Colonel (ret’d) Chris Lythgo, CD, was confirmed as Chair of the Commissionaires National Board at the Annual General Meeting, June 2019. He brings extensive leadership and management experience to the Federation with 31 years of military service, eight years as Vice President Technical Services with BC Transit (a provincial crown corporation), and 15 as head of Seajay Consulting Ltd.
Lythgo began his military career in 1964 under the Regular Officer Training Program while attending Royal Roads Military College. He enrolled in the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers, which lead him to several career deployments, the first of which occurred shortly after his graduation in 1968. He went on to serve on several operational tours overseas with NATO in Europe, and with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and at the Central Army Group HQ. In 1989, he was appointed Commander of OP Decimal, the Mine Awareness and Clearance Training Plan for Afghan refugees in the United Nations Office for Coordination of Afghanistan.
The development of Lythgo’s leadership and management skills can be attributed to his numerous commanding positions held between 1971 and 1989. His commands included, Deputy Commanding Officer 3 Field Squadron, CFB Chilliwack (1971), 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, Special Service Force, CFB Petawawa (1978), Base Technical Services Branch, CFB Chilliwack (1981). Lythgo earned his MBA from Queen’s University in 1986.
Other career highlights include directing Staff at the Land Forces Command and Staff College, becoming Chief Engineer of the Canadian Army, and serving in the Verification Support Staff where he assisted in developing verification provisions for the implementation of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.
In addition to his impressive professional experience, Lythgo spent a great deal of time giving back to the organizations that had served him throughout his career. He sat on the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada, is a past president of the National Executive of the Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada (Alumni Association), and is currently the Chairman of the Board of BC Rapid Transit Company and West Coast Express.
Prior to becoming National Chair, Lythgo served on the board of our British Columbia Division from 2013 through 2019, including a term as its Chair from 2017 through 2019.
Paul Guindon assumed the role of Chair of the Commissionaires National Business Management Committee (NBMC) in June 2018, where he represents and leads a nation-wide alliance of 15 Commissionaires CEOs. The committee’s focus is to find new and better ways of doing business in response to increased security threats, new standards and laws, continuous technological advances, and greater expectations for training and services.
This is Paul’s second tenure as Chair of the NBMC. He also served in that role from 2008 to 2013 before transitioning to Chair of the National Steering Committee for Non-Core Policing.
Paul is a highly accomplished security professional with over 47 years of combined military, leadership and executive experience. He served more than 33 years in the Royal Canadian Navy, where he commanded HMCS Ville de Quebec, the Fifth Canadian Maritime Operations Group and the Canadian Fleet Atlantic. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax and le collège interarmées de défense in Paris. He also completed the Advanced Military Studies Course at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto.
In 2004, Paul launched his second career as CEO of Commissionaires Ottawa. Within the first decade, the Ottawa Division tripled in size under his leadership, emerging as one of Ottawa’s largest private employers and a repeat Consumer Choice Award winner for business excellence.
Today, Commissionaires Ottawa employs about 4,000 security professionals who provide services at hundreds of locations in the National Capital Region, the Ottawa Valley, throughout Northern Ontario and also in parts of Southwestern Ontario.
In the community, Paul is Past President and a current member of the Association of Professional Security Agencies (APSA). He is also a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) and various other security, military and governmental associations.
Mark Watson joined Commissionaires as Chief of Staff in July 2020. Mr. Watson’s responsibilities include progressing the Federation’s social mandate, assisting in the implementation of the Federation’s strategic plan, and facilitating interaction and information sharing among the 15 member Divisions. He is accountable to the National Board.
Mark was a career naval officer. He retired in 2019 after three and a half decades of military service, having reached the rank of as a commodore and senior logistics officer in the Royal Canadian Navy.
His leadership and out of the box thinking earned him numerous commanding positions including CEO of Non-Public Funds - a separate operating agency of the government, Chief Logistics Advisor – African Union Mission in Sudan, Executive Director – Canadian Forces Liaison Council with the Department of National Defence, Director General Compensation and Benefits, Director Maritime Material Operation Support, and J 4 Canada Command with the Canadian Armed Forces.
In addition to his professional experience, Mark holds a BA in History and Political Science, a Masters of War Studies, a Masters of Defence Studies, all from the Royal Military College of Canada, and an MBA from Saint Mary’s University. He’s an accomplished author with eight publications, and was awarded the Canadian 125 Medal, the Operational Support Medal, the Canadian Peacekeepers Medal, The NATO Medal with Former Yugoslavian Bar, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.