About Paddy O'Donnell

Diminutive in physical stature, Paddy was truly a giant in the Canadian Armed Forces family, the Royal Canadian Air Force more specifically, and the Canadian defence industry community. The former chairman of the Canadian Defence Industries Association, the forerunner organization to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), Paddy had a long and special relationship with CADSI and the Canadian defence industry.

Paddy began his Air Force career as a navigator, reaching the commanding heights of the Canadian Armed Forces as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in the early 1990s. He was that rare leader who is remembered as much for his mentorship of younger officers as for his many professional accomplishments both in and out of uniform. A graduate of Queen’s University (Economics), the Royal Air Force Staff College and the NATO Defence College (Rome), Paddy’s incisive, strategic mind, depth of knowledge and sharp wit made a huge impact on our community.

About the Award

The Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award presented by CADSI, will honour a Canadian defence or security business mentor recognized for having provided valuable advice and support to the next generation of industry leaders. The Award winner will have contributed to the personal and professional growth of one or more emerging leader within a CADSI member company.

Completed nominations should be submitted via the online submission tool. The contact information for the nominator and nominee should also be included. Complete submissions should be completed by April 27, 2018. Judging will be complete by May 20, 2018. The winner will be announced at CANSEC 2018 in Ottawa at a ceremony before industry leaders. All nominations will be kept confidential.

The Award Review Committee will be announced soon.

About the Prize

  • A CADSI representative will present the nominator and mentor with a plaque, recognizing the winner as the recipient of the Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award, at a meal at CANSEC.
  • Mention by CADSI in communications materials (e.g. press release or CADSI social media channels, background information about the winner’s accomplishments).

About the Award Criteria & How to Submit a Nomination

The nominee (i.e. the mentor) must be nominated by someone working or who worked for a CADSI member company in the current or previous calendar year. The nominee must be employed by a company that is a corporate or associate member of CADSI. Depending on the nominations received, the Award Review Committee may decide not to present the award in a given year. Past applicants who did not win may be considered in subsequent years, but must be re-nominated. A winner cannot win the award more than once.

The nominator must submit a letter of support of no more than 500 words outlining the reasons for the nomination. This could include how the nominee fulfills the below criteria for this award and how he/she has positively influenced the mentee. Completed nominations should be submitted via the online submission tool. The contact information for the nominator and nominee should also be included. Complete submissions should be completed by April 27, 2018. This year’s award will be presented at CANSEC 2018.

The following are examples of the qualities and practices that can contribute to excellence in mentoring. They are listed in no particular order of importance and a mentor need not display all of these qualities:

  • Involved in the defence and security industry, who demonstrates excellence in mentoring
  • Outstanding in supporting, encouraging, and promoting education, professional and personal development
  • Mentored one or more individuals in the defence and security industry
  • Facilitates staff in acquiring the skills and resources needed to succeed as a professional
  • Provides support in administrative and professional matters
  • Demonstrates concern and support of the personal development of their staff
  • Sponsor for staff in the professional community
  • Successful role model
  • Long-term commitment to mentoring
  • Encourages staff to develop individual talents and strengths by acting as an advisor and guide in research


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For further information

For further information or assistance, please contact Steven Hillier at 613-235-5337 ex 22 or e-mail

Note: Attendance at all CANSEC events is restricted to CADSI members and government (federal, provincial, municipal, foreign) personnel only.