Connie Down-Cicoria is a serial entrepreneur, with a long career focused primarily in the Oil and Gas, Mining, Telecommunications, and Forest Industries. She founded Lorrnel Consultants in 1982, Ever Green Land Use Consulting in 1991, and Evolution Geomatic’s in 2013. Her latest venture, incorporated in 2016, is AERIUM Analytics — North America’s leading provider of RPAS based geospatial and compliance solutions. AERIUM builds upon nearly 40 years of experience from it’s co-founders and sister company as part of the Lorrnel Group. Connie also manages a ranch in southern Alberta where she raises and trains cutting horses and cattle. Over the years, she has helped develop environmental procedures to reduce the footprint of industrial activities in Alberta.
My first job ever was… Cashier at a convenience store at age 15.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because…I found working for others limited my abilities. I always wanted to run my own business. An opportunity presented itself to start my own business in the Oil and Gas industry in Calgary in 1982, so I took it.
My boldest move to date was… Buying out my partner when the company was losing money during the COVID pandemic. We are now in negotiations with a client only 7 months later for a 5-year contract and are positioned to have our best year to date.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That in 1979 I was a poor single mother working for the Alberta government not making enough money to make ends meet. My home was a small apartment close to work so I could walk there. My furniture consisted of a bed with coffee cans for legs, my baby’s dresser consisted of apple boxes stacked on top of each other, my kitchen table legs were held on with electrical tape and my sofa was a fold out cot. I had to borrow money every month from my parents to pay my bills and by 1982 I had moved to Calgary and started my own company in the Oil Patch.
When starting my business, I wish I knew… What I know today! Trust my instincts and to believe in myself more. Being an entrepreneurial woman in the 80’s was tough because you were surrounded by men that kept telling you that you couldn’t do it. There were very few women in business back then, but I searched them out and relied on their support.
My best advice to people looking to disrupt the status quo is… Most people hate change, but change is important to any company that wants to succeed. We can either lead change or let change lead us, which can eventually disempower or make your company vulnerable. Just do it. Have no fear and don’t weaken.
I stay inspired by… By constantly exposing myself to new technology and looking for opportunities. By staying physically active, working with my children, and surrounding myself by smart/motivated people it is easy to stay inspired. I love business.
The future excites me because… I believe we can change the future of the world by making it a safer place for humans and animals alike through innovation and technology.
Success to me means… Being able to live a healthy, active, balanced life with financial stability while having fun.