Westcap Team

The Westcap team has more than a century of investment management expertise.

Westcap team members for the HeadStart on a Home program include:
Nicole Shoaf

Nicole Shoaf

Senior Commercial Lender, HeadStart on a Home

Nicole Shoaf is Senior Commercial Lender for the HeadStart on a Home Program. Ms. Shoaf has more than thirteen years of banking experience and, prior to joining the Westcap team, was part of an asset management team where she managed a $2.5 billion securitized commercial real estate portfolio. Additionally she has extensive experience with syndicated corporate loans and acted as Agent on a $7 billion portfolio.  From 2001 to 2006 Ms. Shoaf worked within the chartered banking system in various roles including corporate syndicated loans and retail and business banking.

Ms. Shoaf is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and holds certificates in Canadian Securities, Investment Administration and Securities (UK), Advanced Operational Risk and Global Operations Management.

 

Marlin Stangeland, CPA, CA

Marlin Stangeland, CPA, CA

Senior Director

Marlin Stangeland is the Senior Director for Westcap with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of private and public ventures. Most of his career has been spent operating his consulting firm through which he undertook a wide variety of projects including managing a $40 million portfolio of investments in small and medium-sized companies, business start-up and expansion projects, corporate turn-a-round assignments as well as founding the BioAccess Commercialization Centre. In 2007 Mr. Stangeland was invited to join the Saskatchewan government and assist as Chief of Staff to the Minister in overseeing portfolios such as the Crown Corporations of Saskatchewan, Enterprise Saskatchewan and First Nations & Métis Relations. Mr. Stangeland holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation and Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan. He is the past Chair for the Parkinson Society of Saskatchewan and currently serves as the Chair of the Investment Committee for Parkinson Canada.

Grant J. Kook, C.Dir.,S.O.M.

Grant J. Kook, C.Dir.,S.O.M.

President/Chief Executive Officer, Director

Grant J. Kook is Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Westcap. Mr. Kook is the co-founder and President and Chief Executive Officer of Cheung On Investments Group Ltd., an international investor syndicated fund. Mr. Kook has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ramada Hotels since 1992. Mr. Kook was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Directors for SaskTel in February 2008. Mr. Kook also sits or has sat on the boards of a number of companies, including Saskatchewan Blue Cross and 3sHealth Shared Services Saskatchewan. He was nominated in 1999 and 2003 for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr. Kook is a Vice President of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and past Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. Mr. Kook was the Chair of the 2013 and 2014 CIS University Cup Men’s Hockey Championship, and a founding board member of the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame.

Mr. Kook is the recipient of the 2013 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and also the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012, and the Commemorative Medal of the Centennial of Saskatchewan, 2005. He is the recipient of the 2014 Saskatoon Tourism Leadership award and has been recognized with the 2013 Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Award for Community Involvement, the 2013 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Volunteer of the Year Award, the 2008 B’nai Brith – We Are Proud of You Award. In 2008, he was named one of Saskatchewan’s Men of Influence by Saskatchewan Business Magazine. He has earned the Chartered Director designation from McMaster University DeGroote School of Business.

 

Douglas W. Banzet

Douglas W. Banzet

Chief Operating Officer, Director

Douglas W. Banzet is the Chief Operating Officer and a director of Westcap. Mr. Banzet has been Director of Finance of Cheung On since 1995. From March 1993 to June 1995, Mr. Banzet was an independent management consultant to a variety of small and medium-sized Saskatchewan businesses. Prior to March 1993, Mr. Banzet held various senior management positions with a number of large Canadian trust companies. Mr. Banzet has over forty years’ experience in the financial service and asset management fields. His experience includes investment valuations of both private and public businesses, feasibility analysis, risk assessment, commercial loan financing, administration, budgeting, planning and management of large commercial loan portfolios. Mr. Banzet also serves as a director of a number of private Canadian companies involved in life sciences, oil and gas exploration, biotech, value added processing, health care, and service industries.

Robert J. Connoly, CFA, CPA, CMA

Robert J. Connoly, CFA, CPA, CMA

Chief Financial Officer

Rob Connoly is the Chief Financial Officer with Westcap. Mr. Connoly has more than 20 years of investment management experience with expertise in real estate investment analysis and market research. Prior to joining the Manager in 2003, Mr. Connoly was with Boston Development Corp. from 1996 to 2003 and Summit Development Group from 1992 to 1994 where he identified and evaluated real estate acquisition opportunities. Mr. Connoly has a strong financial background and his experience includes advising TCU Financial Group from 1994 to 1996 to manage the availability of capital funds and the identification of appropriate market instruments for investment. Mr. Connoly’s background in financial management also includes the assurance of compliance with regulatory boards. Mr. Connoly is a Vice President of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA). Mr. Connoly holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) designation, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan, the CFA Institute, and the CFA Society of Saskatchewan. Mr. Connoly also serves as a director of a number of private Canadian companies involved in the services, infrastructure and value added processing industries.

