Come From Away: A Panel Discussion Published January 6, 2020

January 21, 2020 | 1 p.m. | Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center | Free to attend

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Featuring Panelists Beverley Bass, Retired American Airlines Pilot and Dr. Jeanie Webb, President of Rose State College, Amy Downs, CEO of Allegiance Credit Union, and Lindy Ritz, President of the Ritz Group, LLC 

Moderated by Tamara Pratt, Vice President of External Affairs at Rose State College 

Join us on January 21, 2020, as we engage in a dialogue with retired American Airlines pilot, Beverley Bass, and a group of Oklahoma City leaders, for an inspiring discussion on women succeeding in male-dominated industries. We'll also reflect on the selfless acts of kindness that have impacted each individual throughout their careers. Bass is also characterized in the Broadway musical, COME FROM AWAY. 

The musical COME FROM AWAY will be playing in OKC at the Civic Center in early February 2020. This panel discussion allows Rose State to bring in Ms. Bass and other local influential civic leaders for a thoughtful conversation around following your dreams and overcoming obstacles. 

About the Panelists 

Beverley Bass, Retired American Airlines Pilot and character in musical COME FROM AWAY

Beverley Bass was the third female commercial airline pilot hired by American Airlines in 1976, and went on to become the very first female captain in 1986. Bass co-founded the International Society of Women Airline Pilots a few years after she was hired—which today has hundreds of members from all over the world—and served for 16 years as a Check Airman (the position on the flight team that performs the pre-flight checks). Bass retired in 2008, after a career that spanned 32 years.

And, as she says in the signature song in COME FROM AWAY, “Me and the Sky,” she really did get her start earning $5 per hour flying dead bodies for a mortician in Fort Worth, Texas. She was 21 years old at the time.

Dr. Jeanie Webb, President of Rose State College

7th President of Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and first female president - Dr. Webb has been instrumental in changing the landscape of Rose State College. During her tenure, the college has expanded its footprint to recruit students from 66 counties in Oklahoma, built on-campus housing, expanded its cybersecurity and aerospace programs, and orchestrated the construction of a new student union. 

Dr. Webb's passion for seeing others succeed is rooted in her own story, starting at a community college. She says that decision is one that has changed her life forever. 

Amy Downs, CEO Allegiance Credit Union and survivor of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing

Amy Downs was one of the last survivors to be pulled from the rubble of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. While buried alive and waiting to die, she realized she had never really lived. In the coming years, she lost 200 pounds, became a triathlete, went back to school, and graduated with a Masters of Business Administration. Amy would go on to get promoted at the Credit Union, where she worked but eventually became its CEO. Amy shares a message more powerful than her survival: her transformation in the aftermath. 

Lindy Ritz, President, the Ritz Group LLC and retired after a long career with the Federal Aviation Administration

Ritz was named the first female director of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City in 1997 having come to the Center in 1979. The Aeronautical Center is the largest centralized service and support facility for the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation outside of Washington D.C. and home to more than 7,000 federal and contract employees. She serves as the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commissioner for District 4.

Panel Moderator: Tamara Pratt, Vice President of External Affairs at Rose State College

Ms. Pratt’s background includes twelve years in broadcast television with the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City. She served as a reporter for coverage surrounding the 9/11 attacks as well as the 1995 OKC bombing.