Ambition, education, innovation. Why Shakti tree planters stay ahead...

Hall Of Fame

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Carlie Puckett

Allegedly the child of Vikings, Carlie thankfully strayed from her predestined war path to choose, instead, the conquest of outdoor recreation. Her subsequent experiences with art, traveling, work and school are apparent. Any challenge before Carlie is approached with a certain style, competence and brute force that is uniquely her own.

Carlie can be found between her home town of 100 Mile House and the rest of western Canada. She has a degree in forestry and outdoor recreation from Selkirk College. Her time is divided between various projects.

 
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Julia Herzog

Julia’s counterparts in university, on the planting block, playing water polo, or on any other competitive front, know a few things for certain. She’s always a pleasure to be around, always an unrelenting positive force–when she’s not busy dusting the floor with you. It’s not the kind of thing you soon forget.  Great to have you on the team.

Julia has a degree in political science from U of Guelph and divides her time between Canada and the rest of the world.

 
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James Wilkie

The Wilkiest man alive.  Jim is the Yin and Yang of planting. In camp he’s the first guy to welcome newcomers. He pulls heartstrings with his choice musical ability and coins the phrases which raise crew spirit. In the field Jim is a workhorse, he’s all business. Legend has it that he finished a season with a broken wrist (shovel side), though it seems unlikely.

Ol’ Jimbo is a wily vet, a genuine good guy, and a true friend.

Jim resides in Kelowna in the off season.  He’s an avid snowboarder, a handyman and a seasoned traveler.

 

Jordan Hodgkinson

Whether he’s on the block, playing sports, playing Xbox, acing his classes or being the ever cool guy we know and love–well, Jordan’s got skills. Mad skills. Great job with the skills man.*

Jordan is wrapping up a science degree from U of A in Edmonton. Apparently he’s just stoked.

 

Bill and Cathy Hodgkinson

We thought we knew what we were doing until we met Bill and Cathy Hodgkinson. If they don’t then no one does.

Bill and Cathy are the backbone of Alberta. Their busy lives are divided between their family and their farm. Their generosity and advice has given Shakti a strong foothold in the industry. They are an immense source of inspiration and the unquestioned last word on work ethics, practical knowledge and Jordan’s homework.

– It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock & roll.- AC/DC

 
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Chelsey Ogilvie

Revered for her strategic insight and leadership capacity; feared for her volatile temper and abuse of power. Chelsey is the natural generalissimo.

It is frightening how fast Chelsey picks up any job put before her. Some people got it, and some people got it!

Chelsey is finishing a science degree from U of A in Edmonton.

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George Momchilov

George takes management to the level of our most esteemed highballers. That is an admirable achievement of any in this tree planting business. George is awesome because he’s smart, book smart and number smart, and he’s a very nice and good person. But also, not least least of all, he works relentlessly, blissfully, uncompromisingly hard. There’s just one direction when you work that hard, and it’s wherever the fuck you want. Some people got it.

 
 
 
 

Mike Hammett 

Caught between the forces of good and evil, this writer by nature is forced into a literary battle to save the Universe.

Mike has an unmatched sense of wit and satire with an ever keen eye for human behaviour. He also seems to have a unique tolerance over physical elements and can win a mean food fight… The good fight.

Mike has a degree in English Lit. from the University of Waterloo.  Mike too has developed a taste for traveling the Rock. This is the only known picture of Mike in existence.

 

Patrick Tucker

No need to ask for Pat’s help, just accept it. Pat would take a crack at any task. Capable or not, he’ll try. He just assumes the role that others shy away from. He’s a silent politician in a game people are so frustrated with they don’t even care to watch.  I bet he’ll be prime minister by default. One day, you will show up to the ballot and suddenly realize you’re about to vote for Pat. You won’t have any choice.

He’s the subsidy for our indecision. He’s the answer to problems we ignore. Pat’s the last line of defense in a plan that seems destined to fail. It’s gutsy. Lots of room in the economy for people like that.

The guy who wrote the The Art of War was probably like Pat. And Lao Tzu?…

The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.   

But really it’s Pat.

