Elevate Aviation

Our Team

Kendra Kincade – Chief Executive Officer

Kendra’s journey began with a challenging early life, which ultimately drove her towards a commitment to helping others in their pursuit of self-discovery and success. In 2015 she founded Elevate Aviation after recognizing a glaring gender disparity within the aviation industry. Kendra is an Air Traffic Controller with NAV CANADA, Honorary Colonel of RCAF 417 Helicopter Squadron, Board Chair for the Alberta Aviation Council, Vice Chair for the Strategic Aviation Advisory Council of Alberta, and a Director, Writer, and Executive Producer for “Only Up” a feature length documentary following women in various aviation careers. An inspiring and sought-after speaker, Kendra shares her knowledge and experience with audiences around the world. Her dedication to positive change has earned her numerous awards and recognition including a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, the Trailblazer Award from Northern Lights Aero Foundation, 2019 SHEInnovator from Global Innovation Coalition for Change, Woman of Inspiration from The Universal Women’s Network, and Global’s Woman of Vision award. In her personal life, Kendra finds joy in spending time with her partner Corey, her children, and grandchildren.

Laura Sinclair – Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer

Originally from New Brunswick, Laura made the move to Edmonton after spending 13 years of her life in the Canadian Armed Forces as an Artillery soldier. In 2015, she co-founded Elevate Aviation and currently assumes responsibility for all its projects, day-to-day operations, and finances. Laura also holds the role of an Air Traffic Controller with NAV CANADA. Her outstanding contributions were recently acknowledged in 2023 when she was honoured with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, featured in Edify Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 class of 2023, and recognized by Wings Magazine as a recipient of the Top 20 under 40 award in 2019. On her time off, she enjoys spending time with her kids, working out, and travelling with her husband Mitchell.

Nova Andrews – Vice President, Workforce and Corporate Transformation

Nova started her career in aviation with Canada 3000 Airlines and later worked for Edmonton Airports in the capacity of a Duty Manager and subsequently as the ‘ETeam’ Manager. Her next stop took her to Edmonton Economic Development where she led the You’re Welcome Edmonton program under the Edmonton Tourism banner.  Nova then made a shift and found her passion with Women Building Futures supporting women in the non-traditional career path of construction and trades. She then managed Employment programs to assist Albertans back into the workforce at Bredin Centre for Learning before returning back to her aviation roots at Elevate Aviation. 

Christine Merrick – Director, Elevate Aviation Learning Centre

Having grown up in the world of aviation and adoring the exciting and ever changing nature of this industry, building a career in it just seemed like a natural fit for Christine. Starting her journey as a Passenger Service Agent with Canada 3000 Airlines, Christine has had the opportunity to build up her experience in various positions through a number of different airlines, eventually establishing herself as the first Station Manager of Swissport at the Edmonton International Airport. As someone who is always eager to learn and expand on her vast array of skills, she has most recently honed her analytical and leadership capabilities with Statistics Canada as a Data Collection Manager. Ultimately, with aviation always calling to her, Christine has now come full circle in her career with Elevate Aviation!  Fulfilling her passion, she is beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce others to the airline industry and watch them flourish. In her spare time – she can be found spending quality time with her family and three rescue dogs from Mexico- Rudy, Juliet and Ray.

Sophia Wells – Director of Mentorship & Volunteers

Sophia is a pilot and chief flight instructor at the Edmonton Flying Club. She holds an airline transport pilot’s license and serves as a Transport Canada pilot examiner. She also flies the Citation 560 and Navajo for Morgan Construction, adding to her experience within the charter aircraft business. She gets to share her life-long passion for aviation through Elevate Aviation by inspiring and mentoring women new to the industry. Sophia sits on the board of directors for the Alberta Aviation Council and the Alberta Aviation Museum. Her contributions to aviation were recognized in 2018 as a Top 20 under 40 recipient for Wings Magazine, in 2019 with the Outstanding Alumni Award from Mount Royal University, and in 2022 with the COPA Appreciation Award. When she is not in the sky she enjoys spending her time with her family. 

Emily Reiman – Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Emily is a Personnel Selection Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Cold Lake, AB. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Equity Studies. Emily has a strong background in DEI and a passion to effect positive change within the workspace. Emily is a member of the Defence Women’s Advisory Organization (DWAO) that seeks to address and overcome barriers that women face in the workplace, and a contributing member of the Transforming Military Cultures Network. Emily is qualified in GBA+ and is a Positive Space Ambassador facilitator which is a program that seeks to create a safe and inclusive workplace for all. On her off time, she enjoys functional fitness, astronomy and golf. 

Dina Jammaz – Director of Community Engagement & Indigenous Partnerships

Dina has been an air traffic controller for 22 years and loves every minute of it. Her passion for aviation shines through when in the community at airshows, career fairs, and any other events she attends in our community. Dina loves to participate in and create events to support the aviation industry and create positive change. Her favourite pastimes include hiking, riding her Harley, and karate.

Colonel Maggie Jacula, CD – Director, Military Relations

Colonel Maggie Jacula was born into a military family and grew up in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. She decided to follow in her parents’ footsteps and joined the Canadian Forces, graduating from Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada. In 2001, with a Bachelor of Chemical and Material Engineering, Maggie was awarded a Chevening Scholarship and graduated from the University of Bristol with a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering in 2002. Over the next two decades, Maggie had postings in Borden, Greenwood, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Comox.  She led the 14 Wing Team in the Nijmegen March in Holland, an overseas deployment with the Joint Task Force-Iraq for six months, served as Aide de Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, completed her Masters of Military Science, and served as the Commanding Officer of 19 Air Maintenance Squadron. In 2020, Maggie retired from the Regular Force and joined the RCAF 2024 Centennial Campaign team to celebrate the history and heritage of the RCAF while inspiring future generations of Canadians to take interest in air and space across Canada. Outside of work, Maggie is married with two sons and loves to watch Indy Car, whether in person or traveling to races.

Ilianna Thasitis – Executive Assistant and Mentorship Program Coordinator

When Ilianna first developed an interest in aviation, she dreamt of becoming a pilot. However, at that point in her life, she felt as though that dream was out of reach. After making accomplishments in other areas of life, such as graduating from MacEwan University, Ilianna developed the confidence she needed to pursue her goal of becoming a pilot. She is currently a student pilot at the Edmonton Flying Club, instructed by our very own Hannah McKay. Learning to fly has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences she has gone through. Ilianna is currently working on her Private Pilot’s License and plans to continue to her CPL, Multi-Engine, and IFR ratings. Ilianna enjoys cooking, staying active, and spending time with friends and family.

Quan Luu – Brand Engagement Manager

Quan is an accomplished marketing professional with over eight years experience in digital marketing, social media, project management and event planning – with a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility and wellness programs. He possesses the leadership skills to oversee projects from inception to successful completion. Quan is also an articulate communicator with natural expertise in cultivating professional alliances and fortifying partnerships.

Quan Luu – Brand Engagement Manager

Quan is an accomplished marketing professional with over eight years experience in digital marketing, social media, project management and event planning – with a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility and wellness programs. He possesses the leadership skills to oversee projects from inception to successful completion. Quan is also an articulate communicator with natural expertise in cultivating professional alliances and fortifying partnerships.