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.
Mr. Osborne has spent his entire career in the satellite and aerospace industry. He is a seasoned technology executive, having spent more than 30 years in the satellite, space and defence industries. Most recently, from 2009 to 2017 he was a senior executive at MDA, a Maxar Company, including as President of the MDA Information Systems Group where he was responsible for MDA’s Canadian businesses. Prior to his roles with MDA, he served as the President of Advantech Satellite Networks Inc. from 2006 to 2009. Mr. Osborne has also served as Vice President of EMS Technologies Inc. and Senior Vice President and General Manager for the EMS Satellite Networks group, a part of the Space & Technology/Montreal operations from 1999 to 2006. He joined EMS Technologies Inc. in January 1999, when it acquired the Spar Satellite Products business, where Don had served as Vice President of Marketing and other positions commencing in 1983 as a Mechanical Engineer. Mr. Osborne is a Director of 5N Plus Inc., and until recently served on the Board of Directors of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. Don holds Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
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.
Dr. George Tyc, PhD
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.
Wade is a co-founder of UrtheCast and served as its President and CEO between 2015 to 2018. Prior to UrtheCast, Wade held executive positions at MDA and the Canadian Space Agency.
Before joining UrtheCast, Dave spent more than 25 years in the agriculture industry in various plant genetics, agronomy, and technology leadership roles with companies such as Coors Brewing Company, DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred, Land O’Lakes/WinField United, and Geosys. Dave earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from Iowa State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
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.
Christine brings UrtheCast her leadership experience in fast growth technology start-ups of various sizes and across sectors including new media, mobile applications, alternative energy, earth observation, remote sensing, data analysis, and education. She was previously VP of HR at QuickMobile Inc. and Director of Marketing for Aldrichpears Assoc. and has a background in integrated marketing communications. Christine has a Master’s degree in leadership from Royal Road’s University, receiving a Founders’ award for her research into optimizing collaboration in the workplace.
Mr. Rampersad has extensive experience in the satellite industry with a unique mix of expertise in both space systems and software engineering. He has a long track record of successfully leading complex engineering projects for both big and small satellites. Prior to his work with UrtheCast Mr. Rampersad was a technical lead at MDA where he led and developed innovative solutions for world class ground segments including the RapidEye and Worldview constellations. Mr. Rampersad holds a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies and is an IEEE GRSS industry distinguished lecturer in the area of ground segments and mission trades.
Board of Directors
William M. Evans
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
Mark J. Piegza
Mr. Piegza has over 25 years of investment banking and advisory experience in the technology, media and telecommunications industries. Mr. Piegza is the founder and President of Convergence Advisors LLC, an advisory firm serving clients in the telecommunications, media, and technology industries, and the co-founder, Chief Financial Officer and a director of U.S. Space LLC, which offers a broad portfolio of dedicated, commercial space solutions, including MilSatCom, mobile communications and in-orbit servicing. Previously, Mr. Piegza was a Managing Director in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group at Banc of America Securities from 2002 until 2007 where he had global responsibility for the satellite sector. Prior to joining Banc of America Securities, Mr. Piegza held senior positions at UBS’s Media Group, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Credit Suisse First Boston, in each case with a focus on the satellite, media and telecom industries. Mr. Piegza holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois.
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.
Mr. Lüönd held various managerial positions at leading European banks such as Credit Suisse AG for more than 15 years, primarily focused around wealth management for ultra high net worth clients. Since 2012, he has been focusing his efforts on private equity investment opportunities across industries and jurisdictions. Mr. Lüönd holds a Bachelor in Business Administration with a Major in Banking and Finance from Zurich University of Applied Sciences.