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Meet Johanne Gallant, CEO at Fredericton International Airport: Driving Growth and Community Development, Celebrated as One of Atlantic Canada’s Most Powerful Women

Sponsored by TD

Meet Johanne Gallant, the transformative President and CEO of the Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) since 2015. With over three decades of expertise in marketing, sales, and international trade, Johanne has significantly propelled YFC to become one of Atlantic Canada’s fastest-growing airports pre-pandemic. Her strategic leadership culminated in the successful $32-million terminal expansion, completed ahead of schedule and under budget amidst global challenges. Beyond her role at YFC, Johanne is an influential figure in aviation, serving as Vice Chair of the Canadian Airports Council and other prominent positions. Honoured as one of Atlantic Canada’s Most Powerful Women, her commitment extends beyond professional achievements to humanitarian efforts, enhancing healthcare and education in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

My first job ever was… teaching dance lessons! At 16, I became an entrepreneur by choreographing and developing dance routines for my local community.

Before my work with the Fredericton International Airport (YFC) I was… working at the Moncton International Airport as the Director of Commercial Development for 10 years, then the Acting CEO for two years.

I joined [organization] because…  it was a fantastic opportunity for me to grow. I knew YFC had great potential, and I was excited to facilitate and nurture the organization.

I’m passionate about the aviation industry because… it brings people together. It’s a chance to create a strong and powerful network of connections between friends, colleagues, and communities.

My proudest accomplishment is… YFC’s $32 million terminal expansion project. Despite the challenges of overseeing the project during the pandemic, we were under budget and ahead of schedule. TD, as the airport authority’s bank, has worked closely to help support us  over our twenty years of growth and change, and especially during this expansion project.

My biggest setback was… having self-doubt and letting that inhibit my growth. I’ve learned how important it is to let go of the negative and focus on the things you can control.

I overcame it by…  prioritizing myself. I decided to invest in myself and started to do the necessary internal work to break free from the self-inflicted barriers. With the help of mentors, meditation, and fitness, I maintain a healthy work-life balance.

My best advice for anyone that cares about a cause and wants to contribute to it would be… apply your passion and engage to your fullest potential. Give it all you have!

The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… invest in yourself. Staying true to yourself, allowing time to listen to your body, spirit, and mind is essential. Once you’re in tune with your inner workings, you become a more attentive leader to those around you.

The thing I love most about what I do is… the people! The people are at the heart of Fredericton International Airport. Everyone is important, and we all have a part to play in creating a strong organization.

If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be…  mentorship. Surround yourself with great mentors and apply their advice. Growing is not a linear path, nor a quick one—take your time and listen to different perspectives.

If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I am a certified yoga instructor. Fitness is a vital part of life, and I am lucky to share my passion with others!

I stay inspired by… the dynamic airport industry and the people who surround me.

The future excites me because… it’s so full of possibilities. Life is all about growing and learning—don’t be afraid for the next challenge!

My next step is…  to continue to invest in mentoring others, helping the next generation thrive. I was fortunate to have passionate mentors, who helped me along the way. I’m continuing that mentorship cycle and giving back to the community, especially to young women.