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.
Ross brings close to 40 years of adventure industry experience to his role. He has worked in over 30 countries developing adventure tourism businesses and strategies, and with First Nations communities in Canada’s north, British Columbia, Labrador and Patagonia. Ross is the founder of the Adventure Studies Department at Thompson Rivers University and was the President and Board Chair of the Canadian Avalanche Centre (Avalanche Canada).
CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures
Rob is a long-time employee of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heliskiing company in existence 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
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.
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 with 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 our 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 trips in Patagonia, Baffin Island and two summits of Mount Everest. He brings this broad scope and expertise to the HCC Board.
Selkirk Tangiers HeliSkiing
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Heath is the project manager at Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing for YellowHead Helicopters. He has worked as a helicopter pilot for over twenty five years, and has accumulated over 12,000 flying hours. Heath is airline transport rated, company training captain, and a Transport Canada-approved check pilot. Heath has worked in the heliski industry for twenty years and brings valuable expertise to the HCC Board.