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Sean Murray

Glorious Leader

Cale Leeson

Young Gun

Sean is the original mastermind behind the Nor’Wester Maple Co. Ever since tapping into a silver maple one spring, he has been keen on building and developing the company to make a product like no other. Sean is our fearless leader, the man behind the logistics of the company who tends to the business of things as if he has an MBA. He has arranged for the crew to attend conferences and workshops on the syrup industry, and has made connections with other syrup producers across the province. He has also spent countless hours researching and absorbing all knowledge he can on syrup production. Sean grew up with a passion and respect for the wild outdoors, and is an avid woodsman. There’s nothing that he enjoys more than taking off with his fly rod and casting for a nice Brook trout, except maybe the sound and song of maple sap dripping into hundreds of buckets on a quiet day. He is also a skilled hunter and trapper and has earned himself an HBA in History and Education from Lakehead University.

Cale is the newest member to the Nor’Wester Maple Co., having joined the group at the end of summer, 2016. As the youngest member of the group, Cale is often the one to crack a joke and keep up morale in the bush on tough days. Like most of the crew, he has a great passion for the outdoors, and spent many of his summers as a kid camping with his family at Obonga Lake in the northern boreal forest. Cale has a passion for learning about his Métis heritage, as well as Canadian history, and our connection with the environment. He is often inspired by the outdoors enough to write a song or two about the scenery that surrounds, some of which become campfire hits for him and Abe to perform as their band, The Shielders. He can hold his own with a guitar and Irish tenor banjo. His other interests include hockey, canoeing, hunting, fishing, mountain biking and downhill skiing. He is also a volunteer firefighter in the municipality of Shuniah. Cale has been instrumental in creating the Nor’Wester Maple Co. social media pages, as well as keeping up with company communication, public relations, and branding. Of course he can also be found up in the mountains on the weekends helping with the general duties of the maple stand. When he’s not spending his time as Abe’s bushcraft and heritage skill apprentice, or making syrup, Cale can probably be found at your local hospital where he's living life as a second year NOSM medical student.

Abe Zettek

Lord of the Forest

Abe is one of the original three partners of the company, and was present during the historical first tap of the trees last year at the Stand. Abe participated in making the first few personal batches of syrup over an open fire the traditional way, and has been dedicated to the company ever since. He is the traditional woodsman of the group, and can often be found in winter wearing a sturdy wool capote and mukluks. Abe enjoys back country canoeing, bush craft skills and heritage crafts. The other crew members are often wary of his light-footedness and his ability to climb in the treetops. He sometimes schemes to scare the daylights out of us when we least expect it, always keeping us on our toes. Thanks Abraham. Abe is also a handy musician, with the ability to play bagpipes, guitar, mandolin, Irish tenor banjo, German flute, and fife (to name a few). A graduate of the Forestry program at Lakehead University, Abe has a large role to play in the forest management of our maple stand. If he had it his way Abe would be living in the woods for most of his days practicing bushcraft skills.

Dave Bates

Mad Scientist

Dave is another founding member of the company, helping to oversee the first few, albeit experimental, bottles of syrup that were made over a fire. Speaking of experiments, Dave is the scientist of the group, and spends his time masterminding and researching new ways to use syrup in tasty treats, and unexpected solutions. From time to time he also uses his powers to show off a mind blowing magic tricks. Dave has a strong passion for the history of the Thunder Bay area, and possesses great knowledge of the Canadian fur trade, the North West Company and French Canadian voyageurs of olde. You would almost think that Dave is a member of the Lords of the Lakes and Forests himself. He even retraced the routes of explorer David Thompson while participating in the David Thompson Canoe Brigade. David Bates is a Metis scientist and educator based out of Science North 's Thunder Bay office. He has studied for an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Guelph, and a degree in biomolecular science at Lakehead University. He has academic publications in PLoS one, and Medical Physics, and will ramble about using sound to kill bacteria, and nanoparticles to find cancer at the drop of a hat. When not laughing maniacally in his maple laboratory, Dave can be found chopping an entire cord of wood singlehandedly with a splitting maul.

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