Taking Flight as station manager

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:40

Wasaya’s Taking Flight project has given Walter Slipperjack a new role within the company.
During the last four months, Slipperjack, originally from Kenora, Ont., has been Wasaya’s acting station manager at the Thunder Bay airport. He said his new position involves looking after Wasaya’s cargo, ramp and terminal staff.
“It’s definitely an experience. You learn something new every day,” he said.
Slipperjack enrolled into the Taking Flight program last winter after Jonathon Mamakwa, Wasaya’s vice president of sales and marketing, suggested he look into the Wasaya Group-Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board training program. The project started in January and runs until March 2011.
Slipperjack started out at Wasaya by grooming aircraft for a year, then he moved up to the parts department during his second year and into dispatch during his third year, where he has continued working for about five years.
“It’s definitely been beneficial for myself and hopefully the company later on down the road,” Slipperjack said. “I can see myself staying as station manager for Thunder Bay for as many years as I can do it. You just have more hands on of the operation. Working in dispatch, you could see some improvements that could be made down at the terminal so hopefully I can take some of those ideas and implement them.”
Slipperjack enjoys the camaraderie the trainees have built up among themselves after working in the program over the past seven months.
“We work side by side every day so we get to bounce ideas off each other and get advice and talk about how to solve issues,” Slipperjack said. “You get assistance from upper management and a lot of support.”