2012 National General Aviation Award Winners Named

LONGMONT, Colorado (29 February 2012) - In each of the past 49 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction...


Married with two grown daughters, Hobie is an EAA Flight Advisor as well as a member of AOPA, SAFE, NAFI, WBA, VAA, IAC, and SPA.


Tomlinson (HobieTW@att.net) represented the Portland Maine FSDO area as well as the FAA's Eastern Region. This year's other regional CFI of the Year winners include Lambert Charles “Bert” Mackentepe of Cullman, AL (FAA's Southern Region); MCFI Lynnwood Karl “Woody” Minar of Dresser, WI (FAA's Great Lakes Region); Dave William Pressy of Saint Louis, MO (FAA's Central Region); Robert Lindsay “Bob” Stedman of Parker, CO (FAA's Northwest Mountain Region); Christopher Charles “Chris” Webb from Garland, TX (FAA's Southwest Region); and Donna Marie Webster of Bakersfield, CA (FAA's Western Pacific Region).


2012 NATIONAL FAA SAFETY TEAM REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR: Jeanné Carole Willerth of Lee’s Summit, MO, is the 2012 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year. Her personal mantra is “aspire to inspire before you expire!" She believes true leadership requires giving back. Whether it is lobbying for general aviation, recruiting new members for the 99s, or fulfilling a Vietnam veteran’s last wish for a flight over Kansas City, Jeanné is a leader.

Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, Jeanné was exposed early on to general aviation.  Both of her parents were avid aviators.  Her mother, a "Powder Puff Derby" cross-country air racer, taught Jeanné to fly at the Cessna Pilot Center (CPC) in Omaha where she instructed.  Catching the air race bug, Jeanné went along as her mom's copilot in two All Women's International Air Races.


In 1991, after 14 years of concentrating on family and a computer-marketing career, Jeanné started flying again. In 1998, she entered the 2400 mile Air Race Classic with her mother and her then 17-year-old daughter, a student pilot. She received a scholarship from the 99s in 1999 and earned her instrument rating, followed by single engine and multiengine commercial ratings.


After managing computer training centers and teaching computer science at a college, she shifted gears. Her next career change involved flying and adding a CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI, and MEI along with presenting aviation safety seminars nationwide. She also became a volunteer FAA Aviation Safety Counselor.


Jeanné instructs at Air Associates, a CPC at Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC) in Kansas City and at Lee’s Summit Airport (LXT) where she chairs the airport board. She has over 2,000 hours and teaches primary, instrument, multiengine, and Garmin G1000 transition training. She’s also a mentor for “late in life” learners and specializes in getting dormant pilots successfully back in the air.


A believer in lifelong learning, she’s a supporter of the Wings Pilot Proficiency Program. In recent years, she helped the FAA coordinate and present the eight quarterly training modules for CFIs. In addition to presenting safety seminars, she helps organize the annual FAA’s annual Safety Stand-Down.


In the 90’s, Jeanné started flying children to Shrine hospitals with her father. She has now become a passionate advocate for public benefit flying and volunteers for Angel Flight Central, Pilots ‘n Paws, Challenge Air, and Young Eagles.  She is a past chair of the Greater Kansas City 99s and serves on the local Missouri Pilot’s Association board. She is also a member of AOPA, EAA, The 99s, NAFI, and the American Bonanza Society (ABS).


Jeanné is married to Lee’s Summit attorney Joe Willerth and they have three grown children.

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