The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Sonia Higgins has accepted our offer to serve as our first full-time Executive Director. We are excited that Sonia will be bringing her energy and progressive vision to the leadership of the organization; in addition to her extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of business development, sales and marketing and event management. She holds a bachelors of arts with a concentration in communications from the University of Ottawa and a certificate of event management from Algonquin College.
As we looked for our new Executive Director, the board focused on finding someone who would build on the good work and contributions of others, yet engage, strengthen and develop new partner groups and collaborations. Sonia brings the right mix of strategic and innovative thinking and a proactive approach to both drive and communicate the unique value proposition the association offers.
For the past 5 years, Sonia has worked as a key business development strategist at Intertask Conferences. As Director of Sales, she successfully developed a new road-map of sustained growth for the firm. Having held a variety of positions at the Ottawa Congress Centre (now Shaw Centre), Charity Village, and the former City of Nepean among others, she brings a wealth of varied contacts which will beneficial to the association going forward. The board welcomes Sonia to the Unmanned Systems Canada team and looks forward to working with and supporting her in her new role.
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Lola Meakin has joined the Unmanned Systems Canada team as Event Manager & Administration Coordinator. She has completed her transition with Leah, and is fully engaged in finalizing our annual conference. Lola has earned diplomas from Algonquin College in Business Management, Public Relations and recently graduated from the Event Management program.
Lola has held positions as an Executive Assistant, Office Manager and HR Assistant at several high tech companies in Ottawa. Since 2006 Lola has been a volunteer of Unmanned Systems Canada working under direction of the annual conference committee, supporting registration, speaker coordination, as well as ensuring AV technical requirements were met. Not only is she familiar with the conference proceedings but is also a familiar face to many members.
Lola has volunteered with several other community groups helping to develop marketing materials, sponsorship opportunities and assisting in managing on and off site activities for a variety of events. Lola’s proactive attitude, bright personality and positive attitude will continue to be a great asset to the association.
Departure of Robert Kendall
The Board of Directors wishes to sincerely thank Robert Kendall for his diligent efforts as Executive Director of Unmanned Systems Canada over the past two years. During this period, aside from our annual conferences, our association has embarked on a number of new initiatives such as our expanded presence at international events, a first-ever UAS for Emergency Services workshop, our greater focus on marketing our conference, our relationships with other organizations and government departments, and our new web site, to name just a few. Robert has been a key player and leader in all of these changes which ultimately represent greater value for our members.
We also wish to recognize Robert’s current efforts leading the transition to our new staff and maintaining his role for the 2016 AUVSI pavilion.
We wish him well in his future endeavours.
Unmanned Systems Canada