Our Story

Who We Are

Sasuchan Development Corporation (SDC) is the economic arm of the Takla Nation. Officially incorporated on February 11, 2016, Sasuchan has formed a partnership with Takla Nation, known as the Takla Lake Limited Partnership. The purpose of this partnership is to carry on and create various business ventures and other opportunities for the benefit of the members of Takla Nation. 

Takla Nation created Sasuchan as a legal entity to generate wealth and create economy. Sasuchan supports Takla in achieving economic self-reliance and their social and community goals, and facilitates prosperity for the Nation as rights and title to the lands are exercised.

SDC started with a small investment and has boldly negotiated long-term agreements with Canfor and other licensees. We are focused on diversifying Sasuchan’s group of companies and are committed to conducting all operations in a manner that respects the land, the people, and the culture.

Vision Statement

To lead the way to a sustainable, diverse and healthy economy for the Takla Nation.

Mission Statement

The purpose of Sasuchan is to create economic wealth, inspiring careers and sustainable employment and business opportunities for the Takla Nation to conduct all operations in a manner that respects the land, the people and the culture. Sasuchan will leverage the Takla Nation’s rights to build a diversity of profitable and sustainable businesses both within and outside the Traditional Territory.

Core
Beliefs

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Background

This agreement lays out the relationship between the Takla Nation and Sasuchan. This is used to explain how Chief and Council, and Sasuchan work together to achieve the goals of the Nation in a manner that shows respect to social governance.

Principles

Meet the Team

Sasuchan Development Corporation is an ambitious company with goals to grow and diversify. We’re seeking opportunities in non-traditional sectors like development, tech, real estate and retail. 

Steve Nycholat, MBA

CEO

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Steve Nycholat, MBA

In 2019, Steve joined Sasuchan as the General Manager and swiftly ascended to the position of CEO in 2021. In his role, Steve assumes leadership over the Sasuchan Group, the economic development arm of the Takla Nation, with investments spanning diverse sectors of the economy.

Before his tenure at Sasuchan, Steve spent six years as the Pacific Regional Manager at Allnorth Consultants. There, he managed six divisions, providing engineering and project management services to sectors such as Pulp & Paper, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, and Mining. In addition to operational responsibilities, Steve oversaw companywide project management, IT, and continuous improvement initiatives.

Prior to that, Steve held the position of General Manager/CEO at TDB Consultants for seventeen years, contributing significantly to the fields of construction, consulting, and contracting.

Steve's educational background includes a Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), a diploma in forest technology from the College of New Caledonia (CNC), and a Blackbelt in Lean continuous improvement.

Actively involved in coaching, Steve has been guiding the UNBC JDC West entrepreneurship team since 2012 and serves as a Lean Facilitator for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CM&E) Technology Assessment Program.

Steve's commitment to community service is evident through his past roles, such as Chair of the Finance and Audit committee on the CNC Board of Governors from 2014 to 2020, Chair of the City of Prince George Economic Development Corporation Board from 2011 to 2014, and volunteer service in food distribution at St Vincent de Paul from 2005 to 2013.

A native of Prince George and raised in Mackenzie, British Columbia, Steve remains a lifelong resident of the central interior. Married with two adult children who are both UNBC graduates, he is deeply rooted in the community.

Cheryl Petersen

Director of Finance

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Cheryl Petersen

Cheryl's educational journey and professional development include achieving the CMA, CPA designation in 2008, as well as completing Canfor Leader and Canfor Leader Plus programs at Canfor College. She has further honed her leadership skills through Training Plus with Linton Sellen, engaging in various webinars and training sessions focused on leadership, people management, change management, and personal development.

During her participation in the CMA Fast Track program, Cheryl contributed to the early years of Ziptrek Ecotours in Whistler. Upon program completion, she returned to Prince George, working with several businesses in the fibre industry while finalizing the CMA designation program. Cheryl then joined Canfor Pulp, dedicating 14 years to various roles across all divisions. In the last four years, she served as Mill Controller for the Northwood and Taylor Pulp Mills.

Cheryl's expertise lies in providing financial support to Senior Leadership, conducting financial reporting, forecasting, and analysis, and excelling in team and process development. She is adept at standardization and change management practices.

Outside her professional commitments, Cheryl finds solace in camping and embracing the outdoors, exploring the beauty that British Columbia has to offer. Additionally, she serves as Treasurer for the Glenview Elementary Parent Advisory Council, actively participating in school events and supporting her youngest in various activities like dance, Brownies, and swimming.

Born and raised in Prince George, Cheryl hails from a longstanding local family. Her husband, originally from Germany, adds an international touch to their familial roots. Together, they raise three children, including two young adults (Danika, 25, and Denver, 22) and a lively 7-year-old, Samantha, who keeps the family dynamic and energetic.

Ian Baxter

Director of Operations

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Ian Baxter

With over 25 years of expertise in the construction industry, Ian has successfully overseen numerous projects, collaborated with suppliers on various scales, demonstrated strong leadership in managing staff, and contributed to several management teams. His previous roles include serving as the General Manager at Williams Petroleum for seven years and as the Director of Engineered Wood at Winton Homes for eleven years.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Ian finds joy in immersing himself in the great outdoors. His leisure activities include hunting, fishing, camping, mountain biking, skiing, and snowmobiling.

Caitlin Abraham, Dipl. PR

Communications Manager

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Caitlin Abraham, Dipl. PR

Caitlin is a seasoned communications and public relations professional, having graduated with a Public Relations diploma from the University of Victoria. With over five years of experience, she played a pivotal role in establishing and managing the communications department for Sasuchan and Confluence Communications, discovering her passion for the industry in the process.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Caitlin has pursued studies in psychology at UNBC and earned a criminology diploma from CNC. As the eldest of six and a proud member of the Frog clan - Jilh Ts’e Yu, Caitlin aspires to be an influential figure and has plans to travel and explore the world in the near future.

Committed to her role within Takla Nation, Caitlin is dedicated to sharing her enthusiasm for public relations and effective communication with other communities. Always open to new opportunities for connection, she embraces the chance to explore and experience the diverse offerings of the world.

Mona Rhodes

Executive Assistant

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Mona Rhodes

Mona, along with her six siblings, was raised in the Terrace area and later in Burns Lake. Her family roots trace back to the Takla Traditional Territory, with her mother, Lina Joe (Takla Landing), and her father, Frank Erickson Sr. (Fort St. James). Mona belongs to the Likh Ji Bu Clan (Bear).

Embarking on her professional journey, Mona began as a receptionist/office administrator at the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation, where she dedicated 14 years. Fate led her to her soulmate, Robi, from London, Ontario, and they tied the knot in 2004.

Venturing into new experiences, Mona and Robi relocated to Edmonton. Here, Mona found fulfillment in a dream job at the Edmonton Police Headquarters, working in the Chief of Police's main office for a Deputy overseeing Community Policing in the City of Edmonton. Picture Mona seated at a table surrounded by 20 police officers, 4 Deputies, and 1 Chief, diligently recording meeting notes!

After five years in the bustling city, Mona felt the call to return to her roots. Following a few diverse job experiences, she became the inaugural employee on Sasuchan's payroll.

In their leisure time, Mona and her husband enjoy traveling to appreciate the breathtaking scenery of British Columbia, as well as venturing to Ontario and Oregon. With a combined family of five grown children—Stephen, Justin, Shasta, Foster, and the late Parker—and six grandchildren, Mona actively extends her helping hand to those in need. Not to forget her beloved kitten, Molina, and her loyal pup, Bandit, who bring joy to her life.

Morgan Thideman

HR Generalist

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Morgan Thideman

In 2021, Morgan earned her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Northern British Columbia, majoring in Human Resources Management and General Business. She is currently on the path to becoming a Chartered Professional Human Resources (CPHR), with plans to complete the full designation in early 2024.

