Meet The Team2018-06-19T13:24:26+00:00

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).

Evan Gao
Evan GaoChief Financial Officer
Mr. Gao worked briefly at Avmax as a Tax Manager in 2014/2015 before becoming the Chief Financial Officer in June of 2018. Mr. Gao left Avmax in early 2015 and started his own consultant company which focused on the M&A advisory business. Mr. Gao has played a very important role in the M&A transactions between Sunward and Avmax.

Prior to joining Avmax in 2014, Mr. Gao was a Tax Manager at BDO Canada LLP, where he worked extensively with clients in a wide range of industries within the public, private and non-profit sectors, with an emphasis on public companies.

Mr. Gao received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Simon Fraser University in 2008. Mr. Gao received his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) designation in 2011 and Certified Public Accountant designation from the United States in 2013. He also completed his CICA In-depth Tax courses I, II and III in 2013.

As the Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Gao 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. Mr. Gao bringing years of experience in accounting, finance, mergers, acquisitions, strategy and industry experience to his role in the company. He has worked closely with Avmax’s senior leadership on accounting and strategic planning related matters since joining the company.

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.

Al Davies
Al DaviesSenior Vice President, Acquisitions & Growth for Spares & Engine Division
Mr. Davies’s has over 30 years aviation experience building strong trusting relationships within a global market. His career started out with Standard Aero where he gained valuable experience with aviation parts procurement and sales including engine leasing, repairs and overhaul. He moved on to start the first Canadian division in Spares with Jet Turbine Services (JTS) with the corporate office in Texas. When JTS joined forces with Air Ground Equipment Services (AGES), Mr. Davies became the Director of North American Sales & Marketing overseeing the Canadian distribution facility. AGES was purchased by Volvo Aero, where he continued to move forward in this role developing sales and marketing strategies for both commercial and regional customers including engine leasing, securing consignment agreements and provisioning contracts.

Mr. Davies joined Avmax in 2010 as Vice-President, Materials, Spares Division. He formed a sales team that sells and leases inventory, which supports the current fleet of aircraft and MROs as well as building a strong customer base generating a profitable Spares Division.

Mr. Davies has a well-rounded field of experience which will help in continuing to meet the needs of customers, the industry and Avmax in acquisitions, sales and growth.

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.

Dwayne Dupuis
Dwayne DupuisVice President, Human Resources Global
Dwayne Dupuis is the VP of Human Resources Global. In this role Mr. Dupuis leads a team of HR specialists providing all aspects of Human Resources services for Avmax worldwide. Some of these services include: 360-degree recruitment in-house, Orientation / on-boarding, labor relations, administrative services, professional training and development, total compensation benefits, and employee recognition.

Mr. Dupuis is passionate about aligning HR Strategy to Business Strategy. A company’s human talent provides an unrivaled competitive advantage in today’s global environment. To optimize that unique ability, human resource professionals must design and foster an employee culture that directly aligns HR practices with organizational goals and actively contributes to the bottom line.

Mr. Dupuis is a certified Registered Professional Recruiter, holds certifications in Project Management, Contract Business Law, with advanced studies in Strategic HR Management through E-Cornell University.

Mr. Dupuis has more than 28 years of aviation industry experience.
Before joining Avmax in 2003, Mr. Dupuis worked with a wide range of industry partners, including Field Aviation, Time air, Canadian Regional Airlines and Air Canada.
When not working, Mr. Dupuis fills his time with family and friends, enjoys travelling and staying active.

Karin Binder
Karin BinderVice President, Corporate Operations for R1 Airlines
TBD
Lanny Benoit
Lanny BenoitVice President, Operations for R1 Airlines
Mr. Benoit has 29 years of experience in aviation, fulfilling various roles with several leading air carriers around the world. 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.

Mr. Benoit has worked in various other aviation roles including, Technical Instructor Dash 8 and CRJ; 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.

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.

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.

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.