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Past Award Winners

Aviation Industry Woman Of ExcellenceOutstanding Aviatior Award

2020 Aviation Industry Woman Of Excellence Award Recipient

Dr. Christine Darden

The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), a global association committed to connecting, inspiring and leading women in the aerospace and aviation industries, is pleased to announce Dr. Christine Darden as the recipient of the 2020 IAWA Woman of Excellence Award. This award recognizes women who are leaders in aerospace and aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industries and are respected by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Dr. Darden as the ninth recipient of the Woman of Excellence Award.

Dr. Darden has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aerospace industry and to IAWA. In 2007, after nearly 40 years of service, she retired as a member of The Senior Executive Service, NASA Langley Research Center, where she was hired in 1967 as a Computer/Data Analyst in the Re-Entry Physics Branch. Her final assignment at Langley was as Director of the Office of Strategic Communications and Education (OSCE). In that position she was responsible for the Center's external and internal communications, community outreach, governmental relations and educational outreach. Prior to the OSCE position, Dr. Darden served as the Langley Assistant Director for Planning, responsible for the Langley strategic planning process, and oversight of the Center's delivery on commitments. She served as Director of the Aero Performing Center Program Management Office (APCPMO) where her office had oversight of NASA Langley's work in Rotorcraft, Efficient Engine Technology, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Air Traffic Management, as a Senior Program Manager in NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR) Program Office, and for nearly 30 years as an internationally known researcher in high-speed aerodynamics and sonic boom research. In 2018, NASA signed a contract with Lockheed Martin Palmdale for the build of a full-size supersonic low-boom X-plane to demonstrate both low-boom performance and supersonic efficiency-a continuation of the sonic boom work performed and led by Dr. Darden.

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2019 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Colleen Barrett

The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2019 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Colleen Barrett. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Colleen Barrett as the eighth recipient of this award.

Colleen C. Barrett is currently President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines Co., a primarily high-frequency, low-fare, point-to-point airline which prides itself in its excellent Customer Service qualities.

Prior to stepping down as the Company’s President on July 15, 2008, she oversaw management, Leadership, and budget responsibilities over the following areas/groups: the Senior Vice President Marketing (Marketing, Sales & Distribution; Online Marketing; Revenue Management & Pricing); the Senior Vice President Corporate Communications (Pass Bureau; Emergency Response; Public Relations & Community Affairs; Community Relations & Charitable Giving; Employee Communications; Legislative Awareness); the Senior Vice President Chief People & Administration Officer (People [Human Resources];
Leadership Development & Training; Manager in Training programs; University for People; Performance Reviews; Talent Development; Onboarding Program); the Vice President Customer Relations & Rapid Rewards; the Vice President Labor & Employee Relations (Labor & Employment Law; Employee Relations; FMLA/ADA; Labor Relations & Negotiations); the Vice President Reservations; the Director Corporate Security; and the Executive Office Staff. She was also a member of the Company’s Executive Planning Committee, and she chaired numerous special Teams, task forces, and committees relating to Internal and External Southwest Customers. Colleen co-authored with Ken Blanchard the book Lead with LUV: A Different Way to Create Success (2010).

Before joining Southwest (in 1978), she worked for several years as an Executive Assistant to Herb Kelleher (Southwest’s former Executive Chairman) at his law firm.

For Southwest Airlines, she served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2001 to May 2008 and as Corporate Secretary from March 1978 to May 2008, and she served as Vice President Administration from 1986 to 1990; Executive Vice President Customers from 1990 to 2001; President and COO from 2001 to 2004; and President from 2004 to July 2008. Colleen has one son and one grandson; is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations in Dallas, Texas; serves on the JCPenney Company, Inc. Board of Directors; and has served on numerous advisory boards and commissions.

2018 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Marion Blakey

The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2018 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Marion Blakey. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Marion Blakey as the seventh recipient of this award.

Marion C. Blakey joined Rolls-Royce North America Inc. (RRNA) in 2015 as President and Chief Executive Officer. In this role, Ms. Blakey also served as Chairman of the Rolls-Royce North America Holdings Inc. Board.

Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, Blakey was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) where she provided a leading and influential voice for the aerospace and defense industry. From 2002 to 2007, Blakey was Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) where she operated the world’s largest air traffic control system and managed 44,000 employees and a $14 billion budget. Prior to 2002, she held several senior-level positions including Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ms. Blakey is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Noblis, a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization, and is a member of the Alaska Airlines Board of Directors where she serves as Chairman of their Safety Committee. She also serves on the Board of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Born in Gadsden, Ala., Blakey received her bachelor’s degree with honors in international studies from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a fellow in the Royal Aeronautical Society and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the National Aeronautic Association’s 2011 Henderson Trophy, Aviation Week & Space Technology’s 2013 Laureate Award, and the National Aeronautic Association’s 2013 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.

IAWA proudly awards Marion Blakey the Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award for 2018.

2017 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Joan Sullivan Garrett
The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Joan Sullivan Garrett. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Joan Sullivan Garrett as the sixth recipient of this award.

Sullivan Garrett has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry and to IAWA. Garrett has served in a leadership capacity as a Board member. "Joan Sullivan Garrett has long been recognized as an effective industry leader and a driving force for change," said IAWA President Lisa Piccione. "Joan's work as an IAWA Board member and as a global business leader has opened doors for countless women in the industry." Piccione added that "Joan has been and continues to be a mentor to women around the world. She is someone who leads by example, is truly a role model -- and a Woman of Excellence!"

