February 8, 2021

Message from the COPA Chair


COPA Chair, Bill Mahoney

First of all, I would like to wish all COPA members as well as their families a happy, prosperous and most importantly, healthy New Year.

The month of January 2021 marks one year since I assumed the position of (Interim) Chair of the Board of Directors of COPA.  I have delayed writing this piece, as I want to report to members, on behalf of the Board, what we have accomplished as well as what we expect to accomplish.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our recent past Chairs. Jean Messier, Dave McElroy and Shane Armstrong gave generously of their time and talent for the benefit of COPA. Their commitment, dedication and contribution should be recognized and applauded.  A heartfelt thank you to each of you!

Within two weeks of my assuming the role of Chair, our President and CEO, Bernard Gervais, announced his retirement. While the Board was saddened by his departure, it also recognized the opportunity to shift and adjust the direction of the organization.

The quantity, as well as the quality of applicants were remarkable.  The selection committee was faced with the challenging task of selecting a CEO during the height of wave one of the pandemic. We were honored by some of the women and men who expressed their interest in leading our organization. After four months of interviews and deliberations, all via video conferencing, the winning candidate was selected. Christine Gervais (no relation to Bernard) was named President and CEO of COPA.  She came to us with a unique combination of enthusiasm and experience that made her the ideal candidate.

Christine assumed operational leadership of COPA shortly before the 2020 virtual Annual General Meeting. In keeping with COPA’s Strategic Plan, she was tasked with embracing emerging new technologies (RPAS) in addition to demonstrating fiscal responsibility and accountability to establish a strong and robust platform from which to serve the needs of the membership. Thank you to Christine and her talented team for successfully accomplishing these objectives.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our Regional Directors. COPA is very fortunate to have knowledgeable and dedicated members representing each region of our country at the Board table. If you don’t know your Regional Director, please take a moment to look here or inside the front cover of every COPA Flight Magazine.  Be assured, they are all working very hard on your behalf to provide good value for your membership and ensure that COPA continues to be an influential, engaged and relevant organization.

I look forward to 2021 with renewed hope and optimism that we will, collectively, advance, promote and preserve the Canadian freedom to fly.