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.

Our 3 Main Pillars

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

Steve Nycholat

CEO

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Steve Nycholat

Bringing 25+ years experience in consulting and contracting fields.

Before joining Sasuchan, Steve spent six years as Pacific Regional Manager of All North Consultants responsible for six divisions providing engineering services to the Pulp & Paper, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas and Mining sectors. In addition to those operational responsibilities, Steve oversaw Project management, IT and continuous improvement companywide.  

Prior to that, Steve worked as General Manager/CEO for TDB consultants for 17 years working in the field of forestry consulting and contracting.

 Steve‘s education includes a Masters of Business Administration from University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), a diploma in forest technology from College of New Caledonia (CNC) and a Blackbelt in Lean continuous improvement. 

Currently serving on the CNC board of Governors as chair of Finance and Audit committee since 2014 and is an active coach for UNBC JDC west entrepreneurship team since 2012.

 

Previously Steve has served on the city of Prince George economic development corporation board 2011-2014 and volunteer food service at St Vincent de Paul 2005-2013.

 Born in Prince George and raised in Mackenzie British Columbia, Steve is a lifelong resident of the central interior; married with two children and attending UNBC.

Nick Fuchs

Director of Finance

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Nick Fuchs

Nick leads the accounting and financial reporting aspects of SDC group of companies, while supporting business development. Bringing 10+ years’ experience in accounting and finance, Nick spent 6 years as the controller at Geotech Drilling Services. Prior to that Nick worked in public practice, hospitality and forestry industry. Nick brings a strong background in process development, controls and implementation.

Nick‘s education includes his Chartered Professional Accountant, a degree in accounting and finance from University of Northern British Columbia and a diploma in hospitality from College of New Caledonia.

​​Nick enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Sophia and their 2 monsters.

Shaun Cormier

Projects Manager

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Shaun Cormier

Shaun studied International Relations and Northern Studies at UNBC, International Law at the University of Lapland and Finland, and Project Management at UNBC.

 In Finland, Shaun worked in research on the topics of food security and law. Moving back to Prince George, he worked in social housing with the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George and most recently, worked as a project manager with the Tuktoykatuk Community Corporation in the Arctic.

Shaun was born and raised in Mackenzie, BC and moved to Prince George at the age of 15. His hobbies include going hiking, playing ice hockey and going for runs.

Shaun has also volunteered his time to coach ice hockey for the past few years.

Chelsea Chilibeck

Forestry Manager

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Chelsea Chilibeck

Chelsea attended UNBC and graduated with her major degree in Forest Ecology and Management, and a minor degree in Environmental Sciences. She is registered with the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals. While in university, Chelsea has worked as a summer student for a number of consultants all within Prince George before bringing her expertise to Sasuchan.

Most of Chelsea’s experience is in timber development, including (recce, layout, cruising), training crews, cutting permit applications, site plan development, and working for First Nations.

Chelsea enjoys being outdoors - backpacking, hiking and horseback riding.

Caitlin Abraham

Communications Manager

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Caitlin Abraham

Caitlin has been working in various positions with the Takla Nation for the past seven years. Originally, she was the receptionist of Sasuchan and has since evolved to the communications role, while continuing to work on several governance projects for the Nation.

 Caitlin has attended UNBC for psychology and CNC for her criminology diploma, and is currently pursuing her Public Relations diploma through the University of Victoria. Her plans are to assist the Nation with future challenges and to start her own PR agency in the near future.

 Caitlin is the eldest of six and is a member of the Frog clan - Jilh Ts’e Yu. She is an aspiring influencer and has plans to travel and explore the world.

Mona Rhodes

Executive Assistant

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Mona Rhodes

Mona and her 6 siblings were raised in the Terrace area, then Burns Lake; however, her family roots are from the vicinity of the Takla Traditional Territory by way of her mother, Lina Joe (Takla Landing) and her father, Frank Erickson Sr. (Fort St. James).

 She has previously worked for the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation, the Edmonton Police Headquarters and the Takla Lake First Nation, as an administrator or within payroll and accounting departments.

