Press Release

Women in Aerospace Has Record Breaking Attendance at Annual Awards Dinner

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2015
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Washington, D.C. – Women in Aerospace had record breaking attendance at their Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Thursday night as industry and government leaders, volunteers and the media gathered to honor WIA’s Awardees and to celebrate WIA’s 30th year Anniversary.

“This was a very special year for WIA, as we celebrated 30 years of success” stated Giovanna Cinelli, Chair, Women in Aerospace “We were so pleased with the tremendous amount of support received from the industry and government that came out to honor our organization, its members and our many accomplishments.”

Thirty years ago, WIA’s founders set forth the mission for WIA: expanding women’s opportunities for leadership and increasing their visibility in the aerospace community. WIA was established as a leading professional organization for both men and women to support of WIA’s mission by providing programs and professional development opportunities.

Today, this mission remains at the core of WIA’s success as WIA has grown to over 2000 members, representing 250 companies and including more than 80 corporate members. The 30th Anniversary Awards Celebration brought together almost all of the founders, Board Chairs, and Past Presidents from the last 30 years to commemorate those who built the foundation for the thriving and incredibly successful organization WIA is today.

The WIA Awards Ceremony celebrates women’s professional excellence in aerospace, annually recognizing female leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the aerospace community. WIA is proud to have recognized eight distinguished women for their contributions to the aerospace industry and to the advancement of women in the field.

WIA was honored to have four esteemed presenters for this year’s Annual Awards:

Dr. Dava Newman, Deputy Administrator, NASA; Ms. Deirdre Walsh, Director of Legislative Affairs, Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Mr. William H. Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, NASA; and Ms. Lori Garver, General Manager, Air Line Pilots Association International and former Deputy Administrator for NASA.

The 2015 recipients were:

AEROSPACE AWARENESS AWARD: Cynthia Hugh Sam, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Fort Worth, TX

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Elizabeth Lund, The Boeing Company, Everett, WA

AEROSPACE EDUCATOR AWARD: Dr. Penina Axelrad, The University of Colorado Boulder

INITIATIVE, INSPIRATION, IMPACT AWARD: Margaret Viola, The Spaceship Company, LLC, Mojave, CA

LEADERSHIP AWARD: Dr. Lisa Hardaway, Ball Aerospace, Boulder, CO

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Sandra Coleman, Orbital ATK, Arlington, VA

WIA 30th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE AWARD: Carla Thomas, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Arcata Associates, Edwards, CA

WIA 30th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE AWARD: Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD Schools, Palmdale, CA

In addition, the WIA Foundation awarded scholarships to Amanda Martin, a senior studying professional aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Margaret Thompson, a senior studying astrophysics at Princeton University; and Rose Weinstein, a senior studying aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland-College Park. Scholarships will be applied to the 2015-2016 academic year.

Women in Aerospace (WIA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding women’s opportunities for leadership and to increasing their visibility within the aerospace community. To learn more about WIA, visit:

For more information, visit the WIA website at
or call our Headquarters at (202) 547-0229.

SpaceRef staff editor.