Airline Captain Set For Presidential Award
Captain Willie L. Daniels II (ret.) will receive the Joseph R. Biden Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of service to the aviation industry and communities of color. The prestigious award honors outstanding citizens who exhibit outstanding work ethic, character, and dedication to serving their communities. Captain Daniels will receive the prestigious award at the Shades of Blue Aviation Symposium on Nov. 4 at Ontario International Airport, 1923 E. Avion Street, in Ontario. The symposium will be held in Hanger #34 next to the administration building. The event is free and open to the public.
Captain Daniels was hired by United in 1977 as a flight attendant and transitioned to the cockpit in 1987 where he spent the next 35 years flying all over the world amassing over 22,000 hours of flight time. Daniels founded Shades of Blue Aviation in 1999 as a way of passing on the same career opportunity he had by creating a pipeline for the next generation of pilots and aviation professionals. Since its inception, thousands of students have taken courses through Shades of Blue, many now have aviation-relation careers, including 13 pilots flying for major airlines. NASA pilot Victor Glover is one of the organization’s most notable members.
The Shades of Blue Aviation Symposium, where Daniels will be honored, is a two-day event, Nov. 4 and 5, that introduces youth ages 13 – 21, to the variety of career options available in the aviation industry. United, Southwest, other airlines and aviation-related organizations will have professionals on site to discuss pathways to careers in aviation, including pilots, flight attendants, passenger service agents, mechanics, cargo operations, ramp operators, TSA personnel and much more. There will be colleges with aviation programs available to answer questions. Drones, robotic demonstrations, the TSA Canine Team, and hands-on flight simulators will also be a part of the activities.
NASA astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle (ret.) will be a guest speaker at the symposium on Saturday, Nov. 4. Cagle was responsible for preserving NASA legacy data while galvanizing NASA’s lead in global mapping, sustainable energies, green initiatives and disaster preparedness. Other speakers include Ontario International Airport CEO Atif Elkadi, Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Faviola Garcia, Latino Pilot Association representative Liliana De La Cruz Sanchez and Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson.
For more information on Shades of Blue Aviation Symposium, visit ourshadesofblue.org.