Executive Biographies


James Ward
President & Chief Executive Officer

James Ward is a proud member of Fort William First Nation and brings with him 15 years’ experience working with First Nation communities. James gained valuable leadership and aviation experience having worked 10 years of his career with Wasaya Airways.

Most recently, James was the CEO for Happy Time Tours, HT Leasing and Carrick Express and is a Director on the Board of Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund.

Brad web.jpg

Brad Martin
Chief Operating Officer

Brad comes to Wasaya with 41 years of Aviation experience including leading Bearskin Airlines as their President and CEO since 2014. He started his career as a dispatcher and pilot, flying fire detection in Northern Ontario, before assuming a role flying charter aircraft as well as operating as a Captain in the NorOntair route network

In 1983, Brad assumed a role as Base Manager in Dryden before moving back to Thunder Bay to assume the role of Operations Manager, In 1988, he became a partner in Bearskin Airlines and assumed the position of Director of Operations, making him responsible for all operational aspects of the airline. Brad has sat on a number of Aviation boards and is a Past Chair of the Aviation Management Advisory Committee for Confederation College as well as past Chair of several ATAC sub- committees.

Ron website.jpg

Ron Gernat
Vice President of Maintenance

Ron started with Wasaya Airways in 1995 working his way up throughout the company through many management roles in the Wasaya maintenance department throughout his twenty years of service. As the Director of Maintenance, he oversees heavy maintenance, technical records, purchasing, and Wasaya's Approved Maintenance Organization. Ron is  based at Wasaya’s Thunder Bay Hangar and has worked throughout Northern Ontario. 


Donavon Macklin
Vice President, Cargo Operations

Donavon has 25 years of experience delivering goods throughout Northern Ontario and Manitoba. In his time with Wasaya, Donavon has experience as the Chief Pilot and Director of Operations as well as flying most of the aircraft in Wasaya's fleet. 
He holds a diploma from Confederation College and a seat on the advisory board of the Flight Management program. He is a member of the Peguis First Nation. Donavon has oversight and full responsibility for the day to day Cargo Operations at Wasaya.


Debbie Arno
Director of Customer Care

Debbie has been a part of the Wasaya team since 2008, her previous roles in the company include working in the Air Delivery Unit (ADU) Department and as Customer Care Manager.

As Director of Customer Care, Debbie is responsible for overseeing the daily operation of the call centre and ensuring the needs of our guests are taken care of in a timely and professional manner.