Who We Are

Alexander Whitehead Executive Search is a retained executive search firm established in 2013 as an alternative to the traditional business model offered by large executive search firms.

We have offices in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta, and serve private and public enterprises operating regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The Team

Founding Managing Partners Michael Alexander and Terry Whitehead have 25 years of experience leading complex and challenging global search assignments across multiple sectors and industries.

Michael Alexander

Managing Partner

Natural Resources and Construction

Michael has over 15 years of search experience executing senior executive placements across a broad range of business sectors including mining, renewable energy, construction, and manufacturing. Prior to founding Alexander Whitehead, Michael was part of the industrial practice at a global search firm where he established a reputation for delivering results on technically and geographically complex assignments. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and his professional experience includes Board positions with a small manufacturing company and a professional services firm. He speaks English, French, and conversational Spanish. Michael resides in North Vancouver with his wife and two young children.


Connect with Michael on LinkedIn

Terry Whitehead

Managing Partner

Mining and Public Sector

Prior to founding Alexander Whitehead, Terry served in progressively senior corporate development positions before transitioning to executive search for a global recruitment firm. Within the mining, forestry, and public sectors, he has successfully concluded searches at the Board, C-suite executive, and senior management levels for large international private companies and regional public sector institutions. Terry has an undergraduate degree from the University of Lethbridge and serves on the Board of Governors and the Executive and Compensation committees. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Writers Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival.


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Sam Morris


Forestry and Industrial Manufacturing

In 2015, Sam Morris joined the firm as a Senior Associate to lead the Forestry division. Sam’s previous executive search experience included launching the forestry practice for an international recruitment firm. He has established a reputation as a national leader in identifying the next generation of executives in the forestry sector, and he has distinguished himself for his ability to complete complex technical search assignments for operations in remote locations. Sam has successfully completed senior management and C-suite search assignments with clients ranging from large publicly-traded international companies to smaller, privately-held forestry companies across Canada and the United States. In addition to forestry, Sam has led complex searches in mining, manufacturing, and construction. Sam attended Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and focused his studies in Real Estate Management.


Connect with Sam on LinkedIn

Seema Kanwal

Senior Researcher

A veteran of the executive search industry with 25 years’ experience to her credit, Seema Kanwal is well recognized for her trademark methodical approach to the search process which has resulted in the successful recruitment of candidates in local, national and international markets. Seema has diverse exposure to multiple sectors, including natural resources and the public sector. Prior to joining Alexander Whitehead, she spent 15 years with a leading boutique search firm as part of their senior research team. Seema has honed her research talents with executive search firms in Hong Kong and Vancouver. She is fluent in Cantonese, Hindi, and Punjabi. Seema is also an AESC Certified Researcher.


Connect with Seema on LinkedIn

Advisory Services

Advisory Services
Our clients retain us on a frequent basis for the following consulting projects outside of executive search:

Succession Planning
We assist clients to identify future talent for key operational and leadership roles through candidate identification, psychometric testing, assessment, and compensation benchmarking.

Candidate Development
Once candidates are identified and in place, we support their development by providing onboarding and executive coaching.

Market Intelligence
We provide clients with objective research and market opinion on corporate culture and corporate reputation.

Our Values

As trusted advisors, our priority is to exceed our clients’ expectations by delivering superior results to their timelines. We partner with select, reputable organizations and operate within a shared investment, shared reward partnership that results in the identification of the best candidates in the marketplace.

We value honest and confidential exchange of information with our clients and candidates. Our candidate selection criteria are directed by each client’s specific needs and are outlined in the comprehensive Position Specification we share with pre-qualified individuals.

We work collaboratively and confidentially with our candidates to ensure their skills and experience align with the needs of our clients, and we provide our candidates with constructive feedback about their status throughout the search process.

Community Investment

Alexander Whitehead Executive Search invests in the communities in which we work and live. We do this through volunteerism and corporate philanthropy. Each year we donate one percent of our revenue to diverse local charitable organizations that enhance our communities.

Beyond COVID-19

What’s Next for Canadian Business?

