Your Leadership Team

Emad Rizkalla

Founder & CEO

Danny Penton

Operating Officer

Kelly Simms

VP, Operations

Charmaine Freake

VP, Account Management

Meg Sulpher

VP, Learning Solutions

Tom Loder

VP, Sales

Dave Weir

VP, Software Development

Donal Mac An Ri

Architechture Team Lead

Chris Sharpe

Product Manager

Mimi Sheriff

Director, Strategic Accounts
& Social Impact

Shawn Ryan

Director, Marketing &
Market Dev

Emad Rizkalla
Founder & CEO

Emad Rizkalla is a serial entrepreneur and recognized thought leader in the convergence of technology and learning… and how to leverage human capital in ways that develop people, organizations and economies. He is a global speaker about these topics and socio-economic issues that he is passionate about. 

Emad co-founded the predecessor to Bluedrop in 1992 while still an engineering student. Before he was 30, Emad was recognized in the Globe & Mail’s Top 40 under 40 and profiled in a TIME magazine cover story showcasing eight “young dynamic entrepreneurs who will create the 21st Century.” 

Emad has been an active member of many national committees and task forces. He has chaired several not-for-profit boards and sits on an advisory Board for the National Research Council. In 2013, he was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. 

He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University. He has two energetic sons who wear him out, had no grey hair four years ago, loves to laugh (even at times he really shouldn’t) and has an unhealthy obsession with palm trees. 

As an immigrant to Canada, Emad is keen to pay forward the kindness, opportunities and many blessings he has received.

Danny Penton
Chief Operating Officer

Danny is a seasoned strategic and financial executive with more than 20 years of experience in the software, information technology and professional services industries. Danny is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA CA) who started his career with Deloitte and spent 9 years working in Bermuda but also enjoying the sun, sand and island life with his wife and young family. In addition to his time at Deloitte, Danny has also worked with large global organizations Imperva and Appleby, as well as smaller tech startups Plato Consulting and Camouflage Software Inc.

Over Danny’s career, he has held senior roles in multiple corporate transactions including mergers, acquisitions, IPO’s and was the CFO for two successful tech company exits, Plato Consulting to KPMG (2013) and Camouflage Software to Imperva (2016).

When Danny is not wearing his Bluedrop hat he can usually be found at a hockey rink or baseball field coaching his son and daughter.

Kelly Simms
VP Operations

Kelly is a passionate, certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 15 years of experience with a focus on operations. With a background in both Project Management and creative design, Kelly brings a unique, cross-functional perspective and experience spanning multiple industries. She is a proven leader and collaborator, who champions building strong relationships and open communication. 

Born in Corner Brook and raised in St. John’s, Kelly began her career as a designer with PHB Group (now Stantec Inc.). She earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) designation in 2012 after graduating from the Gardiner Centre’s MCPM program at Memorial University, holding PM positions with PHB Group and Colliers Project Leaders. Currently, she is the Vice President, Operations with Bluedrop Learning Networks in St. John’s, NL.

Athletics have always been a core part of Kelly’s life. A competitive rower and runner, she is now focused on becoming a wannabe competitive CrossFit athlete, most recently competing and placing in The Rock Games.

When not wearing her headset or throwing around barbells, Kelly is also a proud (and busy) mother of three wonderful children and can often be found adventuring in the great outdoors with her family and two dogs.

Charmaine Freake
VP Account Management

Charmaine joined the Bluedrop team after 15 years of working in the technology sector. She has extensive international business experience working with Customers and Fortune 500 companies across Canada, the United States, Central America and Asia. She has proven talent for managing full-service delivery relationships with multi-facet customers such as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon; providing world-class customer satisfaction.

Charmaine is deeply committed to customer success and focuses on supporting customer development, deployment, and ongoing success with Bluedrop’s SkillsPass platform to offer ongoing credential and compliance management.

Charmaine completed a Bachelor of Arts degree accompanied by a Criminology certificate at Memorial University as well as a Master’s program in Information Technology at Dalhousie University.

Meg Sulpher
VP Learning Services

Meg is a learning and development professional who specializes in the creation of custom training solutions. Over the past 12 years, she’s worked with customers in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors to develop online training programs. 

These educational courses cover a range of topics from heavy machinery operation to occupational health and safety, commercial driving, and ICT skills. In 2013, she led the design of an online entrepreneurship training program featured on the plenary stage of the annual Clinton Global Initiative, which has since been launched in over 100 countries. 

When she’s not working with customers to dream up innovative training solutions, she’s probably on to her next DIY project or home reno in the aisles of Home Depot.

Tom Loder
VP Sales

Tom Loder is Bluedrop ISM’s Vice President of Business Development. Extremely invested in workforce development and the upskilling/reskilling of Canada’s workforce, Tom secured one of the country’s first regional workforce programs at an ecosystem level.

