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TEAM

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Paul Poscente,

M.A. (Economics)

Chief Executive Officer
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With an extensive background in investment banking and capital markets, Paul has been a principal in over $2.0 billion in transactions in energy, construction, financial services, and hospitality over his 30-year career. Career highlights include building and successfully selling 2 upstream oil and gas companies, founder partner of a mid-market mezzanine fund, co-founder of Canada’s first national equity-based shared ownership real-estate company, and most recently CEO of Backwoods Energy Services (100% owned by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation). 

Under his leadership, Backwoods achieved a compounded annual growth rate of 111% transforming it into one of the largest, Indigenous-owned companies in Canada. In the same time frame, economic benefits to the Alexis Nation grew by 614 percent, employment of Alexis Nation members has increased by 235 percent and annual revenues approaching $200 million. 

In 2020 Paul was also one of the primary architects in structuring, negotiating, and financing the transaction that saw 6 First Nations acquire a significant ownership position in the $1.5 billion Cascade Power Project.

Paul believes in the restorative power of capitalism to maximize value to all stakeholders and rights holders to harness the power of good for strategic advantage. He speaks frequently on issues of responsible energy, Indigenous business, and purpose. He is regularly featured in national media like the Globe and Mail, the National Post, BNN Bloomberg, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
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Scott Alanen,
CPA, CA, CBV, ICD.D, CFM

Managing Director
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Scott is the founding partner of Axxcelus Capital Advisory. Axxcelus is a natural culmination of Scott's career as a key executive and Chief Financial Officer across various companies and industries where business and mergers and acquisitions continually intersected. 
 
Starting with a national accounting firm and then moving to industry Scott was instrumental in several significant transactions including the privatization of Ember Resources by Brookfield Asset Management and the start-up, capitalization, growth, and eventual plan of arrangement by Point Loma Resources with Madalena Energy and First Mountain Exploration. Scott was the Chief Financial Officer for an Alberta-based Mortgage Investment Corporation, Exempt Market Dealer, and Private Equity Fund deploying in excess of $100 million in capital each year. Most recently Scott was one of the principal architects of the $1.5 billion Cascade Power project in which 6 First Nations successfully acquired a significant equity stake in this project.   
 
As a big believer in giving back to the community Scott volunteers as an Advisory Committee member for Junior Achievement Northern Alberta and is currently serving as a Director for the Sherwood Park Kings Athletic Club. 
Scott is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant), Chartered Business Valuator, Chartered Financial Modeler and holds the ICD.D designation.
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Rakesh Saraf,
CFA, ICD.D

Senior Advisor
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Rakesh Saraf is a senior private equity and infrastructure investments professional. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Chennai, India; a Master of Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai, India; a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation; and is an ICD.D Charterholder since 2008.

 

Rakesh has over 30 years’ experience in investment management, governance, strategy, growth/scaling up, audit/risk management and HR/compensation.  Draws from a diverse set of experiences rooted in hands-on principal investing across multiple strategies, industries and numerous direct equity situations. General management techniques are grounded by strong quantitative analytical investment skills. International experience in all facets of investment management, spanning both Private and Public Market investments.

 

Rakesh was a Senior executive at Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board and Alberta Investment Management Corp., where he represented both organizations at the Board of Directors of investee companies that included RTL-Westcan, Klemke Mining Corporation, and NCSG Ltd, and was a Director of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. 

 

He is currently a Board member of UBC Investment Management Trust Inc., a company that has been entrusted with the responsibility of investing UBC’s Endowment Fund and the Staff Pension Plan; BeneSys, Inc., a provider of Taft-Hartley Trust Fund Administration and Information Technology services; Skyline Renewable LLC, an independent wind power producer; and POI Business Interiors a Workspace Interiors and Office Furniture Company

 

He also serves his community as Member, Board of Governors and Senator at University of Alberta and, serves on the Investment Committee of Edmonton Community Foundation.

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Bill deJong

Legal Counsel
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Mr. deJong is a lawyer in the Business Law Group in the Calgary office of the global law firm DLA Piper LLP, practicing law primarily in the areas of securities regulation, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. deJong also has both business and legal practical knowledge and expertise serving industry and Indigenous communities, companies, and entrepreneurs. Mr. deJong sits as a director and officer of a number of public, private, and not-for-profit corporations.