Surviving M&A

Surviving M&A After the deals close, what happens to executive talent?

HR Q&A: Looking Ahead to 2019

This report shares the thoughts and opinions of HR leaders from across Canada on what to expect in 2019.

In Conversation: October 2018

Interviews with nine prominent Chief Administration Officers of communities across BC.

Where is HR?

HR executives comprise a small fraction of today’s corporate board composition. What are you doing about it?

HR Q&A: Looking Ahead to 2018

This year’s report reflects the input and opinions from established and emerging HR leaders across Canada. Download your copy of the report to learn what is on the minds of HR leaders heading into 2018.

HR Q&A: Looking Ahead to 2017

Welcome to the second annual publication of HR Q&A. We return this year with more predictions and opinions for 2017.

Appointment of Mr. Adnan Khan as Vice President, Strategic Capital • Pinnacle Renewable Energy

Pinnacle Renewable Energy, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of industrial wood pellets, announced the appointment of Mr. Adnan Khan as Vice President, Strategic Capital. Mr. Khan is a Professional Engineer and holds a Project Management Professional certification. He has extensive experience in process improvement, engineering and controls, project management, business development and stakeholder relations gained from a 30 year career with industry leading multinational businesses.

Appointment of Mr. Russell Higdon as General Manager, Operations • Pinnacle Renewable Energy

Pinnacle Renewable Energy, a British Columbia based wood pellet and renewable energy producer, announced the appointment of Mr. Russell Higdon as General Manager, Operations. Mr. Higdon previously spent 30 years working in operational and regional management positions in Canada and the United States for C&C Resources and Skretting.

Appointment of Scott MacKenzie, Vice President, Corporate Development • Millar Western Forest Products

Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., an integrated forest products company based in Edmonton, Alberta, has appointed Scott Makenzie as the company’s first Vice President, Corporate Development. Mr. MacKenzie was previously the Director, Corporate Development and Strategic Planning for Stuart Olson in Calgary.

Appointment of Tom Pazdera, President and Unit Head • AV Terrace Bay

Tom Pazdera joins AV Terrace Bay, an operating asset of the global conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, as the President and Unit Head of their Ontario pulp operations. Mr. Pazdera has over 30 years experience in pulp manufacturing having worked for a number of industry leading producers including KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp, MeadWestvaco (now WestRock) and International Paper.

Appointment of Robert McVeigh, Mine Development Manager • Compass Minerals

Compass Minerals, a leading producer of minerals, including salt, magnesium chloride, sulfate of potash and other plant nutrition products, welcomes Robert McVeigh as Mine Development Manager at their flagship salt mine in Goderich, Ontario. Mr. McVeigh is Professional Engineer and previously spent several years working on the mine design within PotashCorp (now Nutrien) mine operations across Canada.

Appointment of Millar Dussan, Vice President Technology • Equinox Gold

Millar Dussan joins Equinox Gold, a growing junior precious metals producer operating in Brazil and the United States, as the new Vice President, Technology. Millar has over 20 years of experience in progressively senior IT leadership positions with Teck Resources and Finning International.

Appointment of David Fisher, Vice President, International Marketing • Forestry Innovation Investment

Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), a British Columbia Crown Corporation responsible for developing markets for forest products, welcomes David Fisher as Vice President, International Marketing. David brings over 30 years of operational experience in the forestry sector Canfor, Interfor and Ainsworth.

Appointment of Mike Heller, Director, Information Technology • Conifex Timber

Conifex Timber, a growth-oriented publicly traded wood products company, welcomes Mr. Mike Heller to the organization as Director, Information Technology. Mr. Heller’s previously held senior leadership roles in the mining industry with KGHM and Walter Energy.

Appointments of Blair Lockhart, Tom Loski, and Carolann Brewer, Commissioners • British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC)

British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) is the province’s regulatory body overseeing the utilities, pipelines, and ICBC. BCUC welcomes Blair Lockhart, former senior counsel with British Columbia Securities Commission; Tom Loski, a utilities executive with previous leadership experience with BC Hydro and Fortis; and Carolann Brewer, a legal professional with First Nations expertise as Full-Time Commissioners.

