In her role as Chief Business Development Officer for Locatory.com, Hanna Lavinskaja demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities throughout 2023, resulting in her winning the ‘Breakthrough Mastermind’ at Avia Solutions Group’s Employee of the Year Awards.

On being asked how it felt to win the award, Hanna humbly explained “It was certainly unexpected, to be selected as one of 10 from 12,000, but also a very nice surprise.”

Commenting on what makes her the aviation professional she is today, Hanna responded, “I think everything I have ever been through has influenced who I am today. Since childhood, I knew that I had to keep moving forward, without a clear understanding of why. I guess it was just in the hope of not staying in the same place for too long and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I believe the biggest treasures are to be found in that space beyond what you can do without breaking a sweat.”

When achieving such honours, it’s a great time to reflect on where you came from. Hanna explained, “I was actually hired on my birthday, so it was a very memorable moment for me. My skill set was not that rich at that time, and I couldn’t speak the language of aviation. However, the way I was raised and the character features I presented were the personality traits that my CEO saw and valued in me from my very first interview.”

Hanna revealed the three words that embody being part of Avia Solutions Group as “Ambitious, hard-working, and belief.” For her, these words convey a sense of motivation, dedication, and confidence. “I find that we have a dynamic and driven environment here where we are all ambitious in our goals, committed to putting in the effort, and people with a strong belief in their abilities and the company mission.”

If you’re wondering what Hanna’s biggest achievements were on the way to winning the award, in her own words she described them as “building a team, growing our inventory, and earning the first million euros for Locatory.com in a single year.”

Looking towards 2024, Hanna said, “My goals this year are very well-known and again are very ambitious. The way to success is clear: copy-paste what works and repeat. In detail, I have the goals listed, and I’ve put a timeline in place, prioritizing what’s most important. It’s also important to stay flexible, seek feedback, and keep learning. To visualize success and celebrate achievements – that’s what keeps me motivated.”

We asked Hanna what she would do if she could go back in time and give herself some professional advice. “The first thing would be to build a strong network ― networking is invaluable. Secondly, cultivate relationships with peers, mentors, and industry professionals. A strong professional network can open doors to opportunities and provide valuable insights.”

Asked about her criteria for Employee of the Year, if she had to judge this year’s nominations, Hanna told us, “For me, I think a valuable employee is someone who reliably meets or exceeds targets and is making a significant impact on the company’s progression. Demonstrating initiative and proactivity are also big wins for me. Someone who goes above their assigned tasks and makes things happen makes me take notice. Finally, an employee's commitment to personal and professional development and their ability to communicate effectively with multiple stakeholders is super valuable.”