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Keynote Speakers

Sherry Carbary - VP of Flight Services, The Boeing Company

Sherry CarbarySherry Carbary is vice president of Boeing Flight Services, a business unit of Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In this position, Carbary leads nearly 5,000 employees and is responsible for overseeing the organization's global operations including flight crew, maintenance and cabin safety training, simulator service, flight operations, inflight optimization services and air traffic management as well as navigation and crew operations services for the aviation and marine markets through Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen.

Carbary joined Boeing in 1989 as a senior financial analyst in the Corporate Credit Office and, within Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Carbary also has served as director of Revenue Management, regional director of Marketing for Airline Financial Analysis, and as financial planner for the 777 program.

Carbary holds a master's degree in business administration from Seattle University, as well as bachelor's degrees in finance and economics from Eastern Washington University. She sits on the board of RTCA, a not-for-profit corporation formerly known as the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics that serves as the collective voice of the aviation community on communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management system issues.

Z. Nagin Cox - Mission Operations Flight Team, Mars Science Laboratory

Z. Nagin CoxAfter completing her assignment at Wright-Patterson, she attended the Air Force Institute of Technology where she received a master's degree in Space Operations Systems Engineering . As a captain, she served as an Orbital Analyst at NORAD/Space Command in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs. After leaving the Air Force to pursue more civilian space applications, she joined Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and began her time on planetary missions working in outer solar system projects. She served as the Deputy Team Chief of the engineering spacecraft fight team for NASA/JPL's Galileo mission to Jupiter until February of 2000.

She then moved to inner solar system exploration as the Deputy Team Chief of the Spacecraft/Rover Engineering Flight Team on the JPL Mars Exploration Rover Missions from their inception in 2000 until July 2004. Next, Cox spent two years in extra-solar exploration as the Deputy Project System Engineer on the Kepler telescope mission to search for earth-like planets around other stars and then became the Supervisor for the Surface Systems Systems Engineering Group at JPL. She is currently a member of the Mission Operations Flight Team, Mars Science Laboratory-the next NASA rover to Mars.

Isabella (Bella) Goren - CFO, American Airlines

Isabella (Bella) GorenAs CFO of American Airlines and AMR Corporation, Isabella (Bella) Goren is responsible for all of the Corporation's fnancial functions, including treasury, corporate fnance, corporate development, purchasing, accounting, tax, fnancial planning, and relationships with the investment community. Goren joined American in 1986 as a Financial Analyst and was subsequently promoted to managerial positions in the Human Resources/Executive Compensation and Revenue Management departments.

Before joining American, Goren was a chemical engineer, conducting nuclear waste disposal research for DuPont from 1983 to 1985. She earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, with highest honors, from the University of Texas and an MBA from Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she graduated frst in her class.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Gap Inc., one of the largest global specialty retailers. She is also on the Executive Board of the SMU School of Engineering and is a member of the International Women's Forum. Previously, she served on the boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas and the North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts. In 2008, Goren was recognized by ForbesLife Executive Woman as one of the 25 most infuential women in travel.

Rod Hightower – President of Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)

Rod HightowerRod Hightower was named EAA’s third president on July 26, 2010, and assumed that role on September 7, 2010. His career spans more than 25 years of business management and senior leadership positions for Fortune 500 manufacturing and industrial companies, and most recently as the CEO of a private equity owned portfolio of businesses in the Public Safety and Law Enforcement sectors. He has led both U.S. and international operations with as many as 3,200 employees and annual revenues of $470 million, and has led the sales organization for divisions as large as $900 million.

Along with his business expertise, however, Hightower is a passionate aviation enthusiast. He has been an EAA member for more than 20 years, an active pilot for 32 years, and restored his own Stearman biplane that he fies out of Creve Coeur Airport near St. Louis, Missouri.

Michael Huerta - Acting FAA Administrator

Michael HuertaMichael P. Huerta is the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. He assumed this role on December 5, 2011. Huerta is responsible for the safety and effciency of the largest aerospace system in the world. He oversees a 15.9 billion dollar budget, over 47,000 employees and is focused on ensuring the agency and its employees are the best prepared and trained professionals to meet the growing demands and requirements of the industry. Huerta also oversees the FAA's multi-billion dollar NextGen air traffic control modernization program as the United States shifts from ground-based radar to state-of-the-art satellite technology.

Before joining the FAA, Huerta held senior positions at Affiliated Computer Services from 2002-2009 rising to the position of President of the Transportation Solutions Group; ACS is now a Xerox company specializing in business processes and information technology. Huerta was commissioner of New York City's Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce from 1986-1989. He then served as the Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco from 1989-1993. From 1993-1998, he held senior positions in the U.S. Transportation Department in Washington, D.C., serving under Secretary Federico Peña and Secretary Rodney E. Slater.

