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About Us

People become partners, so ideas can become solutions, at COVE

COVE is an expanding community of ocean tech companies, and private & public partners who are working together to create the solutions and sustainable growth that propel Canada’s ocean economy.

COVE shares research, resources, and ideas to PROPEL the ocean tech sector.

COVE connects private and public sector PARTNERS to bring new technologies to market.

COVE is building a pipeline of diverse talent to WORK & LEARN within the ocean sector.


Greater Good

We serve our partners for their benefit and the greater good of the COVE ecosystem.

Knowledge Generators

We promote and encourage innovation to lead our industry.

Stewards of the COVE Ecosystem

We seek to preserve the value and integrity of the COVE ecosystem and brand.

Inclusion & Openness

We strive to build an environment that promotes the inclusion of others’ ideas, experiences and perspectives.

Operational Excellence

We are committed to operating in a professional manner, upholding the highest safety standards at all times.

COVE’s Leadership Team

Michael Baxter

Financial Analyst

Mike Baxter is the Financial Analyst at COVE where he is responsible for supporting the accounting and financial operations by preparing financial reports, analyzing program budgets, and maintaining COVE’s internal system of controls. With his knowledge and expertise in the financial sector, Mike has a keen sense in identifying and implementing business process automation and increasing overall efficiency in the organization.

Mike previously lived abroad in Australia, where he worked in similar type roles for Casella Family Brands and for O’Brien Group Australia, one of Australia’s largest hospitality and entertainment companies. When Mike returned to Nova Scotia, he worked for Citco, a global financial services company, prior to joining the team at COVE. Mike holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Finance from St. Francis Xavier University.

Rachel Cox

Accelerator Program Manager

Rachel Cox is the Accelerator Program Manager at COVE where she provides support for the seamless delivery of COVE’s market readiness programming including the UK Ocean Scale-Up Accelerator. As a champion for venture growth and global success, she is keen to understand new market opportunities and create paths that will lead to a best-in-class ecosystem.

Rachel spent several years working overseas and in Canada in the offshore and aquaculture sectors. There she gained skills and expertise in online-survey positioning, consultancy, project management, and maintenance of marine equipment including ROVs. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Marine Biology from Dalhousie University and obtained an Advanced Diploma in Marine Geomatics from Nova Scotia Community College.

Holly Crawford

Marketing and Communications Associate

Holly Crawford is the Marketing and Communications Associate at COVE where she supports the brand and awareness of COVE through social media management and communications with the COVE community and general public. She writes COVE’s blogs, press releases, and newsletters and has a keen eye for design creating graphics and marketing materials for all communication channels.

Prior to working at COVE, Holly worked in the healthcare and labour union sectors, where she gained extensive experience in conducting public relations campaigns across all media platforms, strategic social media campaigns, media stories and managing media relations, event planning, and meeting tactical communications objectives. Holly holds a Diploma in Business Administration: Marketing from the New Brunswick Community College and a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University.

Anna Hart, Client Experience Associate

Anna Hart

Client Experience Associate

Anna Hart is the Client Experience Associate at COVE. Her responsibilities include providing overall support to on-site clients including tenants, members and site users. She is the first point of contact for questions, onboarding new companies, leading community engagement activities, and ensuring COVE is the best place where a venture can grow.

Anna’s first introduction to the marine technology sector was with Survival Systems Training Limited followed by MetOcean Telematics where she was engaged in business development, project management, and data-driven sales. Anna holds a Diploma in Business Administration: Accounting from the Nova Scotia Community College and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Global Business Management from Saint Mary’s University.

Riley Kennedy

Data Steward

Riley Kennedy is the Database Steward for COVE’s Stella Maris Testing Solution and is a Database Administrator at DeepSense, a Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence research platform, headquartered at Dalhousie University. At COVE, Riley is responsible for managing and maintaining the Stella Maris Testing Solution database, ensuring smooth backups and recovery operations, monitoring performance, and troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

Riley gained marine experience aboard vessels with Atlantic Towing and Clearwater Seafoods, as well as the Coriolis II, a Canadian research vessel. He has been involved in sample collections and seismic surveys around the coast of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands, and the St. Lawrence River. Riley graduated with a Diploma in Marine Navigation from the Nova Scotia Community College’s Marine Institute and a Diploma in Database Administration.

