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 Aero 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.
Judy became the first female pilot hired by Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, on April 1978 at the age of 23. She was the first woman to graduate from Selkirk College’s Aviation Technology Program in 1975. 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 to the far corners of the world. She retired in 2015, and then fulfilled a lifelong dream by taking an aerobatics course. Judy is an inspirational speaker and has volunteered to work with the Canadian Women in Aviation conference, Dreams Take Flight, and Wings of Courage. In 2015, she received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights award in the Flight Operations category, and in 2016 was chosen by the 99s to be on its Canadian postage stamp.
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, Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame
She has been extensively involved in other aviation activities for over 50 years, including sport parachuting and commercial aviation. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate, has flown over 5000 hours and still flies part-time as an instructor.
Cathy Fraser is a captain on the B787 at Air Canada. Prior to her airline career, she flew corporate, charter and cargo flights. She also worked as a flight instructor and designated flight test examiner. She has been a Ninety-Nine for 30 years and has been a past governor of the East Canada Section as well as an Amelia Earhart scholarship recipient. Other associations include ISA and Women in Aviation. Cathy is a past organizer of the biennial Canadian Women in Aviation conference and is currently a board member of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.
Asti is an actress, writer, pilot, dive master, underwater photographer, and single-mother of four. Past Chair of Ninety-Nines First Canadian Chapter, Asti was one of the original core committee members of the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award when it was first founded. Asti has sung for the Pope at the Vatican. She flew a twin-engine C310 from Toronto through the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and landed in Catalina Island to dive the kelp forest. Part of the professional dive team, she works as a divemaster and safety diver, diving with sharks in the Caribbean, explores the undersea life in Alaska, Bali, Wakatobi, Cozumel, the Sea of Cortez and the Palawan Islands.
In 2019, she and her teammate Susan Begg flew the Mooney in the Air Race Classic, an all female pilot cross-country air race. Being the only flyers to represent Canada in the air race, Asti of the Canuck Flyers was given recognition by a member of parliament in the Town of Markham and Premier Doug Ford of Ontario. The team also won the Most Congenial Team Award in the Air Race, while Asti was awarded the Rookie Award. In the same year, the team competed in the Gold Cup Air Rally—placing 1st and winning the coveted gold cup. Asti has recently created and written a new TV series, and is currently writing a new feature film and a novel soon to be published.
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 and has since been working in the aviation, aerospace, and defence sector.
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 actively serves on many boards including the Defence Industry Advisory Group (DIAG), the Advisory Council for the Best Defence Conference, and the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM). In the past, Eva has served on the Board of the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Associations (ACADA) – an organization focused on advancing the Atlantic Provinces’ aerospace, marine and defence industries – chairing the Innovation Committee; and the Business Development Committee for the Canadian Aerospace and Defence Industry Association (CADSI). True to her roots as a former air cadet, Eva has also served on the Board of Governors for the National Air Cadet League and the Ontario Provincial Committee.
In 2014, Eva received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Aero Foundation Business Award 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.
In 2017, Eva was featured in hErVOLUTION’s 150 Days of Canadian Women in STEM initiative as part of Canada’s 150th celebrations. In 2016, Eva was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians and 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. Eva was the 2014 recipient of the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) Partnership award for inspiring youth to make informed career decisions. In 2012, she was named a Canadian Diversity Champion by Women of Influence.
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.
Niloofar Moradi earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Concordia University in 2010 and launched her career at Rolls-Royce Canada in the energy sector. Drawn to aviation and aerospace, Moradi later joined Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), where she has been involved in all aspects of turbine aerodynamics and later mechanical design – from research and airfoil design to engine development and production support. In 2016, concurrent with her design work at P&WC, Moradi earned her Master’s degree from École de Technologie Supérieure. Passionate and ambitious, Moradi has done design work for several P&WC engines including the PT6C-67A, powering the AW609 Tiltrotor. Moradi’s dedication to encouraging and creating new opportunities for the next generation of engineers keeps her ever engaged with the engineering community. She is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board of the MIA Engineering department of Concordia University and the Aerospace sub-committee of the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. She continues to work with charitable organizations such as Dress for Success, L’envol and Operation Christmas Child. In 2018, Moradi was named the 2018 Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year by Concordia University and received the Engineering Award from the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights program. She was also named as one of the Wings Magazine 2018 Agents of Change, Top 20 Under 40. In addition to her work and volunteer activities, she is an avid traveler and a passionate scuba diver.
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.