MDA announces board and senior executive appointments to enable US Access Plan implementation

VANCOUVER and SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA" or the "Company") (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, is pleased to announce a number of important appointments related to the implementation of its previously announced U.S. Access Plan strategy. The Company remains on track to receive its required security clearances in the fourth quarter 2016, as previously communicated, but no guarantee can be made in this regard.

Previous actions included the establishment of SSL MDA Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, which will serve as the operating company for all MDA businesses, including both the U.S. and Canada. Howard L. Lance, MDA president and chief executive officer, has been appointed chairman, president and chief executive officer of SSL MDA Holdings, Inc., with its headquarters office in San Francisco, CA. Eric Zahler and Lori Garver, members of the MDA board of directors, have been appointed to also serve on the SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. board of directors. In addition, two new outside directors have been appointed.

General C. Robert Kehler (USAF ret.) has been appointed to the SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. board of directors. General Kehler had a distinguished military career with deep focus on U.S. military space strategy and policy. He served as Commander, U.S. Strategic Command; Commander, Air Force Space Command; Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command; Director, National Security Space Integration; and Commander, 21st Space Wing. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1975 as a Distinguished Graduate of the Pennsylvania State University R.O.T.C. program, has master's degrees from the University of Oklahoma in Public Administration and the Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies, and completed executive development programs at Carnegie-Mellon University, Syracuse University and Harvard University. General Kehler retired from active duty in 2013. He continues to apply his expertise as a consultant, corporate director and lecturer.

Joanne O. Isham has also been appointed to the SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. board of directors. Ms. Isham had a distinguished career as a Senior Executive within the U.S. Intelligence Community until her retirement in 2006. She held senior policy and national security space positions, serving as deputy director, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; deputy director, Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency; director, Congressional Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency; and director, Legislative Affairs, National Reconnaissance Office. Subsequently, she held executive positions with BAE Systems, Inc., High Performance Technologies, Inc. and L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. She currently serves as a corporate director and consultant. Ms. Isham received numerous awards during her career, including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, the CIA and NGA Distinguished Intelligence Medals and the DIA Director's Award.

General Kehler and Ms. Isham will be appointed to the MDA board of directors at its next scheduled meeting in October.

Howard L. Lance, president and chief executive officer of MDA and chairman, president and chief executive officer of SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. commented, "We are very fortunate to have Bob Kehler and Joanne Isham joining our board of directors. Their skills, experience and advice will be invaluable as we implement our U.S Access Plan strategy to more effectively serve the U.S. Government space markets and customers."

Bob Phillips, chairman of MDA said, "I am thrilled to have Bob and Joanne joining our board of directors. Their backgrounds are ideal to complement the skills of our existing directors and assist in the work we have ahead of us to successfully grow MDA."

In addition, MDA announced the following executive appointments at SSL MDA Holdings, Inc.

William D. McCombe has been appointed senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer at SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. Mr. McCombe joined MDA at the corporate office in 2014 as senior vice president, strategy and finance. In December 2014, Mr. McCombe was named senior vice president, finance and legal at SSL. In his new role, Mr. McCombe will be responsible for all finance and accounting functions across all the operations of the corporation, including staff at our various business locations in the U.S. and Canada. Mr. McCombe is a graduate of the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics and Accounting and a Bachelor of Law degree, with Honors. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Columbia University. Previously, he was managing director, Mergers and Acquisitions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2002-2013, and managing director, Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley from 1984-2002.

Anil Wirasekara will continue to serve as executive vice president and chief financial officer of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., the public company, based at its new corporate office in Vancouver, B.C.

Michelle D. Kley has been appointed senior vice president, chief legal and compliance officer, and secretary at SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. Ms. Kley joined SSL in 2012 as associate general counsel and was promoted to vice president of legal at SSL in 2015. In her new role, Ms. Kley will be responsible for all legal, contracts, export control and compliance functions across the corporation, including staff at our various business locations in the U.S. and Canada. Ms. Kley is a graduate of Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honors, in psychology. She earned her J.D. degree at the University of California Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall). Following law school she worked as a Corporate Associate for several leading law firms in San Francisco including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. and Morrison & Foerster LLP. Ms. Kley is admitted to practice law in the State of California and the District of Columbia.

