Jeffrey R. Mason, CA, ICD.D
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Mason has over 25 years of public company experience in mineral exploration, development, construction and operations in precious and base metals and other minerals in the Americas, Asia and Africa. He was previously awarded the BC Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Natural Resources Category). Mr. Mason has extensive experience in corporate governance, financial and regulatory reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance, including 15 years as a Principal and Chief Financial Officer of Hunter Dickinson Inc. group of companies. Overall he has served in roles as Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and Board Director for 20 public companies listed on the TSX, TSXV, NYSE MKT and NASDAQ. Mr. Mason began his career with Deloitte LLP as a Chartered Accountant, followed by 6 years at Homestake Mining Company in mineral exploration, construction and operations reporting. He currently also serves as an independent board director of Auryn Resources Inc. and Torq Resources Inc.
Neil Hepworth, M.Sc. Engineering (Mining)
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Hepworth is a Mining Engineer with over 30 years of experience in underground mining operations and technical and operational experience in open pit mines. He has strong technical knowledge of geology and geotechnics. Mr. Hepworth has operational experience throughout Latin America, Africa and Europe, with extensive experience in Brazil and Mexico. He holds an M.Sc. Engineering (Mining) and a B.Sc. Honours (Geology) from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Jim Zadra, CPA, CA, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Zadra joined Great Panther in September 2011 and has responsibility for corporate finance, including financial reporting, planning & forecasting, taxation, and treasury. Mr. Zadra is a Chartered Accountant and has over 15 years of experience in senior corporate finance roles with significant experience in the areas of financial reporting, taxation, strategic planning, capital markets, M&A and corporate governance.
Prior to joining Great Panther, Mr. Zadra served over three years as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of DDS Wireless International Inc. (DD: TSX). Prior to DDS he was Vice President of Finance, North America, at Sophos, (2003-2008) a leading global information technology security company with a offices in 19 countries. Mr. Zadra has also held senior roles at ActiveState Corporation, Canaccord Capital and Deloitte, and has served as a director for several venture stage public companies.
Mr. Zadra holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Queen's University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of British Columbia.
Brian Peer, B.A.Sc.
Vice President Operations, Mexico
Mr. Peer was appointed Vice President of Operations, Mexico in August 2017 and has more than 30 years of mining experience including 19 years in senior management. Most recently, he was General Manager with Red Eagle Mining in Colombia, responsible for implementing new narrow vein mining methods. Previously, Mr. Peer held the position of Country Manager, Mexico for Alamos Gold, where he was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of two mines and the development of two additional underground mines. Mr. Peer also worked for Coeur Mining and for ten years at Barrick Gold. He is a graduate from the University of Texas El Paso with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and is fluent in Spanish.
Alan Hitchborn, P.Geo.
Vice President, Exploration
Mr. Hitchborn is a Professional Geologist with over 40 years of global mineral exploration and mine operations experience, including 18 years with major mining companies and 20 years in senior management positions. He has successfully assembled and led exploration teams and campaigns in the development and expansion of mineral resources throughout the Americas, including Mexico and Brazil. Mr. Hitchborn holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Nevada-Reno and is a Registered Professional Geologist with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia. He also has a strong working knowledge of Spanish.
Vice President, Social Responsibility
As Vice President, Social Responsibility Mrs. Fregonese leads Great Panther’s overarching social responsibility and stakeholder engagement strategy. Mrs. Fregonese joined the Company in 2007 and since 2014 has been committed to advancing social and sustainable development of the local communities in which Great Panther operates.
Mrs. Fregonese is responsible for a diverse portfolio, focused on building strategic partnerships and fostering relationships with communities, governments, public agencies, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders to maximize the benefits of mining locally, and to achieve effective and sustainable community development.
Mrs. Fregonese holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy (Hons) from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a is a certified Sustainability Practitioner (CSR-P).
Christopher Richards, CPA, CA
Vice President, Finance
Mr. Richards joined Great Panther in June 2018 as Vice President Finance.
With over 14 years in the mining industry and as a Chartered Professional Accountant, Mr. Richards brings broad experience in all aspects of financial management, reporting, technical accounting, risk advisory, corporate finance and tax management. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Richards served as a senior financial consultant at various mining companies in Vancouver, providing his expertise to merging and newly formed project development-staged entities. Prior to that, he spent 7 years as the Vice President Finance and Corporate Secretary of Kyzyl Gold Ltd., was Corporate Controller at NovaGold Resources and a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP.
Mr. Richards holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University and a Certificate in Mining Studies from the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia.
Fernando Cornejo, M.A.Sc, P.Eng
Vice President, Projects & Technical Services
Mr. Cornejo was appointed Vice-President of Projects & Technical Services in July 2019. Mr. Cornejo brings close to 20 years of experience in senior management level roles in the mining industry.
Before joining Great Panther, Mr. Cornejo served as Vice-President, Projects & Technical Services of Aura Minerals Inc. and prior to that, he held executive roles with Jacobs Engineering and the SGS Group in Canada, Peru and Mexico. Mr. Cornejo also held operational roles with Rio Tinto in Canada and BHP Billiton, in his native Peru.
Mr. Cornejo holds a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Nacional de San Agustin Peru, a Master Certificate in Project Management from York University and is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. Mr. Cornejo is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
David Wiens, CFA
Vice President, Corporate Finance & Treasury
Vice President, People & Culture
Ms. Gagnon joined Great Panther in April 2019 as Director of Human Resources. She brings over 15 years of human resources experience focused in the finance and mining industry. She will be responsible for the Company's people strategy and providing leadership in the areas of organizational design, talent acquisition and management, learning and development, and workforce planning. Ms. Gagnon holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from York University in Toronto.