Appointment of Jordan Neeser, Vice President, Finance • Conifex Timber

Conifex Timber, a growth-oriented publicly traded wood products company, announced the appointment of Mr. Jordan Neeser as Vice President, Finance in December 2018. Mr. Neeser’s previous experience includes senior leadership roles with First Quantum Mining in Europe, and most recently as the Manager, Capital Markets at the Jim Pattison Group.  

Appointment of Bob Gill, General Manager • Puna Operations, Argentina

SSR Mining, a growing mid-tier precious metals producer, announced the appointment of Mr. Robert Gill as General Manager of the Puna operation in the Puna region of Jujuy Province, Argentina. Mr. Gill’s previous experience…

Ashlie Corcoran, Artistic Director • Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company

Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company, Canada’s largest urban professional not-for-profit theatre company, welcomes Ashlie Corcoran as its new…

Siren Fisecki, Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Communications • Pan American Silver

Pan American Silver, the world’s second-largest primary silver producer, announced the appointment of Siren Fisecki as the company’s first Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Ms. Fisecki was previously…

Appointment of Peter Andrews, Vice President, Fibre and Sustainability • Millar Western Forest Products

Millar Western Forest Products, a privately held diversified wood products producer, welcomes Peter Andrews as Vice President Fibre and Sustainability. Mr. Andrews previously spent 30 years with West Fraser Timber in British Columbia and Alberta where his exposure included woodlands, manufacturing, and regional management.

Appointment of Kevin Jewett • Vice President, Woodlands

Tolko Industries Ltd announced the appointment of Kevin Jewett as Vice President, Woodlands, effective February 2018. Mr. Jewett previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Fornebu Lumber Company in…

Robert Glatz, Chief Financial Officer • West Linn Paper Company

West Linn Paper Company in West Linn, Oregon announced the appointment of Robert Glatz as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Glatz previously served as the Business Controller, North America for Moventas Inc…

Christian Dietrich, General Manager • Ecowaste Industries

Ecowaste Industries appointed Christian Dietrich as General Manager to lead the diverse and growing operations of the company. Mr. Dietrich has over 20 years of international leadership experience in waste management…

Paul Nielson, Head of Development Portfolio • Waterton Global Resource Management

Waterton Global Resource Management, a private equity firm specializing in the metals and mining sector, welcomes Paul Nielson as Head of Development Portfolio. Mr. Nielson previously served as a Senior Director for the…

Cameron Chapman, General Manager • SSR Mining

SSR Mining, a growing mid-tier precious metals producer, announced the appointment of Mr. Cameron Chapman as General Manager of the Seabee operation in Saskatchewan. Mr. Chapman previous experience includes over…

Patrick Freer, Senior Vice President, Asset Management • Fengate Real Asset Investment

Fengate Real Asset Investment welcomed Patrick as a Director, Power and Utilities. Fengate is a leading investment firm with a focus on infrastructure, real estate, and private equity. Prior to joining Fengate, Patrick worked in P3 and…

Peter Lind, Director, Metallurgy • Goldcorp Inc.

Goldcorp Inc., a major gold production company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, announced the appointment of Peter Lind as Director, Metallurgy. Prior to joining Goldcorp, Peter spent nearly 10 years with Barrick in…

Peter Spindloe, Director of Operations • Nicholson Manufacturing

Nicholson Manufacturing, a global leader in the production of debarkers for the sawmilling industry, welcomes Peter Spindloe to the organization as Director of Operations. Mr. Spindloe has extensive experience in operations…

Appointment of Leslie Hurtig • Artistic Director, Vancouver Writers Fest

The Vancouver Writers Fest announced the appointment of Leslie Hurtig as the new Artistic Director to replace Hal Wake following his retirement in November. Ms. Hurtig was previously the Board Chair…

Appointment of Christopher Lemon • General Counsel, Pan American Silver

Pan American Silver, the world’s second-largest primary silver producer, announced the appointment of Christopher Lemon as the new General Counsel. Mr. Lemon was previously General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with…