Management Team

 

VIA Rail’s executive team is comprised of individuals who demonstrate integrity, diligence, and know-how. Through their leadership and expertise, they help VIA Rail achieve its vision of being a smarter way to move people.

 

Martin R Landry

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

 

Martin R Landry was named VIA Rail’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer in June 2022. In this role he is responsible for implementing VIA Rail’s vision and strategic plan while managing its daily operations and ensuring the health and safety of passengers and employees.

Prior to joining VIA Rail, Mr. Landry spent 30 years with IBM where he led business units in Canada, the United States and Europe. During his time at IBM, Mr. Landry held various executive leadership positions, among those roles he was global lead strategist in the utility and energy sectors.

Mr. Landry joined VIA Rail in 2014 as Chief Commercial Officer charged with overseeing all activities relating to business development, including revenue management, sales and strategic partnerships, commercial planning, marketing and communications, customer experience (including the VIA Customer Centre), as well as product and service design. In this role he became the architect of the customer-centric model that led to an impressive increase in ridership of 32 % between 2014 and 2019, a record year with over 5 million passengers and revenues of $400 million.

Mr. Landry’s is a seasoned executive with extensive experience leading large, multidisciplinary teams. That background, along with his commitment to a customer-centric approach, is setting the stage for VIA Rail’s full-scale modernization program. He was the driving force in the successful delivery of VIA Rail’s Corridor Fleet Replacement Program, leading the project from procurement to delivery.

Mr. Landry is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with an honour’s degree in Finance. He has served on the board of the Computer Research Institute of Montreal (CRIM) and currently serves on the board of the Centaur Theatre Company.

 

Marie-Claude Cardin, CPA, CA

Chief Financial Officer

 

Ms. Cardin joined VIA Rail in March 2021. As Chief Financial Officer, she oversees the organization’s financial administration, including its internal and external financial reports, budgets and controls, internal and external audits, corporate purchasing, and pension investment plan. As part of her mandate, Ms. Cardin contributes to the corporate planning process and ensures the integrity and accuracy of our financial processes, results, and reports. She works closely with the Corporation’s internal and external auditors and supports the Board of Directors' Audit and Finance Committee.

Prior to joining VIA Rail, Ms. Cardin held the title of Vice-President and Head, Finance and Administration at PSP Investments. In this role, she managed the Corporate Finance, Investment Finance, and Administrative Services teams, whose responsibilities included financial reporting, budgeting, investment accounting, monitoring financial performance, and more. Ms. Cardin has also occupied highly strategic roles in finance at Rio Tinto Alcan, the National Bank of Canada and Desjardins Group.

Ms. Cardin has bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières and is a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (Quebec CPA Order), holding the CPA, CA designation.

 

Bruno Cacciola

Chief Business Transformation Officer

 

Mr. Cacciola joined VIA Rail in 2020 as the Vice President, New Fleet Program. In this capacity, Bruno lead the team responsible for the deployment and the entry into service of VIA Rail’s new corridor fleet. In November of 2021, he assumed the role of Chief Business Transformation Officer. He is responsible for the execution of VIA Rail’s Transformational Programs as well as the Information Technology Group. The Business Transformation Office is a key contributor to the modernization and transformation strategy of VIA Rail.

Prior to joining VIA Rail, he held various senior management positions at CAE and Bombardier Transportation. While at CAE, he was responsible for several Engineering teams and also held senior roles in Product Management and Strategy, and Bids and Proposals. At Bombardier Transportation, he was Vice President for Movia Products which included all global Metro programs and was also responsible for the digital product strategy.

Bruno Cacciola holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as an MBA, both from McGill University. He is also a graduate of the John Molson School of Business Executive Certified Management Accounting Program. He is a member of l’Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and l’Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec.

 

Martine Rivard

Chief Employee Experience Officer

 

Ms. Rivard joined VIA Rail in February 2021. As Chief Employee Experience Officer, she oversees employee relations, total compensation, organizational development, talent acquisition, and training and development. Ms. Rivard is responsible for developing and implementing efficient human resources strategies that facilitate the fulfillment of VIA Rail’s corporate objectives. In her role, she is also a key contributor to VIA Rail’s overall employee experience and employer brand.

Prior to joining VIA Rail, Ms. Rivard occupied many highly strategic leadership roles in human resources and industrial relations. With a professional career spanning some 30 years, notably as a member of senior management committees for international companies in the investment, manufacturing and service sectors, such as The CSL Group (Canadian Steamship Line) and Air Liquide Canada, she plays an important role building winning partnerships with the organization’s internal and external stakeholders.

Ms. Rivard has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations from Université de Montréal, with a minor in Mathematics.

 

Rita Toporowski

Chief Customer Officer

 

Ms. Toporowski joined VIA Rail in November 2014, first as General Manager for Central Canada and then as Vice-President, Customer Experience. In August 2022, she was promoted to Chief Customer Officer. In this capacity, she oversees all activities related to our customers' journey from booking to destination, and to their experience on board our trains and in our stations. Her mandate entails providing overall direction and strategic leadership to the customer-focused teams, including the development of new business opportunities and initiatives relative to marketing, product, and customer service.

Prior to joining VIA Rail, Ms. Toporowski was Vice-President, Corporate Planning and Development, at Second Cup where she was responsible for leading the Strategic Planning process; cross-functional process improvement; procurement and supply chain; and the development and negotiation of new product channels. She also spent 16 years at Air Canada where she held various senior positions, including President of Air Canada Vacations and Senior Director Six Sigma.

Ms. Toporowski holds an MBA from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from McGill University.

 

Jean-François Legault

Chief Legal & Risk Officer

 

Mr. Legault served as Chief Legal & Risk Officer from 2014 to 2021, and again since October 2022. As such, he is responsible for the Corporation’s governance, secretariat, and all legal matters related to VIA Rail’s operations. He also oversees the management of its rail safety compliance as well as the implementation of its enterprise risk management and insurance claims program.

Prior to joining VIA Rail, Mr. Legault practiced law for several years in Montréal and held a number of senior leadership roles in the corporate legal sphere, including serving as Vice-President, Legal Affairs at Bell Canada and Gildan Activewear, and as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Transat. He possesses a wide range of experience with respect to corporate legal services and management of compliance, including governance, litigation management, contracts, acquisitions and divestitures, with particular expertise in the provision of legal advice aligned to corporate strategies and objectives.

Mr. Legault obtained his law degree (LL.B) at the University of Ottawa, and is a member of the Barreau du Québec.