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Elsie MacGill Awards Gala

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation Elsie MacGill Awards Gala was established in 2009 and each year honours up to seven women for their contributions in specific aviation and aerospace disciplines. The 9th annual gala was held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Toscana Conference Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. The Northern Lights Aero foundation’s cause is to attract young women to enter careers in any sector of aviation and aerospace, by recognizing and celebrating the achievements of accomplished women in these fields.

Joy Parker Blackwood – President, treasurer and director.

The National Anthem by vocalist Kathleen Eyman

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Claire Lemiski – Secretary & director, new media.

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Piyush Gandhi-Vice President, Flight Operation, Porter Airlines and Deanna Stacey-Vice President, digital loyalty, solutions delivery, Porter Airlines.

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2017 Award winner tributes – Jacquie Perrin.

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Heather McGonigal - Flight Operations Award. Heather McGonigal is Transwest Air’s Director of Flight Operations, a Training Captain and a Saab 340 pilot. A Director for four years at the Air Transportation Association of Canada, she became Chair last year.  Currently she is working at Keewatin Air as their DFO.

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Colonel Helen Wright, CD, MD, MSc, MPH, CCFP, ABPM(AM) - Government Award. Col Wright is a physician in the Royal Canadian Air Force with training in Family Medicine, Aerospace Medicine, Public Health and Flight Safety.

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Joan Williams - Education Award. Andrew Williams the son of the late Joan Williams received the award.  Joan had more than 30 years in commercial aviation and flight training. She was the Flight Training Manager for Toronto Airways Ltd. for 10 years and then became the Director of Business Development.

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Catherine Tsouvaltsidis - Engineering Award. Catherine is currently working in Infrastructure Technology Solutions (ITS) at TDBank. She is fortunate to be able to participate in four rotations within ITS aimed to develop and broaden her skillsets and career-pathways.

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Heather Bell - Business Award. Heather has recently retired from the position of General Manager of the Vancouver Flight Information Region (NavCanada).  During her 33-year career in Air Navigation Services, Heather worked as a VFR Controller in several towers in British Columbia .

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Candace McKibbon - Rising Star. Candace McKibbon is a Terminal Duty Officer with the Vancouver Airport Authority and a former Operations Agent for Marquis Customer Service at YVR. In addition, she is the Executive Director of the BC Aviation Council where she is active promoting aviation throughout the province.

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Jessalyn Teed - Rising Star. Jessalyn Teed is a student at the University of Waterloo (UW) enrolled in the Environmental Studies and Aviation program. In partnership with the UW program, she does her flight training at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC).

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Major (retired) Deanna Brasseur, O.C. - Pioneer Award. Major (ret'd) Dee Brasseur was one of the first two female fighter pilots in Canada, flying the F18 Hornet.  She retired from the RCAF  in 1994 with 21 years of distinguished service and 2500 hours of flying jets.  

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Brenda Harwood – Jazz Aviation

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Indigenous Award Winners – Zoey Petit and Kandace Sittichinli

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2017 Honourees

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The Board of Directors - Lynne, Cathy, Judy, Joy, Anna and Claire.

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