Rear Admiral (ret’d) Roger Girouard, OMM, CD, MA

Senior Associate

Location: Americas

Originally a Montréal native, Roger Girouard began his naval service at HMCS CARLTON in Ottawa as a Naval Reserve Ordinary Seaman Bos’n in 1973, before shifting to the permanent force and taking a commission as a Maritime Surface officer.
Becoming a qualified Destroyer Navigator, he navigated HMCS OTTAWA and participated on her Standing Naval Force Atlantic deployment and then the training destroyer HMCS QU’APPELLE before being assigned to VENTURE, the Naval Officer Training Centre. He completed the Combat Control Officer Course in 1984, then served as Weapons Officer aboard HMCS ALGONQUIN. In July of 1985 he was appointed as Commanding Officer of HMCS CHALEUR.  Promoted to Lieutenant-Commander in January 1986, he undertook command of HMCS MIRAMICHI. Next, he served as Officer Commanding the Maritime Command Detachment in Argentia, Newfoundland, from July 1987 to August 1989, serving with the US Navy doing ocean surveillance.
He was appointed as Executive Officer in HMCS ATHABASKAN in January 1990, participating in OP FRICTION as part of the Gulf War in 1991. He was promoted to Commander and given the opportunity to participate in the international Naval Command College. Upon graduation in 1992, he was assigned to the Personnel Branch of Maritime Command Headquarters, where he served as Senior Staff Officer for Personnel, Plans and Policies.
In July 1994, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of HMCS IROQUOIS, completing her class modernization project trials and transferring the ship to full operational status in First Maritime Operations Group as flagship. Promoted to Captain in June 1996, he was assigned as the Deputy Commander Naval Reserve at the Naval Reserve Headquarters at Pointe-à-Carcy in Québec City.
In August 1998, he was appointed the Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Maritime Forces Atlantic, Halifax. He was the head of operations during the domestic emergency coined as OP PERSISTENCE – the CF element of the SWISSAIR 111 salvage and recovery operation off Peggy’s Cove in 1998, when he was responsible for planning the Canadian Forces element’s efforts, chaired the daily multi-agency coordination meeting and served as liaison to the families of the victims.
He then transferred to the Pacific, as Commander Operations Group Four, and deployed to command Canada’s joint force contribution to OP TOUCAN in East Timor, joining the Australian-led coalition tasked with managing the turmoil in the aftermath to the Timorese vote for independence. Upon return, he was allowed to complete his Master’s at Royal Roads University before being promoted to Commodore and assigned to National Headquarters as Director General Maritime Personnel and Readiness in Ottawa. A year later, he was tasked to take ROTO 4 of Canada’s post-9/11 maritime mission and led the multi-national naval Task Force 151 during OP APOLLO in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in 2003.
His last appointment in the navy was as Commander Joint Task Force Pacific and Maritime Forces Pacific in Victoria, where he was responsible for naval readiness in the Pacific, served as the Search and Rescue Commander for the Region and held responsibilities for security and domestic emergency issues in BC, supporting planning for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the contingency work for potential flooding of the BC lower mainland in the Spring of 2007.
He retired from the Canadian Forces in September of 2007. He went on to serve as an associate professor at Royal Roads University supporting their Human Security and Peacebuilding Master’s Program. He was sought out to complete the Canadian Coast Guard Inquiry into the tragic sinking of the l’Acadien II, a sealing vessel home ported in the Magdalene Islands. As well, he had several volunteer lives, including the Canadian Defence Association Institute, the Salvation Army, the Coalition to End Homelessness, St. John Ambulance, Victoria Tall Ships and the TELUS Victoria Community Board.
In May of 2013, he assumed responsibilities as the Canadian Coast Guard’s Assistant Commissioner for Western Region, taking on the mandate of effectively delivering marine safety to the country’s dynamic west coast and supporting the roughly one thousand Coast Guard professionals who focus on protecting marine activities in Canada’s waters every day. Experienced in offshore operations, joint and interagency missions, disaster management as well as the realm of HR management, he brought many talents to an organization in transition. Within months, he was serving as the Incident Commander for the USAT ZALINSKI oil recovery effort in Grenville Channel. Over his tenure, he was instrumental in bringing enhanced operational capabilities to the Region, embedding the Incident Command System in its operational model and initiating a reset in the Coast Guard’s many relationships with the Indigenous communities of the coast.
Making a second attempt at retirement in early 2022, he and his wife of forty-five years, Rebecca, live in Sooke, B.C.

