Softrock Minerals Ltd.

Officers, Directors and Management


  • Honourable Nick Taylor
    President, Chief Executive Officer
  • Granger J. Low
    Vice President Engineering
  • Roger Penner
    Vice President Exploration
  • E. Denis Gagnon
  • T.M.M. Bender
    Chief Financial Officer


  • Stuart B. McDowall, P.Eng
  • Michele Stanners, MBA
  • E. Denis Gagnon, P. Geol.
  • T.M.M. Bender, CPA
  • The Honourable Nicholas W. Taylor, P. Geol.


The Honourable Nicholas W. Taylor, P. Geol.
Calgary, Alberta 

The Honourable Nick Taylor is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and an honourary life member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). He was founding President and manager of Lochiel Exploration Ltd. from 1965 to 1986. Lochiel was a Canadian oil and gas exploration and development company that had operations in 20 countries. Mr. Taylor is currently President of Cariad Exploration Ltd., Northwest Sulphur Ltd., Citizens Pipeline Ltd., Lochiel Energy Ltd. and Lochiel Minerals Ltd.

The Honourable Nick Taylor is past Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party and a past Member of the Alberta Legislature for Westlock-Sturgeon and Redwater from 1986-1996. He was a member of the Canadian Senate from March 1996 to November 2002.

E. Denis Gagnon, P. Geol.
Calgary, Alberta 

Mr. Gagnon has been a professional geologist and independent oil consultant for approximately 50 years and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG). His main responsibilities have included supplying detailed technical analysis of hydrocarbon provinces of the Western Canadian Basin for the generation of oil and gas drilling prospects. 

Mr. Gagnon is founder and President of Edouard Resources Ltd., an Alberta Corporation, with primary interest in finding and developing oil and gas reserves. He has been directly responsible for the discovery of several million barrels of oil in both Southern and Northern Alberta and several billion cubic feet of gas in Central Alberta. 

T.M.M. Bender, CPA
Calgary, Alberta

Mr. Thomas M. M. Bender, CPA with more than 25 years in Western Canada, is CEO of Bender Management Ltd., a private company that provides accounting services to companies in the oil, gas and mining industries.

Michele Stanners, MBA
Calgary, Alberta

Ms. Stanners brings a broad skill set to the Softrock Board of Directors with demonstrated abilities in the areas of leadership, strategic planning and rebranding. She uses a collaborative approach that engages all stakeholders and enhances her success. Michelle has been responsible for multi-year strategic plans (development and implementation), leadership transitions and rebrandings. The resulting revitalization of a number of non-profit organizations is due to her strong leadership.

She holds Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Alberta, as well as a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard.

Among several awards received, Michelle was named as one of Alberta Venture Magazine’s Alberta's 50 Most Influential, in July 2007 and July 2003, won the Alberta Centennial Medal, Province of Alberta, May 2005 and the District Governor's Integrity Award, Rotary Club, 1993.

Stuart B. McDowall, P.Eng
Calgary, Alberta 

Mr. McDowall is an engineering graduate. He worked with the Government of Canada for 28 years, during which time he served as a Canadian Trade Commissioner posted in Athens, Bogota, Stockholm, Havana, Johannesburg, New York City and Beirut.

He also served as Director of Agrifood Fisheries, Resources Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In 1996, Mr. McDowall was named Canadian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, a position he held until 1999.

In the private sector, Mr. McDowall has been Director General of Public Relations with Talisman Energy, specializing in African Community Programs, He also served as Chief Executive Officer of Blue Mountain Resources Limited and Fosters Resources Limited, Oil and Gas Companies involved in exploration and development opportunities in Africa, Latin America, the Far East and the Middle East.

Granger J. Low, M.Sc.
Calgary, Alberta

The Vice President of Engineering for Softrock is Granger J. Low who has a M.Sc. from U of Calgary and an extensive reservoir engineering experience both on his own and with a major Canadian oil and gas company for over 30 years. He is particularly skilled in upgrading oil and gas field recoveries through floods and smart in field drilling.

Roger Penner, P.Geol.
Calgary, Alberta

Mr. Penner, Softrock’s Vice President of Exploration, will be working closely with Mr. Low. Mr. Penner is a geologist who also has over 30 years experience in Western Canada, working in the smaller company category, uncovering a number of significant oil and gas prospects. He is especially skilled at evaluating a projects environmental and regularity aspects.