WAI Announces 2019 Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductees

Published in Midwest Flyer – February/March 2019 issue

Women in Aviation International (WAI) has selected the 2019 inductees for its International Pioneer Hall of Fame. These women will be honored at the 30th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference during an induction ceremony and celebration dinner at the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 6-8 p.m.

The 2019 Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees include Leanne Caret and Mary Golda Ross.

Leanne Caret is executive vice president of The Boeing Company and president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security. She is a member of the Boeing Executive Council. Throughout her career, Caret has engaged with industry, government and academic leaders on a wide range of topics and issues related to national defense. She has devoted considerable attention to STEM education and support for veterans and their families, and leadership excellence. She is executive champion for the Boeing Women in Leadership organization.

Mary Golda Ross was the first known native American female engineer, and the first female engineer in the history of Lockheed. She was one of the 40 founding engineers of the renowned and highly secretive Skunk Works project at Lockheed Corporation. She worked at Lockheed from 1942 until her retirement in 1973, where she was best remembered for her work on aerospace design, including the Agena Rocket program, as well as numerous design concepts for interplanetary space travel, manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights, and the earliest studies of orbiting satellites for both defense and civilian purposes.

Also, being recognized will be the U.S. Coast Guard’s First Women Aviators and Aviation-Related Enlisted Women – a group of three officers and six enlisted women who proved women had a place in military aviation and who opened the door for future generations of women to pursue their military aviation dreams.On January 1, 1976, the Coast Guard opened all aviation ratings to women, thus making aviation service possible for these nine women and others who would follow them. They include officers Colleen Cain, Vivien Crea and Janna Lambine, and enlisted personnel Erminia Chillon, Andrea Gardner, Dior Lowen Hubbel, Kelly Mogk Larson, Robyn Rogers Norwell, and Elizabeth Uhrig. Lt. Colleen Cain is the first female Coast Guard aviator killed in the line of duty when the helicopter she was flying crashed during a rescue mission off Hawaii in 1982. A portrait of Lt. Colleen Cain was painted by Leonora Rae Smith.

“This year’s inductees reflect the diversity of careers enjoyed by our members,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “Our International Pioneer Hall of Fame honors not merely women of great accomplishment, but women who have paved the way for generations to follow.”

The Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or opened doors of opportunity for women. Each year, the organization solicits nominations from throughout the aviation industry for the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame. For more information on the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame, visit www.WAI.org.

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