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Career Spotlight: Lahou Keita
Lahou Keita is a French Aircraft Inspector specialized in Maintenance Engineering and is the Chief Operator Officer (COO) and co-founded of Keitas Systems.
Ms. Keita experience in aviation is multinational and strong. In 2004, Lahou was selected to serve as Maintenance Aircraft Project Leader at Ruag Aviation, the Swiss Government maintenance repair organization. Prior to this position, Lahou has joined the Aircraft Sales Division and worked at Jet Aviation, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, as a Maintenance Planning Engineer, in Geneva. Ms. Keita came to Switzerland after serving as an Aircraft Technical Manager in 2002 at Le Bourget Airport, France, which is one of the
maintenance repair organizations of the French military and civil aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
Lahou has a B.A. in Foreign Languages and speaks five languages, among them, Finish.
Career Spotlight: Mary Mutti
Mary started working as an Admin in SFOJL and is currently a proud ream member of the Engine Shop family, in the V2500-Engines as a Senior Staff Representative-Engine Staging. During her UAL journey, I was able to receive several rewarding recognitions which provided her with the ammunition to continue doing a great job and making a difference.
In her current position as a Senior Staff Representative-Engine Staging Scheduling,
Mary was assigned the most complex modules in the engine. Thanks to her experience in all the fleets and
her vision to always make a difference, she decided to propose some changes. After observing the
way the engine was being built, she believed there was a better way.
She presented a plan to the team and together they reached an agreement. The project was completed a few months ago after a year of hard work, and the feedback received was amazing!
Career Spotlight: Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown is the vice president of digital products and analytics at United, working at the intersection of data and process disruption to create new products and services. In this role, Michelle works closely with the airline’s commercial and digital technology teams to run the P&L for United’s ancillary business. She’s also responsible for the digital experience and new product development, analytics, continuous improvement, and enterprise optimization at the airline.
Prior to this role, Michelle was the vice president and chief financial officer of commercial at United, and before that was the managing director of customer service at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In that role, Michelle oversaw the execution of major airport programs, including our successful rebanking efforts at the hub.
Michelle was honored with the Bessie Coleman Aerospace Legacy Award and was named to Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” list. Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Career Spotlight: Marie-Jeanne Steady Ndiaye
MJ hails from Senegal, West Africa, and is a proud Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate (Go Eagles!). She started her Space Systems Design career at the Kennedy Space Center where she worked for United Space Alliance supporting Ground and Shuttle operations. As the Shuttle program phased out, MJ transitioned into R&D where her research focused on Motion Capture
and Augmented Reality capabilities. She later joined Boeing’s Research & Technology group in Charleston, SC helping to build the new 787-10. As of 2020, MJ joined the Apple Human Interface Devices' organization.
MJ is heavily involved in science outreach; she serves on several technical and STEM foundation boards. In 2018, along with her best friend, she launched the Senegalese Alternative Learning Association (S.A.L.A), a STEAM advocacy group of her own, in her hometown, Dakar. In December 2019, SALA joined local partners to organize and host the SALLY AIR SHOW, the first aviation & aerospace exhibition of its kind in West Africa. An international event focused on not only attracting global industry partners but also giving thousands of students the opportunity to discover the fields of aviation & aeronautics. Over 40 exhibitors
representing 14 countries interacted with about 3000 visitors.
Marie-Jeanne Steady Ndiaye
Career Spotlight: Amanda Cole
Amanda graduated with a BS degree in Accounting and an MBA from Purdue University. She worked for
British Petroleum and McDonald’s Corporation prior to landing her role at United Airlines. The airline
industry is truly an exceptional experience. As a Financial Analyst for the Creative Services team, Amanda has
implemented a meticulous cost reduction process, created transparency in departmental reporting, and
improved the project database. Amanda also has an entrepreneurial spirit and believe in
multiple strings of income. Throughout the years, she's owned/operated/sold various small businesses.
Career Spotlight: Katrina Cooley
AMT1 Katrina Cooley is an aircraft mechanic in the U.S. Coast Guard. She was born and raised in Atlantic
City, NJ, where she graduated from an inner-city high school. After graduation, Petty Officer Cooley
began to plot a clear course for her life and decided to join the Coast Guard because she liked the
mission of Search and Rescue and protecting our Homeland.