 

Greg Inman

Greg likes living in the wilderness. To the point that I think he’s messing with us. But his commitment to nature is true, and the idea that we’re all a part of it.

He reminded us that generosity IS worth-while [he taught us from scratch]. If we ever did have to eat one of us (you know, for survival), his animal reincarnate would probably be the least likely to come back and maul us and yet the most capable of doing so. It’s good, you really don’t see that a lot. Or perhaps he’d reincarnate as one of those marsh birds that builds model homes out of reeds to impress their mates. Who would take the time? Greg as a Marsh Wren, that’s who.

He really breaks down the typecast that “gentleman” comes from the word “gentry”. He’s very considerate for someone that rough. That’s probably how Robin Hood got started.

 

Brian Sakala

Brian works hard with the best of them and is always upbeat despite the toughest adversity. Add to that a sense of humour of the highest calibre and you have a true Shakti legend. From our earliest days and through the steepest growth, Brian is an extremely loyal and dedicated worker who teaches us a lot about living in the moment while respecting the future.

He’s a living example of what he wants to be. Makin Money, havin fun. Top class.

 

Dominique Matejczuk

Alright! Everybody… Step back!! Comin through, comin through, make room…. It’s Dom’s spot on the page, woohooo!!

Dom is here for – among many reasons – celebrity promotion. But also to warm your hearts to the thought that Dom IS out there, probably looking like this, and if you haven’t met her you’ll MAYBE get a chance.

She’s elusive to be sure. Never treading the same ground twice, or never… in quite the same way. A skidder driver once drove over his own Chevy trying to follow her because apparently she’d told him “what time it was.” Those who know her love her and follow her everywhere she goes.

Dominique has a ferocious work ethic and a certain awareness which is the envy of us all.

 

Ashley Nelson

For three years now Ashley has been working with Shakti in endless rounds of meeting up, going to work, travelling around, working more, hanging out, meeting people, working again and travelling around.

You are an excellent travelling and working companion. One of the best I will ever know.

You are a reason we get up and do our work every day. You make it make sense. It’s been fantastic. The world is yours. Thanks for being Ashley.

 

Jason Whelan

Jason Whelan is keen, honest and hard working. If you like getting stuff done, it’s fun working with Jason.

His crews are enormously productive. He’s run some of the most productive crews that I’ve ever heard of. He is always asking questions, he has a great attitude and he’s the first one ready when it’s time to go. His work ethic and enthusiasm are contagious.

This is a semi-permanent reference lasting for 12,000 years.

 
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Elizabeth Holloway

 

Liz is undoubtedly one of the central defining characters in this community and has contributed immensely to Shakti’s success. Liz brings a wealth of experience, education, positivity and hard work. She has a degree in environmental studies and a lot managing myriad projects in reforestation as well as other public and private and non-profit organizations. It also helps that she is hilarious, which is its own kind of currency around here. We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to grow and learn with Liz.

Best you don’t take her up on a bet however, she can see the future. Or join an opposing team in pictionary, like it’s not even fun.

 

The majority (of Production) 2012

They came, they busied themselves with everything you are supposed to and had a great time. I love you all and I want to be your contractor forever. That isn’t practical or even helpful really, but it’s just that I would. You make me want to do this forever.

Some of the many things I liked about the 2012 majority (of production):

  • I like that you’re all really cool people.
  • You are nice to everybody and super helpful.
  • You work hard and play hard.
  • And you all have such different talents and interests yet you work so well together at these projects.

You’ve changed the way this company is run… mainly to accommodate yourselves. Shakti exists because of you. We did a ridiculous amount of work this year, more than twice what we expected. It was incredible. I’m humbled. Thank you. Chris

 

Dylan Havig

Dylan has been a staple figure at Shakti since 2008 and he is a sound reason for our continued success. He has worked as a cone picker, cone foreman, tree planter, tree runner, and helped out in countless other practical ways.

Dylan is a kind, thoughtful person and has a certain detachment from his ego which is the envy of me and many other people. I don’t know a chiller, easier person to be around. I am extremely grateful for his presence over these years.

 
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Emilie Ouellette

Emilie found Shakti and quickly established a significant position here among the organization and community. Her confidence, assertiveness, and presence is well received by all. Throughout, she established strong connections with workers and clients alike. Her dedication of time and effort to her children is completely inspiring, an example I hope many of us can follow.

 

Taylor Zaina

Taylor has a relentless work ethic that is unparalleled. Whether it is physical challenge or challenging his mind, he simply won’t quit. This is complemented by an enormously fun and positive attitude. Taylor has worked at Shakti in every capacity from tree planter through to supervisor and has a great capability for any of the tasks here. He writes proposals, fixes trucks, organizes helicopters, budgets, and can foreman a block like nobody’s business. Whatever Taylor puts his mind to, it’s going to be awesome. It’s exciting to think about that kind of potential and how it will transpire.

 

Andrea Lauren Johnson

Andrea worked as the administrative ‘brainchild’ of Shakti over two years. She is a definitive character in Shakti’s organizational history. Andrea has an ability to make order of chaos, she is very selfless in nature, and has a keen sense of wellbeing for those around her. She is a super-pro big sister to her two cool younger siblings and this shines through in all else she does.

 

QC

Despite his relatively short stint working at Shakti, QC is a strong part of the community. He is thoughtful, kind and helps us wherever he can, with a good set of ears, insight, wisdom, and a big heart. Thanks for being there.

 

Russell Gendron

Russell unwittingly got himself hired as supervisor at Shakti, when he was 24 and had no experience or expectation to supervise anything. To this day that was one of the most cohesive and progressive crews I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the memories and stories and thanks to everyone on that crew or around that crew and during that whole era of time, it was so awesome. Russ was a big part of that. He’s a special guy, we all appreciate that.

 

Andrew Shepherdson

Andrew worked at Shakti in varying capacities over the last few years. I actually don’t know Andy that well, as we didn’t often cross paths somehow, but he’s hilarious with an awesome attitude and huge smile… which alone gets him on the Hall of Fame! Planet earth definitely needs people like that.

 

Cody Puckett

Cody takes truly amazing photos and does a lot of other amazing stuff…. Like the time he built that effigy the un-un-un-real solstice night at the river. There’s also a definite pride in their So Tight venture of clothing and Carlie’s Raven’s Roost Designs venture. It’s the best that can come of us, to see people be happy and do cool things. Cody brings a lot of that to his community.

 

Shamus Finnegan

Shamus brought a lot of inspiration to Shakti, before it began, and through until always. He makes hard work cool. He makes entrepreneurship and ambition something to celebrate and we owe a bunch of that inspiration to Shamus. Thank you so much for keeping us on track. Thanks for believing in Shakti and for all your inputs, in the field and in spirit. Shakti Power Shamus Finnegan.

 

Keegan StOnge

Elder of the Loose MoFo School of Life and brother to a lot of us, Keeghan embodies a lot of Shakti. Some people just get it, and it stays with you, it’s yours, you make it cool. You’ve got that essential tree planter thing. Thanks for helping us not grow out of that. So thanks for bringing a lot of tree planter, and a lot of fun, and genuine concern for the us and our way of life.

 

Dan Wiens

Dan Wiens is a rock solid member of the tree planting-traveler genome. When it’s time for action he’s always down. Dan is gifted at fixing things and getting by. He’s kinda like Mad Max in a world with no violence and everyone is just touring around for fun. Dan was incredibly instrumental in the famed ‘Raft Trip’ and the Black Rock City 12 Hour Shower; stand alone accomplishments I will never, ever, forget.

 

Aaron Roche

Aaron is a super hard worker and has an awesome attitude. He is also hilarious and that gets Hall of Fame Big Ups. Half of us would not be out there if it weren’t for people like Aaron Roche keeping it funny. That’s a skill that should be celebrated in any workplace. So thanks for that and all your hard work!

 

Timmy Grainger

Timmy planted here over a number of seasons and he is always a welcomed presence. He is one of those people who is a springboard for ideas and provides certain moral compass from which people make choices. Timmy was very helpful for me in this capacity as well as being a solid hard worker. Also we drifted down a river together, on a raft of plywood tied to empty fuel barrels, for two days, which was an outrageously epic trip.

