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Our people


Kern Briscoe

President & CEO

Kern came to VS in 1985 as a Project Supervisor after earning his BA at U of C & honing his skills in the industry for 10 years. He was quickly promoted to Manager of Special Projects, then to Manager of Roads & Special Projects. When VSC was the successful proponent for Southern Alberta’s Highway Maintenance Contracts in 1996, he also assumed management of that Division & in 2001 was promoted to VP, Asphalt Operations & Highway Maintenance. In 2008 he was promoted to Sr. VP, Director & in 2009 was appointed to the Presidency. In his nearly 40 years in the construction industry in Calgary, Kern has forged enduring partnerships with land developers, clients, suppliers & subcontractors as well as earning their respect. He is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of VS Canada as well as those of our subsidiaries, VS Contracting, VS Highways, H. Wilson Industries in Fort McMurray, McNally Contractors in Lethbridge & Mainline Construction in Grande Prairie.

Fred Desjarlais

Vice President

Fred has been part of the Management of VS since 1996 when the Company was awarded the Lethbridge Highway Maintenance Contract. As General Superintendent responsible for management of field operations, Fred helped open the office & commence operations in Lethbridge. Since 2001, when VS was awarded the Calgary Highway Maintenance Contracts, he has risen through the ranks from Operations Manager to General Manager to his current position as VP & member of the Executive Management Team. Recently, Fred has been instrumental in successfully re-bidding & extending the Highway Maintenance Contracts as well as leading VS Highways in a successful Joint Venture for the design/build & 30 year maintenance portion of the North East Anthony Henday project in Edmonton. Fred oversees all operations of VS Highways as well as our Lethbridge subsidiary, McNally Contractors.

Mike Festa

Senior Vice President

Mike earned his C.E.T. at SAIT & has served VS since 1978 as an Estimator, Project Coordinator, General Superintendent of the Underground Division, Calgary & Southern Alberta Area Manager; in 2001 was promoted to VP of Underground Utilities, Special Projects & Design/Build & in 2008 he was promoted to his current position of Sr. VP, Director & member of the Executive Management Team. Mike is responsible for overseeing all construction activity for VS Contracting including a work force of 400, a large equipment pool, a very large annual turnover, budgeting, cost control, negotiating contracts as well as public relations with clients, developers, suppliers & subcontractors. His 35 plus years in the industry have earned him utmost respect from his peers & an exemplary track record.

Greg Hooper

Vice President

Greg Hooper, Vice President has been with VS since 1988 following earning his C.E.T. & beginning his career on the asphalt side of construction. He has served as an Estimator & Project Manager and Manager of Underground Utilities in 1999. In 2010, he was promoted to his current VP position & became a member of the Executive Management Team. He is responsible for overseeing the entire operations of our subsidiaries: H. Wilson Industries in Fort McMurray and Mainline Construction in Grande Prairie. Greg is responsible for our activities relating to asphalt plants & aggregates for the VS Canada group of Companies.

Jase Vanover

Chief Financial Officer, Director

Jase leads Volker Stevin's Finance, IT, HR and Corporate Services groups. He has more than 20 years of experience in the construction & building material industries, having held leadership roles in business units, corporate offices, manufacturing facilities and shared service centres, in both Canada and the USA. A native of Calgary, Jase has a BComm from the University of Calgary as well as an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and is a CPA, CMA


Daniel Attwell

General Manager Information Technology

Joined the Volker Stevin group in January of 2012 bringing a wealth of knowledge & experience gained through more than 30 years of experience in both the Telecommunications & IT fields. He is responsible for the overall development & execution of goals & objectives for the Information Technology group, which keeps him extremely busy.

Rick Comeau

Capex Program Manager

Rick joined VS in August of 2013 bringing a wealth of knowledge & over 40 years’ experience in asset acquisition & management. He began his career as a parts man with a local equipment dealer then earned his Journeyman Parts Certificate & held positions in product support, equipment sales & rentals, branch management & used equipment management. Rick has also worked as an independent broker for used equipment & as a director for a firm engaged in repairing major components for the mining industry. In addition he has recent experience with a major construction firm’s asset management group and participating in their implementation of a new ERP system where he was designated as a super-user for their purchasing team. Rick has the responsibility for capital acquisitions, capital financing & asset disposals for all of the Volker Stevin Canada companies.