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Patti Carr

Senior Associate

Location: Americas

Patti Carr brings 32 years of aviation experience to GoCrisis. While she held a variety of positions, more than half her tenure was spent in Family Assistance and Emergency Response roles for Northwest and Delta Air Lines. There, Patti developed, designed, and delivered Family Assistance training domestically and internationally to aviation and corporate customers. Additionally, she has extensive experience in planning and executing tabletop exercises and airport drills.

During her time at Northwest, Patti responded to several minor aviation incidents and employee on-the-job deaths, coordinating logistics and working directly with passengers, employees, and their families. Following retirement from Delta, Patti spent eight years leading a team of facilitators for a federal student loan servicing company.

Since 2006, Patti has volunteered at the Armed Forces Service Center at the Minneapolis airport. The center provides support for traveling military, retirees, and dependents. In addition to staffing shifts in the center, and being a board member, Patti is a team lead for the Honors Team. In that role, Patti continues to use her expertise in communication and family assistance to coordinate dignified transfers of military remains with family, the military, and the respective airlines.

Patti holds a B.A. in Communications from Augsburg University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a life-long resident of Minnesota.

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Vincent Bertucci

Associate

Location: Americas

Vince has over 15 years of aviation experience working in a variety of both operational, safety and emergency management roles, most recently leading the Emergency Response and Humanitarian Assistance Team at United Airlines.

Vince began his aviation career as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was trained as an Aviation Safety Officer. He led an aviation mishap investigation and mishap board following a major accident. He is also a trained Casualty Assistance Calls Officer. 

Following his military service, Vince joined United Airlines where he led United’s Emergency Response Team. During his time at United he responded to several minor aviation incidents and major man-made and natural disasters. Vince deployed United’s Special Assistance Team to Houston, Texas following Hurricane Harvey providing humanitarian assistance to several hundred employees experiencing total loss of property. Immediately upon return he directed United’s EOC in supporting victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. As part of the star Alliance Emergency Steering Committee he co-developed a common disaster site plan used by all member airlines. 

Vince graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy where he studied Aeronautical Engineering. He currently resides in the Chicagoland area. 

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Bob Palestrant

Regional Vice President, Operations

Location: Americas

Bob Palestrant has over 40 years of experience serving as a registered nurse, firefighter/paramedic, emergency manager, and in the discipline of homeland security. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), a credentialed Chief Fire Officer (CFO) through the Center of Public Safety Excellence and earned his master’s degree in Homeland Security from American Military University.

He was the Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for Miami-Dade County, Florida, coordinating multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional responses to disasters and large-scale emergencies, and as a member of a coalition of Emergency Managers from the 11 largest U.S. cities, worked with the Council of Excellence in Government to standardize and improve methods of increasing the preparedness and the ability of cities to respond to disasters on a national basis.

Bob has been instrumental in multiple activations including several major hurricanes, Superbowls XLI and XLIV, multiple mass casualty incidents, aviation disasters and mass shootings. As a member of the Florida Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, he was on several deployments including the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.

As the Southeast Florida Fusion Center Terrorism Liaison Officer Program Coordinator, he served on multiple regional, state, and national homeland security-related committees and work groups. He is certified as an Incident Command System (ICS), instructor, and Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP) Administrator/Trainer. He has received multiple service awards and honors, and in 2021, was selected as the Government Technology & Services Coalition-Homeland Security Today’s State Homeland Security Person of the Year.

Bob was a technical consultant for the show “Without Warning,” broadcast on both The Discovery and The Learning Channels and has been a panel member or given presentations on emergency management, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and homeland security issues at multiple conferences and symposiums across the country and internationally.

