SYSTRA Canada’s management team is composed of bold leaders with years of experience working for railways and the railway consulting industry. They are actively involved in the company’s projects, thus ensuring high quality, client satisfaction and desired results.
DAVE SPAGNOLO, President & CEO
In January 2018, Mr. Dave Spagnolo was appointed President & CEO of SYSTRA North America. He has over 30 years of experience in mission-critical industries of Defence, Aerospace and Transportation. He has a passion for speed, innovation and competitiveness, and is now leading SYSTRA’s growth in North America, as well as export markets.
Prior to joining SYSTRA, Mr. Spagnolo led Thales for 20 years in a variety of roles:
- In 2014, Mr. Spagnolo was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice President for Thales Canada Transportation. He was responsible for leading the transformation of the Urban Rail team, implementing project management improvements, establishing a low cost Indian engineering centre, and overseeing other productivity improvements.
- Between 2012 and 2014, he was Chief Operation Officer of Thales Canada, overseeing the transverse functions, as well as the Aerospace, Defence and Transportation units.
- From 2001 to 2012, Mr. Spagnolo was the General Manager of the Thales Defence & Security team, growing from a 60 people, $10M business to 350 people and $150M of revenues.
- Mr. Spagnolo joined Thales in 1996 as a Software Team Lead and two years later became Software Department Head.
Mr. Spagnolo also graduated from the Royal Military College and served 12 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Naval Officer.
In addition, Mr. Spagnolo served as a Director on the Board of the Canadian Association of Defence & Security Industries and the Board of the Aerospace Industries Association Canada.
DONALD R. GILLSTROM, Vice President – International
Mr. Donald Gillstrom is one of the founders of CANARAIL (now SYSTRA Canada). He is responsible for leading all Freight & Mining projects for SYSTRA Canada. He has over thirty-five years of experience gained in the track maintenance department of the Canadian Pacific Railway and in the field of railway consulting. Mr. Gillstrom leads the management of projects around the world related to the design of railway infrastructure. In his role, he oversees the design and negotiation of all civil engineering projects. Mr. Gillstrom also brings his extensive knowledge of the African market and holds the position of Project Executive of our Africa-based projects.
JOSEPH SARKIS, Executive Vice President – Rolling Stock
Mr. Joseph Sarkis is responsible for all aspects of SYSTRA Canada’s Rolling Stock division. In his role, he leads the engineering teams and supervises the management, negotiation, and implementation of the mechanical and Rolling Stock projects around the world, including turn-key rehabilitation projects. He has over 22 years of experience in various progressive roles within multinational companies such as Caterpillar, ABB, Tyco, Cummins, and brings to SYSTRA Canada a professional background that includes general management, project management, engineering, manufacturing, and business development in the North American and International markets. Mr. Sarkis holds a Master of Engineering degree, Concordia University and an MBA degree (John Molson School of Business).
SAMUEL DEROSIAUX, Exeucutive Vice President – Transit
Mr. Samuel Derosiaux is responsible for the Transit division in charge of addressing the urban transit and the passengers main line markets in Canada. He has 25 years of international experience in projects and in systems engineering. He leads the project management and the engineering teams and supervises the bids and the projects of design, supervision, commissioning, operation and maintenance engineering of passenger rail systems. He holds a Master of Aeronautical Engineering degree and an MBA degree from the ESSEC Business School in Paris.
GUILLAUME GENIN, Executive Vice President – Freight & Mining
Mr. Guillaume Genin has been involved in the railway industry for his entire career, combining advanced legal, contractual expertise and international business development functions in Europe (mainly UK), Australia and North America. He has led a large number of marketing efforts to secure important rail contracts and assisted in the growth of major rail businesses, including Keolis, SNCF (French National Railways), through both organic and external growth. Mr. Genin leads SYSTRA Canada’s world-wide Freight & Mining business unit and is a member of the Management Committee.. He is a member of the Canadian Railway Club’s Board of Directors and holds a law degree.
DAVID ANGLIN, Vice President – Business Development
Mr. David Anglin leads SYSTRA Canada’s world-wide business development efforts and is a member of the Management Committee. A proven head of sales, he has over 25 years of experience in international business development, with more than 20 years in rail projects. Mr. Anglin brings to SYSTRA Canada a professional background that includes business development in North America, South America, Asia and Africa. His broad experience also includes contract negotiation, project management, systems engineering, procurement, and manufacturing. Mr. Anglin holds degrees in mechanical engineering and philosophy from Queen’s University.
MARC SEFFACENE, Directeur de projet, REM de l’Est – Transport
Mr. Marc Seffacene started his career at RATP 30 years ago as a signaling and automation engineer. In 1998, he joined SYSTRA where he was always assigned to projects in France, then in the Middle East (Dubai and Qatar) before joining SYSTRA Canada in January 2021, to take over the management of the REM de l’Est project for the AECOM-SYSTRA Joint Venture. Mr. Seffacene is overseeing the preliminary design of this new 32-km line serving the east and north of Montreal. He also ensures cohesion between all disciplines and is the Client’s representative. He also supports SYSTRA Canada’s strong growth by contributing to the creation of a Technical Department, Transit and the deployment of SYSTRA Canada in new markets.
LINDA BÉLANGER, Vice President – Finance
Ms. Linda Bélanger is responsible for the management of the company finances and administration. Her role is to ensure that sound financial and administration management practices are developed and implemented within the firm. Holding a degree in business administration from the Université Laval, member of the Ordre des CPA du Québec since 1994, Ms. Bélanger possesses diversified experience related to the management of company finances offering specialized services in industrial construction and civil engineering, building materials wholesalers and professional services.
ELYSE EL KHARRAT, Director – Human Resources
Mrs. Elyse El Kharrat carries a rich in-house and international experience having worked with Blue-chip, multinational companies within the oil & gas, civil and transportation businesses. She is responsible for providing strategic guidance and leadership for all human resources aspects within SYSTRA Canada. She drives, designs and implements people strategies in support of the company’s business objectives by promoting a high-performing culture and engaging global workforce, fostering a collaborative and team-oriented work environment and focusing on talent management, organizational effectiveness, reward, employee relations, crisis and risk management, emergency response, diversity and inclusion.