James Kesten, Director of Strategic Partnerships

James Kesten

Director of Strategic Partnerships

James Kesten is COVE’s Director of Strategic Partnerships where he works directly with COVE tenants, partners, and stakeholders to create, adopt, and implement initiatives and programs that will remove barriers for the commercialization of new products and services. In his role, James enhances COVE’s business network and seeks to identify new markets that will generate growth.

He has experience in marine technology innovation, offshore inspections, subsea technology deployments, strategic planning for international markets, business development, and project management. James has worked around the world in nearly every offshore market and in an onshore capacity relating to international business development. James is a professional engineer with a degree from Dalhousie University and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University with a focus on Data Analytics, Project Management and New Ventures.

Sheila King

CFO and Vice President of Operations

Sheila King is Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Operations at COVE where she is responsible for ensuring that the financial management, reporting, financial planning, risk management and internal controls are consistently best-in-class. Sheila oversees COVE’s infrastructure as well as associated operating procedures to drive continuous evolution and advancement, including tenancy, health & safety, and human resources. Sheila maintains a strong governance culture and ensures best practices are employed as Corporate Secretary for the COVE Board.

Sheila has over 25 years of experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit space. She began her career in the oil and gas sector, has worked with CPA Canada, and has held various senior positions in provincial governments with a specific focus on Economic Development, Health and Fisheries. Sheila holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Dalhousie University and is a CPA.

Michel Lechmann

Vice President of Growth

Michel Lechmann is the Vice President of Growth at COVE where he is part of the executive team supporting strategic growth and overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of all programs provided by COVE.  Michel ensures that COVE continues to innovate, evolve, and deliver high value to its clients and the greater marine sector to overcome commercialization barriers. Michel is passionate about growth in people, helping businesses thrive, and accelerating the growth of the marine sector.

During his career, he was co-founder of CarteNav Solutions Inc. later acquired by PAL Aerospace, served in the Royal Canadian Navy, and built extensive experience in systems engineering, business development and sales, mergers and acquisitions, and general management. He is a licensed professional engineer and holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Dalhousie University.

Tanya Lush

Director, Workforce Development

Tanya Lush is the Director of Workforce Development at COVE where she is responsible for advising in national human resource development strategies and oversees programs and initiatives to overcome challenges in developing a highly trained, skilled, and available workforce for the marine sector. She oversees the efficient and effective delivery of education resources created to inform youth and post-secondary students about future careers in the marine sector.

She has expertise in, and a passion for, coaching early to mid-career professionals and has extensive international experience, having spent most of her career overseas in the Middle East and Europe. She has experience in government, not-for-profit, and higher education sectors. Tanya is a graduate of Acadia University and Mount Saint Vincent University and holds a Master of Education with a specialization in occupational psychology and career development.

Teshia MacDonald

Office Coordinator and Executive Assistant

Teshia Macdonald is the Office Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the CEO. In her role, she provides managerial leadership to staff in all departments, organizes and monitors activities and events within COVE, and assists the CEO with day-to-day projects and initiatives. Teshia is committed to building relationships and delivering with excellence. She is keen to implement new ways of doing things to better support the team and COVE.

Teshia has over ten years of management and operations experience, having previously been a store manager at Starbucks and Executive Assistant at BMO Private Wealth. With her attention to detail and organizational skills, she has hosted several large regional conferences, fundraisers and employee events and has also been the main link to sponsorships, donations and local community events with Kids Help Phone and The United Way. Teshia holds a Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Finance from the University of Prince Edward Island.

Bruce MacDougall

Senior Project Manager

Bruce MacDougall is the Senior Project Manager at COVE where he provides engineering and business support to a range of COVE projects. Bruce led the development of COVE’s subsea sensor platform and is engaged on initiatives relating to marine decarbonization and the digitization of the Halifax harbour. Bruce has had many years of experience in technology and business prior to becoming immersed in marine technologies at COVE.

Previously, Bruce founded a telecom firm in Atlantic Canada and held several senior positions in the telecom sector, including regional Vice President of Rogers Communications. Bruce is a board member at Mitacs and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a long-time IEEE member and a professional engineer registered in Nova Scotia. Bruce holds a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration, Finance and Management, from Queen’s University.

Katherine Mataya is the Education and Outreach Manager at COVE

Katherine Mataya

Education and Outreach Manager

Kat Mataya is the Education and Outreach Manager at COVE where she is responsible for developing and launching strategic-level workforce and education development initiatives.  Kat engages with a wide variety of stakeholders including educators, youth, industry partners, and government departments to adopt and implement programs aimed at building capacity and talent in the blue economy.

Initially, Kat found her passion for education after working in South America researching and educating people on the local flora and fauna. She has taken her experiences working with youth to support the workforce development program at COVE. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Math from Queen’s University and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Assessment from Niagara College.

Levi Morrison

Director of Innovation

Levi Morrison is the Director of Innovation at COVE where he leads and directs the development of on-shore and off-shore infrastructure to support commercialization efforts of clients. He is responsible for leading the advancement of innovative, technical projects that serve to enable the development of new products and services in the marine sector. Levi stays current with cutting-edge technologies that are transforming marine industries and seeks to integrate these ideas into COVE’s programs and services.

Previously, Levi worked with Ulnooweg Education Centre overseeing the successful development and delivery of community-first, two-eyed seeing curriculum. During his time with Lloyd’s Register, he worked collaboratively to successfully deliver over 60 projects in the marine space.  Levi is professional engineer licensed in Nova Scotia and a certified project management professional. He holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Master of Applied Science from Dalhousie University where he is also a part-time lecturer in the Civil Engineering Department.

Leslie Munro

Communications Manager

Leslie Munro is the Communications Manager at COVE where she oversees strategic communications   and manages COVE’s branding, marketing materials, and strategic relations within the COVE community and public at large. Leslie’s communication efforts help COVE build national and international partnerships across industries including the private, public and postsecondary sectors to focus on applying world-class science and innovation to commercial application.

Leslie has expertise in understanding key business challenges, target audiences and environmental factors that impact business growth. Previously, she gained experience with the Province of Nova Scotia, Communications Nova Scotia, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Apprenticeship Agency, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Leslie holds a Diploma in Business Administration: Marketing from the Nova Scotia Community College and has continued coursework at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Melanie Nadeau

Chief Executive Officer

Melanie Nadeau is the Chief Executive Officer of COVE where she is responsible for leading the strategic direction and managing overall operations to drive high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship.  Previously, Melanie held executive roles for an energy and services company focused on growth strategies, overseeing annual budgets of $500M+, negotiating commercial agreements, and managing operations. She has been a noted expert for the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Melanie is an accredited professional engineer graduating from the University of Waterloo, Canada and has an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Her Board appointments have included international marine businesses, national industry associations, a professional regulatory board and a health-science foundation.

Mitch Owen

Operations Manager

Mitch Owen is the Operations Manager at COVE. As the Operations team lead, Mitch works to ensure operational efficiency is maintained at COVE, oversees client experience, and manages COVE’s technical projects such as the Stella Maris Testing solution and the Smart Atlantic project. He oversees the implementation of projects and programs that use COVE’s facilities including the marine side and provides continual improvement of COVE’s safety culture.

Mitch has over a decade of marine experience having held positions of increasing responsibility with Murphy’s on the Water.  He has developed and managed a nationwide training program for passenger vessel staff, planned and executed extensive vessel refits, and managed teams of up to 200 staff.  Mitch has served on the Board of the Passenger and Commercial Vessel Assocation, is a Transport Canada Certified Captain and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History from Saint Mary’s University.

