Leadership & Accountability   

The Nanaimo Airport Commission was established to ensure excellent leadership and accountability at all levels in the smooth running of Nanaimo Airport.

Mission: To provide safe, financially sustainable, friendly, high quality airport services and facilities that enhance economic prosperity and meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Vision: Your Island Gateway to the World.

Our 2019-2023 strategic plan: Click Here.

Board of Directors

The Nanaimo Airport Commission (NAC) was incorporated in August of 1990 as a not-for profit authority under the Canada Corporations Act – Part II. In April of 1992 the Commission assumed management and operation of the Nanaimo Airport under a 30 year lease from the Federal Ministry of Transport. In December of 1996 the Commission was granted fee simple title to the Nanaimo Airport lands through the National Airports Policy transfer initiative.

The Airport Commission is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for its corporate mandate, overall function of the Airport, and the strategic direction for airport developments.

The current Board is comprised of nine Directors. Five members of these nine are nominated by entities and appointed by the Board: City of Nanaimo, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, The Town of Ladysmith, CVRD and RDN. The remaining four Directors have been appointed by the Board to represent the Communities at Large.

David Witty, Chair

David joined the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors in April 2015. He was nominated to the Board by the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce. David, the former Provost at Vancouver Island University, has a strong background in urban planning and design. He’s been part of planning work for four BC airports, including YVR, and brings to the NAC extensive planning knowledge.

Colleen Johel, Vice-Chair

Colleen is a lifelong resident of the Cowichan Valley and the nominee of the Cowichan Valley Regional District who joined the Board in 2017. Colleen is the Managing Partner of the law firm Ridgway & Company in Duncan, B.C. where she practices corporate and commercial law along with real estate development and wills and estates. She is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and has served as the Cowichan Valley Bar Association President and as the President of the Nanaimo County Bar Association. Colleen has also served on the Board of Directors of the Island Savings Credit Union for 13 years in many positions, including as Chair and Vice-Chair. Her past experience and knowledge will be an asset in serving on the Nanaimo Airport Board of Directors.

Alex Stuart, Secretary

Alex joined the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors in April 2015. He was nominated to the Board by the Town of Ladysmith. Alex brings a wealth of talents, including a background in technology, environmental management and local government. His experiences are valuable assets to the NAC.

Janna Gillick, Director

Janna is a Professional Engineer and Project Management Professional. She joined the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors in 2021. She’s the City of Nanaimo nominee. She runs her own business and has experience in various sectors. They include oil, gas and energy; pulp and paper; and regulated utilities. Janna graduated from the University of Waterloo, where she was an Academic All-Canadian. She’s a former national master women cyclo-cross champion. She’s also a recipient of the City of Nanaimo’s outstanding master athlete award.

Harpreet Minhas, Director

Harpreet Minhas joined the Board in 2022 as the Regional District of Nanaimo nominee. A local business owner in the transportation sector, he holds an MBA with specialization in human resources. His governance experience includes a Co-operative Director designation from the University of Saskatchewan and a seat on the board of Mid-Island Co-Op. Harpreet and his family live in Nanaimo. They immigrated to Canada in 2015 and have become Canadian citizens. Harpreet joined Nanaimo Airport Commission to help give back to the community.

Mike Brown, Director

Mike joined the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors in 2016.  He serves as a member at large on the Board. Mike has practiced law in Alberta and BC for many years and has extensive experience in business and commercial matters.  Mike grew up in an aviation background and has had a strong interest in aviation throughout his life.

Garth Busch, Director

Garth brings a financial and aviation background to the board in his role as a community-at-large representative. A Nanaimo resident, Garth is a retired partner of MNP LLP, Canada’s fifth largest accounting and business administration firm. He’s been a comptroller for chartered and scheduled aircraft operators. He co-chairs the All Island Equity Real Estate Trust and is past chair of the Vancouver Island University Enterprise Trust. His community service includes work with the Optimists club, tourism sector and the Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Taylor, Director

Mark is a Professional Engineer (non-practising) and project manager. He joined the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors in 2021 as a member at large. Mark owns a construction advisory firm. He has 30 years of experience in commercial, institutional, residential, renewable energy, civil and industrial sectors. He’s been involved with projects of up to $1 billion across Canada. His community service includes Scouts and the Rotary Club. Mark also volunteers on the Emergency Support Services team in Lantzville, where he lives with his family.

Board of Directors at a Glance

RepresentativeTitleNominating EntityTermExpiry
David WittyChair Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce3 yrs2024
Colleen JohelVice-ChairCowichan Valley Regional District3 yrs2023
Alex StuartBoard SecretaryTown of Ladysmith3 yrs2024
Janna GillickDirectorCity of Nanaimo3 yrs2024
Harpreet SinghDirectorRegional District of Nanaimo3 yrs2025
Mike BrownDirectorMember at Large3 yrs2025
Garth BuschDirectorMember at Large3 yrs2023
Mark TaylorDirectorMember at Large3 yrs2024