Officers & Directors

Mr. Richardson has had a career in strategic business development in the senior management level in domestic and international markets, including a track record of successful management of turnaround, growth and start-up companies. Mr. Richardson’s solid understanding of fundamental business drivers, his recycling, service delivery and automotive industry experience combined with marketing knowledge has enabled him to conceptualize, execute and deliver complex projects. In particular he has been a leader in identifying and delivering market changing business models.


Mr. Shefsky founded Pele Mountain in 1996 and has been its President and CEO since that time. He has provided vision and leadership in the execution of Pele’s project generation strategy in Northern Ontario, including the negotiation of several Joint Venture Agreements with major and junior mining companies to fund and operate Pele’s projects. Mr. Shefsky is an outspoken advocate for the development of a low cost, early-to-market critical rare earth supply chain in Canada. He has led the evolution of Pele’s Eco Ridge Project to its current focus on the sustainable development of a rare earth processing centre in Elliot Lake. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and a Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law.


Mr. Cooper has been with the Company as an Officer and Director since its inception, serving as its CFO from 1996 until 2007. In 2014 Mr. Cooper was appointed Vice President of Indigenous Relations. A professional archaeologist, he is Partner and Senior Archaeologist at Archaeological Services Inc., one of the largest heritage consulting companies in Canada. Mr. Cooper has extensive knowledge and experience with First Nations, environmental and land tenure issues.


Mr. Payne has contributed to Pele as a consultant at its Eco Ridge Mine Project since 2008, joining the management team in 2011. He has more than 40 years of professional engineering and project management experience in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, including nearly 20 years in the Elliot Lake mining camp with Rio Algom Limited. After serving in a number of technical positions at Rio Algom, he ultimately oversaw the exemplary and precedent-setting mine closure process at Elliot Lake through the 1990s, serving as Manager of Environment & Decommissioning and then as General Manager. He holds a BSc. (Hons) in Civil Engineering from University of Durham, Newcastle, UK.


Mr. Andersen is the managing partner of Forbes Andersen LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants, located in downtown Toronto, and has over twenty years of experience in senior management roles with both public and private companies, including several mining companies. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Paul currently holds the Chartered Professional Accountant (Canada), Certified Public Accountant (United States), and Chartered Global Management Accountant (United States) designations.


Mr. Rukavina joined the Company at its inception in 1996 as its corporate counsel, became its Secretary in 1997 and joined the Board in 2002. As a partner at the Toronto law firm WeirFoulds LLP, he has expertise in securities, mining, real estate, and corporate governance areas of the law.


Mr. Cooper joined the Company as an independent Director in 2006. He is president of T.R.L. Investments Ltd. and is also Executive Vice-President of Alterra Development Ltd. Mr. Cooper earned an M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and B.A. Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Toronto. Mr. Cooper holds an ICD. D. designation from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management.


Mr. Wilkinson joined the Board as an Independent Director in 2013 and is Chair of the Compensation Committee. He also serves as the Chairman of Eco Ridge Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pele Mountain. He founded Wilkinson & Keller Financial Planning Ltd., of Stratford. He was first elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 2003 and served as an MPP for eight years. He was called to Executive Council in 2007 and served as Ontario Minister of Research & Innovation. He subsequently served as Ontario Minister of Revenue and finally as Ontario Minister of the Environment. Currently, he is the President & CEO of Wilkinson Insight Incorporated. His corporate resume includes: Board Chair of software company Empatico; Board Member of GreenField Specialty Alcohols Inc. and Chair of their Audit & Risk Committee; Special Advisor to Greenland International Consulting Ltd.; Advisory Board Member of both the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Digital Media Campus and the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE). Recently, he was honoured as a Fellow of the Financial‎ Planning Standards Council.


Mr. Dimmell has been with the Company since its inception in 1996, serving as an independent Board member who provides expertise on technical matters. He is a professional geoscientist and consultant with more than thirty years of mineral exploration experience and was formerly President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). Mr. Dimmell earned a Bachelors Degree in Science from the University of New Brunswick.