Governance

CCAB is governed by a national, voluntary Board of Directors representing CCAB patrons, Aboriginal business members, and other senior industry leaders. CCAB is administered by a dynamic team in Toronto, Ontario.

CCAB Board of Directors

Ravina Bains
Vice President, Commercial/Wealth Sales Integration
Scotiabank (Toronto, ON)

Ravina Bains serves as the Vice President of Commercial/Wealth Sales Integration at Scotiabank. She works with the Commercial and Canadian Wealth Management teams across the country to service Scotiabank’s clients.

She previously served as the National Director for Aboriginal Financial Services at Scotiabank. Ravina has over 8 years of experience working with Aboriginal businesses and communities across the country. Prior to joining Scotiabank she served as the Director of Policy for the federal department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in Ottawa, where she worked to advance Aboriginal economic development, education, fiscal and social policy issues in Canada.

Ravina also worked as a UN Human Rights Monitor for the International Service for Human Rights in Switzerland and serves as a Board of Director for the Canadian Women Voters Congress, an organization that works to demystify the political process for women interested in working on campaigns, advocating for issues, and running for elected office.

Ravina has published numerous original studies and articles on pressing Aboriginal public policy issues. Her work has been featured in major Canadian and American newspapers such as the National Post, Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and more. She has also appeared on Global News, CBC, BNN and radio talk shows across Canada.

Ravina holds a M.Sc. in Law from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a CN Scholar, a B.A. and M.A. from UBC, and is pursuing a PhD in Public Policy.

Lyle Bouvier
Vice President Corporate Services
Points Athabasca Contracting (Saskatoon, SK)

Lyle is Métis, born in Saskatchewan and raised in the prairie region. He is a lawyer by profession and has worked for nearly twenty years as a lawyer in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in both public and private practice and has extensive experience in aboriginal law, taxation and corporate litigation. For the past 5 years he has worked in executive roles for Aboriginal-owned businesses. He currently sits as the Vice President of Corporate Service for Points Athabasca Contracting. Lyle has extensive board experience including roles of chairman of the board of directors for an aboriginal labor supply company and the chairof an election appeal committee. In addition to legal work he has also owned and managed a successfuloil service company.

Mark Brajer
Chief Operating Officer
Tlicho Investment Corporation & Group of Companies (Yellowknife, YT)

Mark’s career has been largely in the operations, supply chain and engineering areas over a 25+ year career.  He has worked with E.D. Smith in Winona, Ontario and Byhalia, Mississippi; Alberto Culver in Toronto and Melrose Park, Illinois; Unilever in Toronto and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey;  before making his way to Epicure in Victoria, BC, and then to the Tlicho Investment Corporation & Group of Companies in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where he joined them in December 2017.

He has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry (B.Sc) and Chemical Engineering (B.Eng) from McMaster University, and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. He is currently working toward a Doctorate in Management (Organizational Development) at the University of Phoenix. He is a licensed engineer in Ontario, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Mark is Chief Operating Officer for the Tlicho Investment Corporation which has 22 wholly owned businesses, and 10 joint ventures, involving trucking, construction, retail and hotel operations, site services & labour management. He currently lives in Victoria, BC and works in Yellowknife.

Mervin Dewasha
CEO
Neegan Burnside Ltd. (Orangeville, ON)

Mervin Dewasha is a member of the Wahta Mohawk First Nation in Ontario. He has over 30 years of experience working with First Nations on projects related to housing, infrastructure, economic development and securing financing for Aboriginal businesses. A recognized leader in the development of native human resources through career building in science and engineering, Mervin has served with AANDC (formerly INAC) in various capacities as well as on the Executive Interchange to the Assembly of First Nations and Chiefs of Ontario. Mervin continues to work at developing business opportunities for clients and Neegan Burnside, and advising the current Executive, while remaining a mentor for junior aboriginal engineers.

Alicia Dubois, Co-Chair
Vice-President, Indigenous Markets
CIBC (Toronto, ON)

Alicia is a proud Indigenous professional woman who earned a B.Sc., with Distinction, from the University of Lethbridge and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto.

