Dr. Peggy Chabrian Honored with the 2020 Cliff Henderson Trophy

On March 6, 2020, NAA President Greg Principato presented Dr. Peggy Chabrian, Founder of Women in Aviation International, with the 2020 Cliff Henderson Trophy at the 31st Annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The Henderson Trophy, which is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, was established in 1960 to honor the creator and Managing Director of the world-renowned National Air Races from 1928-1939. His work stimulated a generation’s interest in aviation and challenged the state of the art in aviation development.

The trophy is awarded to “…a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.” A deserving nominee is put forth annually by the President of the National Aeronautic Association to NAA’s Executive Committee for confirmation by majority vote.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian is the founder of Women in Aviation International (WAI), a nonprofit organization that provides networking, education, mentoring, and scholarship opportunities for both women and men who strive for careers in the aviation and aerospace industry.

In 1990, Chabrian gathered 150 people for the first Women in Aviation conference at Embry Riddle’s Prescott, Arizona campus. Four years later, with the growing success of the annual conference, the aviation industry began to recognize and accept the need for the focus and energy offered by her vision. In December 1994, 16 founding board members, with Chabrian as Founding President, established WAI as it is today.

Presently, WAI’s diverse membership of more than 14,000 includes representation from virtually every corner of the world’s aviation community and the annual conference has grown to over 4,500 attendees and 175 exhibitors. WAI has awarded more than $12 million in scholarships at their conference since 1995.

“If ever anyone has embodied the criteria for the Cliff Henderson Trophy it is Peggy Chabrian,” said NAA President Greg Principato. “She is a visionary leader whose skill and energy have forever changed aviation for the better. Her work will truly inspire future aviators for generations to come. It is our honor to present the Henderson Trophy to Peggy Chabrian.”

“I am extremely honored to be awarded the Cliff Henderson Trophy for 2020,” said Chabrian. “It is humbling to join the list of many great leaders in aviation who have been previously recognized. I appreciate the efforts of NAA over the years to support and enhance the aviation industry. And I would like to thank the many individuals who have supported me throughout my aviation journey.”