Prior to joining Sasuchan, Morgan dedicated the past five years to working in the Information Technology and Forestry/Environmental sectors, significantly enhancing her understanding of Human Resources. Her expertise lies in Talent Acquisition and Recruitment, as well as Training and Development. Morgan is particularly passionate about Occupational Health and Safety, continually seeking opportunities to expand her knowledge in this area.

During her leisure time, Morgan relishes moments with friends and family, immersing herself in reading, and exploring the diverse local restaurants of Prince George. Looking ahead, she aspires to travel more, with dream destinations including Ireland, France, Thailand, and Hawaii.

Morgan's downtime is also shared with her energetic 5-year-old terrier, Luna. Together, they seek out new places to explore around Prince George, ensuring that Luna keeps Morgan on her toes!

Bob Birks, CPA, CA

Corporate Controller

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Bob Birks, CPA, CA

Bob boasts a remarkable 25-year career as a seasoned professional accountant. His extensive journey in the field includes significant roles with various organizations: five years at Allnorth Consultants, nine years at Northern Trailer/Horizon North, four years with Investors Group, and seven years in Public Practice Accounting. Throughout his career, Bob has honed his skills in full cycle accounting, project accounting, and financial analysis.

During his leisure hours, Bob finds joy in quality family time, with a recent addition to their activities being golf, which the entire family now enjoys together. His two sports-loving boys keep him actively engaged year-round, participating in golf, baseball, lacrosse during the spring, and hockey in the winter. Bob also dedicates his time as an assistant coach and treasurer for his sons' teams, showcasing his commitment to both family and community involvement.

Sherrie Redekopp

Accounts Payable Coordinator

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Sherrie Redekopp

Sherrie is presently engaged in the Bookkeeping Certificate Program at the College of New Caledonia. With a solid foundation in bookkeeping, she garnered 18 years of experience in the Automotive Industry, showcasing her proficiency in various aspects, including bookkeeping, customer service, service writing, office administration, and managing a small team.

In her most recent role, Sherrie handled Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable in the Plumbing/Heating & Refrigeration industry. Her expertise extends to QuickBooks Pro accounting software, and she is actively expanding her knowledge with Sage Software.

Sherrie brings a positive demeanor to her work and excels both in collaborative team environments and when working independently. Demonstrating resilience under pressure, she is a swift learner and finds fulfillment in tasks with repetitive elements. During her leisure time, Sherrie prioritizes quality moments with her family, engaging in activities such as camping, fishing, and quadding. Beyond the outdoors, she indulges in hobbies like kayaking, crocheting, reading, and painting.

Cheryl Luchka

Operations Accountant

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Cheryl Luchka

With a 14-year history in Payroll, Cheryl holds the Payroll Compliance Professional (PCP) Certification from the National Payroll Institute since 2010. She boasts expertise in corporate income taxes, personal income taxation, and review and compilation, as recognized by the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC.

Cheryl's professional journey has been diverse, ranging from roles as a Payroll Supervisor and Administrator in Corporate settings to positions in Public Practice, where she excelled as an Accounting Student, Annual Personal Tax Preparer, and an In-House Bookkeeper.

Beyond the confines of her career, Cheryl places high value on quality family time, sharing joyful moments with her partner and daughter. Her interests span the realms of camping, traveling, and immersing herself in captivating reads. In the moments when work and family life allow, Cheryl taps into her creative side, dedicating time to woodworking and crafting rustic home decor. This passion has blossomed into a successful home-based business, with Cheryl actively participating in vending at numerous markets throughout the year.

Michael Teegee

Community Liaison Officer

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Michael Teegee

Michael pursued a diverse range of courses at the College of New Caledonia, including public speaking, social development administration, and inspection courses.

His extensive experience in politics spans 9.5 years as the Chief of Takla Nation and five consecutive 2-year terms on the council. Before joining SDC, Michael served as a Class One driver at Rocktech.

