Ms. Lynda Meeks of Cleveland, OH was honored as a 2007 inductee into the International Forest of Friendship, in Atchison, Kansas during ceremonies in June. The Forest is a living, growing memorial to the world history of aviation and aerospace.
Ms Meeks has made many contributions to aviation as a military aviator, commercial pilot and educator. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army’s Aviation branch in 1992. After flight training she was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany for 3 1/2 years, and was trained for fixed wing aircraft flying throughout Europe and Southwest Asia. She attended the Military Intelligence Advanced Course and was Flight Operations Officer in an Aerial Reconnaissance unit out of Ft Bliss, TX, doing counter drug operations. After leaving the active Army in 1999, and while a Mesa Airlines captain, she joined the Ohio Army National Guard to return to flying helicopters. She is currently a Beechjet pilot at Flight Options, LLC, a fractional airline.
In addition to her fulltime job with Flight Options, she is the president of Very Important Pilots, LLC and the founder of Girls With Wings™, a movement to encourage more young girls to develop an interest in aviation (http://www.girlswithwings.com/) and to know their opportunities better. Lynda has also founded Generate LIFT, Inc., a non-profit organization created to encourage youth to achieve their personal and academic aspirations by emphasizing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education (http://www.generatelift.org/).
She also makes presentations at schools and other educational forums where she can make known her goals for increasing educational goals through the use of aviation, to include: “Cleared for Liftoff, A New Generation of Women in Air and Space,” presented by The International Women's Air & Space Museum (IWASM), The Women at Work museum's exhibit "Women Who Fly," "Girls Rock-et," a joint NASA Glenn Research Center/Northeast Ohio Girl Scouts event, and the National Conference on Aviation and Space Education. She is sponsored by the Lake Erie Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots.
The International Forest of Friendship was a gift to America on the Nation’s 200th birthday (1976) from the City of Atchison (Amelia Earhart’s birthplace) and the Ninety-Nines. It is made up of trees representing all the 50 states and 35 countries around the world, including a “moon tree” grown from a seed taken to the moon on Apollo 14. Among the more than 1200 honorees are such internationally recognized flyers as Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, the Wright Brothers, Sally Ride, Eileen Collins, and Chuck Yeager. The public is invited to the induction ceremonies which are held during the 3rd weekend of June (June 20-22, 2008). More information about the Forest, and points of contact are at http://www.ifof.org/