Photo Credits: Jill Meyers

Jill Meyers elected as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society

Congratulations Cynthia and Lesli!

December 16, 2017 -- Our chapter is proud to announce that we not only have one winner but TWO! Cynthia Hernandez and Lesli Bandy are our 2018 Scholarship Winners! These ladies are both close to their Private Pilot check ride and will be applying these funds towards achieving their dreams! Cynthia flies with Coast Flight Training and has plans to become a CFI and then on to the regional and major airlines. Lesli flies with Plus One Flyers out of Montgomery-Gibbs Airport and has plans to use her Private Pilots License to help inspire at-risk teens into career fields in aviation. Our chapter is so proud of these two women in aviation!

Update: Lesli and Cynthia were able to use their funds for flight training and are now both PRIVATE PILOTS!

WAI San Diego Chapter Represents at USS Midway Memorial Day Event

Jill Meyers had this to say about Serena:

"My greatest joy in life is helping others achieve their dreams. It was my honor to write a letter of recommendation last year for my friend Serena Hart, who I had selected as the person to transition into my role as President of the Women in Aviation International (WAI) San Diego Chapter. The letter I wrote was to the US Navy’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) selection board. On her own merits, Serena was accepted into Navy OCS with a guaranteed a slot as a Naval Aviator! 

It was my honor to attend her OCS graduation in Newport, RI, where my good friend CAPT Tamara Graham conducted the commissioning ceremony. Needless to say, it was one of the proudest days of my life. Congratulations, Ensign Hart! It is my honor to be your friend and mentor, and I can’t wait to follow your career as a fighter pilot."

Gala raises over $38,000 for Girl In Aviation Day and Scholarships!

May, 17, 2019 –– Women In Aviation San Diego Chapter held our annual fundraising event on Friday, May 17th at the Thursday Club in Point Loma. It was a stunning success!

Our main goal was to raise money to fund this year's Girls in Aviation Day on the USS Midway, and we are thrilled to have raised a total of over $38,000! This will allow us to fully fund up to 200 girls on the overnight aviation education program, in addition to offering a scholarship later this year.

The Spring Gala is our major fundraising event for the year. This year’s evening included an engaging and inspiring presentation from our guest speaker, Dr. Janet Lapp, and entertainment from talented singer/songwriter Leah Keane. The talents of our our auctioneer Anna Couvrette, made our high-end Live Auction a huge success, with a bid of $4000 for an almost-impossible-to-get ride for two passengers on the Goodyear blimp! Other live auction items included an original painting from NASA Astronaut and Artist Nicole Stott, and a Napa Valley Wine-tasting Experience with airfare from Southwest Airlines.

Over 70 guests also enjoyed a silent auction, a very special menu from The French Gourmet, our signature cocktail, The Aviatrix, and mingling and enjoying the beautiful venue with fellow aviation leaders and influencers.

Thank you to all who attended, sponsored, and planned this evening event to help Women in Aviation’s San Diego Chapter to expand our aviation community and encourage tomorrow’s potential aviation/aerospace workforce.

Jan 2, 2020 ––

On behalf of the entire San Diego Chapter of Women in Aviation International, I would like to thank you for your invaluable support this past year. It was a very big year for our small but mighty chapter! In May, we successfully held our first annual Spring Gala to raise funds for our ambitious Girls in Aviation Day event in October. The Gala was well attended by the community and exceeded our fundraising goals. We were able to take 200 girls, ages 8-18, onboard the USS Midway for a custom themed Aviation overnight experience. The overwhelmingly positive response from the girls and parents for the inspirational programming has been heartwarming. The Gala has also allowed us to give away eight $500 dollar scholarships so far, with a $3,000 scholarship that just closed to be awarded shortly. We are energized by our ability to help the Aviation hopes and dreams of so many take flight!

In 2020, we have no plans for slowing down. The second annual Spring Gala was heldThursday, April 23rd, 2020, at the Thursday Club in San Diego, California. This year we are raising money again for our Girls in Aviation Day and also to fund as many scholarships as we can. Our Chapter’s Girls in Aviation Day will be space-themed and the majority of our fundraising will be going to secure a location for the event and to bring in a female Astronaut as the keynote speaker. We could not be more excited about this outreach opportunity and all the tie-in’s with STEM Education.

In 2019 we had a tremendous increase in new members. We are thrilled so many of you have asked to use your skills and volunteer your time to help in some way. We have events, meetings, tours, and guest speakers lined up and in the works. Our new Mentorship program was implemented in the latter part of the year, and we aim to make this a great success within our chapter. It is our pleasure to welcome many new active duty military. We have some creative ideas coming to the table to better assist transition from military to civilian workforce and hope to provide the tools needed to make that a smooth transition. We plan to continue providing community outreach and hope you will consider using your wisdom and experience to showcase what this industry has to offer.

We look forward to an exciting 2020 and thank you support of the San Diego Chapter to inspire our future Aviators and fuel the dreams of so many deserving people this past year. It is an honor and a privilege to say thank you to you and on behalf of everyone in the San Diego Chapter of WAI. Have a safe and happy Holiday Season, we look forward to joining forces again in 2020.


Jessica Arnold

Chapter President

Ensign Serena Hart , Naval Aviator, with Jill Meyers and CAPT Tamara Graham at her commissioning ceremony.