Dennis Locking

General Manager, Corporate Services

Dennis Locking, General Manager, Corporate Services has been with the VS family since 1978 when he worked in the Concrete Division in various capacities. When an opportunity to develop a career at then John Devries Contracting Ltd. became available, Dennis decided to change his plans for a Law and/or Teaching career and use his education in accepting a position as Manager of Personnel, Risk Loss & Safety. In 1997 Dennis was promoted to Manager, Corporate Services and then to General Manager with VolkerWessels Canada Ltd. Through the years his responsibilities have undergone immense growth, taking on responsibility of H.R. Insurance, risk, environment and safety Departments, as well as numerous other Corporate Responsibilities. He works with Senior Management in establishing the overall direction of the Company relating to safety, environmental and risk loss. Dennis has been a board member of the Alberta Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association (ARHCA), the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) & the Rundle College Society as well as being a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.

Isabela Gasparini

Corporate Manager, HR & Payroll

Isabela Gasparini, Corporate Manager, Human Resources & Payroll, joined VS in June of 2012 with the overall responsibility for the Human Resources (HR) strategy for all Volker Stevin Companies. Isabela brings a business-focused, people-centric approach to HR that will support & strengthen VS’s entrepreneurial philosophy. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Communications (1988) Isabela furthered her professional development with HR & Management courses at U of C & completed the Executive Studies, Strategic HR at RRU in Victoria, BC in 2008. She has the critical role of supporting the Executive Team of aligning our People Strategy with the overall organizational values & results.

Dan Tran

Corporate Controller

Dan Tran, Corporate Controller, joined Volker Stevin in 2013 after spending six years in public practice at KPMG LLP on the external audit team, most recently as the Audit Manager. Her background includes serving private and public companies in construction, oil and gas, energy services, real estate, mining, manufacturing, financial institutions and NPO’s, and has worked in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Australia. Originally from Calgary, Dan is a Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting & Psychology from the University of Calgary. She reports to the Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for financial reporting and corporate functions for all Volker companies, and supervises the daily operations of the accounting/finance group. Dan is an avid volunteer within the community and currently serves at the Treasurer on the Board for the Autism Calgary Association.

Kirsten Nielsen

Manager, HR & Payroll

Kirsten Nielsen, Manager, Human Resources & Payroll, began her Volker Stevin career in 1995 as receptionist. In 1996, Kirsten was promoted to Personnel, Risk Loss & Safety Assistant & as the Company grew she specialized in the Human Resource (HR) aspect of the Department. After taking on more HR functions she decided to further her knowledge by attending Mount Royal & earned her certificate in Business Administration HR. In 2010, she eared her designation of Certified HR Professional & in January of 2011 was promoted to her current position dealing with the day-to-day operations of the people resources & payroll at VS. Kirsten is an active member of the Human Resource Institute of Alberta & also serves on the ARHCA Committee for Human Resources.

Marcel Rijkens

Operations Controller

Marcel Rijkens, Operations Controller crossed the pond from VolkerWessels in Amersfoort, Netherlands, to continue his career in Calgary with VS Canada in 2014. He is a certified accountant (in the Netherlands) and in his role of operations controller responsible for accounting, controls and management information of VS Contracting and VS Highways. At VolkerWessels Marcel was the group reporting manager and handled consolidated financial reporting to both internal and external stakeholders. Before joining VolkerWessels Marcel had worked for 15 years as an external auditor at KPMG and Deloitte and dealt with both public and private clients mainly in Construction, Real Estate and Oil & Gas.

Trevor Selymes

Manager, Claims & Risk/Loss

Trevor Selymes, Manager, Claims & Risk/Loss, joined Volker Stevin in March of 2011 and currently oversees the claims management and loss prevention strategies throughout the Volker Stevin Canada group of companies. After completing a degree in microbiology at the University of Manitoba, Trevor relocated to Alberta and developed his career providing EHS consulting services for local and international clients. Trevor currently Chairs the Volker Stevin Safety Excellence Steering Committee, Vice-Chair’s the ARHCA Safety Committee and sits on the ARHCA Board of Directors.