Board of Directors
Chairman of the boardToronto, Ontario
Rod is currently the Vice Chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital and resides in Toronto
Prior to joining NAC Rod spent 28 years with Bombardier and it’s Toronto based predecessor, Boeing Canada/deHavilland. During his time at Bombardier Rod held a number of positions in sales and marketing both New and Used Regional Aircraft.
In 1994 Rod launched the Asset Management Group. From its inception, Rod and the team placed aircraft from all the leading Regional Manufactures. The most notable achievements included converting Bombardier products to serve special missions, converting CRJ 200s for corporate use and created CRJ 200, Q400 and EMB 120 freighters.
Prior to this Rod worked in General Aviation at Aviation Unlimited based at Buttonville Airport as the sales manager for Piper Aircraft in Eastern Canada
Rod has had the Aviation bug all his life. At the age of 17 Rod became a Private Pilot followed shortly thereafter with Commercial, Instructor, Float and Multi Engine Ratings. Active as a professional pilot until the age of 25 Rod then moved into the business side of the industry.
Rod is currently a Trustee of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Traders (ISTAT) Foundation, Chairman of the Foundation Fundraising Committee and Vice Chairman of the Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
Immediate Past ChairmanOakville, ON
Tom Appleton followed his boyhood dream of becoming a commercial pilot from age 18. For six years, he flew a collection of WWII vintage aircraft on geophysical survey contracts in the Canadian arctic, Africa and South America, under United Nations and Canadian government contracts. He joined de Havilland as a test and demonstration pilot in 1966 and in 1986 was appointed vice president of Marketing and Sales, responsible for establishing the de Havilland Dash 8 as the premier turboprop airliner in the world market. In 1991 he joined Canadair to launch the Canadair Regional Jet sales program under Bombardier Aerospace. After six years as president of Bombardier Amphibious Aircraft, Tom retired in 2002. He currently consults on organisational strategies, product development and marketing for clients in Canada and overseas. He is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at McGill University's Business Institute, was appointed Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London and a member of the Society of Experiment Test Pilots. Currently chairman of the board of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, Tom and Heather reside in Oakville, Ontario, where his hobbies include rallying and touring vintage sports cars and enjoying their grandchildren.
Vice charimanMississauga, ON
Chris Cooper-Slipper, son of the late Mike Cooper-Slipper, inducted to Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003, not surprisingly followed him into aviation, as a pilot and later a sales executive with deHavilland Canada and Field Aviation, with whom he is still actively employed. Chris has been involved in a broad range of activity throughout his 45 years of sales and marketing activities in the aerospace industry. His experience has seen him involved in aircraft modifications and conversions, aeronautical engineering, parts manufacturing, aircraft interiors and aircraft sales. Today, as Vice President Special Projects, Chris is an integral member of Field Aviation’s senior management team.
Chris has developed and maintains relations with key aircraft and equipment manufacturers, distributors, operators and strategically important business partners throughout the aviation industry.
Chris maintains his home in Toronto with his wife Pat, a commercial interior designer . Chris and Pat have a daughter and a grandson. Chris is member of the advisory board of Seneca College’s School of Aviation and has been associated with the Seneca program for many years. In his spare time Chris is an avid cyclist and golfer . Time permitting, Chris maintains his interest in aviation history by visiting aviation museums whenever he can while travelling and has an extensive collection of aviation art and literature.
Secretary of the BoardToronto, ON
Miriam Catherine Kavanagh is a lawyer and has her own law firm, Miriam Kavanagh Professional Corporation. She graduated from Queen’s University Law School in 1978 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1980. A corporate commercial lawyer specializing in aviation transaction related matters, including aircraft purchases, sales, financings and leases, Miriam puts a particular emphasis on the operating side of the aviation industry. Clients include purchasers, vendors, lenders, borrowers, operating airlines, lessors and lessees located within and outside Canada. Miriam lives and practices in Toronto. Miriam is a keen tennis fan and was until recently, a keen tennis player. Miriam joined the CAHF board in 2012.
Treasurer of the boardUnionville, ON
Received a Private Pilot’s Licence in 1977 and completed the Commercial/Instrument Ratings in 1980. Completed the multi-engine rating in 1996 and a float rating in 2001. Completed Glass Cockpit G1000 certification in 2004. Extensive flying experience all over Canada and North America.
