Pinnacle’s management team has a combined 35 years of experience in the wood pellet industry and more than 125 years of experience in the industrial sector. The team has a track record of driving growth in production, productivity, and profitability while maintaining industry-leading safety standards.
Robert McCurdy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Renewable Energy in August 2012. Mr. McCurdy’s international career has spanned the chemical, construction materials and mining industries in Canada, the United States, Asia and Europe in successively senior roles. Prior to joining Pinnacle, Mr. McCurdy spent more 12 years with LafargeHolcim Ltd., a leading global producer of building materials. Most recently, he was the firm’s Managing Director for India, overseeing 80 manufacturing plants nationwide in a fast-growing market. Prior to this, Mr. McCurdy was based in Paris where he served as LafargeHolcim’s Corporate Vice President of Quality, Manufacturing and Vertical Integration. Mr. McCurdy earned his Bachelor of Science with Honors from Queens University in 1980.
Leroy Reitsma joined Pinnacle Renewable Energy in 2007 and was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer in May 2011. Mr. Reitsma is focused on the development and operation of high-performance production and logistical assets, and led the development of the Company’s production and terminal facilites. In his role as President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Reitsma is also a director of Lavington Pellet Inc., Smithers Pellet Inc., and Houston Pellet Inc. He is a Certified Professional Accountant (CMA) with 18 years of experience in the forest products industry prior to joining Pinnacle, including 12 years with Canfor Corporation in various operational, management and finance roles.
Andrea Johnston was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Pinnacle in March 2017. She has an extensive finance background across several diverse industries, with more than 20 years of experience in CEO, CFO and senior finance roles. Prior to joining Pinnacle, she was Chief Financial Officer of Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA, a 3D modelling software firm focused on the natural resources sector. Prior to that, she served as Chief Financial Officer of NGRAIN, a provider of 3D simulation software. Ms. Johnston also served in senior positions at B.C. Hydro and Transmission Corporation, a large power utility, and NxtPhase T&D Corporation, a technology leader in providing patented products to the electric power industry. She is a Director of Bionic Power Inc. and sits on the Advisory Board for Sustainable Business for CPA Canada. Ms. Johnston is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA), a Certified Public Accountant (Illinois), a Chartered Business Valuator, and earned her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration from the University of British Columbia.
Scott Bax was appointed Senior Vice President, Operations of Pinnacle in August 2013. He is responsible for the safe and cost-effective production of quality wood pellets from Pinnacle’s facilities. Prior to joining Pinnacle, Mr. Bax acquired more than 20 years of forestry experience in various logging and wood manufacturing operations throughout Canada and the United States. Prior to Pinnacle, Scott was the Manager of Cedar Manufacturing Operations for Interfor Corporation, a large North American forest products company. He also managed a start-up logging company in Louisiana, and was a performance improvement management consultant specializing in the forest sector. Mr. Bax holds an MBA as well as a Master of Forestry from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Science (Environment) from the University of Guelph Recognized as a leader in pellet safety and operations, Scott was included by Argus Media in the Top 36 Most Influential Leaders in the Biomass Industry in 2016. Scott has served as the Chair of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s Safety Committee since 2014.
Vaughan Bassett was appointed Senior Vice President, Sales and Logistics of Pinnacle in May 2011. He is responsible for Pinnacle’s wood pellet marketing, sustainability, sales, and logistics (including the Westview Terminal), and leads the development of the Company’s export markets. Mr. Bassett has an extensive international career in the forest products industry, having spent almost 20 years with Sappi, a global pulp and paper company. As the executive in charge of their worldwide pulp sales, he was stationed in Hong Kong for 10 years with Sappi Trading. He has also taught export management and international logistics at Humber business school in Toronto, and started up his own green business in British Columbia. Mr. Bassett is a director and Vice President of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. and a director of the CME-BC. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Natal and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, both in South Africa.
Erin Strong was appointed Director of Human Resources of Pinnacle in July 2016. She has more than 15 years of leadership experience in the human resources field. Prior to joining Pinnacle, Ms. Strong served as Director of Human Resources at the Mark Anthony Group, a leading alcoholic beverage supplier, for more than 10 years. She also previously worked at Tolko Industries, a privately-owned forest products company, where she served as a Human Resource Advisor. Ms. Strong earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a diploma in Human Resource Management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is a certified Human Resource Professional in Canada (HRPA designation).
Ranj Sangra was appointed General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Pinnacle in July 2018. He is responsible for the Company’s legal, compliance, and corporate governance functions. Mr. Sangra joins Pinnacle from Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers where he served most recently as Vice President, Legal Affairs. In this senior management position, he led contract negotiations and corporate affairs, and played an integral role in M&A activities and oversaw corporate governance matters. Prior to Ritchie Bros., Mr. Sangra was Legal Counsel at CHC Helicopter Corporation. Prior thereto, he was an Associate at McCarthy Tetrault LLP in Vancouver, B.C. Mr. Sangra earned his J.D. from the University of Toronto and holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia.
Pinnacle currently operates seven wood pellet production facilities throughout western Canada, and one production facility in Alabama. Pinnacle’s Canadian production facilities are all located on major rail lines allowing for efficient rail transport to one of two ocean shipping terminals on the B.C. coast: Pinnacle’s wholly-owned Westview terminal in Prince Rupert, and the Fibreco Terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The Alabama production facility utilizes inland waterways to cost-effectively transport pellets for ocean shipping via the Port of Mobile on the U.S. Gulf Coast.