Wanda Hunchak, CFA, CPA, CMA

Wanda Hunchak, CFA, CPA, CMA

Executive Vice President

Wanda Hunchak holds the office of Vice-President with Westcap. Ms. Hunchak has 20 years of experience investing in Saskatchewan business opportunities. Prior to joining the Manager in 2003, Ms. Hunchak was the manager of client services within the chartered banking system from 1996 to 1998 and managed a commercial credit portfolio from 1998 to 2001. In 2001 she joined Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO) as a venture capital investment analyst and later that year became a senior management consultant with one of Canada's largest agricultural consulting firms. Ms. Hunchak sits on various Committees and Boards and currently serves as Chair of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) Board of Directors, and was a nomination recipient of the 2016 Women of Distinction Leadership and Professions Award. Ms. Hunchak holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) designation, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan, the CFA Institute, and the CFA Society of Saskatchewan.

Darcy Ogrodnick, CPA, CA, B.Comm., MPAcc.

Darcy Ogrodnick, CPA, CA, B.Comm., MPAcc.

Director of Finance

Darcy Ogrodnick has held management positions with various public companies since 2004. From 2008 to 2013, Mr. Ogrodnick provided financial management and reporting services as a consulting Chief Financial Officer for a number of small public companies. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Ogrodnick was the Corporate Accounting Manager for a large heavy construction contractor, where he was a member of the management team responsible for the completion of the company’s initial public offering on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Ogrodnick was the Tax Manager for a large publicly traded income trust in the retail consumer products industry. Prior to 2004, he worked for both international and Saskatchewan-based public accounting firms serving clients in a number of industries. Mr. Ogrodnick holds Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.), and Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc.) designations.  He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan.

Raeleen Mann, B.Comm.

Raeleen Mann, B.Comm.

Communications Director

Ms. Mann has over a decade of experience with Westcap and is responsible for managing and directing a broad range of communication efforts for Westcap and its Funds. She is involved in the strategic planning, development, management and implementation of various shareholder and community initiatives while contributing to the execution of other Westcap programs. Ms. Mann holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) degree in Marketing with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan.

Ashley Quick, B.Comm.

Ashley Quick, B.Comm.

Communications Manager

Ashley Quick joined the Westcap team in the spring of 2016 and is responsible for a broad range of communication efforts. Ashley has 6 years of experience in the field of marketing and communications, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (B.Comm.) from the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the Westcap, she handled the marketing and communications for a large automotive group in Saskatoon. Ashley is competitive by nature and is a world champion fitness competitor, and 4-time provincial curling champion.


Other Westcap team members include:
Jamie B. Schwitzer, CFA

Jamie B. Schwitzer, CFA

Vice President

Jamie Schwitzer holds the office of Vice-President with Westcap. Mr. Schwitzer has over 15 years of investment management experience during which he has developed and implemented rigorous and detailed due diligence processes applicable to a wide range of sectors and investment instruments. Prior to joining the Manager, from 2007, Mr. Schwitzer was a partner with Victoria Park Capital, a private equity firm managing a $400-million-plus portfolio of investments. From 2000 – 2007, Mr. Schwitzer was an investment manager with Crown Capital Partners, a specialty finance company involved in subordinated debt, mezzanine and equity financings across life science, manufacturing, retail and oil and gas sectors. His background also includes managing money market and fixed income investments, public equities, currency trading and asset/liability management with Crown Life Insurance Company. Mr. Schwitzer holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Saskatchewan. Mr. Schwitzer serves as a director of a number of private Canadian companies involved in the retail, manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas services and value added processing industries, as well as a director of Encanto Potash Corp.

Tyler Bradley

Tyler Bradley

Vice President

Tyler Bradley holds the office of Vice-President with Westcap. Mr. Bradley has more than 13 years of investment management experience, with a focus on private company finance. Prior to joining Westcap in 2007, Mr. Bradley was an Investment Analyst for a seed-stage investment fund from 2005 to 2007, where he was responsible for new venture investments and portfolio management. Between 2001 and 2005, Mr. Bradley worked in various corporate finance roles with start-up and growth-stage companies. Mr. Bradley received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan. Mr. Bradley serves as a director of a number of private Canadian companies involved in the oil and gas exploration, agriculture, and software industries.

 

Gavin Preston, CFA

Gavin Preston, CFA

Investment Manager

Gavin Preston has worked in the investment management industry since 2005. He currently is an Investment Manager with Westcap, which he joined in late 2011. His focus is in private equity and venture capital with day-to-day work ranging from sourcing deals, valuation, and negotiation, to due diligence and corporate strategy. Prior to Westcap, Gavin worked for a number of years at a prominent Calgary-based asset management firm. There he worked with and advised high net worth private and institutional investors and also played a key operational role to enhance client service. Gavin is also a founder of a few start-up companies. He received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Calgary in 2004.

