Leadership Team

Thomas P. O’Keefe

President & CEO, Founder

For more than 25 years Thomas P. O’Keefe has been spearheading ground-breaking initiatives in a variety of industries.

This has included technological design work for primary and secondary processing, manufacturing, as well as subsequent testing and certification. A life-long learner, his interests have spurred his career, and span across various industries including the mining industry, encrypted banking, the arts, biotech and digital analytics. Mr. O’Keefe has enacted numerous business plans from start-ups to expansions, ranging from greenfield construction to technical manufacturing and processing initiatives. His knowledge of industrial settings provided a unique insight into the effects of products used in the workplace environment, and in 2001 he became intricately involved in developing products from rapidly renewable resources, agriculturally-derived product development, and technology design.

In his work, Mr. O’Keefe has developed various Trade Secrets and two patents with agricultural feedstocks. His proprietary fibreboard won a national award for 2010 Green Invention of the Year in Canada.

Jacquelyn Thayer Scott, PhD

Chief Operations Officer

Jacquelyn Thayer Scott, O.C., PhD, LL.D (Hons) is a past President and Vice Chancellor of Cape Breton University (CBU), where she was Professor of Organizational Management and Public Administration.

In 2019, Dr. Scott was bestowed the honour of President Emeritus of Cape Breton University, the first distinction of its kind for a CBU president. She received this title in recognition of her outstanding contributions and distinguished leadership of the University from 1993 to 2002.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Dr. Scott served on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology for the Government of Canada for ten years (three as its senior officer) and a further three on its advisory body to the federal cabinet.

Vincent Gillis, LLB, QC

Chief Legal Officer & Vice President of Strategic Relations

Practicing for over 35 years, Vince’s experience provides him with a keen eye for detail allowing him to work swiftly and precisely. In 1978, Vince graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Accounting from St. FX University, followed by graduating from Dalhousie Law School in 1982. Vince was called to the bar in 1983 and has been practicing ever since.

Vincent has extensive experience in facilitating business, corporate, and personal affairs. He is highly regarded for his ability to develop successful corporate partnerships.

Vincent is a member of the Cape Breton Barristers Society, Nova Scotia Barristers Society, Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association, the Canadian Bar Association and the Real Estate Lawyers Association of Nova Scotia.

Mark Macneill, MBA, MPA, LLB, LIM

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Macneill is an analytical, effective motivator and leader who brings an impressive and diverse skill set to the Airesun Global team.

His strong background as a financial manager is a result of his ability to draw on expertise in accounting, taxation, transfer pricing, investments, capital budgeting, and corporate strategy.

In his role with Airesun Global he is also able to utilize his additional highly relevant, experience in international finance & law, corporate law, environmental & natural resource law, public policy, research, writing, negotiations, communication, sales, promotion and sales management experience.

James Stephens, PhD

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Stephens holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. His many Peer Reviewed publications include such diverse and applicable subjects as “Effect of Surface Temperature on Adhesion of Nanoparticle Microspheres”, “Effect of Surface Temperature on Particle-Surface Adhesion”, and “Critical Rolling Angle of Microparticles”.

Dr. Stephens has directed multi-disciplinary teams comprising electrical, chemical, pharmaceutical, mechanical, and software engineering backgrounds.

An expert in non-destructive testing and sensors, surface science, micro/nano fabrication techniques, instrumentation and equipment design, Dr. Stephens is also a member of several professional organisations including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers, and the American Society for Non-Destructive Testing.

Ashish Sachan, DVM. MVSC, PhD

Chief Toxicologist

Dr. Sachan received his PhD in Toxicology from the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University USA. HIS PhD involved development of nanosensor technologies to detect toxic chemical species of forensic significance. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of toxicological sciences, and is licensed in toxicology by the College or Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO).

Publications and books have widely covered advancements in the field of pharmacology and toxicology including research topics related to ethnopharmacology, pesticide toxicology, and nanosensor technologies. Dr. Sachan has also been inducted to the lows State University chapter of the Honors Society of Gamma-Sigma-Delta. He served on the board of directors for the Society of Toxicology of Canada (STC) and is the recipient of the Canada 150 Community Leadership Award from the House of Commons.

Khalil Assad Abdul-Baki

Executive Vice-President, Business Development

Mr. Abdul-Baki resides in Dubai, U.A.E. with his family and has over 25 years experience in doing high-level business in the Middle East. His international experience started with a Blue Chip company in the USA, after which he ventured to managing and building several industrial facilities in the Middle East and Gulf Region.

He holds degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Executive MBA (Finance) from The George Washington University in Washington D.C., USA. He has spearheaded several Mergers & Acquisitions with leading UAE investment groups and over the years has served as CEO for several companies. Within those positions, he has received high level training and certification from Petro-Canada Lubricant Division. This experience in the field prompted the establishment of partnership companies in Egypt and the UAE specialized in high quality environmentally friendly and diversified lubricant products. Currently, he is still on the Board of Directors of two companies in the MENA Region and is now responsible for global business development of Airesun Global’s unique and leading technology.

