WAI 2019 Education Sessions

Education Sessions by Date & Time



Airline Pilot Panel

Moderator: Becky Howell Panelists: Gloria Hatcher, Elyse Swedberg, Katie Van Arsdale

Explore the training, flight experiences, and job-related challenges of airline pilots.


Business Aviation Basics

Moderator: Jo Damato Panelists: Phil Derner, Sierra Grimes, TBD

Did you know that business aviation operations are a source of good jobs? Flights made by business airplanes require support in the form of tens of thousands of pilots, maintenance technicians, schedulers, dispatchers, flight attendants, training professionals, airport employees, and other support personnel.


Business and Corporate Aviation Career Panel

Moderator: Ava Shubat Panelists: Debi Carpenter, Candace Covington, Laura Everington, Justine Harrison, Nina Keefer, and Linda Street-Ely

Learn about different career opportunities in business/corporate aviation. This interactive discussion will feature each panelist’s path to their career, quality of life, work/family balance, job satisfaction, reasons for a career in corporate aviation, and examples of a typical work day.


Pathways to a Pilot Career Part I: Private Pilot to ATP

Presented by: Lisa Avila

Are you considering a career as a professional pilot? Confused by the myriad programs to achieve your goals? Interested in something other than the typical CFI to ATP career? Learn how to plan your next steps towards earning your private pilot, commercial and ATP licenses. Find the path that is right for you. And learn about some of the other possibilities for a career as a pilot.


Pathways to a Pilot Career Part 2:  ATP to Part 121

Presented by: Lisa Avila

Are you an aspiring airline pilot approaching your ATP minimums? Military conversion? Took a break from flying? Learn how to plan your next steps towards a regional or low-cost carrier and on to a major airline. Master just enough Part 121 lingo to be able to speak knowledgeably. But most importantly, find out the right questions to ask when choosing a regional airline to work for.


Why Consider Business Aviation? Why Airlines Aren't Your Only Option

Presented by: Michelle Knoll and Julie Clark

At this exciting time in aviation, fantastic opportunities exist for aspiring aviators to choose from. Most only know about being an airline pilot, but being a business aviator has some remarkable advantages that up-and-coming pilots should know. As international Gulfstream captains and the first female captains in their company's 40+ year aviation history, Michelle Knoll and Julie Clark, want to share what they have learned about traveling the globe, managing complex international and domestic flight operations, and all the responsibilities and benefits of working on the business side of aviation. 



ADS-B: What Pilots Need to Know

Presented by: Jessica Koss

ADS-B compliancy for pilots and aircraft owners is less than nine months away (at conference time)! ADS-B greatly enhances situational awareness by bringing weather and traffic information into the cockpit, but its benefits and limitations are often misunderstood. Enhance your flying by understanding how ADS-B can benefit you, what ADS-B solution best fits your needs and how those products can provide you with even more information in the cockpit.


Ever Evolving NAS

Presented by: Heidi Williams

Ever find it a challenge to stay up to date with all that is happening as we transition from ground-based to satellite-based navigation?  Want to better understand how NextGen technologies and new operations like UAS and commercial space will impact the National Airspace System? 

Join staff from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) as we share the latest on how the transition to performance based navigation and the integration of UAS and commercial space operations are transforming operations.


Selling Commercial Products and Services to the DoD

Presented by: Pamela Logan

The U.S. Department of Defense wants to reduce its dependence on costly custom solutions and buy more commercial products and services that have been modified for defense applications.  In 2016, the Defense Contract Management Agency stood up a cadre of experts to foster and concentrate the government’s expertise in commercial item acquisition. This session will explain the statutory framework and streamlined processes that allow commercial companies to avoid the burdensome paperwork that is so often associated with selling to the government, including how one demonstrates that a product or service meets the statutory definition of “commercial.”


The Art of Cutting Corners - When Deviance Becomes the Standard

Presented by: Sarah Rovner

Over time cutting corners can become "normal" and can eventually lead to a catastrophic disaster. In this human factors’ presentation, a known phenomenon called the “Normalization of Deviance” will be discussed. The normalization of deviance occurs when behaviors drift from the standards and become the norm over time. This includes subject areas such as skipping checklists, shortcutting maintenance procedures, or ducking below minimums on an instrument approach.


 Top Five Things Every Aviation Lawyer Wants a Pilot [Mechanic] to Know

Presented by: Kathleen Yodice

This session reviews the most common legal issues that a pilot [mechanic] should know how to handle should such issues arise.  We will discuss how to identify and approach those legal issues so that you can be responsive and understand your legal rights in giving any sort of response.  We will look at such practical circumstances as a request to call the tower, returning a call to an FAA inspector or responding to an FAA inspector’s letter, a reexamination request, a ramp check, and a record or facility inspection. We will also cover the benefits and risks of signing employment and training agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and leasing aircraft and other equipment.


