Ken Bloch Soerensen
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ken Bloch Soerensen is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Algoma Central Corporation. Ken joined Algoma following a successful 34-year career in the international maritime sector, including 18 years with A.P. Moller/Maersk where he held the position of General Manager in several of Maersk’s global operating units. Following his years with Maersk, Mr. Soerensen served as CEO of Swiss Federal Railways Cargo and in later roles focused on container shipping in the Asian, North Atlantic and Middle Eastern markets. Mr. Soerensen was CEO of United Arab Shipping Co. from 2005 to 2009 and was most recently Managing Director and Partner in IPSA Capital Limited.
Mr. Soerensen served for two years as the Executive Director of the European Liner Affairs Association in Brussels, representing the industry on regulatory matters in the European Union. During his career, he has served on numerous boards of industry organizations, including the boards of two P&I Clubs.
Mr. Soerensen has a Bachelor degree in Business Language Studies from Copenhagen Business School and has attended executive development programs at the London Business School and at INSEAD.
Peter D. Winkley, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Peter Winkley directs the financial strategy for Algoma, and is responsible for monitoring the financial performance of the company and its investments. Mr. Winkley is also responsible for capital structure, investor relations, risk management and the Company’s business information systems.
Mr. Winkley is the Chairman of the Canadian Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association, chair of the audit committee of The Standard Compensation Act Liability Association, and sits on the Member's Board of the North of England P&I Association.
Prior to joining Algoma in 2010, Mr. Winkley was CFO of Therapure Biopharma Inc., a Canadian biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer, and a senior financial executive with MDS Inc., a publicly listed Canadian life sciences company.
Mr. Winkley is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto
Chief Operating OfficerGregg Ruhl is responsible for the Operations, Technical, Commercial and HR teams at Algoma and the Algoma Ship Repair business unit. In his role as COO, Mr. Ruhl has operational responsibility for a fleet of over 50 owned and managed vessels in both Canadian and International trades including self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, geared and gearless dry bulk vessels, product tankers and specialty cement carriers.
Prior to joining Algoma in 2015, Mr. Ruhl was the Managing Director for the marine division of Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in Duluth, Minnesota with full P&L responsible for Great Lakes Fleet, Cogema and Aquatrain. Between 2004 and 2009, Mr. Ruhl was the Director Sales & Marketing, Vessels and Docks, also for CN. Prior to 2004, Gregg held increasingly senior positions within the marine and rail industries.
Mr. Ruhl served as Chairman of the Lake Carriers Association from 2012 to 2014.
Mr. Ruhl is a degreed Mechanical Engineer with a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
J. Wesley Newton
Senior Vice-President - Corporate Development and General Counsel
Wes Newton directs the corporate development, legal and regulatory affairs of the Company including government and industry relations. Mr. Newton is also Corporate Secretary for the Company.
Prior to joining Algoma in 2011, Mr. Newton held a position as senior corporate counsel with the Canadian subsidiary of a large international express air shipping company and had practised litigation and commercial law in private practice.
Called to the Ontario Bar in 2004, Mr. Newton holds a BAH in History from Queens University and an LLB from the University of New Brunswick.
Mr. Newton is a member of the Canadian Maritime Law Association.
Mario Battista, CPA, CMA
Vice-President, Finance and Process Innovation.
Mario Battista directs all aspects of accounting operations, overseeing all transactions related to general ledger, receivables, payables, payroll and financial reporting. Mr. Battista is responsible for the Corporation’s Business Information systems and their continual development and enhancements to meet the needs of the Company.
Mr. Battista joined Algoma Central Corporation in 2003 and was Corporate Controller from 2003 to 2011 and Director, Business Systems from 2011 to 2017. In August of 2017, Mr. Battista was promoted to the position of Vice President, Finance and Process Innovation.
Mr. Battista is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University.
Christopher A. L. Lazarz, CPA, CA
Vice-President, Corporate FinanceChristopher Lazarz is responsible for all corporate finance aspects of Algoma Central Corporation including external financial reporting, corporate taxation, accounting practices and internal controls, financial planning and analysis, monitoring of financial performance and treasury.
Mr. Lazarz joined Algoma in 2011 as Controller of Algoma's Real Estate segment and in 2016 became Director, Corporate Finance for Algoma Central Corporation. In August 2017, Mr. Lazarz was promoted to Vice-President, Corporate Finance.
Prior to joining Algoma in 2011, Mr. Lazarz was Senior Manager with Deloitte LLP and prior to Deloitte was the Casino Accounting Manager for the Niagara Casinos.
Mr. Lazarz is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Accounting with Honours degree from the Brock University.
Brad Tiffin is responsible for the Operations, Engineering and Technical teams at Algoma. In his current role as Vice President Operations, Mr. Tiffin has operational responsibility for a fleet of nearly 35 ships, including both domestic and internationally traded vessels.
Brad began his maritime career with Upper Lakes Shipping where he held both shipboard and management positions from 1980 to 1991. Mr. Tiffin joined Algoma in 1991 and he has held various management positions within the Operations group for the Company. Mr. Tiffin left Algoma for a short period beginning in 2011 but returned in 2014 as Director of Operations. In the interim, Mr. Tiffin was Vice President Operations at Northern Transportation, where he was responsible for the McKenzie River/Arctic operations for a fleet of high powered shallow draft tug and barge combinations servicing both the remote communities above the Arctic Circle and the delivery of project cargos related to the oil and gas industry.
Mr. Tiffin holds a Chief Mate certificate and is near-coastal certified as a navigation officer.
Karen A. Watt, CHRL
Vice-President, Human Resources
Mrs. Watt has been Algoma’s Vice-President, Human Resources since September 2007. Prior to this role, Mrs. Watt was Director, Human Resources of the Corporation from 2004.
As Vice-President, Human Resources, Karen is responsible for all people-based activity within the Corporation, both on an operational and strategic level and is specifically involved in resource planning and recruitment; training; policy development and implementation; labour relations and compensation and benefits issues.
Prior to joining Algoma Central Corporation, Mrs. Watt was employed by a Canadian specialty steel producer, where she began her career in the company’s Engineering Department. After several years, Mrs. Watt transitioned in to the Human Resources field, initially responsible for Health & Safety function and then being promoted to Labour Relations Officer and then ultimately to Corporate Director of Human Resources.Mrs. Watt is the Chair of the Georgian College Marine Advisory Committee and the Chair of the Canadian Marine Compensation Association Health & Safety Committee.
Steve Wright is responsible for fleet engineering operations, Algoma Ship Repair, and vessel performance and efficiency. Steve has 35 years of experience in the marine industry in both operating and technical positions.
Prior to becoming part of the Algoma team Steve was Director Technical (Projects), and Director Operations with Seaway Marine Transport. Steve started his career as a Marine Engineer with Upper Lakes Shipping and was General Manager Special Projects prior to joining Seaway Marine Transport.
Steve holds a 1st Class Combined Marine Engineering Certificate and spent 13 years as an Engineering Officer, 6 as a Chief Engineer, prior to moving into shore based management positions.