You are here


The following is the list of speakers for the 2018 Conference on Diversity in Aviation.  The 2019 speakers will be announced soon.


Keynote Speakers

Captain Barrington Irving has traveled to 50 countries, conducted more than 30 STEM expeditions, and successfully challenged middle school students to build a car faster than a Ferrari 430 and then high schoolers to build a plane he flew on its test fligh

Gena Lovett is the vice president of manufacturing, safety and quality for Defense, Space & Security. She sets the strategic direction for manufacturing ‎for the business and leads BDS Operations, or the employees who build Boeing’s range of defense and s

Shaesta Waiz, founder of the non-profit organization Dreams Soar, Inc., flew around the world solo in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft in 2017, becoming the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft. The purpose of the g

Breakout Session SpeakersJennifer A. Beard is an administrator and change agent. She facilitates change within large organizations by applying her acumen for policy analysis as well as her education and training as a licensed social worker. Jennifer is director of The Ohio State Sara M. Childers, Ph.D., is assistant director of The Women’s Place and an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education.  She supports initiatives that focus on LGBTQ staff and faculty, leadership advancement for women and underserved groups, and en

Captain Kevin Daisey is a commercial airline transport pilot with some 43 years and 17,000 hours of experience to include the B-717, B-727, B-737, B-747, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10 and L-1011. Captain Daisey has flown worldwide with accompanying practice and certiSHANNETTA GRIFFIN, P.E. Chief Development Officer  Shannetta Griffin, P.E., is the Chief Development Officer of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority which operates John Glenn International, Rickenbacker International and Bolton Field airports in Columb

Becky Lutte is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute. Her degrees include a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; MPA and PhD, University of Nebraska at Omaha.   A former regiona

Troy Merritt has been with the Nation Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) since 2016 and recently became the Director of Members Services & Support; he is a Captain on the CRJ-200 for Endeavor Air. Troy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Sciences  

Nicole Nieto has over 17 years of higher education experience with a focus on equity, inclusion, transformative leadership and effective dialogue.  Nicole has played key roles in developing and creating innovative learning curriculums for faculty, staff aScott Osborne is the Interim Vice President of Economic and Corporate Engagement at The Ohio State University, where he is responsible for strategic corporate partnerships, technology commercialization and economic development. Osborne leads the CorporateDavid J. Pettet is currently the second youngest Captain with American Airlines based out of Philadelphia International Airport and was also one of the youngest commercial airline pilots in the United States at the age of 19. He has flown over 8 types of