Avionics Troubleshooting

Presented by: Raylene Alexander

This session approaches avionics in three ways.  The first is designed to assist management in what makes a good avionics person, and how you can recruit them.  The second is to give prospective avionics techs the basic troubleshooting techniques. And the third, is to assist active avionics techs in approving their skills. 


FAA Internship Programs

Moderator: Tammy Jones Panelists: Bria Branford, Ana Pena, Jedah Mosqueda

We will discuss the many FAA programs that help further high school and college students in a variety of career fields including, but not limited to:  aviation research, flight standards and operations, computer science, engineering (aerospace, computer, civil, electronics, electrical and mechanical), finance business, legal, and other aviation and transportation studies.


 Stress Management in the Multi-dimensional Environment of Aviation and Flight Training

Presented by: Kimberly Kanapeckas Metris

Acquire tools and strategies to recognize and manage stress in the cockpit, mitigate its consequences, and design your own proactive training plan to stay proficient, resilient, and perform your best!



Leadership: How to Direct and Motivate Others

Presented by: Janette McMurtrie

What makes a great leader? How to manage and motivate others with skills and tools that work.  We will focus on new leadership skills, decision-making, conflicts, stress, and pitfalls.  Finally, we will explore the challenges women face today as leaders, and how to overcome preconceptions.


Leadership Through Inclusion

Moderator: Janice Anderson Panelists: Suzanne Boda, Kathi Durst, Lauren Lee

Come hear stories of success and challenges from leaders and pilots in aviation.  Similar to Ted Talks--the session will include short presentations--and a moderated panel/Q&A. Topics will include how the airline and aviation community is working towards equality for the LGBT community and all minorities. Whether your office is at 38,000 feet or the 38th floor of an office building, educational institution, or anywhere in the industry, inclusion is fundamental for success.


Shake Feeling Like a Fake, Fraud, or Impostor

Presented by: Mary Bicknell

Have you ever considered the high cost to your life and business when you suffer from feeling like a fraud, worry ‘they’ are going to find out the truth, and how impostor syndrome may be keeping you from having everything you want in life and in business?  Many high achieving, brilliant, and educated people seek validation or permission from others instead of giving it to themselves. They wonder if they are ‘good enough’ and look outside for the answer. Many lives are not fully lived because of this phenomenon. This session will provide tips on how to be powerful, remove self-doubt, and own your skills and voice.


The Impostor Phenomenon:  Are you Affected?

Presented by: Alisoun Lamb, Robin Nolen, Dawn Newman

Do you wrestle with feelings of self-doubt?  Are you afraid that people will discover that you’re not really as capable as they think you are? Do you use self-limiting language? Do you give credit to luck, timing, or others for your accomplishments?  If you answered yes, you may be affected by the Impostor Phenomenon.  We’ll review research that will inspire you to change your mindset and develop strategies for becoming one of tomorrow’s confident, capable leaders.


Teamwork: Positive Leadership

Moderator: Taylor Masiello Panelists: Krista Antieau, Emily Canepa, Lihini Dias, Amanda Hamilton, Tiffany Liang, and Adrianne Swanson

Teamwork remains the one sustainable competitive advantage that has been largely untapped. GE Aviation recognizes the leadership potential in everyone by encouraging an elevated level of teamwork, excellent communication skills, and unwavering accountability to one another to ensure the organization’s continuous success. Join us for some leadership activities that will show how teams build trust through vulnerability, communicate to overcome challenges, and how to recognize and accept accountability within the team.


Creating Your Own Path Through Entrepreneurship

Moderator: Denise Wilson Panelists: Jennifer Guthrie, Paula Williams, Abingdon Welch Mullin, Steffany Kisling and Christy DeYoung

You can make an impact beyond your expectations while creating the life and schedule you want.  Hear entrepreneurial women share their powerful stories about how they started their businesses, the impact their businesses have had on other women, and how you too can create your own future.


An Aviation Marriage

Presented by: Janette McMurtrie

Learn the effects an aviation career can have on a marriage.  Acquire tools to strengthen common marital discord and attempt to lower the higher than normal divorce rate for pilots.  Gain insight to the stressors of aviation, pilot personality, and marriage. 


Perspective vs. Perception: You Didn’t Hear What I Said I Meant

Presented by: Tim Lewis

A discussion of how we communicate with individuals through the dynamic meaning of our discourse. Learn how the connotation of words becomes distorted through personal filters of each person’s perception and perspective. As we communicate, the unintentional bias of each person changes their perspective of the dialog and ultimately changes the perception of the conversation. We will discuss how to recognize and objectively assess a situation to identify the common bias that will help guide positive discussions with the intended message and results. We will learn to leverage diversity through interactive learning and develop tools that can be applied for success.


