2017 Board of Directors Nominees

The Board of Unmanned Systems Canada is composed of 15 members, all elected to a 3 year term.  There are fourteen(14) candidates running for four (4) vacancies on the Board for this coming election.  Your vote is critical – please take the time to learn about these well-qualified candidates in order to make an informed decision.

To view each nominee, please click their profile link to learn more about them.

017. If you do not receive a ballot, please contact [email protected]


[accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”10″ class=””] Charlotte Laramée, Project Manager – Growth, UAV and MRO, Aéro Montréal
[/acchead] [accbody tab_id=”10″ in=””] Charlotte Laramée studied at ESC Clermont-Ferrand Business School (France) and obtained a Master in Management. After her first experiences in SMEs from the railway sector, she knew that she wanted to work in the industrial sector and above all with SMEs. Knowing that, she decided to focus on the aerospace sector and dedicated her energy to support various SMEs from the sector by working on their strategic plan and business development at the international scales. Working for Aéro Montréal (the Aerospace Cluster from Quebec) since 2 years, she is in charge to support SMEs from Québec in their strategy through visits, advices, networking activities and the development of new initiatives and tools that aim to find ways of meeting the challenges identified.

She also believes that the aerospace sector has to embrace the drones industries and she organized since two years, in collaboration with the CED and cluster from abroad, various activities to support the development of the drones industry in Quebec.

For her personal development, Charlotte is also studying at the HEC Montreal in corporate finance.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term.

As I’m in charge of the Drones Committee of Aéro Montréal co-organized with the CED, I think it’s very important to have a strong relationship with Unmanned Systems Canada to share the information and the orientations of the Committee to ensure the leverage and the linkage between the Quebec and the Canada. The drones sector is still emerging and dispersed and it’s more than necessary to work all together in a collaborative way between the various provinces of Canada to consolidate our industry.

Over my 3 year term I hope to:

– Ensure the transparency and the sharing of information about the development of the drones industry in Quebec

– Develop collaborative initiatives between Quebec and Canada by proposing projects to support the development and the positioning of the drones industry not only at the Canadian but also at the international scale

– Develop relations to coordinate the development of the drone industry and the sharing of best practice between Canada and Europe by using my strong network with European Aerospace Clusters

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

Support the development of the drone industry by taking an active part in the further development of the association through my network, my ideas and the strength of Aéro Montréal.

I hope that I can support Unmanned Systems Canada in the strategic development of the drone industry in Canada, considering the strength of each region and the leverage we can get through collaborative projects.
[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”11″ class=””] Greg Davis, Founder, DronEye
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Transport Canada Commercial Pilot CA1439965. Class 2 Commercial Pilot ground school instructor with 700+ hours teaching time, Moncton Flight College, Halifax Flying Club, Gander Flying Club.

Former VP Operations FedEx Canada, AirNet, Columbus OH USA. 30+ years working with Transport Canada and The FAA in fixed wing regulatory policy. Class 1 IFR fixed wing, 100+ hours Drone PIC.

Canadian Courier Logistics Association Board Member 2008/2009.

Current SFOC holder, Ontario and Atlantic Canada

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

Well versed in Canadian CAR’s and SFOC administration. Policy implementation experience with Transport Canada and FAA.

Leadership and project management experience aviation industry, Canada and the USA.

35 years experience in the aviation industry Canada and the USA.

Vast understanding of the Transport Canada regulations for UAV/UAS operations in Canada and the USA

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

Work with Transport Canada on behalf of Commercial Drone Operators in Canada.

Place forward policy, that is in the best interests of Commercial Drone Operators in Canada, that will satisfy the Safety and Security concerns with Transport Canada future regulations.

Contribute on an Editorial basis on subject matter that is relevant to Unmanned Systems Canada Membership.

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”12″ class=””] Michael Cohen, President & CEO, Industrial Skyworks
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Michael is the President & CEO of Industrial SkyWorks Inc., a Canadian provider of Drone Data Solutions. He is a former Airline Captain (Boeing 737 NG), a certified Aircraft Accident Investigator, and an expert in Aerospace Safety Systems and Risk Management. Michael is a proactive leader with a commitment to safety.  He has served as Chairman of Air Safety (Air Line Pilots Association: Canjet) and as member of an Airline Emergency Response Team (Air Canada).

