Management Team

Spencer Sung Bum Huh
Director, President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Spencer Sung Bum Huh graduated from the Korea University in Seoul with a BEc. He is an experienced and proven financial professional with more than 25 years of financial and operational experience in Canada and Korea, and a track record of supporting ambitious growth plans. His expertise includes financial operations, strategy, performance management, and business planning for Korean and Canadian companies.

Mr. Huh began his career in 1993 as an investment advisor with Hanwha Securities in Korea. After immigration to Canada in 2000, he served for 6 years as an investment advisor with BMO Nesbitt Burns in Toronto and, subsequently, he joined TD Canada Trust in Vancouver. Since 2012, Mr. Huh worked with numerous private and publicly listed companies in Korea and Canada, including mining, medical device, and high-tech companies. He has played an integral role in the establishment, acquisitions, and financing for these companies.

Dr. Seong Gi Kim
Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Kim served as the Executive Vice President and Head of R&D of Hanwha Solutions’ Advanced Materials Division, the chemical manufacturing arm of the South Korean conglomerate with sales amassing 10 billion USD. With responsibilities ranging from new product development and commercial plant construction, Dr. Kim led Hanwha Solutions to nearly double new product sales and expand the core technology portfolio by leading several value-added projects for global automotive, aerospace, and electronics companies. Dr. Kim additionally led inorganic growth efforts by closing two M&A transactions that fortified Hanwha’s hydrogen and electronics business between 2021 and 2022.

Prior to joining Hanwha Solutions, Dr. Kim held tenure as the global R&D leader at Momentive Performance Materials, the second-largest global manufacturer of silicon-based products. Likewise, Dr. Kim successfully increased new product viability and led manufacturing plant construction to supply critical components to Momentive’s global electronics customers. Previously, Dr. Kim also served in senior research positions at the Dow Chemical Company, LG Innotek, and Samsung Fine Chemicals.

Dr. Kim received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering and applied chemistry from the University of Toronto, Canada, and obtained his bachelor’s and master’s in chemical engineering from Inha University, South Korea. He has published high-impact journals in the field of polymers and nanocomposites and retains 15 patents related to polymers, coatings, and silicon-based materials.

Dr. Jae Ha Woo
Chief Science Officer

Dr. Woo is an expert specializing in the optimization of electrode materials used in lithium-ion batteries, interface modification, and all-solid-state batteries (ASSB). His research expertise focuses on the synthesis of silicon anode materials for high-energy batteries in long-range EVs and on interfacial engineering for sulfide-based ASSBs.

Working as a Scientific Research Engineer at General Motors’ Global R&D Centre through Optimal Inc., Dr. Woo participated in research projects regarding nanostructured silicon anode materials with artificial solid electrolyte interphase (SEI), lithium-ion battery performance optimization, and electrode material synthesis.

Receiving his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder under the guidance of Professor Se-Hee Lee, Dr. Woo has published influential literature in international journals such as in Advanced Materials that advanced the field of silicon anodes and ASSBs. Prior to joining NEO Battery Materials, he worked as the lead research engineer at the Gwangju Institute of Green-Car Advancement, collaborating with South Korean EV battery companies for equipment process and battery testing development.

Sung Rock Hwang
Director, Chief Operating Officer and SVP

Mr. Sung Rock Hwang has over 30 years’ experience working for Samsung SDI, serving as the executive director and chief of purchasing, senior manager, general manager (for the German branch), and advisor until 2018. His responsibilities included managing the supply chain, procurement planning, and advanced business development.

During his time with Samsung SDI, Mr. Hwang accumulated a vast network and information pipeline within the lithium ion battery industry. He has a deep understanding of business development and trade capabilities, as well a specialized knowledge in raw materials, such as cobalt, nickel, and aluminum.

Dr. Luc C. Duchesne
VP of Government Relations

With vast experience in private-public partnerships over a 35-year career, Dr. Luc C. Duchesne, Ph.D., bridges the gap between science and business having senior-level leadership in multiple sectors, including pharmaceutical, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and mining. He has an extensive track record of securing government grants and non-dilutive funding on both the federal and provincial levels.

Dr. Duchesne has authored and co-authored 85 peer-reviewed scientific articles, literature reviews, books, and over 300 non-peer-reviewed articles. He is passionate about sustainability and anthropogenic effects on the environment, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in 1988, an MSc from the University of Toronto in 1985 and a BSc in Forestry Sciences from Laval University in 1983. As a former scientist with Natural Resources Canada from 1991 to 2003, he received a 5NR Science Award to Leaders in Sustainable Development for advancing and communicating science for sustainable development.