She enlisted in 2001, and after graduating
from boot camp, Petty Officer Cooley was assigned to a small boat station where she quickly realized the
sky was where she wanted to be! Soon after completing A-school, Petty Officer Cooley became dual
qualified as an HH-65 Basic Aircrewman and a HU25 Dropmaster at Aviation Training Center Mobile, AL,
where she received the Outstanding Performance Award for her work during Hurricane Katrina. Since
then, she became the first African American Female HH-65 Flight Mechanic on September 25, 2007, and
later became the First African American Female HC-144 Dropmaster.
Throughout her career she has
been stationed at five different Air Stations, qualified on three different aircraft, and accumulated 2000+
flight hours in both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. Petty Officer Cooley strives to be a role model to
others and continues to be an active member of her community by coordinating various Women’s
Outreach events, scholarship programs, and Girl Scout career path initiatives.
She is a mother of two
daughters and recently became a grandmother of a beautiful baby girl. She illustrates that through hard
work and dedication goals are achievable and dreams can come true no matter what neighborhood you
grew up in.
Career Spotlight: Beverley Drake
Beverley Drake is the Program Manager in the Office of Government and Industry Affairs at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Among other duties, Ms. Drake also serves as the Federal Women’s Program Manager. In addition, Ms. Drake addresses industry, government agencies, flying clubs, youth safety leaders, educators, and international audiences about the NTSB’s safety investigations and resulting recommendations. For several years Ms. Drake addressed the Aircraft Owner’s Association of Guyana and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and she offered a U.S. perspective at the International Safety Conference in Guyana in 2017.
Ms. Drake is a Guyanese American with more than 44 years of aviation experience which began in her native country Guyana when she served as one of the first two female military pilots in the Guyana Defence Force and the first female pilot at Guyana Airways Corporation. She continued at the NTSB for over 29 years, where she has worked as a senior air safety investigator/analyst and investigated over 300 small and large-scale high-profiled aviation accidents and as an accredited representative for several foreign investigations.
Ms. Drake’s professional accomplishments were recognized at a national level in Guyana when she was
honored with her own Guyanese postage stamp. She is just a handful of living Guyanese whose images are on a
national Guyanese postage stamp.
Ms. Drake has a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics, and a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science
with specializations in Management, Safety and Operations, from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. She is a strong
advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and is very dedicated and committed in
helping students achieve their aviation passion and dreams. Her vision is to expose children at an early age to consider
STEM, and aviation, as a career choice.
In 2019, Ms. Drake was honored with several awards and the New York State Senate Citation as the 2019
Pioneer and Woman of Influence Award. She was recognized as, “a distinguished individual whose compromising
service, outstanding commitment and exceptional contributions are commendable.”
Career Spotlight: Clasonda Armstrong-Grandison
Clasonda Armstrong-Grandison, a 30-year design professional, leads the United Airlines digital user experience design
team. Since joining United in 2007, the focus of her career has evolved from behind the mouse to managing one of the world’s largest travel brands and innovative design UX teams.Prior to United, Grandison has had a seasoned career in digital design. She entered the digital arena as a graphic designer for the Chicago Tribune®. As a promotion artist for the newspaper, she designed and managed the NW marketing efforts for the publication. Following six years at the newspaper, Grandison began an entrepreneurial effort as an independent design firm called, Graphic Soup©.. After joining the airline, Grandison held a UX design role on the e-commerce team. During this time, the focus of her work efforts included designing for united.com. Many elements in the subsidiary united.com website were created by the artist. .As brand manager for the airline, Grandison was responsible for maintaining brand consistency among the company partners and employees. This work effort included: branded merchandise, the United Shop, model planes, United Vacations®/cruises, MileagePlus® partners (car/hotel/retail), B2B, sales, media, United Cargo®, United Polaris, United CleanPlus, advertising, sponsorship, & external third party marketing.In returning to the User Experience design team as Senior Manager, Grandison leads eleven designers to create stylized, user-friendly digital screens for united.com and the United app.
Grandison is also a second-generation educator. With a degree in art education, portions of her career have also included time in the classroom teaching her knowledge of design with middle school and high school students.
Career Spotlight: Khady Gaye
From Senegalese origins, Khady Gaye was born and raised in Ghent, and studied and lived 1 year in Heidelberg, Germany. She now lives in downtown Chicago with her husband and two daughters. Khady holds her Master's Degree in translation and human resources management and is multilingual.
Khady's work experience shifted from local human resources into international human resources. She held various positions in several companies and traveled in Europe, the Middle-East, Africa, Russia, and the U.S.
