Executive Team

John Binder
John BinderPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Binder is the founder of Avmax, and has over 45 years of experience in the aviation sector. During his career, Mr. Binder has held the positions of Flight Engineer and Fleet Operations Manager, and is the founder of the initial companies forming Avmax.

Mr. Binder founded Western Avionics (now under Avmax) in 1976 when he amalgamated three small avionics repair shops in Calgary. Recognizing the need and opportunity to provide support to airlines and corporate operators, Mr. Binder continued the expansion of the avionics business and branched out into all the support lines that Avmax offers today.

In the past few years Mr. Binder was the winner of the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Prairies Region and the 2010 recipient of the Max Ward Aviation Maintenance Trophy for contributions to the aircraft maintenance industry (presented by the Western Canada Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Association).

Outside of Avmax, Mr. Binder has a partnership in an aircraft leasing company, which deals with other aircraft type (de Havilland Twin Otter, King Air, Beechcraft), and he is currently the President of Airdrie Airpark, a private airport developed outside of Calgary, Alberta (majority-owned by Avmax).

Russ Binder
Russ BinderChief Operating Officer, AASI
Mr. Binder began his aviation career working in aircraft maintenance in remote northern Canadian locations. Since joining Avmax in 1996 he has worked in every area of the business, including being the lead engineer that initiated the CRJ series aircraft into the company. Mr. Binder has won contracts and managed some very large and complex programs such as building custom aircraft for customers.

In 2012 he was instrumental in Avmax obtaining an Airline Operating Certificate to operate an airline in Chad, Africa. This continues to be a very successful business for the company.

Mr. Binder has a background in aircraft maintenance and holds a Transport Canada M License with endorsements on several aircraft including the CRJ. Over his 25-year aviation career, he has held positions as Crew Chief, Manager, Planner, Director of Maintenance, PRM, Vice-President, Operations, and holds the current position as Chief Operating Officer of AASI.

Oyinkan Obikoya
Oyinkan ObikoyaVice President, Finance
Ms. Obikoya was appointed the VP of Finance for Avmax in January of 2016. As the VP Finance, Ms. Obikoya is responsible for overseeing strategic accounting solutions across all company segments including the internal and external financial reporting, taxation, finance, treasury, audit compliance and internal controls. Ms. Obikoya joined Avmax in 2013, bringing years of experience in accounting, finance, mergers and acquisitions, strategy and industry experience to her role in the company. She has worked closely with Avmax’s senior leadership on accounting and strategic planning related matters since joining the company.

Previously, Ms. Obikoya worked closely with Avmax’s senior leadership and held the position of Financial Controller of several companies within the corporate group such as Regional 1 Airlines Ltd, Avmax Chad S.A.R.L and most recently Avmax Aviation Services Inc. Prior to joining Avmax, Ms. Obikoya was a Manager at Deloitte, where she worked with clients in a wide range of industries within the public, private and non-profit sectors, with an emphasis on mid-size private companies. In addition to working with domestic corporations, Ms. Obikoya has worked extensively with multinational corporations with operations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the US and South America.

Ms. Obikoya holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Professional Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to being a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), she is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Chartered Business Valuator. She has taught undergraduate courses in Accounting and Financial Management. She is active within her community and has served as a committee member for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan and several non-profit organizations including the YWCA.

Al Young
Al YoungVice President, Global Operations
Mr. Young has twenty-five years of broad aviation experience. He began his career and spent several years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an aero engine technician on the CP-140 Aurora. While in the military, he earned his commercial pilot’s license. Mr. Young continued his career working with “bush” operators, taking him to central Vancouver Island and Yellowknife where he gained both maintenance and flying experience on a variety of aircraft operating in remote locations.

Mr. Young began his management career as Director of Maintenance for a small airline on Canada’s West Coast, where he grew this division from two engineers looking after a handful of aircraft to 20 engineers looking after a large fleet of aircraft including many third-party customers, providing complete structural overhaul, manufacturing and maintenance. In early 2000, Mr. Young came to Avmax in Calgary as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, where he moved through the ranks holding many of the management positions and becoming Vice-President of Operations. In 2006, he explored opportunities in the Alberta oil industry and took a position as Vice-President of Operations with a well service company where he gained further knowledge of corporate structure, finance and leadership. In October 2010, Mr. Young returned to Avmax and is currently the Vice-President of Operations (Canada).

Corey Meyer
Corey MeyerVice President, Corporate Development
Mr. Meyer brings over 22 years of entrepreneurial leadership to Avmax. He holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Calgary and has been instrumental in several business startups.

Mr. Meyer has extensive experience in creating and improving business models; he does this through strategic planning and implementation of financial and operational initiatives. Mr. Meyer has strong negotiation and leadership skills, which allow for close relationships with the executive management team and enable him to execute new business goals to ensure the future success for Avmax.

Mr. Meyer started with Avmax in 2010 as the Vice President and General Manager of the Spares Division. During his time at Avmax he implemented a new software platform that streamlined processes in the Spares Division as well as across all other Avmax Divisions. In 2013, Mr. Meyer left to go back to his entrepreneurial roots for a couple years. In 2015, he returned to Avmax as the Vice President of Corporate Development. In this new role Mr. Meyer is managing Information Technology, Business Process Improvement and Marketing; he will also be accountable for analyzing and implementing strategic changes through all divisions of Avmax to ensure they are providing maximum benefit to the company and meeting organizational objectives.

Sam Cupelli
Sam CupelliVice President, Spares
Mr. Cupelli’s aviation career spans over 30 years. His first experience was with Alberta based Time Air working at the Municipal Airport in Edmonton, Alberta from May 1986-1990. After gaining valuable experience in various departments he moved on to cargo operations with Canadian Regional Airlines based in Kelowna, British Columbia. During those six years Sam soon realized the importance of taking care of the customer. A new opportunity led him to Calgary, Alberta representing New Jersey based Werner Corp as a Sales Manager specializing in procurement and distribution of Dash 8 and BAe 146 parts. Sam’s next step was to take on an account management role with 3 Points Aviation where he continued to grow and expand the surplus market focusing on the Dash 8 aircraft. During his time there 20 Dash 8 aircraft were purchased and dismantled for aftermarket sales.

Sam’s relationship with John Binder began approximately 12 years ago. This led to Sam joining the newly formed Spares Division at Avmax in September 2010 as Director of Sales. Sam played a pivotal role in the creation of the Spares Division while developing sales and marketing strategies for commercial and regional customers. Specializing in consignment agreements, initial provisioning contracts and leasing opportunities. As of April 2016 Sam has taken on the role of Vice President of Spares. Sam will be responsible for the Spares operations in Calgary, Jacksonville and Nairobi.

Monica Sardi
Monica SardiVice President, Leasing
Mrs. Monica Sardi is responsible for all aspects of Lease Operations for Avmax Aircraft Leasing Inc. (AALI). She has been an integral part of the aircraft leasing division over the past 9 years, during which this division has experienced rapid growth. Mrs. Sardi has been instrumental in the development of many of the processes for the leased fleet and aircraft management.

Over her 25-years of aviation experience Mrs. Sardi has dedicated 19 of them to Avmax, working in various roles including; Director of Aircraft Leasing & Contracts, Manager of Sales & Contracts, MRO Sales & Marketing Manager, Stores Manager (Materials), Customer Support Manager, Mobile Repair Team & Contract Crew Management providing Pilots, Flight Attendants and Technicians to start-up airlines, MRO Operations. Her diverse experience with Avmax has proved to be an asset in the development of our leasing division.

Monica’s career in aviation began in 1991 with Field Aviation where she gained experience production and operations. Monica transitioned from Field Aviation to a contract support position with Bombardier in 1996 at a satellite office opened in Calgary for new aircraft completions being coordinated through Field Aviation and Avmax. When the Bombardier satellite office closed in 1997 Monica chose to continue her growth in aviation with Avmax.

Maurizio Primiani
Maurizio PrimianiVice President, Sales and Commercial Operations
After completing two years of Aircraft Maintenance Technology at Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela, Mr. Primiani commenced his aviation career in 1979 with Pan American World Airways. He started his career as a Line Maintenance Mechanic and worked through the ranks to Line Maintenance Supervisor.

Between 1987 and 2006, Mr. Primiani held senior airline positions including Director of Maintenance for Rich International Airways, Miami Line Station Maintenance Manager for US Airways, and Director of Quality Control for Caribbean Sun Airlines. He was instrumental in assisting these airlines with growing their fleet, relocation and supervision of maintenance facilities and managing quality control.

In 2006, Mr. Primiani joined Avmax as Director of Operations for Avmax in Great Falls, Montana. His duties included overseeing the expansion of the Great Falls facilities and inception of the Jacksonville, Florida maintenance facility. In addition to general aircraft maintenance, Mr. Primiani manages the company’s painting facility in Great Falls.

Mark Maydaniuk
Mark MaydaniukVice President, Business Development and Senior Legal Counsel
Mark Maydaniuk started his aviation career working as legal counsel to a major international Airport Authority, and oversees the legal affairs of Avmax, as well as maintaining a strong focus on business development to support the continued growth of the Avmax operations. Mr. Maydaniuk is also the Compliance Office for Avmax, and sits on several aviation related boards. He obtained his law degree in Canada in 2006, and has a wide breadth of experience in the legal field, and maintains his law license in the Province of Alberta and Manitoba, as well as belonging to the Alberta Bar Association, American Bar Association and International Bar Association.

Mr. Maydaniuk founded the in house legal department for Avmax, and draws upon his previous experience as an entrepreneur and private business owner in an increasingly business focused role. Since starting at Avmax, Mr. Maydaniuk has handled all legal affairs for Avmax, which includes negotiating and document purchase and sale of aircraft, leases, parts and maintenance agreements, airline agreements, as well as ensuring regulatory, corporate governance and legal compliance. In addition to directing the workflow within the legal department, Mr. Maydaniuk also directs outside counsel on specific projects.

Recently, he was also promoted to the role of Vice President Business Development, drawing upon his entrepreneurial experience and negotiation skills to unlock new market opportunities and pursue major initiatives for Avmax in support of taking Avmax operations and profits to the next level and continue the impressive growth of the company.

Lanny Benoit
Lanny BenoitVice President of Operations for R1 Airlines
Mr. Benoit has 29 years of experience in aviation, fulfilling various roles with several leading air carriers around the world. He’s flown on the line as Pilot and Chief Pilot, and as a Training Captain, he’s implemented and led ground training and flight training with various European airlines. He has also experienced several corporate mergers and restructurings, and advised on recovery tactics while helping to improve efficiencies. These significant milestones have allowed him to work with all levels of business leadership, and helped to build a foundation for overseeing large-scale aviation business operations. His past executive role as Director of Flight Operations for North Cariboo Air has contributed to his current Vice President of Operations role for R1 Airlines, where he is leading diverse teams in the company’s turnaround, overseeing processes, and implementing policies and strategies as it relates to overall company performance.

Mr. Benoit leads all aspects of R1 Airlines’ flight operations, maintenance, customer service, security, safety, reliability and efficiency. His highest priority is to help clients grow their business, which means making sure that everyone at R1 Airlines is a walking ambassador for the company’s vision and values related to choice, hassle-free service and convenience. Hi goal is to deliver exceptional airline charter transportation.

Mr. Benoit has worked in various other aviation roles including, Technical Instructor Dash 8 102, 106, Dash 8, 301, 311, 314, 315, 402; Technical Instructor CRJ 100, 200, 705; Simulator Instructor Dash 8, CRJ, CAE, Flight Safety; Transport Canada Check Pilot, Dash 8, CRJ; Line Indoc. Line Check Captain, Dash 8, CRJ; HGS 2100, 4200 Instructor; and TRI, TRE, ACP DH8 (all series), CRJ (all series) Bae146, RJ1H.

His flight experience consists of a total of 15200 flight hours and he has an A377601 licence, multi time: 120000, medical: CAT 1, RJ/CL65: 3000, instrument: Class 1, Dash 8: 8000 and current P.P.C.’s: DH8/CRJ65 all series.

When he’s not running R1 Airlines, Lanny is a father and husband and sits on the board of various athletic associations.