Nancy Zhao, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Zhao is a CPA with over 10 years experience with both public and private companies.

Ms. Zhao has experience in accounting and finance for various industries, including mining, Realtor development, property management, sports entertainment, marketing and farming.

John Kowalchuk, P. Geo.
Independent Director

Mr. John Kowalchuk is a professional geoscientist with the Association of Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. Presently he is Project Manager for Golden Reign Resources Ltd. developing a high– grade gold resource in Nicaragua. He has over 43 years of experience developing and managing exploration projects with both senior and junior mining companies and has worked in Canada, the United States, Russia, Mexico, Chile and Nicaragua.

Mr. Kowalchuk was Yukon and Northern B. C. District Geologist for Placer Dome Inc., during which time he was instrumental in the discovery and advancement of several world–class mineral deposits, including the Howard’s Pass lead–zinc deposits and the Kerr copper–gold porphyry deposit.

Mr. Kowalchuk was directly responsible for the discovery of the barium–lead–zinc–silver deposit in Driftpile Creek, and the discovery and exploration management of the Clea Tungsten property, which has the potential to become a significant tungsten mine in northern Canada.

Chris Theodoropoulus

Mr. Chris Theodoropoulus received his BCL and LLB degrees from McGill University in 1981 and 1982. He has practiced law in Vancouver, B.C. until 2006 with an emphasis on public companies, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, secondary debt and equity financing, and dispute resolutions.

Mr. Theodoropoulus is the Founder and President of Dominion Goldfields Corporation, a private investment and precious metals royalty firm. In the period from 2006 to 2012, he served as the Chairman of Africo Resources Ltd., a company that was listed on the TSX until its privatization in 2016, and was involved in the exploration and development of a copper and cobalt deposit in the DRC.

In addition, during his tenure, he has served as a director of a number of technology and mining companies including Peer 1 Network Enterprises Inc., Norsat International Inc., Goldquest Mining Corp., Pediment Gold Corp., Ethos Capital Corp., and a number of other companies.

Roberto Fia
Independent Director

Mr. Fia is a former investment banker who has developed a career of working with early-stage technology, medical device, mining, and oil and gas companies and advising corporate executives on business matters dealing with corporate finance, strategy, expansion, mergers and acquisitions, concept creation, private equity, corporate development, and corporate governance. Mr. Fia has an extensive contact base in the investment community and the financial sector as well as knowledge of the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and Canadian Securities Exchange listing processes and guideline requirements.

Mr. Fia currently acts as chief executive officer and director of Therma Bright Inc. and City View Green Holdings Inc. and was instrumental in pivoting both companies into new market segments resulting in a significant increase in market capitalization for both entities. Mr. Fia was formerly co-head, corporate finance, at Kingsdale Capital Markets. He received his BComm (honours) degree from the IH Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba and holds the chartered financial analyst designation.

Larry Okada, CA, CPA, (Wash.)
Independent Director

Mr. Larry Okada has been involved with a number of public mining companies for 36 years. He is a Chartered Accountant and has been in public practice since 1974 with extensive public finance and accounting experience with Deloitte and Touche, Staley Okada and Partners and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Mr. Okada presently serves as the Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) for RedQuest Capital Corp (CPC) and is the Acting CFO of Africo Resources Ltd. as well as being a director and serving as chairman of the audit committee of Forum Uranium Corp. and Revett Minerals Corp.

Chris Chung
Director, Vice President of Corporate Finance

Mr. Chris Chung received his honors bachelor’s degree with a double major in statistics and economics at the University of Toronto and has been a registrant with Canadian securities commissions since 2005. In addition, he has fulfilled numerous curricula, including, among others, Derivatives Fundamentals Course (DFC), Options Licensing Course (OLC), Professional Financial Planner (PFP) and Life License Qualification Program (LLQP).

Mr. Chung has been a licensed equity and derivative trader at Merrill Lynch Securities in Toronto, an investment representative of HSBC Securities (Canada), a regional manager (Western Canada) of Walton Capital Management in Calgary, vice-president of corporate sales for Triview Capital Ltd. for both British Columbia and Ontario, and vice-president, finance, for Ascenta Finance Ltd. (an independent Canadian institutional investment bank headquartered in Vancouver).

Mr. Chung has over 12 years of banking and wealth management experience specializing in both the private and public equities sector. During his career, Mr. Chung has raised more than $100-million in private equity.