After leading Industrial SkyWorks to flight approvals throughout Canada (2013-14), Michael authored the first successful application to the FAA for commercial nighttime UAS operations in the U.S. (2016). In 2016, Michael was named as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and was recently named by Commercial UAV News as one of The 25 Most Influential People in the Drone Industry.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

Drawing from 19 years of aviation experience, both manned and unmanned, I have a strong passion for Canadian Aviation. For the past five years, my focus on unmanned aviation has imparted a firm belief that Canada should occupy the forefront of emerging unmanned industries.  Through commitment and hard work, I bring a large and relevant experience base with a uniquely “from the trenches” perspective. I hope to achieve an exceptional understanding of members’ goals and to facilitate a direct and effective voice to reach member first outcomes.

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”13″ class=””] Dan Juhlin, Regional Informatics Team Lead & UAV Coordinator, Government Of Alberta
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Dan has been passionate about UAV’s since 2013 when he was involved with the UAV program at Cenovus Energy.  With Cenovus, Dan gained experience flying UAV’s as well as with operational planning and SFOC applications.  In his current role with Alberta Environment and Parks, Dan coordinates the UAV program for the lower Athabasca Region and is currently assisting other ministries in developing policies and procedure for flying UAV’s within the public service.  He is keen about the application of UAV derived data products within GIS environments and is currently working with governmental organizations as well as industry to develop policies to enable more UAV data use for mandatory reporting requirements on sand and gravel.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term.

With experience across the full breadth of a UAV program, Dan is able to contribute to discussions in most aspects including the merits of different platforms, mission planning, technical trouble shooting , as well as SDFOC applications.  He fully understands the regulations and the development of policies and SOP’s.  Over the next 3 years, Dan would like to focus attention on the need for specific laws concerning the use of UAV’s for wildfire use.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

Represent Alberta Environment and Park honorably and contribute honestly to the refinement of UAV laws in Canada and promote the lawful use of UAVs.  I hope to influence the discussion for specific laws to enable the use of UAVs for BVLOS support of wildfire operations.

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[accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”14″ class=””] Ming Hou,  Senior Defence Scientist,  Defence R&D Canada
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Dr. Hou is a Senior Defence Scientist at DRDC and the Principal Authority of Human Factors R&D on Human-Technology Interactions within DND.  He leads Canadian Human Factors work on UAS operator interface, training, acquisition, and airworthiness certification requirements. Dr Hou is one of the three Scientific Advisors to the Canadian National Centre of Expertise in Human Systems Performance with responsibilities for guiding academic research in Automation, Robotics, and Telepresence. As the Canadian National Leader of the Joint Panel on Human Systems Performance – Air under The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP), Dr. Hou leads Canadian collaboration efforts for military air systems, including managing a US$162M international project on Human-Autonomy Teaming. Dr. Hou is the Head of Canadian Delegation to NATO Human Factors Specialist Team on Flight In Non-segregated Air Space (FINAS) panel under NATO Joint Capability Group of UAS Enterprise (JCGUAS). His monograph: “Intelligent Adaptive Systems: An Interaction-Centered Design Perspective” contributed to the NATO Standard Recommendations on “UAS Human Systems Integration Guidebook” and “Sense and Avoid STANREC”.  Dr. Hou gives lectures at NATO Lecture Series on “UAVs: Technological Challenges, Concepts of Operations, and Regulatory Issues”. Dr. Hou also serves for multiple international associations as a chair and board members.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

  1. Human Factors and Human Systems Integration specialties (as the Principal Authority of DND in Human Factors for Unmanned Systems and with two decades of experience in Human Factors of Robotics and Unmanned Systems, etc.).
  2. R&D experience in Unmanned Systems and management expertise in large international collaborative projects working with multi-disciplinary teams (e.g., technologists, software and hardware developers, researchers, contractors, students, and military subject matter experts) to conceive, plan, design, develop, evaluate, and report projects related to systems requirements for many military systems including small and large Unmanned Systems e.g., the lead of Canadian team for a large (US$162M) international project.
  3. Expertise in International Regulations on Unmanned Systems. As the primary author, I contributed to the writing of NATO Standard Recommendation: “Unmanned Aircraft System Human Systems Integration Guideline” and “Unmanned Aircraft System Sense and Avoid” STANREC, support domestic and international regulatory organizations for integration of Unmanned Systems technologies.
  4. R&D directions to academic, industry, and government in the Unmanned Systems business. As the DND Scientific Advisor to the National Centre of Expertise in Human Systems Performance, I offer advice and directions to academia on Automation, Robotics, and Telepresence. My monograph offers many solutions to Unmanned Systems issues.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

  1. Share knowledge and experience in Human Factors and Human Systems Integration in Unmanned Systems with fellow board members and our community.
  2. Share knowledge and experience in Unmanned Systems R&D in systems requirements, operator training, certification, and regulatory processes with our community.
  3. Share knowledge and experience in developing international standards for Unmanned Systems with our community.
  4. Engage with domestic and international regulatory organizations for integration of Unmanned Systems/Technologies into civilian airspace as needed.
  5. Share knowledge and experience in guiding academic R&D in Unmanned Systems activities with our community.
  6. Work together with fellow members to support board initiatives.
  7. Promote Human Factors R&D and practice within our Unmanned Systems community.
  8. Promote Human Systems Integration guidelines into Unmanned Systems/technology development, air traffic control/management when integrating unmanned systems into non-segregated (civilian) airspace.
  9. Promote partnership (e.g., pilot in command) philosophy, concepts, and methods of Human-Autonomy Teaming into the operations of manned and unmanned teaming.
  10. Provide guidance for the Unmanned Systems R&D in general and Student competitions
[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”15″ class=””] Jordan Cicoria, Managing Director, AERIUM Analytics
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Jordan Cicoria is a Managing Director of AERIUM Analytics, a UAS-As-A-Service company out of Calgary, Alberta. Jordan has over 10 years’ experience in the Natural Resources, Energy, GIS and Regulatory industries. Jordan has been in the UAS industry for over 3 years and has been part of the creation of unique UAS solutions and services in and around multiple Industries. By taking an initially non-aviation approach to solving problems with UASs, Jordan and AERIUM have been able to couple over 50 years of Industry experience and a deep understanding of regulations and apply that to the UAS sector. Recent projects include operations at the Edmonton International Airport in Class C airspace with fixed wing, multirotor and Ornithopter UAVs. In addition, Jordan and AERIUM have been working with the Alberta Government on UAV projects, the Forestry industry on advancing the use of UAVs in daily operations

As a small business owner Jordan has a strong focus on commercializing the UAV service industry and has been making forays into the US and Mexico in nontraditional industries like airports and mining wildlife management with the support of Alberta Economic Development and Trade and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

If I am elected as a board member of USC I will be able to help bring the small business owner perspective to the board. The need to support and grow the UAS-as-a-service side of USC is ever more important today, as the UAS industry begins to mature. Through partnerships AERIUM currently holds such as with Clear Flight Solutions out of The Netherlands and utilization of the Robird robotic falcon shows Canada’s ability to bring new technologies to North America and commercialize them.

Our active operations at the Edmonton International Airport is helping bridge the gap between manned and unmanned aviation and show that there is a safe way to integrate UAS into manned airspace, which to me, is vital for the future of our industry.

In recent months, exploration into Mexican and USA markets have shown my desire to expand internationally and help in the harmonization of national associations and of regulations. By supporting USC and the regulators I can give the end user’s approach on how these regulations affect us.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

Over my 3 years as a board member I would hope to achieve helping mold the regulations surrounding BVLOS. It is very important to help all Canadian companies be safe but not hinder their ability to do business. Further to that, I would:

  • Help support the continued harmonization of Canadian and Mexican regulations as a member of USC and as follow up to recent meetings held with the DGAC and TC for AERIUM
  • Keep Canada on top of the UAS industry for its ability to manage growth while adopting new technologies and supporting a regulatory regime that benefits everyone.

