Meet Our Team
Westcap has established an experienced team of business professionals with extensive knowledge in their respective fields, including an executive team with more than a century of investment management expertise.
Team Members in group photo from left to right: Haley Anderson, Graham Friedt, Darryl Caudle, Tyler Bradley, Virgil Cairns, Peter Wilson, Shayla Romanyshyn, Jamie Schwitzer, Heidi Loth, Stacey Kotsanidis, Rob Connoly, Wanda Hunchak, Douglas Banzet, Grant Kook, Darcy Ogrodnick, Patrick Morgraidge, Glen Schuler, Brenda Gessner, Ashlee Taylor, Tim Quiring, Bret Gleeson, Raeleen Mann, Rozlynn Burlock,
Grant Kook, C.Dir., S.O.M.
President/Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Grant Kook is President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Manager. 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 and Vice Chairman of the Saskatchewan Health Authority in June 2017. Mr. Kook also sits or has sat on the boards of a number of companies, including Saskatchewan Blue Cross and is currently a member of the Investment Committee for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation pension fund. Mr. Kook was 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 as 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. He has earned the Chartered Director Designation (C. Dir.) from McMaster University DeGroote School of Business.
With over 8 years of professional experience, Patrick is an Accountant at Westcap and responsible for supporting the financial activities of the team in a variety of capacities. In 2012, Patrick earned a diploma in Accounting and Business from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and is currently a candidate at the Chartered Professional Accountants Western School of Business (CPAWSB).
Graham Friedt joined Westcap in early 2017 and is responsible for supporting the investment team on current and prospective investments. Mr. Friedt has over 5 years of investment management experience. Prior to joining Westcap, Mr. Friedt was with a large energy infrastructure company in Calgary, focused on investment analysis. Mr. Friedt holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance from the University of Calgary and is a CFA Level III candidate.
Administrative Assistant, Executive Office
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.
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.
Investor Relations Manager
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.
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.
Investor Relations Manager
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 the Fund’s network of Investment Advisors to support the introduction, implementation and on-going management of Golden Opportunities Fund’s Group Payroll Plans. 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.
Raeleen Mann, B.Comm.
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.
Haley Anderson, CPA, CMA, B.Comm.
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.
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.
Tyler Bradley holds the office of Vice-President with the Manager. Mr. Bradley has more than 15 years of investment management experience, with a focus on private company finance. Prior to joining the Manager 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, and software industries.
Jamie Schwitzer, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Jamie Schwitzer holds the office of Vice-President with the Manager. Mr. Schwitzer has over 20 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 a specialty finance company specializing 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 (CFA) 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 technology, manufacturing and value added processing.
Wanda Hunchak, CFA, CPA, CMA
Executive Vice President
Wanda Hunchak holds the office of Executive Vice-President with Westcap. Ms. Hunchak has more than 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 is involved with various Committees and Boards including past 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.
Rob Connoly, CFA, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer
Rob Connoly is the Chief Financial Officer with the Manager. 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 is a member of the Board of Directors 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 serves as a director on a number of boards for companies in the, infrastructure, food and beverage processing, and value-added processing industries.
Chief Operating Officer, Director
Douglas Banzet is the Chief Operating Officer and a director of the Manager. 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. Mr. Banzet has over forty-five 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.
Darryl Caudle, BAC
Vice President – Hotel Operations, Ramada Plaza Regina, Ramada Hotel Saskatoon
In April 2015 Darryl Caudle accepted the position of Vice President of Hotel Operations for Westcap and oversees the Ramada Hotel in Saskatoon and the Ramada Plaza in Regina. Mr. Caudle brings 29 years of experience in hotels, has been involved with the hospitality industry in Saskatchewan for over 35 years and has obtained a BAC from the University of Saskatchewan. Mr. Caudle belongs to various community groups including SKAL Saskatoon, Saskatoon Executive Club and the Saskatoon Progress Club as well he currently sits on the DMP board.
Peter Wilson, J.D.
Peter is an Investment Manager at Westcap. As a member of the Investment Team, Peter is involved with analyzing, reviewing and structuring prospective investments, in addition to the management of existing investments. Prior to joining Westcap, Peter practised corporate and commercial law with a large Saskatchewan firm. Peter received a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan and is a CFA Charterholder..
Bret Gleeson joined Westcap in 2019 and is responsible for supporting the investment team on current and prospective investments. Prior to joining Westcap, Bret worked in corporate banking with a large multinational firm. Prior to that, he also spent time with a leading Canadian agriculture-focused lender on their corporate & commercial financing team. Bret holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance from the University of Saskatchewan and is a CFA Level II Candidate.
Glen Schuler joined the Westcap team as Digital Specialist in 2019 with nearly two decades of previous experience in the online media industry. Glen is responsible for providing a broad range of digital communications expertise to Westcap and all Funds under Management. Supported by a diverse background of work experience, Glen is innovative and versatile with his approach to communications.
Vice President, Portfolio Operations
As a proven company builder and corporate entrepreneur, Lee Jebb is a senior operations management executive who fundamentally understands what strategically drives company profitability, risk and growth.
Mr. Jebb’s role at Westcap is to provide active strategic support to our portfolio operating companies as the team lead of value creation.
For nearly two decades, Mr. Jebb played a leading part in developing employee-owned Cando Rail Services into Canada’s preeminent rail services provider. With 900 employees, Cando Rail Services now moves and handles $24 billion in product annually for its customers across diverse sectors. Prior to this, Mr. Jebb was also the General Manager of the 1,000 member Brandon Chamber of Commerce.
Always active throughout his career in community and industry association leadership, Mr. Jebb has played a leadership role in several organizations at the local, provincial and national level including: Chair of Prairie Mountain Health Authority; Chair of the Railway Association of Canada Short Line Committee; President of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada; Co-Chair of Invest Manitoba and member of the Premier’s Economic Innovation and Technology Council of Manitoba.
He has served on many boards and committees including the Provincial Clinical Network Advisory Committee; the Railway Association of Canada’s Policy and Advocacy Committee; the Board and Executive Committee of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce; the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives; Member of Council and the Board of Directors of the Western Canadian Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC); the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Transportation Leadership Council; the CN Short Line Advisory Council and the Manitoba International Gateway Council.
Mr. Jebb has been recognized by the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada as Executive of the Year (1997) and is an alumni of the prestigious United States International Visitor’s Program “Trade and Commerce Exchange” (1998).