Leadership Team | Tolko Industries

Brad Thorlakson

Executive Chairman

Brad Thorlakson served as Tolko’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 2010 to 2024 before transitioning to the role of Executive Chairman. He began his career at the Lavington Planer Mill and advanced to become Vice President of Marketing and Sales before assuming the role of President and CEO. He was the third generation of the Thorlakson family to lead Tolko.

In addition to his current role, Brad serves as Chair of the Forest Products Association of Canada and Director and Co-Chair on the BC Lumber Trade Council. He is an active member of the BC Manufacturers’ Advisory Group (MAG) CEO Safety Committee and represents Canada West on the Softwood Lumber Board.

James Allan (Al) Thorlakson

Vice Chairman

Al Thorlakson graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree and subsequently obtained his Professional Engineer designation. In 1972, he was appointed President of Tolko and Chief Executive Officer in 1981. In 2010, he retired as CEO and transitioned to the role of Executive Chairman. Al currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Tolko Board.

In addition to his current role, Al serves as a Board Director for Timber Investments, Columbia Containers and Fibreco.

Pino Pucci

President & Chief Executive Officer

Pino Pucci was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in May 2024 after serving as Chief Operating Officer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Lakehead University before launching a career in the industry.

Pino joined Tolko in 2015 as Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Logistics, where he led the implementation and growth of the company’s customer-centric, North American distribution network. With 35 years of industry experience, his innovative approach to leadership continues to inspire and challenge his teams to be their best and deliver results.

Brian Baarda

Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance

With over 18 years of Vice President, CEO, COO and CFO experience in the forest and paper product industries, Brian brings to Tolko senior level experience in operations, finance, strategy, information technology, and mergers and acquisitions.

Brian joins Tolko from Peak Renewables, where he was CEO. Prior to that was CEO at Paper Excellence Canada, COO at TimberWest Forest Corporation, and VP & CFO for Catalyst Paper Corporation. Brian holds a Master of Business Administration from Herroit Watt University (Scotland), a Business Administration Diploma from Okanagan College, and holds his Certified Management Accountant designation.

Troy Connolly

Vice President, BC Operations

When you meet our Vice President of BC Operations, you’ll be struck by his commitment to the people he works with and to the values of the company. Troy is a people person who leads our solid wood based operations with vision and a focus on developing strong, capable leaders at all levels of the organization. He does this by mentoring up-and-coming leaders with integrity and honest, supportive feedback. It’s his respect and emphatic belief in people that make him such a capable leader.

Troy began his career with Tolko as a summer student at the Nicola Division, liked how the company operated, and came back to work full-time. He quickly progressed through the company, working his way from Nicola to Quest Wood to White Valley, and finally to High Level where he took on the role of area manager. In 2014 he moved back to Vernon in the role of Senior General Manager, Lumber before becoming the Vice President, Solid Wood in 2018. In 2024, Troy took on his current role as Vice President, BC Operations.

Troy holds a Diploma of Technology, Wood Products Manufacturing (BCIT), a Bachelor of Administration from Athabasca University and an Advanced Executive Certificate, General Management, from Queens University.

Troy is a proud member of the Métis Nation, a distinct Nation among the Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Fred Chinn

Vice President, Strand-Based Business (SBB)

Fred is a Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Engineering – Mechanical, from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and a Diploma of Engineering from St. Mary’s University. He has broad outreach experience with communities and government stakeholders; and held a Director position on the Tla’amin First Nations Operating Board of Directors during his time in Powell River, BC.

Fred joins Tolko most recently from NEXII Building Solutions Inc. where he held the position of Execution Manager. Prior to this, Fred spent time with Western Forest Products as General Manager of Fibre Supply, and Catalyst Paper where he held various position including VP and General Manager, Production Manager as well as Maintenance & Engineering Manager.

With over 30 years of senior level experience in engineering, maintenance and wood products manufacturing, Fred brings business-oriented leadership with Canadian and U.S. manufacturing expertise to the Tolko team.

Michael Roberts

Vice President, People and Services

Michael brings over 25 years of experience working in various roles in both operations and corporate services. Michael has led various corporate functions including Human Resources & Labour Relations, Corporate Communications & Shareholder Relations, Information Technology, Internal Audit, Health & Safety and Environment & Sustainability.

Michael joins Tolko from Nalcor Energy, as Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services & CHRO. Prior to that, Michael was Director of Operations, North America at Convergys. Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources/Labour Relations, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Janis Simpkins

Vice President, Indigenous & Government Relations and Sustainability

Janis Simpkins is the Vice President of Indigenous & Government Relations and Sustainability for Tolko. Her work with Tolko is centered on advancing new and innovative partnerships with Indigenous communities and providing leadership to Tolko’s reconciliation journey. Janis is responsible for managing Tolko’s energy and environment portfolios and advancing their sustainability performance.

Before joining Tolko, Janis worked in the public and private sector, in addition to holding public office as Reeve for the Municipal District of Greenview in Alberta. Her previous experience includes serving as the Senior Vice President of Environment for the Alberta Forest Product Association and General Manager of Corporate and Government Affairs for West Fraser. Janis has also held numerous executive positions in the Alberta Government including northern and economic development, investor confidence and strategic energy policy. One of Janis’ most significant achievements was leading the stand up of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, a $1 Billion investment organization that facilitates investment by Indigenous groups in natural resource projects and related infrastructure.

Janis is a recipient of the Governor General of Canada’s Queens Diamond Jubilee (2012) and the Queens Platinum Jubilee (2022) for her ongoing work with communities and her commitment to public service. Janis was named one of the Canadian Forest Industry’s Top 10 under 40 in 2021.

Janis holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Alberta.

Brad Eckford

Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Logistics

Overseeing Tolko’s Marketing & Sales division, Brad is an innovative strategist who leads the Sales, Marketing and Logistics teams as they seek to deliver quality products and services to new and existing customers around the world. Brad’s journey with Tolko commenced in 2013 when he joined as a Sawmill Superintendent in Quesnel. Steadily climbing the ranks, he assumed the role of Harvesting Superintendent for the Cariboo Woodlands Group in 2016. In 2018, Brad made a strategic move to Vernon, becoming the Rail Manager in the Logistics team, showcasing his versatility within the industry.

One notable initiative under Brad’s leadership is the flourishing T-LINK Product Distribution Network, rebranded to enhance efficiency in delivering products to customers through reload sites.

As the VP of Tolko Marketing, Sales, and Logistics, Brad Eckford leads a team through exciting and transformative times, embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation.

David Manley

Vice President, U.S. Operations

Responsible for supporting our partners in the U.S. Joint Ventures, and further develop Tolko’s U.S. operations, David brings over 40 years of experience in the wood products industry to the Tolko team. David has worked across many different segments of the industry including land management, fiber procurement, and lumber and plywood manufacturing. Over the course of his career, he has held senior positions with International Paper, Georgia Pacific, and West Fraser, and worked across several different geographic regions from the US northeast and south to the pacific northwest.

David joins Tolko from West Fraser where he was a Regional Manager supporting multiple facilities across the US south. He has a Bachelor of Forestry degree from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. Having led many different teams throughout his career, David has achieved strong performance by focusing on people and processes. His approach of engaging with people, developing systems, and providing the team with the tools, and support they need, result in sustained operational excellence.