James Ward is the new president and CEO at the controls of Wasaya Airways.
The Thunder Bay-based, First Nations-owned and operated regional air carrier selected Ward to replace Tom Morris, the airline's two-time leader, who is retiring after 24 years.
Three hundred-employee Wasaya provides passenger, charter, and freight service to 25 destinations out of four bases in northwestern Ontario.
Ward is well-versed in working with First Nation communities in working as Wasaya's sales manager between 2004 and 2014, beforing seguing into running Happy Time Tours, HT Leasing and Carrick Express. He is a director of the board of Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund.
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and to have the trust of the Wasaya Chiefs, EIC, and board,” said Ward in a statement.
“I look forward to sharing my vision of the airline with the talented Wasaya team and the valued community members. Exciting times ahead.”
Wasaya board chair Luke Reynolds said Ward was a key figure in building strong relationships with the communities.
"His knowledge of the aviation industry and his commitment to working for the north will be missed. On behalf of the board of directors and staff, we thank Tom for his dedication, leadership and service to the airline and wish him a well-deserved and enjoyable retirement.”