The National Aeronautics Association (NAA) has selected Lieutenant Colonel Jean E. Havens, USAF, and Lieutenant Colonel Jeannie Leavitt, USAF, to receive the 2009 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award.
"With the largest group of nominees in memory for this great award, it was a unanimous decision of the Selection Committee to present two awards this year," noted NAA President Jonathan Gaffney. "We have two very worthy winners and we are extremely proud of them."
The Stinson Award was created in 1997 by the National Aviation Club (now part of NAA) to honor the accomplishments of two sisters - Katherine and Marjorie Stinson. These sisters were among the first 11 American women to be certified as airplane pilots through the Aero Club of America (the predecessor of NAA). Their flying school helped numerous U.S. and international pilots earn their Aero Club licenses, the precursor to Federal Aviation Administration pilot certificates. The award recognizes a living woman for an outstanding and enduring contribution, a meritorious flight, or a singular technical development in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space, or related sciences.
In 1993, Leavitt blazed a path as America's first female fighter pilot. She rose to the position of squadron commander, training tomorrow's warriors, and has paved the way for women in military flight through groundbreaking achievements during her remarkable and continuing Air Force career.
Havens' enduring contributions during her 18-year Air Force career began in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. After she earned her pilot's certificate, she began flying F-16s. One of only a few female instructor pilots, she made significant impacts in training. Her duties as an air adviser helping to rebuild and revitalize the Iraqi Air Force from 2006-2009 demonstrated her outstanding leadership capabilities.
In a new partnership, NAA will award the Stinson Trophy at the Pioneer Hall of Fame Banquet at the International Women in Aviation Annual Conference to be held at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, on February 27, 2010.
Previous Stinson Award Winners:
Captain Julie Clark
Evelyn Bryan Johnson
Carol Rymer Davis
Ann Baumgartner Carl
Mary S. Feik
Capt. Beverley Bass
Capt. Jodi A. Neff, USAF
Major Susan Rose, USAF
Dr. Shannon Lucide, Astronaut