PFM Executive Search Recruits CEO for the Comox Valley Airport Commission

January 11, 2021 – PFM Executive Search has placed Michael Atkins as the new chief executive officer of the Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) in British Columbia. Partner Shaun Carpenter and consultant Matthew Bell led the assignment.

Mr. Atkins takes over from Alex Robertson, who served as CVAC’s acting CEO since the late Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave in 2019. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Mike to CVAC,” said Martin Crilly, board chair. “This year has been a difficult one, adapting to the challenges of a global pandemic, while coping with the sad passing of CEO Fred Bigelow. Like Fred, Mike is a former commander at 19 Wing Comox, with established relationships with community stakeholders, making him ideally suited to take the lead of our organization in the midst of ongoing recovery efforts. We have every confidence that the airport will continue to thrive under Mike’s direction and leadership.”

Mr. Atkins brings significant team-building, leadership, crisis and strategic planning experience developed through multiple positions in search and rescue and higher headquarters during a 35-year military career. In addition to his command at 19 Wing, he is a former commanding officer of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, and most recently, the Canadian defense advisor to the U.K. He holds a bachelor of engineering degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, an MBA from Saint Mary’s University and a master of defense studies from King’s College London.

Adapting to the Virus

“I am honored to have been selected as Fred’s successor, and look forward to working with the CVAC team, the board, 19 Wing and the community as we continue to adapt to the evolving realities of a COVID-19 environment,” said Mr. Atkins.

“I am eager to assume my new role, leading the innovation and adaptation that will be required to ensure that CVAC continues to provide excellent aviation services while enabling the economic growth of the Comox Valley,” he added.

The Comox Valley Airport Commission is the governing authority for the operation of Comox Valley Airport. The nine-member commission is broadly representative of the Comox Valley community and its members are nominated by the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland, the Comox Valley Regional District, the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.

Canadian Search Firm

PFM Executive Search, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, serves a wide range of industries, working with private, public and not-for-profit organizations to fill senior-level executive positions. Among the roles that the firm has recently filled include: president and chief executive officer, Provincial Health Services Authority; chief financial officer, PCI Developments and Warrington PCI Management; chief financial officer and vice president, finance and corporate, B.C. Lottery Corp.; and executive director, B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

PFM Executive Search Finds CEO for BC Care Providers Association and EngAge BC
PFM Executive Search has placed Terry Lake as the new CEO of BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC. He will succeed acting CEO Mike Klassen, who will support Mr. Lake with the transition and continue on in a senior management capacity. Partner Allison Rzen and consultant Matthew Bell led the assignment. “Following a rigorous search, the board of directors is proud to announce the appointment of Terry Lake as CEO of BC Care Providers Association and our operating arm EngAge BC,” said board president Aly Devji.

Mr. Carpenter has been part of the PFM team since 1998. The firm said that he is known for his “aptitude in candidate development and client relations, his thorough, insightful approach gives clients confidence that their needs are being met in a professional, timely manner.” Having previously served as a human resources manager with a leading Canadian health insurance provider, he also has a strong understanding of the receiving side of search services.

Mr. Bell joined PFM as a consultant having previously worked as a search analyst at another executive search firm where he collaborated and provided support on executive search, board recruitment and director candidate assignments. Prior to that, Mr. Bell worked as a risk consultant and advisor where he researched and authored reputational due diligence reports that enabled his clients to minimize their risk and make informed strategic decisions. He has also worked in advertising as an account executive.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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