Nigel Bennett is author of Take That Leap: Risking It All for What Really Matters. He has been a member of MIT’s prestigious Gathering of Titans for 15 years, the Entrepreneur’s Organization for 15 years, and the Spill Control Association of America for 26. He and his company recently received the RuleBreakers Award for game-changing innovation in oil spill response technology. Nigel is the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner.


1. Nigel started his career at the intersection of technology and oil.

He studied mechanical technology in the 1980s and spent the first decade of his career in spill response sensitivity mapping & planning. In his very first job, he witnessed the degradation of our natural environment in Venezuela, Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand and China. He also helped rewrite 200 oil spill response contingency plans for Alaska after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.


2. Nigel chose to be an early protector of the environment.

He co-founded Aqua-Guard Spill Response Inc. in 1992 in order to design, manufacture and distribute equipment and services to respond to marine and industrial oil spills. Aqua-Guard now provides equipment and expertise to 3,000+ clients in 104 countries. In the past 25+ years, Aqua-Guard’s patented, award-winning oil skimming technologies have been used to clean up most major oil spills from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and from Egypt to China. Nigel continues to protect the environment by funding the development of TruBeach, a social media app that allows users to report on water quality at beaches around the world.


3. Off stage, Nigel is an extreme outdoor adventurer and devoted family man.

He spends as much time as possible outdoors doing the things he loves to do: surfing, mountain biking, climbing, skiing, hiking, and scuba diving. He has been married to his wife, Rieko, for 30 years. They have travelled the world with their two sons and their daughter to help develop them as global citizens. The entire Bennett family, long-standing volunteers for YWAM Homes of Hope, has created Kokoro Gifting Fund to raise monies in support of various charities that promote a “socially just and sustainable world”. He makes his home in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.  He is here [this morning/this afternoon/this evening] to speak to us on the topic of [speech title]. Please join me in welcoming Nigel Bennett.