Kennedy Sittler

Marine Technical Specialist

Kennedy Sittler is the Marine Technical Specialist at COVE where she is responsible for supporting the operations of technical projects such as the Stella Maris Testing Solution and Smart Atlantic.  Kennedy provides innovative and proactive recommendations for continuous improvement and efficiency of all operations while supporting day-to-day activities of the facilities and marine side operations. She has a strong client focus and ensures health and safety is integrated in all operations.

Previously, Kennedy became familiar with the marine technology industry through her studies, lab and field work, and by completing an internship at COVE. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a Minor in Political Science from Dalhousie University and an Advanced Diploma in Ocean Technology from the Nova Scotia Community College. Furthermore, Kennedy holds various certifications, including forklift operator, Small Domestic Vessel Basic, Small Vessel Operations Proficiency and Marine Basic First Aid.

Our Board of Directors

Don Bureaux

Don Bureaux is President of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) working to bring the college’s vision – transforming Nova Scotia one learner at a time – to life. He served as vice-president, academic and vice-president, people and planning at NSCC and has held numerous other academic leadership roles throughout his career. His work has allowed him to collaborate with educational leaders across the world in creating entrepreneurial learning environments.

Don holds a certificate in Adult Education and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University and a Master of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. Don is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant and holds an international designation as a Certified Business Counsellor through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). He’s been granted his Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA) designation by CPA Canada and his Fellow Certified General Accountant (FCGA) designation by CGA Canada. In 2015 and 2016, Don was named one of the top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business Magazine and serves on the boards of not-for-profit organizations in Nova Scotia.

Olivier J. Cadet

Olivier Cadet is the Program Director for Corporate Relations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he serves as the interface between academic research and industry. Previously, Olivier worked at Kongsberg Maritime as Senior Vice President Global Operations, Americas where he was responsible for operations supporting fleets of vessels using Kongsberg Maritime’s technologies. During his time with Kongsberg Maritime, he also served as Executive Vice President of Products & Services in Norway and was accountable for the company’s Information Management System and Smart Data strategic initiative.

Olivier started his international career in the offshore drilling industry with Schlumberger/Transocean, then moved to Air Liquide where he served in a variety of innovation management roles, including R&D Group Manager and Program Director. Olivier graduated with a Master of Electrical Engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France and completed the Advanced Management Program with MIT Sloan Executive Education.

Tony Chedrawy

Tony Chedrawy is the President & CEO of MetOcean Telematics, a Dartmouth Nova Scotia based company that develops and manufactures state-of-the-art data acquisition and end-to-end telematics solutions. Previously, Tony worked internationally for many years in the IT and energy before joining MetOcean Data Systems in 2001.  He spearheaded a management buyout of MetOcean Data systems through his company JouBeh Technologies, and later oversaw the merger to create MetOcean Telematics.

Tony is a multifaceted, highly motivated and performance driven professional, who has achieved significant year-after-year revenue, profit and business growth objectives. He holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Dalhousie University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston, is a graduate of Harvard University’s Advance Management Program and a registered professional engineering in Nova Scotia.

Sean Griffiths

Captain Sean Griffiths has been CEO of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority since 2015, where he is accountable for providing strategic executive leadership and stewardship. Prior to this role, Captain Griffiths had an extensive career with the Canadian Coast Guard working his way up through the ranks with various shipping companies world-wide. He spent several years gaining local and international experience as a Marine Superintendent and Vessel Manager for both private and publicly traded companies.

Captain Griffiths serves on several regional and national committees related to the shipping industry, is a member of the NSCC Foundation’s Fund Development & Stewardship Committee since 2021, and is a member of the Board of the Halifax Mission to Seafarers from 2015-2019 and was Chair from 2017-2019. He has a Master Mariner certificate with foreign and domestic command and a Master of Business Administration from Middlesex University School of Business in the United Kingdom.

Caron Hawco

Caron Hawco is President of the consultancy firm, Caron Hawco Group. She is a business development, international trade, and communications strategist, with a solid track record in natural resources, ocean technology, and policy/regulatory sectors. Caron has provided strategic advice to corporate, industry and government leaders from international corporations, SMEs, government, and industry associations.

