Management and Operations Team

Scott Monteith, Interim CEO, Director

Scott Monteith joined Avalon as the interim CEO in May 2023. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with a successful track record of moving inventions from ideation to commercial success. Mr. Monteith is currently the Chairman of Monteco Ltd., Cable House Capital Ltd. and Imtex Membranes Corporation.

Mr. Monteith has extensive experience in the areas of marketing, manufacturing, technology transfer, technology licensing, new product development, patent management, corporate development, international business, M&A, investing, government affairs, Board Governance and strategic planning. An intuitive individual, he possesses strong communications, team building and management skills.

Mr. Monteith is the founder of Monteco Ltd. and has served as its President and CEO since 1995. Since its inception, Monteco has launched a successful portfolio of companies that include Biox, Imbrium Systems, Green Turtle, Filamat Composites, Imtex Membranes and Optomem Sensors.


Zeeshan Syed, M.Sc., President

Mr. Syed is a graduate of the London School of Economics with a Masters degree in Comparative Politics and Economics, and has close to twenty years of multi-sector executive leadership experience. He has deep expertise as an international business development leader, climate change negotiator, nonprofit founder, and natural resources regulator, providing him a unique perspective of a global economy and energy system increasingly marked by volatility and transition. He is credited with helping governments, institutional investors, multinational corporations and stakeholders understand how political factors shape energy markets and investment decisions.

Prior to joining Avalon in 2019, Mr. Syed was focused on public-private partnerships and management in public service, the nonprofit sector, and politics. He has served in the Office of the Prime Minister in Canada, with the Government of Alberta and with the United Nations Secretariat. 


R.J. (Jim) Andersen, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois), CGMA, Vice President, Finance, Corporate Secretary and CFO 

Jim Anderson

Mr. Andersen is a Chartered Professional Accountant with 30 years of experience in the mining industry. He graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto (B.Comm., 1991) and started his career with the mining services team at Coopers & Lybrand in Toronto, Ontario. He received his C.A. designation in 1993, after having placed 20th in Ontario on the 1992 Uniform Final Exam.

Mr. Andersen began his own accounting practice in 1994 and was in charge of Avalon's audit from 1996 to 2000, prior to joining the company as its CFO in 2001.


Rickardo Welyhorsky, P. Eng., COO and Vice President, Operations

Rickardo Welyhorsky

Mr. Welyhorsky is a registered Professional Metallurgical Engineer with over 30 years of international experience spanning all levels of project development and operations in the mining and metals industry. He has held key roles in the study and development and successful Startup of many world-class mining operations including Yamana Gold’s Cerro Moro mine, Detour Gold, Barrick’s Buzwagi and DeBeers Victor Dimond mine. Mr. Welyhorsky was most recently Chief Operating Officer at Signature Resources where he worked at advancing the Lingman Lake Gold Project in Northwestern Ontario. He was also Mine General Manager at the Pure Gold Mine in Red Lake, Ontario, Canada where he was successful at taking the project into operations.


Cindy Hu, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois), Controller 

Cindy Hu

Ms. Hu joined Avalon in 2007. Prior to joining the company, Ms. Hu was a senior manager with the accounting firm Andersen & Company Professional Corporation. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years of experience in public accounting practice and financial reporting, primarily for junior public companies and private wealth management portfolios.

MS. Hu earned her B.Com from Laurentian University in 1996.


Amiel Blajchman, MES, P.Ag., Manager, ESG & Sustainability

Amiel Blajchman is a professional Agrologist and Canadian expert in  environmental and social impact assessment and community engagement. He has over 20 years’ experience working for private sector clients, Indigenous communities, government agencies,  mining companies, and international multilateral banks in managing  the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks of complex, high profile projects. Amiel is a graduate of York University with a Masters of Environmental Studies. Amiel is currently an instructor in the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Climate Change Certificate Programme, and has delivered impact assessment training to industry, community and government. Prior to joining Avalon, Amiel worked with several junior mining companies, and has also worked for the Canadian federal government in several roles. .

Amiel currently serves on the PDAC’s CSR committee, and volunteers his time with Ve’ahavta, an agency serving underhoused Toronto community members, and has served on various other charitable boards. 


Georgi Doundarov, M.Sc., P.Eng, PMP, CCP, Senior Metallurgist

Georgi Doundarov has 30+ years of extensive managerial, operations, technical, project and financial experience in Canada, Europe and Asia. His experience covers the whole life cycle of a mine from studies, engineering, construction, commissioning and operations to closure. In addition, he has in-depth technical expertise in process engineering, plant design, construction, commissioning and closure, project and operations management, plant evaluation and optimization, NI43-101 compliant feasibility studies, metallurgical testing, R&D for base, precious, ferrous, and specialty metals and industrial minerals. Qualified Person under NI43-101, Professional Engineer of Ontario, Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) under the PMI, Certified Cost Professional (CCP) under the AACEI. 


Salisha Ilyas, Investor Relations

Salisha Ilyas is a senior investor relations professional with more than 15 years of experience across a range of industries, such as mining, healthcare and renewable/green energy. She has held senior IR and communication roles at Canadian and UK publicly listed companies and has also served as the head of professional development at the Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI) in Toronto, where she was involved with managing the programming for the organization, which included CIRI's Annual Conference and Essentials of IR Program. Salisha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and a Master in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business (York University), and she has completed the Canadian Securities Course.

Staff and Consultants

  • Ron Malashewski, P.Eng (AB), Community Relations Consultant, Kenora
  • David Marsh, FAusIMM (CP), Senior Consulting Metallurgist
  • William Mercer, Ph.D., P.Geo, Consulting Geologist
  • Chris Pedersen, P.Geo., Consulting Project Geologist
  • Mark Wiseman, BSc (Hon), MBA, Sustainability Consultant
  • Mary Leung, Office Manager