Pacific BioEnergy - Management

Our People

At Pacific BioEnergy, it's our people who make us stand out. Leaders in the industry, our manufacturing team has the technical expertise to produce the highest quality wood pellet fuel, and our logistics group brings excellence in handling, storage, and transportation, to ensure our customers get the product they need, when they need it. We also benefit from the clear vision of our senior management team, who effectively leverage their depth of experience in forestry, manufacturing, logistics, and the wood pellet industry, to guide our company, while drawing on the wide business expertise of our board of directors and advisors. Our management, directors and advisors are significantly invested in the business.

Management Team

Donald Steele, Chairman and CEO, has been actively involved in directing and managing Pacific BioEnergy since 2002. With over 30 years of entrepreneurial investment and business building, he brings a broad range of skills and experience to the organization. Don holds a BSc (Biochemistry) from the University of British Columbia, an MBA (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario and a BFA (Visual Arts) from Emily Carr University.

Takayasu Nakamura, Vice President, Corporate Planning and Administration, joined Sumitomo Corporation in 1993 and has primarily been extensively engaged in trading woodchips for pulp, board manufacturing (MDF) and more recently in bioenergy marketing in Japan, China and Europe. Takayasu, over a 10-year period at Sumitomo South America, managed companies dedicated to afforestation, woodchip export and wood pellet production in the Republic of Chile. Takayasu brings extensive knowledge of Pacific Rim woodchip and fibre trading to Pacific BioEnergy. Takayasu holds a B.A from the International Christian University in Tokyo.

David W. Kenning, Interim CFO, has over 40 years of leadership and executive experience in finance, accounting and corporate administration. In anticipation of the additional work load, the negotiation and completion of the Sumitomo transaction David became Interim CFO of PBEC, on a contract basis in September, 2016. In this role he has provided part time and more recently near full time service to PBEC.

David holds a B. Comm (Finance) and an MBA (Finance) from the University of British Columbia as well as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA-CA) designation held since 1975. Following an initial involvement of public accounting (Deloitte Haskins and Sells) David has held numerous Senior Accounting and CFO roles and responsibilities in a wide variety of industries. His industry experience includes forestry, ship building and ship repair, ready mix and concrete, marine construction/dredging, and aggregates.

Kunihiko Kinase, Manager, Analysis and Corporate Affairs, joined Sumitomo Corporation in 2010. For three years, Kunihiko was involved in the industrial tire trading. In 2013, Kunihiko transferred into the biomass fuel trading and investment team of the Materials and Supplies Business Development and Promotion Department at Sumitomo. Since then and up until joining Pacific BioEnergy in 2017, he was responsible for procurement and marketing biomass fuel and overseeing investment opportunities. Kunihiko holds a B.A in Economics from University of Tokyo.

Board of Directors

Donald Steele, Chairman.

Takayasu Nakamura, Director.

Katsunori Takamitsu, Director, joined the Board of Directors of Pacific BioEnergy in July, 2017. Katsunori joined Sumitomo Corporation, Tokyo in 1982 and started his career in the Forest Products Department, primarily responsible for the North American region and was stationed in Seattle, WA, USA from 1991 to 1998. During his many years of experience in the global forest products industry, he has held a variety of senior management positions, including CEO of NICHIHA USA, INC - Atlanta, GA, USA (Fiber Cement Siding Products Manufacturer) from 2001 to 2009; CEO of the Sumitomo-Mitsui Building Products Company - Tokyo, Japan from 2009 to 2013; and General Manager of the Wood Resources Business Department, Sumitomo Corporation, Tokyo. Currently located at Sumitomo's office in Tokyo, he is responsible for the Cement Department, the Building Products Department, and the Wood Resources Business Department. As Assistant General Manager of the Materials, Supplies and Real Estate Division, he also holds the position of General Manager for the Materials and Supplies Business Development and Promotion Department which includes Biomass Business development, trading and operations.

Mitchell Taylor has over 40 years of executive level experience. In addition to serving as a director of Pacific BioEnergy, he is currently managing director of Pacific Sign Group Inc. and Tristar Industries Ltd. Previously, Mitch was CEO of Pacific Spas Inc., from 2006 to 2009; President and CEO of Bellingham Marine Industries, from 1995 to 2006; VP Marketing & Sales of Cascadia Brands, from 1989 to 1993; and President and CEO of Granville Island Brewing Company, from 1980 to 1989. Mitch holds a BSc from the University of Manitoba. He joined our board of directors in June 2009.

David Thompson became a member of Pacific BioEnergy’s advisory board in 2007 and joined the Board of Directors in 2011. Until his retirement in 2005, David was Deputy Chairman and CEO of Teck Cominco Ltd., a position he held since the 2001 merger of Teck Corporation and Cominco Ltd. Prior to this posting, he held a variety of senior management positions, including President and CEO of Cominco Ltd. from 1995 to 2001. David is a director of GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. and Chair of the BC Health Services Purchasing Organization, former Chair of Vancouver Coastal Health, and a member of the BC Progress Board. He previously served as Co-Chair of the BC Competition Council.