OUR TEAM

Chris "Chevy" Chevalier – President *

 

Sure, he had humble beginnings as a gondola operator in 1980. But with amazing leadership skills on his side, Chris gained rapid prominence in the ski industry in Canada and New Zealand, and it wasn’t long before he was Mountain & Risk Manager at Sunshine Village – one of Canada’s largest alpine resorts. During his 30 years in the business, Chris played a key leadership role that proved instrumental to Sunshine’s success. People at all levels of federal and provincial government know Chris as a man of his word and a man of action, adept at navigating the development process with real integrity. He’s also been behind many successful initiatives aimed at mitigating risk and keeping guests and employees safe. Ask any of his staff about Chris and they’ll tell you he’s inflexibly dedicated to their well-being. Theirs and everyone else’s. To Fortress, Chris brings a wealth of insight, contacts and operational expertise in resort planning, development and operations.

 

Chris Mueller – Director of Operations

At 18, Chris kicked off his ski industry career as a lift operator at Sunshine Village. That was 1995. Within a year he’d worked his way into a supervisory position, which he held for five years. In that time, he became involved in developing Sunshine’s Terrain Park program and in grooming. In 2000, Chris left Sunshine to start a tour company called Giddy Goat Adventures specializing in multi-day, multi-resort ski programs plus other charter, custom hiking and biking programs. Seven years later he returned to Sunshine to operate snow-grooming equipment and develop and expand the snowmaking program. A graduate of Selkirk College’s Resort Risk Management program, Chris also spent two seasons as a senior snowmaker at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Thomas Heath - Managing Director *

A visionary leader with a keen eye towards emerging trends and novel solutions to vexing issues, Thomas has a diverse business background including civil aviation, energy, intellectual property and ski resort ownership.

Andy Waddell, MBA Chief Financial Officer *

 

Growing up in the prairies, Andy made the pilgrimage to the mountains at least once a year for a family ski trip. Finally in 2012 Andy made the move out west to be closer to his passion for skiing. Andy brings over 20 years of financial experience in director of finance roles, and a broad knowledge of IT infrastructure, reporting and business metrics.

Jay Uthman Manoharan P.Eng. Director and Managing Advisor **

Jay is a professional engineer, equity investor and business executive with over 25 years experience in the energy utility demand and supply-side management sectors. Other business ventures and interests include: small business start-ups, strategic oil & gas asset acquisitions, consultative sales management training, ski mountain resort development/operations, non-recyclable waste processing technology. Recreational interests includes mountaineering and big-mountain skiing; CSIA certified ski instructor.

Rolland Lequier LL.B Chairman **

Rolland was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1995 and has developed his practice in the areas of estate planning, real estate, family and corporate law. His passions include charity work, his family, and of course, the skiing business, or as he calls it, "The Last Best Family Sport on Earth."

Kelly Tindal - Director of Hospitality

Kelly was born in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea in the islands of the South Pacific. He lived and was culinary trained throughout Australia, for fourteen years until he immigrated to Canada in 1990. He continued plying his craft in Canada, notably for eleven years at heli skiing lodges providing an intimate culinary experience to exclusive clientele.

 

This led to Kelly to exercising his passion for the culinary arts to the film industry where he was personal chef to many well known celebrities. A four year stint as chef at the Banff Springs Hotel golf course and ten years operating Kaiculina Catering, Kelly now joins the Fortress team where his endless enthusiasm for fresh contemporary food of the future encompasses his passion as Director of Hospitality

 

His philosophy on food is simple:

 

“I always look to the seasons and the terroir from which you are basing your menu from. These days we have access to so many amazing small farmers, producers and artisans that bring such passion to the items they grow and create that it’s only natural we foster those relationships to integrate the best sustainable, local ingredients for all of our dishes”

Dr. Kevin Hanrahan, Medical Director

Bachelor of Physical Education (Outdoor Pursuits), MD and Family Medicine programs in Calgary.

After working as a Family Physician for 15 years joined the Calgary Fire Department and worked as front line Firefighter and Technical Rescue Team Member for 6 years.

Subsequently trained in Emergency Medicine through the CCFP(EM) program in Calgary practicing full time Emergency Physician working at the Foothills, Peter Lougheed Hospitals since 2005.

