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|Mark van Berkel|
Mark van Berkel, General Manager, SD Avionics
Mark van Berkel was the founder and former president and chief executive officer of TrueNorth Avionics, Inc., which was an industry leading company, focused on business aircraft communications for VIP and VVIP aircraft types. As the company President and CEO, Mark lead TrueNorth’s strategy, vision, and overall direction.
TrueNorth was acquired by Satcom Direct in December of 2016 and is now known as SD Avionics which is part of the Satcom Direct group of companies.
Under the new ownership SD Avionics continues to provide the business communications capabilities to the top Fortune 50 companies, global heads of state, and notable high net worth persons. Mark currently is SD Avionics General Manager overseeing the transition for the new owners.
In addition to being the founder of TrueNorth, Mark is also a licensed pilot since 1992 and currently flies a turbine powered Piper M500 aircraft which he owns. He is a licensed Canadian Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and has more than 28 years of experience in the avionics industry.
Prior to founding TrueNorth in 2006, Mark held senior positions in the aviation business division at EMS Technologies (now part of Honeywell), and also at Transport Canada’s Aircraft Services Directorate in Ottawa.
In 2004, Mark saw that there was a growing need within the business aviation community for reliable and yet easy to use business communications solutions that make business aircraft more productive for the passengers. With a deep interest in both the technology and usability of these airborne communications systems he founded TrueNorth to fulfill that need. Mark’s vision for the company was to develop innovative products that make business aircraft operators more productive. A proponent that technology must function as expected, he also recognized that “style and integrating systems into the cabin are important to aircraft owners and operators”.
For over a decade, Mark lead TrueNorth from a start-up and oversaw the growth of nearly 150% in later years. In 2012 the Ottawa Business Journal named TrueNorth Avionics the sixth fastest growing company in Ottawa, and in December 2016 Mark executed the successful sale of TrueNorth Avionics, Inc. to Satcom Direct achieving the goals he set out in 2006 when he founded the company.