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President and CEO 

Position Overview

President & Chief Executive Officer
COPA – Canadian Owner’s and Pilots Association

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is a federally registered, not-for-profit association that provides information and advocacy services for the General Aviation (GA) community across Canada. COPA has 13,000 members and over 100 chapters, which ranks it as the largest general aviation association in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Founded in 1952, COPA’s mission is to “Advance, Promote, and Preserve the Canadian Freedom to Fly”. 

Organizational Structure
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be based in the head office located in the Ottawa area. COPA has ten approximately (10) employees involved in customer service and support to members, advocacy, communications, accounting and administration.

Position Overview
The President and CEO will lead the implementation of COPA’s strategic plan, including overseeing all operations, membership satisfaction and growth, business development, financial management and the leadership and management of the COPA support staff. Key areas of focus include people leadership, performance improvements, operational strategy, advocacy strategy, membership growth and engagement, growth of general aviation in Canada and the preservation and advancement of the Canadian freedom to fly.

This is only a summary of the main areas of responsibility:

  • Support the Board with strategic planning by providing significant research and analysis of General Aviation and the factors that impact it to ensure the Board can make well reasoned decisions re both strategic direction of the organization as well as plans that will achieve the aims of the organization.
  • Execute COPA’s strategic goals and plans internally and externally.
  • Constantly monitor COPA’s results and the environment so that plans can be adjusted as necessary and then proactively and comprehensively reported to the Board for their information and approval as appropriate.
  • Provide valued member services such as Insurance, Information and navigating the regulatory environment.
  • Constantly search and evaluate new appropriate services and opportunities for the organization.
  • Work with the membership to increase participation in General Aviation in Canada.
  • Develop proactive and prudent financial plans with the Board and then ensure they are executed on-plan and on-budget.
  • Ensure COPA meets all regulatory requirements.
  • Report to the Board on a timely and regular basis all aspects of the operations including monthly, quarterly and annually updates.
  • Lead and manage the advocacy role with stakeholders for COPA and the advancement of general aviation.
  • Support and assist the Board to ensure effective Corporate Governance.
  • Ensure COPA’s operations are effective, efficient, fair, transparent, sustainable and fiscally responsible

Professional Experience and Qualifications

  • Proven experience leading and driving growth of member and/or service-focused organizations.
  • Proven track record of leading long-term goals, through to strategic and operational plans, benchmarked execution, to realization
  • Strong communications and advocacy skills
  • Adept at promotional strategy to build public interest in, and support for, a cause
  • Strong understanding of not-for-profit and volunteer-governed organizations
  • Strong inter-personal and leadership skills, and ability to foster positive and collaborative relationships with individuals within the organization and across external organizations including governmental and industry
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of business operations and leadership
  • Strong ability to drive member growth of an organisation
  • Financial acumen and experience to support prudent P&L and asset management
  • Expertise in aviation industry and/or in general aviation would be considered a strong asset

Personal Attributes

  • Innovative and entrepreneurial mindset with vision that can strategize, plan and execute
  • Proven communicator who can set clear goals, align teams and structure accountability
  • Exceptional advocacy skills with innate motivational qualities that inspire people to positive action
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a high level of emotional intelligence
  • Positive and open-minded to opportunities and ideas
  • Goal-oriented, hands-on and proactive
  • Strong leadership abilities and exceptional communications skills both verbal and written
  • Solid negotiation and conflict resolution skills along with sound judgement and creative problem-solving abilities
  • Exceptional relationship-building with employees, members, and government and industry partners
  • A team player who will be a visible leader in the aviation community with a high degree of integrity and honesty, and who consistently leads by example to earn the respect of stakeholders both inside and outside of the organization.

Key Competencies

  • Results-oriented
  • Leadership abilities and team building
  • Business acumen
  • Managing strategic goals to execution
  • Intuitive marketing and promotional abilities
  • Communication and advocacy
  • Technical skill sets: Experience in aviation and functionally bilingual

COPA Executive Search Team

Best Practices – Protocol
Our goal is to source the best talent to meet COPA’s hiring need and to work with candidates in a professional and confidential manner. It is essential that a candidate resume be a true reflection of their skills, experience, accomplishments and education.