January 17, 2019 –– Congratulations to Catherine Durand for being the winner of the 2018 WAI San Diego Chapter Scholarship!

With this scholarship, Catherine will be able to attend the upcoming 2019 International Women In Aviation Conference.

Always ready for the next new and exciting adventure, she's currently on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard and flies the MH-60T.

She can't wait to take full advantage of this incredible opportunity to meet other women in the industry and to also learn about the many different career paths available to her.

May 26, 2018 -- WAISD exhibited as part of the Memorial Day Legacy week and spent time discussing Women in Aviation, our mission, the benefits of membership, and GIAD.

The USS Midway Museum’s “Legacy Week” commemorates Memorial Day  in San Diego. 

The lineup of activities included from a Wreath Memorial ceremony, benefit concert, family activities, blood drive, interactive exhibits and more. Midway’s Legacy Week is designed to honor and remember our heroes and celebrate our military heritage.  It's also an affordable and inspiring way to kick off summer in San Diego on one of the most iconic museums in the world. Get more information on Legacy Week 

Our 2019 Spring Gala Fundraising Event Was a Grand Success!

WAISD President Jill Meyers honored with

 2016 Women in Leadership Award


December 6, 2018 –– Surrounded by displays of the rich history of aviation, WAI San Diego chapter held our End-of-the-Year event on December 13 at the Gillespie Field Annex of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Our 2019 Board of Directors was announced. Congratulations to President Jill Meyers, Vice President Christina Munro,
Secretary Michelle Hylton, Treasurer JoAnn Minor
, Committee Coordinator Hanna Fowler, Membership Chair Jessica Arnold, Outreach Co-Chairs Meadow Chase and Paris Krula, and Fundraising Chair Lesli Bandy.

We had a wonderfully successful silent auction and raised $565! Thank you to all who contributed and participated.

We reviewed our 2018 events and previewed some of the exciting events planned for 2019. We will have a Tour of Southern California TRACON, an Airport Management Career Panel, and a great line-up of Guest Speakers including Pilot/Author Robin Kardon, UCSD Sally Ride Science Junior Academy representative Megan Vowles-Lancaster, and
AOPA Ambassador Kay Sundaram. So much to look forward to!

Here is a preview of 2019!

  • We announced our new 2019 Scholarship! Thanks to support from the Point Loma Credit Union, we are awarding a scholarship to help one person attend the 2019 International Women in Aviation Conference in March in Long Beach, CA. Apply before January 12, 2019 and feel free to share this information with friends, family, coworkers, and other aviation enthusiasts
  • Our 2019 Girls in Aviation Day will be an extra special event! We will be hosting 200 girls on a specially-tailored overnight program on the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum! Stay tuned for more information on this in mid-January.
  • Our spring fundraising Gala will be held on May 17th, which will take place at the Thursday Club at Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma. More information will be available in early 2019.
  • Tommy and Brenda from the Dynamic Scrip company were in attendance and joined Lesli in talking about our new Dynamic Pay fundraising program.

Women in Aviation

San Diego Chapter



$500 & $250

Congratulations to our  WAISD Chapter Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to our previous WAISD President, Serena

Hart, commissioned as a United States Naval Officer.

Jill and Serena on the Day of her induction into the U.S. Navy as she prepares to head off for Officer Candidate School.

July 20, 2018 –– Chapter Member Serena Hart was commissioned as a United States Naval Officer on July 20th in Newport, RI after a rigorous 12 weeks of Officer Candidate School.. Chapter Member Jill Meyers was in attendance along with CAPT Tamara Graham who conducted the private commissioning ceremony. CAPT Graham is a Navy helicopter pilot with an incredibly impressive resume and currently serves as Vice-President and Chief of Staff of the Naval War College.

It was Ms. Meyers’ honor to witness the graduation, as she has mentored Serena from the beginning of her endeavors into Naval Aviation - she was one of three crucial Letters of Recommendation for Serena’s application earlier this year.

Ensign Hart is following in the footsteps of Ensign Shea Davis-Herrera, former WAISD chapter member, who commissioned last year and is currently excelling in Flight school in Pensacola, FL. Both Ms. Meyers and CAPT Graham were a part of her private commissioning in the same manner as Ms. Hart. In October of this year Serena will join Shea in Florida to begin Flight school. It seems as though a tradition has begun!

Happy New Year from your New President

WAISD celebrates 2018 and prepares for an exciting year

See more photos here.

May 28, 2019 –– Please join us in congratulating our Chapter President Jill Meyers, who has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the world’s only professional body dedicated to the entire aerospace community.

The Royal Aeronautical Society, also known as the RAeS, was established  in 1866 to further the ‘art, science and engineering for aeronautics’.  The Society has been at the forefront of developments in aerospace ever  since. Fellowship in the RAeS is the highest grade attainable and is  only bestowed upon those who have made outstanding contributions,  attained a position of high responsibility, and/or have long experience  of high quality in the profession of aeronautics.

We are so proud of Jill for her life-long dedication to aviation and aerospace, and for her passion for inspiring others and mentoring so  many young women. She has been a strong and inspiring leader of our Women in Aviation International chapter, helping many members navigate their futures.

Congratulations, Jill!