Our mission is to inspire and uplift Latinas who share a love of aviation. We believe in the power of connection as we provide the necessary support and tools needed to fly past socio economic issues of the aviation industry through shared experiences, scholarships and a mentor network.
Our Core Values
We Value Your "DREAMS"
Latinas in Aviation is built upon these values and thrives as a result. They mold our personalities, control our actions, and unite us for a shared passion. Our objective to empower, uplift, and inspire Latinas in the aviation sector is encapsulated in these principles.
- DIVERSITY: We create an inclusive atmosphere where each person’s distinctive skills can shine by recognizing and valuing the diversity of culturally rich origins and perspectives.
- RESILIENCE: To be resilient in the face of difficulties, encouraging Latinas to surmount hurdles and become stronger through tenacity.
- EMPOWERMENT: Equipping Latinas with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to take control of their journey and achieve their goals in the aviation industry.
- AMBITION: We nourish Latinas aspirations, giving them a chance to achieve their goals and follow their passions with unshakable resolve.
- MENTORSHIP: Believing in the power of guidance, we value mentorship that shapes the trajectories of Latinas careers and helps them navigate the complexities of the aviation field
- SUPPORT: We provide a steadfast support system, ensuring that every Latina in our community feels encouraged, uplifted, and never alone in their pursuit of success.
MEET THE BOARD
Jacqueline S. Ruiz
Jacqueline Ruiz is a visionary social entrepreneur that has created an enterprise of inspiration. With more of 20 years of experience in the marketing and Public relations industry, she has created two successful award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, published 32 books, the largest collection of Latina stories in a book anthology series in the world, and held events in four continents. She has received over 30 awards for her contributions and business acumen. She represents the 1.6% of women entrepreneurs with over seven figures in the United States.
Being a two-time cancer survivor activated her sense of urgency to serve others and live life to the fullest. Jacqueline is one of the few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States and founder of Latinas in Aviation global brand. She recently collaborated with College Park Aviation Museum to create the historic first-ever exhibit in the world to honor Latinas in Aviation.
Olga E. Custodio
Olga E. Custodio was the first Latina U.S. Air Force military pilot and among the top graduates of her Pilot Training class. She received a fighter rating and became the first female supersonic T-38 instructor pilot at two USAF flight training programs. A female military and commercial aviation pioneer with over 43 years in aviation, she served 24 years, retiring as a USAF Lieutenant Colonel, becoming the first American Airlines Latina commercial airline pilot, and later upgraded to Captain. During her 20 years, she flew the B-727, F-100, B-757, and B-767, flying U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and European destinations. She owns a Cessna T210L and has flown multiple general aviation aircraft. Recognized by several U.S. senators and the Puerto Rico Senate twice, she has received numerous awards, including an inductee of the San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame and Honoree of the Presidential 35th National Hispanic Heritage Foundation – 2022 STEM Award presented at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Among multiple publications, “Nuestra América,” published by the Smithsonian Institution, includes Olga as one of the 30 inspiring Latinas/Latinos who have shaped the United States. Olga is a professional speaker and STEM advocate as an aviation community leader who inspires others while serving on numerous non-profit aviation boards.
A resident of Chicago, IL, she earned a Bachelors degree in Aviation Maintenance Management as well as her Airframe and Powerplant Certification from Lewis University in 2001. Sandy was the youngest female and only Latina aircraft mechanic hired by a major airline ATA(American Trans Air) in the year 2000, where she quickly obtained a position as senior line technician working on Boeing 727’s, 737’s & 757’s. She went on to work for
The Gary Jet Center in Gary Indiana, where she contracted for Boeing’s Executive fleet of airplanes. She served as a flight technician and supported the fleet of Boeing Business Jet’s and Challenger aircraft as they operated around the world.
Currently she works for Abbvie’s Corporate Flight Department as a Senior Flight Engineer, supporting their fleet of Gulfstream executive aircraft and still globe trotting around the world.
She holds numerous training certifications and has served on the NBAA as a committee member on the Flight Technician board. She is also an active member of Women in Aviation, Women in Corporate Aviation and other aviation related organizations.
Jacqueline Pulido is a former A320 Captain. Her love of aviation stems from her childhood as an airline brat where her mom worked as a flight attendant and her dad as an airline pilot. She started flying at 17, her dream was to follow her father’s footsteps and one day become a Captain too. She is happily married and has two beautiful children. In 2017, she temporarily hung her wings to care for her children but still remains active in the aviation industry.
Currently, she is an A320 simulator flight instructor, she teachs aviation English, and is a co-author of Latinas in Aviation. She also participates in programs that introduce children to aviation. She is passionate about safety in aviation, enjoys cooking, is a woman of faith in God, and is committed to helping advance girls and women in aviation.
Ana C Uribe-Ruiz
A Private pilot with a love of aviation, STREAM and mentorship, Ana grew up in Quito-Ecuador, where her father formed an airline in the late 50’s that was the flag airline for the country for many years. Flying in the family from one place to another one was the norm and spending some time with her dad and the flight crew in the cockpit, is when she was able to see the world in a different way.
After attending Law school, she moved to the US to study finance and became a banker. Flying came when she met her husband who was already a pilot and realized the love of aviation still in her.
Empowering women to be the next generation of Aviators was something that she needed to do after noticing that the number of women in the industry are not enough. She is the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service for giving an introductory flight to over 400 women. She is also a Special Needs mom, co-author of Latinas in Aviation, For the Love of Autism and Today’s Inspired Leader.