This technology has since expanded to simultaneously serve workers, employers, training providers, industry associations, governments and inspectors in 6 Canadian provinces and several jurisdictions around the world. Over the past 15 years, Tom has formed strong relationships with governments and industry associations across Canada and globally – all with the focus of helping people find a job, keep a job and stay safe and compliant on the job.

Before joining Bluedrop, Tom managed events in the education, entertainment, and sporting fields at some of the most recognized and prestigious venues in the Country.

Dave Weir
VP Software Development

Dave has been working in the technology sector for more than 20 years. After graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree from Memorial, he started his career as a software developer with Nortel Networks in Ottawa. Three years later, he returned to St. John’s to join Progress Software.

Before Bluedrop, Dave held leadership positions with Progress Software, Triton Data, and Verafin. Besides leading software development teams, he has worked in Product Management, Professional Services, and Sales.

When not managing Bluedrop’s development roadmap, Dave can be found wandering through the parks and trails of St. John’s with his family.

Chris Sharpe
Product Manager

After completing a Diploma in Business, Chris quickly transitioned into technology leadership roles and spent 5 years project managing custom LMS implementations for global customers. 

Leading technical teams in other parts of the world to deploy 3rd party LMS products for over 15 years, Chris was excited to join the Bluedrop team in 2010. 

Working with a group of very talented folks to grow a product here at home, Chris’ expertise has helped shape the roadmap for Bluedrop’s training systems. With Bluedrop, Chris leads the SkillsPass features roadmap and designs solutions in the Workforce sector and our Health and Safety Certificate Management customers. He’s helped Bluedrop’s customer’s design solutions to complex training ecosystems for millions of users in many jurisdictions all over the world.

Chris is born and raised in Newfoundland and is happy to be raising his family in the same community he grew up in. He and his wife have four children, which makes for a pretty busy household. That said, Chris embodies the Bluedrop Value of “Work hard, laugh harder!” He likes to unwind with a good competitive game of poker, crafting a new micro-brewed beer, and playing a horrible round of golf whenever possible.

Mimi Sheriff
Director, Strategic Accounts & Social Impact

Mimi lives between worlds, calling Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and now St. John’s, NL home. With a diverse professional background, she began her career as a lawyer and then worked with international non-profit organizations before joining Bluedrop. As the Director of Account Management, Mimi is her customers’ champion – she manages and grows our government and not-for-profit workforce training customers. Certified as a Sustainability Associate, she is an advocate of socially responsible business operations and leads these community projects at Bluedrop. You can also find Mimi on the Board of Directors of the tech innovation hub “Genesis,” as well as the St. John’s Farmers Market.

Mimi has a Bachelor’s degree in Gender Studies and a Bachelors’s of Law (LL.B) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has a Master’s in Gender Studies from Memorial University and a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability from the University of Toronto.

With a passion for diverse foods and tired of hearing herself complain that there was no Ethiopian restaurant in her adopted city…so, she created “Gursha NL” and became the first caterer of authentic Ethiopian food in the entire Province!

Shawn Ryan
Director, Marketing & Market Dev

Over the course of his 20+ year career, Shawn has held senior leadership roles in a variety of diverse sectors including lottery and gaming, advertising, cybersecurity, and management consulting. A marketer by trade, Shawn joined Bluedrop in 2020 and is focused on executing strategies that enhance the corporate brand and help deliver effective and impactful solutions for Bluedrop customers around the globe.

Shawn holds an MBA from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business, and is a certified Experience Economy Expert.

When not doing his marketing thing, Shawn can be found coaching hockey, pretending to be an professional chef, or simply running the roads (literally).


Simply complete the form below and a Bluedrop ISM team member will contact you to arrange your 30 minute power demo of the SkillsPass training platform and our related workforce training solutions.

Enhancing Critical Workforce Skills

Bluedrop’s experience and proven eLearning content development capabilities are foundational in supporting our customers’ upskilling & reskilling requirements, and in maximizing the power of the SkillsPass™ Integrated Skills Management Platform.

Whether for broad State/Province upskilling programs, or single use, rapid response training requirements for a specific industry requirement- we can deliver an online solution with proven effectiveness and verifiable training results.


Bluedrop has developed and deployed eLearning training to support large and diverse upskilling and reskilling initiatives of governments and industries around the globe.


Bluedrop has amassed a a vast library of proven and impactful eLearning courses. Specialization includes commercial truck driver training, workplace productivity, entrepreneurship and a host of regulatory inspired courses,


The eLearning content solution combined with our SkillsPass ISM platform to help connect workers, employers, and related stakeholders. We also offer full execution support and program management including marketing, adoption, and customer support specialists that help drive successful uptake and results.

Our Solution – Multi-Stakeholder Benefits

Offers online training, certification, and credential management capabilities to support the transformation of broad-based upskilling/reskilling.

Is industry-agnostic, and is now securely deployed with governments, industry associations and employers around the world, with close to 3 Million users.

Enables the deployment of wide ranging course content options to support skill development including industry mandated, OH&S, and upskilling in those critical in-demand functions required in the new digital economy.

Provides partners with a digital, single line-of-sight into training results, credentials, and certifications at the industry through to the individual level.


With security and support that safeguards our client investments in two key ways:

  1. Battle-Tested Solutions– Having met the highest levels of audit, scrutiny, and testing related to data security, privacy/consent legislation, and web content accessibility guidelines.
    • Our consent-driven architecture supports the latest regulations and best practices in data privacy/consent, security, accessibility. The platform is secure and audit-proof- with SOC 2 Type I Audit Certification, PCI standards compliance, adherence to all SaaS security and privacy requirements, and more.  
    • We are global leaders in this space. Over the past few years, we have been through 500 governmental client Threat Risk Assessments, passed 5 Provincial PIAs, launched with 8 governments and 5 regulators, been approved and deployed by the US state departments to deploy the solution in 30 Countries.  
  2. Full Delivery Support Options– Our experienced Adoption Services Group can help clients realize their objectives after launch. We help ensure that if you build it, they actually will come.
    • Our team has managed client training initiatives that have impacted millions of workers, and support training stakeholders (e.g., training partners and employers) to adopt solutions.
    • Our optional managed services range from supporting client adoption efforts to full outsourcing of the rollout and operation of training initiatives. For some of our clients, we actually operate their entire training solution, including:
      • Full onboarding and training for stakeholder groups (such as training partners or employers) 
      • Generating awareness, engaging with potential partners, performing system demos, signing on partners, etc.
      • Sales and Marketing– we staff account management and sales roles, complete marketing strategies, design and place advertising, and develop promotional materials.


Providing end-to-end training delivery and credential management for all training formats…

  • This can include virtual, online, in-person, and blended training. Core capabilities include:
    • Manage learning paths that can include combination of online, virtual and blended offerings
    • Manage prerequisite requirements 
    • Track microcredentials that can be combined to form a master credential
    • Allow clients to build their own online courses and assessments 
    • Provide bookmarking so that learners can complete training in multiple sessions 
  • We have a globally recognized team of Learning Design and Production experts that work with industry SMEs to produce online and blended courseware and microcredentials.  They can take a project from concept to finished product within a few weeks. 
  • Over the years we have also amassed a large library of specialized courseware to address stubborn or urgent skills gaps with almost immediate time-to-launch and value.


A seamless online training ecosystem connection for all stakeholders or partners…

  • Including governments, regulators, industry associations, unions, career centers, training providers, employers and more.
  • These cross-organizational and complex training situations would overwhelm an LMS. SkillsPass fixes that, with a robust suite of NexGen features and functionality including:
    • ONLINE TRAINING HUB– our embedded MarketPlusTM online training marketplace- allowing our clients to go beyond their own training offerings and consolidate external training sources, whether classroom, online, or virtual. 
    • UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE– Industry open architecture solution design that enables third party solution integration and the bringing together of key partners/systems and eliminating the siloed, restrictive nature of the traditional LMS.
    • TRAINING PARTNER INTEGRATION– Training partner enablement through unique storefronts to accept bookings, track attendance, and issue certificates working in concert with each client’s marketplace. APIs are also available for Training Partners with their own software.
    • DIGITAL WORKER PASSPORT– The industry-first SkillsPass Worker Passport, allowing end-users to access and share their validated credentials securely with employers and regulators (via QR code).
    • MULTI-LEVEL REPORTING– Robust reporting and insights at an employer and industry (client) level. Clients can provide a business account for each employer partner to allow them to track valid certificates, assign training, and see the final results and expiry notifications. The platform also generates valuable client insights about training completion at certificate, demographic, partner, industry, and regional levels.

Giving Bank:
Eligibility Requirements (None)

  • Connect with us and send us your information – we’re happy to learn more and explore whether we are a fit.

Community Events:
Eligibility Requirements (None)

  • Connect with us and send us your information – we’re happy to learn more and explore whether we are a fit.

Supporting Refugees and Recent Immigrants :
Eligibility Requirements

  • Applications can be received from the following:

    • A registered not-for-profit or charity that supports refugees and recent immigrants in NL
    • A refugee or recent immigrant with a specific need in NL
Technology Upgrades:
Eligibility Requirements
  • Ability to clearly explain the challenges you are looking to address through a Salesforce implementation 
  • Project needs to be developed, launched and demonstrate results within 12 months
Women in Tech Grants:
Eligibility Requirements

Applications can be received from the following:

  • A woman registered in a recognized technology related program
  • A registered college or university wanting to provide a grant
  •  A registered not-for-profit or charity that supports women in tech programs
  • A tech sector focused community group 
  • Student and organizations need to reside in Canada
Community Skills & Economic Empowerment:
Eligibility Requirements
  • Ability to clearly explain the problem you are looking to address 
  • Ability to describe how this support will help you better assist your participants
  • Projects need to be developed, launched and demonstrate results within 12 months

Eligibility Requirements

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Contact Us

Let’s keep this simple- just fire us an email, or give us a call if you have questions, or simply want to chat more about workforce skill development!
18 Prescott Street, St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada