The Portraits of Changemakers series focuses on visionary individuals who work at Aero Mag and who, every day, demonstrate a willingness to make a difference in the world. Among them, Sonya Cameron, Operations Supervisor at our Calgary station (YYC).
Sonya has been part of the Aero Mag family for the last four years. The Operations Supervisor is in charge of supporting her (wo)manpower, including the bay leads, the technicians, the training crew as well as the mechanics, to keep the fleet moving and on the go. She also reports all the conditions encountered on a daily shift to YYC’s general manager and its management team.
As a little girl, Sonya daydreamed about what it would be like to work at an airport. However, like most children, and like many adults still, she had no idea what a deicing technician was. Nonetheless, it was the position she applied for when she encountered an online ad for a job at Aero Mag a few years ago.
“Boy oh boy, did they put me to work! I trained as a deicing technician and they loved how I was communicating and working with people.”
Once her deicing training was over and she had gathered enough experience, Sonya was promoted as Bay Lead and started her practical training. It was around that time that she met the station’s new general manager, Josh Myers. “At first, I thought he was our new deicing technician! [laughs] I welcomed him and he asked me what I wanted to do. I replied, ‘what do you need?’ and that opened up the communication.” Within two weeks, she was appointed Operations Supervisor.
Josh isn’t the only person at Aero Mag who influenced Sonya positively. The diverse group surrounding the company’s operations creates a dynamic energy that inspires her. “I had the privilege of meeting Mario Lépine (Aero Mag’s president). Mario drew me in by telling me about his love of people, his experience with aircraft in Montreal and his whole journey.”
Getting to know what is going on in the background of airport operations, speaking with industry safety team members, improving her skills in communications, putting it all together with the training department… Sonya has been entranced and intrigued by the many things there is to learn at Aero Mag.
“This place got me curious right off the bat! There was a lot of work for me to be doing, to be involved with and to grow from.”
According to Sonya, this curiosity of hers is probably why she was chosen by Aero Mag to be featured as a changemaker this month. “I’m curious and studious, but I’m also loud and enjoy people! [laughs]”
“We’re doing something in an amazing community with the most awesome technology at our disposal. And to be part of that? I think that’s how I feed into the energy I get from the people that I work with.”
This human factor is very important to Sonya. Relating to people and communicating with them is her greatest strength. “I know how I want to be treated, what would meet my expectations and what I would need in something. If I want to be treated this way, I want to treat other people the same way.”
If she had to name one thing from Aero Mag that resonates with her values, it would be going the extra mile for the community. “Mario stated several times how important it is, how much he values that. Without that core, we would probably be like a vending machine.”
The technology might evolve, much like what Aero Mag is doing with its fleet of electric deicing trucks, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about people.
“Love and empathy, meeting new people with various backgrounds, being with an amazing group of people that I work with every day… To me, it’s priceless.”
In Sonya’s opinion, if the human factor remains at the heart of the company, then Aero Mag will continue to push out boundaries and reach new heights. “You never know, are we going to deice flying cars tomorrow? They will need deicing, right? If that’s the case, then I think the Aero Mag team will be joining that journey. That’s the excitement!”
Sonya might use the human factor to help her Calgary team reach new heights, but she isn’t the only changemaker at Aero Mag! Meet James Webb, Operations Manager at our Heathrow station (LHR) in London, UK.
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