AIAC Names New Chairwoman

Ottawa (Ontario), December 5, 2012 (AIAC PR) – Hélène V. Gagnon, Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, has been elected Chair of the Board of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada for 2012-2013. Ms. Gagnon succeeds David Schellenberg, President of Cascade Aerospace, who occupied the role over the course of the past year.

“I am greatly honoured to serve as Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) for 2012-2013, and I look forward to working with the Board and membership over the coming year as we face the challenges and unparalleled opportunities which lie ahead,” said Ms. Gagnon.

“2013 will be a critical year for our industry. With the publication of the Emerson Aerospace Policy Review Report, we will now concentrate our efforts on transforming its recommendations into actions, policies and budget items. The AIAC looks forward to working together with the government to ensure the timely implementation of the report’s findings,” concluded Ms. Gagnon.

Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC, officially welcomed Ms. Gagnon to her new role at AIAC’s Annual General Meeting this morning. “On behalf of AIAC’s members and staff, I am very pleased to offer our congratulations to Ms. Gagnon on her election as Chair. She takes on this role during a very important year for the aerospace industry, and I am confident that her leadership will be of great benefit to the association and to its members,” Quick said.

“I would also like to thank David Schellenberg for his tremendous leadership as our Chair over the course of what has been a pivotal year for aerospace in Canada,” Quick said. “Mr. Schellenberg’s great dedication and commitment to the industry and to the success of the Aerospace Review has directly influenced our accomplishments this year. We are very appreciative of all of his efforts and are pleased that he will remain a member of the Board again this year.”

AIAC is the national association representing Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and services sector. As the world’s fifth‐largest aerospace industry, Canada’s aerospace sector generates more than $22 billion, exports 80% of its output. Investments of over $2 Billion make the aerospace industry the second largest R&D investor in Canada. Aerospace is responsible for the employment of 160,000 Canadians. AIAC represents the interests of over 700 aerospace companies across Canada.


Hélène V. Gagnon is Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for Bombardier Aerospace, the third largest civil aircraft manufacturer. She is part of the senior management team reporting to the President. She manages Bombardier Aerospace’s reputation and strengthens relationships and communications with key internal and external stakeholders worldwide, including Bombardier Aerospace’s 30,000 employees, media, communities and governments. She leads the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and public policy positioning. She also manages Bombardier’s presence at major airshows.

Ms. Gagnon is a member of the Board of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). She is Bombardier’s senior representative with the US Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). She is Vice-Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada’s Board of directors (AIAC) and also chairs its Public affairs committee. She represents Bombardier also on the Board of Directors of Aéro Montréal, Greater Montréal’s Aerospace Cluster.

Hélène has always been very active in the community. She has been involved in more than 50 organizations over the last 22 years including government advisory boards, pressure groups, cultural and charity organizations and business associations and was appointed to 23 Boards of Directors.

She has garnered more than 43 scholarships, awards, distinctions and excellence prizes notably the prestigious Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100™ award from the Women Executive Network in 2007. She has been a speaker or panelists around the world on topics like environmental policy, corporate social responsibility, public policy issues, crisis management, issue management and social media.

She began her career in 1995 with the law firm Fasken as a specialist in environmental law. In 2000, she joined mining and metallurgy multinational Noranda Inc./ Falconbridge Limited (now known as XStrata) as Director of Public and Corporate Affairs for Québec. She joined Bombardier Transportation North America in 2003 as Senior Director of Public Affairs.

A graduate of McGill University with a degree in Civil Law (B.C.L.) and Common Law (LL.B.) (First Class Honours), Ms. Gagnon also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics (M.Sc). She is a member of the Québec Bar and also holds the title of Accredited in Public Relations (APR) from the Canadian Public Relations Society.