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.

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, MBA

CEO

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Steve Nycholat, MBA

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.

Shaun Cormier

Strategic Partnership 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, RPF

Forestry Manager

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Chelsea Chilibeck, RPF

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 six 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 is from the Likh Ji Bu Clan (Bear).

She started her career as a receptionist/office administrator at the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation, which was a 14-year term. She then met her soulmate who was from London Ontario, Robi and married in 2004.

Feeling adventurous they moved to Edmonton, where Mona was happy to land a dream job at the Edmonton Police Headquarters working in the Chief of Polices main office for one of the Deputies who overlooked the Community Policing of the City of Edmonton. Can you imagine Mona sitting at a table of 20 police officers, 4 Deputies and 1 Chief to record meeting notes?!

After 5 years of living in the big city she decided to move back to her roots. After a few various jobs, she was hired by Sasuchan and was officially the first employee on payroll.

Mona and her husband spend their free time travelling down the road just to view the beautiful scenic views of BC (to Ontario and Oregon).  A beautiful, combined family of 5 grown children, Stephen, Justin, Shasta, Foster & (Parker RIP), and 6 grandchildren. She gives her time to help others by simply lending a hand to those who need it at the time, and also absolutely adores her cat, Duchess.

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 is a dual-ticketed tradesman with 40 years of experience in the construction industry.

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

Cheryl Petersen

Director of Finance

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Cheryl Petersen

Cheryl’s education and training consists of: 2008 – CMA, CPA Designation; Canfor College – Canfor Leader and Canfor Leader Plus programs; Leadership Training provided by Training Plus with Linton Sellen and numerous webinars or training sessions focused on leadership, people and change management, as well as personal development.

During completion of the CMA Fast Track program, Cheryl had the opportunity to work with Ziptrek Ecotours in Whistler during their first years of business. Upon completion of the program, she moved back to Prince George and worked with a couple of businesses in the fibre industry, while completing the final stages of the CMA designation program, and then joined Canfor Pulp where Cheryl spent the last 14 years. Over the past 4 years, Cheryl acted as Mill Controller for the Northwood and Taylor Pulp Mills after occupying various roles across all of our divisions.

Cheryl is skilled in providing financial support to Senior Leadership; Financial reporting, forecasting and analysis; Team and Process Development; Standardization and change management

In her spare time, Cheryl enjoys camping and enjoying the outdoors as often as possible; primarily exploring the beauty that BC has to offer. She also acts as Treasurer for the Glenview Elementary Parent Advisory Council, and enjoys partaking in school events whenever possible, as well as taking her youngest to her numerous activities; dance, Brownies and swimming! Cheryl was born and raised in Prince George and comes from a large family that has been in the area for many years while her husband is from Germany where most of his family resides. They have three children; two young adults (Danika, 25 and Denver, 22) and a 7-year old Samantha that keeps them on their toes!

Torre Mohr

Payroll and Project Finance Administrator

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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!

Susanna Will, CPA, CMA

Senior Accountant

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Susanna Will, CPA, CMA

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.

Tyson Solmonson

Resource Operations Project Manager

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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.

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.

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.

Brooklyn Wilson

HR Generalist

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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 Technician

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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.

Patrick Bredin, HBSCF, RPF, CRSP

Resource Operations Manager

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Patrick Bredin

Pat graduated Seneca College - Law Enforcement with honors in 1988 and continued to attend and graduate from Lakehead University - Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry First Class Standing in 1994. He is on the Association of BC Forest Professionals - RPF 3655 and the Board of Canadian Safety Professionals - Canadian Registered Safety Professional

Pat started his career in forestry in 1994 with the Growth and Yield program in Northern Ontario. From there, he moved to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), for the first experience of the steep slopes and large timber of British Columbia. He then transitioned to the forests of BC's Interior with a move to Burns Lake in early 1995 and then to Canadian Forest Products (Canfor - Prince George & Fort St James) in late 1996. Pat worked with Canfor for 12 years, gaining a wealth of forestry experience in layout, forest management, contract management, environmental management, and cost management. The dangers faced in the mill drove a keen focus on safety, which was utilized for 11 years with Allnorth Consultants Limited as the Corporate Safety Manager and Continuous Improvement Coordinator. Before joining Sasuchan, worked as a director with Frontline Management Services, helping aid clients in management, monitoring and safety activities. 

Happily married since 2004 to Tamiko Bredin. Father of 2 children. Tamiko's family is from Prince George, while Pat's family is from Beaverton, Ontario.

Enjoy playing sports such as hockey, skiing and mountain biking and engaging in outdoor activities such as camping and boating. Taken up the hobby of restoring vintage snowmobiles in spare time.

Volunteered as a Firefighter, splitting time between Fort St. James and Tabor Lake in Prince George over 23 years as a training officer and captain, retiring from service in 2020. Pat has also volunteered as a hockey coach in Fort St. James and Prince George over 10+ years.

