DIRECT HORIZONTAL TEAM

The Direct Horizontal Drilling team is responsible for the leadership, guidance and day-to-day operations of the company. Each member of the leadership team has direct hands-on experience in HDD, and particular expertise when it comes to operating in the tough geological and climactic conditions exemplified by Canadian operations.

Each of these industry experts has a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges presented by Canadian HDD projects.

Executives

Executive Team

  • Neil Brown

    Owner / Director

    Neil Brown is involved in many ventures that add to the vast experience he has accumulated over his 50 year of experience and dedication to our local oil & gas industry.

    In 2004 Neil created Terracore Specialty Drilling Ltd., a downhole oil & gas drilling company that focused on shallow gas and oilsands coring projects. Neil was able to grow this company to 12 of the industries safest and highly automated ADR drilling rigs in less than a 4 year period. The aggressive growth did not go unnoticed by the competition and in July 2008 the drilling assets were sold.

    In September 2008, Neil purchased Direct Horizontal Drilling and immediately initiated the expansion of the fleet from 4 to 18 rigs which included the two largest HDD rigs in Canada. His vision includes upgrading all rigs to make them the best and safest rigs in the industry and improve drilling techniques to make drilling faster and more efficient. Neil prides himself on having the best people, treating them right, maintaining the equipment to the highest standards and structuring the company in a manner that always positions it to excel.

  • Lon Briscoe

    President

    Growing up with an oilfield drilling contractor family, Lon Briscoe has been around drilling rigs and equipment all of his life. With more than 42 years in horizontal directional drilling and oil & gas drilling, Lon Briscoe possesses an impressive and well-deserved reputation for operational excellence.

    Prior to joining Direct Horizontal in 2008, Mr. Briscoe held senior leadership roles at Guthrie McLaren Drilling, Wadeco Oilfield Services and, more recently, served as co-founder and President of The Crossing Company.

    His early career experience in conventional and experimental drilling techniques sparked a lifelong dedication to innovation that continues to drive Direct Horizontal and that has resulted in industry changing technological advances.

  • Brian Sadoway

    Vice President

    Brian Sadoway’s oil and gas career started in the late 1960’s and progressed through ranks building his career from the ground floor up to international operations. Brian Sadoway has an amazing 49 years of drilling experience. Prior to assuming his role at Direct Horizontal in 2012 he managed operations for over 80 deep well drilling rigs for one of North America’s top drilling contractor.

    Brian has gained the broad-based experience and expertise in all aspects of drilling through hard work, determination and maintaining core values of safety, integrity, and reliability. As Vice-President, he has engrained these values into our talented team as a standard of operation at all levels whether it’s on the floor of a rig or communicating with stakeholders at a management level. His commitment to providing a quality product and professional service while staying on schedule and within budget is second-to-none.

Management Team

  • Ryan Chase

    Operations Manager

    Ryan began his career with DIRECT Horizontal Drilling in 2001 as a roughneck and has since worked his way up to Operations Manager where he manages DIRECTS State of the Art drilling fleet.

    His extensive knowledge is utilized for designing and maintaining our custom built high performance rigs.

    Ryan carries responsibility for the day-to-day operations of DIRECT Horizontal Drilling.

  • Tyler Calvert

    Technical Services Manager

    Tyler Calvert joined DIRECT in mid-2008 and since then has played an integral role in the growth and success of the company.

    Horizontal directional drilling demands broad knowledge as well as focused skills in a number of highly specialized areas. Tyler’s resume reveals a history of successful experience in HDD guidance, planning & design and extensive fluids control experience.

    His skills have been expertly honed at progressively senior roles at horizontal directional drilling companies since 2001.

    Tyler has more than 200 crossings to his credit and has been at the forefront of intersect technology since it was introduced in Canada, having completed some 20 subterranean intersects.

  • Troy Cook

    Field Supervisor

    Troy has 20 years in the drilling industry, his expert knowledge has progressed him through the ranks to his current position.

    Troy has been the DIRECT Field Supervisor since 2009, and since that time has supervised field operations for some of the most difficult and complex HDD projects in the country. Nearly two decades of drilling experience in a variety of progressively more responsible roles has meant that Troy has a wealth of experience in the varied and diverse disciplines needed for successful operations in the field.