 Mona spends her free time travelling, reading and crocheting.  Spending quality time with her husband Robi, her sons and beautiful grandchildren is what she loves best.

She gives her time to help others by simply lending a hand to those who need it at the time.

Torre Mohr

Junior Accountant

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Torre Mohr

Torre is a certified COR Internal Auditor with the BCCSA. Prior to joining Sasuchan, she was the office manager for a local plumbing and heating company for almost 8 years. Torre also worked in computer software development and support, as a Medical Office Assistant with the Central Interior Native Health Society, and as a Physiotherapy Aide. She also works part time for a local accounting firm on evenings and weekends. 

Torre enjoys camping with her family, fishing, hunting, hiking, gardening and taking her dogs for walks/runs. Her family spends a lot of their days outside exploring and visiting places and sights within our beautiful province. She also enjoys winter sports; snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and downhill skiing with her son. If there are days when Torre has spare time, you will find her cooking, baking and crafting! She makes front door wreaths for every season!

With Torre's hard working boyfriend, 9 year old son Wyatt, two rambunctious fur kids named Ruger and Lewis AND a large extended family there is no shortage of love or laughs!

Katherine Fullerton

Accounting Clerk

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Katherine Fullerton

Katherine has attended the College of New Caledonia for the Fine Arts program and is planning on returning to CNC to pursue the Accounting and Finance Diploma in Fall 2021.​ 

Katherine has experience working in customer service as Telus and Bell Mobility representatives, as well as the BDC representative for Northland Dodge. She has given her time to help with multiple entertainment events at the Prince George Roller dome.

Katherine was born and raised in Prince George, BC and is the youngest of 3 siblings. She enjoys going on walks with her boyfriend, Cole and their fur child, Piper, creating art pieces, spending time with friends and family, and exploring BC's beautiful natural attractions.

Susanna Will

Financial Controller

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Susanna Will

Susanna graduated from the College of New Caledonia with her Business Diploma. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Susanna started her career in law as a conveyancing secretary for C Keith Aartsen then went to Hope Heinrich. Her first accounting position was with Polar Refrigeration & Repair Ltd and later, she took a position with Williams Machinery Ltd. as their branch accountant in the PG division.

 Once completed her CMA, Susanna joined Chan Foucher LeFebvre as office manager and soon after was promoted to Controller. In addition, she has experience working with Ramada Hotel, Northern Capital Restorations Ltd., Artic Machinery Ltd., and Papason Trucking Ltd. Her expertise includes cost accounting, also known as Financial Accounting, Payroll Professional, Project Management and Legal understanding.

 Susanna is a Nascar fanatic and has been to 3 Nascar weekends in Las Vegas & Phoenix and will be going this year as well! Some of Susanna’s hobbies are golfing, gardening and camping.

Nicole Doran

Assistant Controller

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Nicole Doran

Nicole is attending UNBC to achieve her Bachelor of Commerce - Accounting and will be graduating in April 2022. She has 7 years of accounting experience ranging from Accounts Payable to Accounting Manager. Nicole is proficient in month end accounting and excel.

Nicole enjoys going for walks in many of Prince George’s beautiful parks, ice skating and kayaking with her husband, daughter and dog.

John Masich

Information Systems Coordinator

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John Masich

John has 21 years of experience in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field primarily in the forestry and utility sector.  His role is to blend traditional GIS with new and emerging geo-spatial technologies to improve data management and communication within SDC. John is also a sessional instructor in the Environmental Planning Department at UNBC.

 John is a father of two and along with his wife Karen, play active roles in their children’s activities as coach and team manager. In his spare time, John can be found camping or fishing with his family, all the while being followed closely by the family dog ‘Pebbles'.

 He also volunteers with the Point in Time homeless count, the St. Vincent DePaul Society and various sports organizations in the Community.

Cal Duncan

General Manager of Wildland Development

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Cal Duncan

Cal Duncan attended the College of New Caledonia and Camosun College and has professional associations with Technical Safety BC. He has previous experience as a Journeyman Plumber, gas fitter, electrical endorsement and 40 years of construction.

