Born and raised in St. Thomas, Ontario, Kevin Walsh caught the air show "bug" at the age of 4 years old. His father was the legendary Canadian air show coordinator, Tom Walsh, of the famed London International Air Show, Canada’s largest military air show. For the 23 years Kevin worked alongside of his father "cutting his tooth" in the air show industry on this mega-successful air show. In 1997, Kevin moved from his home province of Ontario to the State of Michigan and began his medical career as a Certified Athletic Therapist at POH Regional Medical Center in Oxford, Michigan. Keeping close to his air show roots, Kevin joined the Yankee Air Museum as a volunteer and began work on the museum’s first Air Display in 1999. This modest Air Display served as the beginning for the world-renown THUNDER OVER MICHIGAN Air Show. Kevin is the current Event Director for the THUNDER OVER MICHIGAN Air Show. The THUNDER OVER MICHIGAN Air Show is held annually at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, MI. In 2012, Kevin commanded a new venture for the Yankee Air Museum and produced the THUNDER OVER UTAH Air Show, the museum's first remote, fully-produced air show.
Over his tenure at the museum, Kevin has served on the Board of Directors for the Yankee Air Museum from 2004 to 2012. He was an active Board member chairing the Governance Committee, managing the Hangar Fundraising Campaign and serving on the museum's Long Range Planning Committee.
In 2012, Kevin became the Yankee Air Museum's new Executive Director and left a full-time medical career to pursue a career in the aviation museum world. Kevin has served on the NECAS Board for 3 years and has held the office of President the last 2 years. Concurrently, he is the Regional Representative and Board Member on the ICAS Board and has done so for the last 2 years.
Kevin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, a post-graduate Diploma in Athletic Therapy from Sheridan College and is a Nationally-Certified Canadian Athletic Therapist.
Dave Cooper is a native of the great state of Pennsylvania, who attended his first airshow in 1982 in Cleveland, Ohio, while taking private pilot lessons. He was hooked after watching Bob Hoover’s performance in the “Shrike Commander.” At the time, he was a consulting petroleum engineer in the oil and gas business in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In 1985, he formed “Just Plane People”, a traveling, airshow novelty business that participated in over 550 events nationwide from 1985 until 1999. In 1990, Dave moved to Geneseo, NY to independently manage the gift shop and away airshow novelty operations for the National Warplane Museum. In 1994, it was back on the road as a novelty vendor and operations consultant to several airshows throughout the United States. In 1998 and 1999, Dave was a consultant to the Promotional Management Group and principal advisor to the March Airfest at March Air Reserve Base in California in the conduct of airshows at a military base. In 2000, he joined Beau Productions as the airshow coordinator for the Rochester International Airshow, and as the Facilities Manager for Frontier Field, a AAA baseball stadium affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. In his free time, Dave collects antique glass and serves on the Board of Directors for the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in support of Camp Good Days and Special Times. Dave holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing/Finance from Ohio University.
John Cooper is a businessman in Niagara Falls NY and caught the "air show bug" when he attended his first air show at the Niagara Falls International Airport as a small child. John has served as the vice chairman of the Niagara Military Affairs Council (NIMAC) since 1997. NIMAC represents the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) and it’s units in Washington DC and Albany and also serves as a liaison between the NFARS and the local community. Part of the NFARS involvement with the community involves the Thunder of Niagara Airshow which is one of the largest air shows in the State of New York. John's involvement with the Thunder of Niagara Airshow, ICAS and NECAS goes back to the late 1990's. He has served as the NIMAC air show coordinator in obtaining air show acts and sponsorship for Thunder of Niagara Airshow for several years. John and his wife Jennifer work together in the family business, are very involved in the local business community and have one son who is currently an U.S. Army ROTC Cadet at Baptist Bible College and Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA.
Tery was born in Montreal but was introduced to aviation at age four on a sunny Sunday morning in Quebec city where his father was airport manager. His father took him for a stroll around the General Aviation ramp and the smells and sensations went straight up his nose and stayed there. Later Tery joined the Air Cadets and earned a Flying Scholarship and got his Private license in 1974. He joined the Canadian Forces and earned his pilot wings going on to teach on Tutors before transferring to rotary wing flying with Tactical Aviation where he flew Kiowas, Twin Hueys and now the Griffon helicopter. He was a member of the Snowbird Team in 2005-2006 as Snowbird 10, Team Coordinator. Tery is currently completing the rebuild of his Steen Skybolt which he plans to take on the show circuit as soon as it is ready. Tery still serves with 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Borden Ontario and has completed tours in Sinai, Somalia, Haiti and Afghanistan.
At the age of three, Melissa Minshall was introduced to aviation, taking her first sightseeing flight with her family and has been hooked ever since. As a resident of Brantford, she began her private pilot’s license there in 2009 and will take any opportunity to be airborne in any aircraft.
As Director of the Brantford Airshow, Melissa is a passionate volunteer in this capacity and actively volunteers with a number of other airshows across Ontario. Since beginning in 1999, she is now well versed in airshows having successfully coordinated all elements from port-o-potty rentals to performer hospitality and everything in between.
Melissa attended night school to earn her designation as a Certified Event Planner in 2009. This achievement was in addition to her Honours in Marketing and Communications Diploma from Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. Melissa’s portfolio showcases a range of events such as Corporate, Sporting, Aviation, and Charity functions.
Melissa works with the public, numerous community groups and all three levels of government as the Tourism and Events Assistant at the Municipality of Brant. Melissa has a passion for travel which began in Greece and Turkey, followed by Europe, but her favourite place to be is visiting family in Western Canada.
Diana Spremo is an accredited and award-wining public relations consultant, who has been practicing PR for almost 20 years. In addition to her business, Diana enjoys volunteering her PR and marketing skills to aviation-related organizations. She is currently the General Manager, Media and Marketing, for the Waterloo Air Show, and Media Relations Manager for the Canadian Air & Space Museum. Prior to the Waterloo Air Show, Diana spent 10 years as the Media Relations Manager for the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto. Diana currently owns her own consulting business – Spremo Communications -- and previously has held corporate jobs as Public Relations Manager of Home Depot Canada and Ontario Place, plus consulting jobs at three Toronto PR agencies. Some clients Diana has worked with include NIKE, Kellogg’s, Cirque du Soleil, the Toronto Raptors, The Cottage Life Show, The Sportsmen’s Show and The Toronto International Boat Show. As a freelancer, Diana creates and implements strategic communications campaigns for her clients that align with organizational missions and goals. Her areas of expertise focus on media relations, corporate communications, branding, special events, community relations and crisis communications. Diana’s project management skills and positive attitude have helped create many successful communications campaigns for her clients, and she takes great pride in the long‐term relationships she has created with many clients, vendors and media.
Ben, U.S. Air Force Reserve evaluator pilot, is the current Chief of Current Operations at the 914th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls, New York. Ben’s history with air shows began the instant he joined the Air Force, as he was sworn in by the United States Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team, known as the Thunderbirds in 1992 at the Thunder of Niagara Air Show. Throughout his military career, Ben has been involved in various levels of air show coordination in past shows at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. In 1998 and 2000 he served as the ground static coordinator in which he supervised all of the ground displays. In 2001 and 2004 he was in command of all of the aerial acts of the Thunder over Niagara Air Shows as the air operations officer. During this time Ben developed and implemented a program which incorporated all entities of the air show in one living document which greatly improved air show oversight for event leadership. The program Ben developed has been successfully utilized by military air shows around the nation. Most recently, Ben served as 2011 Thunder of Niagara air show director. Under his leadership and vision, the air show professionally and respectfully honored the victims of the September 11th, 2001 attacks and attracted more than 150,000 guests in a two day period. Ben firmly believes that air shows are the perfect way to showcase and highlight the precision and superior aviation abilities of military as well as civilian pilots, aircrews and maintainers. Ben naturally progressed to knowing his way around different types of air frames during his climb up the military ranks. Ben started his aviation career as an enlisted jet engine maintainer on the C‐5 Galaxy and C‐130 flight engineer. After receiving his bachelor’s degree Ben earned his commission through Officer training School and became a C‐130 pilot. As both enlisted and officer, Ben’s combat experience spans two decades as he has served in multiple military operations including, Operation Support Hope as well as The Kosovo War. In more recent operations, Ben has served as a command pilot in countless combat missions in four deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ben currently resides in Clarence Center, NY and is the proud father of two daughters, Taylor, 8 and Camryn, 5.
Eric Dumigan is an Aviation Photo Journalist who had his first work published in 1988. Born in Montreal he attended airshows at an early age with his father, Richard Dumigan, whose photo collection dates back to 1946. Since that time Eric has been published in many of the world's best aviation magazines. He is a North American correspondent for Britain's Flypast Magazine and an official photographer for COPA Flight, Canadian Aviator and recently created Canadian Skies magazine. As well, Eric maintains a website (http://www.airic.ca/) that promotes airshows and aviation in Canada. Experienced in Air-to-air photography Eric maintains a professional work ethic on the hot ramp as well as in the air. Eric is often accompanied by his wife, Bernadette, who is a contributing photographer to the website and aviation articles.
David White’s interest in aviation began at a young age. His father was a private pilot who operated a Cessna 210 out of Brampton Airport throughout David’s youth. Taking any opportunity to go flying with his dad. When his father stopped flying in the late 90’s David, faced with not flying anymore went about getting his own license and now is an IFR rated private pilot operating a Cessna Cardinal out of Burlington Air park in Burlington Ontario.
The Airshow bug began at a good friends house after many cocktails when David was convinced to join the Air Operations team at Toronto in 2002. Starting as a POC and then Air Operations Manager at Toronto through 2008. David now enjoys involvement in many shows including co-producing and Air Boss at Waterloo, Air Boss at several other shows, and participating as a helper for Mach One Productions at many other shows around the NECAS area.
Being the owner of a Two-way radio dealer and service centre in the Toronto Area allows David the time flexibility to be involved in so many shows at so many different levels.