Our Team

Our combined industry experience and knowledge give us the ability to make sound, well-founded business decisions to encourage success in Canada’s natural resource development.

 

Steel River Group’s leadership team brings a unique perspective backed by years of experience, that links a wide array of knowledge in the construction, heavy civil, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries.

Steel River Group

Trent Fequet

Trent Fequet

President and CEO

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Fequet has held senior leadership roles with some of Western Canada’s largest pipeline, infrastructure and mining companies. These experiences have allowed him to develop a robust network of industry contacts across Canada, as well as a deep understanding of what matters most in business: People.

 

A proud Aboriginal business professional, Mr. Fequet founded Steel River Group based on the belief that there has never been a better time to align the needs of industry with value for Indigenous people and communities. As President and CEO, Mr. Fequet guides Steel River Group’s overall direction while ensuring that all members of the Steel River family have the support they need to grow and succeed.

 

He is deeply committed to encouraging the personal and professional success of the Steel River Group team through mentorship, support, inspiration and coaching.
Trent is proud of his Aboriginal heritage and commitment to Indigenous people and communities. Throughout his career, he has worked as an effective collaborator, connecting both Indigenous and non-Indigenous companies and communities under shared values, beliefs, and visions.

Nick Pentelichuk, P. Eng

Nick Pentelichuk, P. Eng

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Pentelichuk has more than a decade of experience in Western Canada’s pipeline industry where he’s successfully led major pipeline projects, expertly applying technical leadership, project management and industry best practices. Mr. Pentelichuk holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and believes deeply in the importance of people and relationships in building thriving businesses.

 

In his role with Steel River Group, Mr. Pentelichuk guides growth of the organization, ensuring it continues to develop as a safe and outstanding place to work. He believes great opportunities can be uncovered by encouraging further connections between industries in need of skilled workers, and Indigenous communities looking for engagement in industry development.

 

Mr. Pentelichuk is passionate about supporting the personal and professional development of Steel River Group employees and enjoys participating in mentorship opportunities to assist those new to the industry in growing their knowledge and skills.

Dan Forigo

Dan Forigo

Chief Corporate Officer

Mr. Forigo has leveraged an extensive background in finance, business development and operations to achieve continued success in leadership roles within the energy and construction industries. Experience in international financial markets and roles with construction industry leaders where he made significant contributions to acquisition and growth efforts, aboriginal relations development, and operational effectiveness, along with a Degree in Economics from the Haskayne School of Business, inform his approach.

 

In his role with Steel River Group Mr. Forigo combines his proven understanding of the industry landscape and his business instincts and experience to develop and deploy Steel River Group’s multidisciplinary, integrated approach to construction.
Mr. Forigo also serves as a Governor with the Canadian Energy Executive Association (CEEA), Executive Committee of the Calgary Flames Ambassadors Program as Treasurer and a long standing Calgary Stampede Courtesy Car Committee volunteer. He applies this same passion for improving and empowering community in his work with Steel River Group and their Indigenous partners.

Robert Smith

Robert Smith

Vice President, Finance

Mr. Smith brings 25 years of progressive experience in finance and operations management with organizations both large and small. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and obtained a CA designation while at KPMG before transitioning his career into industry.

As Vice President of Finance, Mr. Smith leads financial strategy and accountability with a focus on ethics, efficiency and equitable success for all ecosystem partners, and provides guidance and support regarding financial best practice and governance.

Mr. Smith is driven by a commitment to positioning Steel River Group to best empower Indigenous people and communities, alongside their alliance partners, to achieve increasing economic success and meaningful opportunity for generations to come.

Kelsy Kading

Kelsy Kading

Executive Vice President

Mr. Kading has held a number of senior executive roles in the modular construction industry, and most recently served as Aboriginal and Community Engagement Manager for one of the general construction contractors on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. In this role, he honed his planning
and strategic execution skills, especially as they relate to maximizing employment and procurement opportunities throughout the pipeline corridor.

As Steel River Group’s Executive Vice President, Mr. Kading ensures that collaborations with alliance partners, clients, and Indigenous communities are a strategic fit—taking into account all parties’ needs—and then aligning them within SRG’s vision. In addition to his focus on implementing SRG’s ecosystem model, Mr. Kading brings his supportive and collaborative leadership to SRG’s development, marketing, strategic direction, and community initiatives.

Mr. Kading’s ability to learn and collaborate with Indigenous communities is one of the key drivers that make him such an effective connector for all of Steel River Group’s key stakeholders.

Peter Timmins

Peter Timmins

Vice President, Corporate Services

Mr. Timmins brings a wealth of operations knowledge and experience to Steel River Group, having previously held the position of Vice President, Operations at a notable engineering firm as well as a role as Business Operations Manager of a pipeline construction company. He holds a BSc. in Biology from the University of Alberta, a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Victoria and an MBA in Executive Management from Royal Roads University.

As Vice President, Corporate Services with Steel River Group, Mr. Timmins informs the planning process to ensure strategies, policies and procedures align with and support business operations. He also manages operational oversight regarding records, corporate property and administration, as well as the human resources, organizational development and information technology/systems departments.

