I hope you all had a wonderful and stress-free holiday season. Art and I ended the year with a cruise that was as restful as we had hoped. During the cruise, we noticed a man with distinctive “mutton chops” and, sure enough, it was Burt Rutan, who was on board with his wife, Tonya. Many of you know who he is and about his Vari-EZ and Long-EZ designs, as well as the famous around-the-world trip of the Voyager aircraft and the high-flying Spaceship One. But for those who don’t, go to his website, www.burtrutan.com for information about this original thinker and aircraft designer. We had dinner with them and were intrigued
with his ideas for his latest projects. Of course, we made sure to slip in information about The Ninety-Nines.
With the New Year come the inevitable resolutions. Some of mine include making more time for flying, keeping more in touch with my children and grandchildren and getting rid of the couple of extra pounds due to the cruise dinners and buffets. Here’s one resolution we should all make -- to complete our reservations and plans early for attending The 99s Annual Conference being held in New Orleans in July. Hosted by the Southeast Section, Co-Chairmen Lisa Cotham Pizani and Janet Gonzales and their Committee Chairmen have planned some exciting activities, tours and seminars for us. This issue contains information on the schedule, hotel and the printed registration materials. If you’ve not already done so, now would be the time to get your registration in and make your travel arrangements.
As you know, at our Annual Conferences we present the Awards of Achievement for Contributions to the 99s, Contributions to Aviation and Humanitarian Efforts to 99s members. We also give an Award of Merit to a non-99 who has made a significant contribution to any facet of aviation, and the George Palmer Putnam Award for support to The Ninety-Nines, again to a non-99. In addition, there is also a President’s Award.
But, did you know that we participate in another award? It’s the Katharine Wright Memorial Award given annually to a woman who has contributed to the success of others or made a personal contribution to the advancement of the art, sport and science of aviation and space flight over an extended period of time.
This year there was a tie for the award, so two were given. The recipients are Mary S. Feik and Kim de Groh.
Mary S. Feik pioneered aviation maintenance during World War II, and for over sixty years she has worked in aviation, promoted aerospace education, and inspired generations of youth. Kim de Groh, a Senior Materials Research Engineer at the NASA Glen Research Center, is being honored for her tireless efforts in mentoring young women for over two decades and for her numerous technical achievements in the advancement of materials durability in the space environment.
Pat Prentiss, past 99s President, and I were on the Selection Committee, and Pat presented the trophies at the National Aeronautic Association’s prestigious Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C., in November.
Have a wonderful 2014!
Katharine Wright Memorial Award winners:
Upper Left: Mary Feik
Art Phillips, Burt Rutan, Martha Phillips and Tonya Rutan.