Congratulations to our 2018 Volunteer of the year award winners!

Gold prize

James Bautista
Altus Air Force Base, United States
KC-135 Boom Operator Instructor

1,256 hours for Sheridan’s Sunshine Foundation

Amount : CA$10,000
From : CAE
To : Sheridan’s Sunshine Foundation

James created the Sheridan’s Sunshine Foundation in memory of his daughter Sheridan, who suffered from bone cancer and passed away in 2011. It was Sheridan’s wish, while she was fighting the disease, to create a foundation that would raise awareness and raise funds to find a cure for childhood cancers.

In February 2012, Jim and his wife realized their daughter’s wish by opening the foundation in her memory. They have raised US$89,000 for childhood cancer research so far. The foundation also offers help to families touched by childhood cancer.

Jim partnered with the Altus Air Force Base, where he works as a KC-135 Boom Operator Instructor, to create a Pilot of the Day program which provides a positive experience for childhood cancer survivors, current patients and their families by bringing smiles to their faces.

Jim spends countless volunteering hours ensuring his daughter’s life and dreams are not forgotten.

Jim, thank you for being such an inspiration!

Silver prizes
The jury decided to award silver prizes in a tie decision to three employees who are part of Search and Rescue teams. Although full-time CAE employees, they are also on-call 24/7/365, handling critical situations and saving lives. They are their communities’ angel guardians! And they are role models for CAE, living our mission daily.

Kevin Burnett
Halifax, Canada
System/Software Developer –
Air Traffic Control

323 hours for Halifax Search and Rescue

Amount : CA$5,000
From : CAE
To : Halifax Search and Rescue

Having spent the last 24 years with CAE in both public and aviation safety capacities, Kevin learned about the work of Halifax Search and Rescue through their highest profile disaster response, the recovery of Swissair Flight 111 in 1998 off the coast of Nova Scotia.

He followed the efforts of the members of this 100% volunteer organization. He was inspired by their contribution to society, their dedication and their high level of training. When he relocated to CAE Halifax, he didn’t think twice and applied to join the team.

For the last 7 years, Kevin has been an active member, contributing approximately 2,000 hours. His implication goes from locating and rescuing lost or missing persons in a wilderness environment, to urban search and rescue, responding to incidents involving despondent persons, persons with mental health problems and medical distress in remote locations, and providing recovery efforts. Kevin and the team are also on standby for any civil emergency. It’s a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year volunteer commitment.

This volunteer work is both physically and mentally demanding. Rescues are performed in extreme weather conditions for extended periods of time. Rescues can turn into recoveries. Volunteering means you put yourself in a position of seeing things that can’t be unseen. But reuniting lost loved ones with their families, performing a suicide intervention, or providing medical care to save lives in remote areas are all events that are their own reward.

Thank you Kevin for being such an inspiration!

David Millett
Dallas, United States
Group Leader, Training Standards

260 hours for MARK9

Amount : CA$5,000
From : CAE
To : MARK9 Search and Rescue

When in the military, Dave always felt an intense obligation and desire to protect the most vulnerable. He also deeply wanted to own a bloodhound dog and to develop and utilize its natural abilities to the benefit of others.

Since March 2018, Dave serves his country by volunteering with MARK9, a non-profit organization that provides free services to law enforcement, fire/rescue, parks and wildlife and other official agencies that require the use of highly skilled canines and handlers to locate missing people. Dave trains every week with his dog for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours. Volunteers must attend training weekends every quarter and train individually or with team members, and attend seminars and classroom training.

This volunteer experience requires a true love of service and dedication to professional standards. It’s a personal commitment in terms of time, money, physical discomfort, and potentially, even mental and emotional stress. Dave is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Thank you Dave for your commitment and implication!

Nicole Deguire
Montreal, Canada
Project Controller

442 hours for SERABEC

Amount : CA$5,000
From : CAE

Contributing to air safety, minimizing the loss of life by doing prevention in the community, this is what motivates Nicole to volunteer at SERABEC (Québec Air Search and Rescue).

The training Nicole received in aviation safety, survival techniques, first aid and research procedures allows her to provide support for Canada's national search and rescue program. Specialized volunteer work of this kind requires a lot of compassion in order to do everything possible to save lives through a 365-days- and-nights-a-year commitment.

Thank you Nicole for saving lives!

Bronze prizes
The jury decided to award 2 bronze prizes in a tie decision.

Monica Kirkland
Tampa, United States

350 hours for Junior League of Tampa

Amount : CA$2,000
From : CAE
To : Junior League of Tampa

The Junior League of Tampa organization is dedicated to improving child welfare and education in the Tampa Bay community. Through programs such as Diaper Bank, Family Literacy, and Kids in the Kitchen, the organization helps children throughout Tampa Bay and partners with other organizations to meet the needs of the community.

Monica has been carrying out the organization’s mission over the last 6 years and her dedication is unmatched. As the Chair of the Family Literacy Night Committee for the last two years, Monica and her team have provided backpacks, school supplies, and books to hundreds of children. The committee partners with community schools to promote literacy for parents and children by hosting events designed to encourage reading at home.

Monica loves to read and shares her passion with children and parents in local schools; she ensures that each child attending a literacy event goes home with books to continue to learn.

She has invested time, talent, and resources to improve the lives of children and their families in the Tampa Bay community. Her motto: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” Simon Sinek

Thank you Monica for being such a passionate volunteer!

Cristina Cifre
Madrid, Spain
Senior Cabin Safety Instructor

390 hours for Together for Cambodia

Amount : CA$2,000
From : CAE
To : Together for Cambodia

In August 2014, Cristina went to Cambodia and got involved in Together for Cambodia, an organization whose mission is to provide a safe home, education and compassion for disadvantaged and vulnerable Khmer children and help them become responsible adults who make a positive contribution to their community.

Cristina has been sharing her English skills in listening and speaking classes. She has also been supporting the annual expenses budget with her initiative of converting outdated life jackets into bags. These bags are sold and the proceeds go to the Together for Cambodia non-governmental organization.

Thank you Cristina for your involvement in Cambodia!