Chinook Helicopters owner and CEO Cathy Press has been named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network. (Photo:

CEO of Chinook Helicopters in Abbotsford among nation’s Most Powerful Women

Cathy Press receives ‘top 100’ honour from Women’s Executive Network

The president and CEO of Chinook Helicopters in Abbotsford has been named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network.

Cathy Press was among the recipients of the award, which pays tribute to the outstanding women across Canada who advocate for diversity in the workforce and inspire the next generation of leaders.

Press was named in the Industry Sector and Trades category, which recognizes women who have made significant contributions in the industrial sector and skilled trades.

Press was the first female flight instructor in Canada. She started flying at the age of 11 and completed her first solo flight at 16.

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The synopsis about her in the Financial Post reads:

“With a history of persevering to overcome challenges and achieve goals, Cathy now leads a school specializing in helicopter and airplane pilot training and is currently the only person in Canada holding a Transport Canada Pilot Examiner status in both airplanes and helicopters, giving her the ability to license new instructors and pilots.”

The Top 100 awards have been presented for the past 16 years, with 1,115 award winners and 151 Hall of Fame inductees.

A gala celebration to honour this year’s winners was held Nov. 21 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Chinook Helicopters has been operating since 1982 from the Abbotsford Airport. Press took over the business from her father, Larry, in 1998.

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