Medical Direction:

-Calgary Fire Department,

-Multiple Fire Departments in the Calgary Zone

-AHS EMS 

-Provincial Medical First Response Program with Alberta Health Services-EMS,

-Mission Safety Services

-Canadian Task Force 2

-Fortress Mountain (KPOW)

-TLH Heliskiing

-Mass Gathering events including many local races  and events

-Odyssey Medical

Interest in Wilderness Medicine, Diploma of Mountain Medicine

Coordinator for Disaster Medicine in the Calgary Zone for Emergency Medicine

3 decades providing volunteer ski patrol in the Banff Area.

Live in Calgary with his wife Diana and 2 grown children. 

Jason Kuric - Director of Snow Safety

Fuelled by a sense of adventure and a passion to share the Fortress experience, Jason joined the Snow safety team in 2014. Originally from Ontario, the lure of the mountains, ocean and rivers beckoned when he migrated west in 2003 for school and graduated from the Adventure Guide Program at Thompson Rivers University. Summers are spent expedition river guiding on northern rivers as well as instructing and course directing for Outward Bound. Winters have been filled with Ski Patrolling and Snow Safety at Nakiska, teaching AST courses and ski touring on his days off. Currently living in Canmore, Jason is actively pursuing the ACMG Ski Guide certificate and is a Professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association.

 

Steve Dougherty - Reservations and Sales 

Lives in Calgary, transplant from Montreal and Vancouver. Steve started skiing at 4 yrs old on Mt Seymour and taught skiing throughout college. The advent of high speed quad chairs pushed him over to mountaineering and snowshoeing.  While not actively working with the guests he can be found every Friday snowshoeing up Fortress. Unlike most everyone else he prefers hiking up. For him (and all others who discover it) Fortress is a special place that’s both bold and quiet. Great snow, no crowds, special people. 

Rob Stevens - Snowboard Leader

A level 4 CASI snowboarder instructor, CBC Olympic commentator and host of the long-running TV series Ride Guide, Rob brings a perspective to our plans for the mountain inspired by an appreciation for what Fortress was to her existing fanbase and what the mountain can be to her new ones.

Currently a Realtor in Canmore, you might occasionally find him leading a cat group on his noboard. (If Chevy lets him ride it that is,)

Nyren Evelyn - Ski Leader


When he's not leading groups of guests around the mountain, Nyren works in the film industry. Fortress was the first place he ever skied and is still his favourite place to ski and be!

BOARD ADVISORS

 

Don Bell - Board Advisor, Co-Founder Westjet Airlines.

As one of the Founders of WestJet, Canada's "Favorite Airline", Don Bell knows that when you win the hearts & minds of your people they will serve your customers better than anyone else and take your business to amazing heights!

Don's ideas and leadership were instrumental in taking a Start-Up airline in 1996 to one of the few airlines in the world to enjoy quarter after quarter of profitability and sustained double digit business growth - and today WestJet is not only a household name in Canada but it is one of the most successful Airlines in North America.

The Key to WestJet's success? Aligning the Values and Interest of its People with those of the company. This simple formula coupled with some down-to-earth common sense principles, has driven an unparalleled corporate culture and Customer Experience. Along the way, WestJet's founders have been recognized as the Canadian Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2000, Canada's Most Respected Organization for Customer Service Multiple times, The Best Call Center in the business and the Waterston Human Capital Award for Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture in 2005 and 2006.

Patricia Phillips - CEO of PBA Land 

Patricia leads the overall growth and management of PBA Land, where she brings over 25 years business experience in a variety of high profile rolls. Prior to PBA, Patricia founded 3 successful oil & gas companies and worked on Wall Street managing the energy and sovereign sectors. She has won numerous awards in real estate development.

Jeff Blair - Board Advisor, former COO of Genesis Land Development Corp. 

 

Jeff is a born and raised Calgarian with a life long love for the great outdoors. Having spent many joy filled days skiing at Fortress, Jeff could not pass up the opportunity to get involved in the resurrection of a ski resort that is near and dear to his heart.
Jeff is a Professional Planner with over twenty five years of experience in both the public and private sectors of land development planning. Jeff brings experience in policy development and project implementation to the Fortress team. Jeff likes nothing more than leading cat skiing guests and seeing all the powder encrusted faces at “Friendly Fortress Mountain"   

* Inside board member

** Independent board member