 

Shauna Fulton

Shauna worked at Shakti for several years as a tree planter, cone picker and worker liaison. Her head is in the game and her enthusiasm goes a long way in motivating management. It is critically important that people participate in an organization beyond their normal scope of responsibility. Cooperation between disciplines and asking bigger, tougher questions is the basis of what makes an organization or society thrive. Thanks for doing a great job Shauna.

 

Curtis Prior

Curtis rose steadily through the ranks at Shakti and his status is well deserved. He is incredibly nice and caring and thoughtful. To the point I thought he was pulling my leg at first. It’s a bit hard to process when someone is that genuine and thoughtful. It serves us all well. Keep up the good work, in any capacity. Whatever you do.

 

Lisa King

http://www.smoothmoves.ca Another Viking of hilarity, character and good nature. Lisa is also here just for being a pillar of her community, and for making things cool and fun and for doing the right things. Those are big time major Hall of Fame qualities. Thanks for being awesome!

 

Jessie Hannah

Jessie Hannah worked at Shakti as the administrative manager for a while. Jessie has natural business sense and an intense desire to line up the ducks. It was a great experience to work with you, crush out paperwork and slam dunk numbers like that. You will keep being awesome at whatever you do, I have no doubt.

 

Issa Ulluman

Issa has a lot of guts and ambition, as well as being a very patient and kind person. I certainly admire his strength of conviction and positive willingness to endure the grit, mud, and snow that any worthwhile reforestation career will sling at you. Issa is among the tougher, braver, gentler people I know.

 

Greg Vorster

Greg did a lot of hard work at Shakti as a planter and in a leadership capacity. He has a spontaneous in-the-moment attitude that is contagious and enviable. He worked well with the first nations workers, which is very cool. His positivity plays a big roll in galvanizing those around him.

 

Ruadhan Broekhoven-Fiene

Rowan has an awesome imagination and we could really get carried away. He’s super funny and really weirdly strong. I sometimes wonder if he’s somehow willed himself to become some character from a computer game. He seems like one to me. Why not become super human? Unless you like having normal arms and legs and brain.

 
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Sarah Maglore

Sarah is one of the funniest and most engaging people I’ve ever met. She was a staple character of our community for years. Our world was small, and daily musings were blissfully simple in hindsight. Life at Shakti. Wouldn’t be the same without you.

 

Nina Robertson

Nina is one of the people who makes sense to me and it’s very good to have those kinds of people around when you find them. Whatever it was with Nina it always seemed chill and reasonable to me. Some people share a kind of alternate language or understanding where, we could be wrong, but, it’s going to be alright.

 

Cole Robertson

Cole worked here on an off for a few years. He supervised here for a while before going away to school. He’s a real good guy and… he can figure things out super fast. When you work with people a lot it’s a cool feeling when notice someone figuring things out at a rate that amazes. There were several moments like that with Cole. He has the smarts and determination to solve problems in a way that’s extremely admirable and useful. It will be cool to see how he uses it if he ever gets out of school. 

 

Andy Neudorf and Outback Ventures Inc.

It’s very hard to have a lot of ambition and a lot of integrity; Andy does both very well. We have learned a lot from Andy and the guys at Outback, working through some of the toughest terrain imaginable. I’m certain it was a learning experience all around and created friendships that will endure.

 

Ron Sparrow

Ron Sparrow is our all time rockstar consultant and general ecological advisor behind Shakti for quite some time. He’s who I ask when I’m ‘stumped.’ Ron gave Shakti a break when I was a fledgling contractor with a broke down truck and big dreams. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s a truly knowledgeable and respected member of the greater environmental restoration community and anyone is lucky to work with him.