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Michele Derry

Senior Associate

Location: Americas

Michele Derry is a Senior Canadian Airline Executive with over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry. Her leadership expertise includes areas such as Emergency Response, Family Assistance, Operations Control, Commercial Operations, Inflight, Dispatch, Load Planning, Crew Pay, Crew Planning, Crew Scheduling, and Operational Manuals. Her speciality is in working with airline start-ups that use low-cost or ultra-low-cost business models. During her lengthy career, she’s assisted airlines such as Canadian Regional, WestJet, Enerjet, Encore, Swoop, Air North, Virgin Blue, and Lynx Air.
Michele’s focus with each organization she’s assisted has centered around people, operations, preparedness, and response. Her technical skills have also been recognized by Transport Canada for excellence in the development of manuals for regulatory requirements, including Emergency Response, Safety, Company Operations, Company Procedures, Dispatch and Dangerous Goods.
As Vice President at WestJet, in addition to her oversite of daily operations, she held the role of Incident Director for any major emergency and provided oversight of the Emergency Response and Family Assistance programs there. Together with the Manager of Emergency Response, she developed an industry-leading and internationally recognized Family Assistance Team and has continued to enhance her expertise by actively participating in advanced courses, exercises, and training sessions held in Canada, the United States, and the UK.
GoCrisis is thrilled to have Michele Derry as a Senior Associate. Her expertise in all facets of airline operations, coupled with her advanced technical skills, and her leadership in Emergency Response and Family Assistance, bring invaluable support to our clients around the world.

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Simon Hardern

Advisory Board

Simon joined the Royal Navy in September 1984 directly from school. His first years were spent at sea in Her Majesty’s Ships CATTISTOCK, NOTTINGHAM, LINDISFARNE and ALACRITY. Whilst on the latter, the Ship, when on deployment to the West Indies, provided humanitarian support to Hurricane-Hugo devastated island of Montserrat.

Having completed a ten-month tour as the Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland patrol vessel HMS CUXTON, he joined the staff of Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland as the Flag Lieutenant in May 1991. Returning to sea for a short tour as the Navigating Officer of the Type 23 frigate HMS LANCASTER, he qualified as a Warfare Officer in December 1995. He assumed Command of the Sandown class mine-hunter HMS WALNEY. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in November 1996, his final year with the Ship was spent deployed with NATO’s Standing Naval Force Channel.

Following a short period as the Operations Officer of the Type 22 frigate HMS BEAVER, he attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College in September 1998. Graduating from the Advanced Command and Staff Course with an MA in Defence Studies, he joined the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic based in Norfolk, Virginia as the Military Assistant to the US 4* Commander. He received the US Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his services before, and after, the tragic events of 9/11.

He returned to the UK in October 2001 and led, for a short period, the Royal Naval Presentation Team. Assuming command of the frigate HMS KENT in April 2002, his time included a nine-month deployment to the north Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf as part of the UK’s effort with the Global War on Terrorism. Joining the Ministry of Defence in early 2004, he first had responsibilities for the planning and programming of all major logistics-related equipment procurement programmes and then, in 2007, as the Military Assistant to Chief of the Defence Staff for Personnel.

Promoted to Captain in September 2008, he became Secretary to the three Single-Service Chiefs of Staff and Ministerial Team. His final 8 years were spent working at NATO as: the Chief Staff Officer to Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Secretary to the Military Committee and Chief of Staff for the International Military Staff; and, finally, as a Rear Admiral, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans, Exercises and Partnerships.

In June 2018, Simon joined a large Crisis and Disaster Management company as CEO. With dedicated full-time resources spread across the world, he ensured the provision of personnel and equipment as well as the incident response, particularly those involving major loss of life. This included directly supporting two aviation disasters in the USA and the southern Pacific Ocean.

Simon joined the UK Hydrographic Office in April 2020 as the Head of Partnering and Engagement; based in Washington DC, he has a roving brief covering all the Americas.

