Our board of directors

Our board of directors

A group of seasoned professionals
to ensure the prosperity of Champion Iron.

Michael O’Keeffe - Champion Iron

Michael O’Keeffe
Executive Chairman of the Board

A metallurgist by training, Michael serves as executive chairman of Champion Iron. His vast knowledge of the mining industry and its issues and his extensive experience managing large companies have given him an impressive track record of rock-solid achievements.

Riversdale Mining Limited (2004-2011)

As executive chairman, Michael drove the development of this Australian mining company, taking it from a junior company with a market capitalization of $7 million to a major company acquired by Rio Tinto for the staggering sum of $4 billion. During his tenure at Riversdale Mining, Michael raised nearly $780 million for the company.

Glencore Australia Limited (1995-2004)

As managing director, Michael was responsible for Glencore’s Australian acquisitions. Under his tutelage, company market share in Australia and South Asia increased exponentially, and sales exploded from $100 million to $2.4 billion.

Mount Isa Mines (1975-1994)

At Mount Isa, Michael rose with determination up to executive management level in commercial activities of this mining company in Queensland, Australia. His mandates included feasibility studies for copper smelting and pursuing refining opportunities in Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

David Cataford, <span>Eng.</span> - Champion Iron

David Cataford, Eng.
Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mining engineer by training, David joined Champion Iron in 2014 and was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2019. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, David held the role of Chief Operating Officer at Champion Iron where he played a key role in the management team. David completed the acquisition and delivery of the successful restart of the Bloom Lake Mine by managing its construction, its commissioning, and building a team composed of more than 900 top mining talents. In addition to his successful performance history in executing acquisitions, David held several management positions in the Labrador Trough including his tenure with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. and ArcelorMittal.

David cofounded and held the role of president for the North Shore and Labrador Mineral Processing Society. David’s career has been recognized by several accolades including the Young Mining Professionals award and the Brendan Woods International Top Gun CEO award.

Michelle Cormier - Champion Iron

Michelle Cormier

A CPA and CA, Michelle has vast experience in senior management in corporate strategy, finance, human resources and reorganization. Michelle is an operating partner for the Quebec-based investments of Wynnchurch Capital (Canada) Ltd., a $2.3 billion private equity fund.

Before joining Wynnchurch, Michelle was chief financial officer for a private company and for a publicly traded forest products company operating in Canada and the United States. She is an accredited executive officer with solid expertise in corporate governance.

In addition to serving on the Champion Iron board of directors, Michelle serves on the boards of Hydro-Québec, Cascades Inc., Uni-Select Inc, Industries Moreau Inc. and Pro-Fab Inc.

Gary Lawler, <span>LLB., LLM.</span> - Champion Iron

Gary Lawler, LLB., LLM.

Gary has practiced as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer for over 30 years. Over the course of his illustrious career, he has advised numerous companies and investment banks on a wide range of commercial transactions, including hostile takeovers and anti-takeover measures.

Gary is a trusted consultant to many clients on corporate governance. He also served on the boards of Dominion Mining Limited and Riversdale Mining Limited.

Peers describe Gary as “being the most prominent and having the highest standing in the M&A market.”

Jyothish Devina George - Champion Iron

Jyothish Devina George

Mr. George is currently Head of Glencore’s Iron Ore Division. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the El Aouj Mining Company SA in Mauritania and a member of the Board of Directors of Jumelles Limited, the holding company of the Zanaga iron ore mine in the Republic of Congo.

Immediately prior to his current role, Mr. George served as the Chief Risk Officer of Glencore. He earlier held a number of roles at Glencore’s head office in Baar, Switzerland from 2009 onwards focused on iron ore, nickel and ferroalloys physical and derivatives trading, and has been involved with iron ore marketing since its inception at Glencore.  Mr. George joined Glencore in 2006 in London.

He was previously a Principal at Admiral Capital Management in Greenwich, Connecticut, a Vice President in equity derivatives trading at Morgan Stanley in New York, and started his career at Wachovia Securities in New York as a Vice President in convertible bonds trading.

Mr. George received a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Madras, India and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

Louise Grondin - Champion Iron

Louise Grondin

Louise Grondin has been Senior Vice-President of Human Resources and Culture for Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (“Agnico Eagle”), an international gold producer based in Canada, since January 2020. Joining Agnico Eagle in 2001, Ms. Grondin has held various management positions, including Senior Vice-President of Environment, Sustainable Development and Human Resources and Senior Vice-President of Environment and Sustainable Development. Prior to working with Agnico Eagle, Ms. Grondin was Director of Environment, Human Resources and Safety for Billiton Canada Ltd.

A graduate of University of Ottawa (B.Sc.) and McGill University (M.Sc.), she is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario and Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec and a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Jessica McDonald - Champion Iron

Jessica McDonald

Ms. McDonald has been a corporate director since 2014 and has been certified by the Institute of Corporate Directors since 2017. She is currently a member of the board of directors of GFL Environmental Inc. and Foran Mining Corporation. Ms. McDonald was also a director of Coeur Mining, Inc. from 2018 to 2023, a director of Hydro One Limited from 2018 to 2022 and a director and chair of Trevali Mining Corporation between 2017 and 2020. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. McDonald was President and Chief Executive Officer of the BC Hydro and Power Authority, a clean energy utility with over $5.5 billion in annual revenue and more than 5,000 employees. Ms. McDonald is a director of Sustainable Development Technology Canada. She acted as interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post Corporation from April 2018 to March 2019 and was the chair of its board of directors between 2017 and 2020. Ms. McDonald served as the Chair of Powertech Labs, one of the largest testing and research laboratories in North America and a director of Powerex, an energy trading company. Ms. McDonald has extensive government experience, including serving as Deputy Minister to the Premier and Head of the BC Public Service. Ms. McDonald holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds a certification in cybersecurity oversight from the National Association of Corporate Directors and Carnegie Mellon University.