PACIFIC FUTURE ENERGY HAS ASSEMBLED A GLOBAL TEAM TO BUILD A REFINERY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA’S NORTHWEST THAT WILL PROTECT CANADA’S WEST COAST FROM THE THREAT OF A HEAVY OIL OR BITUMEN SPILL.
Our team believes that by shipping refined petroleum products rather than heavy oil, the environmental impacts of any potential spill will be significantly diminished, helping to protect one of the most unspoiled and diverse environments in the world.
This is critical for both Canada’s environment and its economy.
All of Canada’s oil should not have to be shipped to a foreign country to refine into value-added products. Canadians should be able to do at least some of this here, in Canada, to the highest standards in the world, while protecting our coast from a catastrophic oil spill.
WHO WE ARE
Executive Chairman – Samer F. Salameh
Samer F. Salameh has more than 25 years experience as a senior executive in the United States, Latin America and the Middle East.
He is known in the international Business Development field as a distinguished strategist, a turn-around specialist, and a broker of multi-billion dollar deals.
Most recently, Mr. Salameh managed new business development at Grupo Salinas, a multi-billion-dollar industrial conglomerate operating in 11 countries. He led the deployment of one of the largest greenfield fibre-optics infrastructure projects in the world.
Previously he was the CEO of Prodigy Communications (the US internet pioneer) which he took public as 1999’s biggest tech IPO on NASDAQ.
With PFEC, Mr. Salameh is a cofounder and an investor, as well as the executive chairman.
He holds a masters degree in international business from the Fletcher School and a BS in management and economics from Polytechnic University. He is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.
President and Chief Operating Officer – Jacques Benoit
Jacques Benoit leads our engineering and permitting initiatives. He’s an environmental engineer, and a certified environmental practitioner, key strengths as we move forward to build the world’s greenest refinery.
He has more than 35 years experience in the environmental and oil/gas engineering fields in Canada and internationally.
Mr. Benoit has demonstrated experience overseeing large projects, building teams, and growing business. He served as senior vice-president for the environmental and water division of SNC-Lavalin, with revenue in excess of $200 million, and managing a staff of 1,200. He is also the author of many industry publications.
Board Member and Senior Strategic Advisor – Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is a Hereditary Chief from BC‘s Ahousaht First Nation. Traditional teachings have guided him to serve First Nations as a leader, facilitator, mediator, planner, and teacher.
A former co-chair of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Counci, he was elected as BC Regional Chief in 2009, and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 2009 and 2012.
A tireless national advocate for First Nations education, he continues to make education a priority with academic appointments at Vancouver Island University and the University of Toronto. He is also the Chair of Reconciliation Canada.
As an entrepreneur, A-in-chut fouses on empowering First Nations to build sustainable development based on rights, title, and treaty rights.
Senior Advisor, Chair of the Advisory Committee – Stockwell Day
The Hon. Stockwell Day, PC, is Canada’s former minister of international trade, minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and regional minister for BC. He was also the leader of Canada’s Official Opposition (2000-2001). Before that he served as treasurer (minister of finance) and acting premier of Alberta.
Mr. Day serves on a number of corporate boards and NGOs, including Telus, RCI Capital, Western One Equity, Baylin Technologies, AWZ Ventures, the International Federation of Christians and Jews, the Canada-India Business Council, the Canada-China Business Council (vice-chair), and the Council on Jewish and Israel Affairs. He also serves as a Distinguished Fellow for the Asia Pacific Foundation.
Senior Strategic Advisor – Mark Marissen
Over the past two decades, Mark Marissen has provided strategic advice and public-consultation services to major public entities and infrastructure projects.
Key clients have included the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Fraser River Port Authority, the Vancouver Airport Authority, Council of Forest Industries, BC Ferries, CIBC World Markets, the Metro Vancouver SkyTrain Extension Project, and the Richmond Airport-Vancouver Canada Line SkyTrain transit project.
A noted political strategist, Mr. Marissen served as national campaign co-chair for the Liberal Party of Canada in the 2008 national election, and has served as a political strategist for many other campaigns at federal, provincial and local levels.
Chief Investment Officer — Jeremy Friesen
Jeremy Friesen has worked in global commodity markets for over a decade, including almost three years in Hong Kong for France’s SG CIB and almost seven years in New York for Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s leading commodity investment banks. His work included advising large institutional clients such as hedge funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds across the Americas, Europe and Asia.
His decade in commodities came after more than six years as an economist for RBC Capital Markets in Toronto and the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. Jeremy has a business degree from BC’s Trinity Western University and a graduate degree in economics from McGill University.
Senior Strategic Advisor – Heather Squire
Heather Squire is an experienced negotiator, mediator, strategist, and facilitator with extensive background in strategic partnerships and business investments, engagement, communications, and policy analysis and development.
Heather has spent the majority of the last 18 years in the political environment supporting and working with/for First Nations locally, regionally, provincially, and nationally.
Heather continues to strive to develop innovative approaches and strategies to build strong and meaningful partnerships that support, respect, and empower First Nations and that recognize economic and social systems grounded in and driven by rights and title and treaty rights.