Pausing for Productivity: Hurry Up and Slow Down

Presented by: Sherry Kytonen

The information and digital age has us racing at a demanding pace that is overwhelming and can result in negative long-term side effects--if we don’t hurry up and slow down.  Trying to do too much quickly is unproductive and hard on our brain and relationships. Productivity requires pausing, managing your time, and being intentional.

This presentation will provide various productivity techniques that you can use on and off the clock to manage your time and refresh and restore your well being in minutes.  It will demystify meditation practices--emphasizing breath work and mindfulness.  With regular practice, you will feel calm and focused as your stress level decreases and productivity soars. 


WAI Sexual Harassment Survey Discussion

Moderator: Kathleen Yodice Panelists:Jacki Thompson, Jennifer Blake, Sheetal Chib

The 2018 membership survey regarding sexual harassment issues in the aviation workplace was reviewed by the WAI board of directors to identify the kinds of resources that can be made available to help members facing such situations. This 60-minute panel discussion, moderated by Kathy Yodice, WAI general counsel, will include experienced industry representatives who often get involved in such circumstances. You will hear perspectives from the legal office, the HR department and the director on sexual assault from the YWCA.


Defrag Your Brain: Restoring Life/Work Balance

Presented by: Sherry Kytonen

Learn proven antidotes to multitasking and stress. Improve your ability to be more effective, productive, and manage day-to-day challenges by applying mind relaxation and brain enhancing techniques.


Poise and Presence: How to Interview and Handle the Tough Questions

Presented by: Robin Kardon

Poise during job interviews is critical, especially when asked about training problems, terminations, employment gaps, and other non-standard or unusual employment history.


Finding Fitness While Flying

Presented by: Kelly Jeffries

Busy flying schedules, short overnights, and overseas travel are all the story of those who work in the aviation industry. So, what’s a health-conscious aviation professional to do? As a professional pilot since 1994, I have been able to train for two marathons, teach group exercise classes, and compete in Masters Track and Field. Hear my easy, fun, and sometimes humorous ideas to find fitness on the road. Share your own ideas with the group. Remember, a healthy pilot is a safe pilot.



Big Data, Connected Aircraft, PHM, and Blockchain – The Future of Aviation Maintenance Support

Presented by: Rhonda Walthall

Aircraft are becoming more connected through smart sensors, advanced data acquisition systems, Wi-Fi and cellular communications.  As these aircraft generate ‘big data’, how will we use and trust this data to optimize flight operations, optimize maintenance, and ensure regulatory compliance?  Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) is proven to reduce delays and cancellations through predictive maintenance. Coupled with block chain distributed ledger technologies, PHM can be expanded to optimize supply chain logistics, to ensure relevant data for high value/sensitive cargo is trusted, and to enable prescriptive maintenance for regulatory compliance.  


The Softer Side of Maintenance

Moderator: Kim Pritchard Panelists: Stacey Rudser, Laura Mancevich, Gail Rouscher

Gone are the days where you only need to know how to turn a wrench to be successful in an aviation maintenance career. These days the soft skills you have are just as important as the tools in your toolbox. In this session we will discuss and demonstrate some of the soft skills that are needed to help you be a well-rounded mechanic.


An IA: What does it really mean, and do you need to obtain/retain one?

Moderator: William Russo Panelists: Lynette Ashland

This session will cover what is involved in getting an IA, keeping it, and why get it to begin with.


Hedy Lamarr:  The Bombshell Inventor

Presented by: Pam Valdez

Be inspired by Hedy.  She was the most beautiful woman in the world in the 1940s, and an actress by day and inventor by night.  The aviation world can learn a lot from Hedy.


The Way We Fly - From Taxi to Takeoff

Moderator: Demetra Daniels Panelists: Penny Jacob, Christina Bautch Marvel, Charmaine Chin, Eli Tilden

Get ready to engage in a power-packed, 60-minute session with representatives from Delta’s Technical Operations division to learn about the diversity of career paths that are available to women in the world of aviation.  You will have an opportunity to hear from a panel of dynamic women who have successfully navigated through the ranks of this highly male-dominated industry. 



The Road to Air Force Wings

Presented by: Monica Riggs

Have a dream to wear silver wings, but not sure where to start? Join me as we discuss the three main options of Active Duty, National Guard, and Air Force Reserve, including the similarities, differences, and how to get through the process of each. With experience in two of the three, and now the chief pilot for hiring, I will be there to show you the process from start to finish, answer your questions, or help find the person to do so. Don’t let the unknown stifle your dreams. Check us out!


Women in Combat Operations

Moderator: Kathy Cosand Panelists:Aubrey Bennett, Laurel Koltonski, Caitlin Reilly, Kerry Sheridan, Fidan Thornburg, and Rachael Winiecki

This session will include real-world female military pilots from varying missions, training, and aircraft capabilities. This panel discussion will include mission planning/preparation, command/control/communication, contingency operations, family, and social issues.

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