 Cal likes to spend his time outside doing all sorts of outdoor activities: sports, hunting, fishing, picking berries, golfing and skiing and has volunteered his time to being an announcer for the Major Midget Cariboo Cougars. In his downtime, he likes to enjoy time with his family

Brooklyn Seemann

Project/HR Coordinator

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Brooklyn Seemann

Brooklyn graduated from UNBC with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Community Development. She first came to Sasuchan through the Northern Development Initiative Trust internship program and has remained a part of our team following the one year internship. Prior to joining SDC, Brooklyn worked as a legal assistant at the Third Avenue Law while completing her undergraduate degree. 

Brooklyn is a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society - a collegiate honors program associated with over 400 schools globally that provides ongoing mentorship and career development opportunities.

Brooklyn is the youngest in a family of 5. She has a 4 year old rescue fur baby, named Pippa, and she has recently got engaged. Her hobbies include playing volleyball, learning to golf, spending time at the lake/kayaking and hanging out with her friends and family.

Jessica Wiens

Forest Tech/Health and Safety Coordinator

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Jessica Wiens

Jessica graduated from College of New Caledonia with her Natural Resources and Environmental Technology Diploma.

 Jessica is a Trainee Forest Technologists (TFT) with the Association of  BC Forest Professionals and has a vast experience of working as a forest technologist with TDB Consultants in 2016, BCTS in 2018 and the Takla Nation Lands department in 2019.

In her spare time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going snowboarding and skijoring.

Michael Teegee

Community Liaison Officer

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Michael Teegee

Michael has attended the College of New Caledonia to study a variety of different courses: public speaking, social development administration and inspection courses.

 Michael has experience in politics as he was chief of Takla Nation for 9.5 years and was on council for 5 2-year terms. He has worked for Rocktech  as a Class one driver before joining SDC. 

Michael is married and has 3 children and in his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar and helping people in any way that he can.

Tyson Solmonson

Project Coordinator

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Tyson Solmonson

Tyson attended UNBC and graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management and Outdoor Recreation and Conservation. He has previous experience as a researcher for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine; Park Manager for Kirby Provincial Park; Teaching Assistant at UNBC and a Senior Silviculture Assistant for Aleza Lake Research Forest. 

Tyson is skilled in GIS and database management, silviculture management, conducting research, stakeholder engagement and presentation. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, fishing, backcountry hiking, downhill skiing, writing and video game collecting.

Carolann Daigle-Young

Forestry Assistant

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Carolann Daigle-Young

Carolann studied and graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from Concordia University. She is a Forestry in Training with the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals. Carolann has 4 years of experience in forestry layout and over 10 years of leadership experience.

Carolann enjoys yoga, outdoor activities, baking, cooking and spending time with her boyfriend.

Board Members

Dean Daly

Board Chair

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Dean Daly

Dean Daly is a Registered Professional Forester who lives with his wife Janette in Smithers, British Columbia where he has been a partner in a consulting company Woodcreek Ventures Ltd. since 1998. The company specializes in First Nations business development and forestry operations management including timberland and tenure valuations.

In his volunteer work, Dean currently is a Director and Chair of Sasuchan Development Corporation, Director of the Wood Product Development Council, and is a member of the Bulkley Woodlot Association, the Bulkley Valley Naturalists, and the Back Country Horseman of BC. He is past Chair of the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest, Past Chair of the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board, Past President of the Bulkley Woodlot Association and former Director of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union.

In his spare time, he likes to travel, snowboard and explore local trails on horseback with Janette.

Tom Lewis

Director

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Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis has over 30-years of experience in the forest industry in Western Canada and is currently the President of Lewis Management Systems Ltd. and Chief Executive Officer for the Sasuchan Development Corporation – Takla Lake First Nation.

