Tom McHale [ President ]
As President of Gemstone, Tom draws on over 30 years of industry experience to manage tailored workforce travel and accommodation programs for our clients. Over the years, Tom has built strong relationships with key stakeholders across the industry, from airlines to contractors, to major oil and gas, construction, and mining companies — and he truly understands the ins and out of managing a remote workforce. From pioneering the first successful cross-Canada fly-in/fly-out program for a major oil company, to leading the development of Gemstone’s propriety travel management software, CIRYS, Tom is an innovator by nature who will go above and beyond to meet the constantly evolving needs of our clients.
Jim Seethram [ Acting Chief Operating Officer, Orissa ]
Jim brings to the Gemstone team over 24 years of experience in providing software services to major oil and gas and mining companies. As the founder of Orissa, Jim grew the company to become the North American leader in the provision of accommodation and guest management services for remote workforce accommodation sites. Jim holds an MBA from McGill University, and is an expert in information systems who has taught on the subject at both MacEwan University and the University of Lethbridge. Following Gemstone’s acquisition of Orissa, Jim remains on Orissa’s Board of Directors and is the Acting Chief Operating Officer.
Ross Purdie [ VP, Corporate Development & Finance ]
Ross is a qualified accountant with international management experience in both listed and private companies across a variety of sectors in the UK and Canada. As VP, Corporate Development & Finance, Ross is responsible for group finance, M&A and commercial execution. With rigorous attention to detail and a relentless approach to achieving objectives, Ross’ high standards reflect his experience of having worked with many successful leaders of major public companies. Ross enjoys the entrepreneurial spirit and culture of innovation that exists at Gemstone, and thrives on coming up with solutions to meet our clients’ specific challenges.
Michael Pomponio [ Manager, Gemstone Travel ]
Michael is a certified travel counsellor who has over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry. For the past 14 years, Michael has been an instructor at MacEwan University, and is passionate about educating others on travel management best practices. He applies a diligent approach to ensuring industry compliance and best in class customer service. As Manager of Gemstone Travel, an IATA-certified travel agency, Michael provides cost-effective and efficient solutions to booking commercial travel — helping to make sense of complex travel logistics for clients managing a remote workforce.
Dr. Jianfei Xu [ Chief Technology Officer ]
Dr. Jianfei Xu’s has over 15 years of professional experience, which spans a variety of roles that include design engineer, field engineer, software architect and senior software developer. As President and CEO of DRAXWare Inc., which he founded in 2007, Jianfei has significant experience in developing and implementing customized information management systems — most recently, he led the development of CIRYS, Gemstone’s proprietary travel management software. Jianfei holds a PhD in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Alberta, and his research has been published in a variety of academic journals. Jianfei believes that software should be simple and consistent with a user interface that is easy to use and understand.