I believe that academia, regulators, manufacturers and service companies should all be focused on the ultimate goal of making Canada the best place to work with, manufacture, research and develop UASs.

I hope to see manned and unmanned aviation flying in the same space, all controlled by an UTM that keeps the skies safe and organized and by accomplishing things that we cannot even comprehend today. I look forward to helping mold that future and contribute back to USC to help future generations.

I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”115″ class=””] Anne-Sophie RIOPEL-BOUVIER, Vice-President, Air Operations, EXO Tactik
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Co-founder and board member at EXO Tactik Air Support, a UAV operation company specializing in municipal and public safety operations, Anne-Sophie Riopel-Bouvier draws on her years of experience as a Canadian Forces glider instructor to lead the organization’s air operations. Having graduated from the RCAF’s flight safety course in 2012, she has been a flight safety officer with the Air Cadet Gliding Program since 2012. Simultaneously, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from HEC Montréal and remains involved with the University’s entrepreneurship programs to this day. Her mission at EXO Tactik is to create robust, yet efficient, operating procedures ready for real-world implementation. Often performing complex, sometimes unique, missions, the organization is currently working on the certification of standard procedures with Transport Canada to provide emergency services with prompt air support. Miss Riopel-Bouvier was involved with the current Canadian Aviation Regulations’ revision through a set of recommendations for Transport Canada and providing a testimony for the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructures and Communities of the House of Commons.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

Currently in a state of exponential growth, the UAV industry is at a critical turning point: it must develop standard procedures and a robust safety culture, while ensuring it remains adaptable to innovation and customer needs. Through involvement in civil and military aviation operations, and as Vice President of Air Operations for EXO Tactik, I’ve been exposed to countless different methods and practices to ensure safety, reliability and standardization of flight operations. Working with Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to apply this experience to develop lasting structures and systems for UAV operations. The scope of my operational and management experience enables me to identify directions for improvement and implement realistic, efficient and adaptable measures to meet the industry’s needs. Concretely, I hope to increase the safety standards of the Canadian UAV industry by increasing communication between the industry actors, facilitating the communication of operational experience and creating platforms for the constructive discussion of “lessons learned”.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to contribute to the Canadian leadership on the international UAV scene by being an active member of the team which compels the industry to attain new standards of excellence every year. I also hope to help increase communication between the members so we can all grow stronger together.

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”16″ class=””] Mark Aruja, Retired
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Mr. Aruja’s 32-year military career encompassed both fixed and rotary wing maritime aviation with command appointments including Commander of 12 Wing Shearwater and the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre, retiring as a Colonel. He has over 3000 flight hours as a tactical co-ordinator.  Senior staff appointments have included multi$B program management, personnel and an international assignment. At National Defence Headquarters he was the Director of Space Development and the first appointee to the positions of Director General Joint Force Development and Commandant of the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre. In that capacity, he initiated the Canadian Forces’ UAV experimentation program.

He subsequently spent 12 years at Thales, a large multinational company active in defence, aerospace and security where he was responsible for the Canadian market for defence and space. In this capacity he identified business opportunities and led their pursuit to contract award.  Mark is an engineering graduate of the Royal Military College, has completed the Aerospace Systems Course and National Security Studies course.

Mark retired three years ago, and was elected as the Chairman of the Board of Unmanned Systems Canada in 2015.  As Board Chair I have undertaken a near full-time role, with some  highlights as follows:

–              Undertook a funded update of the UAS industry, providing critical insights for policy makers;

–              Championed development of a national BVLOS strategy including obtaining funding support, submitting a supercluster bid, a TDP submission and promoting Canadian BVLOS capabilities internationally;

–              Expanded advocacy with multiple federal and provincial authorities (incl. setting the stage for successful Mexico/Canada agreement on UAS);

–              Significantly improved the quality and quantity of information flow regarding the industry, members and the association across multiple media platforms;

–              Undertaking daily networking across Canada and internationally, including mentoring of numerous startups, and

–              Revamping the structure of the Board to improve focus on outcomes.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term.

