Helicopters Magazine

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Editorial: And the winner is…

July 18, 2014  By Matt Nicholls

Spring is a time for high-profile entertainment awards – from the hoopla of the Oscars and the dressed-up divas on the red carpet, to the brilliant performances of rockers at the Grammy’s, to the sophistication of the Tony’s, and more.

Spring is a time for high-profile entertainment awards – from the hoopla of the Oscars and the dressed-up divas on the red carpet, to the brilliant performances of rockers at the Grammy’s, to the sophistication of the Tony’s, and more.

It’s a celebration of excellence on a grand scale, the crème de la crème of many of our entertainment leaders. For the nominees – and of course the lucky winners – it’s a time to chronicle excellence for another year, to mark the time in an industry that inspires and excites the masses.

At Helicopters and Wings magazines, we certainly can’t match the pomp and circumstance of the red carpet pizzazz or the spectacular performances of Hollywood’s top performers, but no matter – we wholeheartedly embrace the chance to shell out the hardware with our own awards in important verticals within our impressive markets. Call them the “Oscars of Canadian aviation,” if you will. These awards highlight excellence and achievements in the Canadian industry.

One of our most important award programs is our annual search for top aviation and aerospace talent with our Top 10 Under 40 program – a chance to highlight up-and-comers in several important aviation streams. As many top executives in both fixed- and rotary-wing operations nationwide will attest, finding and retaining top talent is a top priority, especially given such a competitive business landscape. Employees with initiative, humility, courage and a good old-fashioned work ethic are hard to find, but they are out there – and every operation that finds these dedicated leaders is laying the groundwork for a successful future.


Our second annual Top 10 Under 40 program pays homage to young leaders just like this. I am very pleased to report that this year’s program grew by leaps and bounds, as fixed- and rotary-wing operators and firms nationwide jumped at the chance to recognize their most influential employees under the age of 40. Nominated in most cases by top members of a firm’s management team, the inspiring individuals represent overachievers in a variety of professions, including pilots, AMEs, aviation executives, COOs, aviation lawyers and more.

All winners share a commitment to the growth of their firms, but they also show a high devotion to aviation and aerospace as a whole and a desire to help Canada continue to make its mark in the global marketplace. Often, their leadership skills extend to mentoring and nurturing the youth of tomorrow, helping them see the relevance of an aviation career and the value this brings on so many levels.

Such dedication and commitment to the growth of Canadian aviation and aerospace is of course very good news. Aviation and aerospace firms are facing a critical personnel shortage in the years ahead in a number of key professions, from pilots to AMEs and more. The fact that so many capable young minds are ready in the pipeline and able to replace aging workers is extremely comforting.

I am also happy to report that participation in this year’s awards program was so overwhelming that we included 10 additional winners – a Top 20 Under 40 – with many more highly qualified competitors just missing the mark. The achievements, goals and influence within the industry of these outstanding young aviators are chronicled in “Flying Above the Crowd” on page 14. In editing the piece, it was hard not to be inspired by the achievements of all participants and marvel at their dedication and devotion to the cause at such a young age.

This year's group of winners represent a wide cross section of the aviation industry: AMEs, pilots, lawyers, sales associates, chief operating officers, managing directors and more, each carving out their own special niche in their respective fields. Success has been attained not only through a solid educational progression but in most cases, through good-old fashioned hard work and perseverance. It's positive affirmation that if you work at your craft hard enough, you will experience success.

In the end, it’s all about a high commitment to excellence – flying above the crowd to deliver results that exceed all expectations. It’s the driving force that all of our Top 20 Under 40 award winners – and nominees – share. And no, winning these awards won’t get you the glitter of a red carpet appearance . . . but it’s still a special achievement, one that needs to be recognized and celebrated within the industry. Congratulations to all of our winners, very well deserved!


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