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Colleen BarrettColleen Barrett

President Emeritus, Southwest Airlines

Colleen Barrett, WAI 13924, has consistently been named and recognized as one of the most powerful American businesswomen. She joined Southwest Airlines in 1978, and has served as secretary, vice president of administration, and executive vice president. Barrett retired from her position as president and corporate secretary of Southwest in July 2008, but remained an employee of the company through July 2013.  



Pat BlumPat Blum

Founder, Corporate Angel Network

Pat Blum, WAI 232, along with Jay Weinberg and Leonard Greene, founded in 1981 what is now one of the most recognized and successful public benefit aviation charities in the world, the Corporate Angel Network (CAN). Starting with one flight in Greene's King Air 200, today the organization arranges more almost 3,000 flights per year provided by more than 580 corporations generously donating their time, aircraft, and crews. Blum, who retired in 2000 at age 80, promoted her idea to doctors and treatment centers to reach out to their patients, probed corporate flight departments for support, and enlisted the entire aviation community to support her idea and influence their contemporaries. She presented to CEOs and boards of directors to raise funding, recruited hundreds of volunteers, and directed the design of a custom computer program specific to the organization's unique needs that is still in use today. Her vision for CAN continues, and Blum remains the organization's greatest cheerleader.


Ravi ChaudharyRavi Chaudhary

FAA Executive Director for Regions and Center Operations (ARC-2)

Ravi Chaudhary is responsible for leadership, oversight, and execution of aviation operations in nine regions, as well as the FAA's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. As second in command to the deputy assistant administrator for ARC, he is also responsible for providing department of transportation and FAA-wide services in the areas of operations, safety, policy, corporate and congressional outreach, emergency readiness, facilities management, and centralized support for the national aerospace system.

Chaudhary is a former Air Force officer with 21 years of service. He is a C-17 pilot and has completed a variety of command, operational, engineering, and senior staff assignments. He has also served at the Pentagon as a speechwriter and strategic planner.

In May 2014, Chaudhary was appointed as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Chaudhary holds a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy, a master's in operational arts and science from Air University, and a master's in industrial engineering from St. Mary's University as a NASA graduate fellow.


Amelia Rose EarhartAmelia Rose Earhart

Youngest woman to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine aircraft

Amelia Rose Earhart, WAI 54362, is the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft. In July 2014, after more than a decade of training, she completed her around-the-world journey by flying a path similar to that of the original Amelia Earhart. Flying a Pilatus PC-12 NG with copilot, Shane Jordon, she made 16 stops and traveled 24,300 nautical miles, clocking just over 108 flying hours in 18 days. Earhart began taking flying lessons in 2004 and obtained her private pilot certificate in 2010, her instrument rating in 2012, and trained to fly the Pilatus PC12-NG in 2013. While training, Earhart worked as a traffic and weather news anchor in Denver, Colorado. In 2013 she launched the Fly With Amelia Foundation, which provides flight training scholarships for young women ages 16 to 18 across the United States. She was named one of the Top Ten Young Americans by the Jaycees in 2014.

Donna HrinakDonna Hrinak

Boeing President Brazil and Latin America

Donna Hrinak, WAI 52065, is responsible for the development and implementation of the Boeing strategy in Brazil and leads companywide activities including government affairs, identifying new and emerging business opportunities, leading corporate citizenship programs, and enhancing company relationships with customers and other stakeholder groups.

Prior to this appointment, Hrinak was vice president of global public policy and government affairs for PepsiCo Inc. She joined PepsiCo in 2008 from Kraft Foods, where she was corporate affairs director for Latin America and the European Union. Before entering the private sector, Hrinak was a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. She has served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic and as deputy assistant secretary of state for Mexico and the Caribbean. She has also worked at the U.S. missions in Mexico City, Tegucigalpa, Bogota, Warsaw, and São Paulo.

Hrinak serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Inter-American Dialogue, and Fundação Dom Cabral. She is also a member of the International Women's Forum and of the Organization of Women in International Trade.


Lt. Col. Jen NothelferLt. Col. Jen Nothelfer

U.S. Marine Corps

Lt. Col. Jen Nothelfer, WAI 5111, fell in love with flying while working for Atlantic Coast Airlines as a flight attendant. Her pursuit for a military flight contract began as a dare-she won in October 1995, after earning a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. She began flight training in March 1996, and earned her gold wings on June 20, 1997, as a helicopter pilot.

While attending Navy Officer Candidate School she realized her dream was to become a United States Marine. She applied for an inter-service transfer and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in 1997. After initial basic officer training she was transferred to Marine Corps Air Station New River, near Jacksonville, North Carolina, where she learned to fl y the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter.

Nothelfer moved to the reserves in 2003. In September of 2011, Nothelfer was promoted to lieutenant colonel with her husband Kirk serving the honors. Kirk is an active duty lieutenant colonel serving at Offutt Air Force Base with Marine Forces Strategic Command. Along with her duties as a Marine reserve officer and mom to her three daughters, Nothelfer has developed highly successful teams as an independent consultant for multiple home-based businesses.


Heather PenneyHeather Penney

Director, USAF Air Superiority Systems, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Heather "Lucky" Penney, WAI 42544, was one of two F-16 pilots ordered to take down United Airlines Flight 93 before it reached Washington, D.C., airspace on 9/11. In the days and weeks that followed the attacks, she flew combat air patrols over the capital and began preparing for the possibility of war.

In her role at Lockheed Martin, she was part of the team that received the Robert J. Collier Trophy for the F-22 fighter program. Her work now focuses on Air Force training and finding a replacement for the T-38, as well as a "Live-Virtual-Constructive" developmental program that melds simulators, synthetic computer-constructed threat environments, and live-aircraft operations in training operations designed to challenge the Air Force's next-generation aircraft and pilots.

She continues to fly as an instructor and aircraft commander for the 201st Airlift Squadron on the C-38 AstraJet and spends a few weeks each summer flying the Collings Foundation B-17G Nine O Nine. She owns a Cessna 170A.