Alicia is honoured to contribute positively to Indigenous economic prosperity and national reconciliation efforts while she and CIBC’s Indigenous Markets Group serve Indigenous communities, peoples and businesses.

Alicia is an active Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and a proud member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum.   Prior to her career in Indigenous financial services,  Alicia held legal counsel positions at Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, ENMAX Corporation and Alberta Justice.

Myrtle Engram
Principal Projects Controls Specialist & Indigenous Strategy Lead
Fluor (Calgary, AB)

Myrtle is a proud Inuk woman from Nunatsiavut and grew up in Labrador with both Inuk and Mi’kmaq background.  She is proud of her Indigenous background, especially being a Labradorian. Myrtle received her BBA from Acacia University then moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta where she joined Fluor and has worked in Energy and Chemicals, Mining and Power industries. Her work has given her the opportunity to also take advantage of her love for adventure and travel and she has been to offices or projects throughout Canada, the US, Asia, South America, and Europe. Myrtle is the Indigenous Relations Lead for Fluor Canada Ltd. Myrtle also sits on the Board of Directors for Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and the Chair for the Thought and Advocacy Leadership committee, as well as the Indigenous Advisory Committee to the United Way of Calgary Board of Directors, member of the United Way Public Policy Committee and assisting United Way with the Elders Institute. Myrtle is committed to making an impact and puts that energy in all that she does.

Greg Fuhr, P. Eng., ICD.D
Vice President Production, Mining
Syncrude Canada Ltd (Calgary, AB)

Greg Fuhr was appointed Vice President Production, Mining, for Syncrude Canada Ltd. in August 2012.  In this role, he oversees Syncrude’s oil sands mining operations at its Mildred Lake and Aurora sites, as well as Syncrude’s lease development, closure and tailings operations. Greg is also a member of the company’s Aboriginal Relations Steering Committee, which guides and champions Syncrude’s strategies to ensure positive outcomes for its Aboriginal stakeholders, and is a Champion of Indigenous Works.

Prior to joining Syncrude, Greg had a 27-year career working with Sherritt International. As the company’s Senior Vice President, Greg led the exploration and feasibility study for the subsequent development of the Sulawesi Nickel Project in Indonesia and oversaw the development of the organization for the commissioning and operations of the $5.5 billion Ambatovy Nickel Project in Madagascar.

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Alberta and is accredited by the Institute of Corporate Directors with an ICD.D designation.  He is also a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

Greg currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Northern Lights Health Foundation and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. He is Past Chair of the Coal Association of Canada and Past Member, Board of Directors, of the Alberta Chamber of Resources.

Paul Gruner
President & CEO
Det’on Cho Corporation (Yellowknife, YT)

Paul Gruner has 15 years of progressive management experience in several different industries including Oil and Gas Midstream Operations, Civil Construction, Telecommunications and manufacturing.  He has worked primarily in the North including Northern British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska and currently Northwest Territories.  In the past he has served as the General Manager of Dakwakada Capital Investments, CEO of Castle Rock Enterprises and President of RAB Energy.  Currently he is the President and CEO of Det’on Cho Corporation which is the investment arm of the Yellowknife Dene First Nations. He is the Co-chair of Chief Isaac Incorporated Development Corporation in Dawson City, Yukon as well as a board member the Northwest Territories / Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

In addition to his professional experience he has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia and the Institute Corporate Director and Chartered Professional Accounting Designations.

Michael Hachey
President
ESS North America (Calgary, AB)

Michael is a Chartered Accountant and also holds an MBA from Queen’s University. He brings a diversified skill set with a long track record of success from many different industries and functional roles. He has worked with companies including Ernst & Young, Labatt’s, Bell Canada and Mr. Lube Canada. During his leadership tenure at Mr. Lube, he helped them become recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and was ranked as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

Currently, Michael is the President of ESS, North America, which has a long standing relationship with Aboriginal communities in Canada through its partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and membership in the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program. Michael and ESS, are committed to building a business portfolio with Aboriginal communities that extends across the country through great joint venture partnerships.