Caron has served on several boards and currently is a Director on the board of EnergyNL and the Canada-Guyana Chamber of Commerce. Caron is the former chair of Newfoundland Oil & Gas Industries Association and also served on the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Recovery Taskforce. A graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, Caron is an internationally accredited communicator (ABC), formerly awarded Newfoundland and Labrador’s Communications Professional of the Year, a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP), a Professional Project Manager (PMP) and a Corporate Director (ICD.D.)

Matt Hebb

Matt Hebb serves on the executive team of Dalhousie University as Assistant Vice-president, Government Relations and Economic Development where he co-leads Dalhousie’s strategic priority to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. In this role, he established Nova Scotia as the first Canadian jurisdiction accepted into the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, a global initiative to accelerate economic growth through innovation-driven entrepreneurship.

Matt has been instrumental in the realization of several major ocean-related initiatives in Atlantic Canada, including the Ocean Frontier Institute and COVE. Matt was also a co-founder and the interim CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and served as Chair of the Board for the Halifax Partnership. Matt holds a Bachelor of Political Science and Social Anthropology and a Master of Social Anthropology from the University of Toronto.

Mark Jollymore

Mark Jollymore is the President of Innovasea Systems, Inc., a company focused on technology solutions for responsible and sustainable use of our planet’s aquatic resources. Prior to Innovasea, Mark was President and CEO of Amirix Systems, whose Vemco brand is the world leader in the acoustic fish tracking market space. During Mark’s seven years as CEO of Amirix, the company grew rapidly, expanded into new markets and ultimately came to the attention of Innovasea Systems who acquired Amirix in 2017.

Now heavily immersed in the marine sector, Mark started his professional career in the aerospace sector working for Litton Industries and Lockheed Martin, predominantly in the design and aircraft testing of electronic warfare systems. Mark holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University. Mark is an enthusiastic supporter of youth engagement in technology particularly through MakerSpace initiatives.

John Knubley

John Knubley is founder of InnovAction Advisory Services, corporate director, and a senior advisor to Longview Communications and Boston Consulting Group where he provides strategic counsel relating to innovation, research and development, sustainability, foreign investment, merger review and regulatory matters. Previously, John served as the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Deputy Minister of several other departments within the Government of Canada.

He serves as a Director on the Ontario Energy Board, the Conference Board of Canada, the Asia-Pacific Foundation, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and Genome Atlantic. He is a senior fellow of the Brookfield and C.D. Howe Institutes as well as a member of the selection committee for the Governor General’s Innovation Awards. John holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master of Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also received a post-graduate diploma in Nice, France, from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales.

Lucia MacIsaac

Lucia MacIsaac is the President and CEO of LearnCorp International Ltd. where she ensures that quality, safety and protection of the environment is a core value for all her clients. Lucia has over 30 years of experience in the energy and education sectors. She joined Shell Canada in 1982 gaining operational experience in engineering, materials, corrosion and pressure equipment. Lucia has been involved in all aspects of training including curriculum development, program delivery, site assessments, budgetary control, quality and safety, program management, and business development.

Lucia is a graduate of the Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie University) with a Master of Applied Science in metallurgical engineering and is an accredited Professional Engineer.

Melanie Nadeau

Melanie Nadeau is the Chief Executive Officer of COVE where she is responsible for leading the strategic direction and managing overall operations to drive high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship.  Previously, Melanie held executive roles for an energy and services company focused on growth strategies, overseeing annual budgets of $500M+, negotiating commercial agreements, and managing operations. She has been a noted expert for the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Melanie is an accredited professional engineer graduating from the University of Waterloo, Canada and has an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Her Board appointments have included international marine businesses, national industry associations, a professional regulatory board and a health-science foundation.

