Backwoods Energy Services announces new CEO and Board of Directors

Alexis Nakota Sioux Chief Tony Alexis

(Edmonton) – Backwoods Energy Services (Backwoods), one of the largest diversified Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new CEO, Michael Heck, and five new appointments to their board of directors. These new appointments come as former President and CEO Paul Poscente has announced his departure from Backwoods after seven years at the helm of the company.

Incoming CEO Michael (Mike) Heck joins the Backwoods team with over 35 years of experience in construction, pipelines, utilities, upstream and downstream oil and gas as well as manufacturing and logistics. Over the course of his career, Mike has worked with multinationals (both private and publicly traded) and local organizations on growth strategies and organizational development, managing and developing businesses with market caps over $1 billion. His journey has taken him across North America, as well as stints in manufacturing in Asia and Europe. Mike is passionate about participating and ensuring the success of Indigenous companies and this has been a significant part of his career, including his work in the Arctic and throughout Western Canada.

“I am thrilled to be welcoming Mike in as our new CEO and am encouraged by his vision and tenacity to continue to grow Backwoods, building on the legacy that outgoing CEO Paul Poscente established during his time here,” said Chief Tony Alexis of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, owners of Backwoods.

“Paul was instrumental in growing Backwoods from a small tree planting business into the regional juggernaut it is today. I want to take this opportunity to thank Paul for all of his hard work and the terrific progress and growth we saw under his leadership, both economically and socially, and welcome Mike aboard the Backwoods team.”

Under former President and CEO Paul Poscente, Backwoods and the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation (the Nation) enjoyed significant growth and success. Under his leadership, Backwoods has achieved an annual compounded growth rate of 111 per cent, with revenues approaching $200 million. Economic benefits flowing to the Nation have grown by 1110 per cent, and Indigenous employment in the area has increased by 800 per cent. The Nation also achieved 100 per cent ownership of Backwoods with Paul at the helm, making Backwoods one of the largest Indigenous-owned businesses in the country. While CEO, Paul was the primary architect in structuring, negotiating and financing the transaction that saw six First Nations acquire a significant ownership position in the $1.5 billion Cascade Power Project. He also established Indigenous first-time home ownership, entrepreneurship and career advancement initiatives while in this position.

Joining incoming CEO Mike Heck and Directors Don Kootenay and Reg Cardinal will be five new board members: Brittany Earl, Tom Redl, Harvey Sheydwasser, Erick M. Hamdan, and new Board Chair John MacNutt. The quality, profile and experience of these individuals joining the Backwoods Board of Directors is a testament to the quality and profile of the business that has been built, and Backwoods could not be more excited to have all of them coming aboard.

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