Reg MacDonald

VP Business Development, Oil & Gas

Mr. MacDonald, Maritime Drilling Schools Limited (MDS) founder, President and CEO, brings more than 40 years of oil and gas drilling and training experience. During his career, Reg has worked on almost every type and configuration of drilling rig in existence, both on land and offshore, and in locations all around the world. He has been employed with several of the world’s largest drilling contractors, including Global Marine, Santa Fe, Rowan and Simmons just to name a few. Reg began his career in 1976, and through dedication, hard work along with continual study and professional development, worked his way up through the ranks of management. Prior to establishing Maritime Drilling Schools Limited he worked an the developing stages of the Sable gas fields off of Nova Scotia. Through his accomplishments, he has earned and successfully completed several HSE and Drilling designations that compliment his professional portfolio. In addition, Mr. MacDonald is one of a few elite IADC drilling technology instructors in Canada offering accreditations from the IADC for HSE Rig Pass and Wellcap Well Control for Drilling Workover and Completions.

Reg was also an active member of the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade, Cape Breton Partnership, Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Board’s Petroleum Committee. He has participated in Public Reviews commissioned by the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board Reg also participated on steering committees with the Petroleum human resource council of Canada. Recognition for his dedication to industry earned him the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nomination, and Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business Award. Reg is a member of the following organizations: Elected Member Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Association of Energy Engineers, International Association of Drilling Contractors, International Association of Safety Professionals, National Association of Safety Professionals, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, Canadian Association of Drilling Contractors, and the Offshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia

Stephen Geach, B.Ed, MSC, MCQJ, CQP

Vice President of Quality Control & Assurance

A Chartered Quality Professional, Mr. Geach is a veteran Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Air Force, where he honed his technical skills as an electronic technologist technical instructor, and education and training officer

Steve was a training specialist for Westland Helicopters before moving to the Middle East, where he held various positions including Chief Instructor, Quality Consultant, Quality Manager, and Business Excellence Manager, and where he supported the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Awards as a Business Excellence Assessor.

During this period, Steve was responsible for the development of management systems that gained ISO certifications, the design and delivery of management and technical training courses, and supporting the development of new lines of business. In years prior to Airesun, Steve was the business excellent manager for Ooredoo Telecom in Kuwait where he established a new Department that led the ISO 9001 implementation project. Steve has also qualified as an EFQM assessor and an ISO 9001 lead auditor.

Natalia Guz, PhD

Director of Research

Dr. Guz holds her PhD In Physics from Clarkson University, with M.Sc. from the National Technical University of Ukraine. A physicist with extensive expertise in nanotechnology and biochemistry, her experience includes surface science, nanomechanics, materials characterization with scanning probe microscopy, quantum dots, characterization of nanostructures and molecular aggregates, enzymatic sense and treat biosensors for DNA delivering applications, cell culturing and cell mechanics, and electrochemistry.

Dr. Guz’s achievements include awards for her work in physics and biochemistry, and she has authored 56 published research papers. Prior to Airesun, Dr. Guz was manager of the Laboratory of Bioelectronics and Bionanotechnology at the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular science at Clarkson University, underneath the directorship of the renowned Dr. Evgeny Katz. Here, her research included concurrent bioanalysis and data interpretation for medical diagnostics as well as magnetic field remotely-controlled selective biocatalysis for controlled release of chemical or biological materials on demand. Dr. Guz is a member of the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society.J

James Tremblett

Director of Operations (Manufacturing & Processing)

James (Jimmy) Tremblett is a veteran oil field worker, who has risen in his profession to managing complex operations worldwide. He has extensive oil industry experience in managing large workforces and workforce training in regions including North America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Jimmy has a long history of success in efficiently and respectfully working within the needs of high regulatory regimes, labour laws, local and regional customs. His talents are well referenced by the companies he has worked with over the years, and his reputation running efficient and safe worksites is held in the highest regard.

While having an natural ability to overcome language and cultural barriers, Jimmy has led foreign workforces to the highest safety and operating standards, producing low cost and high efficiency results with international client recognition. He takes great pride in reducing operational issues while keeping safety and environmental impact at top of mind.

Robert Woodley, MSc, MBCS CITP

Director, Digital Solutions Architecture

Rob received his MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Wales and is a Chartered IT Professional with a strong background in methodology and business analysis. He is a member of the British Computer Society and has led projects across many sectors, most notably in the Telecoms and Financial Services industries in Europe, the USA, and South America.

Rob was a leader in bringing the Unified Modelling Language to the UK, co-designing and teaching the world’s first publicly available UML course to over two thousand software professionals and managers. He has consulted widely on Requirements Management, introducing formal and rigorous techniques to ensure completeness and correctness from initial problem definition through to testing, implementation and maintenance. More recently, he has led teams implementing Data Governance frameworks to ensure compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), with a specific interest in providing lineage from business terms to stored data.

Simone Jucker

Corporate Representative, Middle East

Simone Jucker has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2003 and has 17 years of experience in international marketing and trade relations between Canada and the Gulf countries (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain). Simone has assisted over 100 private companies and government organisations to do business in this part of the world. 

Formerly a Trade Commissioner (Education & Training), with the Embassy of Canada in Abu Dhabi, and Executive Director of EduNova Gulf LLC, Simone has a wealth of knowledge and contacts in the UAE. She has been a member of the Canadian Business Council of Abu Dhabi since it was formed in 2004, and has been an active board member in various roles including Chair and Vice Chair. Simone is a graduate of Acadia University.

Shania Boucher, BBA

Controller

Originally from Richmond County, Nova Scotia, Ms. Boucher is a graduate from Cape Breton University, with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Accounting and Concentrations in Legal Studies and Business Internship.

Prior to Airesun, she has worked both in public accounting, as well as in private business finance positions in the health care field, and in post-secondary education. Shania is currently a CPA candidate through the Chartered Professional Accountants’ Professional Education Program.