Currently acting as Manager HR Corporate for United Airlines, Khady considers herself a citizen of the world; passionate about people, highly engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Connecting and interacting with people is vital for Khady, as she uses her voice to serve and support others.
Career Spotlight: Captain Erin Alyssa Stokes, PhD.
Captain Erin Alyssa Stokes, PhD. was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She enlisted in the United States Army in August 2008 and commissioned via OCS shortly after.
In 2010, Dr. Stokes was the Program Manager of the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces Program at NGB, as well as the Program LNO at the Pentagon. Dr. Stokes has served as a Company Commander of HQ Company, 1BN, WTB and as a Company Commander of 38th Military Police Company. Dr. Stokes is currently an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer and MEDEVAC Platoon Leader, flying UH60A/L/M Black Hawk helicopters.
Dr. Stokes earned her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Business Administration and Criminal Justice by the age of 30; a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a specialization in Human Resources Management by 31; a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration by the age of 24, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Criminology, Criminal Justice and English by the age
A few of her military courses includes Flight School, MPC3, Military Police BOLC, Airborne School, Air Assault School, MS BOLC, AV BOLC, and AVC3.
During her time in the Army, Dr. Stokes has mentored more than 1,500 HS students and Soldiers ranging from education, career goals, relationships, and military assignments. She has a passion for mentoring and teaching.
Capt. Erin Alyssa Stokes, PhD.
Career Spotlight: Jill R. Meyers, FRAeS
Jill Meyers has more than 30 years of experience in aviation and aerospace, including eight years in the United States Air Force. She worked as an Aerospace Engineer for several companies including Boeing, where she supported the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft program. Jill started and managed the Systems Engineering department at Eclipse Aviation for the Eclipse 500 jet program. At Raytheon, she was the Senior Manager responsible for the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Ground Segment, and at Northrop Grumman managed development of the communication and navigation systems for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jet.
Jill owns a consulting business, Meyers AeroConsulting, to provide her expertise to aviation
organizations around the world. She is also a professional public speaker represented by Changemaker Talent (changemakertalent.com) with an inspirational presentation called "Shifting the Balance: Women in Aviation". One of Jill’s most rewarding roles was as a consultant to Indie Atlantic Films for the production of their award-winning 2019 documentary film Fly Like A Girl.
To help inspire young girls around the globe, Jill volunteered for Dreams Soar, Inc. in 2017, managing the ground support team for founder Shaesta Waiz’s solo flight around the world in a single-engine aircraft for their “Global Flight for STEM”. Jill managed the logistics for the 145-day mission and led the planning of 32 Outreach events in 14 countries, where Shaesta inspired more than 3,000 students to follow their dreams.
Jill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and is a licensed private pilot.
In 2019, Jill was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.
Jill R. Meyers, FRAeS
Career Spotlight: Delilah Bardlette
Delilah Bardlette is an aerospace professional with over 22 years of dynamic experience. Her area of expertise is airlines. For over 22 years she served in several capacities; people leader, product developer, and change agent, just to name a few. She has to showcased these roles in departments across United Airlines including Reservations, Airport Operations, United
Clubs and Loungers, Customer Experience, and Catering. One of her most recent positions afforded her the opportunity to live in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to living in great places, this industry has allowed Delilah to travel around the world. Delilah often tells people that "one of the cool things about working for an airline is, no matter what you want to be, you can be it for an airline. Be it a doctor, lawyer, marketing professional, chef, pilot, you name it – you can do it here!"
Career Spotlight: Lt. CDR Chanel Lee
Chanel Lee is from Richmond, VA. Following graduation from Henrico High School, she enlisted in the Coast Guard and attended Boot Camp in Cape May, NJ. Upon graduation, she reported to the Small Boat Station in Philadelphia and was assigned as a Boat Crewman and Boarding Team Member. A year later, she was accepted to and attended the United States Coast Guard Academy, earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering; with high honors.
Following graduation in 2009, Lieutenant Lee attended and graduated from Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, FL, receiving her naval “Wings of Gold” and being assigned as a MH60-T helicopter pilot. Lieutenant Lee was assigned to Air Station Clearwater from 2012-2017 in which time she served in the Engineering Department and was contributory in supporting the 1.8 million square mile area of responsibility and maintaining 10 MH60-T helicopters and four HC-130 aircraft. During her tenure, she flew more than 1300 flight hours in support of search and rescue and law missions and was ultimately selected for the highly competitive aeronautical engineering program.