    Troy’s impressive resume includes successful completions of multiple HDD crossings ranging up to 1800 meters in length and ream diameters up to 60”.

  • Jonathan Shier

    Health & Safety Manager

    If there is anyone who knows the true value of creating a culture of safety, it’s someone who has spent time as a roughneck.

    Jonathan’s early career began in such a manner, and it taught him early on just how valuable safety is on the jobsite. Over the past 10 years he has carried several titles on the operational side of the HDD industry but his career in health & safety began as the Field Safety Supervisor with DIRECT Horizontal Drilling. As the Health & Safety Manager he is mandated to provide leadership and mentorship to supervisors, workers, and other stakeholders promoting the company’s safety program. He ensures that all relevant legislation is incorporated into the strategic health, safety, and environment planning and takes a hands on approach to training staff.

    His commitment to Health & Safety is matched only by his dedication to lifelong learning, and Jonathan holds an enviable record of achievement and numerous certifications in his field.

Business Development and Project Management Team

  • Rick Shipalesky

    Business Development Manager / Senior Project Manager

    Rick’s initial experience in the drilling industry began in 1978 where he was employed with an Alberta based drilling company for 15 years, experiences included drilling water wells, exploration drilling, foundation drilling, monitoring and dewatering drilling, then Field Drilling Supervisor.

    The knowledge gained from drilling experiences in various sub surface conditions around Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Canada’s Arctic have proven to be an asset when doing an HDD crossing.

    Rick’s experience in the HDD Industry began in 1993 where he joined the team of D&KHorizontal where he began as driller, then Rig Manager. In 2001, Rick helped co-found Direct Horizontal Drilling Inc. where he presently is Business Development Manager / Projects Manager. Other duties while at Direct included Rig Manager, Drilling Supervisor, and Operations Manager.

  • David Fisher

    Business Development / Project/Contract Manager, Edmonton, AB

    To adequately meet the needs of customers, Business Development requires in-depth knowledge and extensive broad-based experience. David Fisher offers these qualifications as well as considerable know-how earned through years of specialty training and practical experience.

    David has worked his way through the ranks during since 1996 when he began his horizontal directional drilling career: he has served as a motorman, mudman, driller and most recently as rig manager.

    With this first-hand experience, David is eminently qualified to meet the needs of customers in the Edmonton area.

  • Justin Hedemann

    Business Development,
    Calgary, AB

    Customers in Calgary will know Justin for his special expertise in the area of intersects, a skill developed during his years in the planning, design and execution of numerous drilling projects.

    Prior to assuming his role in Business Development, he served as lead directional driller and held responsibilities for the supervision and training of HDD guidance and technical staff.

    Since beginning his HDD career in 2004, Justin’s knowledge of down-hole navigational equipment has played a vital role in the successful completion of more than 160 river crossings as well as the design and completion of 14 subterranean intersects.

    Justin has been a member of NASTT-Northwest (NASTT-NW) organizing committee since 2009.

  • Ernesto Gabuat

    Project Manager, Edmonton, AB

    Ernesto Gabuat is a seasoned project management professional with extensive experience in the HDD industry.

    As a Project Manager, he is responsible for project team management, service delivery, and administration for a variety of our ongoing projects.

    For assigned projects, he is the primary client contact and is responsible for delivering a high quality project on time and within budget. It is his responsibility with other members of the project team to set goals and standards for overall project quality.

    Ernesto a graduate from NAIT in 2002, has spent his entire working career in the HDD industry.

  • Richard Young

    LRD Business Development / Field Supervisor, Edmonton, AB

    Rich has over 10 Years’ Experience Planning, Designing and Executing HDD river crossings.

    Rich began his HDD career as a Motorman on the Maxi rigs and worked through the ranks to become a Guidance Technician where he was able to apply his vast experience for the benefit of his team and customers.

    Rich previously managed the Grande Prairie operations and currently supervises our LRD rig fleet where he is an asset in business development and customer service.

“When it comes right down to it, people still do business with people. This is a small industry, and your people had better be good at their job. We wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t have the caliber of employees that we do”. - Lon Briscoe, President