"The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do." — Andrew Carnegie

Directors

The Durum Team

Analysts

Jay Simmons (Chairman and CEO)

Jay began his career at Deloitte & Touch where he earned a Chartered Accountant designation and focused on Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring in the Financial and Special Services Department. He went on to build his own private holding company, Simmons Financial Holdings Corp., a personal holding company that takes an active role in a portfolio of businesses that require either financial restructuring or patient and active capital to fund new ventures. Jay has been involved in the creation and growth of several operating companies, both public and private. As part of a turnaround, Jay served as Chairman of Simple Power, a private Texas-based retail power provider from 2007 to 2011. From 2009 to 2011, Jay served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Palko Environmental Ltd., a publicly traded company providing waste management and resource recovery solutions to the oil and gas industry. Previous to these operating roles, Jay was President of ENTx Capital Corporation, a private equity firm focused on investments in the power industry.

 

Jay often takes an active role in management and sits on all the Board of his investment companies. Among sitting on many Board of Directors, Jay also serves as CEO and Director of Spruce Ridge Capital Inc., which has 927 acres of development lands and Foundation Place Capital Inc., holding 10,000 sqft of development land in downtown Calgary. Jay also serves as Chairman for Cube Lease Inc., a private software development company providing proprietary data visualizations for various real estate markets and director for WindRiver Power Corp, a private renewable power developer, and Simmons Edeco Inc., a private international land based drilling contractor.

 

Jay is an active director and believes that quality governance is crucial, therefore he obtained his ICD.D designation in 2014. Jay earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Dalhousie University.

Robert (Bob) Brawn

Bob’s career began in 1958 as a chemical engineer for Mobil Oil. In 1960, he moved on to International Drilling Fluids, where he managed the research and development of new products. In 1965, Bob began the entrepreneurial segment of his career by launching S&L Refineries Ltd., which was involved in gasoline marketing and oil recycling – later to become Turbo Resources. As President and CEO, Bob grew Turbo Resources from $1 million in sales to over $500 million in 12 years. After Turbo, Bob lead and grew a number of successful companies including Merland Exploration, Bankeno Mines, OMV Canada, Grande Cache Coal and Acclaim Energy Trust. Bob is currently the President of 1573568 Alberta Ltd., a private investment company.

 

Bob sits on the Board of Directors for Black Diamond Group Ltd., Van Horne Institute, and Spruce Ridge Capital Inc. He also served as director for many private and public companies, including ATB Financial, United Communities Ltd., Churchill Development Ltd., the Calgary Olympic Organizing Committee and the Calgary Airport Authority. Over the last 20 years he has co-chaired the Calgary Economic Development Authority, chaired the Calgary Winter Festival Foundation, and sat on the advisory council to the University of Calgary. Bob was also the President of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada, Alberta Economic Development Authority, LCol. of 746 (Calgary) Communication Squadron and former chairman of the Van Horne Institute.

 

Bob was recognized in 2001 by the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta with a Community Service Award, received the University of Calgary and Bow Valley College’s Distinguished Business Leader Award in 1996, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce's Kay Pringle Memorial Award in 1995, and the Canadian Commemorative Award from the federal government in 1992. Bob is also a member of the Petroleum Hall of Fame and in 2012 he was inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.

Michael McGee

Michael has been investing risk capital in entrepreneurial small and medium enterprise businesses since the early 90’s.    Prior to joining Avrio as a Partner in 2012, Michael spent eight years in senior investment positions at well-known Calgary based family offices, most notably, as Managing Director - Investments with Werklund Capital Corp. and as Executive Vice President - Investments with Cavendish Investing Ltd.    Michael has extensive institutional experience in Mezzanine / Sub-debt financing stemming from his seven years with Bank of Montreal Capital Corporation, where he was recruited at its genesis in 1996 and where as Managing Director, he launched its Western Canadian office in 1997.  Michael was also a Vice President  & Director - Toronto Dominion Bank Capital where he was involved with the launch of Sirrom Capital Canada Inc., a subordinated debt lender owned 40% by TD.

 

Michael sits as a Director on several private and public company boards, as well as on the Portfolio Review Committee of Innovate Calgary and the Finance Committee of the St. Michael Catholic Community.

 

A native of Port Cartier, Quebec, Michael has a Master of Finance degree from Loyola University, Maryland and an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario.

William (Bill) Robinson

Recently retired from Manvest Inc., Bill served as President and a Director for many years. He joined Manvest Inc., a private equity investment company, in 1988. and was responsible for investments and overall management of Manvest. Prior to, Bill was with the Loram Group of companies from 1981-1988 where he held various positions including: Vice President and General Manager of Bowfort Capital, Treasurer of the Loram Group and Manager of Finance for Pembina Resources Ltd. Prior to joining Loram, he worked with Peat Marwick and Partners, an international management consulting firm.

 

Bill is well recognized in the Canadian venture capital and merchant banking community and has participated in many private company financing and acquisitions. He sat on many Boards as a Director with a number of Canadian companies including: Softchoice Corporation, BuildDirect.com Technologies, ENTx Capital Corporation, On-Line Support Inc., Associate Veterinary Clinics, Listen Up Canada, Cross Oilsands Contracting Ltd., A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., Concert Industries, Graf Canada, Invis Financial Group, Lacent Technologies, Simmons Canada Inc., Sleep Country Canada and Landmark Cinemas.

 

Bill also served as a founding Director of AVAC Ltd. and served as a member of the Alberta Economic Development Authority.