In his personal life, Michael is happily married and the proud parent of three children. During his leisure moments, he finds joy in playing the guitar and offering assistance to others in any way he can.

John Masich

Information Systems Coordinator

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John Masich

With 21 years of expertise in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field, John has primarily focused on forestry and the utility sector. His role involves integrating traditional GIS with emerging geo-spatial technologies to enhance data management and communication within SDC. Additionally, John serves as a sessional instructor in the Environmental Planning Department at UNBC.

A dedicated father of two, John, along with his wife Karen, actively participates in their children's activities, taking on roles as coach and team manager. During his leisure hours, John can be found camping or fishing with his family, always accompanied by their loyal family dog, 'Pebbles.'

Beyond his family pursuits, John extends his commitment to the community through volunteer efforts. He contributes to the Point in Time homeless count, supports the St. Vincent DePaul Society, and lends a hand to various sports organizations within the community.

Sashun Erickson

Proposal Coordinator

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Sashun Erickson

Embarking on her fourth year as an intern with SDC, Sashun Erickson is currently in her second year of Chemistry with a minor in French Studies at Queen’s University. Sashun brings a wealth of experience, having volunteered as a Social Ambassador for the Four Directions Indigenous Centre from 2021 to 2022 and serving as a Youth lead on the Dakelh K’una project from 2018 to 2020. She also gained valuable work experience through the ACE program in 2016.

Sashun has honed her skills in smaller GIS projects, showcasing proficiency with various Microsoft products. Her accomplishments include successfully conducting research projects and running social media campaigns for the Four Directions to promote events. Known for her quick ability to learn new skills and tackle fresh projects, Sashun is a dynamic contributor to the team.

In her leisure time, Sashun finds joy in outdoor activities such as camping, spending quality moments with her family, engaging in indoor rock climbing, reading, volunteering, and participating in Queen University’s Bands Colour Guard.

Patrick Bredin, HBSCF, RPF, CRSP

Resource Operations Manager

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Patrick Bredin

Pat graduated with honors from Seneca College - Law Enforcement in 1988 and later completed his Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry with First Class Standing at Lakehead University in 1994. He holds the titles of RPF 3655 with the Association of BC Forest Professionals and Canadian Registered Safety Professional with the Board of Canadian Safety Professionals.

His forestry journey began in 1994 with the Growth and Yield program in Northern Ontario, followed by a move to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) for an introduction to the steep slopes and large timber of British Columbia. Pat continued his career in BC's Interior, relocating to Burns Lake in early 1995 and subsequently joining Canadian Forest Products (Canfor - Prince George & Fort St James) in late 1996. Over his 12-year tenure with Canfor, Pat accumulated extensive expertise in layout, forest management, contract management, environmental management, and cost management. His focus on safety, developed during his time at the mill, remained central during his 11 years with Allnorth Consultants Limited as the Corporate Safety Manager and Continuous Improvement Coordinator. Before joining Sasuchan, Pat served as a director with Frontline Management Services, contributing to clients' management, monitoring, and safety activities.

Since 2004, Pat has been happily married to Tamiko Bredin and is a proud father of two children. While Tamiko's family hails from Prince George, Pat's roots trace back to Beaverton, Ontario.

Outside his professional life, Pat finds enjoyment in sports such as hockey, skiing, and mountain biking. He also relishes outdoor activities like camping and boating. In his spare time, he has taken up the hobby of restoring vintage snowmobiles.

Pat has a longstanding history of community service, volunteering as a Firefighter for over 23 years, splitting his time between Fort St. James and Tabor Lake in Prince George. His roles included training officer and captain, and he retired from service in 2020. Additionally, Pat has volunteered as a hockey coach in Fort St. James and Prince George for over 10 years.

