Founder

John BinderChairman Emeritus
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 currently owns and operates the Airdrie Airpark, a private airport developed outside of Calgary, Alberta.

Executive Team

Mark Maydaniuk
Mark MaydaniukChief Executive Officer & Board Member
Mark Maydaniuk started his career in aviation while working as legal counsel to a major international airport authority and lead the legal affairs of Avmax. Mark obtained his law degree in Canada in 2006 and has a wide breadth of experience in the legal field. He maintains his law license in the Provinces of Alberta and Manitoba and belongs to the Alberta Bar Association. Mark founded the in-house legal department at Avmax, where he was responsible for all legal matters, which included negotiating the 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, Mark also directed outside counsel on specific projects.

Mark was promoted to the role of Vice President of Business Development, where he drew upon his entrepreneurial experience and negotiation skills to discover new market opportunities and pursue major initiatives. During his time as the Vice President of Business Development, Mark was able to grow operations and profits, and continue the impressive growth of Avmax.

On June 1, 2019, Mark was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Avmax.

Steve Hankirk
Steve HankirkPresident
Steve Hankirk is an accomplished aviation executive with over 40 years of experience in the aviation industry. He began his career as a pilot and soon advanced into the chief pilot role and became a Transport Canada approved check pilot. As Steve’s career progressed, he held various management positions with Canadian Regional Airlines and Canadian North. In 2013, Steve was appointed President of Canada North. Under his leadership, Canadian North grew from a struggling regional airline into a leading, diversified aviation company offering scheduled and charter flying, maintenance and engineering services, and pilot and maintenance training. During his tenure with Canadian North, Steve also sat as the Chairman of the Board for the Air Transport Association of Canada. In July 2019, Steve joined Avmax as their Chief Aviation Strategy Officer and was appointed President of Avmax in April 2020.
Corey Meyer
Corey MeyerChief Operating Officer
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.

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.

Al Davies
Al DaviesChief Sales Officer
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.

Monica Sardi
Monica SardiVice President, Leasing