TONYA YEARWOOD

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

Tonya Yearwood was born in Toronto, Ontario to natives of Trinidad & Tobago. She worked in both Canada and the United States in a variety of careers; Finance, Fitness, Postal Service, and Automotive until she found herself in Aviation & Aerospace within the IT space. Working in the industry allowed Tonya to have a new found appreciation for air transportation but quickly learned that diversity in Aviation & Aerospace was non-existent compared to her previous professional experiences. Without its challenges, the Black Aviation Professionals Network (BAPN) was formed, a non-profit organization to help her fellow colleagues and the next generation of leaders and aviators in the sector. BAPN will promote Aviation, showcase it’s more than pilots and flight attendants, appeal to the Black community showing the variety of careers available and supply the resources to thrive. There are Aviation Professionals and professionals in Aviation. Together, we are BAPN!

OPEOLUWA ‘OPS’ IYORTIM

PILOT DEVELOPMENT

OpeOluwa fell in love with aviation on his very first flight as a toddler. Since then, he lived with the single-minded goal of becoming an Airline pilot. He enrolled in the integrated commercial pilot course (ICPC) at the Moncton Flight College in 2015. 18 months, numerous overnight study sessions and 200 hours later, he was faced with the dilemma of how to move his career forward. His love of teaching won out and he enrolled in the instructor program, after which he taught full time for two years before launching his airline career at a regional carrier in 2019. OpeOluwa is currently a first officer on one of the two biggest airlines in Canada, but still finds time to instruct and mentor pilots when his schedule permits. It’s a juggling act, however he finds joy and fulfillment in bringing people into the family that is aviation. Wholly appreciative of the peculiarities that enabled him build an airline career in just 4 years, he decided to leverage on his experiences; past and ongoing, to create The Vectored Approach. An initiative driven by the vision of lowering the barriers to aviation and standardizing safety and professionalism in the cockpit. A natural extension of his vision; his position at the Black Aviation Professional Network allows him give back to the community. He stands among icons of the black community, positioned to inspire and empower the next generation of pilots within the network. Email Ops

STACEY-CYMONE AQUI

STUDENT PROGRAMS & DEVELOPMENT

Growing up in a Caribbean family of airline professionals with a deep love for travel, it is no surprise that Stacey found herself in aviation. With many years in Early Childhood Education and over fifteen years in Quality Assurance with certificates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in both IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) programs. Stacey holds the position of Manager, Corporate Safety & Quality Programs. To encourage the next generation Stacey has the following lessons learned she hopes to impart; Never stop learning – learn from every experience and person you meet. Knowledge is never lost. Network – put yourself in situations where you can connect with people in the industry, people with experience and ideas, people who can offer opportunities. Find a mentor. Bet on yourself – don’t be afraid to take chances or try new things. It may feel scary but your greatest growth will happen outside of your comfort zone. Stacey-Cymone Aqui

ANDRÉ PATRICK

DIGITAL CONTENT CREATOR & SOCIAL MEDIA

Born in Trinidad, André’s family left the tropical island and flew to Canada just after his first birthday. Growing up, André was always intrigued by the things he didn’t know and tried to master the things he knew. As a young man, he always stood out from the pack trying new things and letting his creativity flow. His mindset has always been to help build those around him to succeed as best as they wanted to. That’s why he joined BAPN. He believes visual representation matters and that there was/is a notable gap for people of colour online. “The Black community is underrepresented and undervalued within the aviation industry. In 2020, I really took note of how few Black people I saw being posted on social media from major airline companies in Canada. My aim is to use the BAPN platform to bridge that gap, uplift our community and showcase our talents to spark conversation around the contributions the Black community adds to aviation in all sectors and at all levels.” – André Patrick

JASMINE THOMAS

SPECIAL EVENTS

Making things come together, that’s one of Jasmine’s many passions. Whether it’s at home managing the complexities of her household with her husband and children, at work supporting a busy senior executive or helping a client manage one of the most memorable days of their lives. Leveraging her organizational skills, relationship management, knowledge and experience, Jasmine is committed to adding value to whatever project she takes on. “BAPN is important to me for two main reasons; The goal to bring together black professionals so we can learn, grown, inspire and make progress in the advancement of black presence in the Aviation industry, secondly, to open the door for our children and encourage them to consider careers and opportunities outside of societal norms. That’s what my parents did for us when they immigrated from the sunny island of Jamaica West Indies to live in Canada. They thought of opportunity through hard work and a good education for their generations.” – Jasmine Thomas

KEON DE HAIJLE

MEMBER RELATIONS

Born in Guyana. Migrated to Toronto in 2006 at age 16. As a kid his dad introduced him to the Microsoft Flight Simulator Game and he became great at it. Being new to Canada, flight school wasn’t a feasible financial option. Being a Huge Formula 1 fan, his next option was to become a Sport Auto mechanic in F1 but at the time they only recruited from Oxford University. He completed the Aviation Technician program at Centennial College with hopes that his new skills will create a future job opportunity in Formula One. Keon currently performs maintenance duties on a fleet of aircrafts as a Licensed Aircraft Technician and endorsed on Boeing 787, Airbus 330, and Dash 8 Q400. Email Keon

ANTONIO GÓMEZ-IGBO

BUSINESS RELATIONS

Antonio is as Product Marketing Manager, focusing on Flight Services. He develops and executes global go-to-market initiatives that connect  digital solutions with ideal customers. He focuses on product marketing activities and enables strategic selling. Antonio brings with him over 8 years’ experience in aviation software and airline operations. Antonio’s aviation experience includes a Crew Resource Manager at Air Canada and Service Manager at Jeppesen – Boeing. Antonio has also worked at WestJet as a Cabin Crew Member and at Air Canada Rouge as a Base Supervisor. Email Antonio