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West Star Aviation Announces New Executive Leadership Structure

West Star Aviation is excited to announce that after a multi-year succession planning process, a new executive leadership structure has been named. Jim Rankin, who has served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer since 2018, has been named Executive Chairman of the Board, Stephen Maiden has been appointed his successor as the company’s CEO, and Allen McReynolds, who currently serves as Chief Operating Officer, will take on an expanded role as President and COO, responsible for all West Star operations.

Stephen Maiden joined the West Star team in November of 2023 when Jet East, a Gama Aviation Company, where he served as President and CEO, was acquired by West Star Aviation. Maiden’s career in aviation maintenance began when he served in the United States Air Force as an Electrical and Environmental Specialist on F-16s. Since that time, he has remained committed to the industry for nearly 30 years. Throughout his career, Maiden has served in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility from an Avionics Technician to Team Lead and Manager, to Director of Quality and Operations. He spent the last 18 years serving as a CEO in the area of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). Maiden’s tenured career in aviation maintenance, combined with his deep understanding of the MRO business and passion for creating relationships with employees and customers, are expected to drive West Star’s continued innovation.     

Allen McReynolds was announced as West Star’s COO in September of 2023. Shortly following that announcement, the company acquired Jet East and significantly expanded its maintenance operations. As part of the recent leadership restructure, McReynolds will assume increased responsibility and oversight of all business operations in his new role of President and COO.  He has spent more than two decades in and around maintenance covering Business Aviation, Commercial Airlines and Defense. Prior to joining West Star, McReynolds served as a Managing Partner at SeaTec Consulting and has held distinguished leadership positions including Vice President of Global Aftermarket Sales for Textron Aviation and Executive Vice President of Operations for Hawker Beechcraft. 

Rankin commented, “Stephen and Allen bring a unique set of skills and experiences to their leadership roles.  I’m excited to support them as they build on West Star’s long-standing guiding principle of taking care of customers and employees.” Rankin continued, “Stephen and Allen have a rich understanding of where the company is headed, and I look forward to achieving new milestones with them as they assume these leadership roles.”   

Maiden stated, “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead this remarkable team and express my sincere gratitude for all the hard work and dedication that has contributed to the legacy of West Star Aviation.” He continued, “The history of 77 years is truly special. Our people, who are the heart of our organization, will remain our top priority as we strive to deliver exceptional experiences to our valued customers. By prioritizing our team, we can truly be the differentiator in providing outstanding service and achieving operational excellence.”

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity of leading West Star across multiple business lines,” McReynolds noted. “The opportunity represents a professional and personal privilege to collaborate with a team of experts. I am excited about what the future holds for West Star,” he continued. 

With more than 75 years of industry experience, West Star Aviation stands as a leading independent Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) provider. Employing over 3,000 professionals, West Star offers comprehensive services from our strategically located full-service facilities in East Alton, IL; Grand Junction, CO; Chattanooga, TN; Millville, NJ; Perryville, MO; and Statesville, NC, as well as satellite locations in Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Chicago, and West Palm Beach. The company’s extensive capabilities encompass maintenance, paint, interior, and avionics services, supported by the largest Aircraft On Ground (AOG) network in the country, ensuring prompt and reliable mobile repair services nationwide.


For Media Inquiries, Please Contact
Dana Seese, Vice President, Marketing
(216) 571.1690


Jim Rankin

Executive Chairman
of the Board

Stephen Maiden

Chief Executive Officer

Allen McReynolds

President and Chief Operating Officer

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RSM, California

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Contact Us

WSAA will be piloted at the East Alton, IL facility with the first round of apprentices anticipated to start in August 2024. For more information on West Star Aviation employment or WSAA apprentice selection criteria, please visit or contact Katie Johnson ( or Dave Lagermann (

Application & Selection Process

Before applying, please be aware of the standards of conduct for employment with West Star along with the strict requirements below while attending WSAA.

  • Working in Aviation requires a commit to being drug-free.  Pre-employment drug testing along with random and reasonable suspicion testing is required for all companies employing people working in safety sensitive positions. The position you are considering applying for is safety sensitive.  If hired, you must pass a DOT drug test to start working, if you fail the job offer is rescinded.  If you pass, you must remain drug-free during employment, failing a random or reasonable suspicion test may result in termination of employment.  Please note: marijuana is legal in certain states however the FAA follows Federal law where marijuana is illegal.  This means testing positive for marijuana, or any other illegal drug, will prevent you from working in Aviation. 
  • The first 7.5 months will follow a strict schedule: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 3:30pm (breaks and meal periods provided). 
  • The expectation is to arrive inside the learning center and clocked in at 7:00am.
  • While attending WSAA, no more than 4 hours a week can be missed.  Extenuating medical circumstances will be given full consideration with supporting documentation.
  • WSAA follows an FAA approved curriculum which has certain requirements including attendance. 
  • Testing for the FAA license at the conclusion of WSAA is required, along with passing.  Two opportunities to test will be provided, if needed.  Employment may terminate if the FAA license is not obtained.
  • Candidates will be contacted to complete pre-screening assessments and questionnaires. 
  • Qualified candidates will be contacted in late November and scheduled for a tour and interview with Hiring Managers at West Star Aviation in East Alton, IL.
  • To be qualified, candidates must pass the pre-screening process along with submitting a negative DOT drug test result.
  • Finalists will be selected after onsite interviews. Job offers will be extended in mid-December with a start date of January 9, 2024.
  • Pay while learning in the Academy will be $20 per hour.  Upon successfully graduating and obtaining your FAA license, pay will increase to $27 per hour.