Colleen Walker - CEO, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Colleen WalkerColleen Walker is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. She is a 2000 graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, and has devoted her career to the promotion of education and programs that assist youth.

Walker founded and served as Executive Director for Engineers of Dreams, a non-profit organization that encouraged more than 60,000 high school students in Texas, Colorado and Louisiana to pursue careers in technical fields. An expert on female leadership, Walker speaks to the evolution occurring today in how our youth view leadership and the importance of developing female leadership for the 21st century.


Women in Helicopter Aviation Panel


Matt Zuccaro - President, Helicopter Association International

Matt ZuccaroMatt Zuccaro began serving as HAI president on November 1, 2005. During his 40-year career, Zuccaro has held several executive and operations management positions, with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public service helicopter operations in the New York City area. Zuccaro is one of the founders and past chairman of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC). He received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator, and served with the 7/17 Air Calvary unit in Vietnam, for which he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, and 19 Air Medals.



Dr. Catherine Ferrie - Director, Xworx & Test and Evaluation at Bell Helicopter

Dr. Catherine FerrieDr. Catherine Ferrie is the Director of Bell Helicopter’s Xworx and Test and Evaluation center in Arlington, Texas joining the company in 1997.

Dr. Ferrie and her team develop technologies for integration into Bell Helicopter’s next generation products. The team at Xworx develops and tracks emerging technologies from a broad range of sources that can benefit the rotorcraft industry. Dr. Ferrie is responsible for efforts that range from basic research through concept development, rapid prototyping and testing. She also oversees the successful execution of all technology and manufacturing development programs at Bell Helicopter including all aircraft test and evaluation programs.

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) awarded Dr. Ferrie the prestigious Francois Xavier Bagnoud Award in 2002. This award is presented to an AHS member, under 30 years old, who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the rotorcraft industry. Additionally, Dr. Ferrie earned the Harry T. Jensen award from AHS for her work supporting Rotorcraft Damage Tolerance efforts.

Dr. Ferrie supports the Expanding Your Horizons program, which is designed to encourage young women in 6th-8th grades to pursue careers in science and engineering, by developing and presenting a workshop entitled "Born to Fly."

Dr. Ferrie received her Master of Science and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech, and her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University. She is an active member of the American Helicopter Society where she served as the Deputy Director of Vehicle Integrity on the Technical Council and currently serves as the Southwest Director at Large on the Board of Directors.

Dr. Ferrie lives in North Richland Hills and her outside interests include reading, baking and exercising.

Kate Garrison - Base Line Pilot, Air Evac Lifeteam

Kate GarrisonKate Garrison is an EMS pilot for Air Evac Lifeteam. A Whirly-Girls scholarship winner, Garrison parlayed her skills as an electronic news journalist into a job flying electronic news gathering in an AS350 helicopter in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Since then she’s flown air tours in helicopters in places as diverse as the Grand Canyon, Juneau, Alaska, and Maui, Hawaii.

Melissa Mathiasen - Chief Test Pilot, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Melissa MathiasenMelissa Mathiasen spends nearly 200 days a year traveling to customer sites supporting new aircraft deliveries and conducting pilot training on new Sikorsky helicopters. In 2011, she was selected as one of three crews on rotation to fly the Search and Rescue demonstrator S-92 on behalf of the Sikorsky Legacy of Heroes World Tour, just completing North America and Southeast Asia tour stops. Her passion for helicopters continues to be a dream come true, as she travels the world and has the opportunity to demonstrate the flexibility and multi-mission capabilities of the Sikorsky aircraft.

Colonel Sally Murphy - US Army Ret., First Commissioned Female Army Aviator, TH-55 and UH-1 Pilot

Colonel Sally MurphySally Stonecipher Woolfolk joined the Army as a member of the Women’s Army Corps in December 1972. She graduated on June 4, 1974 as the first woman Army helicopter pilot. Her principal aircraft were the UH-1 and the U-21.

Major Murphy served in the Headquarters, Department of the Army, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Force Development office for intelligence systems, including her responsibility for the Army’s unmanned aerial vehicle program. She wrote, staffed, and received approval for the first Joint requirements document plan for unmanned aerial vehicles, its master plan. After subsequent promotion to Colonel and assignments to the Joint and Army staffs, Colonel Sally Murphy retired from the Army with nearly 27 years of active service on July 1, 1999.

Samantha Willenbacher - Director of Bristow Academy

Samantha WillenbacherAfter seven years working as an administrator at the London School of Economics, Samantha Willenbacher accepted an opportunity to move to Northern California to be employed by Helicopter Adventures, now Bristow Academy. Initially she produced manuals for the school’s JAA approval. In the 14 years since, Willenbacher has been Marketing Manager and Business Development Manager. She became Director of Bristow Academy in 2008 and is responsible for the school’s 70-helicopter training fleet and 170 employees at training locations in Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, and the UK. Willenbacher lives in an Orlando, Florida, suburb.