Powerful Lineup of Speakers on Tap for WAI 2016 Annual Conference in Nashville

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nashville Mayor, Astronaut Couple, Secretary of the Air Force, FAA Administrator and More Scheduled to Speak

Megan Barry, the Mayor of Nashville, will join astronauts Dr. Rhea Seddon and Robert "Hoot" Gibson as each connects, engages, and inspires attendees at the 27th annual International Women in Aviation Conference, March 10-12, 2016, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mayor Megan Barry is the first female mayor of Nashville, and the first mayor to have risen from the Nashville Metro Council. Her focus as mayor has been on improving the educational outcomes at public schools, engaging regional and state partners to develop a unified vision and plan for transportation, and continuing to grow the economy. Mayor Barry will welcome attendees at Friday's general session.

Dr. Rhea Seddon was selected in 1978 as one of the first six women to enter the astronaut program. She is a physician who flew three space shuttle missions as a mission specialist for Discovery (1985); Columbia (1991) and as payload commander for Columbia (1993). She is author of Go For Orbit, a memoir which describes her rigorous astronaut training while balancing home and family life. Rhea will speak at Saturday's Girls in Aviation Day lunch.

Robert "Hoot" Gibson served as a fighter pilot, test pilot, and Navy astronaut before joining Southwest Airlines as a pilot in 1996. He flew five missions aboard the space shuttles Challenger, Columbia, and Endeavour, once as co-pilot and four times as the mission commander. Most recently, Hoot won the Unlimited Gold Race at the 2015 Reno National Champion Air Race. Hoot will address the college/university luncheon audience on Friday.

These three join an all-star lineup of speakers which includes The Honorable Deborah Lee James, the 23rd Secretary of the U.S. Air Force; Michael Huerta, Federal Aviation Administrator; Jessica Cox, world's first armless pilot and motivational speaker; Tracey Curtis-Taylor, adventurer who successfully retraced Amy Johnson's 1930 flight from the UK to Australia; Rod Machado, pilot and author; and Doreen Welsh, flight attendant on US Airways "Miracle on the Hudson" flight.

This year's International Women in Aviation Conference culminates on Saturday night with the $10 Million Banquet, named in honor of WAI's passing the $10 million mark in scholarships awarded. In addition, four new inductees will be welcomed during the banquet into WAI's Pioneer Hall of Fame.

Secure online registration is available at www.wai.org/16conference. Discounted registration is available for military personnel and full-time students.

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.

Molly Martin, Outreach Director
Women in Aviation International
Phone:  850-508-8769
Email Molly

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