Founding Members

4 SKIES is a newly formed group of Aboriginal businessmen who have come together to answer the call by OPG for a solution for Repurposing Pickering. If selected, this four member group will form a company utilizing the name 4 Skies Energy Solutions and will comprise its initial Board of Directors. 

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Steven J.R. Brant
CEO

Steven J. R. Brant is the President, CEO and co-founder of Naanovo Energy Inc. (parent to the Naanovo Group of Companies). Established in 2001, Naanovo comprises 10 subsidiaries on four continents actively engaged in renewable energy projects in 32 countries with emphasis on Waste to Energy, Solar Power, Biomass and Tyre Derived Fuel Plants. Mr. Brant holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Guelph and has an extensive background in banking, oil and gas, management consulting and alternative energy. Prior to Naanovo, Mr. Brant held senior level positions with the Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Northland Bank, Peace Hills Trust Company, Husky Oil Operations Ltd. and Whiteduck Resources Inc. A member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation, Mr. Brant was the former Chairman of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) formerly known as the Canadian Native Arts Foundation (CNAF), having served on its Board for 15 years, six years as its Chairman. Mr. Brant also served on the Board of Newsys Inc. a former public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). 

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Dr. Michael D. Thrasher
Chairman

Dr. Michael D. Thrasher is a nationally recognized teacher of traditional First Nations Philosophy, tradition and culture. He is widely credited for his ability to use traditional First Nation’s knowledge to address contemporary issues and for his knowledge and practice of traditional ceremony. Significantly, Michael was one of the four traditional Teachers and Elders invited to conduct the sacred pipe ceremony at the opening of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal peoples. In addition, he was invited to co-chair the first Round Table Hearings for the Royal Commission. He is a past Federal Treasury Board Audit Committee member for the Indian Residential School Settlement and an Elder Advisor to the First Nations Statistical Institute, a crown corporation. His credentials include – L.L.D. honoris causa. Forty-five years of working with the Elders of the Canadian FN community. He is an Adjunct professor at Trent University Native Studies Ph.D. program. He has designed and presented a credit courses on First Nations Psychotherapy – Adler School of Psychology. He was responsible for the creation of a curriculum framework for Urban First Nations education for the Toronto School Board, in Ontario, Canada. He has conducted seminars for personal development for the governing councils and staff of a number of First Nations and non-First Nations communities, organizations and industry. He has also conducted a European envoy/lecture tour in Belgium and Holland. His contacts and experiences cover a broad spectrum from communities and governments to multinational corporations.

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Bob Watts
President

Bob Watts has been involved in many major Indigenous issues in Canada over the past 30 years. He was Interim Executive Director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and with an amazing team and support from across Canada and internationally worked to establish the Commission. Watts was a member of the team which negotiated the historic Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Bob is a former CEO of the Assembly of First Nations and served as the Chief of Staff to the Assembly of First Nations’ National Chief Phil Fontaine. He is a former Assistant Deputy Minister for the Government of Canada and Senior Executive with the Province of Ontario. Bob is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and fellow at the Harvard Law School. He works on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s Siting Process, is an adjunct professor in the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, and is a member of the Leadership Council to McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development. He has taught, debated and lectured at a number of universities in Canada and the United States. Bob is from Mohawk and Ojibway ancestry and resides at Six Nations Reserve. 

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William Frank Mann
Chief Financial Officer

William Frank Mann is a registered Planner, Forester, Landscape Architect and Environmental Management Consultant within the Province of Ontario and throughout Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from the University of Toronto (1977) and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Guelph (1980) with a specialization in New Town Development. He also holds a Diploma in Business Management from the University of Toronto (1985) and an Executive Master of Public Administration degree through the University of Western Ontario (2010). Bill has over 35 years of combined public/private experience in the fields of planning and development, resource management and environmental management, and currently is Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Town of Milton, which is the fastest growing municipality in Canada. In this capacity, Bill has been the executive manager of two of the largest public/private infrastructure partnerships in Canada and is considered one of the foremost experts in the area of P3 financial agreements. Bill is also a member of the Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake. In this manner, Bill is currently involved in the Algonquin Land Claim negotiations that are presently occurring between the Canadian federal and provincial governments and the Algonquins of Ontario.