Nicole Saulnier is co-owner, Chief Pilot and Operations Manager with Georgian Bay Airways (GBA) in Parry Sound, Ontario. 2012 is the tenth season of operations. She received a diploma in advertising from Georgian College and while working up the corporate ladder realized that seeing and hearing the planes flying past her office window was a career she really wanted to have. Float planes became her calling. She has thousands of hours flying the DeHavilland Beaver in northern Ontario, B.C.'s west coast and as Chief Pilot at the float plane base at Parry Sound Harbour, over the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay. When the opportunity arose, she and her husband bought the base. Using her advertising skills, Nicole turned a drab base into an inviting, colourful space and added a gift shop and coffee and ice cream parlour. In 2003 GBA had eight employees and now around twenty.
Nicole acts as a mentor to women in new businesses. She was one of the first in the area to embrace social media. She has been the 1st Vice President for five years with Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce and has been asked to be the president in 2013. She also sits on numerouls community and regional tourism and marketing boards and is currently being pursued by RT102 Explorer's Edge to join their board.
Her career tips for women in aviation are: Don't take no for an answer. Never give up. Set a goal and do what it takes to get there. Don't doubt your abilities. You can have a career and family, it just requires less sleep and more determination to follow your head, not your heart.