Mr. Timmin’s passion for people inspired him to join the Steel River team, a culture founded on leadership he characterizes as inspirational. He enjoys helping people realize their potential, develop their skills and progress through their careers and sees tremendous opportunity for Indigenous communities to engage with industry resulting in increased employment and lasting socioeconomic benefit.

Trevor Delorey

Trevor Delorey

Vice President, Special Projects
Ralph Wieler

Ralph Wieler

Director, QHSE
Derek Riewe, CPA CGA

Derek Riewe, CPA CGA

Controller

Mr. Riewe has proven experience in various financial roles including joint venture, tax, procurement and project accounting, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta before receiving his CGA and CPA in 2010.

As Controller with Steel River Group, Mr. Riewe provides efficient and effective accounting leadership to all of SRG’s operating companies. His passion for providing financial support and leadership to operations, mentorship to co-workers, and an entrepreneurial drive, well aligned with SRG’s culture, inform his approach.

Having been raised in rural Northern Alberta, he has first-hand understanding that success of a community is contingent on all stakeholders caring about one another, including companies operating as part of the community, and is proud to support SRG in creating projects that result in ongoing positive relationships, opportunities, support and pride for all parties.

Kevan Mikkelsen

Kevan Mikkelsen

Finance Supervisor

As Finance Supervisor, Kevan assists Steel River Group’s CFO with all accounting operations. Committed to contributing to the organization’s success, he is working towards his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation to add to a BBA degree.

 

Kevan is especially excited about working with Steel River Group in its early growth phase to mature and succeed right alongside it. With their guidance and expertise, he hopes he and his coworkers can make a lasting and meaningful impact on the Indigenous communities that Steel River works with.

 

Leaning on his strong work ethic, willingness to learn, and experience as a cost controller on major pipeline construction projects, Kevan intends to implement efficient and effective company operations that benefit the Steel River team and its customers.

Shay Jacobson

Shay Jacobson

Marketing & Media Manager

Shay graduated from Mount Royal University in 2017 with a BBA in Marketing and is passionate about implementing creative thinking, design, analysis and communication to help companies build their brand through their history, experiences and company culture.   Shay balanced University and a career in the oil and gas industry for over 4 years as a marketing professional. Her primary responsibilities included website design, marketing communication, creation of promotional material, brand development, social media management, and event planning.

 

Working closely with Indigenous communities inspired Shay to be a part of Steel River Group and to help build their brand around their people, the communities and its unique business eco-system.

Jenna Klit

Jenna Klit

Culture and Labour Relations Lead

As the Culture and Labour Relations Lead, Jenna develops and supports objectives which lead to a high-performance, employee orientated culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity and the ongoing development of a superior workforce. Jenna’s passion to provide best in class support balanced with advocacy for employees is demonstrated day in and day out.

 

Prior to Steel River Group, Jenna worked in the Supply Chain and Logistics Industry performing a wide range of HR related duties as an HR Generalist, delivering support with employee relations, disability management, performance management, labour relations, recruitment and training, and development.

 

Jenna was inspired to join Steel River Group because of the “we choose to care” culture and the opportunity to work with an experienced team in a collaborative environment.

Kirk Poitras

Kirk Poitras

Indigenous Relations & Business Development Lead

Kirk Poitras, the Indigenous Relations and Business Development Lead, manages SRG’s relationships with industry. Kirk is motivated to see indigenous communities become self-sufficient and financially successful by being able to offer them more sustainable employment avenues. He wants our people to succeed in every aspect of life.

 

Kirk has a background in Chemical Engineering Technology as well as Pipeline Operations. He also worked with Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3 in business development, ATCO Energy Solutions as a Commercial and Marketing Rep and with BP Canada Energy as a Logistics and Marketing Analyst.

Deanna Fequet

Deanna Fequet

Corporate Social Responsibility

As Corporate Social Responsibility Lead, Deanna’s responsibilities are to ensure Steel River Group remains connected to the community in a culturally appropriate manner, by instilling and communicating Steel River Group’s values, ethics and standards in a professional manner over social media platforms.

 

Deanna graduated with a Degree in Criminal Justice and has worked closely with many families in the Calgary region as a youth development worker and then as a caseworker for Child and Family Services. She worked collaboratively with Calgary Police Service, Alberta Health Services Alberta, and Alberta Justice in a multi-disciplinary approach conducting investigations to determine outcomes for child abuse cases.

 

Deanna is excited to be part of such an inclusive company and culture that will bring success to people, projects, First Nations and Steel River Group. She believes that we are in an industry and time that allows for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together and conclude projects with a better understanding of what is required to formulate a successful future.

Amy Capewell

Amy Capewell

Corporate Service Coordinator

Steel River Solutions

Greg Fontaine

Greg Fontaine

Vice President and General Manager

With nearly three decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, Greg has completed projects with values in excess of $200-million and direct responsibility of over 700 staff. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, taking courses and training in areas such as management, negotiating, leadership, and safety.

 

Having worked in many areas of the pipeline industry, from construction bidding through final reclamation to inspection and restoration, Greg gained comprehensive project knowledge and exceptional and unique industry expertise. His ability to understand the different perspectives of all Steel River Group stakeholders—from new team members to senior executives—allows him to identify, create, and realize new synergies and opportunities.

 

Greg is inspired by Steel River Group’s dedication to bridging the gaps that have traditionally existed between Indigenous communities and resource industries. He understands the need for capable individuals and opportunity and is driven by a desire to create balance through collaboration.

Mike Runcer

Mike Runcer

Director of Construction

Having worked in the pipeline and construction industry for more than two decades, Mike brings a wealth of experience to Steel River Group.

 

As Steel River Solutions Director of Construction, Mike uses his outstanding team leadership, project management, and problem-solving abilities to oversee the growth of Steel River’s crew for project bids, all while ensuring quality, productivity, and efficiency. Mike is passionate about supporting both the management and construction teams at Steel River Group and believes that the strength of the company lies in its strong culture and connections between all staff members.

 

As a First Nations professional, Mike is motivated to help Indigenous communities achieve greater success through increased opportunities for education and industry experience. He is inspired by a vision of building not only pipelines but also successful companies that will foster greater well-being for Indigenous communities and people across Western Canada.

Jim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy

Operations Manager, Major Projects

Jim has spent over 25 years in the oil and gas industry mainly working for 3 of the largest pipeline contractors in Canada. Early in his career he worked alongside various foremen learning the trade as he progressed to working directly with senior executives on critical, complex and sensitive issues. He realizes that a key to successful projects requires transparency and being involved through the entire project lifecycle.  This includes being hands on during execution in respect to Safety, Construction, Quality, Environment and Project Controls.His work experience combined with formal education have developed Jim into an exceptional leader, managing projects and people while taking the time to train new and younger colleagues.

 

Jim was inspired to join Steel River Group due to the vision of the organization and the people. He’s passionate about building relationships and trust and is determined to play a role in bridging the cultural gap within Indigenous communities and organizations. Jim believes that once a trusting relationship is developed with coworkers, clients and within communities, there is no ceiling to what can be achieved.

Dave “Davey” d’Oliveira

Dave “Davey” d’Oliveira

Procurement Manager

As Procurement Manager, Davey assists in the analysis of project needs to guide Steel River Group’s project submittals. He is highly regarded among peers for his unwavering work ethic, leadership, and integrity.

 

Passionate about relationships, Davey strives to understand and bring together the various perspectives of Steel River’s staff, partners, and industry stakeholders. He focuses on building a solid network rooted in mutual respect. Before joining Steel River, Davey gained a broad array of industry experience in the past 21 years, working his way up through positions ranging from labourer to foreman, before moving into project management. He brings over 12 years of purchasing experience to his current role and uses this knowledge to ensure Steel River provides reliable, efficient, and high-quality services.

 

Davey recognizes the tremendous value and possibilities when industry and Indigenous communities work in tandem towards a shared goal. He is driven by a vision to see Indigenous communities and individuals be recognized for their experience and knowledge—a future based on greater prosperity and shared benefits for all parties.

Christopher Pittman

Christopher Pittman

Project Controls Manager
Curt Combs

Curt Combs

Quality Assurance Manager
Kendall Smith

Kendall Smith

Health and Safety Manager
O.J. Zawaski

O.J. Zawaski

Environmental Lead

Steel River Water

Todd Wingenbach

Todd Wingenbach

Vice President

As Vice President of Steel River Water, Todd brings over 20 years of management and superintendent experience in the pipeline industry and has successfully owned and operated businesses in equipment rentals and water fluid services.

 

Todd was inspired to join Steel River Group because of the vision of the company, team atmosphere and people. Todd looks forward to providing Steel River Water his experience and expertise to build and support a successful fluid transfer business and to utilize his leadership skills and tools to help other employees and Indigenous communities become successful.

 

Jared Brack

Jared Brack

Operations Manager

Steel River Equipment

Tyson Eckess

Tyson Eckess

Vice President and General Manager

Mr. Eckess comes to Steel River Group after more than 15 years with a long standing civil construction company where he excelled in equipment management, building vendor relationships, and also developed an appreciation for the qualities required of a good leader – drive, accountability, honesty, fairness, respect and caring – the core of Steel River Group’s values. He is a Certified Equipment Manager through the Association of Equipment Management Professionals and also holds certification in Organizational Leadership through Queens University and Business Leadership for Technical Professionals through the University of Alberta.

As Vice President & General Manager, of Steel River Equipment, Mr. Eckess is responsible for ERP system development, asset utilization, equipment procedures and procurement strategy for heavy and light equipment.

As someone who has lived in Indigenous communities, Mr. Eckess is proud to support SRG in its vision of empowering Indigenous communities to acquire and realize new skills, new jobs and new beginnings.

BACKWOODS ENERGY