I joined USC upon its inception in 2003, intrigued by the possibilities of unmanned systems from a business, technological and societal perspective.  Since then, I have had varying degrees of involvement with the association and witnessed its growth, including both successes and challenges.

Over the past two years as Chairman, it has become clear that the association requires continuity to meet the challenges of industry today. I am blessed by having the time to dedicate to the association which comes with retirement.

The challenges today include capacity building at the political level to grow the industry’s visibility. In the pre-revenue stages of growth, we need to engage ‘heavy hitters’ to complement the strengths of our small businesses. Living in Ottawa, with decades of government experience does provide me insights into what needs to be accomplished and how to go about it. Innovation requires enabling frameworks, regulations and policies which act to stimulate economic growth and attract investment. This also requires persistent and broad action. I believe that I am ready to continue with that effort. My clear objective will be to increase the public and political awareness of our industry.

Secondly, we see a future that is evolving rapidly with the evolution of autonomous connected vehicles. There is a great opportunity to forge new relationships to support emerging supply chains which intersect across all unmanned systems, such as new generation networks, cyber-security, artificial intelligence and automated management systems.

Finally, the daily running of the organization benefits from continuity. From accounting, correspondence, to running our conferences, our world-class student competition to trade shows, with re-election to the Board I will continue to advocate for improving our operational processes to maximize outcomes for our members.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

  1. Expand recognition by the public, governments, investors and stakeholders as leading innovation in Canada, a global leader in a thriving new economic sector and attracting the best and the brightest.
  2. Implement an updated strategic vision for USC which embraces a new chapter in unmanned systems. This new chapter will involve the transition to an Internet of Things concept which integrates technologies and society in dramatic new ways. The new strategic plan must be forward-leaning and attract a broader membership by providing demonstrable value-added results to them.
  3. Improve the operational efficiency of the association through continued improvements in our communications capabilities, improved response to both our members and stakeholders, and our organizational capacity.
  4. Expand organizational capacity through revenue growth to increase USC’s ability to hire professional staff to complement the dedicated volunteer efforts which have underpinned the association’s successes to-date.


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[accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”17″ class=””] Duncan Elliott, Professor, University of Alberta

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Duncan Elliott is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta.  He has held SFOCs annually since 2012 and his lab flies a variety of fixed wing and multi-rotor RPAS.  His research includes multispectral imaging, phased array radar for BVLOS and distributed workflows for image identification.  He has flown sensor payloads on UAVs, high altitude balloons (30km), sounding rockets and Alberta’s first satellite (operating since May 26, 2017 deployment).  Duncan is a faculty advisor to the University of Alberta Aerial Robotics Group that competes in student competitions.  He has some familiarity with civil aviation and is a member of MAAC.

Duncan has contributed to the advancement of Transport Canada UAV regulations.  He is a member of the USC Unmanned Canada Conference Technical Program Committee and his lab has contributed 5 presentations to this conference over the years.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope      to achieve over your 3-year term.

I hope to apply myself to keep Canada at the forefront in UAS.  I bring:

  • Foresight in a rapidly evolving field
  • Dedication to safe aviation and sharing the skies (UAS, civil, model)
  • Experience in governance

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

  • Continue to work with Transport Canada on UAS regulation and streamlining the SFOC process for flight operations that regulations do not anticipate.
  • Keep USC’s finances on a sustainable path
  • Encourage interaction between UAS researchers, manufacturers and operators to advance this exciting technology
[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”18″ class=””] Michael Campbell, P. Eng.,Chief: Photographer, ckmm|photographic
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Mike Campbell is currently owner and chief photographer/videographer/UAV Pilot at ckmmphotographic.

Mike and his team  provide terrestrial and aerial videography and photography services for his commercial and private clients via his SMAO business, ckmm|photographic.

Mike has a certificate in Digital Photography from George Brown College. His background is in Electrical Engineering, is currently licensed with Professional Engineers Ontario and is a member of the IEEE.

Prior to ckmm|photographic, Mike worked for over 30 years in Telecommunications and High Tech .He held progressively more senior positions, managing technology lines of business for a major corporation, Nortel.

Mike is also active in several volunteer roles and is currently the Vice President of and a Director on the Board of the NRPC, a non-profit corporation set up to represent the pensioners and former employees during the extended bankruptcy proceedings of Nortel. He is also a Director on the Canadian Federation of Pensioners, an advocacy group for pensioners interests.

In his spare time, Mike is a DIY Home Renovator, Expedition Canoeist and is learning to kayak. He also occasionally rolls his own high performance Linux Terabyte NAS servers.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

As an engineering professional, I bring a fact based, business oriented, decision making approach to all projects that I’m involved with and have developed an extensive business, communications and product acumen that is not traditional aviation based.

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”19″ class=””] Eli Hini, Founder and Product Architect, Venovis Inc

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With over 12 years of experience in customer facing software and hardware product development I have a wealth of expertise that can be applied to unmanned robotics systems application discovery, development and deployment. I am a husband and father of 3. My wife and I along with our three children call Port Coquitlam, British Columbia home. I am a Software Engineer by trade with experience in developing system from kernel extensions to intuitive and award winning user facing applications on iPhone, iPads, macOS and Linux.

I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering Technology from DeVry University in 2006. During my undergraduate studies, I was involved in R&D activities around unmanned ground vehicle navigation. After university I worked at I got my feet wet in Avionics, briefly working at Aeromechanical services where I was involved in the development of software that went into real-time flight data recorders.

My industry experience spans education (Ellunminate/Blackboard), entertainment (HBO, MLB, Gener8) to cyber security (Fortinet and Sophos). I am the founder of Venovis, a technology development studio with a focus to develop intuitive user applications to operate remotely controlled machines including unmanned vehicles. I am spearheading the ROVIS project to develop Real-time remote access and visualization command centre for unmanned vehicles.

I am working towards a Master of Science in Unmanned Systems at Embry Riddle University to equip me with knowledge from both academia and industry to ensure that I can provide the best product and services as well as contribute to the field of unmanned systems.

With my current background and ongoing endeavour to be knowledgeable in the Unmanned uniquely qualifies me to serve on the board of Unmanned System Canada. I bring to the table critical thinking, product development, product and procedure evaluation capabilities to meet regulatory and specifications requirements and a strong understanding of end-to-end software and hardware integration for seamless operation of robotics application.

In the next 3 years I would like to have accomplished the following:

– Facilitate the development of unmanned traffic control management UTM by putting in place standards for OEMs and software developers as well as operators.

– Playing a key role in ensuring safe deployment of BVLOS operations

– Promote education of unmanned systems amongst various industries that stand to benefit from UAV   operations

– Facilitate the awareness and promotion of Canadian Unmanned Systems operation and UAV operators to a global audience

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”110″ class=””] John Saunders, President, TIER 1 ISR Inc.

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John served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 23 years as a member of the Army, Air Force, and Special Operations branches.  While employed as an Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator (AESOp) he logged 4000+ operational flying hours on the CP-140 Aurora, Canada’s ISR aircraft.  He also served as a Special Forces Operator with Joint TaskForce II, Canada’s elite Counter Terrorism Unit.  He left the Air Force in 2009 as a Master Warrant Officer to pursue a career in the UAV industry. John spent the following 6 years working for MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) as Operations Manager, Deputy Site Manager, and Air Vehicle Operator (AVO/Pilot) of the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron UAV program at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. In these roles he was responsible for ensuring that serviceable aircraft were ready for operations 24/7 and dealt directly with senior Australian officers, working hard managing customer expectations. He was later selected for further training and went back to Israel for the Heron Pilot Instructor course. Following that, in addition to mentoring new pilots in Afghanistan, he began teaching members of the Australian Air Force in UAV Theory, Basic and Advanced Simulator, and actual flying operations. He maintains his Pilot Licence and IFR Rating.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term.

I bring with me a solid background in both manned and unmanned aviation. As a senior CF trained aircrew member, I can draw upon my years of Flight Safety, Aircrew Standards & Training, Airmanship, Operational Testing & Evaluation, and Management experience; all of which I am happy to share freely with the board. In addition, I have 1000+ hours of BVLOS flight time on the Heron MALE UAV (1150kg MTOW), and see myself as a great asset in the advancement of Canada’s regulatory process. I am scheduled to speak on the topic of my BVLOS experience at the upcoming USC Conference. In addition, I do have board member experience as I am currently sitting on the Governance Board with People Worx based in Coldbrook, NS.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

I hope to bring my hard won UAV experience to the table and help to springboard Canada’s UAV industry (and regulations) several leaps forward. Having worked in the industry internationally (Israel, Australia, Afghanistan, and Canada) and dealt with multinational groups with different outlooks, I feel I can bring a well balanced approach to these issues. Having witnessed firsthand how Australia came from zero and surpassed the Canadian military’s high benchmarks set during their involvement in Afghanistan and their capitalization on that experience, I can’t help but feel that we (Canada collectively) have dropped the ball. Australia now has UAV operations sharing manned aviation airspace. I want Canada to again become a leader in the industry.

Thank you for considering me as a potential USC Board of Directors member.

Kind regards,

John Saunders


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[accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”111″ class=””] David Curry, CEO, MIR Aviation Unmanned Systems

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As owner and operator of MIR Aviation Unmanned Systems I bring 34 years of solid aviation experience, knowledge and expertise in the aviation sector. I began my career in aviation by obtaining my Pilots Licence, which was then followed with an Honors Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer License, class M1, M2. I retired from Royal Dutch Shell in 2012 after 29-years of employment, assuming a variety of aircraft maintenance, safety and managerial roles. This included Aviation Quality Assurance Manager, Production Manager and the Director of Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Manager for the Americas. (Calgary and Houston Fleets)

After retiring from Shell in 2012 I then joined HART Aviation International as a Lead Aviation Safety Investigator /Auditor. I hold Auditor accreditation in Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS), ISO 9001-2008 Lead Auditor Accreditation, Transport Canada Audit Procedures and am an active Member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators. I came to this position with training accreditations from the University of Southern California in: Aviation Safety and Security, Aircraft Accident Investigation, Helicopter Accident Investigations, Gas Turbine Engine Accident Investigation, Safety Management Systems for Aviation Maintenance and Human Factors in Aviation Safety. The later part of my time at HART Aviation was with the emerging market of RPAS / UAVs.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term.

While appointed as the Engineering Manager of the Americas for Royal Dutch Shell I oversaw operations for both the Calgary and Houston aviation fleets. I was responsible for managing all aspects of an annual expense budget of $13.2M, with assets of $46M, and contracts totaling $8M.

During my time with Hart Aviation I completed over 150 Commercial Aviation audits across North and South America. I was involved in the investigations of three major aircraft accidents and over 60 aviation safety incidents. The later part of my time at HART Aviation was with the emerging market of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS / UAVs). I conducted RPAS audits in North and South America.

In addition, I have taught Avionics and Electrical Systems at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)  part-time and have audited and consulted on Heli-deck operations with UAV platforms in the Gulf of Mexico for a variety of customers.

With 36 plus years of aviation experience, including my demonstrated skills in running a successful business teaching UAV operations for 3 years and my in-depth understanding and knowledge of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, I feel I am well positioned to be able to support whatever Unmanned Systems Canada’s operational needs are.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

Strategic planning is critical to the long-term success of any nonprofit organization. It involves reviewing where the organization is now, where it would like to be in the future, and how it intends to get there. The process of strategic planning can help to invigorate and strengthen the organization by focusing on longer term objectives and renewing the sense of purpose and commitment among directors and staff. As a board of director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to embrace responsibilities.

The degree of involvement in any nonprofit organization will generally depend on the availability of staff and/or volunteer resources. In light of the new proposed Canadian Aviation UAV Regulations, MIR Aviation Unmanned Systems has suspended it main function as a training organization. This now allows myself as CEO to focus more time and energy working as a board of director for Unmanned Systems Canada.