 

Mark Lane

Mark Lane is the founder of Little Smokey Forestry Services Ltd. The first time I met Mark, I was digging a pit, by myself, in the rain. He looked down at me and said only ‘it should be bigger.’ From that moment I became Mark’s most loyal planter, and enthusiastically carried out all his orders, to the point that it made people uncomfortable, but they got over it because it made so MUCH MONEY and I will brag about it FOREVER. The tree planting operation that Mark built, with all the ambition, business prowess and mechanical genius that it required, was slicker than any I’ve ever seen. For someone with a remarkably passive management presence and unassuming wit, his accomplishments are nothing short of amazing and his contribution to tree planting is incredibly understated. I am absolutely lucky to have worked with Mark, if only as a planter. To see what came of it check out: littlesmokey.ca & dreamcycle.ca

 

Brett Henkel

Several few years after Mark Lane became my unintended mentor, Brett arrived and became an unintended student in my Adopt a Rookie Foreman Program.

It was decided that Brett would be the foreman of my crew and went about teaching him where I want my boxes and pieces for Jim and our friends. As planting mythology would have it; Brett took over as owner Little Smoky from Mark after I left to start Shakti. Luckily, in hindsight I am now big enough to admit our success in those days was a lot of Brett’s doing. I’m super proud and amazed at what Brett’s done with the Little Smokey and the community of people around him.

I’m proud that Little Smokey has played such a big role in my life and vis versa. I am also extremely excited about the next chapter in this epic saga; of Mark, Chris, Brett, and Little Smokey. And thus, I will hereby memorialize; my version of reality.

 
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Derrick Weldon

Derrick is a modest, laid back, chill guy to most people, so he would never endorse my saying so, but, Derrick is the greatest tree planter ever. Certainly in sheer numbers, I doubt anyone in history, not in Canada, has pushed 5 million trees like he has. His impact is far greater if you count the number of people he inspired and taught: to plant more trees, to be a helpful and productive workers, and certainly to take life in stride. He’s a brute hard worker, but does so with calculated efficiency and good intent, and always gets the job done right. He’s had a profound effect on me and some of the highest producing crews in tree planting history. Derrick Weldon folks. Now you know.

 

Conrad Matejczuk

Conrad caught Shakti early on and offered a lot of support for me the company when I really needed it. Even to this day, I know he remains one of the behind-the-scenes people, who supports and spreads the love that Shakti extends to him. Conrad was a big time high baller during his time as a planter and he continues that same intense drive towards his music which is simply very very awesome. Check it out at https://wildways.bandcamp.com

 

Craig Turney

Tree planting is fuelled by people like Craig Turney. For us it’s anything but a summer job. It’s so ridiculous we get to live like this, I mean what kind of incredible privilege, aside from very deliberate moments of poverty, allow us to plant trees, in camp, for a job… and then travel around wherever we want the rest of the time!?!?! It really the greatest thing ever. Craig does this really well.

 

Jarred Lacombe

Jarred is down for whatever. We know he is, cause you can literally call him right now and he’d be down for anything if you ask him right. That kind of loyalty in a friend is hard to find. He’s also funny and a great guy to hang out with. Thanks for all your dedication and hard work Jarred.

 

Carla Haywood

Some of the best workers sort of end up here by chance, and just think the whole thing is really funny. Which is great, I mean, that’s why I’m here. And when they apply themselves and it’s amazing what gets done. Carla makes it look easy and has fun doing it. Very fortunate to have worked with her. Thanks for being there. References and good will, wherever you go…

 

Nanny Plella

I was raised by a clown. It’s funny and it’s not a joke. I was literally raised, in large part by this clown – speaking in a clown’s voice – who taught me that people were clowns with makeup on.

It’s a huge advantage for a kid of any age to be able and see the world through Plella coloured lens. As helpful as anything I’ve learned.

 

Tenpa’ Shawo Tsering

Tenpa has played an important part of Shakti on many levels. We were very lucky to have worked with him. His presence is always welcomed including, not limited to: singing, laughing, positive attitude, and surprisingly versatile sense of humour. Tenpa leads by example in the most subtle and unexpected ways. In the time I’ve known Tenpa, we’ve been through many things, many changes and challenges, and I still often reflect on his resilience and grit he has to learn new things and take on new challenges. He has certainly set a certain tone for this community and I’m sure many others. Best regards and talk to you soon Buddy!