Michael Hellenbrand (Executive Chairman)
Michael,having founded First Iron Group serves as Executive Chairman of the Board. He previously served as the group's Chief Executive Officer from 2006-2011. During his time as First Iron's CEO, the company raised more than $23m through private placements with institutional investors, embarked and implemented substantial assets and licenses acquisitions, and implemented a drilling program to provide confidence in the high quality of the historical work, which enabled SRK (UK) to convert historical resources to JORC compliant resources. He has 20 years' experience as an entrepreneur principally focusing on natural resources, real estate and healthcare sectors in Canada and the Russian Federation. Michael is a member of the Advisory Council of the American-Russian Business Institute.
Kirk Adams (Chief Executive Officer)
Kirk was appointed Chief Executive Officer of First Iron Group in April 2011. He has worked in the mining industry for 25 years across the globe, with such blue chip companies as Consolidated Goldfields, De Beers, RTZ. He has worked as a miner, shift boss, mine captain, underground manager. Kirk also worked in London for Dragon Capital, a boutique mining finance house, where he was intensively involved in the financing and development of exploration companies in Russia, Kazakhstan and Southern Africa. Latterly he has worked as an Executive Director in mining development companies and has sold assets on behalf of several large mining and smelting operations in the Balkans. Kirk has a BSC in Mining Engineering from Camborne School of Mines, and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.
Elena Pochapski (Chief Financial Officer)
Elena has more than two decades of experience in accounting and finance, having worked as a chief accountant and as an auditor for a number of Russian, North-American and international firms. From 1996 to 1999 Elena worked in a senior capacity in the Audit and Business Assurance department of PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Moscow, Russia. She specialized in audits and IAS restatements of the companies in the Energy, Utilities and Mining sector, such as mining companies AO Uralkali and AO Silvinit, the two largest potash fertilizer producers in Russia. She has extensive experience in public accounting, audits, corporate finance and Russian accounting procedures. Furthermore, Elena is experienced in translating Russian financial statements into US GAAP and IAS. Elena is certified as a CPA (State of Maine,USA) and CGA (Canada). She also holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Moscow State University.
Helen Teplitskaia (President)
Helen Teplitskaia is President and co-founder of First Iron Group. She is also a founder and president of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, board member of Imnex International, Inc., and Siberian Energy Group Inc., and formerly a lecturer of International Business and Markets at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. Helen has successfully assisted government agencies, private sector companies and professional associations, including the US State Department, AT&T, Baker & McKenzie, Heidelberg Cement, Pepsi-Cola, and Morgan Stanleywith start-up operations in new markets, private equity, FDI and M&A transactions.She is a winner of the 2007 "Changing Worlds" Award in Entrepreneurship and Business, and recipient of the 2008 Certificate of Honor from the Russian Federation Council (Senate.) Helen received a BA/MIS from the St. Petersburg University of Culture and MBA degree from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Norman Brown (Director)
Norman Brown has spent 38 years in investment banking, ultimately as a Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse. Previously he spent 15 years at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette during which he was in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group; established and headed the Restructuring Group, and was Global Head of Metals & Mining. Since 2003, Mr. Brown has served as a Senior Managing Director at Brock Capital Group LLC, a middle market investment banking and advisory firm in New York City. Norman received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mikhail Kopeikin (Director)
Mr. Kopeikin is Deputy Chairman and Management Board member of Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Bank for Development, positions he has held since December 2008. Previously, he has spent much of his career in senior positions in the administration of the Russian Federation, including Deputy Chief of Administration of the Government of the Russian Federation, where he also served as head of the Economics and Investment Department. Prior to joining the Government Administration, he held senior positions at the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. Mr. Kopeikin is a Doctor of Economics and Professor at the Higher School of Economics. Graduate of the Ordzhonikidze Management Institute in Moscow, where he received a Bachelor and Candidate of Science degrees in Economics, he is an Honored Economist of the Russian Federation, and author of four monographs and more than 80 papers on a wide range of subjects in banking, finance and political economy.
Nikola Vukovic (Director)
Nick is an engineer with 25 years of diversified experience and accomplishments in the mineral industry mainly in base and precious metals, diamonds and coal sectors. He currently serves as Mining Manager of the Americas for international consulting firm Coffey Mining. Nick has a solid record of senior undertaking within the mining industry in all aspects of strategic business and mine development and he specializes in new mine development, mine reopening, expansion of existing operation, technical and operational management of large and medium scale open pit and underground mines.
He executed large capital projects with major mining companies such as BHP Billiton, Freeport-McMoRan, Phelps Dodge, Rio Tinto and Iron Ore Company of Canada while operating in extreme environments managing business and people with various cultures and skills. His mine-mill-market project management experience includes; technical audits, due diligence reports, fund raising, scoping, prefeasibility, feasibility studies and implementation of EPCM projects.
Maurice J. Colson (Director)
Mr. Colson holds a masters degree in business (M.B.A.) and has been involved in the investment business for more than thirty five years. He was managing director in the U.K. for a major Canadian investment dealer for many years, and in Canada, he has been actively involved in providing strategic counsel and assistance with financing to emerging private and public companies. His network in the resource industry has expanded significantly from Canada ,and he has been actively involved in financing Canadian companies operating in China, Africa, and South America. He sits on the board of several TSE and TSX listed companies and is the former President and CEO of Lithium One Resources.
Joe K. F. Tai (Director)
Joe Tai has over 18 years of experience in investment, finance, and the capital markets of Canada, the US, and Greater China. He is the Managing Director of CWN Capital Inc., a Hong Kong based capital market consultation firm focused on Asia-Canada cross-border transactions, and is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of ChineseWorldNet.com Inc., a Chinese-language financial online information platform and one of the largest Chinese focused investor relations providers in North America. He has extensive expertise in facilitating cross-border transactions and strategic partnerships, building cross-cultural business relationships with Asian industrial groups, high net-worth investors and financial institutions. Joe serves as director for numerous North American publicly listed companies including several listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange.
Aleksander Konanykhin (Chief Geologist)
Has 38yrs experience in senior geological positions. For 19yrs a Geologist/Chief Geologist at KGE. In 2000-2008 Deputy Director Geology at the Kurgan Region branch of the Federal State Institute of the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1997-1999 Head of the Geologic dept. at the Committee of Natural Resources for Kurgan Region.Holds a Certificate of Honor from the Ministry of Natural Resources for outstanding achievements.Holds a Degree in Geology-Engineering from Sverdlovsk Mining Institute.