Thank you for this opportunity to communicate with area residents and particularly residents who are shareholders in West Central Pelleting Ltd. (“WCP”)
As the first person to purchase a share in that fledgling company in 1996, and as a founding member of the steering committee, I believe I made a significant contribution in the formidable startup stage, as well as during the subsequent 19 years when I was honoured to serve as president and chair of the board.
For this reason, I was disappointed when there was no reporting of my resignation effective Feb. 25, 2014 in the recent shareholders’ package. Similarly, there was no reporting of the board’s decision to “terminate without cause” the company’s CEO and general manager Dean Skinner effective April 28, 2014.
In 1996, and again in 2002, I stood before potential investors and asked them to trust their Board of Directors to keep their investment secure until the day when the original investment would be returned to them. I took that promise seriously and throughout my tenure I looked for liquidity for the shareholders. It is with profound regret that I am no longer in a position to keep that promise.
My resignation from the company’s Board of Directors was a cause of deep personal distress as my decision was made following several weeks of isolation and acts of duplicity. Only once before in my affiliation with WCP had I endured such mental anguish and that was as a result of an unfortunate industrial accident in 2003.
My departure was met with stone silence from the other directors, some with whom I had worked for years. However, someone was eager to spread the false rumour that “Margaret left the board because she wanted to sell the company to one of her sons cheap.”
At this point in this letter, I want to remind WCP’s shareholders that Margaret Skinner could not have sold the company even if she had wanted to, and she had never said she wanted to. The sale of the company requires a two-thirds majority vote of the shareholders, in person or by proxy, at a meeting called for the express purpose of considering the sale.
Then April 28, the Board of Directors fired CEO and general manager Dean Skinner, stating he was being “terminated without cause.”
In 2007, when Dean Skinner accepted the position of GM, he took over a company in dire financial shape with an accumulated deficit of $(504,458). During his tenure, the company’s retained earnings grew to $2,176,187 (as reported in the audited 2013/14 financial statements) for an increase over the seven-year period of $2,680,645. As well, Dean’s aptitude for innovation and product development positioned the company as a leader in the Canadian feed industry.
And yet, he was “terminated without cause”. A decision made by the Board of Directors on behalf of the shareholders of West Central Pelleting Ltd.
I was not entitled to submit a farewell message in the 2013/14 shareholder package so I will make this my farewell.
Margaret Skinner, Wilkie
Wilkie Stories file photo of West Central Pelleting plant at Wilkie, Saskatchewan: