The Sky Canoe Team
John Ireland, MBA
Extractives / Marketing
John is the president of Upfront Analysis and was CleanTech Open's 2019 mentor of the year. He has extensive networks and a background in Oil & Gas, which is a key market segment for us. Sky Canoe had the great luck of having John as our mentor during the CleanTech Open, and as a result he has gained a deep understanding of our business. As we grow, advisors like John are our first line of strength for filling out staff and executive positions, and we are excited to explore the future together.
Gowling WLG is an international, sector-focused law firm with more than 1,400 legal professionals in 18 cities around the world. They are considered Canada's top patent law firm. WLG can trace its roots back to 1730, when Lawrence Graham became one of the first law firms to register in the City of London. Wragge & Co was founded in 1834. Since then, both have established themselves as major UK firms before embarking on international growth. Wragge & Co opened offices in Germany and China in 2008, a full service office in Paris in 2010 and in Dubai in 2011. Lawrence Graham opened its first overseas office in 2003 in Monaco, followed by Dubai, Singapore and Moscow (the latter by joint venture).Gowling WLG is repeatedly recognised as a top employer, and committed to diversity, inclusion and innovation.
First Nations Community Engagement
Frances Sanderson is the Executive Director at Nishnawbe Homes Inc. Her community involvement includes serving on numerous boards and committees, including the Toronto Aboriginal Affairs Committee, the George Brown Aboriginal Education Council, the Toronto Police Service Aboriginal Consultative Committee, and the Chief's Advisory Committee. Frances is an invaluable asset for Sky Canoe’s work with First Nations communities, helping to ensure our business engagement is positive, culturally sensitive and generates real impact.
University of Makeni, Sierra Leone
The University of Makeni (UNIMAK), one of Sierra Leone's top-ranked universities, places social development at the heart of everything it does. UNIMAK has made great efforts to develop academic programmes that are rooted in the everyday reality of contemporary Africa. UNIMAK aspires to be a world class university with excellence in education, research and public engagement where sustainable peace and social justice transcend boundaries. Sky Canoe and UNIMAK are collaborating in Sierra Leone to establish and test Sky Canoe's revolution technology in one of the most relevant - and physically demanding - markets in the world.
West Africa Regional Manager
Holding degrees from Sierra Leone's Institute of Advanced Management and Technology and Institute of Business Studies and Administration, Tamba Palallay has over 20 years of experience working with vulnerable rural populations in Sierra Leone. He worked with the International Federation Of Red Cross to save lives during Sierra Leone's recent Ebola outbreak, and shares our Company's passion for addressing the logistical isolation of remote communities. Tamba leads Sky Canoe's research and development work in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Situated on unceded Algonquin territory beside the historic Rideau Canal, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, Carleton University was founded by the community in 1942. Carleton strives for innovation in research, teaching and learning. Its location in Ottawa, Canada's capital, connects the university to the world. Carleton is one of Canada's top aerospace universities, and is working with Sky Canoe on systems integration and software.
Samar Mezghanni, PhD
Samar Mezghanni, PhD, is a Tunisian Iraqi academic and activist, with two records in Guinness Book for World Records as the youngest writer in the world in 2000 and the youngest most prolific writer in the world in 2002. She is the first Tunisian woman to receive a PhD from the University of Cambridge in any field ever (in more than 800 years). Her literature work and activism regarding sustainability earned her several awards and an appointment from the United Nations as a UN Young Leader for the SDGs, and the BBC nominated her as one of the world's 100 most inspiring women. Samar brings Sky Canoe a deep vision of sustainability and impact.
Geoff St. Clair, BComm
Fundraising and Acquisitions
Geoff has held roles within Finance at Canopy Growth Corporation and Portfolio Management at Jarislowsky Fraser. He currently works within the Mergers and Acquisitions team at Aurora Cannabis Enterprises and has been involved in over of $300 million in M&A and strategic transactions since starting in 2018. Geoff is committed to assisting Sky Canoe in strategy development and financial analysis through its high growth phase.
President, Co-founder & C.T.O.
Dale George is a visionary inventor with over 40 years experience in aerospace design. He has worked on a wide range of projects with NASA, Ames Moffett, Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and the FAA. Dale has logged thousands of hours flying manned and unmanned aircraft, and brings a lifetime of experience as a pilot to Sky Canoe. Dale has fond memories of flying Cargo to remote northern First Nations in Canada, and yearns for a future where these communities are plugged into and better served by global markets.
Jason Dudek, MSc
Prior to SkyCanoe Jason chaired the board and investment committee of one of Canada's most innovative and respected philanthropic foundations, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. Holding an MSc from the London School of Economics (UK), he is also a visionary entrepreneur who believes in the power of business to solve urgent problems. In addition to his investment and foundation experience, Jason previously founded a number of successful ventures and is compelled by the potential of Sky Canoe to transform isolated, undeserved communities in Canada's north and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Tom Gretton, BEng
Regulations and Compliance
Tom spent 32 years with Transport Canada as an Aircraft Certification Engineer in the Ontario Region. During this time, he participated in a wide range of certification activities including equipment approvals, avionics installations, aircraft interiors, engine changes, repairs, aircraft conversions, and foreign validation projects. Since leaving Transport Canada, Tom is now helping companies navigate the aeronautical product design approval process. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Lisa George, MBA
Corporate Strategy and HR
Lisa has been in the retail management sector for over 25 years with companies such as Disney, IBM and Union Energy. She specializes in developing and translating business strategies into logical, measurable objectives that are easy to understand. Her reputation to effectively maintain an engaged problem solving, innovative, customer centric culture consistently results in long term sustainable and profitable growth. Lisa is an IBM Certified Management Consultant and holds a Masters of Business Administration from University of Fredericton, Sandermoen School of Business.
Fidel Khouli, PhD
Dr. Khouli is conducting research at the forefront of aeroservo-elasticity, stability and control of flexible airframes. He published several papers in prestigious engineering journals and proceedings of international conferences. He was part of the engineering team at Bombardier Aerospace that developed the world’s most advanced business jet, the Global 7500. Fidel greatly strengthens Sky Canoe’s design capacity and research acumen.
Desmond Wilson, CPA
Desmond is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 40 years’ experience in public accounting, banking and most recently, the not-for-profit sector. He spent many years working at the Toronto Dominion Bank following several years in public accounting with Price Waterhouse in Canada and Ireland. He was also involved for 15 years as CFO of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, taking it from its establishment through the evolution of its innovative impact investment strategy. He is dedicated to high quality financial reporting, good governance and solid decision-making as needed to meet the challenges of our times.