Looking for a keynote speaker, a gala or dinner speaker, a conference facilitator or for someone who will uplift and motivate an audience, well we’ve got some inspiring women who can do the job. Have a look through our list below and contact Lesley: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contessa choose flying as a 10 year old in response to the generic question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We covered a few ideas; Firefighter, police officer, doctor, lawyer, and pilot. A false romantic picture was painted and that was it, she was hooked!
She joined the Air Cadets which became the breeding ground for a passion that continues today. Her employment path went from flight instructing, night cargo, and private corporate flying to today as a First Officer with Jazz Aviation. As well, Contessa is actively involved with both Canadian Women in Aviation and the Northern Lights Award Foundation.
Contessa feels extremely fortunate to have chosen a career in aviation where she has been personally touched by the remarkable pioneers and outstanding leaders who have significantly contributed to her success and the success of many women in the industry.
Captain Jackie Book
Captain Book is a military pilot with the RCAF. Jackie began flying while enrolled in the Commercial Aviation Management Program at Western University in 1998, where she became a graduate of the first graduating class in 2003.
After graduation, Jackie was hired at Empire Aviation to instruct the Western program where she worked until joining the RCAF the following year.
After two years of training on the Harvard and King Air, Jackie was selected to go to 436 Squadron and fly the CC-130 Hercules in Trenton, ON. There, she became a tactical pilot, flying numerous missions in the Arctic, Greenland, Europe, as well as multiple deployments to the Middle East.
In 2011 Jackie was blessed with twin boys, and the following year was transferred to Portage la Prairie where she worked as a flight instructor and Course Director for Multi-Engine School (3CFFTS).
In 2016 Jackie was transferred back to 436 Squadron to fly the new J-Model C-130 Hercules.
Kathy Fox selected air traffic control as a career in 1974, and worked at Transport Canada control towers in Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Saint-Hubert and Montréal-Dorval, as well as at the Montréal Area Control Centre.
From 1982 until 1986 she was in charge of air traffic control training at the CEGEP Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a cooperative training program coordinated by Transport Canada and the Quebec Ministry of Education.
Kathy then left operational controlling and worked with Air Traffic Services Headquarters in Ottawa. Shortly thereafter, she transferred to NAV CANADA where she had a number of senior roles in Safety & Quality and Air Traffic Services, ultimately becoming Vice-President, Operations.
As Vice-President, Operations, she was responsible for providing executive leadership and direction throughout NAV CANADA's Operations Group. After retiring from NAV CANADA, Kathy was appointed to the Transportation Safety Board and currently serves as its Chair.
Kathy is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Fédération Aéronautique Iinternationale Paul Tissandier Diploma, the Queen Elizabeth II Anniversary Medal, the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award and the David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award, recognizing her exceptional leadership and devotion to the advancement of Canadian aviation safety. As well, Kathy has been inducted into the Quebec Air and Space Hall of Fame.
She has been extensively involved in other aviation activities for over 40 years, including sport parachuting and commercial aviation. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate, has flown over 5000 hours and still fliespart-time as an instructor.
Asti is an actress, pilot, dive master, underwater photographer, writer, competitive fencer, and mother of four children. She is actively involved in the aviation world as Chair of Aviation Education for the Ninety-Nines First Canadian Chapter, and past Chair of Ninety-Nines Women Pilots First Canadian Chapter. Asti was one of the original core committee members of the Northern Lights Award when it was first founded.
Outside of flying, Asti is an accomplished actress and business owner. She has sung for the Pope at the Vatican, played Mimi in the musical Miss Saigon, and appeared in the TV series Covert Affairs as a CIA Agent. She is the Founder and President of Livingston Studios, a voice over recording studio and training facility located in downtown Toronto.
Asti flew her twin-engine C310 from Toronto through the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and landed in Catalina Island for a diving adventure. She is one of 10 people in the world who specializes in Underwater Fluorescent Photography, and greatly enjoys taking underwater photos of sharks when not flying, acting, and working at the studio!
Akky developed an interest in flying growing up in Holland where she lived adjacent to an air force base and watched a variety of planes taking off and landing every day. Her family moved to Canada where her father worked in the aviation industry and he often took Akky to watch the airplanes.
She took her first flying lesson in 1960 but was unable to pursue her interest at that time – women were discouraged to enter non-traditional careers such as aviation. After a career in teaching (and raising a family!), Akky obtained her private license, night and IFR ratings and then her commercial license.
