The Samurai Brotherhood is made up of several distinct groups that we call “Squads”. Each squad has 2 co-captains that act as leaders and facilitators for their respective squad.
TIGER SQUAD (FAIRVIEW) CO-CAPTAINS:
Nick Solaczek has been training with the Samurai Brotherhood founder, Phil T. Mistlberger, for over 5 years through one-on-one sessions, in-depth workshops and weekend retreats. With a commitment to personal development, Nick plans to bring his knowledge and passion to others seeking purpose in their life. Outside of the men’s group, Nick can be found running along the seawall, riding his bicycle to a Mexican restaurant or lifting weights at the Kitsilano Community Centre. As well as Tiger co-captain, Nick is second-in-command to Tribal Chief Phil T. Mistlberger.
Ben Goresky is an entrepreneur, men’s work facilitator and mentor. As a leader in the brotherhood, he draws on his experience in the realms of addiction, transpersonal therapy and his bachelor’s degree in counselling to support men in improving their relationships, and their success in the world. He offers an integrated masculine approach to 1-1 mentorship, and is also trained to facilitate various types of transformational breathwork. Ben hosts The Evolving Man Podcast on iTunes and evolvingman.ca.
CROW SQUAD (MT. PLEASANT) CO-CAPTAINS:
Brady Kirk is a long-standing member of the Samurai Brotherhood with more than three years of experience, and has been co-leading the Crow Squad since its formation in July of 2016. He is passionate about the need for men to connect in meaningful ways. Brady has an extensive background in construction and is currently employed with the Engineering Department of the City of Vancouver. In his spare time, he pursues his hobbies in 3D printing and online content creation. Brady is 31 and married.
Jason Chau was one of the original six members of the Samurai Brotherhood when it was rebooted in early 2015. Born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, his parents immigrated to Canada after the Vietnam War. He moved to Vancouver to study at UBC and has a BA in Sociology. After traveling Asia and teaching English, he went back to school to study classic 2D animation. A multi-talented individual, Jason makes a living creating web animations, paintings, as well as working in film. He is most excited about empowering others to find and fulfil their creative and personal potential. He’s also a boxer and was the first leader of the Samurai Brotherhood’s Ninja Division.
WOLF SQUAD (EAST VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:
Leo Cheung’s path of personal growth began on a bike ride from Vancouver to Mexico and later onwards around the world, studying meditation, western mysticism, eastern philosophy and eventually yoga. He pursued the path of teaching yoga professionally and had the fortunate opportunity to lead teacher trainings, workshops and retreats for many dedicated students. Leo later founded the Modern Yoga Podcast and interviewed senior teachers on topical issues in the industry as a means of cultivating community and providing education to other teachers. His focus now is in building the community of the Samurai Brotherhood, training in leadership development and giving mentorship and support to men involved.
Chris Solaczek is a Vancouver-based musician and writer with passions for psychology and personal development. As an aspiring facilitator, this community has been an ideal training ground in which he could refine his leadership skills and stay on edge. Originally inspired by solo backpacking trips, as well as philosophers such as Alan Watts and Marcus Aurelius, he strives to forge an integrated approach to life, bridging the domains of spirituality, cognitive neuroscience and practical entrepreneurship. He has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood since its revival in the spring of 2015.
ELEPHANT SQUAD (KITSILANO) CAPTAIN:
Jordan Gray is an internationally acclaimed sex and relationship coach. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Psychology Today, and countless other publications. He cares deeply about men’s work and transformational work in general. When he’s not coaching clients or writing a new blog post, Jordan loves to take photos, immerse himself in new cultures, and savour slow-motion hang outs with his closest friends.
EAGLE SQUAD (KITSILANO) CAPTAIN:
Steve Parr is a business lawyer and practices through his own firm, www.parrbusinesslaw.com. He also founded a vacation rental management company, www.hearthomes.ca, with fellow Samurai Ben Goresky. He’s passionate about challenging men to be successful and leaders in their professional and personal lives. Steve studied and participated in men’s work since 2007 when he published a thesis on the mythopoetic men’s movement. He has initiated with the Mankind Project and the Sterling Institute. He has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood since December 2015 and loves to surf, camp in remote areas, attend transformational music festivals and immerse himself in new cultures.
TITANS SQUAD (EAST VAN) CAPTAIN:
Rey Brannen is a serial entrepreneur who has worked extensively in nanotechnology and internet marketing, and he is currently an active commercial real estate and stock investor. His hobbies and interests include men’s work, yoga, judo, lucid dreaming, weightlifting and traveling with his wife. Rey is fluent in Japanese, and is the author of The 7 Laws of Abundance: How to Win At Life and Influence Reality, available at The7LawsofAbundance.com
RED DRAGON SQUAD (DOWNTOWN) CAPTAIN:
Richard Dalton holds dual bachelor degrees in mathematics and computer science and a master’s degree in journalism, and has been a computer programmer on Wall Street, an adjunct journalism professor at Stony Brook University, and an investigative reporter, tech writer, consumer columnist and travel writer at New York’s Newsday. He founded the Beautiful Minds Radio show, which seeks to de-stigmatize mental illness. Owner of Your Score Booster, Richard created the PointsBooster® test-preparation method, which helps students gain entrance to elite U.S. universities. An American-Canadian whose husband is Colombian-Canadian, Richard enjoys hiking and biking to burn off (some) calories from hamburgers, poutine and chorizo.
