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

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 if he/ she is re-nominated. A winner cannot win the award more than once.

Award Criteria

The nominee must be employed by a company that is a corporate or associate member of CADSI who has displayed a commitment to mentoring. The nominator must be someone working or who worked for a CADSI member company in the current or previous calendar year.

The following are examples of the qualities that can contribute to excellence in mentoring:

  • Excellent communication
  • Acts with honesty, integrity, and respect
  • Ability to inspire others
  • Positive attitude, encouraging staff to develop individual talents and strengths
  • Well respected by colleagues at all levels in the organization
  • Creative, innovative, and passionate

* These qualities are listed in no particular order of importance, nor should nominators feel required to focus on these qualities only.

How to Submit a Nomination

The nominator must submit a letter via the online submission tool. In less than 500 words, this letter should outline how the nominee fulfills the required criteria and the reason for their nomination, including how he/she has positively influenced the mentee. The contact information for both the nominator and the nominee must be included in the submission. All nominations will be kept confidential. The submission tool for this year's award will open in spring 2020, with the award being presented at CANSEC 2020.

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.


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