Lieutenant Lee was assigned as the Assistant Engineering Division Chief for Sector San Diego in July 2017 where she is second in charge of the unit’s largest and most diverse division which includes Naval Engineering, Facilities Engineering, and Aeronautical Engineering. She is charged with the safe and effective operation of three MH60-T helicopters in support of Pacific Area search and rescue, law enforcement, and external affairs missions.
Chanel Lee was the first Black Woman assigned to Flight School after graduating from the Coast Guard Academy. She was the first Black Woman to fly MH60-T helicopters for the Coast Guard. And with her recent assignment, she became the first Black woman ever designated as an Aeronautical Engineer in the Coast Guard. She is the recipient of the Women of Color Science Technology Engineering and Math Award, and she continues to demonstrate immense dedication to the service and the members who serve
LT. Lee was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander on October 11, 2018. On August 30, 2019, LCDR Lee was selected to attend Aeronautical Engineering Graduate School, focusing on structural engineering. She is currently enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Lt. CDR Chanel Lee
Career Spotlight: Enanga Daisy Fale
Enanga Daisy Fale is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) advocate and aerospace-defense industry enthusiast. She engages in a number of engineering community service activities focused on technical development, research, and advocacy. Currently, Enanga serves as the Aerospace Special Interest Group (SIG) Director with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and as the newly appointed Regional Deputy Director of Membership within the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). As the Aerospace SIG director, Enanga is focused on empowering individuals to transform the aerospace industry through collaborative and global networks. She has been a member of NSBE and the Aerospace SIG since 2012 when she joined to support and eventually lead the research on the development of an East African Spaceport. Additionally, Enanga’s STEM advocacy began and extends through the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She has been an SWE society leadership coach and sectional leader with a passion to build shared value between the organization and the local engineering community. Her passion extended to previously supporting committees and initiatives on the globalization of SWE. She also extends her technical and leadership expertise as an educator in electrical and computer engineering technology programs or through appointments on engineering educational review boards.
Enanga relishes opportunities to drive technological advancement within the Aerospace and Defense industry and is enthused that her day to day operations are focused on that. She works as a system engineering manager within Northrop Grumman to provide technical leadership and management of a systems engineering department, systems integration capabilities, and a system virtualization lab (i.e. virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality) for multiple product lines and platforms. She holds previous engineering and leadership experiences with fortune 100 companies extensively focused on the systems and software design of aircraft, avionic, and other industrial applications.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from St. Cloud State University with a concentration on Aviation Operations and Avionics and a Masters in Systems Engineering with a Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University. She has been recognized for her work and achievements from St. Cloud State University through the 2018 Alumni Service Award; from NSBE through the 2018 Professional Leader Award, 2017 Technical Excellence Ambassador Award, and 2016 NSBE Space SIG Leadership Team Facilitator Award; from SWE through the 2014 Governor’s Choice Award and SWE Chicago Regional Section Professional Development Award; from college institutions for Instructor Performance; and from employer recognition programs for Customer Focus, Performance, and Leadership on programs within the aerospace and defense industry.
Enanga Daisy Fale
Career Spotlight: Jasmine Scott
Jasmine was born and raised in Piqua, Ohio and graduated from Piqua High School. She joined the U.S. Army at 17 in 2008. In total, I served four enlisted years as an Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATC). In August 2012, I parted ways with the Army and moved to Katy, TX.
That same year I gave birth to my amazing son. In 2013, I started and eventually obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Science of Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2017, I got hired with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and was sent to Omaha, NE. After certifying there I transferred and am currently certified at Houston Hobby Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT).
In the future, I hope to complete my Master’s Degree in clinical social work. Ultimately, I would love to have youth centers all around the Houston area. I would love nothing more than to be the connection between a child and their dreams and to be the champion for every child who needs one.
Career Spotlight: Maimuna Taal-Jack
Maimuna Taal-Jack is the Airworthiness Technical Officer at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). She Joined the Operational Safety Section of the Air Navigation Bureau in September 2015. She is an Aerospace Engineer and a holder of an Airframe and Powerplant Engineer License from the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Maimuna has extensive knowledge of ICAO provisions related to the airworthiness of aircraft and has over 20 years of experience in the field of Civil Aviation Safety oversight related to continuing airworthiness. She served in various positions within the Gambian Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA and rose to the post of Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Authority where she was responsible for the full range of aviation regulatory activities. Maimuna also served as Consultant and Adviser with ICAO and is currently the secretary of the Airworthiness Panel.
