Leadership Team



Mark Morabito has more than 20 years of experience in the public markets with expertise in raising capital and corporate development. He is the founder of King & Bay West, a merchant bank and technical services company that specializes in identifying, funding, developing and managing high-potential opportunities. Mark has been the principal driving force behind numerous resource development companies including Alderon Iron Ore Corp. and Excelsior Mining Corp., among others. He has raised more than $900 million in capital and commitments to date and has attained two listings on the New York Stock Exchange. Mark has a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University and completed his Juris Doctor degree at Western University.

Alan Bird, CA, BSc (Hons)


Mr. Alan Bird has over 25 years of experience in the airline finance industry, holding senior financial and advisory positions, including executive tenure with VivaAerobus, Tiger Airways, and British Midland. Most notably, he was the Chief Financial Officer for VivaAerobus where he helped build one of the most efficient airlines in the world and achieved the lowest cost per seat in all of the Americas. Previously, Mr. Bird was the Chief Financial Officer at Tiger Airways, a low-cost airline in Asia. Prior to his role with Tiger Airways, he was the Finance Director at British Midland Airlines for over a decade. Mr. Bird is also a Project Advisor to Irelandia Aviation, a low-cost carrier developer. Alan Bird is a Chartered Accountant and holds an honours degree in Mathematical Economics from Birmingham University.



Jason Grant has helped to raise more than US$900 million in aviation and transportation capital over the past 20 years, while working in key financial, operational and leadership roles in the airline, transportation, logistics and private equity sectors. Jason is currently Managing Partner of Headhaul Capital Partners LLC, a New York based private equity investment firm he co-founded in 2014. HeadHaul specializes in acquiring and building businesses in the transportation, logistics and distribution industries. Previously, Jason served as Executive Vice President, CFO and Chief Commercial Officer at United Maritime Group LLC, a Jefferies Capital Partners LLC portfolio company. He was also CFO at Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, where he helped the company grow its market capitalization by more than 250% to above $1.5 billion. He also led an operational transformation that significantly grew earnings and margins and successfully completed the sale of three operating divisions. Jason also held senior finance roles at both American Airlines and Canadian Airlines. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and has an MBA from Simon Fraser University.

Saad Hammad, BA, MBA


Saad Hammad has more than 30 years of executive, senior management and board experience, including a proven ability to build a profitable business and create value in the low-cost airline industry. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Pegasus Airlines, a leading low-cost airline in Turkey, and held previous board positions at Air Berlin and Optos Plc, a medical technology company, Saad has a Bachelor of Arts, with Honours, in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford and obtained his MBA from the INSEAD business school in France.

Tony Lefebvre, BA


Tony Lefebvre joined BBA Aviation in July 2013 as President and Chief Operating Officer of ASIG before becoming President and Chief Operating Officer of Signature TECHNICAir™ in February 2017. He was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer Global Engine Services and Signature TECHNICAir™ on 1 February 2018. Tony has over 25 years’ experience in the aviation industry.  Prior to joining BBA Aviation, Tony was the Chief Operating Officer of Spirit Airlines and previous to that role he was with US Airways serving as their Managing Director Europe. Tony holds a BA in Business from the University of Maryland.



Réjean Bourque has more than 35 years of experience in managing large scale and innovative financing, risk and insurance transactions. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Marsh Canada, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. Réjean held executive positions with Bombardier in investor and government relations as well as corporate, aerospace and transportation financing. Réjean also sits on the board of Groupe DCM Inc. and served on the boards and executive committees of the Ste-Anne’s Hospital Foundation and Fondation Madeli-Aide. He also served on the Board of Directors of a subsidiary of GE Capital for six years. In 2007, he obtained the professional ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.



Deborah Robinson has more than 25 years of experience as a human resources executive, working in dynamic, changing environments. She is the President of Bay Street HR, a company she founded in late 2001. Previously, Deborah was the Executive Director at CIBC World Markets and held senior HR positions at Fidelity Investments and American Express in Boston and New York City. She is a graduate of Rotman School of Corporate Governance, Institute of Corporate Directors, ICD.D, and Institute of Corporate Directors, Human Resources Committee Certification. Deborah is also a director on the board of VIA Rail Canada, where she serves on the Human Resources and Compensation Committee, as well as the Governance and Risk Committee.

