Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Jean-Marc Eustache, Chairman of the Board
Jean-Marc Eustache was the principal architect of the 1987 creation of Transat A.T. Inc. His forward-thinking business vision — focused on vertical integration — combined with outstanding leadership skills have helped elevate Transat A.T. Inc. to the rank of Canada’s tourism industry leader. With its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company has also become international in scope and one of the world tourism industry’s largest players.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics (1974) from l'Université du Québec à Montréal. He began his career in the tourism industry in 1977 at Tourbec, a travel agency specializing in youth and student tourism, before founding Trafic Voyages — the foundation for the creation of Transat A.T. — in 1982.
Very active in the community, Mr. Eustache sits on the boards of the Cercle des présidents du Québec (network of Quebec CEOs) and the Espace Go theatre group. He sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Tourism Commission from 1998 to 2011. He is also Chair of the Université du Québec à Montréal Foundation.
In 2011, Mr. Eustache was named an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec for his distinguished entrepreneurial career and his efforts to promote Quebec and Canada as tourism destinations. The same year, he also received the first Excellence Award as France-Quebec entrepreneur of the year, presented by the Club des dirigeants d’entreprises franco-québécois (CDEFQ).
In the past, his major contribution to the development of the tourism industry has been honoured with several prestigious awards, including the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame (2008), the 2006 Trophée Grand Ulysse from Tourisme Montréal; Ernst & Young’s 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Quebec; the La Presse daily newspaper’s CEO of the Year award for 2004; the Prix Performance 2000 awarded by the management network of Université du Québec à Montréal; Cubanacan’s 2000 Award of Excellence; World Travel Market’s 1996 Global Award presented in London, England; Transport Canada’s 1992 Award of Excellence; and, the same year, the Industry Distinction award from the Association québécoise des agences de voyages (Quebec chapter of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies).
Jean-Yves Leblanc, Lead Director
Jean-Yves Leblanc is an engineer and has an MBA. He was president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Transportation from 1986 to 2000 and served as chairman of its board from 2001 to 2004. Before filling these positions, he worked as a member of management for Marine Industrie where he served as vice-president, hydro-electric division, and executive vice-president and chief operating officer respectively. Prior to that, from 1973 to 1981, he was vice-president, then president, of Sométal Atlantic Ltée. Mr. Leblanc serves as a director of various corporations including ADS Inc., KUVERA s.a., Pomerleau Inc., Premier Tech Ltd., IPL Inc., Desjardins Securities Inc., Univalor S.E.C., Montreal Heart Institute, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, the Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum.
Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, FCPA, FCA, C. Dir., is Chairman of the Board and CEO as well as majority shareholder of Groupe Desgagnés inc., a private company specialized in marine transportation of general cargo and passengers. A graduate of the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) Mr. Beaulieu also holds a diploma from McMaster University’s corporate governance program, granting him the designation of Chartered Director. Prior to his purchase of Desgagnés in 1987, he occupied the position of director of finance and administration in the company from 1981 to 1987, having worked earlier as an auditor for Mallette, Benoit Boulanger, Rondeau in Québec City.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Beaulieu has served on many boards and audit committees, such as the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES), the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), the Société Immobilière du Québec and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). He also served as president of a number of audit committees, including those of the SAAQ, the CCC and the Standard Compensation Act Liability Association Ltd (SCALA).
He was also member of various organizations, such as the UQAR’s Academic Council, president of the National Marine Industrial Coalition as well as president of the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Maritime and Industrial Coalition. He served as co-president of the Marine Industry Forum with the Québec Minister of Transportation.
Presently he holds a seat on a number of boards of directors, such as that of the SCALA, the Canadian Shipowners Association, the Chamber of Marine Commerce and the Quebec Employers' Council; he is also a member of various organizations and associations such as the Marine Transportation Advisory Council, the Cercle des présidents and the QG-100 network.
Jean Pierre Delisle
Jean Pierre Delisle is a Chartered Accountant, a director and executor of a number of companies and estates. In 1965, Mr. Delisle joined Ernst & Young and became a partner in their tax group in 1974. From 1980 to 1986, he was in charge of the Montréal office's Entrepreneurial Services Group. He has been Vice-president of Groupe Soficorp Inc., where he advised a number of companies in their Initial Public Offering (IPO's) including Transat A.T. Inc. of which he was a director from April 1987 to October 1988 until his return to Ernst & Young in November 1988. Until his retirement in 2000, Mr. Delisle held a number of positions within Ernst & Young including that of Managing partner of the Montreal South Shore and Laval offices. From September to December 2001, Mr. Delisle joined Transat's senior management team as Adviser to the President in the context of the crisis facing the airline industry resulting from the events of September 11th, 2001. Mr. Delisle obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University (Loyola College) and became a member of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec in 1967.
Lina De Cesare
In the mid-1970s, Lina De Cesare's love of travel led her to join the team of Tourbec, a travel agency specializing in youth and student tourism. There, she worked alongside Jean-Marc Eustache and Philippe Sureau, an association that turned out to be decisive, as all three went on, in 1987, to found Transat A.T. Inc. The company is today the Canadian leader and a major international player in the tourism industry.
Ms. De Cesare has played a key role in this tremendous growth. In 1991, she was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat Holidays, which under her direction won numerous industry awards in Canada and abroad and became Canada's foremost tour operator.
