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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.

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.


Les Aalders

Executive Vice President

Following his Aeronautical Engineering education and earning his private pilot’s licence, Les has been employed at various commercial aviation companies throughout Canada for more than 40 years.


Les joined ATAC in 1998 and has continuously added to his responsibilities within the association. These now include flight ops, engineering and maintenance, cabin ops, environment, and safety.  Since 2012 he has served as ATAC’s 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 19 years working in the Aviation sector in various aviation management roles joining Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) in 2006 as Vice President of Flight Training. In 2017 he was appointed Senior Vice President to oversee Aviation Security, Airports (AIF), Air Cargo, Dangerous Goods, Legal and the CTA.  In addition, in 2020, flight training was reinstated to his portfolio of responsibilities.


As the VP representing flight training companies Wayne has led international missions accompanied by ATAC companies to China, India, Ireland, UK, Brazil and Singapore and continues to work on promoting Canadian aviation training to the world.


He has held many positions advocating for industry with all levels of government and with industry partners. Wayne was recently elected to the board of directors of the Aviation Accreditation Board International and to the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace Board of Directors.


Wayne has been a presenter and speaker and panel participant at several international aviation events. He is a graduate of McMaster University has held Canadian and CAA commercial pilot licenses.

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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.


Katherine Simunkovic
Director of Communications

Katherine Simunkovic graduated from Grant MacEwan University with a double major in History and Anthropology. Following an internship with Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) in the summer of 2018 she was hired in 2019 as their Collections Manager and Office Administrator.


At the end of 2020, Katherine began working with the Canadian Aviation Historical Society as their National e-newsletter Editor while continuing to work for CAHF. In 2022, Katherine moved with CAHF to Calgary and took on the role of Communications and Events with The Hangar Flight Museum in addition to working for the Hall.


In 2023, Katherine was promoted to Managing Director of CAHF and began working as Director of Communications with the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC). 

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