Michael S. Jacobs
Chairman and General Manager
Cambium Aboriginal Inc. (Curve Lake First Nation, ON)

Michael Jacobs is a member of the Curve Lake First Nation, a graduate of McMaster University and an experienced Aboriginal entrepreneur. Over his 25 year career in First Nations economic development, Mr. Jacobs has raised over $10M for First Nation based economic development projects and trained hundreds of First Nation members, leaders and organizations in all facets of operations including strategic planning, business planning and day to day operational strategies. Mr. Jacobs has held management level positions within the federal government at Industry Canada. Mr. Jacobs has sat on many Boards including the President of an Aboriginal Capital Corporation. Mr. Jacobs sits directly on the Curve Lake First Nation finance committee and Gaming Revenue Committee. Mr. Jacobs has owned 5 businesses in his lifetime and is currently building Cambium Aboriginal Inc., an environmental firm specializing in First Nation land and economic development issues.

As a federal government employee, Mr. Jacobs completed program reviews and evaluations of how valuable government contributions were to the economy on the whole. He was involved in the very early stages of the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business within the federal government. As a First Nation member, entrepreneur and First Nation based SME advisor, Mr. Jacobs understands the needs of First Nation business owners and how an organization like the CCAB can best position themselves to meet their needs. In areas of event planning, business planning, procurement and strategic planning Mr. Jacobs will be able to take a leadership role on committees and be able to support the various activities of the CCAB.

Michael Ledgett
Partner
Dentons Canada LLP (Toronto, ON)

Michael F. Ledgett centres his practice on corporate and commercial law, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, public private partnerships, and the transportation industry. His corporate commercial and transactional practice serves businesses (domestic and foreign), governments and their agencies and not-for-profit organizations.

His public private partnership practice serves governments and their agencies, as well as private sector developers, operators, lenders and investors on P3 projects. His transportation industry practice serves primarily the bus, port, rail, transit and truck sectors of the industry. His practice also embraces the emerging world of autonomous vehicles.  His transportation practice serves governments and their agencies, as well as private sector participants in the industry.

Michael is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP); a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB); and a past-member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and Past Chair of the Ontario Chapter of the ICD. He is also Honorary Counsel to the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium; and Honorary Counsel to the Ontario Public Transit Association.

Michael is listed as one of the outstanding Canadian experts on Infrastructure, P3 and transportation issues in several recognized directories.

  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of Transportation: Road & Rail (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017-2019)
  • Recognized in The Legal 500 Canada in the areas of Infrastructure and Projects (2015–2019) and Transport – Other Transport (2017–2019)
  • Recognized in the Lexpert Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers (2017, 2018)
  • Recognized by Lexpert® Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers, as one of “Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers

Martha Manuel
Senior Advisor of Indigenous Relations
New Gold Inc. (Toronto, ON)

Martha is proud to have roots with the Neskonlith Indian Band, which is one of the 17 communities within the Secwepemculecw (Shuswap territory).  Her education includes Business Management, Public Administration, Critical Incident Management and is pursuing her Masters in Business & Indigenous Leadership through Simon Fraser University (SFU).  Much of what she’s learned about building effective community-industry relations was taught to her by her late father, Grand Chief George Manuel (founder of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples) and her mentor, the late John Jules of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc.   She enjoys spending time on the land and believes that the water and mountains are the best medicine to help guide her work.

She brings over 20 years of experience leading Indigenous related programs to new levels of success.  Her team effort approach is crucial in developing communication strategies that offer a collaborative approach to creating effective partnerships between community and industry.  She considers personal development/wellness, education, traditional healing and land stewardship as essential in striving for sustainability with Indigenous communities.

She began work as the First Nations Liaison in 2008 and has since transitioned to the Senior Advisor of Indigenous Relations.   She is a member of the Mining Association of Canada, Aboriginal Affairs Committee (MAC AAC), the Industry Training Authority, Mining Sector Advisory (ITA MSA).  Martha recently received the Michelle Pockey Leadership Award.  The award is named in honor of the memory of a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle Pockey, who dedicated herself to making a positive impact with energy, mining, environmental and Indigenous issues, increasing the economic success and impact of women.

As she continues her work with communities and New Gold, she continues to strive for the development of strategic initiatives that will create long term benefits for the communities.  “We are setting a precedence for future generations.  And we will continue to work together to maintain the foundation of respect & trust that has evolved into a meaningful, productive relationship.”

Randy Moore, Co-Chair
Vice President, Strategic Development and Aboriginal Relations
Bee-Clean Building Maintenance (Edmonton, AB)

Randy married his wife Gerri in 1972. They have four married children and are the proud grandparents of six.

Randy is an entrepreneur at heart He has been in business for himself in one way or another since he was 16.

In 1993 Randy accepted the position of Vice President and General Manger of Creative Door Services. When Randy and the companies founder Dan Nixon sold Creative Door in 2006 it was recognized as the largest installing door dealer in the world with 10 offices throughout Western Canada. During his time at Creative Door Randy served on the Board of the International Door Association for two, three-year terms. He was their dealer Vice President for four years.

After Creative Door Randy went into retirement. That lasted 10 months. As Randy says “I just love business too much. It is my passion. Business is a game and I couldn’t imagine knowing the game is being played and I don’t have a seat at the table.”

Randy is proud to have received his ICD.D designation in 2014 and currently serves on three corporate boards. His involvement with Bee Clean Building Maintenance started when asked to sit on their Corporate Advisory Board upon its inception in 2010. He accepted a contract position as Vice President in 2011 and is currently Vice President of Strategic Development and Aboriginal Relations. Randy’s focus at Bee Clean is on developing business relationships with Aboriginal business groups who are active in the industrial sector. Under Randy’s guidance Bee Clean has successfully entered into partnerships with Aboriginal groups throughout Canada.

Randy’s hobbies include motorcycling, golf, poker, traveling and spoiling his Grandchildren.

Desiree Norwegian
Owner
Abraflex (2004) Ltd (Paisley, ON)

Desiree Norwegian is a member of Liidlii Kue First Nation, she is part of the Dene clan, meaning the land of the people from North West Territories.  Desiree graduated from Algoma University with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting.  With Desiree’s strong determination and drive she next went on to obtain a Certified Management Accountants designation now being called a Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

Desiree has worked in senior level accounting positions for the Municipality of Wawa and in the Energy Sector for Brookfield Renewable Power and Plasco Energy Group.  Working in these roles has given Desiree the skills to take on her next big adventure, the purchase of Abraflex 2004 Ltd in early January 2016.  Desiree was also voted in as a board member for the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries at their AGM in October of 2018.

Abraflex 2004 Ltd. vision is to be a leading local indigenous company supporting the nuclear industry.  Abraflex is the exclusive supplier of the Mark IIIB plastic suits to Bruce Power and also fabricates custom and standard decontamination tenting for the nuclear industry.  Abraflex as of January 25, 2019 is the first indigenous company to receive a Nuclear Waste Substance license.

Denise L. Pothier, P.Eng.
Vice President, Practice Services & Aboriginal Relations
Stantec (Halifax, NS)

Denise was born and raised in Nova Scotia, with French Acadian and Mi’kmaq heritage.

Denise has more than 20 years’ experience in regulatory compliance, quality assurance, process engineering, risk assessment, instrumentation and control engineering. Her areas of specialty include quality, health, safety and environmental regulatory compliance, petroleum refinery and offshore operations. As Vice President of Aboriginal Relations, Denise is responsible for fostering and building on Stantec’s existing relationships with Aboriginal communities and businesses with a commitment to provide opportunities for training, hands-on skills development, employment, and business to Aboriginal community members, when possible, during the execution of projects. Denise is a member of the Stantec Canadian Diversity & Inclusion Council and lead for Aboriginal Connections sub-committee.

Denise is currently on the Board of Directors of Techsploration, an organization helping empower young women to explore careers in sciences, trades and technology and is the Vice-Chair of the Women in Engineering committee for Engineers Nova Scotia and a member of Continuing Professional Development Committee.

Denise is the recipient of 2016 the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Women of Excellence Award for Management and the Professions and will be profiled in the 2017 Women of Innovation: The Influence of leading Canadian Women in Engineering  book.

