NAA Celebrates Those Committed to Aviation and Aerospace

The National Aeronautic Association was founded in 1905, and it’s the oldest national aviation club in the U.S. Courtesy of NAA

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) celebrates every year those people who have demonstrated over time their commitment to the advancement of the aerospace industry.

The Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman Awards have been bestowed upon nominated candidates for more than 60 years.

For 2021, NAA has announced the honorees, which will receive the award at a ceremony on December 6, in Arlington, Virginia, in conjunction with the association’s annual dinner, last held in December 2019.

Those receiving the award this year include:

  • Cassandra Bosco, for “… her 35 years of dedicated service providing consulting and executive services to leaders in the aerospace industry, in addition to her passionate industry advocacy, and commitment to the advancement of women in all aviation related fields.”
  • Steven Brown, for “… his four-decade-long career in aviation defined by passion, service, inspiration, innovation, and selfless leadership at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), NAA, FAA, and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).”
  • Angela Gittens, for “… her exemplary vision and leadership as Director General of the Airport Council International (ACI World), having increased the safety, security, efficiency, sustainability, and diversity of the air transport industry throughout the world.”
  • The Honorable John Goglia, for “… his lifetime of passion and dedication to aviation safety and maintenance, and whose internationally recognized expertise led him to become the first and only Airframe and Powerplant mechanic to receive a presidential appointment to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).”
  • Colonel Gail Seymour “Hal” Halvorsen, for “… distinguishing himself through acts of goodwill, bravery, and determination as the ‘Berlin Candy Bomber’, contributing significantly to aeronautics in the U.S. and across allied countries worldwide.”
  • Jean Lydon-Rodgers, for “… distinguishing herself as a successful leader during her nearly four decades at General Electric Aviation, while continuously providing mentorship to women throughout the entire spectrum of aviation science and STEM applications.”
  • General John Raymond, for “… his 35 years of service in the Department of the Air Force and for standing up the nation’s first new military service in seven decades as the Chief of Space Operations of the United States Space Force, advocating for an enhanced national focus on emerging threats to American interests in space.”

The group was determined by the 2020 selection committee, which includes:

  • Jim Albaugh, chairman of NAA
  • Former FAA administrators Randy Babbitt, Marion Blakey, Dan Elwell, Jane Garvey, and Michael Huerta
  • Former Distinguished Statesmen and Stateswomen of Aviation George Carneal (2009), Peggy Chabrian (2016), Julie Clark (2020), Dave Franson (2020), Jeff Hamiel (2017), Michael Heuer (2019), John King (2018), Martha King (2018), Dick Koenig (2012), Mary Miller (2019), Jack Pelton (2017), Michael Quiello (2020), and Don Skiados (2019)
  • Trish Gilbert, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
  • Rebecca Lutte, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Ellen Stofan, Smithsonian Institution
  • Patty Wagstaff, aerobatic pilot

“The women and men we honor this year as Stateswomen and Statesmen of Aviation represent the depth and breadth of our industry,” said NAA’s president, Greg Principato. “They represent all sectors of aviation and span the gamut from the Berlin Airlift to efforts to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Their contributions have inspired and continue to inspire.”

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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