Derek McLean, RPF

Forestry Supervisor

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Derek McLean, RPF

Derek holds the title of Registered Professional Forester (RPF) with Forest Professionals BC. His academic background includes graduating from Queen's University with a degree in Environmental Biology and obtaining a Master of Sustainable Forest Management from the University of British Columbia.

Derek's expertise lies in timber development, particularly in recce and layout work. Additionally, he brings valuable experience in First Nations consultation and engagement to his professional portfolio.

Outside the professional realm, Derek finds joy in outdoor activities and indulges in crafting art projects. His newest source of delight is spending time with his recently acquired puppy. Although Derek harbors a desire to travel more, his penchant for acquiring new houseplants often diverts his budget, making serious consideration a challenge.

Kayla Siciliano

Resource Operations Supervisor

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Kayla Siciliano

Kayla earned her Bachelor's Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Northern BC and holds the designation of Registered Professional Forester (RPF) with the Forest Professionals of BC.

Before joining Sasuchan, Kayla dedicated ten years to Canfor, progressing through various roles initially in Fort St John, BC, and later relocating to Vanderhoof, BC in 2016.

Kayla's expertise spans Timber Development, encompassing layout, recces, and crew supervision. She is proficient in Permitting, handling layout review, consultant management, cutting permit submissions, and site plan preparation. Additionally, her skills extend to Harvesting, covering logging supervision and oversight of the grind and pulp deliveries program.

During her leisure moments, Kayla finds fulfillment in outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, running, and photography. She cherishes quality time with her husband, Fernando, and their dog, Ryley, and has a passion for travel. Kayla's travel bucket list includes exploring more of Mexico and visiting Italy, Patagonia, and Iceland.

Chelsey Thiessen

Resource Operations Coordinator

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Chelsey Thiessen

Chelsey initially joined the SDC team through a secondment from SBS Forestry and has seamlessly transitioned into the role of Resource Operations Coordinator. In this capacity, she collaborates closely with Pat Bredin, the Resource Operations Manager, and the entire team.

With a tenure of 3 1/2 years at SBS, Chelsey embarked on her journey as a field assistant, steadily advancing through the ranks to become a technician and eventually a Crew Leader. Her unyielding dedication, hard work, and comprehensive knowledge have been key factors in securing the opportunity to enhance her skills and progress in her career within project coordination.

During her leisure time, Chelsey finds delight in various activities, including foraging, hiking, paddling, and engaging in creative pursuits such as art and music. She also cherishes moments spent with her nearly 16-year-old dog, Gherkin.

Cal Duncan

General Manager of Wildland Development

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Cal Duncan

Cal Duncan completed his education at both the College of New Caledonia and Camosun College, and holds professional affiliations with Technical Safety BC. With an impressive 42 years of experience in the construction industry, Cal is a dual-ticketed tradesman.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Cal is an avid outdoor enthusiast. He engages in a variety of activities such as sports, hunting, fishing, berry picking, golfing, and skiing. Not only does he enjoy these activities personally, but Cal also dedicates his time as an announcer for the Major Midget Cariboo Cougars. During his downtime, he values spending quality moments with his family.

Patrik Hunter

Planner, Wildland Development

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Patrik Hunter

Patrik achieved his Bachelor's degree in Environmental Planning from UNBC in 2022, specializing in Northern and Rural Community Planning. During his time at UNBC, Patrik actively participated in the campus community, taking on a supportive role within the Student Planners’ Association before assuming the position of President.

The knowledge gained through his education and internship has empowered Patrik to contribute to SDC's service offerings, utilizing and expanding on his acquired skills. His focus lies in cultivating an understanding of the intricate relationships essential for community development, and he is committed to continuous learning to bolster this skill set for the benefit of building resilient northern communities.

During his leisure moments, Patrik finds fulfillment in engaging with his wife on various garden and house projects, gaming, fishing with his son, taking leisurely strolls with his dog, and indulging in daytime naps on the couch accompanied by his cat. An avid gamer, Patrik has also developed a keen interest in exploring the application of video games in the planning and development of both rural and urban communities when time permits.

