Formed in 1978, HeliCat Canada is a not-for-profit association registered under the BC Societies Act.
The Association is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors.The Executive Director administers the day-to-day functions of the organization and manages its various initiatives, staff and contractors.
As the current Executive Director of HeliCat Canada, Ian brings his twenty-year history in the Canadian helicopter and snowcat industry as a certified lead guide, avalanche forecaster, educator and manager. Prior to his involvement in HeliCat Canada, he was the Executive Director of Avalanche Canada as well as the Canadian Avalanche Association. Find out more on his LinkedIn profile.
CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures
Rob is a long-time employee of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heliskiing company in existance today. Rob started with CMH in 1984 as a guide and worked from 1990 – 2001 as manager of the Bobbie Burns Lodge. In 2001, he made the big leap from the field to the office as head of Mountain Operations. Rob is an IFMGA mountain guide as well as an accomplished climber and mountain biker. Rob's wide range of experience is a great asset to HeliCat Canada's Board of Directors.
Chris is Chairman and CEO of Retallack, a world-renowned backcountry catskiing and mountain biking operation located near Nelson, BC. Chris is a serial entrepreneur / venture consultant and has worked on complex projects in over 35 countries. In 1998, Chris founded Medusa Medical Technologies (Medusa), now a world leader in pre-hospital medical informatics serving over 60 million patients worldwide. In 2007, Chris was awarded Canada’s Innovation Award from the Manning Foundation in recognition of his efforts that revolutionized pre-hospital medicine, and he is also a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Technology Network. Chris brings his depth and drive to the HCC Board of Directors, sitting as Chair of our Policy Committee.
Island Lake Resort Group
Doug Feely is the CEO for Island Lake Resort Group, making him largely responsible for Island Lake Lodge and Powder Cowboy Catskiing. Doug has extensive senior management experience, having begun his career at Copper Mountain in 1980 before taking on leadership positions with Intrawest Colorado and Intrawest ULC, where he served as Chief Information Officer. In addition to working as a member of several executive teams responsible for developing resort businesses and managing relationships with strategic vendors and partners, Doug has been involved with numerous boards and organizations. Currently, in addition to his role as Secretary / Treasurer for Helicat Canada he is a director of the Fernie Trail Alliance and chairs the Events Committee.
Director at large
Selkirk Tangiers Heli-Skiing
Jeff is the Operations Manager at Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing where he has worked for 15 years. He is an internationally certified mountain guide, and has worked extensively throughout Canada, the US, and the European Alps. He also works for the Canadian Mountain and Ski Guide Program at Thompson Rivers University as an instructor and examiner. Jeff served on the Board of the ACMG for 10 years before moving into his current role with HCC. Jeff is the chair of the HCC Accreditation Committee and brings to the table a progressive approach, and a strong motivation to acheive high standards.
Director at Large
Whistler Heli Skiing
Mike is the General Manager of Whistler Heli Skiing, owned by Whistler-Blackcomb. Mike has been managing the team since 2008/09 and has been guiding guests since1991. Mike’s career both in the field and in adventure recreation management has spanned several sectors, with over 30 years in ski resort operations, international adventure travel, snowmobiling tours, paragliding, and river rafting. Mike was owner-operator of one of British Columbia’s busiest river rafting companies for two decades and was a founding director of the British Columbia River Outfitters Association before joining our team.
Graham Holt has been involved in the cat skiing and heliskiing industry for more than 25 years with a variety of companies. He is currently the General Manager at RK Heliski, where he has been since 2014. An entrepreneur, Graham opened The Natural Home in 2005, a company providing aesthetically sophisticated home furnishings with organic craftsmanship. He has a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Alberta and is an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides ski guide. Graham brings his extensive experience to the HCC Board of Directors and will be sitting as a Director-at-Large on the Policy Committee.
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Selkirk Snowcat Skiing
Paul Osak is the president and owner-operator of Selkirk Snowcat Skiing, which he purchased in 2013. Originally from southern Ontario, Paul and his family moved to Nelson in 2001 to embrace the mountain lifestyle. In 2008, he took over as president of the Whitewater ski team and spent six years as a member of the Advisory Planning Commission for the City of Nelson. A big believer in giving back, Paul has developed partnerships with Selkirk College and the LV Rogers High School outdoor programs, providing students first-hand experience and behind-the-scenes education at a cat ski lodge. Paul’s strong background in business and corporate sales is an asset to the HCC Board of Directors, where he sits as a Director-at-Large with a focus on membership.
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Geoff Straight has been involved with HeliCat Canada since 2006, and was a business owner in the helicopter skiing industry for 13 years. Assessing and managing risk has always been a big part of what he does. As a Managing Partner at Lifestyle Financial, Geoff focuses on providing an honest and reliable service for his clients. He has been a member of Advocis since 2010 and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Wilderness Tourism Association from 2005-2010. Geoff is the board representative on the Brand Committee.
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Bella Coola Heli Sport
John is the Director of Guiding Operations at Bella Coola Heli Sports. He is an ACMG/IFMGA guide based out of Squamish, BC, and worked for CMH (Adamants) and Whistler Heli before moving into his current role with BCHS. His guiding experience extends beyond backcountry skiing, however. For nearly twenty years, he has been leading expeditions that span the globe, including Patagonia, Baffin Island and two summits of Mount Everest. He brings this broad scope and expertise to the HCC Board.