WestWind Aviation

Our People

Michael Rodyniuk MBA, ICD.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President

Michael serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of West Wind Aviation Group which includes Northern Shield Helicopters, Pronto Airways, Snowbird Aviation Services, Transwest Air and West Wind Aviation. Michael has served large global, regional and start-up airlines as well as airports, aviation finance corporations, and MROs. He has built high-performance teams of innovators achieving extraordinary results in; Acquisitions, Alliances, Finance, Greenfield Start-ups, Joint Ventures, Maintenance, Marketing, Mergers, Operations, Real Estate Development, Restructuring, Sales and Turn-arounds.

Michael is Chairman of the Board of West Canitest R&D Inc. (WestCaRD), an initiative of the General Electric Company; Standard Aero; and the Government of Canada for innovation, research and development of aviation turbine engines. Michael holds two US patents and is a licensed commercial pilot. Michael is a graduate of the Mount Royal College Broadcasting program, holds an MBA from the University of Manitoba, and is designated by the UN as an International Airport Professional (IAP).

Candace Czemeres
Vice President, Administration And Chief Administrative Officer

Candace has over 30 years’ experience in aviation including her years with Transwest Air and its parent company Athabaska Airways. Candace worked her way up through the company from the position of receptionist to her current position. Candace transitioned from her position as Director of Passenger & Ramp Services to become the Director of Corporate Services and then, in 2018, she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In her role today as Chief Administrative Officer, Candace is responsible for the oversight of base operations; all contracts and leaseholds; coordinating facility and asset management; maintaining regulatory compliance; and handling all insurance requirements for West Wind Group.

Rick Philipenko
Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer

As Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the West Wind Group, Rick brings close to 25 years’ experience in the aviation industry. Rick obtained his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and maintains a Chartered Professional Accountant designation. His responsibilities include all aspects of the Finance area including banking relations, financial reporting and compliance, planning, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Rick is married with four children and was raised in Saskatchewan.

Tracy Young-McLean
Vice President, Human Resources And Culture

With over 30 years of employee benefits and human resources experience, Tracy has a passion for people and building foundational practices to support their success. She is dedicated to empowering and mentoring employees, communicating, inspiring change, building relationships and fostering an environment that creates trust. She brings to West Wind Group a strategic and focused approach to governance and policy, total compensation, organizational design and financial accountability.

Tracy holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and Compensation Management Specialist designations through Dalhousie University and the International Foundation of Employee Benefits; Certificates in Trustee Development and Pension Plan Administration Certificate from Humber College; and is currently completing an advanced human resources certificate through Queen’s University. Tracy is currently a director and holds the role of secretary on the Friends of the Broadway Theatre Board and is in her second term as director-at-large for the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI). She also volunteers for other community initiatives, some of which have included Soup Sisters, The Saskatoon Festival of Trees; and coaching volleyball and softball.

An accomplished musician, Tracy plays several instruments and sings with Joy of Vox. She and her husband reside on their acreage south of Saskatoon where they enjoy spending time with their many pets, family and friends.

Jen Makowsky
Director of Flight Operations

Jen Makowsky is a farm kid from rural Saskatchewan who realized she would have to move to the city to start her career as a pilot, and Saskatoon was the nearest choice. She has been with the company for over 11 years, flown most of the aircraft types and spent a few years based up north. She has a passion for detail and operational processes that ensure a safe and compliant work environment for both employees and our customers.

Carla Wayman
Director of Flight Operations

A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Commerce, Carla began her aviation career as a flight crew scheduler and approved flight attendant manager at West Wind Aviation. As such, Carla brings comprehensive flight operations experience to her current role as the Director of Flight Operations (Fixed Wing) at Transwest Air where she is responsible for maintaining operational and regulatory standards for all flight crews and fixed-wing aircraft in Transwest Air’s fleet. In her previous position as Approved Flight Attendant Manager, Carla played a key leadership role in the flight operations department through ensuring the safe and effective usage of aircraft in accordance with company and government regulations, as well as maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and has carried that through to her current role.

Chad Bergman
Director of Maintenance

Chad Bergman has been working for Transwest Air for the last 12 years. He started in the Quality Assurance department, was promoted to the Quality Assurance Manager and has been the Director of Maintenance for the past three years.

He started his career at the age of 18 in La Ronge working for a helicopter company and then continued his career with companies such as West Wind Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, Spar Aerospace, Air Canada Jazz, Avmax, and Aero Aviation. He holds endorsements for Boeing 737, DE Havilland Dash 8 and ATR-42 aircraft.

Jim Wayman
Director of Maintenance

Jim Wayman brings over 32 years’ experience in the aviation industry to his position as Director of Maintenance. Jim joined West Wind in 2000 as a line mechanic and was the production manager from Feb 2005 to 2018. Jim is responsible for all aircraft maintenance including the associated policies, procedures and government compliance regulations. His strengths include attention to detail in all aspects of his work and enjoys hands-on work and consulting with staff in the hangar. It is very important to Jim that he knows what his staff needs to do their best work, providing them with the tools and knowledge required to maintain a high standard of safety and a quality product that the company can be proud to operate.