Board of Directors | Birchcliff Energy

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors provides leadership and supervises the management of the business and affairs of Birchcliff. In fulfilling their mandate, the Directors have a responsibility to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the Corporation.

Jeff Tonken

Alberta, Canada - Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board

Mr. Tonken is the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. He has served as the Chairman of the Board since May 2017 and is a member of the Corporation’s Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability (“EHSS”) Committee. Mr. Tonken has over 40 years of experience in the oil and natural gas industry, including in the areas of executive leadership, finance, corporate governance, acquisitions and divestitures, business development, marketing and legal. Mr. Tonken is one of the founders of the Corporation and served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Birchcliff and its predecessor entities from July 2004 to December 2021. Prior to Birchcliff, Mr. Tonken founded and served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Case Resources Inc., Big Bear Exploration Ltd. and Stampeder Exploration Ltd. Prior thereto, he was a partner with the law firm Howard, Mackie (now Borden Ladner Gervais LLP). Mr. Tonken is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and was the Chair in 2019. Mr. Tonken holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Wales. He is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.

Dennis Dawson

Alberta, Canada - Independent Lead Director

Mr. Dawson is a corporate director. He is the Chair of the Corporation’s Compensation and Nominating Committees and is also a member of the Corporation’s Audit, EHSS and Reserves Evaluation Committees. He has over 35 years of oil and natural gas experience, including nine years as General Counsel for Pan-Alberta Gas Ltd., a major Canadian natural gas export and marketing company. Mr. Dawson was the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of AltaGas from December 1998 to April 2015. He first joined AltaGas as Associate General Counsel in August 1997, after consulting with AltaGas Services Inc. from July 1996. Effective July 1998, Mr. Dawson became AltaGas’ General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and effective December 1998, he became Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Dawson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta. He is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.

Debra Gerlach

Alberta, Canada - Independent Director 

Ms. Gerlach is a corporate director. She is the Chair of the Corporation’s Audit Committee and is also a member of the Corporation’s Compensation, EHSS, Nominating and Reserves Evaluation Committees. Ms. Gerlach was a partner with Deloitte LLP from September 1996 to September 2017, where she practiced in the Assurance and Advisory group. Prior thereto, she held various positions within Deloitte LLP from the time she joined the firm in August 1982. During her 35-year career with the firm, Ms. Gerlach worked with numerous public oil and natural gas companies. Ms. Gerlach holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Calgary. She is a Chartered Accountant with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta.

Stacey McDonald

Alberta, Canada - Independent Director 

Ms. McDonald is a corporate director and an independent businessperson. She is the Chair of the Corporation’s EHSS Committe and is also a member of the Corporation’s Audit, Compensation, Nominating and Reserves Evaluation Committees. She has over 15 years of experience in the energy and financial sectors. From September 2016 to July 2018, Ms. McDonald was a Managing Director – Institutional Equity Research (Energy) at GMP FirstEnergy and its predecessor, GMP Securities, independent global investment banks. She joined GMP Securities in February 2006 as a research associate and began publishing independently as an Equity Analyst in 2009. She is also currently a director of Bonterra Energy Corp., a publicly traded oil and natural gas company, where she is the Chair of the Reserves Committee and is also a member of the Audit, Compensation and Governance and Nominating Committees. Ms. McDonald holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from the University of Alberta. She is also a holder of the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Director designation.

James Surbey

Alberta, Canada - Director

Mr. Surbey is a corporate director, an independent businessperson and an employee of Birchcliff. He is the Chair of the Corporation’s Reserves Evaluation Committee. He has over 40 years of experience in the oil and natural gas industry, including in the areas of executive leadership, business development, engineering, legal, corporate governance, finance and acquisitions and divestitures. Mr. Surbey is one of the founders of Birchcliff and served as the Vice President, Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary of the Corporation and its predecessor entities from July 2004 to June 30, 2017. Prior to Birchcliff, he served as the Vice President, Corporate Development of Case Resources Inc., the Senior Vice President, Corporate Development of Big Bear Exploration Ltd. and the Vice President, Corporate Development of Stampeder Exploration Ltd. Mr. Surbey was previously a senior partner with the law firm Howard, Mackie (now Borden Ladner Gervais LLP). Mr. Surbey holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from McGill University and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He is also a member of the Alberta Securities Commission’s Petroleum Advisory Committee.