Leadership Team

Executive Team

Andrea Baptiste – President and CEO

Andrea Baptiste is the President and CEO of Benbria. She has twenty years of experience in the communications industry, most recently as co-founder and CEO of Atreus Systems which was acquired by Sonus Networks in 2008. Andrea has established a solid track record in revenue generation, building teams, and delivering quality products quickly and profitably. A seasoned executive in telecommunications networking and mobile communications, Andrea has held management positions at Cambrian Systems, CrossKeys Systems, TeleSat Mobile and Newbridge Networks. Andrea holds a B.A.Sc. (Honours, Applied Science in Electrical Engineering) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and has achieved accreditation as a Professional Engineer of Ontario.

Shail Paliwal – COO & CFO

Shail brings over 25 years of experience to Benbria, the past 21 of which have been in senior leadership roles. He has demonstrated success in leading operations, raising capital, completing strategic partnerships and acquisitions, and building and leading finance teams. He has previously served in executive leadership positions at several technology companies including Energate, OZ Optics, Potentia Semiconductor (acquired by Power Integrations in 2006), Esion Networks, Extreme Packet Devices (acquired by PMC-Sierra in 2000), OCRI and The Trison Group. Shail is a Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Mason Du – Chief Product Officer

Mason Du is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer where he leads engineering and product teams for BlazeCast, Loop and other product lines. Mason brings extensive product expertise to Benbria and is responsible for the technical vision and core product delivery. Prior to founding Benbria, Mason has held engineering and product management positions at Microsoft headquarter, Microsoft Shanghai, Deloitte and Electronic Arts. He's educated at Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and University of Waterloo. Mason is humbled to be recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year finalist by Ernst & Young and Top 40 Under 40 by Ottawa Business Journal.

Ronald Richardson – Vice President, Product Management and Co-Founder

Ronald Richardson is the Vice President of Product Management and Co-Founder of Benbria. Ronald has contributed to all aspects of the business through Benbria’s growth, from software implementation to corporate financing rounds. With a rich career history covering finance, platform technology, and software start-ups, Ronald has held positions at Barclays Capital in Strategic Modelling and Rates Trading, Intel in Design Engineering, and SlipStream Data (acquired by RIM) in Software Architecture. Ronald holds a B.S.E. (Bachelors of Software Engineering, with Distinction) from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Board of Directors

Terry Matthews – Chairman of the Board

Sir Terence Matthews is the founder and Chairman of Wesley Clover, an investment vehicle and holding company. Terry has either founded or funded over 80 companies since 1972 including Newbridge Networks, a company he founded in 1986 and which became a leader in the worldwide data networking industry. In 1972, before launching Newbridge, Terry co-founded Mitel, a world leader in the design and manufacture of enterprise communications solutions. Wesley Clover now has interests in a broad range of next-generation technology companies, real estate, hotels and resorts.

In addition to being the Chairman of Wesley Clover, Terry is also Chairman or Director of a number of private and publicly traded companies.

Terry holds an honours degree in electronics from the University of Wales and is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 1994, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was awarded a Knighthood. In 2011, he was appointed Patron of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute.

Don Smith – Board Member

Don Smith has more than 30 years of experience in the communications technology industry, including more than six years at Mitel Corporation from 1979 to 1986 where he was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President in 1981 with global responsibility for sales and marketing. Following his career at Mitel Corporation, he became President of AIT Corporation. He successfully took AIT public in 1993. In 1996 Don founded and was president and CEO of Cambrian Systems Corporation. In December 1998 Cambrian Systems was acquired by Nortel Networks Corporation and from then until 2000, Smith was VP and General Manager of OPTera Solutions, a division of Nortel. In January 2000, Smith was promoted to President of Optical Internet at Nortel. Don served as the Chief Executive Officer of Mitel Networks Corp., from 2001 to 2011. He Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Imperial College, London University (U.K.).


Jean-Paul Cossart – Board Member

After graduating at the Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité in Paris, Jean-Paul Cossart began his professional career at Alcatel, where he was Design Engineer, then Product Manager and Marketing Director. He subsequently took up various sales, marketing and business development positions at France Telecom. In the course of his career, Jean-Paul Cossart’s experience has spanned carrier, corporate and consumer markets; telephony, data/internet and broadcast services; international development, global sales and marketing. He previously served on the board of Mitel Networks, the Financial Network Association and was a member of venture teams for the creation of Eunetcom, Atlas and Global One. Jean-Paul serves on the Board of Directors of Dragonwave, Inc., the Institute of Directors (France), and the Mitel European Advisory Board.

Peter Cleveland – Board Member

Peter Cleveland is the former managing Partner and Senior Vice-President of Ernst & Young LLP. He has in excess of 32 years’ experience serving clients with strategic and business advice as well as financial restructuring plans and has applied this expertise within the Firm’s Ottawa office by serving the past nine years as Office Managing Partner. Under his leadership, Ernst & Young Ottawa has enjoyed substantial growth and has continued its pursuit of excellence in all aspects of client service. Peter’s expertise crosses all aspects of the firm's accounting, insolvency and, in the past, consulting practices. He has extensive experience assisting companies with business plans, strategic planning and management issues. Working with senior management, Peter assists clients in establishing a strong direction for the future and developing a specific implementation plan to achieve the goals.Peter is the founder of the Telfer School's Leadership Forum.

Advisory Board

Neil McPhail

Senior Vice President, Head of Stores, Maurices
(Past: Senior Vice President, GM, Best Buy)

Glen Helton

President, VooDoo BBQ & Grill
(Past: Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Burger King)

Ashok Shah

Founder-Managing Partner, CEPS Consulting
(Past: VP Alcatel-Lucent, HP)

Ron Pillar

CEO and Founder, Pillar Capital Advisors
(Past: Managing Director, J.P. Morgan, Sagent Advisors)

Dayna Kully

Partner, 5thGenWireless
(Past: AT&T, Nortel, Mitel)

Dr. Walt Magnussen

CTO, Director IT, Texas A&M University