CAE's president and chief executive officer Marc Parent has been awarded the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) James C Floyd Award for his exceptional achievement and contribution to the success of the Canadian aerospace industry. Parent was honoured by the aerospace community at a ceremony during the annual dinner held in Ottawa. The annual award was established in 2009 in honour of the chief engineer on the Avro Arrow project, and honours exceptional contributions to the Canadian aerospace sector.
“In every way, Marc exemplifies what leadership looks like, as an executive, as a passionate champion for aerospace, and as a Canadian,” said AIAC president and CEO Jim Quick.
“It is with a lot of pride that I accept this award. It is a testament to the perseverance and dedication of CAE's 10,000 highly talented employees worldwide, who are each equally deserving of this recognition,” replied Parent. “For the past decade, I have enjoyed the privilege of leading a team of men and women with one singular focus: to deliver excellence in training. I am proud to lead this great company, an industry leader, playing a key role in making air travel safer, defence forces mission ready and medical personnel better able to save lives.”
Parent was appointed president and chief executive officer of CAE in 2009. He has 35 years of experience in the aerospace industry, becoming a pilot at 17 and flying small aircraft before he had a licence to drive a car. He quickly distinguished himself as a leader in his field, taking on increasing responsibility at Bombardier Aerospace and becoming instrumental in its remarkable growth in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was then brought into CAE to help turn the company around.
Parent has served as chair of AIAC and Aero Montreal, and he has participated in numerous government round tables and advisory boards to promote Canadian aerospace growth and achievement. He is passionate about supporting students through work-integrated learning, and under his leadership CAE has offered nearly 3,000 coop and internship positions to Canadian students.
His efforts to create a culture of openness and diversity at CAE resulted in Randstad naming the company Canada's second best employer brand in 2018, and under his leadership CAE launched a diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at bolstering the participation of women in aviation and engineering, two traditionally male-dominated sectors. In 2019 it launched its CAE Women in Flight scholarship programme to encourage more young women to become pilots.
In 2018 Parent was named CEO of the Year, in the Large Corporation category, by Quebec based business journal Les Affaires.