Member Biography

Max Earnest Putnam

Commission #246
Articled to O. Dravnieks

Max Putnam was born on January 26, 1958 in Watson, a small Saskatchewan agricultural community. In growing up, Max's work on the family farm convinced him that farming was not his career, but the experience helped shape his path nonetheless: by the time of his high school graduation in 1976, he knew that he would prefer a career that included the outdoors. After spending a year in the workforce, Max enrolled in the Saskatchewan Technical Institute's Drafting Technology program in Moose Jaw. This field shared some of its courses with the Institute's Surveying program, an area Max had never previously considered but which he now found himself learning about in detail. Discovering that something in the idea appealed to him and remembering his fondness for outdoor work, he elected the surveying option and graduated two years later with a diploma in Surveying Technology.

Max spent the first year of his surveying career on road construction and seismic projects with companies in Regina and Calgary. The work did not appeal to him, however, and when a position was offered at Tri-City Surveys Ltd. in 1980, he took the opportunity. Here, in the legal surveying field, Max thought he might find the kind of precise, challenging work that had first drawn him into the survey vocation. That summer, he began his employment with Tri-City in Saskatoon.

Max was articled to Olgerts Dravnieks, one of the founding members of Tri-City Surveys, and a man who was to have a great positive influence on Max's career. Under Ole's guidance Max was awarded his commission as a Saskatchewan Land Surveyor in June of 1983. Shortly thereafter he took on a Land Surveyor position at Tri-City's North Battleford office. There, he worked under Merv Zulynik's direction, with Merv helping to instill a strong business sense and strong work ethic.

In 1985, with some money in the bank and an urge to shake up his life, Max parted on good terms with his employers and left to see the world. From that autumn until the middle of the following year, he traveled around locations in Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and various European countries.

Upon returning to Saskatchewan, Max worked independently for a year then happily accepted an invitation back to Tri-City Surveys (now Meridian Surveys Ltd) in Saskatoon. In 1988 he was offered an opportunity for an equity position, and over the next few years he rose to become an equal partner.

Today, Max Putnam remains a partner in Meridian Surveys Ltd, a position he feels fortunate to have for the personal and professional opportunities it has granted him. In 1996-97, he was President of the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors' Association and is currently the President of Meridian Surveys Ltd. He has been involved in major projects across Canada, some projects in the United States, and as far away as Africa.

A career in land surveying has afforded Max the means and opportunity for a comfortable living and many professional challenges. Personally, Max and Colleen (and Colleen's children Madison and Tanner) are kept busy in developing and landscaping their new home/acreage near Saskatoon and occasionally find time for skiing, boating and travel.