 

Myron Johnson, CFA

Myron Johnson, CFA

Investment Manager

Myron Johnson completed his Master in Business Administration with Great Distinction at Queen’s University in 2010. After completing his MBA, Myron worked briefly with a bank-owned retail brokerage firm before transitioning to a privately owned resource-focused boutique investment bank in Calgary, where he spent two years as an analyst/associate, focused on domestic and international junior oil and gas exploration and production companies. While in Calgary, Myron worked on oil and gas financing deal-flow of over $2 billion as well as a number of M&A advisory mandates and projects. Myron is a CFA charter holder and a member of the CFA Society of Saskatchewan.

Graham Friedt

Graham Friedt

Investment Analyst

Graham joined Westcap earlier in 2017 and is responsible for supporting the investment team on current and prospective investments. Prior to joining Westcap, Graham spent three years in business development at a large energy infrastructure company in Calgary. Graham holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance from the University of Calgary and has passed the level I exam in the CFA program.

Jeffrey Leech

Jeffrey Leech

Investment Analyst

Jeffrey joined Westcap earlier in 2017 and is responsible for providing analysis on current portfolio investments and new investment opportunities.  Prior to joining Westcap, Jeffrey worked as an Analyst in the mid-market investment banking group of a Canadian bank in Calgary. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction from the University of Alberta and is a CFA Level II candidate as well as a Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators Level II Student.

Brenda Gessner

Brenda Gessner

Director of Corporate & Community Relations

Ms. Gessner has been with Westcap since its inception and is responsible for the overall administrative management of the office of the President as well as the lead liaison with the Fund’s Board of Directors and sub-committees. Ms. Gessner has over 20 years of office management and administrative experience in the financial and information technology sectors.

Bryan Reiter

Bryan Reiter

IT Project Manager

Bryan Reiter provides a broad range of technical guidance and support to maintain operations and further increase efficiencies in the area of IT infrastructure and communications for Westcap, its inter-related companies and all Funds under management. Mr. Reiter has held senior positions in small and medium-sized corporations as well as technology start-ups. His experience in strategic planning, management, technology and operational improvement benefits companies that are in high-growth, rapid-change and administrative intensive industries. Mr. Reiter is dedicated to the well-being of his community and has served on the executive of several non-profit organizations.

Shayla Romanyshyn

Shayla Romanyshyn

Communications Coordinator

Shayla Romanyshyn joined Westcap in 2014. Ms. Romanyshyn has 5 years of experience in the client services and customer relations industry. She is highly involved in the community with consistent volunteer work with Big Brothers and Sisters of Saskatoon and is a member of the Canadian Cancer Society. Ms. Romanyshyn assists in public relations and marketing initiatives for the funds under management with her strong communication and customer service skills . She is also responsible for providing administrative support to the committee’s and senior management team.

Stacey Kotsanidis, B.Ed.

Stacey Kotsanidis, B.Ed.

Financial Administrative Associate

Ms. Kotsanidis joined the Westcap team in early 2015. She provides administrative support to the Finance team and Executive Office, and is also a liaison with the Fund's Board of Directors and Committees. Prior to joining Westcap, Ms. Kotsanidis graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with distinction and a Bachelor of Education and worked as a Teacher and Educational Assistant in Saskatoon. During her University career, she sat on the Board for the Education Student Society for two years, as the Executive Fundraising Coordinator and Social Representative. Ms. Kotsanidis is currently the Vice-President and one of the co-founders of the Aetos Hellenic Greek Dance group which involves her in various cultural and fundraising events in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Heidi Loth

Heidi Loth

Administrative Assistant

Heidi Loth joined the Westcap team in 2015 as an Administrative Assistant.  In her role, she provides administrative support to team members and is responsible for the management of the front office. Prior to Westcap, Ms. Loth worked in the customer relations field for seven years, developing her communication and client relations skills. Ms. Loth has three years of experience working in administration and has completed the Human Resources Management Certificate program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic.  Heidi has a passion for the arts and enjoys singing and playing the violin. She shares her music through her volunteer work with senior citizens.

Virgil Cairns

Virgil Cairns

Payroll Investment Plan Coordinator

Virgil Cairns has been working with employee investment opportunities since 2004 and is responsible for the delivery of Golden Opportunities Fund’s Payroll Investment Plan, which continues to expand. Mr. Cairns works with a network of Investment Advisors to support the introduction, implementation and on-going management of the Plan. Mr. Cairns is an active volunteer in Regina minor sports having served as the President of Hockey Regina Inc. and manager of Team Saskatchewan at the Baseball Canada National championships. Mr. Cairn’s volunteer efforts as President of Hockey Regina Inc. with the southern Saskatchewan hockey community were instrumental in the creation of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Bantam Hockey League.

Haley Anderson, CPA, CMA, B.Comm.

Haley Anderson, CPA, CMA, B.Comm.

Accountant

Haley Anderson joined Westcap in early 2012 and is responsible for supporting the activities of the investment accounting and investment operations teams. In addition to financial support, she is involved in the activities of the communications team. Ms. Anderson holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) designation and Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) designation.  She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan.