Meet Our Executive Team
The CASARA executive team is dedicated to leading our volunteers from one end of the country to the other. They draw upon their knowledge and experiences to improve the quality of CASARA service and to advocate for its recognition.
President: Frank Schuurmans
Frank Schuurmans joined CASARA in 1989 and since that time has held numerous positions within the Saskatchewan CASARA organization including Pilot, Navigator, Spotter and Provincial President. Frank is still an active CASARA Saskatchewan Pilot having flown numerous CASARA searches for both the Royal Canadian Air Force and the RCMP.
Frank started his flying career at a young age having obtained glider training through the Air Cadet Program then later obtaining a private pilot and commercial pilot’s license, which he still currently holds. Frank is active in the Saskatchewan flying community sitting on the board of director’s for the Regina Flying Club and as an Industry advisory member on the Saskatchewan Aviation Council (SAC).
On July 10 2008 Frank was involved with the CASARA / Heron unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) project in Suffield Alberta. In conjunction with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) Frank was instrumental in the coordination of a CASARA aircraft, which was flown by him in the first ever demonstration flight of a Heron UAV and a civilian / CASARA aircraft working together in the same airspace. The CASARA UAV demonstration was used to explore the future potential of UAV’s working in conjunction with manned aircraft in Search and Rescue. (Filmed for an episode of Discovery Channels – Daily Planet).
Vice-President Training and Operations: Simon Cousineau
Simon Cousineau joined CASARA/SERABEC in 2005. He held a spotter position, then certified for Navigator, Pilot, Ground Homing Specialist. Simon obtained his pilot’s licence in July of 1998. Simon flies a C172 and flew the experimental C182 Diesel from 2009 to 2011. Simon was promoted to Montreal Zone Commander in 2008 and became Director of SERABEC in 2015, a position he is currently holding. Simon also accepted the position V.P. Training and Operations in 2018.
Simon is a teacher in the Transport industry. He holds a degree in Business with a Major in Marketing from the Northwood University of Michigan. He is also working towards a Bachelor’s degree in teaching from Sherbrooke University.
Simon is a business-oriented person and leader. He is a strong believer of the team concept – often he has been heard to say that CASARA must be “one big team”. Simon participated in many JRCC missions and he had the opportunity to participate in three major SAR searches. Simon looks forward to working with the Member Organizations to help CASARA evolve to meet the current changes and conditions of Search & Rescue as the organization moves forward into the future.
Vice-President Finance and Administration: Brian Bishop
Brian Bishop has been a member of CASARA since 1989. He has held the positions of Spotter, Navigator, Pilot, Search Co-ordinator, Ground Homing Specialist and Zone Commander for St. John's Zone many of which he`s still active in today. He has been Provincial President of NL for many years, a position he still holds today. He held the position of VP Training and Operations for approximately 20 years. In 2019 he assumed the position of VP Administration and Finance which he still holds today.
Brian gained his love of flying during his time with the Air Cadets. He obtained his Pilots licence in 1988 and flies a Piper Archer 11 for both personal and CASARA flying.
Vice-President Plans and Equipment: Doug-MacDonald
Doug MacDonald joined CASARA in 1999, volunteering as a spotter, navigator and pilot. He soon became the Provincial Director for Prince Edward Island and, after four years, was voted into his current position as Vice-President Plans and Equipment.
Doug has a private pilot’s licence with 3400 hours of flight time. He is a part-time member of the Canadian Forces with the Halifax Rifles as part of Influence Activities. He has 38 years of service and has been deployed to Kandahar in 2008. He also has one tandem parachute jump from 12,500 feet with the Sky Hawks Canadian Forces Parachute Team.
National Administrator: Bill Ralph
Bill is a dynamic and business-oriented Leader with significant and diverse experience working with both national and international business. He established himself as a trusted advisor through 30+ years working with both a major Chartered Bank and a privately-owned enterprise. Over many years, Bill has been a coach and a mentor to a team of business developers responsible for identifying and understanding clients’ needs in order to help support their strategic growth plans.
Bill is a B Comm (Hons) grad from the University of Manitoba with majors in Finance and Marketing. Bill has experience working with many different organizations in Winnipeg, such as United Way of Winnipeg, Habitat for Humanity and Squash Manitoba. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, racquet sports, golf and travel. Bill is a big sports enthusiast and remains dedicated to supporting sport for all ages! Bill continues to look forward to work with the Member Organizations and the Executives of CASARA.