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Trevor Hale

Senior Associate

Location: Americas

With almost 30 years of global communications experience in mobility, technology and luxury industries, including 15 years in Asia (11 in mainland China), Trevor is a seasoned strategic counsellor for C-suite executives, with a track record of leadership, entrepreneurship, creative storytelling, public affairs and crisis management. In addition to leading communications in North America, he has helped numerous multinational companies establish and grow their presence in China, India, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa.

He has extensive corporate experience, having led communications for Fortune 100 companies and brands including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, INFINITI, Chrysler and others, as well as serving as press chief for the Olympic Games. He helped establish Daimler Northeast Asia in Beijing at the beginning of China’s auto boom. He was the architect of Ford’s Asia expansion communications plan while leading communications for Ford in Asia Pacific in Shanghai during unprecedented growth in China, India and Southeast Asia. He helped establish Ford’s Middle East and Africa region in Dubai – a startup at a 120-year-old company – spanning 63 countries across the region. He also served as global Chief Communications Officer for INFINITI through three chairmen and significant upheaval at parent Nissan.

He was a finalist for PR Week’s global in-house professional of the year in 2020 as well as the top PR executive in Asia Pacific. He is an active member of The Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club and The Explorers Club. He began his career as a journalist at a small daily newspaper in Alabama and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

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Teresita Uribe

Associate

Location: Americas

Teresita resides in Medellin, Colombia and is an experienced aviation professional and Clinical Psychologist with more than 26 years of experience at Avianca and its associated airlines, 18 of which were in Emergency Response. She has responded to several major air accidents and incidents and provided support to passengers and families directly affected as a result of a hijacked aircraft.

Teresita’s experience and knowledge in psychological intervention during crisis situations from a clinical and educational psychological perspective have helped her to develop Emergency Response Plans that complied with industry-leading standards, that were easy to follow, tested in the real world, and aimed at managing and reducing the biopsychosocial consequences of family members and others affected by a traumatic incident or accident.

In addition, Teresita has held administrative and leadership positions in programs aimed at psychological assistance and adaptation to change, with special consideration given to empathy when dealing with people, organizations, especially those involved with Humanitarian Assistance.

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Oussama Salah

Associate

Location: Americas

Oussama has more than four decades of aviation experience in maintenance, regulatory compliance and safety with legacy and low-cost carriers, MROs and general aviation operators in the Middle East. He has been involved in the startup activities of 2 operators laying down the basis of their regulatory compliance framework.

His regulatory compliance and SMS experience includes maintenance, flight and ground operations and security. He has been instrumental in setting up and administering Emergency Response Programs that comply with the requirements of Safety Management System (SMS) as defined by ICAO Annex 19, several international civil aviation regulations and industry standards. Further, he is a subject matter expert in hazard identification, risk management, root cause analysis and mitigation in safety and security.

During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown he was involved in setting up safety protocols that met the UAE GCAA Safety Decisions and Communicable Disease Management Program regulation in support of Gulf Wings’ continued international operations during 2020.

Insights

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Mike Plottel

Senior Associate

Location: Americas

Mike Plottel is an experienced senior leader with over 40 years’ experience in the aviation industry. His career as a pilot, manager and executive has spanned government, corporate and airline operations. Since 1995, Mike has specialized in aviation safety, focusing on safety management systems, fatigue risk management, human factors and safety leadership.

Mike has held positions with the British Columbia Government Air Services, Air BC Airlines, Transport Canada, the British Columbia Air Ambulance Service, WestJet Airlines and the Qantas Group. As WestJet’s Director of Safety Services, Mike was responsible for the development and implementation of several major programs including the airline’s Safety Management System, which comprised risk management, quality assurance, investigation, oversight, training and emergency response components. At the Qantas Group, Mike held positions as Head of Safety for Domestic and International operations, Head of Safety for QantasLink Regional Airlines and special advisor to the Qantas Group Safety Transformation Project.

Mike holds a diploma in Aviation Technology from Selkirk College, an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria. He is based in Calgary, Canada.

Insights

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