RAVEN SQUAD (BURNABY) CAPTAIN:
Joel Todd is a veteran IT System Administrator and is experienced as a photographer, Photoshop instructor and personal development Workshop Assistant. Psychology, photography, technology, physics, politics, and how people and the world tick, cover his interests. Joel is encouraged by those making a difference in the world but feels the question ‘should we’ do something rather than ‘can we’ do it needs to become a bigger part of the discussion. Joel’s favorite job is being a father to his young son; it allows him to be a guardian, guide and example to the next generation. He relaxes with music, hiking and nature along with enjoying the vast beer selection Vancouver has to offer.
LION SQUAD (NORTH VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:
Simon Kotyk has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood since October 2015. He is committed to helping men reach their positive potential in the world. He also has a deep interest in psychology, spirituality and personal growth work. Simon has experienced some of the more rugged elements of life, having worked on oil rigs for many years.
David Weale is the founder of Grind Bar Natural Health Products Inc, a Vancouver based performance nutrition company. He spent his twenties skiing and biking in the mountains of Whistler, BC. In 2013 David broke his neck in a mountain biking accident which lead him to switch his life around and focus more on business. This also opened his mind to the world of meditation and spirituality. After a few years of study and personal development David created the Grind Bar. Shortly afterwards he got involved with the Samurai Brotherhood. Thanks in huge part to the support of the other men and the confidence that he built in himself through the work, David has quickly grown both his sense of self worth and his company. He is now grateful to be able to share what he’s learned and support other men on their journeys.
RAM SQUAD (NORTH VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:
Steven Sal Debus is a designer/entrepreneur and business consultant. He’s been a millionaire, bankrupt and everywhere in between. He is always pushing the boundaries and seeking improvement in every part of his life. He found the Brotherhood because he was seeking deeper connection and fulfillment in his personal relationships and the support of a community of like-minded men.
Peter Wahlen is a Registered Massage Therapist and movement teacher. An avid traveler, he believes his adventures out in the world have honed his ability to also travel within the inner domain. He is always seeking to be a better, stronger more giving man and has found in the Brotherhood a group of men dedicated to being challenged in order to bring their best to the worlds of work, camaraderie, and intimate relationship.
NIGHTHAWK SQUAD (FAIRVIEW) CO-CAPTAINS:
Chad McFarlin has founded technology companies and produced videogames for Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Relic Entertainment. Currently, he is enthusiastic about artificial intelligence and is helping companies apply these technologies to their businesses through Tribal Interactive, which he founded in 2010. Chad has been with Samurai Brotherhood since Nov. 2016 and recently transitioned from Red Dragon Squad as a Lieutenant to Co-Captain of Nighthawk Squad. Chad is also on the production team of Young Men’s Adventure Weekend (YMAW), which is a three-day camping trip modeled along the lines of ancient tribal initiations and rites of passage. Chad loves learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and keeps fit with weight training, pilates, and yoga.
Doug McKegney has been doing men’s work for 32 years and has engaged with a wide variety of approaches: Sterling, Robert Bly and Michael Mead, the Mankind Project and Warrior Sage. He is the co-founder of an outdoor service retreat called the Grunt, in which he led groups of 50 – 80 men and boys to build trails for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and do other similar projects. Doug consults to senior executives charged with leading business turnarounds, integrating acquisitions and implementing new business strategies. His work integrates strategy, system change and the personal development of his clients. Doug particularly enjoys partner dancing, riding horses in the mountains and reading extensively. He works out regularly to stay healthy and was on a Canadian champion rowing crew a few years after the invention of the automobile.
BEAR SQUAD (KITSILANO) CO-CAPTAINS:
Greg Dion is a restaurant manager by day, and a seasoned ‘side hustler’ by night. With experience in music management, graphic & web design, event management & operations, and sales – and having recently become part-owner of a global travel brand – he is not one to shy away from hard work. A member of the Samurai Brotherhood since August 2016, he has a new found commitment to personal growth and development, and a strong desire to guide other men on their journey to discover a better version of self. He is married to an amazing Australian woman whom he’s been with for 10 years. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, the Vancouver Canucks, and spending time with his dog, Winston.
Lee Hettig owns and operates a small business that offers services in Health & Fitness, nutritional coaching, lifestyle design & Injury Rehabilitation. Lee’s background includes 5 years of high level competitive boxing and boxing coaching. He’s been a Personal Trainer & Sports Massage Therapist since 2004. Originally from Auckland New Zealand, he graduated & moved to Europe for 5 years to start his business and deepen his education. He then moved to Vancouver in 2008 and built his business up again. Lee’s passion for health, psychology & learning are intrinsic with his character. He is committed to helping Men identify their gifts and define their purpose while strengthening their mental, physical, and emotional health.
BADGER SQUAD (GASTOWN) CO-CAPTAINS:
Richard Wong has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood for over two years. Richard graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Psychology and went into banking right out of school. After joining the brotherhood he moved out of his career in finance and on to his current path. He is currently a partner at Garrison Bespoke Vancouver specializing in custom suits, and is always on the lookout for new entrepreneurial ventures. Through the brotherhood, Richard learned to channel his inner warrior into his life, and looks to share his experience with other men. In his spare time, Richard enjoys keeping physically active through basketball or martial arts.
James Mielnik is an serial entrepreneur who specializes in building online brands. He is passionate about helping others learn how to create profitable businesses, so they can free up their time to focus on making bigger contributions in the world. When not online, James can usually be found working on one of his Real Estate projects. In his free time, he enjoy reading, outdoor activities, and travelling the world to experience new cultures and men’s work.
Tai Whyte is the current Ninja captain. The optional martial arts and esoteric section of the Samurai Brotherhood is known as the Ninja Division. Tai has a background in martial arts and has trained in Shaolin Monastery in China. He has also been a student of Tribal Chief Phil T. Mistlberger’s shamanism trainings.