STAFF

ATAC members benefit from the dedication and experience of our staff, who are available to help solve the most pressing business problems and regulatory issues.

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John McKenna
President & CEO

Mr. McKenna has over 20 years work experience in both the public and private sectors. In the 1980s he worked successively as Economic advisor to Premier Robert Bourassa, later as Political advisor to the President of the Treasury Board and finally as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Transport and Minister of Public Security. In 1992, he was nominated Official Representative and Senior Political Advisor for the Quebec Government in Washington, D.C.
 

In the private sector he acted as Manager of Public and Governmental Affairs and Special Assistant to Executive Vice President for the Steinberg food chain. He later worked as a partner in a Boston based consulting firm, the Malloy Group, before returning to Quebec to invest in and manage three different manufacturing companies.
 

He taught International Business at the Williams School of Business at Bishop's University from 2001 to 2003 before becoming President and CEO of the Quebec Air Transport Association in September 2003, a position he held until coming taking up the position of President and CEO at ATAC.
 

Mr. McKenna was an undergraduate at McGill University. He holds Master's degrees in Soviet and East European Economic Studies from Carleton University, in Business Administration (MBA) from Sherbrooke University and in Public Administration (MPA) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Les Aalders

Executive Vice President

Following his Aeronautical Engineering education, Les Aalders was employed in the Engineering departments at Field Aviation, Conair Aviation, and Pacific Western Airlines, before joining Wardair Canada in 1977. During this period, he also earned his private pilot’s licence. He then spent the next 21 years at Wardair and Canadian Airlines. During this time, he held progressively more responsible positions in the Airframe & Systems Engineering and Airworthiness departments.

 

In 1998 the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) appointed Les to the position of Vice President, Engineering and Maintenance, to oversee all technical, environmental and safety issues for the association. In 2008 he was named the ATAC Vice President, Operations when Flight Operations was added to his scope of responsibilities. In November 2009 he was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President at the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), representing the civil and defence aerospace manufacturing and service industry in Canada. In January 2012, he returned to ATAC as the Executive Vice President.

Debbie Simpson

Corporate Secretary & EA to the President

Debbie Simpson joined the Association in 1978. She is currently the Corporate Secretary and Executive Assistant to the President.
 

In addition to providing administrative support to the President and CEO, her responsibilities include administering the Association's event and convention planning and Corporate Secretarial duties.

Wayne Gouveia
Senior Vice President

Wayne has over 18 years working in the Aviation sector in various management roles.  In 2017 the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) appointed Wayne to the position of Senior Vice President to oversee Aviation Security, Airports (AIF). Air Cargo, Dangerous Goods, Legal, CTA.  In addition to his portfolio, Wayne took on 2020, Flight training was added to his responsibilities.

Wayne is a graduate of McMaster University (Hon. BA), and has obtained commercial multi engine and IFR ratings from Moncton Flight Centre and Perimeter Aviation, and successfully completed the ATPL Professional Pilot Program from City of London Polytechnic UK, for the CAA Commercial Pilot License.

Wayne is passionate in promoting the aviation industry. He has held many positions advocating for the industry, most recently joining the AABI and the CCAA Board of Directors. Wayne is also part of many Transport Canada Advisory Committees and industry delegate on several college advisory boards.

Wayne has been a presenter and has been a speaker at several international aviation events, including the Shenzhen Aviation Transport Association Conference (Shenzhen), World Airline Transport Symposium (Orlando), the Labelmaster Annual Dangerous Good conference (Chicago) and World Skills Competition (Helsinki)

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Danielle Lavoie

Assistant to the Vice Presidents

Danielle joined ATAC in April, 2009 bringing with her an extensive background in not-for-profit organization and customer service.

 

Danielle assists all Vice Presidents and is also responsible for the website maintenance, events registrations, newsletters and more.