Forte Fluid Systems forging a path to the future with AdvanceSMART

Designing strategic pathways using careful planning and expertise is Forte Fluid Systems’ (FFS) specialty. So, when it comes to managing their business growth, it’s no surprise they’re taking the same approach.

FFS is the first company to begin AdvanceSMART, Airdrie’s newest entrepreneurial training program designed to support companies experiencing high growth. Having relocated from Didsbury to Airdrie in 2022, FFS fits that bill. Over the past year they expanded from two to six employees, and have their sights set on employing 15 people while bringing in $8 million of yearly revenue within the next three years.

Beckie Ryan, chief operating officer for FFS, said she’s excited to join AdvanceSMART, having previously participated in SMARTstart – Airdrie’s entrepreneurial training program for new businesses – with a former venture in 2016.

“To have mentors that can work with you, and guide you is going to be instrumental to ensuring that our fast growth is handled appropriately and in the most fiscally responsible way,” said Ryan. “Having somebody to bounce ideas off of that has gone through this process before, I think is going to be huge.”

Some decisions about their growing business have been easy to make, such as the one to move to Airdrie which was a “no brainer” for Ryan, having been involved in the community for nearly 20 years.

“Being in Airdrie makes doing business easy,” said Ryan, adding the location has made coordinating logistics with vendors faster and more affordable. “I’m also able to support local companies as much as possible.”

The Forte Fluid Systems team (Hy Pham, Allan Larry, Beckie Ryan, Justin Farenik, Chris MacKinnon, Steve Nuttgens and Galen Irwin) in their shop on Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2023 in Airdrie, AB. Britton Ledingham/iEvolve Photo

To help with their scaleup, FFS has been paired with three AdvanceSMART mentors; Sid Van der Meer, retired president from Northwest Equipment Ltd., Ismael Cepeda, relationship manager of Commercial Financial Services at RBC, and Sabrina Sullivan, futuring strategist at Ford Motor Company and director, Transformation and Ecosystem at SAIT.

Formerly known as Pump Projects, FFS is a global fluid process equipment provider for the energy industry with clients across Western Canada, the U.S., Africa and the Middle East. 

Their in-house team provides engineering, design, drafting and fabrication for the equipment they manufacture, including heat transfer equipment, pump unitizations and packaging, engineered fabrication and custom fabrication.

Over the next few months, the FFS team will work with their AdvanceSMART mentors on their business plan and financing strategy, helping to meet their goals and prepare for their next stage of growth.

AdvanceSMART is accepting new participant applications on an ongoing basis. If you or someone you know is running a high-growth business learn more about AdvanceSMART at