Industry leaders convene for WAI conference

Four noted industry leaders will participate in a panel discussion at the Women in Aviation, International (WAI) Conference’s annual luncheon Feb. 26 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Panel members include Paula Derks, president, Aircraft Electronics Association; Karen Gebhart, president of the AOPA Foundation; Elissa Lines, vice president, Experimental Aircraft Association; and Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian will moderate the panel.

“We expect a lively discussion from these industry leaders,” said Chabrian. “I know our members will find their views both informative and wide-ranging.”

Specifically, the panelists will provide their insights into the future of general aviation over the next 10 years. Panelists will also share their thoughts on how general aviation serves the public at large and contributes to the economy.

The conference opens on Thursday, Feb. 25, and runs through the closing banquet on Saturday, Feb. 27. The theme of this year’s conference is “Aviation: It’s a Small World.”

In addition to this panel, FAA Administrator Randolph Babbitt and National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman are confirmed speakers. Additional confirmed speakers include Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, Chief Pilot and Director of Training, Boeing Commercial Airplane Services; Anna Mracek Dietrich, Chief Operating Officer, Terrafugia; Denise Wilson, CAM, President and Chief Pilot, Desert Jet; and Carol Ann Garratt and Carol Foy, two pilots who flew around the world in a Mooney to raise funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research.

For more information: 937-839-4647 or

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