Our Team

Our Team

Please click the name of the Team Member you would like to read about.


Bruce Thorlakson, GSC – Principal-President

Bruce started as an apprentice plumber in 1973 on the Northlands Coliseum project in Edmonton. His field experience included running field operations primarily on commercial & institutional projects, with a large focus on laboratories. In 1978 he moved into the office as an Estimator, becoming Chief Estimator in 1980, and a Project Manager in 1983. He was part of the eleven member employee group that purchased the company from the Johnson family in 1988. In 1991 he became Vice President & Branch Manager, and moved to Vancouver, BC in 1993 to open the Vancouver office and oversee all BC operations. In 1996 the company decided to focus on Southern Alberta which brought Bruce & family to Calgary. Bruce became President & sole owner in 2004 and celebrated thirty-five years with the company & industry in 2008.

Kris Kurtenbach, P.Eng., LEED AP – Vice President

Kris has been in the construction industry for fifteen years and has experience in both large and small commercial projects on both the construction and design side of the industry as well as hotels and residential towers.  Kris is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan’s Mechanical Engineering program and has his Professional Engineering designation as well as being LEED AP certified.  He has been with S.E. Johnson for ten years and has managed several jobs including the Eighth Avenue Place West Tower and associated tenant works, Great Plains Rec Centre, YYC Mariott hotel at the Calgary airport, the Park Central residential tower and various others.  He is currently managing The Dorian hotel project in downtown Calgary.

Brian N Scheelar, GSC – Senior Estimator

With 45 years of experience in our industry, Brian has been key part of our project management team for the past 18 years. He has 15 years of field experience including installation and supervision on a wide variety of projects. In addition, he has 30 years of management experience including service and construction.

He has also been involved with or responsible for the design of several “design-build” projects including warehousing and distribution facilities, a residential condominium, strip malls, office/shop complexes, and a furniture manufacturing facility.

Brian holds Alberta journeyman certification in Plumbing, as well as a Cross-Connection Control Specialist Certificate. He has achieved his Gold Seal Certification from the Canadian Construction Association as a Project Manager.

Project Managers

Gary Lister

Gary has been in the construction industry for the past twenty six years. Twelve of those years have been in project management, the past eight years with our firm. He holds Alberta journeyman certification in Plumbing and Gas fitting. His experience ranges from commercial & institutional to residential condominium projects and research laboratories. He has strong and proven organizational skills with a focus on service to the client.

John Birzgalis, GSI

John has been in the trade for 15 years and is well versed in every aspect of the Commercial and Light Industrial Mechanical field. From mechanical design to full build out of plumbing, gas fitting, HVAC, and refrigeration. He takes great pride in devoting exceptional attention to detail and providing the highest quality of service for each and every project.


Patty Vold – Administration

Patty has been an integral part of our team for the past twenty five years running our day to day administration requirements. Her responsibilities involve dealing with our field and office payroll, supplier invoicing, accounts payable and apprenticeship requirements.

Shari Belden – Accounting

Shari joined our firm in October 2021 as Accountant to administer our accounting department. She has over twenty five years of accounting experience and manages all of our financial requirements on a daily basis.

Steve McKenna – Purchaser

Steve has been with S.E. Johnson for ten years and has forty three years of experience in the plumbing industry. Steve’s past work history includes 27 years working in the plumbing wholesale business prior to taking a position of purchaser in the mechanical contracting business.

HR & Safety

Becky Rogers, NCSO, GSC

Becky is responsible for all field staff recruiting and full administration of our safety program. Becky has seven years of safety coordination experience. She has her certification as an NCSO and is Gold Seal Certified.  She is currently working towards her CRSP. Becky is a First Aid & CPR and Fall Protection Instructor and an Alberta Certified Peer Health & Safety Auditor. Becky is responsible for our entire field recruiting along with full management of our safety program.


Adrian Manquenahuel, RSE

Adrian has been in the trade for 10 years. He began his career in Vancouver, British Columbia and eventually came to Alberta in 2014. He graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and currently holds a red seal certification for plumbing and a red seal certification for class-B gas. His experience in mechanical installation ranges anywhere from custom home projects to commercial and industrial projects. Adrian is operating in our new BIM department where he is designing mechanical systems for coordination and fabrication purposes.