Members of the Board,
Occasionally in life, you have opportunities that combine so many parts of your past experiences that you cannot ignore them. I felt this way when I first saw the listing for associate executive director of Flight1. I wanted to take the time to tell you a little about myself, and how I came to be in your organization.
I began taking flight lessons in the summer of 2000, when I was just twenty years old. No one in my family had an aviation background, and it wasn’t until I attended school at Purdue University and noticed the student pilots constantly flying over campus that I decided to check it out. I remember the first time I flew solo, as I landed and steered the plane with my feet on the rudder pedals, my hands flew up in triumph. I was unable to stop myself from clapping uncontrollably for a second before pushing the throttle forward and taking off once again. I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment.
Years later, I am a wife and mother of three girls. In March of 2013, my oldest daughter, Audrey, passed away suddenly from a common virus at the age of four. As is often the case after a life-defining tragedy, I suddenly felt a need to do things that feel worthwhile and meaningful. I met other families who have been through similar trials and watched how some of the older children struggled to find their footing. I often wished there were a way to give them something to look forward to.
One day, my Purdue classmate and good friend Casey Blake sent me a listing for the associate executive director position to spread to my extensive network. I couldn’t believe my eyes: aviation, children, meaning! I soon met Marcus, and was immediately impressed by the dedication and focus he brings to the organization. With my passion for people and communication, we saw the makings of a great team.
To close my introduction, I’d like to ask a few things of you. I’m going to need your help. I’m going to ask you to look deeply into your talents, your contacts, and occasionally your calendars, to enable Flight1 to build up the confidence of even more children. I’m going to ask you to come to some great events and bring your friends. I’m going to need you to volunteer information and ideas on how to solve challenges that come with growth. Let’s get started.
(My two youngest daughters, Stella and Lila, and my husband Frederick.)