Akky is an active member of the 99s, an international women's pilot association and her passion for flying has taken her to Eastern and Western Canada, Colorado and the Bahamas. Outside of flying, Akky stays busy in the winter months as an alpine skiing race official with her husband. In the summer she is a competitive "dragonboater", having competed with Canada's National Team, receiving medals in world competitions in the USA, Rome Italy, Poland, Shanghai, China and Australia. Akky's story can be found in the book "How to Ride a Dragon", which is about facing the "dragons" in your life, learning to live with them and allowing them to take you to places only dreamed of and beyond.
Eva Martinez embodies a lifelong passion for aerospace and aviation. A former air cadet and a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, Eva holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with a specialty in Aerospace. Before retiring as a Major in 2002, Eva worked as an Aeronautical Engineer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Eva was actively involved in various committees for the militaries of North, Central and South America throughout her military career. Eva helped the Chilean Air Force and the Guatemalan Army with the integration of women into their respective militaries. Most notably, Eva participated in the United Nations Mission to Guatemala (MINUGUA) as Canada’s first female military observer as part of an international contingent responsible for overseeing a ceasefire following the end of a 36-year old civil war.
Eva is the Vice President for Women in Aerospace Canada and serves on the Board of Directors for ADIANS – an organization focused on advancing Nova Scotia’s aerospace, marine and defence industries. True to her roots, Eva also serves on the Board of Governors for the National Air Cadet League.
In 2014, Eva received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Aero Foundation Business Award
In 2016, Eva was featured in Esprit de Corps’ “Breaking Down the Barricades: Women in the Defence World” as one of 20 prominent women in the defence sector. In 2014, Eva was named the Northern Lights Award recipient in the Business category in recognition of outstanding women in aviation and aerospace that, as role models, inspire and encourage increased participation in these industries by promoting awareness of the vast opportunities in all sectors.
Weaving in her own personal experiences, Eva can speak to topics such as Women in Non-Traditional Roles, Leadership, Diversity in Aerospace & Defence, and STEM.
Lynne McMullen is Chair of the School of Aviation at Seneca College in Toronto and Peterborough. Within this portfolio she oversees Diploma programs in Aviation Operations and Aviation Safety, the Bachelor of Aviation Technology (BAT) and a Graduate Certificate in Airline Pilot Flight Operations. Lynne was instrumental in developing and establishing a unique partnership program with the Canadian Department of National Defence in which select, qualified Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilot candidates complete the BAT simultaneously earning their RCAF wings.
She is directly involved with student recruitment and industry relations which includes developing employment opportunities and internships. Lynne worked closely with Jazz Aviation to develop a direct entry cadet program for BAT graduates. She graduated social sciences at Western University in London Ontario and holds an ATPL and Class I flight instructor rating. Lynne has instructed and tested in the classroom and cockpit for over 18 years.
She is President of Collegiate Aviation Canada, Vice Chair of the AABI board of trustees, member of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and UAA, serving on various committees with each. Lynne has presented at the ATAC AGM and spring conferences, WATs, AABI and UAA.
In 2014, Lynne received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Aero Foundation Education Award.
A flight in a small airplane in 2005 was all it took to make Lesley realize that she wanted aviation to be a part of her life. It was love at first flight! Never content to just "go along for the ride" in life, she obtained her Private Pilot certificate.
She loves to share her passion for flying with others and she has received several awards for introducing women and young people to aviation through 'discovery-flight' events. Lesley is an experienced public speaker and engaging story-teller. By relating the story of her journey from burned-out corporate manager to award-winning private pilot, she inspires people to overcome their fears and obstacles and to achieve their dreams. Lesley is the Past-Chair of the First Canadian chapter of the Ninety-Nines and is a Field Representative for the EAA Young Eagles program. In 2012, she helped found the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide.
Lesley's philosophy: "Life is too short to be a passenger"
As president and owner of Apex Aircraft Sales Ltd., Anna has over 25 years of experience negotiating hundreds of aircraft sales. She has been flying since 1977 and holds a multi-engine, commercial, instrument and float rating. She earned a degree in Economics from York University in 1985 and a second BA in Humanities in 2002. Anna is a member of AOPA, COPA, the International Organization of Women Pilots, The Ninety-Nines, Women in Aerospace Canada, and Women in Aviation International.