Dave McElroy spent most of his working career as a senior executive in the lumber / wood products business. He recently retired from Norbord Inc, a two billion dollar Toronto-based company with assets in Canada, the US and Europe. His most recent posting was as Deputy Managing Director of Norbord Europe. He and partner Debbie lived in Stirling, Scotland for fifteen years prior to returning to Canada in 2015, at which time they moved to Kelowna. He has two sons and four grandchildren.
Dave has devoted a lot of his time to charitable organizations over past decades during which he has Chaired, and served on the Boards, of five different organizations. Three of these were non-profit societies delivering social services - in Victoria, Richmond and Toronto. The other two have been Flying Clubs: The Scottish Aero Club of Perth, Scotland, and the Kelowna Flying Club, which he now serves as President. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association – the 16,000-member organization which represents pilots across Canada.
Michael learned to fly on the “North Strip” (where the main terminal is now located) at Vancouver International Airport in 1962 while working as a trainee reporter at The Vancouver Province. Courtesy of the Canadian government his 35 hours to get a private licence cost only $350. His cross- country requirement was to fly to the then grass strip at Chilliwack.
During his career as a correspondent in the United Kingdom, Argentina and New York and then a business manager in Mexico for Reuters News Agency, and a telecommunications entrepreneur in Asia based in Hong Kong and then Ghana, he lived outside of Canada for 42 years.
Flying outside of Canada is not simple, so when he visited Canada each year he went flying. He was president of the Kelowna Flying Club in 2009. He is certified for day VFR single engine, and has flown the Cessna 140, 150, 172 and 175, Piper Colt and Arrow. He has flown across Canada to Ottawa, to La Ronge and throughout that area of Northern Saskatchewan, to Yellowknife, NWT, and several times between San Diego and Canada.
July this year Michael visited Ghana to see the progress of a School he helped found in 2002, and of which he is now chairman and fund raiser. It was initially an IT school for youths who could not get a job without computer training, but now combines that with a school for 56 mainly primary children. He has been a board member for various companies around the world, and in Kelowna is executive chairman of Helios Global Technologies which promotes worker safety products including material to reduce concussions in sports.
Since a young’un in Australia, to the innards of Toronto, this pilot wannabe has dreamt of touching an airplane (legally). He grew up to be an accountant (who doesn’t get his taxes done on time), amazing father to 6 (on purpose), a loved husband (by a very sexy and slim wife). James has a twisted & sick sense of humor and a great sense of calmness that he carries with him. James is great asset to anyone and any organization which is lucky enough to embrace his many talents.
Charlene was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, moving to Surrey, BC with her young family in 1994, after a while, missing the change of seasons, they moved to the Okanagan in 2010, where as family they own and operate Blind Tiger Vineyards in Lake Country, in addition to their Auction business based out of Vancouver. Her businesses, family, and volunteering keep her pretty busy - so consequently, it took her a full two years to achieve her pilots license, which she completed in August 2014. Learning to fly her Cessna 172 was a dream come true. She has to pinch herself every time she gets into that pilot seat! She also enjoys skiing, hiking, and nature .
Jon Itterman has been flying since 1995 and joined the Kelowna Flying Club in 2010. He has a commercial license and is multi-engine rated with over 1100 hours total time.
Since 1995 he and his wife have owned the following; a Cessna 150, 2, Cessna 172’s, a Piper PA-30, a Citabria, and a Maule M-4 210C. He and his wife currently own and fly a Maule M-4 – 220C.
Jon was a board member of the Kelowna Aqua Jets Swim club for two years and currently sits a director with the RVDA of BC and is the RVDA of BC representative on the HR/ED Committee for RVDA of Canada.
He is passionate about flying and combines that with his love of the outdoors.
He is honored to be a member of the Kelowna Flying Club’s Board of directors and as Copa Flight 36 Captain works to ensure great events like COPA for Kids will continue to promote General Aviation throughout the Okanagan.
Rupert, a South African by birth, learned to fly in the South African Air Force. He is a professional educator who specialized in Technology Education - and taught secondary school in Kelowna for the past 35 years. [ret] He met his Canadian wife Cheryle - in Rhodesia [Zimbabwe] in 1974. After living the first 5 years of their marriage in Port Elizabeth, Cheryle and Rupert and their two sons, immigrated in 1981 to Kelowna BC. Rupert joined the Kelowna Flying Club back in the early 90’s, and has been an avid club member and supporter of Young Eagles and COPA for Kids Junior Aviator programs ever since. Rupert constructed and flew his own amateur built aircraft while a member of the local RAA chapter – an Ultravia Pelican 914 turbo.
His first ever light plane flight occurred over Johannesburg - in a Piper Tri-Pacer at age 7. He has since, been unable to donate blood to the Red Cross – as his blood type test came up as A positive – “A” - as in Avgas contaminated! But the most cherished aspect of his flying “career”- are the wonderful friendships he has made over the past 4 plus decades within the aviation community.
Rupert continues to enjoy these “fly-by-night/fly by day” friends he hangs out with in and around Kelowna’s YLW. When he is not too busy - he swims, works out, mountain bikes, plays guitar, sings in the Kelowna Community Gospel Choir, fishes, and serves at Trinity Baptist Church. But mostly, he thrives on enjoying – [along with Cheryle – his soul mate] – their two precious Kelowna based grandkids – Sweden and Beckham. Truly blessed.
Gene’s interest in aviation took hold in Saskatchewan where the travel distances are vast and the terrain is flat. Training was received the Regina Flying Club and private license achieved in 1987. Since then, Gene has added his night rating and VFROT ratings after having moved to BC.
Gene has been on the KFC board for several years after having spent 10 years on the board of the Abbotsford International Airshow where he served as president for the last 3 years just prior to moving to Kelowna.
Working in the financial sector, Gene sits on several provincial and national committees and is on the board of the Credit Union Foundation of BC, all of which provide insight for being on the board of the KFC.
Dave’s life-long passion has been flying. He has flown more than 3700 hours in 29 different aircraft types, and is current with IFR, single & multi-engine ratings. He flies his own Vans RV6 from Kelowna Airport. In 2014 he flew a single-engine Piper Comanche around the world. This unusual achievement raised over $150,000 for two charities: SickKids Foundation of Toronto, and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance of Perth, Scotland. In 2015 he was awarded the Norton Griffiths Challenge Trophy by The Royal Aero Club in London.
He and two partners just concluded another major expedition – a circumnavigation of South America in two Vans RV’s which raised well over $500,000 for Hope Air.
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