In addition to Denise’s professional life, she volunteers for various organizations around Halifax including the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Feed NS Foodbank, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, Habitat for Humanity and is a Walking With Our Sisters Planning Committee member. Denise is also near completion of a MBA through Athabasca University

Shawn Rodeck
President & CEO
Big Grizzly Construction Inc. (Surrey, BC)

Mr. Rodeck has over 20 years’ of international experience in the energy industry primarily bridging the Asian and North American markets. Throughout his career, Mr. Rodeck has consulted for and/or held senior management positions and directorships with private, publically traded, and Crown Corporations in mining, oil & gas, hydroelectric production, and civil construction. It Is through the combination of entrepreneurship, business, and law that Mr. Rodeck has built a strong background managing all aspects of a company’s corporate and legal life; from identifying business opportunities; managing stakeholder affairs; implementing corporate development programs to structuring, negotiating and managing mergers & acquisitions and related regulatory, compliance, and general legal matters, all with the view to advance a company’s business and growth objectives.

Mr. Rodeck holds a Bachelors of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University and has qualified to practice law in the Province of British Columbia and Saskatchewan in energy, international securities and corporate law.

Currently Mr. Rodeck sits as the Chairman, President and CEO of Big Grizzly Construction Inc., a EPCM service provider; Director and Vice-Chairman of Canadian Spirit Prefabricated Building Systems Ltd.; Director, Vice-Chairman of National Renewable Energy Corporation; Director, Chairman, and CEO of Ravenbear Energy Inc.; on the Advisory Board – Business Development Centre (Toronto) and a Partner with Turning Point Partners LLP. Mr. Rodeck’s past director appointments include Sterling Mining Company, Inc. (Idaho; 2009).

Mark Shadeed
Director of Aboriginal Banking
BMO (Laval, QC)

Mark Shadeed stands at the forefront of the business industry with a combined 28 years of commercial banking experience. He’s spent the past fifteen years as a leader in various roles within the BMO organization, managing the largest portfolio in Quebec. Mark has built a reputation for successfully developing and managing business portfolios.

Mark began his career working for a construction company as head accountant for seven years. He then moved on to commercial banking, working for TD Bank for thirteen years, prior to joining BMO in 2003. He joined the BMO Aboriginal Banking Unit in 2014, as Director, Aboriginal Banking, Quebec and Atlantic Canada division and quickly became an industry expert. His vision and ability to nurture relationships has led to long-term solutions and success for both BMO and the Aboriginal community. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation and growth, Mark consistently ranks among the champions within BMO.

Pamela Zabarylo, Treasurer 
Partner, Tax
KPMG LLP (Toronto, ON)

Pam is a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation of Golden Lake, Ontario.

Pam has over 24 years of professional experience with KPMG, including 21 years in the tax practice. She is currently a tax partner in KPMG’s Consumer Industrial Markets group and serves as the leader of KPMG’s internal National Tax Accounting and Audit Support Group. She is also a leader in KPMG’s Tax Management Consulting practice.

Pam specializes in Canadian corporate income tax planning and compliance for Canadian public companies and Canadian subsidiaries of foreign multinationals. Her experience includes acquisition, financing and structuring of investments in and outside of Canada and reorganization and re-financing of existing corporate structures.

As the leader of the National Tax Accounting and Support Group, Pam is also responsible for addressing complex tax accounting matters in the application of IFRS, Canadian and US GAAP and developing KPMG’s internal training with respect to tax accounting matters. She has extensive experience servicing public companies in the financial services, industrial markets and consumer markets industries.

As a leader in KPMG’s Tax Management Consulting practice, she is involved with assisting companies implement technology solutions for the tax function, including tax provision software.

Pam has been involved with CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses since May 2014. She is a Board member, Chair of the Finance Committee and Treasurer and Member of the Executive Committee. CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses is a charitable organization created in 2001 to address a major gap in Ontario’s healthcare human resources strategy. Over 3,500 nurses from more than 140 countries have accessed services and supports at CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses since 2001.