Graduated from York University with a B.A. in Economics in 1985. I received a second B.A. from York in Humanities in 2002.
Anna started Apex Aircraft Sales Ltd. in 1988 and became an agent for new Cessna Aircraft for Leggat Aviation Inc. in 1996. I received the Robert Ames Gold CSTAR Award from Cessna Aircraft Company for Excellence in Retail Sales in 2002 and 2001.
Long-time member of the International Organization of Women Pilot’s, The 99’s. Active in the First Canadian Chapter holding various offices including Chapter Chair and Governor of the East Canada Section. Head of Operation Skywatch 1985-88 ( A Joint Program with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment). Participated in the filming of “Angels of the Sky”.
Long-time member of AOPA, COPA, WIA (Women in Aviation International), WOAW (Women of Aviation Week) and WIA-C (Women in Aerospace – Canada. Organized several conferences and Air Rallies. Current Co-Chair for the Rally for the Cure, Ewings Cancer Foundation.
President – Northern Lights Award Foundation. An organization formed in 2009 to recognize women who have made significant contributions to Aviation and Aerospace in Canada. www.northernlightsaward.ca.
Married with a 17 year old son and living in Markham, Ontario. Enjoys skiing, running, reading and flying!
St. Catherines, Ontario
Bruce Aubin has held leadership positions over more than 50 years in Canadian aviation. His first position was with Canadian Car and Foundry, Fort William, as Group Leader, Structures and subsequently Chief Systems Engineer for the Harvard and Beech Production Program. In 1953 he joined TCA/Air Canada. He progressed through Engineering to Senior Vice President Technical Operations. Born in Hamilton, he is fluently bilingual, a graduate aeronautical engineer licenses by the OEQ, MBA from McGill, held a multi-engine commercial pilot’s and aircraft and power plant mechanic’s licenses.
One of his key interests has been the history of civil aviation in Canada. His knowledge and association with Canadian aviation leadership, including Government has been extensive.
Ms. Bjornson achieved her childhood dream of becoming an airline pilot in 1973 when she became the woman in Canada to be hired by an airline, Transair, and the first First Officer in North America. In 1990 she became the first female Captain with Canadian Airlines, the first time a woman had been promoted to that position with a major Canadian air carrier. Rosella retired from Air Canada in 2004. She continues to fly her Cessna 170 and is an active member with ‘women in aviation’ groups. Mrs. Bjornson was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1997. When she retired from Air Canada in 2004, she started volunteering in the CAHF office and worked in the office as Executive Director of CAHF until 2014
Vice ChairmanCowley, Alberta
Gordon started his aviation career back in 1975 at Prestwick Airport Scotland with Esso petroleum after serving as a member of the 1stBattalion Black Watch in his native country of Scotland. In 1994 the family emigrated to Calgary Alberta to join the aviation arm of Imperial Oil and run the Fixed Base Operation in Calgary. In the years to follow Gordon has served as President of the Alberta Aviation Council and also spent 14 years as for the Canadian Business Aviation Association. Gordon is currently working for FlightSafety International looking after the sales and marketing role for Canada.
Denis Chagnon is President of York & Cumberland Communications Inc., specializing in aviation and humanitarian issues. Previously, he was head of communications and spokesperson for the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) from 1996 to 2011. His extensive communications career includes similar activities with Air Canada from 1979 to 1992, as well as financial institutions and Canadian government agencies. He received his Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University (Ottawa) and worked in print and broadcast journalism, in both French and English. He is a professional speaker, master of ceremonies and has contributed to a number of aviation-related magazines and publications, notably the Memoirs of Dr Assad Kotaite, President Emeritus of the Council of ICAO, and the ICAO STATES TODAY commemorative albums. Founding president of a Toastmasters Club in Montreal, Denis also supports a number of local, Canadian and global community or humanitarian organizations, including Kéroul – a Montreal-based, non-profit organization committed to the promotion and development of accessible tourism and culture, with all modes of transportation. His favourite leisure activity is walking.
Lynn Hamilton has been involved in aviation her entire life. As the daughter of Aviation Hall of Fame 2011 Inductee, Don Hamilton, Lynn was exposed to both the passion and business of aviation from early on. Lynn began working summers in the family businesses - Air Spray (1967) Ltd. and Hamilton Aviation Ltd., providing administrative support to Air Spray’s aerial wildfire suppression operation and Hamilton Aviation’s property acquisitions and management. After a hiatus to attend University to complete degrees in law and business administration (BA, MBA, LLB, LLM), Lynn rejoined the business as company lawyer and eventually became President of the company.
After the passing of her father in 2011, Lynn took over sole ownership and control of the companies. At the time, the company owned a fleet of Lockheed L188 Electra air tanker aircraft supported by a fleet of Twin Commander 690 “bird dog” or lead plane aircraft. Lynn has since significantly expanded the business by establishing Air Spray USA Inc. in California and adding a fleet of BAe 146, Air Tractor 802 and Fire Boss air tankers to operate throughout the US. While the Air Spray group currently owns and operates over 40 aircraft for wildfire suppression, Air Spray is also involved in various other endeavours through its newest division, Springbrook Aerospace, including fire mission flight simulator development, MRO, aircraft parts fabrication and aircraft structural engineering. Lynn is also involved with several Boards and Committees locally and nationally. Lynn received her Institute of Corporate Director’s designation in 2014 and was awarded Global ‘s Woman of Vision in the same year. In her spare time Lynn competes in women’s soccer, show jumping and equestrian endurance riding. She has been married for 22 years and is the mother to 5 teenagers.
Past ChairmainMidhurst, ON
James Morrison learned to fly on his dad's knee (CAHF inductee Angus C. Morrison, inducted 1989) when it was said he was the youngest instrument pilot in Canada as he couldn't see over the panel! He started training for his private licence at age 15, flew for 20 years on aircraft ranging from the Beech 18 to Boeing 737, accumulating more than 13,000 hours in command. After moving from the cockpit to the 'front office' with Air Creebec, which he helped found and build into a successful venture, he moved on to various management positions with Air Ontario and Skyservice, leading to Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer at the start-up of Porter Airlines. Now Managing Director of Partner Jet, based at LB Pearson airport where he manages a growing a fleet of five bizjets, James and his wife live in Midhurst, ON.
DirectorRichmond, British Columbia
Craig Richmond assumed the role of President & CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority in July 2013, following a career in airport management, including more than a decade in operational roles at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). In 2006, Richmond embarked upon a global airport leadership adventure with YVR subsidiary Vantage Airport Group, which took him around the world as CEO of six airports in three different countries.
Mr. Richmond originally joined Vancouver Airport Authority in 1995 and spent more than 11 years in various operational roles including Manager, Airside Operations and Vice President, Operations. During his tenure as VP, Richmond oversaw the safe and efficient movement of millions of passengers, including those diverted to YVR in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He championed airfield safety, including the introduction of the first radar debris detection system to a commercial airport, led strategic planning and community consultation for major changes to runway operations and spearheaded improvements to YVR’s world-renowned customer service. Richmond also served as the organization’s lead spokesperson during crisis and issues response.
His love of aviation began at an early age; in fact, he earned his pilot’s license before learning to drive a car. Between 1980 and 1990, Richmond served in the Canadian Armed Forces, piloting fighter jets both locally and abroad with 439 and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadrons, on both the CF-104 and CF-18 aircraft.
Educated at the University of Manitoba, Mr. Richmond holds both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Masters in Business Administration. Mr. Richmond serves on the Canadian Airports Council’s Board of Directors.
David E. Wright, P. Eng.Edmonton, AB
Dave was born and raised in Edmonton but has worked in Calgary and Toronto as well. He attained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta in 1972 and ‘73 respectively. His working career was in the energy industry where he worked the business side of his education even though he was hired as an engineer. Dave earned his private pilot’s license at age seventeen with the fantastic instruction of Hall of Fame Member Vera Dowling. He has owned three aircraft over the years since: a Piper J3 Cub, a Cessna 172 and a Cessna 206 and continued private flying for enjoyment until 2013. He has been a member of COPA since 1966.
Dave’s volunteer work included sixteen years on the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Petroleum Club, President in 2000-01; six years on the Advisory Board of the Reynolds Alberta Museum, Chair in 2009-10; four years on the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club, President in 1998-2000.
Although retired from regular work, Dave still serves as a Director and Chairman of the Board of Estec Systems (TSX – ESE), a Director of Encore Electronics Inc. He is a life member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and a member of the Edmonton Petroleum Club.