2015 Award Recipients
In May, 2013 Tracy Medve was appointed as the President of KF Aerospace, a multi-faceted maintenance, cargo, military flight training and aircraft leasing organization headquartered in Kelowna, B.C. She was formerly President of Canadian North Airlines from 2007 to 2012.
Since 1985 Tracy has held various senior airline management positions at Norcanair, Time Air, Canadian Partner and Canadian Regional Airlines. Prior to joining Canadian North in 2007 Tracy was the co-founder of C.T. AeroProjects, a Calgary based consultancy focused on air transport resource management, working with a wide range of public and private aviation clients around the world.
Tracy is a lawyer by training (University of Saskatchewan, 1982) and in 2009 graduated from the John Molson School of Business Global Aviation MBA program at Concordia University. She is the 2007 recipient of the John Molson School of Business MBA Scholarship and was inducted as a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society in 2009. Tracy is the Chairman of the Air Transportation Association of Canada and the first woman in Canada to be inducted as an Honorary Life Member of ATAC. She sits as a member of the University of British Columbia, Okanagan External Advisory Board. She is also a current member of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada and was recently appointed as a member of the CADSI Board of Directors.
Flight Operations / Maintenance Award
Prior to airline flying, Judy flew smaller aircraft in Slave Lake and Edmonton, Alberta, and Inuvik, N.W.T. Throughout her flying career of 40 years and over 23,000 hours, she has flown the DC-3, Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley 748, DC-9, Lockheed 1011, Airbus 320, Boeing 767 and 777. Her destinations have ranged from Santiago, Chile to Sydney, Australia, Shanghai, China, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Israel and many cities in Europe, including Paris, London and Rome. She has also landed at every major airport in Canada and many in the United States. Her most memorable flight was in 1997, when she was promoted to DC-9 Captain.Judy was the first female captain of a wide-body aircraft at Air Canada in 2006 (the Boeing 767), and in 2010, became the first female Boeing 777 captain in Canada. On May 24, 2015, with much fanfare waiting, Judy make her final flight from Munich back to Toronto Pearson Airport, retiring after 37 years. She has volunteered with “Dreams Take Flight” and “Wings of Courage” and coordinated the silent auction for Canadian Women in Aviation.For inspiration, she looks to the strong role model of her single mother, who brought her up to believe she could be anything she wished to be and who always encouraged her. Judy has two grown daughters, Carolyn and Kristy that she also raised as a single mother. She lives in Oakville, Ontario with her husband, Ron, a retired Air Canada pilot. Judy is an avid skier, likes hiking, golfing, photography, SCUBA diving and riding her red 750 Honda motorcycle.
Andreena Clifford joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2000 as an Aerospace Control Operator (AC Op) and to this day has been defending the sovereignty of Canadian Airspace. A veteran of the aerial campaign over Afghanistan flying aboard the Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft (AWACS), as well as providing the tactical air picture for Operation Impact and numerous other domestic operations. Sgt Clifford has excelled in the field of air defense and is considered a leader in the highly technical field of tactical data link. Her skills directly enable decision makers, at the highest level, to make effective, informed, real time decisions.
When not defending the interests of Canada at home or abroad Andreena volunteers her time to numerous community groups and charities including sitting on the board of directors for the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defense, local youth sports, organizing fundraisers for Relay for Life and editor-in-chief of The Shield, the 22 Wing newspaper.
A devoted wife and mother of four children, Andreena is an outstanding ambassador for women in aviation and an inspirational RCAF leader.
At the University of Manitoba, Dr. Oakes studies the relationships between people and the environment, and teaches aviation geography. She has more than 100 publications, and is currently working on an exhibition of circumpolar footwear for the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Promoting, educating and inspiring women into aviation-related activities is Jill’s primary passion, with support from the academic and aviation community. Two years ago, Jill facilitated the donation of Cessna 150, C-FLUG to the 99’s, making it more financially feasible for women pilots to time-build toward their commercial license. She manages the club plane along with a team of volunteers, including an AME, and airline pilots committed to increasing the number of women in the industry.