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Chief Billy Morin

Managing Director
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Chief Billy Morin Nahtokitopi (Sacred Rider) was elected as the youngest Chief in Enoch Cree Nation’s modern history in 2015, and served three consecutive terms leading one of Alberta’s most progressive Indigenous Communities. Chief Billy’s tenure was defined by true Reconcili-Action inside and outside his home First Nation. Chief Billy helped to champion a resurgence in Nehiyaw Cree language, culture and identity in Enoch; symbolized by his nation reclaiming its traditional Cree name Maskekosihk (Land of Medicines).

Language and identity formed the foundation for all things in Billy’s time as Chief, including most fittingly, winning the request for proposal to build the first orthopedic surgical center on, and owned by a First Nation in Canada – a project rooted in the 'Land of Medicines' name. Furthermore, Chief Billy has championed new business partnerships in commercial development, infrastructure, gaming, carbon capture, gas and utilities for Enoch, and local First Nations – projects that required over $750 million in total investment from Enoch alone.

Finally, he has been a strong advocate for working together with all governments, sectors and Canadians, as this was the original spirit and intent of Treaty Six. Billy's time as Chief culminated with his appointment as Grand Chief of the 17 First Nations of the Confederacy of Treaty Six in 2020; a position responsible to be the voice for a population of nearly 80,000 First Nations people in the region.



 
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Ryan McQuilter,
B.Comm

Managing Director
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Ryan McQuilter has spent the past 15 years of his professional career working directly with Indigenous Communities.  Holding a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, majoring in Finance and minor in Business Law, Ryan’s experience working with Indigenous Communities is broad and includes sectors such as: hospitality, gaming, retail, infrastructure, industrial development, tourism and construction.  

Within Alberta, Ryan is a leading authority on Indigenous Consultation requirements and regularly works with Industry and Indigenous communities to find paths forward for mutual benefit.   Ryan is also a subject matter expert of land tenure requirements within the Indian Act and has acted to structure and securitize over $250m of development on First Nation Reserves within Alberta.   Ryan has acted for multiple terms as co-Chair of the Alberta Region Lands Economic Development Committee and is a participant on governmental Indigenous Roundtable initiatives.    

Ryan is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Backwoods Energy Services, a company owned by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation.  Through his tenure at Backwoods, Ryan has been fundamental to the growth of the business which has seen revenues grow from $8m to $150m over the span of 5 years.   Proudly, in 2020 Ryan was one of the lead participants in the structuring of the 6 First Nation’s equity stake in the $1.5 billion Cascade Power Project. 
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Annie Korver,
MBA

Senior Advisor
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Annie is a purpose-driven entrepreneur and member of the Métis Nation, dedicated to enriching relationships between Indigenous and corporate communities. Inspired by reconciliation in Canada and her own Métis ancestry, Annie founded Rise in 2013 to respond to the call to reconciliation and advance Indigenous inclusion with a focus on economic development.
 
Bringing together Indigenous and corporate communities to create shared value, Annie champions a values-based approach to strategic inclusion. Her background in economic development, marketing and communications provides her with a solid foundation for translating multifaceted socio-economic challenges and opportunities while leveraging the strengths and skills of those around her.
 
Annie has been honoured to lead and support highly impactful Indigenous inclusion, economic development and regulatory activities for organizations such as Trans Mountain, Pembina Pipelines, and Imperial Oil, and she is told that the positive energy she brings with her work is welcomed. She creates undisputed space for her clients to realize their vision and establish inclusive relationships focused on values, advancing reconciliation, the creation of value, and impactful outcomes.
 
With the belief that knowledge is a gift that we receive and share, Annie spends time sharing knowledge both informally and formally, speaking at multiple events annually on topics related to reconciliation and inclusion.
Annie holds a Masters of Business Administration and Aboriginal Relations Leadership Certificate from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Tourism Management from Thompson Rivers University and is a Certified Public Participation Practitioner through the International Association of Public Participation. Annie achieved the ESG Competent Boards Certificate and Global Competent Boards Designation in 2021.
 
Annie is proud to serve as a volunteer Director on the Board with the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, the Weaving Roots Foundation, and, the Board with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility; she also serves as a Director on the Board with Shared Value Solutions.
 
Annie lives within Ktunaxa ?amaki?is, the homelands of the Ktunaxa People, and the Kootenay Region of the Métis Nation of British Columbia in Fernie, British Columbia, with her husband and their two young children where they enjoy skiing, biking, and hiking as often as possible.