Based on the information I have been provided, I believe I would the only board director with a solid Aviation Maintenance background. This aviation maintenance background will be critical for the implementation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight regulations in the very near future. New directors can be a valuable resource by providing a fresh perspective and asking questions to satisfy the organization that the plan is well thought out, realistic and compatible with the organization’s mission, vision and values. I have in-depth RPAS with experience not only in Canada but on other continents. As a board of director for Unmanned Systems Canada I feel I can confidently fulfill any role which they deem necessary for me to hold.

[/accbody] [/accgroup] [/accordions] [accordions id=”1″] [accgroup] [acchead id=”1″ tab_id=”112″ class=””] Kristin Kozuback, Director of Marketing, AirMarket,  

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As the ‘community connector’ at AirMarket, I get to draw from 30 years of professional sales, marketing & business development work across Canada to promote the AirMarket mission: ‘To nurture the rapidly evolving drone/UAV ecosystem so that everyone can realize the social, environmental & economic benefits that drones & UAV’s can provide to individuals, communities & governments.’ I’m passionate about promoting drone safety, compliance, collaboration & awareness about aviation & privacy regulations. I want to build on 3 years of experience in the UAV sector to support other UAS sectors of Unmanned Systems.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve been blessed to teach & coach 450+ emerging entrepreneurs across Canada; I feel lucky to have worked with 30+ Aboriginal communities, colleges, & organizations. I’m experienced at designing programs & products to enable start-ups, emerging businesses & established companies to increase revenues, expand operational capacity, & take advantage of innovative technologies. I have a Masters Degree in Education specializing in Diversity, Curriculum Design & Indigenous Methodologies. This gives me a unique set of skills to develop & strengthen relationships across various stakeholder groups that benefit AirMarket, the drone community & Canada a whole.

Indicate what attributes you can bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board and what you would hope to achieve over your 3-year term

As a founding partner of AirMarket, I’ve immersed myself in our industry for almost 3 years. I’ve gathered a wealth of information from my own research, conferences & discussions with over 120 operators, training organizations, & industry contacts across Canada. I’m an experienced marketer willing to help shape & promote key messages that support Unmanned Systems Canada’s goals to promote a culture of safety & professionalism. I can support social media & PR campaigns to promote public awareness, education & appreciation for Canada’s UAS community, both nationally & internationally. Depending on time requirements, I could join committees & contribute to fundraising, membership recruiting, and scholarship drives.

I can leverage AirMarket’s ties to aviation authorities & regulators to help advocate for policy development that will keep our skies safe yet nurture emerging & established operators. I understand the benefits of creating a more stable, predictable regulatory framework that will be favourable to investors, industry stakeholders & the general public. Adding a female UAV company owner to your Board may help attract more women into our industry, provide some diversity, & bring additional business expertise.

As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:

… offer various skills I’ve acquired from years of teaching, marketing, using technology to streamline business workflows, & launching 3 companies. By supporting USC, I hope to better support the rapidly growing UAS community. We all need to work together to continually improve our industry’s public image & build confidence that Canadian drone/UAV operators have the tools, skills & motivation to plan & conduct safe, compliant missions.

Specifically, I think I can help USC to:

  • Recruit more aspiring entrepreneurs, commercial operators, corporations & industry suppliers to become members.
  • Implement some innovative marketing/community engagement tools.
  • Grow its reputation as a responsive organization that supports innovative research, student programs & UAS adoption across Canada.
  • Explore ways to align industry, educators & government funders to develop UAS courses that inspire youth to take STEM courses & pursue UAS careers.
  • Build mutually-beneficial relationships with Indigenous businesses & communities.
  • Attract more private & public investment in our industry.

Although most of my industry experience is within the UAV sector, I look forward to learning more about the marine & land-based sectors. I understand many technical & political challenges of adopting UAV’s; I know effective, on-going communication is critical to help shape & navigate the evolving regulatory landscape. I’d like to help USC continue building on Canada’s strong international reputation for aviation excellence, innovation & collaboration.


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