Management Team

Benoit La Salle FCPA, CPA President and CEO:
Mr. La Salle is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and holds a Commerce Degree and a Masters of Business Administration. In 1980, Mr. La Salle founded Grou, La Salle & Associates, Chartered Accountants. In 1995, Mr. La Salle founded SEMAFO Inc. and held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization until August 2012. Mr. La Salle is the former Chairman of the Board of Plan International (Canada), one of Canada’s leading NGOs. Today Mr. La Salle is President and CEO of Windiga Energy Inc. a Canadian based Independent Power Producer focused on renewable energy assets in West Africa, Chairman of Algold Resources Ltd (TSX: ALG), a gold exploration company with assets in Mauritania and Burkina Faso, Chairman of Sama Resources Inc. (TSX: SME), a base metal exploration company with assets in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea and Chairman of the Canadian Council on Africa.

Ugo Landry-Tolszczuk Director of Operations:
Mr. Landry-Tolszczuk has served as Windiga Energy's Director of Operations since its inception in 2010. His responsibilities include project development along with the company's operations. Prior to joining Windiga Energy, Mr. Landry-Tolszczuk held several positions in related fields, including Product Manager for peripherals and Web Controllers for Distech Controls, a building automation and energy management solutions company. Mr. Landry-Tolszczuk holds an honors bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Édouard Préfontaine Director of Project Financing and Corporate Development:
Mr. Préfontaine joined Windiga Energy in August 2011. Trained as an economist, Mr. Préfontaine holds a Masters of Business Administration from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales. He began his career in Ottawa at the Canadian International Development Agency within the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, focusing on projects related to transportation and energy in the Canadian Arctic. He has served as Vice-President of SNC-Lavalin’s Economic Analysis Division and since 1988, as the Founder and President of Stratem. Over the years, he has conducted numerous studies in regards to the environment, energy and sustainable development, both in Canada and internationally, which has led him to work on project funding.​

Elie Justin Ouedraogo, General Manager Windiga SA:
In 1982, Dr. Ouedraogo earned his PhD in Economics at Jules Vernes de Picardie-Amiens University, France. In 1990, he became the general manager of the society for mining research and exploitation of Burkina. Given his deep knowledge of the mining sector, Dr. Ouedraogo was called upon by the Government to become Minister of Mines and Energy. A position he held from 1995 to 2000. After his government work, he went on to accrue international experience as an administrator of the Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques, in Cameroon. Since 2007, he has served as National Director of SEMAFO. In 2011 he founded and was elected as Burkina Faso’s president of the Chamber of Mines. Along with his position at SEMAFO, Dr. Ouedraogo holds the position of General Manager of Windiga Energy Burkina Faso S.A. and Windiga S.A., the public-private partnership responsible for the development of the first solar power plant in his country. For his numerous contributions to the nation of Burkina Faso, Dr. Ouedraogo has been awarded with the honorary distinction of Commander of the National Order.

Elias J. ELIAS , LL.B. , LL.B., General Counsel and Secretary:
Elias J. Elias joined Windiga Energy in December 2013 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. His responsibilities include overseeing the legal framework for business operations, maintaining and optimizing corporate structure, corporate governance, in addition to acting as Secretary. Having articled with the H. Judge Otis of the Quebec Court of Appeal, Elias practised in mergers and acquisitions in a national Canadian firm and then acted as legal counsel responsible for the wholesale and international divisions at Gildan Activewear, a vertically integrated manufacturer with operations in Central America, the Caribbean and the United States. Mr. Elias also acted as legal advisor for SEMAFO Inc., a gold mining company with operations in Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger. Elias holds both a civil law degree (summa cum laude) and a common law degree (cum laude) from the University of Ottawa and is a recipient of the Canada SSHRC Graduate Scholarship. He is a member of the Barreau du Québec.

Moussa HAROUNA, Ing. Energy Director for Sub-Saharan Africa:
Based in Niamey, Niger, Mr. Moussa is Director of Energy Projects at Windiga since 2011 where he plays a key role in the development of projects for Windiga in the region. Between 2000 and 2010, Mr. Moussa acted as Deputy Director and then CEO of the Liptako mining company (Semafo Niger). Before joining Semafo, Mr. Moussa was Deputy Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Niger (Nigelec) and previously Head of the Division of Studies and Programming of Nigelec.

Simon PARENT-POTHIER, Project manager:
With degrees in Geography (B.Sc.) and Urban planning (M.Urb.), Mr. Parent-Pothier is responsible for supporting the management team in the development and management of various projects within Windiga Energy since October 2013. Mr. Parent-Pothier has conducted various research projects in Latin America on land tenure and urbanization issues. In addition to having worked as a consultant in planning and economic development for the City of Montreal, Mr. Parent-Pothier also has experience in institutional and political relations for having worked as a political analyst for the Union des municipalités du Québec.