PNAA 8th Annual Women in Aerospace Recognized Nancy White as Woman of the Year

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Custom Interface Team

Since 2001, Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance has been promoting the growth and success of the region's aerospace industry with dynamic events designed to inspire aerospace leaders, connect aerospace interests, and educate policy makers.

Today, with members throughout the northwest and around the globe, PNAA is dedicated to delivering the latest market intelligence to ensure our region's competitive edge.

PNAA’s unwavering commitment to sharing bold ideas, innovative technologies and leading-edge processes has strengthened the industry and earned respect from the White House to the factory floor. Its members represent every segment of the aerospace industry and are responsible for designing, manufacturing, and supplying parts and services that launch rockets, fly planes, and even land on Mars!

On May 21st PNAA had their 8th Annual Women in Aerospace. They brought the industry together again for a premier women's event, uniting the past, present and future generations of women leaders for a one-day conference. It was a day of fun, networking, and learning as everyone saw what the next era of aerospace has in store for us all. 

There were keynotes, panels, break-out sessions, fireside chats, networking and more.

The event featured:

PNAA’s 8th Annual Women in Aerospace Event included speakers from a varied background:

Each of them offered a unique perspective and challenge paradigms.

Our CEO, Nancy White, received an award during the event: “Woman of the Year.” She was grateful and humbled and shared a few words:

Nancy-White-CEO“Amelia Earhart had to tell the New York Times multiple times that she didn’t want to be called by her husband’s name. That’s a battle most women in this country don’t have to fight anymore.

But most of us would agree that we still struggle for recognition of our value. Struggle in my experience was very closely tied to the world view that business is by its nature, competitive. Like many of you, I’ve had my ideas co-opted, been interrupted, talked down to.  

Those dynamics drove me to make a radical choice. I started my own business because I wanted to prove that a business could flourish by opting for the values I aligned with; respect, integrity, collaboration.

25 years later, I feel like I have the best job in the world because by starting my own business I got to create my ideal work environment. I chose to not compete, because when you are in competition, you are playing the game of limited resources. I found that collaboration, being in service by sharing the best I had, opened limitless resources and possibilities.

When I learned I had been selected for this award, I asked my sales team why they enjoyed working at Custom Interface, Inc. and they shared:

  • “I have the authority I need to get my job done easily”
  • “I never have to be dishonest, and I’m treated with respect”
  • “We keep our commitments”
  • “I have gotten to learn things I am really interested in”
  • “It’s exciting to work here because our customers are on the leading edge”

These statements reflect values that are part of my dream job.

So, I encourage every one of you to seriously consider evaluating what you want for your future. Should you, could you, start your own business? If that doesn’t seem like a match, consider adopting this mindset while working inside a large organization. You will find that if you refuse to compete and instead put your passion into collaboration, to be of service, you will get the reward of greater freedom and joy.”

Watch the Awards Ceremony and closing comments:

Propelling Forward

While attending the Women in Aerospace Conference, we had the opportunity to participate in a collaborative hack-a-thon.

The general purpose of a hack-a-thon is for a group of like-minded individuals to work together on a topic or project and create solutions or objects to solve any given problem. (Much like a mastermind group)

During the event, the hack-a-thon attendees generated solutions on five key topics that would be beneficial to the industry:

  1. How do we get industry jobs more accessible? (employment, diversity)
  2. How do we drive collaboration? (within the PNW, within PNAA, amongst the industry)
  3. What environmental factors could be provided to enhance working at an organization? (work space enhancements)
  4. How can you drive equality within your organization? (same pay, equal access to education/training, same opportunities for advancement)
  5. How can we prepare to fill the employment needs post COVID? (mass retirement gap, next generation workforce opportunities)

This was an opportunity for all of us to come together to collaborate and have our voices heard. The solutions will be presented to the industry.

Organizations such as PNAA can be a priceless resource. So many of the members and participants are authentic, committed, and motivated.

You can learn more about PNAA here:


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