John Steward

Construction Project Manager, Wildland Development

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John Steward

John is a seasoned project management professional with a wealth of experience spanning the telecommunication, energy, and construction sectors. Holding a Professional Project Management (PMP) designation, he also boasts a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management and is a Red Seal Carpenter.

In his most recent role, John successfully oversaw the planning and installation of 11 remote work camps across an 800km stretch, delivering essential telecommunication services and support. His diverse portfolio includes managing projects such as peripheral work on the Site C Dam, coordinating the Town of Smithers Airport Expansion and Fire Department buildings, and overseeing multiple pipeline projects. John excels in a range of skills including scheduling, budgeting, planning, communication, and construction, particularly in telecom and pipeline construction.

During his leisure time, John finds joy in spending quality moments with his family, indulging in activities like hunting, fishing, and travel. Additionally, he has a keen interest in history, making him a dedicated history buff.

Jack Li

Estimator, Wildland Development

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Linjian (Jack) Li

Jack brings over eight years of valuable experience to the construction industry, holding three certificates from BCIT in Construction Operations, Construction Supervision, and Construction Estimating.

His diverse career journey includes hands-on roles as a roofer, painter, framer, and residential project site superintendent. Most recently, Jack has excelled as a residential construction estimator, showcasing his skills in reading and interpreting blueprints and conducting accurate materials takeoffs. His familiarity with various takeoff software enhances Wildland Development's project capabilities.

Having recently relocated from Vancouver, BC to Prince George, BC, Jack has developed a fondness for travel and camping. He has also embarked on the journey of learning golf and looks forward to exploring more outdoor activities in the scenic surroundings of Prince George.

Jyotpreet (Preet) Kaur

NDIT Intern

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Jyotpreet (Preet) Kaur

Preet holds an impressive educational background, including a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Business Administration, a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business and Operation, a Masters of Infrastructure Engineering and Management, a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering, a Diploma in Network Security, and a Certification in Leadership for Safety Excellence by the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance.

With 7 years of experience in Civil projects, Preet has excelled in planning, project controls, estimating, scheduling, and overseeing heavy civil earthworks, road building, and underground utilities for projects like the District of Vanderhoof and Revelstoke subdivision. Additionally, she brings 5 years of expertise in Piling & Concrete, involving planning, project controls, scheduling, and management of heavy civil earthworks, road building, and underground utilities, notably for DP World in Ports and Harbour Construction.

Preet's skills and expertise revolve around Project Management, Procurement Management, Contracts Management, Planning, Budgeting, Estimation, Preparation of Bids, and Project Claim Analysis.

In her leisure time, Preet indulges in activities like reading, swimming, and exploring new software. She has a keen interest in building sciences, is passionate about data science, and is eager to delve into the intricacies of the Canadian financial service industry.

Board Members

Sandra Carroll

Board Chair

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Sandra Carroll

Sandra assumed the role of Deputy Minister (DM) of Tourism, Arts, and Culture in July 2017, following her previous tenure as DM of the Ministry of Advanced Education starting in September 2013. With a remarkable 28-year career within the BC Public Service, Sandra has held diverse executive positions, showcasing her versatility and expertise.

Her past roles include serving as Deputy Minister of International Trade, Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the Ministry of Health, where she played a pivotal role in health labor negotiations, and various Assistant Deputy Minister positions within the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Sandra holds an Associate Degree in Business and has earned prestigious accolades, including the Premier’s Award in Excellence for service delivery and the Premier’s Award for Organizational Excellence. Recently, she successfully completed the Advanced Leadership Program with the Canadian School of Public Service, further enhancing her leadership capabilities.

Marilyne Teegee

Co-Chair

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Marilyne Teegee

Marilyne is relishing her recent retirement after a dedicated tenure with the Province of BC. Grateful for the enriching experience, she eagerly anticipates contributing to Takla's vision and community building in the future. Marilyne is particularly excited about the myriad opportunities and possibilities for the Nation's upcoming generations. As a staunch advocate for First Nation interests, she remains committed to working tirelessly and supporting Takla's members in achieving their fullest potential.