Peter Huff

Peter has over 30 years of relevant business experience working in team environments on behalf of a global oilfield service provider, a public manufacturing company, a Calgary-based family wealth office and a professional services firm. Originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Peter joined a high net worth family organization and was instrumental in the formation of a family office, where he was responsible for the financial, operational and administrative functions across a variety of industries including real estate development, hospitality, investment management and ranching.

 

Subsequently, Peter assumed senior financial positions with a public aircraft navigation manufacturer and a global oilfield service company where he gained considerable experience in financing and M&A activities. In his current role, Peter is the Chief Financial Officer of Werklund Capital Corporation, where he is responsible for all financial, treasury, and taxation functions, and investment portfolio support for a high net worth family office.

 

Peter is also a founding member of the Calgary Chapter of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

Judy Rattanavong, Vice President

Judy has been part of the Durum team since its inception and was active in its creation by restructuring the initial portfolio acquired. She now serves as Vice President of Durum and all its subsidiaries. She began her career with Simmons Financial Holdings Corporation (SFHC) in 2007 as a financial analyst and is concurrently the Vice President of the organization. In her time with SFHC, she brings private equity experience including start-ups and turn-arounds. Most recently, Judy actively participated in the restructuring of Spruce Ridge Capital Inc. and Foundation Place Capital Inc. – both real estate holding companies.

 

Along with Durum’s subsidiaries, Judy also serves as the Vice President of Spruce Ridge Capital Inc.; and Vice President and Director for Foundation Place Capital Inc. Judy currently operates and manages over 13 properties including 1,250 acres of development land.

 

Judy obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan with distinction, specializing in Finance and Human Resource Management. She is currently enrolled in the Queen’s University MBA program and will convocate in 2017.

Jenna Truong, Senior Analyst

Jenna has been part of the Durum team since 2013 and serves as Senior Analyst of Durum and all its subsidiaries. She also serves as Senior Analyst with Simmons Financial Holdings Corporation (SFHC) and brings accounting experience, including the reporting and consolidation of portfolio entities, as well as new investment analysis and financial modeling. Most recently, Jenna participated in the acquisition of a mutual fund trust.

 

Jenna obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta, with honors in Chemistry. She obtained her Accounting Diploma from the University of Lethbridge and is a CPA Candidate.

Davin MacIntosh

Davin joined the Durum team in 2015 and brings a vast knowledge of water rights law and policy.  Following the completion of his Bachelor of Laws degree in Calgary, Davin practiced regulatory, planning, and real estate law at one of Canada’s top firms.  His experience as a lawyer includes advising clients on a wide variety of commercial transactions, and particularly transactions that engage planning or environmental issues.

 

In 2007, Davin saw an opportunity to combine his legal experience with a specialty in Alberta’s changing water rights regime and started a company specializing in water issues. He completed a Master of Laws on the subject shortly after. Since that time, Davin has advised parties in the majority of the water rights trades in the Bow River Basin.

 

Davin recently received his MBA from Queen’s University. His Bachelor and Master of Laws are from the University of Calgary and he is an active member of the Law Society of Alberta. Before starting his academic career, Davin was a member of the the national ski team and worked as a ski guide. Davin was also the CEO of a national sport organization and has sat on boards of several not-for- profit corporations.

Karin Finley

Karin is a business executive with 20 years of land investment, acquisition, and development experience, building communities in the Calgary region and representing owners on a variety of real estate projects. Karin led the team at Qualico Communities for Southern Alberta and was part of the creation of over 20 communities in the region. She joined the Durum team in 2015 as she launched her independent consulting practice providing navigation and leadership to the land development process. Her role at Durum provides an innovative approach to land development, bringing together disparate groups for mutual goals benefitting community growth.

 

Karin is active with several boards and not-for- profit organizations. She served on several committees with the industry association, UDI-Calgary, and was the first woman elected to the UDI Board in 2008, then became Chair in 2013-14, leading strategic change, as well as strengthening mandate and membership. Karin also serves as a fundraiser for the RESOLVE Campaign and is a volunteer member of Building Hope for Kids, which she co-created to benefit the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. Karin served on the Calgary International Children’s Festival Board and created a long-term builder partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

 

Educated at the University of Calgary, Karin has a double degree in Civil Engineering (B.Sc.) and Philosophy (B.A.). She has also been recognized as one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40.

Eric Hansen

Eric is the Managing Director at Two Degrees Advisory Group. He has been working with the Durum team since 2015, providing advisory services in the exempt market. He has worked with a dynamic portfolio of companies developing partnerships, corporate finance solutions and securities offerings. Eric has worked within a wide range of industries including; green energy, technology, primary resources and real estate.

 

Eric fosters business partnerships in both private and public sectors and was co-founder of a Boston based advocacy group for technology, which consulted to the FTC, and was covered by the Wall Street Journal (Asia), CNN.com and The New York Times.

 

Prior to attending Grant McEwan College and the University of Calgary, Eric was a Canada Games Athlete and varsity student athlete. His athletic achievements took him to Europe to play professional volleyball in Holland and France. Eric has an active background sitting on charitable boards and volunteering.

Amy Kraemer, Junior Analyst

Amy joined the Durum team in 2015 and serves as a Junior Analyst for Durum and all of its subsidiaries. She brings a unique marketing background to Durum and assists the team with operations, accounting and finance projects.

 

Amy obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Queen’s School of Business where she was recognized on the Dean’s List for academics. Amy took the opportunity to get involved outside of the classroom and has held the position of Sponsorship Director for Queen’s Women in Leadership program.