Full day of activities changes the face of AirVenture for women
Now in its eighth successful year, WomenVenture has provided a venue for women attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to bond with like-minded individuals and have fun as well. WomenVenture Wednesday began at the EAA Nature Center with a sold-out Women in Aviation International Connect breakfast, sponsored by Avemco, and attended by over 360 enthusiastic showgoers. Jessica Cox, the first woman without arms to earn her pilot's license was the breakfast speaker.
The group then reformed in Boeing Plaza, joining hundreds more women, for the largest ever WomenVenture annual group photo. The women, most wearing their WomenVenture T-shirts, filled Boeing Plaza. The WASP had their usual place of honor in the front row.
A WomenVenture Power Lunch, held in Theater in the Woods, was next on the day's agenda where women had time to meet and greet and network with one another. The WomenVenture Power Lunch featured WAI members Cindy Hasselbring, who leads and coordinates STEM education initiatives for the Maryland State Department of Education and Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, NOAA Administrator. Hasselbring has recently interviewed for NASA's Astronaut Candidate Program. Sullivan is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut, and intrepid explorer.
Following lunch, Vernice "Fly Girl" Armour spoke at Theater in the Woods. Armour is a former United States Marine Corps officer who was the first African-American female naval aviator in the Marine Corps and the first African-American female combat pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The day culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Women in Aviation International and the Federal Aviation Administration, held in the FAA Aviation Safety Center. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian signed the agreement.
The purpose of the MOU is to continue a formal partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration and Women in Aviation International. The MOU states, in part, "The largest, safest, most efficient and complex aviation system in the world demands a strong network of stakeholders with the common goal to increase safety and efficiency of aviation and aerospace."
As an added attraction for WomenVenture, Wednesday's airshow featured female performers.
WomenVenture activities have greatly enhanced the visibility of aviation-oriented women during AirVenture. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian says, "Over the years, WomenVenture has proven to be motivational and inspirational to women who enjoy the camaraderie and excitement made possible by this summer tradition. Thanks to EAA for providing such a fantastic venue for women to meet and bond."
Photo Caption #1: WomenVenture participants crowd Boeing Plaza for the annual group photo, which was the largest gathering ever at WomenVenture.
Photo Caption #2: FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue to support each other's efforts to ensure a diverse group of stakeholders in the aviation community.
Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing networking, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women and men who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. For more information, contact WAI at 3647 State Route 503 South, West Alexandria, OH 45381, Phone (937) 839-4647; Fax (937) 839-4645 or through www.wai.org.
Note to Editors: The 27th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee from March 10-12, 2016. For more information, visit www.wai.org.
Molly Martin, Outreach Director
Women in Aviation International