A business leader with a strong research background, alumnus Bill Spenceley (BASc (BSc) ’81) has guided his local company to worldwide success, all while taking a leading role in environmental sustainability and empowering the next generation of University of Lethbridge students through collaborative projects and ventures.
Spenceley originally planned to be a dentist and was enrolled in the pre-dentistry program when he discovered chemistry was his true calling. After completing his studies in the U of L’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, including a joint year of undergraduate work in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta, Spenceley took on the role of Director of Design Engineering at Flexahopper Plastics Ltd. In five short years, he was the General Manager/Director of Design Engineering and by 1995 he was President of the company and then principal owner three years later.
During that time, Spenceley grew Flexahopper into one of the largest processors of rotational molding products in the Pacific Northwest, exporting products worldwide from its headquarters in the Lethbridge Industrial Park. Believing that sustainability is good business practice, Spenceley’s company has been at the forefront of environmental initiatives in the plastics industry.
As a proud U of L alumnus, Spenceley often returns to the University to give undergraduate lectures and has served as a judge for the annual Chinook Research Symposium, lending valuable community and industrial perspective to the event. More recently, Spenceley worked closely with members of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry on a successful polymer characterization research grant that will further study of the structure and properties of polymers and be of great benefit to industry. His company’s investment in the process helped secure the grant and bring to life the U of L’s new polymer characterization laboratory, which promises to have a profound impact on the plastics industry in years to come. Spenceley has also served on many local and international boards, including as Chair of ARMO (Affiliation of Rotomolding Organizations), the global organization representing molders, as president of ARM (Association of Rotational Molding), IASA (Industrial Association of Southern Alberta), Environment Lethbridge and Economic Development Lethbridge. He received the Charles Fredrich Distinguished Service award in 2014, which is one of the highest levels of achievement in his industry.
Through the stewardship of his company, a commitment to furthering environmentally sustainable business practices and encouraging strong linkages between the U of L and industry, Spenceley has demonstrated his strength as a leader and innovator.