News & Updates

Brinkman Group CEO Transition Notice


Succession Success

After fifty-five years leading the Brinkman Group as CEO, Dirk Brinkman is pleased the Board of Directors have completed their succession planning and appointed his son Erik Andrew Cody Brinkman as CEO, as of April 01, 2023.

Erik began working with the company in ecosystem restoration when he joined a crew to stabilize the earthen Alouette Dam in 1992. Over the next thirty years, Erik worked in various capacities across many of Brinkman Group's operations, including Treeplanter (10 yrs), Project Manager (10 yrs), Executive (6 yrs), as well as Director (12 yrs). He recently graduated from SFU's EMBA Program as Valedictorian. Erik will continue to work alongside Dirk in his new role as Senior Advisor & Founder, the Executive team and Board of Directors, and Brinkman Group’s subsidiaries, divisions, and partnerships, towards its Vision of creating lasting impact through ecological renewal.

Since its formation in 1970, Dirk Brinkman has led the Brinkman Group, which has grown into Canada's leading reforestation, sustainable land management and ecosystem restoration company, with international operations in the US and Central America. Through decades of land management innovation, the company built a long successful track record of partnering with Indigenous land rights holders and farmer cooperatives to sustainably manage resources for social, environmental, and economic benefits. A World Resources Institute and The Nature Conservancy global survey in 2018, The Business of Planting Trees, ranked the Brinkman Group as one of the leading ecological restoration companies in the world.

Dirk credits our people for Brinkman's successes

"It’s the incredible people from our wilderness adventure extreme sport of reforestation’s hard work, whose appetite for more restoration bootstrap challenges, that has resulted in so many amazing innovations and broadened us into a cross Canada and then international organization with skills in all dimensions of forest ecosystem-based management. It is their commitment to integrity, respect, cooperation, and Life First that built our long-term relationships with our many clients, communities, and other partners, allowing us to grow in this business of restoring the balance between humans and all of life." Dirk will continue to pursue his passions in his new role.

Erik comments on his appointment

"Thank you, Dirk, for breaking the trail for our organization and continuing to lead the way as an ecological peacekeeper. You have led our organization with genuine integrity and trustworthiness, building our philosophy of Life First.

A Life First bottom line may seem radical in the classic business context, but it not only makes the Brinkman Group unique, and it is also where businesses must go for life to thrive. Dirk has led us on a different path for over 50 years toward restoring life's balance, and I have personally learned so much from him about how to work in nature and enhance the ecosystems that support us while leading an organization that provides a livelihood to thousands. I recognize that there is still much more learning and change to come, and I’m excited to work with Dirk and with everyone in the Brinkman companies to find that path together.

I am humbled and honoured to accept this position, and I look forward to leading a business that creates profits while growing its positive impact on the earth."

Comment from Brinkman Group Director Connie Fenyo on behalf of the Board:

“They say that who dares wins. To Erik, who has displayed courage, persistence, dedication, and inclusion of others in his journey to this point, the Board commends you on this new appointment. All these qualities will be needed to lead the Brinkman Group of companies successfully. We also know that in addition to these traits, your skills, experience, education, and Life First philosophy will serve the company well. We fully support and endorse this appointment. We offer you our heartiest congratulations on this noteworthy achievement.

To Dirk, the Board feels that this step for you is a tremendous cause for celebration. Your accomplishment is the culmination of your life’s efforts, charting this course, steering the company that is the Brinkman Group, correcting when needed, letting others help along the way, and trusting yourself when the waters were rough. It has been a wonderful adventure resulting in a world-class organization. You have now safely reached a great place to finally explore and pursue your passions. The company has benefitted from your wisdom, relationships, innovation, successful navigation of uncharted territory, tremendous work ethic and generosity. May the seas ahead be smooth.

To the members of our team, the Board thanks you for your consistent, significant efforts, commitment to the company and teamwork in overcoming adversity and continually improving the systems, programs, outputs, and relationships of the organization. We know that you will all join us in fully supporting Erik and Dirk in their new roles.”

Brinkman Congratulates West Fraser for Two Billion Trees Planted


In recognition of the West Fraser’s two billionth tree planted.


Matt Robertson and Dirk Brinkman present two dioramic photos of planters in action by war photographer and reforestation documentarist Rita Leistner from her collection Forest for the Trees to West Fraser’s D’Arcy Henderson, VP, and Jeff Mycock, Chief Forester, in recognition of the company’s two billionth tree planted and long relationship with a handful of contractors.

Cheakamus Community Forest Featured in the Narwhal


Title Image Leigh Joseph, a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) ethnobotanist, harvests devil's club in the Cheakamus River watershed near Whistler, B.C. Photo by Alana Peterson

Stephanie Wood’s recent Narwhal feature Meet the Cheakamus, the only community forest to develop carbon offsets in B.C. offers readers a lovely, storied journey through the challenges and successes of the Cheakamus Community Forest. Brinkman Earth Systems was intimately involved in developing the Cheakamus Community Forest project, and we still support and work with the community today.  

Stephanie Kwetásel'wet Wood is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh journalist and natural storyteller. Stephanie’s calm comprehensive approach brings the elements of what is possible for the Narwhal’s Carbon Cache series of in-depth features on natural climate solutions. Stephanie also captures the legacy of pre-contact Indigenous Stewardship in her sharing of the rich qualities of living biomes and connectivity, making this a beautiful article. We are proud to be part of creating Cheakamus forest’s unique climate project, and pleased to have a great picture of Robert Seaton, our Chief Science Officer featured.


CONGRATULATIONS! Erik Brinkman Executive MBA Valedictorian


CONGRATULATIONS to Erik Brinkman, our Chief Administrative Officer, who completed his SFU Beedie School of Business, Executive MBA! And double congratulations on being nominated Valedictorian of the 2021 SFU Business Faculty Graduates for his academic achievements. The Brinkman Group supports and celebrates personal and professional growth. Erik’s growth from planter, to Project Manager, to Business Development Manager to CAO reflects many achievements. This excerpt from Erik's SFU Convocation Speaker profile reflects his long commitment:             

“Erik Brinkman is a tree planter turned business executive in the resource management sector. He has planted more than 1.5 million trees by hand and continues to work with his family firm on mission-critical sustainability projects and initiatives.”

You can watch his valedictorian speech, from min 47:52-50:18 of SFU’s June 2021 Virtual Convocation Ceremony D. There you will find him reflecting both on his personal and professional journey, which can be summarized as, “Life is a gift.” 

This achievement is a significant professional milestone that will continue the Brinkman Group’s 50-year core business mission of healing and affirming life.


Other recent news articles related to Erik's unique EMBA journey:

Forest Foods Featured in The Narwhal


A B.C. Indigenous group has been working to bring its territory back to life and create a replicable model for restoration following the devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire. But it can take a century for forests to recover and climate change adds to the timeline.

Read the story here.

Brinkman featured on CBC News


"It’s a great time to be a tree planter, as there is a huge need to reforest areas harvested and burned down by wildfires"

It takes the stamina of an athlete to run up the side of a steep mountain the way Lann Dickson does.

Read entire article here