John Newton

John Newton (retired Rear-Admiral) is Managing Director of Fleetway Inc. and Oceanic Consulting Corporation where he is responsible for growing the companies’ service offerings while managing approximately 250 employees across Canada. Previously, he had a well-established military career holding numerous positions including Liaison Officer with Veterans Affairs Canada and Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic.

During his military career, John developed a specialty in Canadian maritime sovereignty gained through countless fishery patrols and three Arctic sovereignty missions and was deployed on several NATO missions of the Cold War and UN peace support operations. He has served as Director of International Plans in the Strategic Joint Staff at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. He completed a year of Joint military studies at the Command and Staff College (Toronto) followed by Advanced Military Studies.

Aubrey Palmeter

Aubrey Palmeter, ICD.D., is President and CEO of East Point Engineering Limited with responsibility for strategic direction and business planning. During his career, Aubrey has led or participated in a broad range of consulting and construction activities including strategic planning, organizational studies, facility planning, design, business case analysis and life cycle costing, construction, and acquisition.

Aubrey has served on the Boards of more than 20 public and private corporations in both Canada and the United States. His professional career has included project engineering, business development and project evaluation for a Canadian investment company, as well as owning and operating engineering and construction companies in Atlantic Canada. He has provided his support to several not-for-profit organizations and industry associations. Aubrey received his Bachelor of Science from Acadia University, and a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Business Administration from Dalhousie University. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program.

Aaron Plamondon

Aaron Plamondon is the Director, Industrial Participation, at Irving Shipbuilding and is responsible for the company’s multi-billion dollar Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) obligations to the Government of Canada. Aaron has over 12 years of experience in the defence industry, where he served in similar roles before joining Irving.

He holds his Bachelor of Arts in Military History from the University of Alberta and a Master of Military and Strategic Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, where he did a thesis on Canadian Defence Procurement. He subsequently did a Ph.D. at the University of Calgary focusing on defence spending, defence procurement, and civil-military relations in Canada. He published The Politics of Procurement (UBC Press) in 2010 and is a National Fellow at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies.

Brian Santarpia

Retired Rear-Admiral, Brian Santarpia, was the Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic where he was responsible for the Force Generation of half of the Royal Canadian Navy’s capacity, namely the Maritime Combat Capabilities in Halifax. He began his military career in 1986 holding operational and training positions in both of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleets.

During his career, RAdm Santarpia held positions as Captain(N), Special Advisor to the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, command of Canadian Forces Base Halifax, Commodore and appointed Director General Naval Personnel, Director General Navy Strategic Readiness, Chief of Staff to the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Director General Plans at the Strategic Joint Staff, and Chief of Staff for the Canadian Joint Operations Command. Retired RAdm Santarpia is a graduate of the National Security Programme, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads Military College (Victoria) and a Master of Defence Studies from Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston).

Ian Thompson, Chair

Ian Thompson is Executive-in-Residence at the Halifax office of the regional law firm Cox & Palmer, where he provides expert guidance and mentorship. Previously, he was the associate publisher at The Chronicle Herald, deputy minister of economic development in Nova Scotia, owner of MT&L Public Affairs, and has worked for major energy utilities.

He has served on the boards of multiple not-for-profit organizations and business development agencies locally, nationally, and internationally, and currently sits on the boards of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Genome Atlantic, and Halifax Grammar School. He’s an accredited graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and he’s an honourary degree recipient from Dalhousie University.

Ken Walker

Ken Walker is the President of PGS Consulting which supports aerospace and defence SMEs in Canada and the United States. Previously, he was a senior executive with Ultra Electronics after having served in the Canadian Forces where he accumulated over 3,000 flight hours in support of NORAD and NATO operations, also having served on NATO underwater warfare industry working groups.

During his career at Ultra, Ken managed the next-generation multi-static sensor and rapid environmental assessment programs, was responsible for international sales and marketing, and managed industrial research and development investments and corporate risk. Ken has a Bachelor of Engineering Physics from the Royal Military College of Canada and a Master of Human Factors Engineering from Penn State. He was a previous Executive Board Member of the Aerospace and Defence Industry Association of Nova Scotia.

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