Our Team

How do we describe the Bluedrop Performance Learning team? They’re innovators. They see business and workplace opportunities and they transform them into successes, drawing on a unique combination of knowledge, skills and fearlessness. They are our engine of growth, our visionaries, and our expert guiding hands.

Our Executive

Derrick Rowe - Chairman

Derrick Rowe is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. (TSX-V: BPL) the publicly listed parent company for its two operating divisions, Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc. (BTSI) and Bluedrop Learning Networks Inc. (BLN).

Derrick brings a focused executive leadership style to the Bluedrop team that stems from three decades of experience leading international, corporate operations. He is highly valued for his expertise in managing businesses in highly complex, regulatory and operating environments.

As founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stratos Global Corporation (TSX SGB) until 1999, he helped build the company from a start-up into a successful public corporation. Stratos became the industry leader and pioneer in mobile satellite communications for the offshore oil and gas sector, international defence customers and industrial users. In 2001, Derrick was appointed Chairman of Fishery Products International (FPI) Limited (TSX FPL), and served as Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2005. He was appointed Executive Chairman of Bluedrop Performance Learning in 2010.

Derrick is also an active venture capitalist who has mentored early stage companies into industry leaders – several with listings on major exchanges. He is Chairman and CEO of Name 3 Capital Inc., the private investment firm he founded. He is an active investor in several private corporations, as well as Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc.

Derrick serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a Crown Corporation of the Canadian Government that connects government buyers with Canadian expertise through the negotiation and execution of government-to-government contracts.

Derrick also serves on several distinguished boards, panels and commissions including those with provincial, national, and international mandates. His industry expertise ranges from technology start-ups to international seafood operations.

Foreshadowing of his remarkable accomplishments was acknowledged early in his career with significant recognition for leadership, including Canada's "Top 40 Under 40" by the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine; Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year Award. 

An avid tennis player, Derrick serves on the Board of Directors for Tennis Canada and is the Past President of Tennis Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Emad Rizkalla - Founder and CEO

Emad Rizkalla is a serial entrepreneur and recognized thought leader in the convergence of technology and learning… and how to leverage human capital in ways that develop people, organizations and economies. He is an in-demand global speaker about these topics and socio- economic issues that he is passionate about.

Emad co-founded the predecessor to Bluedrop in 1992 while still an engineering student. Before he was 30, Emad was recognized in the "Globe & Mail’s Top 40 under 40" and profiled in a TIME magazine cover story showcasing eight "Young Dynamic Entrepreneurs Who Will Create the 21st Century."

Emad has written numerous articles for publications regarding training, management and workforce development. He has also been featured by dozens of media outlets and publications.

As an active member of many national committees and task forces, he has chaired several not-for-profit boards and sits on an advisory Board for the National Research Council. In 2013, he was honored with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Holding a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University, Emad has two energetic sons who wear him out, had no grey hair four years ago, loves to laugh (even at times he really shouldn’t) and has a healthy obsession with palm trees.

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Bernard Beckett - Chief Financial Officer

Bernard Beckett has a distinguished career in senior finance, and extensive expertise in corporate transactions and financing that spans more than three decades.

In 2012 Bernard began providing advisory services to Bluedrop and was the Chair of our Audit Committee. He transitioned into his current role of CFO in 2013. Well versed in our financial and public company reporting systems, his expert guidance will continue to support the growth of our company. 

Bernard has been a public accountant and Partner with KPMG and Ernst & Young, and has filled senior leadership roles with private and public companies. Prior to joining Bluedrop, he served as Corporate Treasurer and CFO of Fishery Products International (TSX FPL), and as CFO with Marport Deep Sea Technologies.

A graduate of Ryerson University, Bernard is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, and a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCPA, FCA).

Bernard is an active Rotarian and avid traveller.

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John Moores - Chief Operating Officer

John Moores is widely regarded for his analytical expertise and managerial skills. These are fitting qualities since he is responsible for leading the corporate growth strategy, as well as the operational and delivery aspects of both Bluedrop Learning Networks and Bluedrop Training and Simulation.

John joined Bluedrop team in 2009 with more than 20 years of experience in delivering complex technical solutions to international clientele. John’s career included increasingly senior roles with Aliant and Bell Canada, including National Account Executive, Product Marketing Manager and Professional Services Delivery Manager. He has been in his current role of COO since 2014.

John holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Memorial University.

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Board of Directors

In addition to Derrick Rowe and Emad Rizkalla above, we are pleased to introduce the following individuals as members of our Board of Directors

 

Tom Astle

With over 30 years in Technology and Capital Market sectors of experience, Tom Astle is known as a leading Wall Street and Bay Street technology analyst. He joined the Bluedrop Board of Directors in 2015 bringing a wealth of experience in Technology, Cleantech and Aerospace business models.

Tom is currently the Chief Investment Officer at Difference Capital Management Inc. Prior to joining Difference Capital; he worked at independent investment dealers for six years where he ran research departments that were recognized with several awards for their tech company choices.

As a technology analyst, Tom headed up top ranked teams at major firms including Merrill Lynch and National Bank Financial. At Merrill Lynch, he led a global team that spanned three continents. Tom was consistently ranked the top analyst in his sector for many years by Brendan Woods, and he and his team were consistently highly ranked in global analyst surveys. He has covered many Canadian and U.S. technology stocks over his career and presided over several of the key cycles in that sector.

Tom has written extensively about technology cycles focused on SaaS, OTT technologies, mobility and wireless networking, and optical networking. His current interests focus around the intersection of the cloud, media, and enterprise productivity.

Tom’s educational foundation is degree in Engineering Physics. This along with a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and 7 years as founder of a medical software start-up have served him well in being an advisor and investor in the always exciting but cyclical technology sector.

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Paul Sparkes

Paul Sparkes is an accomplished Canadian business leader with twenty-five years of experience in media, finance, capital markets and Canada’s political arena.

Paul spent a decade as a leader in the broadcast and new media industry; where he served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for CTVglobemedia, now Bell Media. He also held senior positions in the Public Service, including with the Government of Canada as Director of Operations to the Prime Minister, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as a senior aide to two Premiers, Clyde Wells and Brian Tobin.

Most recently, Paul was Executive Vice Chair, Director and Co-Founder of Difference Capital Financial, a Toronto based merchant bank focused on making strategic investments in, and advisory services for, growth companies in the media, technology and health care sectors and in U.S. real estate.

Currently, Paul is a pursued corporate director, advisor and deal maker for growth companies in the media, technology and entertainment industries. He serves on a number of public and private boards including Thunderbird Films, Blastgard International and Breaking Data Corp. He is the Chair and Founder of Smiling Land Foundation. He joined the Board of Directors for Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. in January 2014.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) Degree from Memorial University. Outside of work, he is extremely active on the hockey rink with his two sons, Ben and Jack (next generation Connor McDavid’s!), and most relaxed when fly fishing on the rivers of Labrador.

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Andrew Youngman

Andrew Youngman joined the Board of Directors of Bluedrop in 2012, bringing experience in strategy consulting and private equity investments.

Andrew is President and CEO of Citizens Disability, and is responsible for the design, implementation and execution of business strategy.

Prior to Citizens Disability, Andrew has held roles with Internet Venture Works (private equity firm), Lesley University (private education provider) and for Marakon Associates (leading strategy consulting firm.

Andrew holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR), a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives (NOSSCR) and is a member of the Young President’s Association.

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