Chief Executive Officer
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.
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 previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Backwoods Energy Services, a company owned by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. Through his tenure at Backwoods, Ryan was fundamental to the growth of the business which saw revenue 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.
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.