Previously, Tom was the Chief Operating officer for Jemi Fibre - a division of CanWel Building Materials Group involved in all aspects of operations from the forest to the market in Western Canada which including sawmills, private timber lands, public tenure, wood treating facilities, timber harvesting, road construction and a trucking company. Tom worked for Canfor Corporation for 17-years and was Vice President Woodlands – Canada where he was responsible for safely delivering 17 million (m3) of high quality logs annually to 16 primary manufacturing facilities and represented Canfor on forest policy, sustainability, environmental leadership and stakeholder relationships at a regional and provincial level in BC and Alberta.

 As well as Tom’s experience at a senior leadership level in the forestry and manufacturing sector, he also has extensive experience in Organizational Development, Human Resources and Continuous Improvement.  Tom is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) who holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of BC, a Green Belt in Six Sigma and several advanced Lean Production System credentials. Tom has lived in Prince George since 1992.

Marilyne Teegee

Director

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Marilyne Teegee

Marilyne is enjoying her recent retirement from her tenure with the Province of BC. She is grateful for the experience and is looking forward to continuing to be a part of Takla’s vision and building the community. She is excited for all of the opportunities and possibilities for the Nation’s future generations. She is a very strong advocate for First Nation interests and will continue to work towards and support Takla’s members to reach their full potential.

She has attended the College of New Caledonia for business administration and has been a board member for Carrier Sekani Family Services since 1997 – 2007 & 2012-present. Her previous experience includes working for the School District in Vanderhoof, employed as an aboriginal coordinator/liaison between the School District and First Nations. She also enjoyed working for Fort Outreach employment services, Northern BC Winter Games and the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

She enjoys learning and personal development programs, as well as traveling and hopes to do more now that she has retired. The years of coaching volleyball at Fort St James secondary school were some of the more memorable moments for Marilyne and now enjoys her health routine of walking, pilates, yoga and incorporating new practices as she learns.

Jim Bennett

Director

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Jim Bennet

Jim’s desire is to work together with First Nations to realize their economic goals and play their rightful role as key contributors to the economic fabric of Canada.

Jim currently serves four First Nations (Takla, Namgis, Nuxalk) as a member of the Board of Directors and is also an integral part of the finance team as Treasurer.

Jim also has considerable background in financial reporting, audit, negotiations and financial controls as a previous member of KPMG Chartered Accountant’s natural resource practice. Jim was a partner at KPMG and worked there for over twenty years.

Jim grew up in the Comox Valley and has recently moved back to Comox.

Elke Lepka

Director

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Elke Lepka

Elke's family is the Wolverine Alexanders; cousins to the Hogem Alexander family and Takla Lake Johnny family. Elke grew up just outside of Fort St James, rural Dog Creek, and spent the majority of her summers within the Takla territory. During the summers, she would assist in building bridges and roads in the family business, go back to homesteads in Wolverine and Germansen Landing and return to the old country Austria to visit her relatives.

Elke attended college in 2000 to study Forest Technology, and later returned to pursue Business Marketing and Management.

In her professional work, Elke has worked in the First Nations field in Forestry related management roles, followed by being a Takla Nation Councillor. After her term, she became a stay at home mom to two boys.

She has returned to the workforce part time, with the Sasuchan Development Corporation and is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities with the development of Sasuchan, but first and foremost, the relationships with the Takla membership.

Sandra Carroll

Director

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Sandra Carroll

Sandra was appointed Deputy Minister (DM) of Tourism, Arts and Culture in July 2017. She was a previous DM of the Ministry of Advanced Education from September 2013. Sandra has a 28-year career within the BC Public Service and has held a variety of executive positions. 

 

She has held the positions of Deputy Minister of International Trade, Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the Ministry of Health, with the responsibility for health labor negotiations and a variety of Assistant Deputy Minister positions with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. 

 

Sandra has an Associate Degree in Business and has received the Premier’s Award in Excellence for service delivery and the Premier’s Award for Organizational Excellence. Sandra is a recent graduate from the Advanced Leadership Program

with the Canadian School of Public Service.

Chief & Council created Sasuchan as a business to

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