menu

Mission Control

UrtheCast aims to change the way we view the planet. UrtheCast has assembled an international management team of experienced leaders who have come together to change the Earth Observation industry.

Management

Wade Larson
President, CEO and Director

Mr. Larson has over 20 years of space sector experience with the Canadian Space Agency, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), and most recently as President and COO of UrtheCast. He also has extensive experience in space-related strategy formulation, business development, government relations, corporate development, and operations.

Sai Chu
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Chu became the Chief Financial Officer of UrtheCast on March 29, 2017. Prior to joining UrtheCast as a consultant in 2017, Mr. Chu served as the Chief Financial Officer of Vancouver-based Seaspan Corporation where he played a key role in its growth from a $500 million-enterprise value, privately-held company to a New York Stock Exchange-listed company with an enterprise value in excess of $7 billion. During Mr. Chu’s twelve-year tenure at Seaspan, it became the largest container ship lessor in the world, raising over $10 billion in capital through a series of transactions to support its growth. Prior to joining Seaspan, Mr. Chu was the Corporate Controller at TSX-listed Datawest Solutions Inc., which is now part of Fiserv Inc. Mr. Chu qualified as a Certified Management Accountant in 1990 and as a Chartered Accountant in 1992, having articled with KPMG’s Vancouver office.

Fabrizio Pirondini
GM, Earth Observation and CEO, Deimos Imaging

Mr. Pirondini, co-founder and CEO of Deimos Imaging, is an Aerospace Engineer with almost 20 years of experience in the space sector. In his career he has covered all facets of the Earth Observation value chain, encompassing technical aspects, business development, strategy and management. After his role at the European Space Agency in Germany, in 2001 he co-founded Deimos Space, which is now one of Europe’s leading space companies. Until 2010, as Head of the Earth Observation Mission Analysis division at Deimos Space, he was responsible for the mission design and analysis of more than 20 Earth Observation missions. As CEO of Deimos Imaging since 2011, he led the expansion of the company into becoming one of the leading providers of satellite imagery. In 2014 he co-founded the PanGeo Alliance of EO satellite operators.

Dr. George Tyc, PhD
Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder

Dr. Tyc is a recognized leader in the space industry, having worked on numerous space missions and technology development programs over the last 25 years. As a Technical Director at MDA, he led multiple initiatives, including the development of MDA’s next-generation, high-resolution optical Earth Observation satellite system. He was also the Chief Engineer for the end-to-end system developed for the Earth imaging company RapidEye AG.

Jeff Rath
EVP, Corporate Finance and Strategy

In the past 17 years, Mr. Rath has gained extensive experience in all aspects of finance and capital market activities related to technology and digital media companies — specifically, equity research and technology corporate/commercial banking. Most recently, Jeff spent 14 years as a senior member of Canaccord’s global research team, and as a managing director within its technology equity research practice, covering location technologies and digital media.

Chris Hoeschen
EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mr. Hoeschen brings over eight years of space industry experience to the UrtheCast team, having previously led the legal department at MDA. Prior to MDA, Mr. Hoeschen practiced law at a preeminent Canadian law firm, out of its Vancouver office. With expertise in the fields of mergers and acquisitions and private equity, Mr. Hoeschen is instrumental in managing and guiding UrtheCast’s strategic direction and development across the entire organization.

Peter Duggan
EVP, Operations and GM, Engineering Programs

Mr. Duggan brings an exemplary technical management background and successful track record leading extremely high profile projects ranging from startups to large corporations. Before joining UrtheCast, Peter held multiple senior technical and management roles, including positions as Chief Engineer, CEO and COO, and spent 15 years leading large Space Programs at MDA. With a Masters of Science in Engineering and a Masters Degree in Business Leadership (cum laude), Mr. Duggan skillfully bridges the worlds of engineering and business management.

Board of Directors

Tye Burt
Chair of the Board

Mr. Burt brings vast experience in both the global mining industry and corporate finance. After a 16-year career in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions, Tye has held the positions of President, Director, and Chief Executive Officer of Kinross Gold Corporation — one of the world’s leading gold producers — in addition to positions as Vice Chairman and Executive Director of Corporate Development at Barrick Gold Corporation, the largest gold mining company in the world. Mr. Burt is currently Chair and Principal of Carbon Arc Capital Investments Inc., Chair of the University of Guelph Better Planet Project, a director of ArcelorMittal S.A. and a Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum. Mr. Burt is also a former director of MDA and a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charter for Business Board of Governors.

Mac Evans
Director

Mr. Evans has over 35 years of experience in the Canadian Space Program, and served as President of the Canadian Space Agency from 1994 to 2001. Mr. Evans also led the development of the Canadian Astronaut and RADARSAT programs and negotiated Canada’s role in the ISS and a number of international agreements that are the foundation of Canada’s international partnerships. In 2004 Mr. Evans was Chief of Staff for the Minister of National Defence (Canada). He is currently Chair of Canada’s Defence Advisory Board.

Letitia A Long
Director

Ms. Long possesses extensive experience in the intelligence and technology industries, most recently serving as the fifth Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from 2010 to 2014. During her tenure at NGA, she led efforts to establish the agency’s first ‘Map of the World’ for intelligence users. Under her guidance, NGA became the first U.S. agency to adopt open-source software development to deliver its software to first responders for collaboration, during and after natural disasters. Among myriad accomplishments, Ms. Long was named one of the Most Powerful Women in the D.C. Metro area by Washingtonian Magazine in 2013. Ms. Long is currently a director of Raytheon Company and a Trustee at Noblis, Inc., a leading provider of science and technology and strategy services to the U.S. federal government.

Greg Nordal
Director

Mr. Nordal has comprehensive experience leading content management companies in the publishing and business information industries. From 2008 until his retirement in 2016, he led Nelson Education, Canada’s leading educational content provider, as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director. Mr. Nordal remains a board member of Nelson Education Holdings Ltd. Mr. Nordal’s expansive executive history also includes roles within Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Corporation, a premier provider of online business information, as President of its Canadian, European and International businesses. Mr. Nordal is also experienced in the tech-space sector, having previously served as a director of MDA.

James Topham
Director

James is an experienced executive with expertise in finance, business, and entrepreneurial technology companies. He was an audit partner leading KPMG’s Technology Group in the Vancouver office for 20 years, where he worked with many fast growing companies. Since KPMG, Mr. Topham has worked on the Boards of both public and private technology companies. James received a lifetime achievement award from the BC Technology Industry Association and was awarded the designation of Fellow Certified Public Accountant (FCPA – previously known as Chartered Accountant) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC for his career achievements. James founded Vancouver Social Venture Partners, which has provided several millions of dollars in funding, and thousands of hours of senior executive mentoring to local not-for-profit organizations in the innovation community. Mr. Topham currently serves on the board of Norsat International Inc. and Glance Technologies Inc.