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: Dale Kirsch
Dale Kirsch, is a proud grandfather to two incredibly cute granddaughters. They are the only thing more important to him than aviation.
Professionally Dale runs his own company that is involved in sales and marketing in the sporting goods industry in Western Canada. He has received numerous sales awards from the companies that he represents. He has served on industry boards and other boards in areas that he has an interest in.
Dale received his private pilot’s license at the age of 19 and purchased his first aircraft at 20. By 23, he held an instrument rating, which he has maintained until this day. Having his own aircraft, has been a beneficial accessory for both his professional and personal life for nearly 45 years.
He participated as a CARES pilot during their formative years, and has flown extensively throughout North America, from the Arctic Ocean to the Cayman Islands, and many places in between. He has visited almost all 13 provinces and territories by private aircraft, except for PEI and NFLD where he accepted the opportunity to enjoy a commercial flight. He has an immense appreciation for this great country, and the vast cultural differences that makes each of us unique.
Dale spent years flying Radio Control Aircraft, and volunteered countless hours teaching hundreds of adults and youth, the fundamentals of flying R/C airplanes and helicopters. This background could prove invaluable as we move into RPAS activities within CASARA.
He returned to Air Search and Rescue 17 years ago, dedicating his volunteer time exclusively to CASARA. He proudly achieved certification in all positions but has remained an active CASARA Pilot for over 15 years. He has piloted numerous actual SAR events during the day, and a surprising number at night.
At the Leadership level, Dale was the CASARA Zone Commander in Edmonton for 8 years, and Alberta President for the past 7 years. He has been on the CASARA National board, as Alberta Director and Deputy Director for 7 years before his election as President, CASARA National in May 2021.
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.