Read the press release.


2016 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Sharon Holahan
The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Sharon Holahan. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Sharon Holahan as the fifth recipient of this award.

Holahan has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry and to IAWA. Holahan has served in a leadership capacity as a Board member, including as Director at Large, Advisory Board Member, and currently Honorary Board Member. "The core principles that guide us today were established by Sharon and the group who founded IAWA. As IAWA's first President, she set the standard for all who would follow her. Her many contributions over the years continue to shape IAWA. We are all grateful for Sharon's work and enduring commitment to advancing women in aviation and aerospace" said IAWA President Lisa Piccione.

Read the press release.


2015 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Cecile Hatfield
The fourth recipient of the IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award was Cecile Hatfield, Esq. IAWA Board Members Katherine Staton and Debra Fowler presented the award during a reception in Washington, DC.

View the video below to see the presentation highlighting Cecile's inspiring achievements.

Read the press release.


2014 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Renee Martin-Nagle
The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2014 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Renee Martin-Nagle. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Renee Martin-Nagle as the third recipient of this award.     

Martin-Nagle has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry. She has been a member of IAWA since 1991 and served on IAWA's Advisory Board. In addition, she served on the board of directors of Women in Aviation and established the Airbus Leadership Grant to support women pursuing aviation-related degrees. IAWA Past President, Julie Ellis spoke of Martin-Nagle, "Renee has never met a challenge she did not embrace and solve successfully with diplomacy and aplomb--always taking on leadership roles to advance our industry and mentoring men and women, who become lifelong friends, along her amazing lifes journey. Renee is a Woman of Excellence." 

Read the press release.


2013 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Elizabeth Friedenberg
The International Aviation Women's Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2013 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Elizabeth Freidenberg of Freidenberg, Freidenberg & Lifsic. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Elizabeth Freidenberg as the second recipient of this award.     

Freidenberg has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry. She has served on IAWA's board for many years and is currently an active member of the Advisory Board. IAWA Past President Katherine Posner spoke of Freidenberg, "Elizabeth has been an inspiration in so many ways as a trailblazer for women in aviation law, for her boundless energy and enthusiasm and of course her unfailing support of other women and IAWA. She truly is a Woman of Excellence."   

Read the press release.


2012 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient

Katherine B. Posner
The International Aviation Women's Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the, 2012 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award. This award recognizes women who are leaders in their field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, we are honored to recognize Kathy Posner as the first ever recipient of this award.

Kathy has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry. She is a founding member of IAWA and has served as President, Board and Advisory Board member. Kathy is also the immediate Past President of the New York Women's Bar Association Foundation and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.

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Outstanding Aviatior Award

2018 Annual Outstanding Aviator Award

Brigadier General Jeannie M. Leavitt
The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. and IAWA (International Aviation Women's Association) are pleased to announce Brig. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt as the recipient of the 2019 annual Outstanding Aviator Award. The presentation of this year's Award will take place during The Wings Club Foundations Annual Meeting, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at The Yale Club in New York City.

Read the press release.


2018 Annual Outstanding Aviator Award

Major General Patrick Henry Brady (US Army Ret.)
The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. and IAWA (International Aviation Women's Association) will honor Distinguished Service Cross and Medal of Honor recipient, Major General Patrick Henry Brady (US ARMY Ret.) with the 2018 annual Outstanding Aviator Award. The presentation of this year's Award will take place during The Wings Club Foundations Annual Meeting, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at The Yale Club in New York City.

Read the press release.


2017 Annual Outstanding Aviator Award

Heather Penney
The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. and IAWA (International Aviation Women's Association), honored Heather Penney with the 2017 annual Outstanding Aviator Award. The presentation of this year's Award will take place during The Wings Club Foundations Annual Meeting, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Yale Club in New York City.

Read the press release.


2016 Annual Outstanding Aviator Award

Colonel Edward T. Rock (USAF Ret.)
The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. and IAWA (International Aviation Women's Association), honored Colonel Edward T. Rock (USAF Ret.) with the 2016 annual Outstanding Aviator Award. The presentation of this year's Award will take place during The Wings Club Foundations Annual Meeting, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at The Yale Club in New York City.

Read the press release.


2015 Annual Outstanding Aviator Award

Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann
The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. and IAWA (International Aviation Women's Association) announce that Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, is the recipient of the sixth annual Outstanding Aviator Award. The presentation of this year's Award will take place during The Wings Club Foundations Annual Meeting, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at The Yale Club in New York City.

Read the press release.


2014 Annual Outstanding Aviator Award

Bob Hoover
The Wings Club, recognized as the premier aviation club in the world, and IAWA (International Aviation Women's Association) will honor Robert A. Bob Hoover, former Air Show Pilot and United States Air Force Test Pilot, with the fifth annual Outstanding Aviator Award.

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2013 Outstanding Aviator Award

Patty Wagstaff
The Wings Club, recognized as the most premier aviation club in the world, will honor Patty Wagstaff, Champion Aerobatic Pilot with the fourth annual Outstanding Aviator Award.

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2012 Outstanding Aviator Award

Doolittle Raiders
New York, NY (March 28, 2012) The Wings Club, recognized as the premier aviation club in the world, will honor the Doolittle Raiders with the third annual Outstanding Aviator Award.

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2012 Outstanding Aviator Award

Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)
New York, NY (March 28, 2011) The Wings Club, recognized as the premier aviation club in the world, will honor the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) with the second annual Outstanding Aviator Award.

Read the press release.