Justine Hutcherson, HR Business Partner - Europe & APAC at Chapman Freeborn, has been named Employee of the Year 2022 in the category of Rising Talent. Justine played a critical role in the company’s year-round people strategy by supporting the HR team and wider business during periods of significant and continued headcount growth, training new staff, and helping both employees and managers get through difficult times.

When asked how the award makes her feel, Justine is humble, “It is a big honour for me, my team, my colleagues, and the company as, of course, without the great working atmosphere, efficient collaboration, and teamwork, I would not have made it.”

Justine joined Chapman Freeborn during Covid-19 in January 2021, which was quite a challenge itself — on her first day, she only met a few of her colleagues in person, couldn’t work from the office, and had to quickly adjust to the online format. However, Justine still recalls her very first day very well, “I remember the office full of airplane models and pictures of planes and thinking to myself, ‘Yes, I am at the right place’.”

A people person from nature, Justine loves getting the best out of those around her, and it surely helps her in the professional world of HR. Justine is also very well-organized and always thinks one step ahead so that she’s prepared for any unpleasant surprises and can tackle issues that arise along the way.

During 2022, Justine had a chance to travel a lot and finally meet her colleagues, which, as she says, “improved collaboration and teamwork.” She also settled into her job role and grew within a new field of HR, related to supporting managers in the HR strategies and helping out her colleagues whenever needed. Even though the last year wasn’t a walk in the park, this period taught Justine how to work smarter, “You can have a plan, but it’s more important to be flexible and attentive, figure out new ways, and try them.”

In 2023, Justine doesn’t plan to slow down either — she already has future career goals and is willing to support her company, colleagues, and team the best she can. Currently, the most energy-consuming part of her job has been the workload, as Chapman Freeborn has been growing fast, and its day-to-day business increased. Justine’s outlook is optimistic, though, “It’s great to be so productive each day. Time flies, and, most importantly, we still find time to laugh.”

For Justine, the Avia Solutions Group family is all about being international, supportive, and united. She never regretted her choice of joining aviation, and if she could go back in time, she would give herself only one piece of career advice, “Never fear trying!”

What criteria would she set for the future Employees of the Year? “I believe it’s all about passion. I think that most of us working in aviation are passionate about it, but then there is always someone who is made for it, and you can simply see, feel and hear it.”