The eagerly anticipated events took place at Sheltair bases across Florida and Georgia on Saturday, September 24th, thanks to the collaboration of regional WAI chapters, local businesses, and aviation corporate partners. Sheltair welcomed over 1,200 guests during GIAD 2022.
Women in Aviation International launched the first GIAD in 2015 with a mission to introduce young girls to careers and lifestyle possibilities in the aviation and aerospace industry. In the 8th rendition of this annual event, attending guests experienced an array of muses aimed at giving flight to inspire the next generation of female aviators. The exhibits included interactions with flight crews, touring aircraft, engaging STEM activities, mentorship opportunities, groundsupport workshops, and many other aviation-themed adventures. Most motivating were the 20+ guest speakers whose words piloted the imagination of Sheltair's visitors to a new level. These speakers included former NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott, Air Race Classic pilot Bunnie Ambrose, Lakeland Air Traffic Controller Chelsie Baskins, and Sheltair President Lisa Holland, among others.
"We know that introducing the next generation to positive female models in all areas of aviation will help move the needle to break barriers for women in all aviation and aerospace careers," said Allison McKay, Women in Aviation International CEO. "With the generous support of WAI corporate sponsors, dedicated WAI chapters, and corporate members, we are delivering an experience of a lifetime, opening doors of previously unimagined opportunities in aviation and aerospace for girls around the globe."
Staying true to its educational, philanthropic philosophy, Sheltair has notably supported Embry Riddle’s Project Liftoff, ACE’s project Skylab, and founded the Future Takes Flight Scholarship program alongside Avfuel. This time, as a proud supporter of WAI and GIAD, Sheltair has continued to deliver on its pledge to champion future generations of aviators and empower the people of the communities it serves.
"Embracing my role as a woman in aviation, I cherish this opportunity to encourage and inspire young women who have a passion for air and space exploration," said Sheltair President Lisa Holland. "Having our Sheltair network host and sponsor Girls in Aviation Day echoes our shared mission with Women in Aviation International. Empowering the future generation of aviators begins today by supporting and encouraging all who have their sights skyward."
In addition to the celebration of GIAD, the Tampa Bay Aviation Association (TBAA) awarded the Betty Skelton Scholarship, first announced at the Girls Achieving Leadership in Aviation (GALA) event in March 2022. The scholarship awarded Gabrielle Janicki, Karis Wilson, Mariah Blackmon, Olivia Silver, and Sophie Sujo $4,000 to support to their career goals within the industry. TBAA announced the five deserving young women at Sheltair TPA's GIAD event.
Sheltair is a family-owned company that enjoys a national reputation for its superior customer focus and service-driven corporate culture. Founded in 1963 by Jerry Holland, father of current Sheltair President Lisa Holland, it is the nation's largest privately-owned aviation network, proudly operating 14 award-winning FBOs and a portfolio of over 4.0 million square feet of aviation-related properties across the country. https://sheltairaviation.com/.