WAI Names New Interim Leadership Following McKay’s Departure

Stephanie Kenyon has been named interim CEO of Women in Aviation International.

Stephanie Kenyon has been named interim CEO of Women in Aviation International. [Courtesy: Women in Aviation International]

There is a change in leadership at Women in Aviation International, as the board of directors has appointed Stephanie Kenyon as interim chief executive officer following the departure of the previous CEO.

Kenyon has served as the organization's chief growth officer since 2021, and helped promote the financial growth of the organization dedicated to advancing the interests of women in all areas of aviation and aerospace.

Kenyon has more than two decades of leadership experience in nonprofits and the aviation industry. As vice president of the AOPA Foundation, she designed and launched the popular AOPA High School Aviation Initiative, now a nationwide program that introduces teachers and students to aviation.

She also served as executive director in the philanthropy and alumni engagement division at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and was a member of the university’s women’s initiative committee. She is also a private pilot. At WAI she launched Harvard University/WAI Emerging Leaders professional education program designed to give women the leadership skills needed to assume executive positions within their organizations and the aviation/aerospace industry. She also managed WAI's scholarship program, including its new international university scholarships.

Captain Deborah Hecker, chair of the WAI Board of Directors, expressed confidence in Kenyon’s ability to lead the organization, noting her “leadership coupled with her understanding of the industry and nonprofit management make her an excellent choice as interim CEO. We are confident in her ability to drive WAI’s mission forward as well as create new opportunities for women in aviation and aerospace.”

Kenyon replaces former CEO Alison McKay, who, according to WAI, "Is now pursuing new opportunities aligned with her personal and professional goals."

The WAI board of directors notes McKay was instrumental in guiding the organization through the Pandemic’s upheaval of the aviation and aerospace industry. The board and staff of WAI expressed appreciation for McKay’s significant contributions during her tenure and for her dedication and commitment to WAI’s mission.

McKay was hired in 2020 upon the retirement of long-time CEO and founder Dr. Peggy Chabrian. Chabrian held the position for 30 years.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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