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About Us


Disrupting Defence was built around the need for change in the defence ecosystem. Our military, industry and academia leaders alike, know that now is the time to make it happen.


Driven by change.

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Michael Nelson

Executive Director

Michael Nelson is a 13-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, splitting his service equally between its special forces and capability development communities (Joint C4ISR and Land ISR). He is also an MBA graduate and the founder of CINTIQS, a Military Technology accelerator designed to enable Small-to-Medium sized businesses to not just survive, but thrive, in Canada's defence eco-system.


Through his experiences engaging across the military, industry, and academia, the need for a thought leadership platform designed to challenge the status quo and facilitate open conversations was increasingly clear. ThroughDisrupting Defence, Mike hopes to inspire, connect and empower the next generation of leaders to drive the changes required to solve the most challenging problems surrounding culture, technology and tomorrow's war. 

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Avery Dick

Director of Communications

Avery Dick is a digital marketing and advertising specialist with a background in public relations and event management. She's worked within the defence industry for over five years in marketing strategy for CINTIQS, a military technology company, and its clients. She also has marketing and management experience with large-scale military events, such as CANIC 2019.

With her targeted experience in the highly competitive global defence market, and background working with both veterans and industry leaders, she has first-hand knowledge of the challenges within the industry. Avery is passionate about the Disrupting Defence mission and inspired to spread the message and grow the platform throughout Canada and beyond.

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Our Moderators

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Mark Gasparotto

President of Gasparotto Group

During his highly decorated two decades of military service, Mark served in key leadership roles in international hotspots such as Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Haiti. From commanding small tactical units, to overseeing large, multinational peacekeeping operations, his emphasis on results, teamwork, and effective communications elevated him to the upper ranks of the CAF.

Mark now leverages his strategic and tactical leadership approach to help private and public-sector organizations increase their members’ leadership and resilience, strengthen their teams, enhance their organizational culture, and expand their influence through his company, Gasparotto Group. 

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