Bruce W. Stephenson has been appointed senior vice president, chief strategy and corporate development officer at SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. Mr. Stephenson is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Studies and Economics. He earned a Master's degree in Applied Economics at the University of Central Florida and a Master of Business Administration degree with Distinction from the Harvard Business School. Mr. Stephenson has experience across both commercial and government markets. He was a partner at Bain & Company, a global consulting firm, since 2000. Mr. Stephenson collaborated with senior executives in the global aerospace and defense sector and other industries to develop and implement growth strategies, assess and integrate acquisitions, and implement performance improvement initiatives. Mr. Stephenson was an active duty U.S. Air Force officer from 1988-1998, serving in military space leadership roles at the National Reconnaissance Office, 45th Space Wing, and 2nd Space Operations Squadron. Following his active duty career, he continued to serve as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve until his retirement in 2012, focusing on space systems acquisitions, architectures and policy.

Andrea R. Bortner has been appointed senior vice president and chief human resources officer at SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. Ms. Bortner will be responsible for all human resources activities across the corporation including human resources management systems and processes, talent recruitment and development, compensation and benefits, diversity and communications across the U.S., Canada and our other locations around the world. Most recently she was CHRO at Catalina since 2012. She held senior human resources positions at Harris Corporation from 2005-2012, including as the human resources executive for its government communications systems business and as head of global talent solutions. Previously, she was a consultant with Insight into Action, providing executive coaching and customized training for clients in the public and private sectors. Earlier in her career she held human resources roles at Gap, PepsiCo, and Groupe Schneider. Ms. Bortner is a graduate of Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational psychology. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California.

Donald R. Schaefer has been appointed president at MDA Information Systems LLC, our Proxy company based in Gaithersburg, MD. MDA IS LLC is a leading provider of geospatial information services to the U.S. Government and commercial customers. Mr. Schaefer is an experienced U.S. Government programs executive with knowledge and access across the Department of Defense, Intelligence and Civilian agencies. Since 2011, he has been vice president at Noblis, a provider of research and engineering to clients in Federal and State government. Previously, from 2009-2011, he served as a partner at Blue Canopy LLC, providing systems engineering solutions across various Intelligence agencies as well as the Department of Homeland Security and other Civilian agencies. From 1994-1999 and 2001-2009, Mr. Schaefer served as senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, leading business development and program management for the U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence agencies. He began his career as an Intelligence Analyst with the U.S. Navy. Mr. Schaefer is a graduate of Chaminade University with a bachelor's degree in business administration, with honors.

Howard L. Lance, president and chief executive officer of MDA and chairman, president and chief executive officer of SSL MDA Holdings, Inc. commented, "I want to congratulate Bill, Michelle, Bruce, Andrea and Don on their appointments. We are building a strong senior leadership team, with the required breadth and depth of skills and experience to take MDA to the next level of performance. The US Access Plan strategy will enable the pursuit of new U.S. government contracts to provide communications and information technology for classified space programs at the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and various U.S. Intelligence agencies. The senior leadership team's combination of commercial and government acumen will allow us to effectively penetrate these new markets and build on our past successes."

Additional information on the senior executive team and board of directors can be found at our website www.mdacorporation.com.

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.

MDA's business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.

MDA's established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 13 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "MDA."

Related Websites

www.mdacorporation.com

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA" or the "Company") with respect to future events and financial performance.  The forward-looking statements in this regard include statements regarding the pursuit of certain government contracts and related regulatory clearances.  Any such forward-looking statements are based on MDA's current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. The factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, contracts with any government agency not being terminated.  Any such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. MDA cautions readers that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include, but are not limited to: changes in government regulations, priorities, mandates, policies, funding levels and contracts.

For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, plus additional risks or factors, reference should be made to the Company's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, which are available online under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com  or on the Company's website at www.mdacorporation.com.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.

SOURCE MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

For further information: Wendy Keyzer, MDA External Relations, (604) 231-2743, wendy@mdacorporation.com

RELATED LINKS
http://www.mda.ca

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