2023 Fredericton Encaenia - Ceremony D

Denise LaForge

Doctor of Science (D.Sc.)



Denise LaForge will receive an honorary doctorate of science on the Fredericton campus on Thursday, May 18. LaForge, originally from Edmundston NB, is a UNB alumna, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1988. She earned a Master in Business Administration from the University of Calgary in 2004 and graduated from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2008, a program dedicated to promoting improved corporate governance.

LaForge became an Engineer-in-Training at Petro-Canada’s head office in Calgary in 1988. After gaining experience in the oil and gas industry, she co-founded a natural gas company serving as its Vice-president until it was sold to Cenovus Energy. She then moved to an oil and gas technology service company, where she spent five years as a Senior Executive. In 2003, LaForge became Chairperson and co-founding partner of a turn-key oil and gas service company which built international operations on two continents; the company was sold in 2014 to a US fund. Until recently, she was the Chairman and CEO of Denco Financial Holdings, a private investment company.

She has served on the Board of Directors of various privately held companies and has held volunteer positions in various other community and charitable organizations.

In 2008, LaForge received UNB's Alumni Award of Distinction. In 2018, she received the Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to trailblazers in industry who have contributed to the community through volunteer, philanthropic or advocacy efforts. At that time, she was inducted into UNB’s Engineering Alumni Wall of Fame, the first female bestowed with this honour.

Denise LaForge is a philanthropist who has also helped raise money for the Heroes Leadership Program for youth in Alberta, the American Heart Foundation and “La Fondation Lina Cyr,” an organ transplant foundation based in Montreal. Her philanthropist focus continues to be aligned with her passion for education, youth leadership, women programs and health matters.

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