These awards are presented at the Annual International Conference of The Ninety-Nines
Award of Achievement for Contributions to The Ninety-Nines
Anneli Kokkola, a founding member of the Finnish Section in 1969, has tirelessly promoted women in aviation and The Ninety-Nines in Finland since receiving her license in 1968. In 1999 she organized a celebration in honor of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Finnish Section, the year she also received a silver badge of merit from the Finnish Aviation Association. Constantly promoting The Ninety-Nines, the following year Anneli organized and constructed a 99s stand at the Finnish celebration of women athletes in Helsinki. In 2009 she organized the celebration recognizing the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Finnish Section. A student of the history of women in aviation, she lectures frequently and serves as a guide at the Finnish Aviation Museum. Anneli is the only woman on a team charged with the conservation of vintage aircraft in the museum. The Ninety-Nines of the Finnish Section fondly refer to Anneli as “Lady 99 of Finland.”
Award of Achievement for Contributions to Aviation
For more than forty years, Debby Rihn-Harvey has contributed her time and energy to the field of aviation as an instructor, airline captain, aviation business owner, FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, mentor, airshow pilot, and the longest-standing member of the United States Aerobatic Team. While still active in all of these endeavors, Debby finds time to advise and inspire a new generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts.
Her dedication to the sport of aerobatics places her among the world’s elite pilots. In 2006, Debby became the third woman in history to be crowned United States National Aerobatic Champion, winning that title again in 2008 and 2009. As 2006, 2008 and 2009 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, Debby was awarded the Mike Murphy Cup. She has also won the Betty Skelton Trophy (awarded to the top-placing woman competitor in the Powered Unlimited category at the U.S. Nationals) an unprecedented twelve times. In world competition, Rihn-Harvey has been a gold medalist and holds many regional titles.
Debby is an active air show performer, Aerobatic Competency Evaluator (ACE) through the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), and an FAA Designated Examiner. She also manages Harvey & Rihn Aviation, a flight school and fixed base operation in La Porte, Texas. Since 1979, her aerobatics school has attracted pilots from around the world. Debby serves on the Board of Directors of the International Aerobatic Club and represents the United States internationally at the FAI Aerobatics Commission: Commission Internationale de Voltige Aerienne (CIVA). In addition, she sits on aviation advisory boards for both the City of La Porte and San Jacinto College.
In addition, Debby flies as a B737 Captain for Southwest Airlines. A member of the Houston Chapter, she truly loves her multi-faceted flying career, and it shows in her enthusiasm for “everything airplane.” As a role model to the students and acquaintances she has inspired during her 40-year career, she finds great reward in their successes.
Award of Achievement for Humanitarian Efforts
Jean Murry and Delia Greer
Jean Murry and Delia Greer, two members of the Greater St. Louis Chapter, are honored with this award for their many years of service to Wings of Hope, the oldest and largest volunteer humanitarian aviation-based charity in the world. The organization focuses on the provision of medical care, education, and sustainable projects in more than forty-two countries, and also runs the Midwest Medical Relief and Air Transport Program, which arranges health care for uninsured or underinsured people in need of air ambulance service to treatment facilities. Jean and Delia support both of these efforts.Their first mission together was to Haiti in June of 2000 when Wings of Hope was asked to help an orphanage. As part of a small group of volunteers, they provided medical attention to babies, played with children who craved attention, painted the orphanage, and assisted volunteers who hooked up electricity and running water. They went on to travel together on seven missions to remote bases and villages in Haiti, Guatemala, and South America over the next five years. When not away on missions, Jean and Delia can be found at Wings of Hope’s headquarters in St. Louis. Delia volunteers as an on-board flight nurse for the air transport program, and, when not in the air, spends many hours managing the inventory of donated medicines to prepare them for distribution. Jean is the go-to person for the hundreds of people who volunteer at Wings of Hope’s headquarters, coordinating all events and opening her home to volunteers who need overnight lodging while waiting for a mission to deploy. The Greater St. Louis Chapter has found it a privilege to hear their many stories of flying for humanitarian causes.
Award of Merit
Nominated by the Austrian Section, Erich Kustatscher is recognized for his long dedication to the promotion of aviation as a vehicle to bring joy to both children and adults. His passion has been flight training, working with hundreds of students in Italy and throughout Europe. He promoted “Children in the Air,” a four-day annual event dedicated to introducing children to ballooning and the field of aeronautics. Erich organized “FlyDonna,” an international meeting dedicated to women pilots. Erich was the founder and first president of the Italian Federation for Ultralight Flight, serving in that position from 1980 – 2005.
Having received much recognition for his work with the National Aero Club of Italy, his First Place finishes in the Italian Championship for Ultralight, and his contributions to flight training, he is perhaps best known for helping to bring the world of flight to pilots with physical disabilities, running a flight school where students with disabilities are welcomed. Erich is the creator, promoter, coach, and member of the formation flight “WeFly Team,” composed of pilots with disabilities. It is an internationally recognized group, participating as the only civilian patrol in numerous international events. Thanks to his efforts, many people with physical disabilities have achieved licenses for recreational and sport flying, proving that when the passion and professionalism of the teacher and the tenacity of the student join together, it’s possible to fly very high.