Sashun Erickson

SDC Intern

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Sashun Erickson

Sashun Erickson is joining SDC for her fourth year as our intern and she is in her second year of French Studies with a Chemistry minor at Queen’s University. She has previous experience as a volunteer for the Four Directions Indigenous Centre as a Social Ambassador from 2021 – 2022, a Youth lead on the Dakelh K’una project from 2018 -2020, and gained worked experience with the ACE program in 2016.

She gained experience in smaller GIS projects, sufficient with a majority of Microsoft products, successfully conducted research projects, run social media campaigns for the Four Directions to promote events, and is quick to learn new skills and tackle new projects. In her spare time, Sashun enjoys the outdoors and going camping, spending time with her family, indoor rock climbing, reading, volunteering, and being in Queen University’s Bands Colour Guard.

Patrik Hunter

NDIT Intern

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Patrik Hunter

Patrik graduated from UNBC in 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning, with a major in Northern and Rural Community Planning. While at UNBC, Patrik was engaged with the campus community and took on a non-board supporting role in the Student Planners’ Association, and later as President.

Prior to joining SDC, Patrik was employed with the Regional District of Fraser Fort-George as an Environmental Services Worker in the Waste Management division. He has also fulfilled various roles in Street Operations, Arenas, and Emergency Operations for the City of Prince George. Before permanently moving to Prince George in 2017, Patrik lived in Fort St. John and worked as an Industrial Instrumentation Technician, with a primary focus on construction and maintenance of natural gas facilities.

Patrik has always had a keen interest in developing an understanding of how things work. From an early age, he disassembled radios, telephones, and other small appliances, and to the surprise of his family, he would reassemble them to working conditions. Patrik has applied this interest to developing an understanding of the various relationships needed for community development, and he plans to continue learning and developing this skill set to contribute to building strong northern communities.

In his downtime, Patrik enjoys working on or planning the next garden or house project with his wife, gaming, or fishing with his son, walking his dog, or taking day-naps on the couch with his cat. Patrik is also an avid gamer when time permits and has developed an interest in the application of video games in the planning and development of rural and urban communities.

Kristen Lund, CPA

Corporate Controller

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Kristen Lund, CPA

Kristen graduated from UNBC with her Bachelor of Commerce and has her CPA Designation. 

As Kristen was finishing up her degree at UNBC, she began working at an accounting firm in town where she experienced the real world accounting and was able to gain valuable experience and insight. Following that, Kristen worked at Canfor Pulp for 9 years - the last four years she worked as the senior operations accountant for the PG Pulp and Specialty Paper mills and then the Taylor Pulp mill. Prior to that, she was in several different roles within the organization.

Kristen specializes in Forecasting and analysis, excel, financial reporting and problem solving.

Kristen has an amazing 5 year old son, her boyfriend whom she loves to take on adventures and try new things. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family and taking her golden retrievers for walks.

Sherrie Redekopp

Accounts Payable Coordinator

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Sherrie Redekopp

Sherrie is currently enrolled in the Bookkeeping Certificate Program at the College of New Caledonia. Most of her Bookkeeping experience has come from an 18-year career in the Automotive Industry, which encompassed all areas of bookkeeping, customer service, service writing. office administration and management of a small number of staff.

Sherrie has most recently worked Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable in Plumbing/Heating & Refrigeration industry. She is competent in QuickBooks Pro accounting Software and is currently learning Sage Software.

Sherri has a positive attitude and can work well in team situations as well as individually. She works well under pressure, is a quick learner and enjoys a repetitive workload. Sherri spends most of her free time with her family doing things like camping, fishing, and quadding. She enjoys kayaking, crocheting, reading, and painting.

Board Members

Sandra Carroll

Board Chair

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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.

Marilyne Teegee

Co-Chair

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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.

Tom Lewis

Director

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Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis has over 40-years of experience in the forest industry and private business in Western Canada and is currently the President and Owner of Lewis Management Systems Ltd., Vice President Business Development for the Sasuchan Development Corporation, and a Director for several private Companies in British Columbia. Tom also currently serves on the Board for the College of New Caledonia.

As a business consultant, Tom provides management, business start-up, and continuous improvement services to a variety of clients in the industrial and resource sectors. Tom worked for Canfor Corporation for 17-years and was Vice President Woodlands – Canada where he was responsible for forestry operations and fibre supply 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.

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 3 Children and has lived in Prince George with his wife Mary Clare since 1992.

Jim Bennett

Director

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Jim Bennet

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

Jim currently serves two  Nations (Takla andNamgis,) as a member of the Board of Directors and is also an integral part of the finance team as Treasurer. Jim works with various Nations in areas of structuring, governance, acquisitions, and impact agreement negotiations.

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.

Mogens Smed

Director

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Mogens Smed

Co-founder and CEO of Calgary-based Falkbuilt Ltd, Mogens has more than 60 years’ experience and expertise in interior construction and environmental solutions in designing, manufacturing, and building interior environments using technology.

In 2004, Mogens co-founded DIRTT Environmental Solutions and grew annual revenues to $360M. He founded SMED International in 1986. The company was sold for $300M in 2000.

Mogens is an ardent supporter of environmental causes, particularly those supporting waterways, furthering sustainability initiatives, and promoting Indigenous communities.

Chief & Council created Sasuchan as a business to

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