Overwhelmed by a decidedly challenging early life, Kendra discovered that the pathway to her own salvation lay in helping others find theirs. Her quest to make a difference in the lives of others included climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for a local hospital and establishing her own non-profit organizations, Changing Stories and Elevate Aviation.
Kendra’s career as an Air Traffic Controller opened up even more horizons. When she recognized the negligible female presence in the industry, she set out to remedy the situation. Now, an internationally acclaimed humanitarian and Honorary Colonel of the RCAF 417 Helicopter Squadron, Kendra is the award-winning Founder and Chair of Elevate Aviation.
Operations and Branding
Now an IFR air traffic controller in the Edmonton Area Control Centre, Laura wasn’t always involved in the aviation industry. Originally from New Brunswick, the mom of three left her 13-year career with the Canadian Armed Forces to move to Edmonton, AB and pursue a new career. She began working with Elevate in 2014 and now works closely with the team on all projects and day-to-day operations. She was most recently recognized for her work with Elevate Aviation by Wings Magazine as a 2019 Top 20 under 40 recipient. On her time off she enjoys travelling with her spouse Mitchell.
Advocacy and Mentorship
Sophia is the 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 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 was recognized in 2018 as a Top 20 under 40 recipient for Wings Magazine and in 2019 with the Outstanding Alumni Award from Mount Royal University. When she is not in the sky she enjoys spending her time with her husband Mark and their fur baby Elroy.
Dina is an air traffic controller at the Edmonton International Airport tower. She has been a controller for 21 years and still loves every minute of it. Her passion for aviation shines through as Elevate’s Community Outreach Coordinator at airshows, career fairs, and any other events she attends in our community. When she isn’t at karate or riding her Harley, she is kept busy by her spouse Derek, three teenagers, and their Rottweiler.
Sponsorship and Business Relations
Chelsey started her career in the field of emergency response and occupational health and safety. She now applies these skills daily in her position at Edmonton International Airport. Chelsey grew up on a farm in small town Alberta where the quality of hard work was instilled in her from day one. She currently lives life to the fullest with her husband Kevin and dog Blue.
Events and Public Engagement
Jennifer has been an aviation enthusiast since a teenager. She spent her youth in Air Cadets learning about all aspects of aviation and obtained her private pilots licence at the age of 18. She started her career with Transport Canada (now Nav Canada) in the very early 90’s as a Air Traffic Operations Specialist and still loves what she does in the ever changing world of aviation. She has spent many years volunteering with different organizations and started with Elevate Aviation in 2014. She is married with two beautiful daughters, and an adorable black lab. When not at work can be found enjoying her down time cycling,traveling and spending time at the lake with friends.
Director of Military Relations
Major Alexia Hannam is the Commanding Officer of 417 Squadron and flies Search and Rescue Griffon helicopters in Cold Lake, AB. She is an Instrument Check Pilot, Maintenance Test Pilot, Instructor, and Standards Chief Check Pilot. She began working with Elevate in 2015 and is responsible for the liaison between the Royal Canadian Air Force and Elevate Aviation. Alexia was awarded the Flight Operations Elsie Award in 2019 by the Northern Lights Aero Foundation for her extraordinary work in aviation and being a vocal advocate for the Air Force and women in aviation. On her time off she loves travelling with her husband, dancing, and coaching gymnastics.
Project Administrator - ESWA
Jenny worked as a paralegal for nearly a decade before joining Elevate Aviation. She balances her passion for business and the nonprofit sector with art and creative writing. One of her most notable achievements is her work gracing the cover of Room Journal, Canada’s oldest female-run literary magazine. Her short stories and reviews have also been published by critically acclaimed literary journals in both Canada and the United States. She has two kids, two cats and one hamster, named Alfred.
Program Director, Elevate Aviation Learning Centre
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. This led to her most recent stop at Bredin Centre for Learning where she managed Employment programs to assist Albertans back into the workforce. She is now extremely proud to bring her career path full circle and take the Elevate Aviation Learning Centre to new heights.
Creative Design and Decor
Devon is an IFR Air Traffic Controller in Edmonton. She has two young girls and a passion for travelling. Devon has worked with Elevate since the beginning on a variety of projects. She now mainly helps with artistic design and keeps the team laughing with her awesome sense of humour!
Maegan became interested in aviation when she joined Air Cadets at 12 years old. After 6 years, armed with a glider and private pilot’s license, she attended Seneca College for their Aviation Safety Advanced Diploma Program. She now works at NAV CANADA as a data analyst. As the Ontario Ambassador, she works with the team to coordinate events and partnerships in Ontario. Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering for other organizations close to her heart, planning trips, and trying new restaurants.
Melissa Haney is an Inuk pilot with Air Inuit, and currently a captain on the Dash-8. She is from Inukjuak, Quebec a small fly-in only community on the Hudson Bay. In 2001, she became a flight attendant with Air Inuit. Her love of aviation blossomed with seeing what the pilots were doing as she saw Nunavik from a different angle, she then decided to take the jump and get her pilot licence. Finishing all her courses, she started flying the Twin Otter with Air Inuit and moved up the ranks. In 2016 she became the first female Inuk to reach captain, in 2017 the Canadian 99s honoured her with a commemorative stamp. She now mentors young women and Indigenous youth in aviation and is the Air Inuit Sparrow co-ordinator that sponsor Nunavik Inuit to obtain their pilot licence.