Her educational background includes attending the College of New Caledonia for business administration. Marilyne has been a board member for Carrier Sekani Family Services since 1997-2007 and 2012 to the present. Previous roles encompass employment as an aboriginal coordinator/liaison between the School District and First Nations at the School District in Vanderhoof, as well as positions at Fort Outreach employment services, Northern BC Winter Games, and the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Marilyne has a passion for learning and personal development programs, and with her newfound retirement, she looks forward to embracing more travel opportunities. Among her cherished memories are the years spent coaching volleyball at Fort St James secondary school. Currently, she maintains a healthy routine that includes walking, pilates, yoga, and integrating new practices as part of her ongoing learning journey.

Jim Bennett

Director

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Jim Bennett

Jim is dedicated to collaborating with Indigenous Peoples to actualize their economic aspirations and empower them to assume their rightful role as significant contributors to Canada's economic landscape.

Currently, Jim holds key positions in the governance and finance sectors for two Nations, Takla and Namgis, serving as a member of the Board of Directors and fulfilling the role of Treasurer. His responsibilities extend to working closely with various Nations on matters such as structuring, governance, acquisitions, and negotiations related to impact agreements.

With a substantial background in financial reporting, audit, negotiations, and financial controls, Jim draws on his extensive experience as a former member of KPMG Chartered Accountant's natural resource practice. Having spent over two decades at KPMG, he ascended to the position of partner.

Originally from the Comox Valley, Jim recently returned to Comox, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to supporting Indigenous economic goals.

Elke Lepka-Taylor

Director

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Elke Lepka-Taylor

Elke hails from the Wolverine Alexanders, closely connected to the Hogem Alexander family and Takla Lake Johnny family. Growing up just outside Fort St James in rural Dog Creek, she spent the majority of her summers immersed in the Takla territory. During these seasons, Elke actively contributed to her family's business by assisting in building bridges and roads. She also ventured back to homesteads in Wolverine and Germansen Landing, and occasionally, she would journey to Austria to visit relatives in the old country.

In 2000, Elke embarked on her college journey, focusing on Forest Technology, and later returned to pursue studies in Business Marketing and Management.

Professionally, Elke has made significant contributions in the First Nations field, holding management roles related to Forestry. She later served as a Takla Nation Councillor before taking on the role of a stay-at-home mom to two boys. Recently, she has re-entered the workforce part-time with the Sasuchan Development Corporation. Elke eagerly anticipates the challenges and opportunities that come with contributing to the development of Sasuchan, emphasizing the importance of fostering strong relationships with the Takla membership.

Tom Lewis

Director

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Tom Lewis

With over 40 years of extensive experience in the forest industry and private business across Western Canada, Tom Lewis currently holds the positions of President and Owner at Lewis Management Systems Ltd., Vice President Business Development for the Sasuchan Development Corporation, and Director for various private companies in British Columbia. Additionally, Tom serves as a Board Member for the College of New Caledonia.

Functioning as a seasoned business consultant, Tom offers his expertise in management, business start-ups, and continuous improvement services to clients in the industrial and resource sectors. His 17-year tenure with Canfor Corporation saw him in the role of Vice President Woodlands – Canada. In this capacity, he was responsible for overseeing forestry operations and fiber supply to 16 primary manufacturing facilities. Tom also represented Canfor on matters of forest policy, sustainability, environmental leadership, and stakeholder relationships at both regional and provincial levels in BC and Alberta.

Tom is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) and holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of BC. He has attained a Green Belt in Six Sigma and holds several advanced Lean Production System credentials. Residing in Prince George with his wife Mary Clare since 1992, Tom is the proud father of three children.

Chief & Council created Sasuchan as a business...

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