In Memory of Venence (Ven) Côté
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Ven Cote. Ven passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2017 in Palm Springs. Ven was a valued member of our Board of Directors, and he will be dearly missed. Ven was a senior leader at CAE, ZCL Manufacturing Canada, ZCL Composites and the recipient of the 2008 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Prairies Region). He was most recently the President and CEO of AMCC Capital and the Chairman of Stitch Industries.
More than his intelligence and experience, he was a kind, gentle man with a lovely sense of humor. It was a pleasure to have him serve on our Board of Directors. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family during this difficult time.
Board of Directors & Management Team
We are privileged to have the following individuals on our Board of Directors and management team.
Ed Alfke, CEO & Chairman of the board
Ed Alfke is an internationally recognized corporate growth and business turnaround expert who believes companies can be green and profitable. He is passionate about building environmentally conscious companies quickly and efficiently. He has extensive experience in Canada, the USA, and UK. After more than 30 years of experience of growing companies in many different industries, from automotive to finance to technology, Ed has achieved an outstanding reputation for his ability to grow companies by providing effective leadership while being environmentally responsible.
Ed is a Serial Entrepreneur, and Angel Investor. He was a founding director of the National Angel Capital Organization, and Co-chair of the ACA co-investment committee which links up Angel Investor groups in the USA. He has mentored dozens of company CEO’s in the US and Canada. He has a diploma in strategic planning and has used his experience and hands on approach to start and grow companies successfully in Canada, the USA and the UK. In addition he has raised over $50 million in investment capital for worthy companies. He is famous for the founding and expansion of Rent-a- Wreck, Canada’s fastest growing company in the 80’s.
He has been awarded numerous business and environmental accolades over the years in the US, Canada, and the UK. He lectures on Entrepreneurship at US, and Canadian universities and is a case study for MBA and commerce programs.
Ed was keynote speaker for the World Conference on the Environment in Antwerp, was awarded the “Crescordia” the highest award in the SW USA for contribution to the environment as well as the Mayor of Phoenix award for environmental technology. Ed lives in Alberta, is a heli-skier, windsurfer and is now learning kite boarding. He is a member of the Chaine Des Rotisseurs, a food and wine club founded in France that traces its history back to 1248.
Art Froehlich, Board Member
Art works with a wide variety of industry stakeholders and shares his expertise with private and public sector organizations that focus on finance, processing, research, international marketing and retailing. Art has spent the last 30 years working in primary food production, agri-business and agri-marketing in Canada, United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
As a philanthropist, Art is involved in a developmental initiative in Peru and the Dominican Republic. As well, Art, and a group of business entrepreneurs from the USA, have started a demonstration farm and radio network in Ghana. He also provides financial support to young agricultural scientists from South Africa and other countries in the developing world, allowing them to attend major agricultural scientific conferences. Art works with the Clinton Global Initiative assisting in their agricultural programs in Africa. He has started a number of scholarships for undergraduates at the University of Alberta and Olds College.
Along with his business and professional commitments, Art is still active on the family farm. In addition, he volunteers his time to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and serves as a mentor to young entrepreneurs.
William (Bud) Norris, P.Eng., Chair of the Audit Committee & Board Member
Bud is an experienced serial entrepreneur who has grown 20+ companies in a variety of industry sectors. As Regional Franchisor for Novus Windshield Repair, he built the system from 1 to 45 units. Successfully exiting this venture, he became a partner Glen River Industries, operating one of four plants as General Manager, which achieved $25 million in sales.
As a start-up, Bud served as President of Pillar to Post, a home inspection franchise system that grew to over 400 units across North America. In 1991 he co-founded EXH Engineering which grew into 16 offices with 320 employees and $37 million in sales. EXH was acquired by GENIVAR Inc. in 2008. He now spends his time mentoring and investing.