Zygimantas Surintas, LLB


Mr. Zygimantas Surintas has over eight years of executive experience with commercial businesses in North America and Europe combined. Since June 2016, he has held the position of CEO and Director of SmartLynx. As part of his leadership at SmartLynx, Mr. Surintas oversees the company performance and strategy to maintain its status as Europe’s leading ACMI operator. Prior to joining SmartLynx, Mr. Surintas served as Chief Operating Officer for one of the fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe – UAB “Media Innovations”. Mr. Surintas received a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2013 from Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania.



Mark Morabito has more than 20 years of experience in the public markets with expertise in raising capital and corporate development. He is the founder of King & Bay West, a merchant bank and technical services company that specializes in identifying, funding, developing and managing high-potential opportunities. Mark has been the principal driving force behind numerous resource development companies including Alderon Iron Ore Corp. and Excelsior Mining Corp., among others. He has raised more than $900 million in capital and commitments to date and has attained two listings on the New York Stock Exchange. Mark has a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University and completed his Juris Doctor degree at Western University.



Javier Suarez has over 10 years of airline executive experience. Most recently he was Vice President, Network Planning, Revenue Management, E-Commerce with VivaAerobus. During his tenure, Javier was part of the senior management team that improved profitability from a breakeven in 2014 to becoming the most profitable airline in Mexico in 2017. Over his career, Javier launched over 300 routes with a 98% success rate. Prior to VivaAerobus, he held progressively senior roles with Vueling Airlines from 2010 to 2014, an ultra-low-cost carrier in Europe, most notably as the Director of Network Planning, Scheduling, Slots and Corporate Affairs. He defined the Vueling network strategy that operated close to 400 routes and generated over USD $2 billion in revenue. Javier holds a Masters in Management from Harvard University, Masters in Marketing from ESIC Marketing School in Madrid, and Bachelor of Arts, Airline Business Administration from the Autonoma University of Madrid.



Mr. Strandman holds over 30 years of airline experience, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Go Airlines. During his time with GoAir, Mr. Strandman was responsible for strengthening flight operations, engineering, airport services, security and airside operations (ASA), flight safety, inflight services and integrated operations control center. Mr. Strandman held progressively senior positions with US ULCC, Spirit Airlines from 2010 to 2017, from Director, Flight Training and Standards to most recently, Director of Operations and VP of Flight Operations. During his tenure, Spirit grew the Airbus fleet by 76 aircraft, adding three different A320 variants, maintained the flight operations and fuel budgets, and oversaw the regulatory and operational control of the airline. Prior to his role with Spirit Airlines, Mr. Strandman held the role of Manager, Flight Operations Training with Virgin America from 2008 to 2010 where he built the team to redesign all pilot training programs to a higher training standard, at a lower total cost. Mr. Strandman is a qualified Captain on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, as well as four other aircraft, with over 12,400 hours of flight experience.



Carlo Valente has nearly two decades of international business development, corporate advisory, M&A, corporate finance and accounting experience. He has served as CFO at five different publicly listed and private companies, leading all financial reporting, management reporting, budgeting, treasury, financial modeling, merger integration, IT system implementation, tax, insurance and administrate matters. He was directly involved in the raising of more than $200 million in capital. He was with PwC for 15 years in both Canada and Europe. Carlo has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and obtained his CA designation in 2000. He is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.


Chief Sales, Marketing, and Customer Experience Officer

Mr. Jordi Porcel has over 20 years of executive experience in the airline industry, holding senior positions with several notable airlines, including Vueling, Air Arabia, and British Airways. Most notably, he was the Chief Sales Officer for Vueling, where he helped the company expand rapidly and profitably in Europe during the global financial crisis. Most recently, Mr. Porcel was the head of Europe at Air Arabia, a fast growing and profitable low-cost carrier. Prior to his role at Air Arabia, Mr. Porcel was the General Manager of Spain at Etihad Airways from 2014 to 2016. Mr. Porcel also worked at British Airways where he held progressively senior positions, ultimately holding the position of Regional Commercial Manager for Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Mr. Porcel holds an AMP (Advanced Management Program) from IESE Business School – Universidad de Navarra in Barcelona, an Executive MBA from IE Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, a BA from WITS University in Johannesburg, and a Commercial and Marketing degree from ESEM School in Madrid. He also studied at the IBM Business School in London.



Vic Charlebois has built an aviation career including nearly twenty years with the Canadian Forces, as well as serving as VP Flight Operations for First Air, Zoom Airlines and Canada 3000. He is a highly experienced pilot with multiple type ratings in large transport category aircraft such as the Boeing 757/767 and Airbus A320/330, as well as numerous military large piston, turbine and turbojet aircraft. Vic holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Windsor.



