Maxine Montgomery was on a river cruise when she got the call.
“Why wouldn’t I do it?” was her first thought when she was offered a contract from airport CEO Fred Bigelow, to be the market development manager for the Comox Valley Airport.
“How often in life do you get the opportunity to pick up and transport into another community?”
Montgomery had spent her entire working life in the aviation industry, and was travelling, shortly after retiring from her position at the Saskatoon airport when she received confirmation of the position at YQQ.
“The airport (in Saskatoon) was going through a major expansion, and I wanted to see it through, so I retired when it was completed,” she explained.
While retirement didn’t last long, Montgomery said she is extremely happy to have landed in the Comox Valley, as it gives her the opportunity to visit her mother, who lives in Victoria, and “explore the Island, especially the north end.”
While aviation is her lifelong career passion, she credits her strong prairie roots for getting her into the industry – and one sport in particular.
“Curling,” she added with a laugh. “I met the owner of WestWind Aviation through curling a number of years ago, and they became a very, very successful operation in all of Saskatchewan.”
The sport is a big part of Montgomery’s life, as she hold a handful of provincial championships as a third for her team.
It was curling that led her into aviation, and eventually she crossed paths with Bigelow at various conferences and meetings within the industry.
Now that her career has come full-circle, Montgomery looks forward to working on her golf skills at the various courses within the Valley and beyond.
While the Comox Valley is smaller in size than Saskatoon, Montgomery said “she is so impressed with this community and the airport. It’s a tremendous asset, and within a half hour (flight), I can connect to Vancouver and go anywhere in the world.
“Also, I’ve never worked in an airport that was so positive; the way things work out here are truly out of the ordinary – the (airport) crew takes so much pride in what they do.”
While her position is contract, Montgomery said she is going to seize the opportunity to live in the Valley and on the Island. This spring and summer, she is set to explore a variety of beaches and is looking at the leagues at the local curling club.
“I may never get this opportunity again, so I might as well explore while I can,” she added with a smile.