Howard Kroon, CA, ICD.D, Board Member
Howard brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of building, operating and expanding corporate business interests. He was Chief Financial Officer at Palliser Lumber Sales and transitioned into the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure, he grew the company from $28 million in sales to $100+ million in sales and over 200 employees at its peak. He oversaw numerous Palliser accomplishments and best practices, including selection six years running as a Platinum “Best 50” managed private company within Canada. He has spent the last six years in a management consulting role providing strategic, operational, financial and business coaching to CEOs and their senior executive teams.
He is involved in a number of volunteer projects. Working locally and abroad with a retired Canadian ambassador, Howard set up a charitable foundation in the Philippines. Currently, he owns and operates a non-profit that provides low cost housing to cancer and transplant patients in Edmonton, Alberta.
Alastair Handley, President & Board Member
Alastair Handley is a recognized leader in the carbon offset market in Canada and is the President of Carbon Credit Solutions (CCSI). CCSI is one of the largest aggregator of small environmental projects in the world, managing Carbon for over 6 Million acres (2M Hectares) of land. He is a shareholder and board member of Viresco Solutions Inc., a sustainability consulting group. He is a sought after expert and speaker in the fields of Sustainability and carbon credit aggregation. His expertise in Spatial Information Systems (SIS) and computer programming led to establishing the leading MMRV (measure, monitor, report and verify) data collection system for Carbon Credits aggregation in North America.
Alastair is past president of COTA, the Carbon Offset Trade Association in Alberta Canada.
Ken Hughes, ICD.D, Special Advisor to the Board of Directors
Ken Hughes is an entrepreneur in both business and public life, with a BSc.(Agriculture) from the University of Alberta, and an MPA from Harvard University. Over more than 25 years, he served in public life in three challenging and accomplished roles. As a Member of Parliament (1988-1993), he served in increasing roles of responsibility, including as Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister. Subsequently, the Government of Alberta asked him to lead the creation of Canada’s largest single healthcare delivery service, with a $12 billion budget and over 90,000 employees, as the founding Chair of Alberta Health Services. Finally, he was elected to the Legislature of Alberta (2012-2014) serving as Energy Minister, and Municipal Affairs MInister.
Ken founded Alpine Insurance (2002), and retains a principal ownership position with two other partners in the brokerage, and is the Chair of the Board. Alpine serves approximately 30,000 clients in Alberta and sells more than $70 million in products annually.
Sue Fawcett, CFA, ICD.D, Special Advisor to the Board of Directors
Sue is an associate with Independent Review Inc. and serves on the Independent Review Committees (IRCs) of several of Canada’s top mutual funds, providing oversight on behalf of the public investors on matters pertaining to potential conflicts of interest. As a former Vice President and Advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy, Sue has over 25 years of experience in the Financial Services industry and was responsible for managing $100 million in assets on behalf of her clients.
Prior to CIBC Wood Gundy, Sue was a Sessional Instructor at the Business Faculty at the University of Calgary, where she taught Business Communications 301. Concurrently, Sue was a writer for Bow Valley Resource Services, an environmental consulting firm specializing in emission measurement and management for their clients.
David Marinucci, Chief Operating Officer
David, Senior Operations Executive, has 30 years of diverse experience in strategy, operations and business development, and a proven track record of success at both start-up and established companies, across multiple industry sectors. He has served as a senior leader in the wireless, telecom, energy and retail industries. David is the Chief Operating Officer for CCSI responsible for leading the organization in the execution effort aimed at the achievement of profitability. Primarily, he focuses on strategy implementation, execution, data driven operational optimization, sales and channel effectiveness.
Rob Harding, Chief Financial Officer
Rob has held senior leadership roles in oil and gas, engineering, procurement and construction and transportation companies. He has international experience including three years in Qatar working on multi-billion-dollar LNG capital projects and two years in the Caribbean working on energy projects. Rob’s focus has been on strategic solutions that involve creativity, adaptability and scalability in the areas of strategy, governance, operations, financing, mergers and acquisitions. His depth of experience includes small start-ups, major multi-nationals, public and private companies. He also currently sits on a variety of boards and committees in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.