2022 Distinguished Statesman & Stateswoman of Aviation Awards

NAA Names Six Aviation Leaders as Distinguished Statesmen and Stateswomen of Aviation

Washington, DC, September 28, 2022 – For over six decades, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has honored outstanding Americans as Distinguished Statesmen and Stateswomen of Aviation for their contributions of significant value to aeronautics over an extended period of years. Today, NAA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman of Aviation Award: Peter Bunce, Anthony Mazzolini, Captain Houston Mills, William Shea, Hazel Sig-Hester, and Cheryl Stearns.

Peter Bunce for “… his influential leadership at the General Aviation Manufacturers Association to advance aviation safety, innovation, and workforce development, and his strong advocacy in support of veterans, students, and recreational aviation.”

Anthony Mazzolini for “… demonstrating leadership and perseverance in securing and restoring an iconic B-29 aircraft as a tribute to the patriots whose commitment and sacrifice contributed to the preservation of freedom and peace during World War II and beyond.”

Captain Houston Mills for “… his 37 years of dedicated service as a safety advocate, operator, mentor, and civil and military pilot, and for his significant contributions in setting industry standards and improving aviation safety for all.”

William Shea for “… his distinguished service as an advocate for our national aerospace system, enhancing aviation education, and energetically inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals.”

Hazel Sig-Hester for “… enabling, sponsoring, and supporting the advancement and preservation of model aviation by establishing the Sig Manufacturing Company – a leading supplier to model airplane building since 1951 – and her dedication to furthering the education of young aviation enthusiasts through the Glen Sig Memorial Scholarship Fund.”

Cheryl Stearns for “… advancing the sport of skydiving and inspiring people across the globe as a competitor, world-record holder, exhibition jumper, and the first female member of the United States Army Parachute Team – the Golden Knights.”

“It is our privilege at the National Aeronautic Association to honor great achievements and great careers,” said NAA President, Greg Principato. “These women and men have contributed so much to aviation throughout the wide spectrum of aviation disciplines. From the flight deck, to aeromodelling, to policy making and advocacy, from historic preservation to parachuting, this class of Distinguished Statesmen and Stateswomen exemplify the best of our industry.”

Previous recipients of this award include: Katherine and Marjorie Stinson, Scott Crossfield, Charles Bolden, Olive Ann Beech, Clay Lacy, Julie Clark, Bob Hoover, John and Martha King, and Chuck Yeager.

The members of the 2022 Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman of Aviation Selection Committee were: Samantha Magill, Vice Chair of NAA; Former FAA Administrators Randy Babbitt, Marion Blakey, Steve Dickson, Dan Elwell, Jane Garvey, and Michael Huerta; former Distinguished Statesmen and Stateswomen of Aviation Peggy Chabrian (2016), Julie Clark (2020), Dave Franson (2020), Bill Garvey (2018), Carol Hallett (2003), Kathryn Hughes (2020), Angela Gittens (2021), and Mary Miller (2019); and Kandy Bernskoetter, FedEx Express; Greg Pecoraro, NASAO; Ann Richart, Nebraska Department of Transportation; and Patty Wagstaff, Patty Wagstaff Aviation Safety, LLC. The 2022 Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman of Aviation Awards will be presented on a future date and location to be announced. For more information, please visit

The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world, and certifies all national aviation records set in the United States. For information, visit