Maimuna is a recipient of the 2007 Flight Safety Foundation President’s Citation for her work in improving aviation safety in Africa. She is married to Mr. Dodou Jack and has two children.
Career Spotlight: Bea Wiggins
Meet Bea Wiggins, Director of Customer Service in IAD. With extensive customer operations, employee engagement, labor relations and project management expertise, she celebrated 31 years with United earlier this year.
Since joining United in 1990, Bea has worked in Madison, Wisconsin gaining line station experience, ORD where she wore many hats including trainer, supervisor and, area manager for the entire UAX operation. She decided to share her experience with the headquarters team and managed premium services, UAX Regional Manager, and her most recent position as manager of premium
services where the team opened four Polaris Lounges over the last 7 months. She has supported the operation and our premium customers with day-to-day inquires, maintaining and communicating policies, and fielding requests from all stakeholders. Bea is a Quarterly United 100 recipient because she truly demonstrates Core4.
Bea was the first Black female area manager at O’Hare and is the first Black female customer service director at Dulles Airport.
Career Spotlight: Ophelia Dames
Ophelia began her career with United Airlines 31 years and has worn many hats during her 31-year tenure, starting in reservations in Sterling, VA, transferred to Harrisburg Pennsylvania as a Customer Service Representative where she performed the true scope of responsibilities for that line of work. Ophelia moved to Washington D.C. holding several roles there and the bulk of her career was spent in Washington Dulles International Airport, where she served as Service Director, Ramp and Customer Service Supervisor, International Operations Manager, Leadership Development mentor for new Supervisors.
Ophelia worked as a Supervisor in various locations, to name a few Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Boston Logan International, Atlanta’s Hartsfield - Jackson International Airport. She was later promoted to General Manager, where she served in several line stations, Richmond International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Airport and currently in the Philadelphia International Airport, where she is responsible for 250 Ramp and Customer Service employees 4
Supervisors, and a full administrative support staff and a host of Business Partners.
She currently serves as an active member of the OBAP organization and was the proud recipient of the Bessie Coleman Pioneer Award for African American Women in the
Aviation Industry in August of 2014. Ophelia also served as the Washington Chapter President for BPO Black Professionals Organization and she currently serves on all of the Business Resource Groups for United Airlines.
Ophelia has traveled the globe during her career to places like Beijing China, Frankfurt Germany and Amsterdam to name a few of her favorite places. She loves to read, write, live theater, singing and spending time socializing with friends and family, particularly her Son Jeffrey, daughter in love Vashti and her four grandchildren.
Career Spotlight: Rhonda C. Arnold
Rhonda C. Arnold is the Chief Community Relations Officer for the Houston Airport System (HAS) in the 4th largest city in the United States of America. Ms. Arnold promotes Houston Airports and their economic importance to the region by maintaining positive, collaborative relationships with the business community and is a dedicated and compassionate civic leader.
Ms. Arnold develops and implements plans that enhance the Houston Airport System’s image to increase public awareness of its operations and activities. Her devotion to the community extends to the underserved youth, children and families.
Arnold is on the DePelchin Children's Center Board of Directors. Ms. Arnold works annually with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and sits on the Texas Southern University Aviation Advisory Board. In this capacity, she works to provide information and opportunities to students that are seeking careers in aviation.
She is also a fellow for the Center for Houston's Future Civic Leadership class, an advisory board member of the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce and of Makers@. Arnold has addressed Aviation Business Strategies in Aberdeen, Scotland; London, England and Barcelona and Madrid Spain. She was recently a delegate on the Mayor’s Trade Mission to South Africa and the recipient of the International Outreach Award from the Greater Houston Women’s
Chamber of Commerce.
Arnold continues to serve as an Airport Council International/NA Business Diversity Steering Committee Member. She also served as an At-Large Director and Southwest Regional Director of the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC). Arnold also works to provide opportunities for women as a 2019 board member of the Women in Transportation - Houston Chapter and a former recipient of their Woman of the Year Award.
Ms. Arnold was a 2019 Distinguished panelist for Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference Brain Trust regarding Transportation and Transportation Technologies. Arnold earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas and Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Rhonda C. Arnold
Career Spotlight: Staci Sneed
Staci Sneed is an Airbus Captain at Frontier Airlines. She's spent the last 20 plus years at Frontier, having flown the Boeing 737, and was a captain on the Airbus since 2004. Throughout her career, she's had many different jobs including flight instructing, flying tours over the Grand Canyon, regional airline jobs, and flying at a major airline. She has loved every stop along the way.
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