Our Team

Ryan E.M. Cunningham, CEO / Director

Ryan E. M. Cunningham is the manager of Cunningham Energy, LLC, an independent producer of oil and gas that he founded in 2008. Currently, he oversees operations for Cunningham Energy, Marzcorp Oil & Gas Inc., Viper Capital Partners LLC, and Raven Ridge Energy LLC. Mr. Cunningham served as the operating partner of Black Crow Oil LLC from 2008 to 2010. From 1999 to 2001, he worked as a sales trader with Oppenheimer & Co. (formerly CIBC World Markets), initially in the private client division and later in its institutional trading group with middle markets and institutional sales trading teams, eventually becoming the head sales trader in 2001. Mr. Cunningham has been a board member of the West Virginia Oil & Gas Association since 2013. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Policy from Rollins College.

Christopher Ryals, Consultant

Since January 2019, Mr. Ryals has served as the principal of RCO Capital LLC, a business advisory and strategic consulting firm. From July 2018 to May 2020, he held the position of President at Drive Petroleum, a private energy and petroleum company that he co-founded. Additionally, from February 2017 to May 2020, Mr. Ryals served as President of Whitney Oil & Gas and Trimont Energy, both energy and petroleum companies. From 2014 to 2017, he acted as the Managing Partner of J&R Falcon, an investment platform in collaboration with Murfin, Inc. From 2005 to 2013, Mr. Ryals occupied various principal investment and management roles, including Managing Director at NGP Capital Resources, an affiliate of Natural Gas Partners. He initiated his career as an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank, focusing on the energy sector and principal investment. Mr. Ryals holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University, graduating cum laude.

H. Steven Rhodes

H. Steven (Steve) Rhodes is a highly accomplished engineering professional and senior executive with over 30 years of advanced experience in geotechnical, geostructural, and environmental engineering disciplines, combined with extensive construction management and project quality control. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical and Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina. Mr. Rhodes served as CEO, principal, and co-founder of a large international consulting engineering practice that participated in numerous significant, large-scale commercial, industrial, and government developments, totaling over $10 billion in expenditure. During his tenure, he personally managed over 5000 engineering and construction projects. In 2013, Mr. Rhodes became a permanent member of the Cunningham Energy organization and is intimately involved in all the planning and field construction activities crucial to our well drilling programs.

James A. McCrea, Geologist.

James A. McCrea serves on the boards of Stamper Oil & Gas Corp., Juggernaut Exploration Ltd., Umdoni Exploration, Inc., and Prisma Exploration, Inc. He is a Member of Geoscientists Canada and a Member of Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia. Previously, Mr. McCrea held the position of Geologist at SSR Mining, Inc., Vice President-Exploration for T2 Metals Corp., Vice President-Exploration for Patriot Battery Metals, Inc., and Geologist at Fidelity Minerals Corp. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta and has 30 years of experience in mineral exploration and mining geology, with over 25 years in mineral resource estimation. Mr. McCrea's extensive expertise was acquired through working with junior to mid-tier mining/exploration companies, including Cumberland Resources Inc. and Silver Standard Resources Inc., as well as consulting firms SRK (Canada) Inc. and Snowden Mining Industry Consultants. His geological skills span technical review, due diligence, mineral resource/reserve estimation, feasibility studies, and mine startup.

Morgan “Mo” Fahimi, Director

Since March 2021, Mr. Fahimi has been leading the sales efforts of Acuris, a media company specializing in high-value content for financial professionals and Dealogic platforms. Acuris is owned by the ION Investment Group, a financial software and data business. Acuris provides comprehensive data and intelligence sets for the equity and fixed income institutional community, as well as the private equity markets. It is well-known for its products such as the fixed income research provider Debtwire and Mergermarket, a specialist in M&A intelligence. Mr. Fahimi joined Mergermarket in 2005 as the head of sales, leading the sales effort of the Debtwire division, a globally leading fixed income data and intelligence platform. From 2007 to 2020, he served as the Managing Director and Head of Sales for the Dealreporter business within Mergermarket, a globally leading Risk Arbitrage Data and Intelligence platform. In this role, he was responsible for initiating all commercial relationships and overseeing the distribution of global Dealreporter. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Fahimi was an account executive with CIBC World Markets in institutional Middle Market Sales and Trading. He is also a director of Signal Research, a US and UK-based Quantitative, Macro, and Technical Analysis Research firm catering to the institutional investment community. Mr. Fahimi received a BA in Economics from Kingston University, London, England.

Sean Pownall, Director

Sean Pownall began his career in the industry at an early age, working with his family in the Yukon and British Columbia. His long-term standing of nearly 30 years in the Mineral Exploration Industry, including founding More Core Diamond Drilling Services Ltd. in 2006, fostering its continual growth and full expansion to international projects, including Sweden and Peru, and working as a Diamond Driller in numerous Mining Exploration projects in Canada and the United States, experiencing grassroots to full production mining, has all contributed to uniquely positioning Sean to be a valuable asset in many areas of the industry today. Mr. Pownall’s mining history also includes serving as a Director and Advisor to Tudor Gold's Treaty Creek project, which lies at the headwaters of the Unik River. The project has grown from a grassroots initiative to the current Mineral Resource of 23.37 million ounces of gold. Additionally, Sean has served as a Director in the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) and as a Director in American Creek Resources. He has also fulfilled roles within Municipality Governance and local community support.