During her annual remarks at the WAI Connect Breakfast at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, Dr. Peggy Chabrian announced her intention to retire as president and CEO of Women in Aviation International effective April 2020.
This year has marked a number of important milestones for the organisation, including an all-time record of 14,000 members, more than 4,500 attendees and 170 exhibitors at the 30th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Long Beach, California, a total of $948,000 scholarships awarded with a cumulative total reaching $12.5 million, a $1 million endowment fund, and the fifth international Girls in Aviation Day on October 5, 2019, expected to reach 20,000 participants.
“The organisation is in an excellent place with record accomplishments in all areas including membership numbers, scholarship awards, and a solid financial position,” said Dr. Chabrian. “It has been a pleasure to have established the WAI annual conferences 30 years ago, to create the organisation 25 years ago, and to serve as its president since its inception in 1994. My commitment is to engage in continued fundraising and public relations for WAI through next year's conference, March 5-7, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista Florida, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, up through April 2020 and to ensure a smooth transition once a new individual has been hired.”
Marci Veronie, WAI chairman, adds: “A trailblazing pioneer and an industry leader, Dr. Peggy Chabrian has steered the international growth and prominence of WAI for three decades with her signature professionalism and expertise. On behalf of the WAI board of directors and staff, we offer a huge collective thank you for all that Peggy has accomplished for women in aviation pursuing a wide range of career pursuits and for providing the year-round resources to foster each member's dream of finding her or his right path in this ever expanding industry.”
NBAA vice president, educational strategy and workforce development Jo Damato, CAM, was also keen to praise, citing Dr. Chabrian's influence on her own career.
“In addition to steering the direction and accomplishments of WAI since its inception, she has touched countless lives throughout the aviation community, and has directly influenced the paths of so many of our industry's female leaders today,” said Damato. “Dr. Chabrian created a place for 'women who liked to talk about airplanes', and I've looked to her as a role model since the day I first heard her speak.”
The WAI board will retain the services of an executive search firm to fill the leadership position.