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Chapter Leadership

Officers

President – Julia Harrington

My name is Julia Harrington and I’m very excited to be serving as President of Chicago’s Leading Edge Chapter. The past two years I have served as Scholarship Chair and I look forward to the next two as President! I fly charter on Hawker 700/800A/800XP aircraft for SC Aviation, a company out of southern Wisconsin. I completed all of my flight training at the University of Illinois where I completed my Aviation degree. After graduation I flight instructed at Lewis University in Romeoville for two years until I got hired at my current company. I’ve been a member of Women in Aviation International for over 7 years and I greatly enjoy attending the conference each year. I look forward to leading our chapter in some very exciting events in the future!

Vice President – Andrew Fischenberg

My name is Andrew Fischenberg and I am a First Officer at Frontier Airlines, based at Chicago O’Hare airport. I am from Phoenix, Arizona where I attended Arizona State University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology as well as all my flight ratings and certificates. It was at Arizona State where I was first introduced to Women in Aviation. After meeting my wife Maria in Chicago and introducing her to the aviation world, I could see the interest and excitement that she had for aviation. She had many questions about aviation, including how many women fly? How are the treated in a male dominated industry? Etc. As I thought back to college and remembered how few women were enrolled in my flight program as well as how few women I fly with at the airlines. I decided that I wanted to get involved and become part of the change, rather than watch from the sidelines. Over the past several years I’ve been fortunate enough to serve our members as both the Membership Chair and now as Vice-President. I took on these roles to help promote our industry (to both women and men) and most importantly, to open the door of opportunity for women to thrive in the aviation environment. Going forward, I hope to make an even greater impact on our membership by growing out mentor program and expanding the outreach of our chapter.

Treasurer – Jennifer Pfeifer

Jennifer is Executive Secretary for Chicago Executive Airport.  Her interest in the business of aviation was discovered when she took flying lessons.  She achieved her solo flight certificate in 2007 at Chicago Executive Airport.  She obtained her Master’s Degree in Aviation and Transportation Management from Lewis University in 2012. Shortly thereafter she started working for Signature and enjoys being at the airport, working to support business and pleasure pilots and customers.  She has served as email newsletter editor and presented at Sky’s the Limit Aviation Career Camp. In her spare time she loves to ride her Harley-Davidson motorcycle with her husband and play with their wire fox terrier puppy, Lemmy.

Secretary – Natalie Kasak

Natalie Kasak is a flight dispatcher for United Airlines. She received her Flight Management degree, pilot certificates and dispatch certificate from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.  Prior to working for working for United, she was a dispatch supervisor at Tran States Airlines in St. Louis, Missouri.  Before dispatching she worked as a flight instructor and spent some time in the aviation insurance industry. Her favorite flying accomplishment is participating in the Air Race Classic, a women’s only cross-country air race, with another CLE member. Outside of aviation, she enjoys cooking (which is really just code for eating…), wasting time on Netflix, and traveling as often as possible.

Committee Chairs

Outreach Chair – Maureen Hallacy

The Outreach committee will once again focus on our annual Sky’s the Limit aviation day camp to be held in conjunction with Girls in Aviation Day in September.  We will also be looking into opportunities to collaborate with other aviation groups in the Chicagoland area.  (Please see my bio under Board of Directors.)

Fundraising Chair – Jen Melvin and Karyn Wojcik

Jen Melvin is a Private, Instrument Rated Pilot and Dispatcher currently working as a Dispatcher for a part 91 flight department. A graduate of Lewis University, she has enjoyed a very successful start in the aviation industry. She served as Treasurer and President of Chicago’s Leading Edge, and also acted as the Midwest Regional Team Leader for Women of Aviation Worldwide Week in 2014. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and theater goer, as well as a trivia buff. She is very proud to be a part of CLE, and is looking forward to many great things to come!

My name is Karyn Wojcik and I’m currently working as a Flight Instructor at Lewis University. I graduated in May from the U of I with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Human Factors. While in college, I participated in Women in Aviation and served as vice president of our small chapter as well as participated in the Collegiate Flight Team. As a competitor on the U of I flying team I held the roles as treasurer one year and assistant captain the next. Currently, I am a coach for Lewis’ flight team and will hopefully aid in leading our team to victory at competition! When I’m not busy I enjoy traveling, snuggling up with my pooch and watching movies. All in all, I bleed Jet-A fuel and look forward to a long, prosperous career in aviation.

Membership Chair – Natalie Kasak

Natalie Kasak is a flight dispatcher for United Airlines. She received her Flight Management degree, pilot certificates and dispatch certificate from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.  Prior to working for working for United, she was a dispatch supervisor at Tran States Airlines in St. Louis, Missouri.  Before dispatching she worked as a flight instructor and spent some time in the aviation insurance industry. Her favorite flying accomplishment is participating in the Air Race Classic, a women’s only cross-country air race, with another CLE member. Outside of aviation, she enjoys cooking (which is really just code for eating…), wasting time on Netflix, and traveling as often as possible.

Scholarship Chair – Jordan DiGrazia

Jordan DiGrazia is a First Officer on the Embraer 175 at SkyWest Airlines based in Chicago.  She grew up in Crystal Lake, IL, and took her first flight lesson when she was 16 at the nearby airport in Lake in the Hills. After that first flight she knew she wanted to be a pilot, and began researching colleges where she could learn to fly. She decided to go to Southern Illinois University where she graduated with a degree in Aviation Flight and Aviation Management (with a minor in Spanish). At SIU she was heavily involved in the aviation student organizations including SIU’s chapter of Women in Aviation, The Saluki Aviators, of which she was the President for two years. After graduating, her first job was as a charter pilot in Southeastern Iowa, then she flight instructed at the Lake in the Hills airport for awhile. She then took an opportunity to live in Madrid, Spain for a year to teach English. When she moved back to The US she started flying for her first airline in Memphis, TN. Now she is finally back home and flying for SkyWest. Aside from flying, Jordan loves to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Board of Directors

Maureen Hallacy

As previous president of Chicago’s Leading Edge, I am honored to take a position on the Board of Directors.  I am a first officer for United Airlines on the 737 and in my nearly twenty years as a member of Women in Aviation, I have never enjoyed it more since being involved in Chicago’s Leading Edge.  I look forward to continuing to further our mission of connecting, inspiring and supporting women in all aspects of aviation.

Jen Melvin

Jen is a Private, Instrument Rated Pilot and Dispatcher currently working  as a Dispatcher for a part 91 flight department. A graduate of Lewis University, she has enjoyed a very successful start in the aviation industry. She served as Treasurer and President of Chicago’s Leading Edge, and also acted as the Midwest Regional Team Leader for Women of Aviation Worldwide Week in 2014. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and theater goer, as well as a trivia buff. She is very proud to be a part of CLE, and is looking forward to many great things to come!

Megan Zahos

My name is Megan Zahos and I am an Assistant Professor and Assistant Chief Pilot at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.  I received a B.S. in Political Science and earned my pilot certificates and ratings at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as well as received an MBA in Finance and a Masters Degree in Aviation Transportation at Lewis University.  I work professionally as a Flight Instructor, Ground School Instructor, Check Airman and Assistant Chief Pilot for Lewis University.  In addition to my professional experience, I also acts as the Head Coach to the Lewis University Flight Team as well as Advisor to Lewis University’s Women in Aviation student organization and sits on the Board of Directors of the Lewis University Aviation Alumni Association.  Go Flyers!