In 1999, Ms. De Cesare was appointed Executive Vice-President, Tour Operators, for Transat A.T. In this capacity, she was responsible for developing the presence of the group's member tour operators in France as well as in Canada. Since January 2005, she has directed all of Transat's tour operations - the company's core business - as well as all essential related functions: product development, purchasing from thousands of suppliers in more than 60 countries, inventory management, commercialization, sales and marketing. Her team, distributed throughout eight countries, works in six languages and sells products in Canada and practically all European countries.
Ms. Cesare is involved in humanitarian, philanthropic and cultural causes, both personally and on behalf of Transat. While the company supports organizations and institutions such as Université du Québec à Montréal and Théâtre Espace Go, Ms. De Cesare gives her time to the Centraide/United Way fundraising campaign and other causes to which she is particularly devoted, such as literacy. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Cirque Éloize since April 2008. In October 2008, Ms. De Cesare won a Prix femmes d'affaires du Québec award in the “Manager or Professional, Private Enterprise” category. The annual awards are organized by the Réseau des femmes d’affaires du Québec.
A member of Transat’s Board of Directors since 1987, Ms. De Cesare has served as an advisor to the President and Chief Executive Officer since leaving her executive position with the company.
W. Brian Edwards
W. Brian Edwards is an entrepreneur and founder of BCE Emergis. Under his leadership as CEO from 1988 to 2002, the company grew from a start-up to one of North America’s most successful electronic commerce companies. For ten consecutive years Emergis was named one of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada and also one of the 500 fastest growing companies in America.
In addition to be a Chairman of the Board of Miranda Technologies Inc., Brian Edwards is Chairman of the Board of Biotonix Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of Camoplast Inc and Impath Network.
Brian Edward is very active in the community. He is vice-chairman of the Board of Governor of Concordia University. He is a past president of CATA (Canadian Advanced technology Alliance) and has been very active in Centraide/United Way including being a past Co-Chairman of the Centraide of Greater Montréal campaign.
Brian Edwards lives in Montréal and holds a bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University (Loyola).
Jacques Simoneau is Executive Vice President, Investment of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) since April 2006. As Executive Vice President he is responsible for the venture capital and subordinate financing portfolios. Prior to assuming his current position, he was President and CEO of Hydro-Québec CapiTech Inc, Senior Vice-President of the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec (F.T.Q.) and CEO of Société Innovatech du sud du Québec. He also held executive positions at Advanced Scientific Computing and Alcan. He is a director of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Mr. Simoneau is also a member of the Conseil de la science et de la technologie du Québec and serves on the scientific committee of the Centre québécois de recherche et de développement de l'aluminium and the University of Montréal's Faculty of Medicine's Advisory Committee. He also serves on the boards of Club de Golf de la Vallée du Richelieu Inc and of 9048-6499 Québec Inc. Mr. Simoneau is a mechanical engineer and holds a M.Sc. from Laval University as well as a Ph.D. from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and of Professional Engineers Ontario.
Born in France, Philippe Sureau arrived in Canada in 1977, bringing his already significant experience in the tourism industry. He joined Tourbec, where he worked with Jean-Marc Eustache. Mr. Sureau then helped found and develop several of the companies that banded together to form Transat in 1987. His main role with Transat is overseeing marketing, sales, strategy and external relations. From 1997 to 2000, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Transat, then directed the development of Transat's Internet venture. Today, he heads the distribution side of the company in Canada and France, supervising operations both online and via traditional networks.
Among other contributions, he served as President of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (Quebec chapter) in 1986-87; Chairman of the Air Transport Association of Canada in 1995-96; and member of the Board of Directors of Manoir Richelieu from 1999 to 2005. In April 2005, Mr. Sureau was appointed a member of the Comité consultatif des agents de voyages, an advisory board for travel agents created by the Government of Quebec. Since September 2007, he is also Chair of the Cercle de tourisme du Québec.
A member of Transat’s Board of Directors since 1987, Mr. Sureau has served as an advisor to the President and Chief Executive Officer since leaving his executive position with the company.
John D. Thompson
John D. Thompson is a Corporate Director. Prior to 1995, he was President and CEO of Montreal Trust and Chairman of the Board of RoyNat Inc. Mr. Thompson currently serves on the board of directors and is Chairman of the Audit and Conduct Committees of certain corporations of the Scotia Bank Group, including Montreal Trust Company of Canada, Scotia General Insurance Company, National Trust Company, Scotia Life Insurance Company, Scotia Mortgage Corporation and The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company, the Mortgage Insurance Company of Canada, as well as on Triton Électronique Inc. Mr. Thompson is also a director of the MacDonald Stewart and Windsor foundations and governor of St Mary's Hospital Centre. Mr. Thompson holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from McGill University (1957) and a M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario (1960).
Mr. Wood is President and Chief Executive Officer of DWH Inc., a position he has held since 1973. Since April 2005, he has also been acting as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of GBO Inc. (formerly Le Groupe Bocenor Inc.), for which he also chairs the Executive Committee. Between 1992 and 2001, Mr. Wood acted as President of C-MAC Industries Inc. In addition to his duties as a board member and committee member with Transat A.T., Mr. Wood is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bank Trust where he also chairs the Ethics Committee and serves on the Audit Committee, Victhom Human Bionics Inc. where he chairs the Governance and Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee, Groupe Jean Coutu Inc. where he serves on the Audit Committee and Rite Aid Corp. where he serves on the Compensation Committee. As well, Mr. Wood is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Azimut Exploration Inc. Mr. Wood has an honorary Ph.D. in administration from the Université de Sherbrooke and was awarded the Order of Canada.