West Star Aviation Announces New Executive Leadership Structure

June 6, 2024
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,

West Star Aviation 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.

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.     

McReynolds was announced as West Star’s COO in September 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 MRO provider. Employing over 3,000 professionals, West Star offers comprehensive services from strategically located full-service facilities in East Alton, Illinois; Grand Junction, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Millville, New Jersey; Perryville, Missouri; and Statesville, North Carolina, 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 one of the largest aircraft on ground (AOG) networks in the country, ensuring prompt and reliable mobile repair services nationwide.

Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images/TNS