The aviation industry has always been an arena of innovation, adventure, and dreams taking flight. While it has traditionally been a male-dominated field, today, women are soaring to new heights in various roles within aviation. The Women in Aviation International (WAI) Tampa Bay Chapter is a shining example of how women are breaking barriers, inspiring young minds, and shaping the future of aviation.
A Journey to Empowerment: The Birth of WAI Tampa Bay Chapter
The story of the Women in Aviation Tampa Bay Chapter begins with a chance encounter at the Sun 'n Fun event in Lakeland. Aviation enthusiasts Angye Fox and Daniel Funk crossed paths with Audra Hoy, then the WAI Chapter Coordinator. Audra's simple question, "Would you consider starting a chapter in Tampa Bay?" ignited a transformative journey. Their first official meeting was held at the Jet Center, now known as Sheltair, on June 3, 2014. Fast forward to today, and founding members Angye Fox, Daniel Funk, and Aleta Vinas continue to champion the cause.
A World of Opportunities in Aviation
The Women in Aviation Tampa Bay Chapter recognizes the vast opportunities available for women in aviation. From astronauts, pilots, and engineers to air traffic controllers, educators, and business owners, women are making their mark in every aspect of the industry. This chapter is a part of Women in Aviation International, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing women's careers in aviation and aerospace.
Networking and Education: The Heart of WAI Tampa Bay Chapter
Throughout the year, the chapter hosts meetings and events that provide valuable networking and educational opportunities. Local sponsors from the community play a pivotal role in these events, which range from airport and training facility tours to the annual Holiday Cookie Exchange. These gatherings are not only informative but also foster a sense of belonging among members.
Girls in Aviation Day: Inspiring the Next Generation
One of the most significant events on the WAI Tampa Bay Chapter calendar is Girls in Aviation Day. This annual event invites girls and boys of all ages to explore the multifaceted world of aviation. It features aircraft displays, hands-on interactions with pilots and their equipment, and the chance to meet inspiring female role models. This event aims to ignite the spark of curiosity and ambition in young minds, encouraging them to consider aviation as a career path.
Girls in Aviation Day 2023: A Date with Inspiration
The upcoming Girls in Aviation Day on Saturday, September 23, 2023, promises to be an extraordinary experience. This year's keynote speaker is Niloofar Rahmani, the first female pilot in the Afghan Airforce since 2001. Her remarkable journey will undoubtedly inspire attendees. Additionally, the event will feature speakers like Priscilla Yecora-Tirado, a marketing analyst at Sheltair, aviation blogger Mindy Lindheim, and Melissa Rewis, a Program Analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A Day of Fun and Learning
Apart from inspirational talks, the event will also have entertainment and refreshments. Sarge's Smokehouse BBQ and the Kona Ice truck will provide delicious options for lunch and chilly refreshments. There will be face painting and various engaging activities to ensure a memorable day.
Getting Involved: Building a Brighter Future Together
The Women in Aviation Tampa Bay Chapter encourages participation to build a brighter future for women in aviation. Whether you're interested in networking, learning about the industry, or gaining experience, there's a place for you here. Join committees, attend events, and explore the many avenues within aviation.
The Women in Aviation Tampa Bay Chapter is not just an organization; it's a community of trailblazers, dreamers, and achievers. With a commitment to empowerment, education, and inspiration, this chapter is changing the narrative of women in aviation. As the upcoming Girls in Aviation Day approaches, it's an excellent opportunity for young minds to experience the wonders of aviation and for all of us to celebrate the incredible journey of women in this dynamic industry.
Learn more and get involved at: https://www.waitb.org/
Girls in Aviation Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1192433958098412