How wonderful to attend the sold-out National Aviation Hall of Fame’s enshrinement ceremony last month. This “Oscar Night of Aviation” was held two years after my induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. COVID had just hit, and I was ceremoniously enshrined in 2021. However, I and my fellow classmates have waited for the formal “live” enshrinement, which finally occurred post-pandemic on September 24, 2022. It was a big event and an even bigger honor.
Enshrinees are the who’s who in the world of aviation, including Bessie Coleman, Charles Lindbergh, Kelly Johnson, William Boeing, Joe Engle, and Sally Ride. What a thrill to be named among them and to welcome the Class of 2022 on stage as well. Many thanks to the National Aviation Hall of Fame for this prestigious acknowledgment.
For a fond “look back” at my induction, read below.
National Aviation Hall of Fame Reveals “Class of 2020”
Announcement made at the National Aeronautic Association Fall Awards dinner in
November 13, 2019-The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) is pleased to announce the individuals who have been elected for its 2020 Enshrinement. Trustee and Chairman Mr. Michael Quiello and President and CEO Ms. Amy Spowart revealed the Class of 2020 before an audience of nearly 300 attendees at the Fall Awards Dinner of the National Aeronautic Association in Washington, D.C.
Each year, the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of over 120 aviation professionals nationwide, selects from a prestigious group of previously-nominated air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements with induction into the NAHF. Since its founding in 1962, 246 men and women have been honored with enshrinement into the Congressionally-chartered, non-profit National Aviation Hall of Fame.
The NAHF Class of 2020, who will be inducted at the 58th Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony on September 26th, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio, is a diverse group representing a broad range of enduring contributions to both the advancement of flight and manned exploration of space.
(The late) Second Lieutenant Eugene J. Bullard, USAF- WWI Pilot; First African American combat pilot; Denied in the U.S., flew for France; and is one of the highest decorated pilots including the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur.
(The late) Dr. Maxime “Max” A. Faget- Ph.D. Mechanical Engineer; developed rockets, missiles and aircraft; and designed the Mercury Spacecraft and was part of the design team for Gemini, Apollo and the Space Shuttle.
Ms. Joan Sullivan Garrett- Medical Professional; Visionary; Founder of MedAire; established the first aviation global medical emergency response; and directs real-time safety services to thousands annually throughout aviation.
(The late) Captain Richard “Dick” F. Gordon, USN- Naval Aviator; Test Pilot; Bendix Trophy Winner; Gemini 11 Pilot; Command Module Pilot Apollo 12; Back-up Commander Apollo 12; and part of design team for the Space Shuttle.
Colonel/Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, USAF (Ret)– Ph.D. Aeronautical Engineer; led many technical aerospace programs including guided munitions; Lead Developer of Stealth Technology; and Directed F-117 and B-2 Programs.
“We believe that this is an excellent class and we are already looking forward to their induction in our home, the Birthplace of Aviation, Dayton, Ohio”, NAHF Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Quiello says. “From pioneer Bullard, to visionaries Faget, Sullivan Garrett and Kaminski, to aerospace hero Gordon, the NAHF’s Class of 2020 represents the best in aviation. We applaud the Board of Nominations for their challenging and thorough work.”
The NAHF was founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964. Its mission is to honor America’s aerospace legends to inspire future leaders, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, other public outreach programs, its annual enshrinement ceremony and collaboration with like-minded organizations.
For a fond “look back” at my ceremonial enshrinement, read the press release below.
Chairman, Ceremoniously Enshrined Into The National Aviation Hall Of Fame
MedAire Founder and Chairman Joan Sullivan Garrett was ceremoniously enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) on October 13, 2021 during the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.
Garrett was inducted into the NAHF’s Class of 2020 for being a visionary that pioneered telemedicine and founded the aviation industry’s first global remote medical emergency response company, MedAire, which directs real-time safety services to thousands annually throughout aviation.
“The Public Law that established the NAHF entrusts us to recognize people who advance aviation with their life’s work. Joan Sullivan Garrett not only revolutionized aviation, but she also transformed it and made the world safer for every single person in the air. She also set herself apart by achieving so much at such a young age. Her foresight, aptitude and impact make her more than worthy for induction into the NAHF,” said Amy Spowart, the NAHF’s President and CEO.
Garrett has also been the recipient of Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award 1997. In addition, in 2001, she was named Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. That same year she gave congressional testimony that led to the FAA’s final ruling requiring US airlines to carry AEDs on all flights, domestic and international. In 2017, Garrett received the National Business Aviation Association’s prestigious Meritorious Award and the International Aviation Women’s Association Woman of Excellence Award for her significant contributions to the industry. Finally, she was also inducted into the prestigious International Air and Space Hall of Fame in 2019.
She recently published her autobiography, One Life Lost, Millions Gained, The Story of a Flight Nurse turned MedAire CEO. The book, now available on Amazon, tells the story of how her vision and entrepreneurial spirit led her to connect ground-based emergency physicians with flight and maritime crews from anywhere in the world in real time, whether 36,000 feet in the air or in the middle of an ocean.
“On behalf of everyone at her MedAire family, I would like to congratulate to Joan on receiving this high honour. We could not be prouder of her, and of course, prouder to continue to fulfil and evolve her vision each day.” said Bill Dolny, CEO of MedAire.
Today, MedAire is the leading global provider of 24/7 integrated safety solutions for the aviation and maritime industries. Their products and services are on board more than 4500 private aviation aircraft, over 1,100 yachts, and utilised by over 180 global airlines. Additionally, MedAire’s assistance service and medical kits come standard on new aircraft from the world’s top business jet manufacturers. In addition to medical assistance, equipment and training solutions, MedAire offers a suite of aviation security solutions, to help flight departments mitigate risks to their people, aircraft, and operations.
MedAire, an International SOS company, has been a partner to the aviation and maritime industries since 1985. MedAire pioneered the concept of air to ground in-flight medical events with its MedLink service. Today MedAire provides fully integrated travel health and security solutions to over 180 of the world’s leading airlines and more than 4,000 private aircraft including 75% of fortune 100 companies. Integrated solutions include aviation security intelligence, real-time health and security advice and assistance, training, equipment, and professional services for crew and passengers both in and beyond the cabin. MedAire handles thousands of calls a year to help crew and passengers manage medical and travel safety events in the air and on the ground with 24/7 access to emergency care doctors, nurses, and aviation security specialists.
What a Journey This has Been!
MedAire’s rich history is captured in my autobiography, a fascinating journey of overcoming challenges, harnessing technology, and pioneering a never-before-available suite of life-saving services.