Wings Magazine

Northern Lights celebrates leadership at awards gala

October 25, 2021  By Wings Staff

Photo by Gustavo Corujo

The 12th Annual Elsie Gala was held at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North, Richmond Hill, on October 16, 2021.

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation Elsie MacGill Awards program was established in 2009 and each year honours up to eight women for their contributions in specific aviation and aerospace disciplines. Award categories include: Flight Operations, Government, Business, Education, Pioneer, Engineering, and Rising Star

Through a nomination and judging process honourees are named each year and they are recognized each fall at a gala dinner. The event highlights the honourees’ life history through a combination of visuals, display materials and speakers who have known her throughout her personal and business life.

This year’s honorees include:


Business Award
Nancy Barber, Chief Operating Officer of Operational Industrialization, Footprint and Central Planning, for Bombardier Aviation.

Education Award
Jo-Anne Tabobandung, Dean of Aviation at the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

Engineering Award
Kathryn Atamanchuk, P.Eng., MBA, PMP, FEC, Engineer-in-Residence and Industry Partnerships Facilitator for the Price Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba.

Flight Operations Award
Stacey Jackson, WestJet B737NG First Officer, Canadian representative of the International Federation of Airline Pilot’s Association’s Female Pilot’s Working Group, aircraft accident investigator with the Air Line Pilots Association.

Government Award
Lieutenant Colonel Diane Baldasaro, Commanding Officer of 437 Squadron, responsible for Strategic Air-to-Air Refueling and VVIP Transport for the Government of Canada in the Polaris Airbus aircraft.

Trailblazer Award
Honorary Colonel Kendra Kincade, Air Traffic Controller, founder, Chair and Executive Director of Elevate, a non-profit devoted to helping women realize their potential.

Rising Star Award
Maegan Extross, Research Analyst, NAV Canada, past President of the Seneca Aviation Association and Class Valedictorian.

Rising Star Awards
Kathleen Legge, King Air 200 Captain, Assistant Chief Pilot, Company Aviation Safety Officer, and Marketing Manager for Maritime Air Charter and contract Gulfstream Astra SP Captain for NovaJet.


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