Please Welcome Our New Directors to the USC-STC Board!

October 11, 2018    Ottawa, ON   –  For Immediate Release –

Our 2018 Board Elections have closed – and the results are in!

The members of Unmanned Systems Canada / Systémes Télécommandés Canada had three weeks to use our online voting system to cast their votes. At the close of this year’s election (October 9th, 2018), these eight (8) Directors were elected. 

Mark Aruja, Chair of the Board of Systems Canada / Systémes Télécommandés Canada, welcomed the new Directors, saying;

On behalf of Unmanned Systems Canada, I am pleased to announce and welcome the new members to our 2018-19 Board of Directors.

We had an outstanding slate of 16 diverse, experienced candidates putting their names forward to stand for election. 

Mark Aruja, Chairman of the Board, USC-STC

I want to thank all of the nominators, this year’s candidates and our USC-STC members who voted for the individuals whom you believe are best able to carry your voice and our unmanned systems industry forward. 

On behalf of USC-STC’s other current Directors – Barrie Kirk, Jordan Cicoria, Kristin Kozuback, Michael Cohen, and Mike Campbell – please join me in welcoming these individuals to our Board of Directors:

Anne-Sophie Riopel-Bouvier
VP of Air Operations, EXO Tactik Air Support Inc.
Calvin Reich (re-elected)
UAV/UAS/RPAS Commercial Insurance Industry Expert
Frédérique Pivot
Assistant Professor, Athabasca University Faculty of Science & Technology
Kate Klassen
Director of Operations, Coastal Drone Co. 
Ken Whitehead
Research Associate, Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS), SAIT
Philip Reece
CEO, InDro Robotics Inc.
Robert Lefebvre
Founder, NOVAerial Robotics Inc. and Maxxum Robotics Inc.
Trevor Bergmann
CEO,  AeroVison Canada Inc.

Each nominee provided USC-STC with a short biography and aspirational statements for their candidate profile on the 2018 Board Elections page. Their profiles (copied below) were available to USC-STC members during a three-week voting period. Take a few minutes to scroll down to read their profiles – learn more about our newly-elected Directors who begin their term at the October 29th Board Meeting just prior to our 2018 AGM in Vancouver, BC.

Click here to view profiles of the current USC-STC 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

The Board of USC-STC is an operating Board, which means that all Directors are expected to actively:

  • Engage in strategic planning to identify organizational objectives and set goals that align with the association’s mission statement.
  • Develop and execute plans to attain those goals to support the association’s advocacy, education and marketing efforts.
  • Lead or contribute to Committees that identify opportunities to leverage and issues to be addressed to move our industry forward.
  • Contribute to membership, partnership and sponsorship drives to ensure USC-STC has financial, human and technical resources in place to support core operations, host events and lead initiatives or special projects that nurture industry growth.
  • Strengthen relationships across the aerial, ground, and marine unmanned vehicle sector to provide value for our members.

Board participation places a considerable onus on these talented individuals as they balance association activities with their day-to-day work in the Unmanned Systems sector. We thank them in advance for stepping forward to help move our association and industry forward.

If you are not a member of Unmanned Systems Canada, please support our collective effort – join our association, become a sponsor, or support a Committee. Canada’s industry progress has been led by the association’s work to host national Competitions for UAV and UGV post-secondary students, pushing to develop the RPAS/UAS regulatory framework in place today, and advocating for work that yet needs to be done. Please lend your support to our efforts.

The current Board of Directors and I look forward to meeting with the new Board members at Unmanned Canada 2018 later this month in Vancouver, BC to plan for a challenging and rewarding year ahead.

Mark Aruja, Chairman of the Board
Unmanned Systems Canada/Systèmes Télécommandés Canada
[email protected] 

Profiles of Candidates Nominated to the USC-STC Board for 2018-19

Anne-Sophie Riopel-Bouvier
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. 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 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.
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.
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.
Over the last year, I have been working with key players in the industry to create a national flight safety program that would empower each operator to strengthen their safety culture and record, leading to a better efficiency in their operation. The aim of the program is also to promote and facilitate communication between the members of the association to create a common knowledge base that would contribute in the growth of a strong industry.
I thus hope, as a board director, to get this program on track, and to work with the other directors to create a synergy with the other ongoing projects that will create even more benefits for the members.
Calvin Reich
Calvin Reich has been involved in aviation since 1992. After always dreaming of being a pilot, he decided to get his private pilots license and then went on to complete his commercial license as well as his float, multi engine and IFR ratings. He has worked with companies such as Harbour Air Seaplanes, Alta flights Ltd. and Okanagan Skydive. He has also studied business at Okanagan University College and Simon Fraser University.
Calvin has been with CapriCMW Insurance for the past 17 years and has been involved in the Aviation and UAV insurance field for much of this time. Calvin has been a member of Unmanned System Canada and has been involved as a presenter in 2014 and again in 2015. He has also been very active in, and moderating a number of UAV discussion groups with respect to UAVs the SFOC process and the Exemption Rules for both recreational operators and non-recreational alike.  Calvin has also been involved in BVLOS round table discussions as well as discussions with Transport Canada with respect to changes to regulations. Calvin spends a fair bit of time and effort educating operators with respect to what is involved to operate in the UAV industry. 
Calvin’s Industry knowledge, connections and experience gained over the past 3 years as a Unmanned Systems Board member are assets as the industry and the association move forward.  Calvin’s commitment to seeing the industry move in a positive way is a driving factor for his involvement in Unmanned Systems Canada. Not only is Calvin involved with Unmanned Systems, but he has also been involved numerous public education sessions including presentations at Okanagan College, and presentations with the Kelowna Flying Club, presentations to industry and municipal groups with respect to RPAS operations.   Calvin has also been involved in providing insight to a number of schools with respect to the industry. Calvin’s Commitment and dedication will be assets moving forward.
As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:
After serving 3 years on the Board of directors of Unmanned Systems Canada, there is still much that needs to be done.  The association is moving forward in a positive way and it is important that many of the initiatives that have been started, carry on.  Calvin looks forward to carrying on with bringing his knowledge and experience from the past 3 years as Board Member to help the organization to continue to move forward.  Over the next 3 years Calvin is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that will drive this industry to the next level. BVLOS is starting to take flight and Calvin looks forward to the next chapter in the RPAS sector.  
Not only is Calvin looking forward to the next chapter, but there is still plenty of work to be done in the VLOS sector.  Education is still a key aspect as the industry is still developing and there are constantly new people entering the sector and starting at ground zero.  Calvin’s goal is to continue to push for a sustainable industry for both BVLOS as well as VLOS operators.
Frédérique Pivot
Dr. Frédérique Pivot is a full-time assistant professor in Physical Geography and Remote Sensing in the Centre for Science, Faculty of Science and Technology of Athabasca University since 2006. She has a PhD in Physical Analysis of Geographical Environments, Natural Resources and Hazards from the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, France. Her thesis focused on using multi-sensory data, especially active and passive microwave remotely-sensed data, to retrieve snow cover characteristics and monitor their spatio-temporal variability in the boreal forest-tundra ecotone of northern Manitoba, Canada.

Since 2009, Dr. Pivot has been looking into multi-stage remote sensing approaches, using space-borne and unmanned aerial imagery. Her research equipment in that area includes two fixed-wing UAVs, with good autonomy (6+ hours) and payload capability (up to 10 kg), and many smaller UAVs. Dr. Pivot’s UAV ongoing research projects and collaborations include the mapping of soil moisture, land covers, and tracking springtime snowmelt timing and spatial pattern in heterogeneous landscapes. Concurrently, Dr. Pivot is collaborating with scientists in Computing and Information Systems to develop mobile and virtual tools to incorporate fieldwork and excursions into online physical geography courses.
Dr. Pivot serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles since 2015. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Unmanned Systems Canada between 2014 and 2017. Even after her term expired, Dr. Pivot uninterruptedly chaired the USC Student Paper Competition, Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship, and Awards Committee, and she is very keen to continue collaborating with the organization, no matter the outcome of the election.

Nevertheless, Dr. Pivot’s willingness to serve a second term on the Board goes beyond her commitment to the organization as a volunteer. Her position in higher education and environmental research, and her experience with the challenges and issues involved in the use of unmanned systems make Dr. Pivot a candidate fit to serve on the Board as a representative for the academic community and a mean to increase academic membership and partnership.

Furthermore, as a female academic, Dr. Pivot is particularly sensitive to the under-representation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as well as on Canadian Boards. Naturally, she feels she should do all she can to help advance and retain women in STEM, including in the field of unmanned systems, while in the same time making Unmanned Systems Canada one proud organization as it reaches, or even better, exceeds the national goal of 30% women on boards by 2019. 

Kate Klassen
Hi I’m Kate Klassen (formerly Kienapple). I’m a commercial pilot and flight instructor on both manned and unmanned aircraft. As Director of Operations at Coastal Drone Co., I work in the drone education space providing online training and consulting services to pilots. A transplant to British Columbia from the east coast of Canada, I have trained nearly 1000 prospective UAV operators across the country and am a passionate educator and meteorology nerd. I love learning and recently received a Management of Technology MBA from Simon Fraser University while also working on my HAM radio license, beginning helicopter ground school and picking away at French as a second language. 
I’ve always enjoyed “behind the scenes” type roles. I like being involved at a deeper level than participant. From student council executive in high school to representing my year on residence committees and eventually becoming vice president during my undergrad – I have a strong interest in leadership roles. I am a visual and active learner who enjoys high-level organization and sense-making. Nearly all of my work experience has been in small business which has required learning varied skills and wearing many hats. I’m used to having multiple things on the go at once and feel stagnant if I don’t. Over the past year I planned my wedding while in school for my MBA and working full time. I’m graduating, married and employed so it seems to have worked out okay. 
As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:
I hope to bring my fresh MBA skills to the board during this pivotal time in the industry. I see the next few years being those of fundamental change and maturing. While my experience has been primarily in the aviation space, I’m a life-long learner and am excited by the opportunity to be involved in ground and marine unmanned systems as well. I hope to engage the larger communities with open communication, empathy, honesty and a touch of humour. After being on the unmanned side of aviation for the last 4 years, I see being on the board as the logical next step in increasing my commitment and involvement in the industry and I ask for your vote to enable me to do so.  Thank you!
Ken Whitehead
Dr. Ken Whitehead is currently the Research Associate with the Centre for Innovation and Research into Unmanned Systems (CIRUS) at SAIT, where he is responsible for coordinating joint UAV research initiatives with industry. He is a UAV mapping and applications specialist, and a former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, where he studied the potential uses of UAVs for environmental monitoring. Over the course of his career he has worked as a land surveyor, photogrammetrist, remote sensing and GIS specialist, remote sensing instructor, and as an independent mapping consultant. During the course of his PhD, he carried out research in the Canadian Arctic, and pioneered the use of UAVs for glaciological surveys. Ken has lead authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on UAV applications, the current state of the UAV industry in Canada, and on the application of accuracy standards for UAV surveys.
Attributes I  bring to the Unmanned Systems Canada Board include:
·     Wide ranging experience within the multiple areas of the geomatics industry
·     Knowledge of traditional data collection technologies, and how unmanned technology complements, rather than replaces, these methods.
·     Involvement in both pure scientific and applied research.
·     Background in photogrammetry and remote sensing.
·     Being in a unique position at the intersection of research, academia, and industry puts me in the position where I can help to build consensus across multiple sectors. 
As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:
I would like to use my position on the board to develop the linkages between applied research, education, and industry. As the Research Associate with the Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), I believe I am well placed to do this.
As an applications specialist, I tend to view the bigger picture, and look at how unmanned systems can be used in multiple different situations, rather than simply as a cool new technology.
I believe my position in CIRUS provides access to all sectors of the growing Unmanned Systems sector in western Canada and allows me to effectively represent these interests.
Philip Reece​
Reece has a strong aviation background initially from being the CEO and Accountable Executive of a passenger seaplane operations with 5 aircraft flying 16 flights a day for 11 years in Vancouver, BC. The last 5 years have been spent developing InDro Robotics Inc. and building a team of engineers and aviators that have developed UAS as manufacturers and integrators from the R&D stage through to operational flights in complex airspace internationally, including BVLOS flights within Canada and abroad.
Working closely on BVLOS flights, initially with first responders and now industry, has allowed many opportunities to provide input to TC including participation on numerous trials for new permissions and testing of advanced equipment and operations, including being the technical lead on the Canada Post long range BVLOS program.
Reece is a hands-on trainer with experience in developing courses for online, classroom and field work, actively promoting sharing and growth of knowledge base across the industry.
With interests expanding from the UAS into computer vision and machine learning Reece see the fusion of technologies rapidly pushing the industry into exciting growth.
With an overall understanding of general aviation and a proven track record in startups, I would look to bring a level of enthusiasm and understanding to the continued development of USC as we work with TC to introduce the new regulations and build a roadmap for the industry to continue towards safe BVLOS and complex operations.
Having worked on compliant aircraft and successfully becoming a compliant operator I would look to share these learnings with the industry and expand safe operations across relevant sectors.  
As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:
By committing time and effort to working with the USC team, I am confident positive impacts can be made on many fronts including:
• Building on the involvement USC has with expanding user groups including; first responders, energy sectors, and Oil and Gas.
• Promote and expand on the work done by USC to develop a clear responsive regulatory framework.
• Increasing the public and user’s understanding of UAV, their beneficial uses, best practices, standards, and rules surrounding them.
• Increase USC involvement in industry and academic trials, opportunities, and events in Canada and the USA. Including identifying funding opportunities.
Robert Lefebvre
Robert Lefebvre has been involved in the UAS industry since 2010 when he became one of the lead developers of the Ardupilot open-source UAS hardware/software suite, specializing in the areas of safety, human-factors, VTOL/rotorcraft flight control and dynamics. For several years
Robert provided engineering consulting services for companies employing Ardupilot, which is the most widely used UAS flight control system in Canada and the world.
Robert has a B.A.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa. Before beginning his second career in the UAS industry, he worked in the automotive industry as a Product Development and Program Management Engineer for Ford Motor Company and Magna
After being part of the team which took the Adupilot flight control system to maturity he leveraged his previous experience to create NOVAerial Robotics Inc. and develop the Procyon  800E helicopter UAS platform. The most high-performance and reliable helicopter system
available in its class, employing radical engineering concepts and state of the art manufacturing techniques, it is changing perceptions of helicopter-type UAS in the industry. He has a passion
for the helicopter-type as it offers superior payload-per-footprint, speed, range and flight stability than multirotor-types.
As a member of the BOD of USC, I can bring a depth and breadth of technical knowledge which will be useful in discussions with Transport Canada regulators. I have a history of working with
open-source software and hardware, which means that to a large degree, I am unencumbered by concerns about intellectual property and commercial secrecy. This combines to allow open and
detailed discussion about how UAS technology works, as well as the hazards and risks of its deployment.
Furthermore, I communicate regularly with a large international group of other commercial and academic UAS technology development professionals, which gives me knowledge of regulations
and leading-edge technological developments in these communities worldwide.  Finally, as a long-time radio-control hobbyist, I can bring knowledge of the recreational industry to USC.
As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:
I hope to strengthen the voice of the commercial UAS technology development and vehicle manufacturing companies. I would like to increase communication between USC and Transport Canada, particularly in the areas of technological education and information interchange, with the goal of driving regulations development forward at an increased pace with a view to enabling the normalization of advanced UAS operations such as BVLOS flights.
While Canada may have once led the world in the development of regulations surrounding the use of UAS, I feel that in recent years Canada has fallen behind the pace of other industrialized nations. Also, due to the difficulties of legally testing new technologies in Canada, our
commercial industries have struggled to keep up with development occurring in other countries. I hope to work with other members of USC and Transport Canada to advance an agenda of returning Canada to a position of leadership in technological innovation and usage of UAS.
Lastly, the recreational usage of radio-control aircraft serves as the training ground for skilled commercial UAS operators, and it’s important to make a stronger link between the recreational community and commercial industry, and help ensure alignment between USC and MAAC.
Trevor Bergman
I started my career in aviation almost 20 years ago as a private pilot. With a plan to become a commercial pilot following high school, I attended Mount Royal College’s Aviation program and continued my flight training. During the diploma program, a mandatory course covering basic aircraft maintenance for pilots caught my attention and shortly after, I switched career paths. I spent ten years following my graduation from SAIT Polytechnic as an M2 AME working with cargo and passenger commercial airlines, corporate aircraft operators and the United Nations (Africa).
An opportunity presented itself when the new RCAF CH-148 Cyclone helicopter program was stood up, and I transitioned from the world of aircraft maintenance/management to field service, acting as a technical representative between DND, Sikorsky and General Dynamics. In 2014, AeroVision Canada Inc. was born out of an interest to commercialize a multirotor with a small camera. Over the past five years, the company employs nearly a dozen staff, has serviced clients globally, achieved numerous milestones and industry first’s and continues to advance the industry forward through positive public relations and education.
I enjoy speaking at public events and taking on the challenge of answering questions from those interested in the industry and even those with reservations and concerns. As a board member, I would like the opportunity to advance the discussion and development of design standards and address the apparent lack of maintenance standards for small to mid-size UAS. As well, because my company also train’s a large number of students (a few hundred since 2017), I believe we have a lot to offer the development of curriculum both for theory but more importantly flight training and testing. As a registered lobbyist, I would like the opportunity to engage our elected officials and various public departments with the mindset of creating better industry awareness and regulatory development.
As a board director for Unmanned Systems Canada, I hope to:
As a board member, I simply wish to be a voice for the commercial operator and enhance the development of regulations that encourage industry advancement and creativity. I would also be very interested in creating/producing more engaging public education and messaging on behalf of USC, in a way that captures the attention of a younger audience.

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