to stem the employee turnover rate the company had been experiencing by creating career paths for the firm's staff. Turnover has since dropped significantly, with the majority of staff now having been with the company for nearly half a decade.

The father of two daughters, Grewal has also dedicated time to mentor young professionals. Between 1997 and 2008 he was involved with the Society of Punjabi Engineers and Technologists. In 2008, he co-founded the Association of South Asian Professionals of BC, where he speaks to students about their career options and encourages young people to contribute to their community. His efforts were recognized last year with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.

Personal and professional growth remains in the cards. The second-largest shareholder in Keystone today, he is being groomed to become president of the company.

That's a lot to accomplish for someone who was expected to be a failure. "When I was in Grade 4, my teacher implied I wouldn't get very far. It stuck with me, and I use that as motivation. It's also why I tell my daughters that with hard work and determination, you can do anything."