Gary Fribance, Chairman

Gary was a Partner with one of the major international accounting firms. He was   a member of the National Firm’s Board of Directors, and Managing Partner of a mid size office.  He served in a leadership position on several national and international initiatives of the firm.  Following his years with the firm he was an investment advisor with Raymond James.  Gary has also served as an officer and director of  his Chamber of Commerce, the BC Chamber of Commerce, The Centre for Seizure Control and Education, Rotary and many other organizations.  He has been President of the Third Crossing Society for several years and recommended its conversion into an incorporation

He earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC in 1965 and became a Chartered Accountant in 1968.  In semi-retirement he offers consulting services particularly in business planning, financial restructuring and related matters.

Chet Idziszek, BSc, MSc, FGS

Chet has greater than 40 years of international experience in the mineral resource industry.  He received the “Mining Man of the Year” aware in 1990 for his vital role in the discovery and development of the Eskay Creek gold deposit in British Columbia.  Subsequently he continued with management and development of several successful gold and copper projects in Peru, Panama, Senegal and Papua New Guinea.  

He graduated from McGill University in 1975 with a Masters of Science Degree in applied mineral exploration.  He is a fellow of the Geological Society of London and a member of the Society of Economic Geologists.

Richard Furness 

Richard is a semi-retired journalist who worked for several newspapers including the Globe and Mail before taking a job at Ontario Hydro as speechwriter and liaison officer dealing with the media and government.  In 1994 he moved to British Columbia and bought The Boundary Creek Times, a small newspaper in the historic Kettle Valley, serving it as Editor and Publisher.  A student of English and history, he graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1964.  He retired to Powell River in 2006 where he served as Secretary of the Powell River Hospital Foundation.

Robert N. Hainsworth 

Robert earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2013 and his law degree from Osgoode Hall at York University in 2016.  He was called to the BC bar in 2017.  He currently practices law In Edmonton focusing on corporate matters and he is also involved in social development projects.

Mark A. Hassett

Mark is semi-retired.  His main business interests included construction (focusing on logging roads), quarrying sand and gravel and investments in a variety of business opportunities.  Mark has also served as a director on the Powell River Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations.  He also continues to serve as a member of the Powell River Community Forest and the Community Advisory Committee for the local Forestry Industry.

Claudio della Maestro 

Claudio spent most of his 30 year working life at Syncrude’s plant at Fort McMurry (400 km north of Edmonton) where he held numerous senior production positions. Today, in semi-retirement, his company oversees the annual refurbishment and recommissioning of Syncrude’s upgrading facilities.

Colin Palmer

Colin is a retired Powell River politician who was also a charter member of the Society.  He served Powell River first as a councilor and then as Mayor; was President of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Community Futures Development Corporation, Chair of the Board of Powell River Regional District, and a member of the Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee and the Provincial Environmental Appeal Board.  A former teacher, he also ran a printing business for many years.  Colin earned a BA in English, History and Geography from London University

André Villeneuve

Andre has more than 33 years of experience in the mining and construction industries.  Since 199l he has been an independent mining and civil engineering consultant.  He has extensive project and construction management as well as construction claims resolution experience with a wide range of mining, hydroelecctric, heavy civil and industrial construction projects in the Americas, Africa, Australia and Europe.  He is fluent in English, French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese. 

He graduated from the University of Montreal (Ecole Polytechnique) in 1983 with a Bachelor of Mining Engineering.  He is currently president of his own engineering firm.