Phil Larsen has over 15 years of experience in senior roles in maintenance, engineering and technical services, at Canadian Airlines International, Air Canada, and CHC Global Operations Group. At CHC, Phil was responsible for the maintenance and technical services of up to 230 aircraft operating in up to 35 countries and was directly involved in numerous acquisitions, disposals, restructuring and start-up of companies within CHC Corporation. Phil holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a Diploma of Technology in Advanced Manufacturing from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, an Air Transport Pilots License (Fixed Wing) and a Commercial Helicopter License.



Olen Aasen is a corporate and securities lawyer with more than 10 years of experience in corporate, securities and regulatory matters. He has been the Corporate Secretary and Vice President, Legal at various Canadian and U.S.- listed companies. Olen has an undergraduate business degree from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of British Columbia and is a member of the British Columbia Bar. Olen was named to the 2016 Legal 500 General Counsel Powerlist: Canada.

Jennifer Paterson, BA

Director of Corporate Development

Jennifer Paterson has extensive corporate communications and project management experience for a variety of industries across Canada and the United States. Jennifer leverages her communications, logistics, and organizational skills to assist with the incubation, launch, and commercialization of new ventures. She leads various marketing, communications, and investor relations projects for the public and pre-IPO companies in King & Bay’s portfolio and directs all corporate development initiatives from the Vancouver office of King & Bay. While overseeing the Corporate Development team, Jennifer serves as the Deputy Captain on the Zone Leadership Team for the City of Vancouver, focusing on emergency planning and response. Jennifer serves as an Executive Board Member on the Canadian Investor Relations Institute, BC Chapter and is a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society. Jennifer obtained a double honours degree in Business Management and Earth Sciences at Western University.

Lara Wilson, BA, LLB, GDLP, GDipAppCorpGov, ACIS, AGIA

Corporate Secretary

Ms. Wilson has ten years’ experience in corporate and commercial law, governance, securities and regulatory matters. She is a Chartered Secretary, AGIA, ACIS and has been the Corporate Secretary of various Canadian, U.S. and Australian listed and private companies and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. She holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Wollongong in Australia. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Wollongong and a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA).  Ms. Wilson is admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and qualified to practice law in Australia. She is an Associate member of both the GIA and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).



Mike Harris was the Premier of the Ontario from 1995 to 2002. After leaving politics, he formed his own consulting firm and began serving as an advisor to a number of corporate organizations. Mike is a Senior Advisor at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and serves as a Director on a number of public and private boards. He also and sits on a number of corporate advisory boards, including private equity funds such as EnerTech Capital, Beringer Capital, and Sterling Financial Group. Mike is the Senior Fellow for the Fraser Institute, a leading Canadian economic, social research and education organization and Director for the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.



Les Dakens has more than 30 years of experience working in human resources for top-tier companies and is widely recognized for his leadership in developing best practices as one of North America’s top human resource professionals. He serves as Managing Director and Partner at My Next Season Canada, an organization that advises transitioning executives. Previously, Les held numerous senior management roles, including Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Senior Vice President, People with Canadian National Railway, and North American Vice President of Human Resources at H.J. Heinz Company.

Warren Kinsella, B.A.J


Warren Kinsella is the president of Daisy Group. Previously, he was a partner at the law firm of McMillan Binch, in its Public Policy Group, and has also worked as a consultant, journalist, and political Chief of Staff in Canada. Mr. Kinsella has considerable experience representing the airline industry. For a number of years, he was United Airlines’ chief consultant in Canada. In addition, Mr. Kinsella was the chief government and public relations advisor to the Toronto Port Authority during the period when Porter Airlines was taking off. Mr. Kinsella received a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from Carleton University and his law degree from the University of Calgary; he has also completed executive education courses at Harvard’s law school and its school of business.

Tayfun Eldem, P.Eng


Tayfun Eldem is a seasoned business executive located in Montreal, Quebec. He has held senior roles with several large multinational organizations. Mr. Eldem has significant experience in operations management, business development, capital markets, government relations, project management and technical marketing. Mr. Eldem was recently reappointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Stock Exchange listed Alderon Iron Ore Corp. Previously, Mr. Eldem was Managing Director and Associate at Hatch Ltd., leading Hatch’s business development, client engagement and project delivery functions in Eastern North America as well as overseeing the business globally for the iron ore and coal commodities. He previously worked for the Iron Ore Company of Canada, a Rio Tinto subsidiary, for more than 20 years. During this period, Mr. Eldem held many senior roles including Vice President, Expansion Projects & Engineering and COO. Mr. Eldem is a professional engineer who graduated from Dalhousie University.

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