Executive Vice-President, Business and Legal Affairs – Jean-Philippe Gagné
Jean-Philippe Gagné has expertise in the development and financing of large complex infrastructure projects.
He has most recently participated in the closing of investments in multi-billion-dollar projects in Canadian social infrastructure, transportation and energy projects.
He joined Pacific Future energy after three years with SNC-Lavalin Capital, involved in the development, closing and implementation of infrastructure projects under public-private partnership (PPP) modes. Before joining SNC-Lavalin Capital, he was a member of the external legal team advising sponsors and proponents on Canadian PPP projects.
Mr. Gagné is a lawyer and a business-savvy person focused on results and adding value to projects and teams delivering them.
Vice-President, Finance – Dennis Cojuco
Dennis Cojuco is a graduate of the University of BC and is a chartered accountant. He articled with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and worked primarily in the mining practice, where he assisted clients in public financing, mergers and acquisitions, public company reporting and other areas.
Prior to joining Pacific Future Energy, he worked in senior accounting capacities with mining companies, both in the production and exploration stage.
He serves as a director of the Enspire Foundation. He received numerous awards for his charitable achievements including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC’s community service award and the PwC Canada Foundation’s volunteer recognition program.
VICE-PRESIDENT, PARTNERSHIPS AND SUSTAINABILITY – David Coles
Dave Coles is President Emeritus and a founding member of Unifor, Canada’s newest and largest private sector trade union.
Mr. Coles was previously the longest serving President of the Canadian Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP), which represented 30,000 energy workers who worked in the bitumen sands and many refineries in Alberta.
Mr. Coles has fought for many environmental causes, and led campaigns for Canada’s natural resources to be processed in Canada. He has also spoken internationally on energy, environmental, and labour issues.
Senior Advisor, Japan – Junichi Tsuji
Junichi Tsuji’s career spans four decades and multiple continents, most recently as CEO for Middle East with the Itochu Corporation, a top Japanese trading house with major worldwide energy holdings.He was integral to aligning national energy interests. Earlier, as general manager of the chemical plant department, he helped raise more than US$2.5 billion for the financing of the Barracuda and Caratinga Offshore Oil Project in Brazil in 2000.
Tsuji-san is fluent in English and French along with his native Japanese. An alumnus of Lausanne University, he is regarded as a skilled expert in his field amongst Japanese engineering companies and trading firms.
Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs – Andrea R. Sarkic
Andrea Sarkic has a decade of public-affairs experience, having served former federal ministers of natural resources, labour and transport, and the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister.
Ms. Sarkic has advised Fortune 500 clients, including Valero Energy, as a government- relations professional. She had a focus on regulatory and transportation issues, including standards around the transportation of dangerous goods, environmental/agricultural regulatory concerns, and labour relations.
Ms. Sarkic has represented Canadian business interests on three trade missions to China (Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing) and Southeast Asia in co-operation with a Canadian NGO, as well as energy companies such as Talisman and Petronas.
Director, Financial Analysis – Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith graduated from British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance.
While at Simon Fraser he gained experience in the finance industry through a series of internships at Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments and GE Capital.
Ryan, as part of the commercial team at Pacific Future energy, provides strategic research and financial analysis. He’s an avid mountain biker and snowboarder and on weekends can usually be found on one of the many mountains in British Columbia.
Director, Communications – Don MacLachlan
Donald MacLachlan moved into public and media relations after a 33-year career in Canadian journalism (last stop: managing editor of The Province newspaper in Vancouver). He was also the founding editor of the websites of The Province and The Vancouver Sun, and was a member of the BC Press Council.
Before joining PFEC, Don served as director of public relations for the Fraser Health Authority (BC’s largest) and as director of public affairs and media relations for Simon Fraser University (30,000 students). He also brought to PFEC more than 2½ years of daily social-media curation in BC’s natural-resource sector. Email
Project Coordinator – Hayley Lau
A graduate of the University of BC, Hayley Lau is experienced in administration, project coordination, managing government bids and tenders and overseeing diverse consulting projects, in Canada, North America and internationally.
Prior to joining PFEC, Ms. Lau worked with SNC-Lavalin, Canada Health Infoway and the Rhombus International Hotels Group.
She is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and has provided recruitment and placement services, including the analysis and evaluation of corporate personnel demographics relating to recruitment practices.
Controller – Emily Flores
Emily Flores is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has held progressive accounting and finance roles with public and private companies.
She has responsible for regulatory reporting, budgeting, and financial planning for resource-sector companies. She joined the Pacific Future Energy team as controller in May 2015.
She has contributed to the development of corporate-control policies designed to mitigate risk and enhance the accounting operations of the company.
Commercial Business Development Manager (China) — Szamantha Lim
As commercial business development manager for Chinese relations at Pacific Future Energy, Szamantha Lim coordinates with potential Asian clients and facilitates the smooth exchange of important information.
Her areas of focus include relationship-building, logistics, planning and company research.
Having grown up in the Philippines, she moved to Vancouver to attend the University of BC. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2014.
Her interests include travelling, biking and trying new restaurants.