CENGN Says Goodbye to 3 of Its Founding Board Members

As of September 21, three of our founding board members have departed after reaching a 7-year term with CENGN.

Since its beginning in 2016, CENGN helped 145 Canadian startups and scale-ups push their technology solutions to market, advanced the careers of 258 students, provided technical training to 1977 network technology professionals, and enabled internet access to multiple communities in northern/rural Ontario.

We’ve done a lot and couldn’t have done it without our Board of Directors.

Thank you for contributing to our mission and helping us achieve all our goals. Without your help, all the communities, businesses, professionals, students, and Canadians we’ve assisted would not be where they are today.

Your work will have a lasting impact on CENGN as it continues to drive tech innovation across the country and support Canadians in need.

As such, we’d like to say thank you to these three committed board members, including:

Matt Pearson



Matt is the Technology Sector Leader for Ernst & Young’s SR&ED and Business Incentives practice. His team assists a wide range of technology-based companies find new financing for their R&D activities in Canada. Dr. Pearson has extensive experience in the design, characterization, manufacturing, and marketing of highly integrated components for next-generation networks. Prior to EY, Matt was Vice President, Technology at Enablence Technologies, a telecommunications company that he co-founded and helped to bring public on the TSX-V exchange. He previously served as Senior Optoelectronics Engineer in the Photonic Technology Operations at Intel Corporation in California. He holds a B.Sc. in Honours Physics & Mathematics from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Physics from McMaster University.

Matt was the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee and his contributions to CENGN’s mission and vision will never go unnoticed. His dedication and determination to CENGN was outstanding.

“CENGN has made tremendous progress over the past seven years, and it has been a pleasure to play even a small role in that success.  We have been continually evolving the Audit and Finance Committee over the years to ensure it is more than capable of governing the tremendous growth at CENGN.  The organization is uniquely positioned with the expertise, equipment, and mandate to help further grow the innovation landscape and bring next-generation networks to even more Canadians, and I am grateful to have been a part of that for so many years.”

Joe Hickey



Joe’s career has spanned over 25 years, with roles in Canada, US and India and business in over 40 countries around the world.  Joe has always been an innovator in whatever role he has held. His career started with Northern Telecom after he graduated from Engineering at Mechanical Engineering.  After he finished his Executive MBA at the University of Toronto, Joe joined Nortel’s first IP business unit and moved from business development to mergers and acquisitions.  After completing $700M in acquisitions Joe move to California to join the Shasta Networks business and became the youngest Vice President and General Manager in Nortel.

After Nortel, Joe became CEO of two Venture Funded startups both of which were later acquired. After this, Joe moved to India as the SVP Customer Relations for ACME Telepower transforming the company from a product sales-focused to a managed services business winning a major contract with Aircel worth $400M. After returning to Canada Joe joined Ultra Electronics in a Global VP Business Development and Marketing role where he was responsible for a $650M Contract with the US Army and the lead in the creation of a next-generation radio product, now known as Orion. After Ultra, Joe joined a small family-owned business Christie Walther Communications where he turned the company into a profitable, award-winning company including becoming the first Canadian Dealer for Motorola to win their Global Customer Excellence Award in 2015.  After the acquisition of the company, Joe embarked full-time in running ROCK Networks.

Joe Hickey is the founder and majority shareholder of ROCK Networks Inc.

Headquartered in Ottawa with a name based on his native province of Newfoundland, ROCK is an end-to-end communications systems integrator with a variety of wireless and broadband solutions. The firm has over 40 employees with locations in Ottawa, Ontario; Lethbridge, Alberta; St. John’s, Newfoundland; Dartmouth and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Moncton, New Brunswick.

ROCK Networks ranked #1 on the 2019 Fastest Growing Companies list in Ottawa with 3-year growth of over 5000%.

Joe has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an Executive MBA from the University of Toronto.

Joe’s devotion to CENGN and its mission was impressive. We thank him for his contributions as CENGN wouldn’t be what it is today without him.

“I am honoured to have served as a founding board member of CENGN and to have been a part of its mission of driving technology innovation and industry growth from the very beginning. As Chair of the Governance and Nomination Committee, we recruited a new CEO, Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as various board members to ensure that CENGN is a key part of the technology landscape in Canada well into the future. In only a few years, CENGN has evolved into a national organization at the centre of next-generation networking innovation. I am proud of all the success we have achieved, and I hope that the Ontario and federal governments continue to invest in such a critical organization for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Peter Wilenius



Peter brings to CANARIE more than 30 years of executive responsibility for strategic planning, global marketing, business development, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions. Peter has extensive experience in guiding emerging technology companies in business planning, channel development and marketing strategies. He has launched a number of new products and managed large strategic relationships for public companies such as March Networks Corporation and for bio-medical startups such as Biopeak Corp and XiTec Inc.

At CANARIE he leads corporate strategy and new initiatives which advance the organization’s service and program initiatives that enable Canada’s research, education and innovation sectors to compete on the global stage.

Peter holds a B.A. Honours (Economics) from Carleton University and an M.B.A from Queen’s University.

At CENGN, Peter was an active member and passionate about CENGN’s success. He sat on the Audit & Finance Committee, Executive Committee, and Governance & Nomination Committee – helping lead CENGN to what it is today. 

“CENGN plays a critical role within Canada’s innovation ecosystem by providing world-class expertise in advanced networking technologies that enable digital transformation of key economic sectors. In a few short years, the organization has assembled a highly skilled team and an innovation platform that are second to none. It has been a tremendous pleasure to participate in CENGN’s formative stages and maturation, from an idea to a key strategic resource for Canada’s knowledge economy.”

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About the Author

Being the Content Marketing Lead at CENGN, Richard researches and shares information on emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence.

Through his experience in writing and support for technological growth, he’s always interested in sharing how new technologies are shaping the lives of fellow Canadians.

More by Richard Galazzo

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