George Palmer Putnam Award
Dean Jaros was a visionary for the promotion of women in aviation. As a long-time 49 ½, he donated years of service to the Ninety-Nines.
Dean volunteered at a Colorado Chapter Airmarking and quickly determined that he could help the chapter, observing how long it took to lay out a compass rose with the interlocking 9s. He developed and manufactured templates for the nine-foot interlocking 99 that enable a quick layout. He also provided many other compass rose aids that enable the chapter to quickly draw centric circles and lay out the four primary directions. Dean volunteered for over ten 99 air-markings across Colorado and Wyoming areas, flying to each at his own expense. He also volunteered and donated his flying time and all expenses to be the timer every year for the Mile High Air Derby.
In addition to supporting the Colorado Chapter, Dean flew to and attended over 17 years of 99 International Conferences and Section meetings, always supporting the 99s in any manner he could.
Dean contributed greatly to the body of knowledge on women in aviation. As a scholar, former professor at Vanderbilt and University of Kentucky and Dean of the Graduate School at Colorado State University, He conducted years of extensive and detailed research to produce the ground-breaking book in 1994, Heroes Without Legacy: American Airwomen, 1912-1944. He documented the incredible achievements of women pilots in a day when they often were not recognized in aviation. He traveled to the Air and Space Museum, in Washington and to the Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots multiple times for his research to prepare for his book.
Dean Jaros personified the values and contributions of the “George Palmer Putnam Award” with the support he demonstrated for 99s in his heart, with his time, his talents, contributions and finances for over 17 years.
Award of Inspiration
Searching for a way to celebrate the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the first woman to receive a pilot license worldwide, Mireille Goyer designed and developed a worldwide initiative, “The Centennial of Women Licensed Pilots,” to celebrate women pilots’ history, raise awareness of aviation’s opportunities among females and introduce girls and women to aviation. She garnered support from a vast array of aviation organizations, businesses and magazines and energized numerous individuals to provide introductory flights to over 1600 non-pilot females in 29 countries. At Oshawa Airport, Ontario, Canada, flights were provided to 475 women and girls, the airport winning the 2010 “Most Female-Pilot Friendly Airport in the World” title.
The following year, 2011, Mireille created ‘Women of Aviation Worldwide Week’, an event now held annually during the week including March 8th, which marks International Women’s Day and the anniversary of the issuance of that first female pilot license. In 2012 she organized a flying event across the English Channel to honor the first crossing of that body of water by a woman, Harriet Quimby, 100 years previously. More than 100 pilots and female passengers took part in celebrations at England’s Headcom Aerodrome and France’s Le Touquet Airport. In total, 1,104 girls and women worldwide were introduced to flight that week, including over 400 at one event in Yellowkife, Canada.
The 2013 event will take place from March 4 to March 10 and the theme will be “Women and Space” as the world will celebrate 50 years of women in space.
Mireille is a Canadian pilot and instructor with ATPL and a member of the British Columbia Coast Chapter, West Canada Section, and most deserving of the Award of Inspiration presented by the Board of Directors of The Ninety-Nines.
Patricia Noyes Prentiss
A member since 1982, Pat first served the Ninety-Nines in various Orange County Chapter offices followed by service to the Southwest Section with her appointment as Secretary in 1987. It was during her tenure as Governor that she became familiar with our Headquarters buildings in Oklahoma City. Earning a general contractor’s license in addition to the experience gained in her many custom builds in Orange County, California led her to volunteer for the Building Maintenance Committee in 2002 when mold was identified in the archive room downstairs. Since that first significant improvement, the archive room floor has been completely replaced to support a high-density filing system in the new “collections storage room”. In 2007 the entire roof was replaced and insulated, the mechanical units replaced in 2008.
Subsequently, the balcony at the Museum was replaced, the exterior north wall insulated properly and sheathed with exterior materials providing control over the interior environment, reduced energy costs and increased security. In anticipation of the annual conference in Oklahoma City in 2011, a new concrete patio slab was installed with appropriate slopes for drainage, along with a new compass rose with blue, white, gray and gold tiles. The exterior stairs to the MWP were repaired.
In her words: “I was fully committed to making the improvements that had been long overdue and so necessary. It wasn't just about getting it done, it was the negotiating, the choosing the right people, the development of a relationship with the many consultants, the travels to Oklahoma City, the oversight from near and afar, all of this to making it possible for the members to believe in the need and to financially support it through their many generous donations. It truly was a huge commitment in my life for over ten years. I can say from the bottom of my heart that I am quite proud of the outcome.”
In additional to two Board meetings each year, Pat made numerous trips to Oklahoma City from her home in California, always on her own initiative and never expecting reimbursement for expenses associated with those travels. She cajoled, flattered, humored, teased, and if necessary reproached, renegotiated and enticed our engineers, architects and contractors. She always displayed great respect for each, but not one could put anything over on her.
I too am quite proud of the outcome, and I am very proud of her commitment to and love of The Ninety-Nines.
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