Jill also regularly organizes events inviting women to go flying and attend classes, preparing them to write their pilot learner permit exams, for free; making them eligible for flight training scholarships. To support women aviators at all levels, Jill is instrumental in establishing numerous Manitoba 99s Scholarships, including the Club Plane, Ground School, and Broadening Horizons Scholarships. This year these scholarships were presented to 17 women pilots, from beginners starting ground school to women preparing to be hired by the airlines.
Dawn, as a very young girl had only one goal in mind and that was to be a pilot. Ten months after beginning training under the watchful eye of Vancouver U-fly’s Michaud brothers, Dawn received her commercial license endorsed for night flying, instrument flying, sea planes and instructors rating, all in 10 months after her first hour of instruction.
A pilot interview with Canadian Pacific ended with an offer of a stewardess position. Each step of her flying career was met with resistance in the male dominated industry. Instructing was the only avenue open to her and even then, not without strife. Jobs were offered at half the rate paid to male pilots until she proved herself, an insurance company initially refused to insure the aircraft she would be flying, backing down only under pressure from her employer.
Flying Cessna 180’s and Beavers out of Dawson City, Yukon in the 1950’s and 60’s established her reputation as a competent “Bush Pilot” and those who flew with her became strong supporters. Serving the native village of Old Crow, above the Arctic circle in the 1950’s quickly established Dawn as their favorite pilot as they watched, to there surprise, a girl pilot arrive with their mail and groceries. For over 10 years, Dawn flew Cessna 180’s, Beaversand DC3’s, landing on winter ice strips and summer sandbars until the Old Crow airport was completed in 1972.
In 1992 flying a Cessna 421, Dawn, as pilot in command, flew the the length of Russia on her first around the world trip. That was followed in 1994 with another around the world ICAO sponsored trip from Montreal - Vietnam - Montreal. Around South America in 1996 and the 1997 World Air Games long distance race from London to Turkey in which we won a Bronze medal. The 2001 London to Sydney event, then crossing the Pacific to Hawaii and home.
One bent nose wheel in 13,000 hours is a record to be proud of. Well done.
Erin knew she wanted to fly from a very early age. As soon as she came of age she got her glider and private licenses through the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program. Soon after, she became a glider instructor and taught 7 young cadets like herself. Now, as a Lieutenant in the RCAF Reserves, she is one of the youngest female tow pilots in the program and a Glider Standards Pilot. Erin continued her flying career at Seneca College with the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. She graduated as the Valedictorian for the Faculty of Technology class of 2013 and was also the recipient of Seneca’s highest award, the Seneca Cup. By graduation, she was already part of the flight line faculty, having been hired as Class IV Instructor where she taught Seneca students for a year. As a successful female Seneca Jazz Cadet, Erin started with Jazz in early 2014, flying Dash-8’s from their Calgary base. Since joining Jazz she has volunteered to act as a mentor for future cadets, is interviewing for the position of CRM instructor and is on track to have her ATPL by the end of the summer. Erin aspires to one day Captain B777’s for Air Canada.
Claire Lemiski lives and breathes aviation. After completing her Private Pilot License in High School in Ontario, she moved to British Columbia to continue flight training and pursue a degree in Geography at Trinity Western University. She now holds a Commercial Pilot License with multi-engine and instrument ratings.
Claire took summer jobs as a ramp attendant, dispatcher and skydive pilot. Then in 2007 she was a summer student in Bombardier’s Q Series Flight Test department in Toronto. This lead to a permanent position: first as a participant in the Graduate Development Program, and subsequently as a Flight Test Engineer, conducting tests for new part functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, engineering investigations, product enhancement, and performance. Keen to move from the jumpseat to the pilot’s seat, Claire earned her Dash 8 Q400 type endorsement in 2012 and now flies Bombardier’s corporate shuttle between Montreal and Toronto.
Claire’s involvement in aviation doesn’t stop when she leaves work. In Toronto, she was an active member of the First Canadian Chapter of the Ninety-Nines and Women in Aviation’s Upper Canada Chapter: participating in local outreach events and as a speaker at the 2013 biennial Canadian conference. She is also a check pilot for the deHavilland Employee Flying Club at Downsview. Now living in Montreal, she is in a leadership role with the Montreal Ninety-Nines and is a mentor for one of the chapter’s student pilots.
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