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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

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    Momentum Member Spotlight – January 2014

    AIAA Congratulates Carol Cash

    By Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

    Carol Cash The member spotlight heads to Ohio this month, focusing on Carol Cash for our January column. Cash is an AIAA Associate Fellow and former AIAA Vice President, Public Policy. She is currently President of Carol Cash & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm engaged in aerospace technology marketing, project management, and government relations. At present she is consulting for the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI). Prior to starting her own firm, Cash had a long career with GE Aviation beginning as the “field” technology marketing interface between GE Aviation and the NASA Glenn Research Center and other NASA locations. In 2006, Cash was promoted to Manager of Advanced Technology Business Development, serving in that capacity until retirement.

    Cash has been active within AIAA, assuming leadership of the Aeronautics Subcommittee of the Institute’s Public Policy Committee in 1996. In 2009, she was elected Vice President, Public Policy and served in that position until 2013. Cash has also been instrumental in shaping the Institute’s Congressional Visits Day program, growing it into one of AIAA’s premier public policy outreach activities. For her devotion and service in the area of public policy, Cash was recognized with an AIAA Sustained Service Award in 2005. She also serves on the Management Technical Committee.  In 2001, Cash was selected as one of Crain’s Cleveland Business “Women of Note in Cleveland.”

    Cash’s love of aeronautics began at the age of 16, when, while visiting the Greenville, Pennsylvania, airport’s open house, she snuck away from her parents to get her first ride in an airplane. She reminisced, “The pilot’s last name was Crash, how about that for a name? I snuck away from mom and dad, and he was nice enough to give me a short flight in his Piper. I recall that the runway was too short, so you had to get to the end and make a “U turn” to take off. It was great! I was thrilled, of course, but mom and dad were decidedly less thrilled. That experience was instrumental in opening my eyes to the world of flight and aeronautics. … Another event that cemented my love for this industry was watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon. Less than six months after that historic occasion, I accepted my first job with GE Aviation, beginning a career in aerospace that is still on-going today.”

    While describing her favorite career moments, Cash noted that they mostly came from AIAA activities. “I have been blessed to meet so many of my heroes in my volunteer work with AIAA: John Glenn, James Lovell, Scott Crossfield, and Neil Armstrong just to name a few. They all shaped aerospace and having the opportunity to meet and work with them has created some of my most precious memories.”

    For those in college and thinking about pursuing an aerospace career, Cash offered this advice: “Network! That is my strongest advice for you. You’ll find out that it’s not often what you know but whom you know that will open the next door on your career path. Joining AIAA and participating in local events and conferences is a great way to meet people who might be very helpful in advancing your career.” She reminded professionals who have been in the industry awhile that they play a key role in advancing the future of aerospace, urging them to “expand your network, and be sure to include young professionals in that network. Be a mentor. We’ve all been around for awhile, and we have experience on our side. We can share what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t work. It is our responsibility to share our insights and mentor young professionals if we want to sustain the aerospace sector.”

    Lastly, Cash urged high school students who are thinking about aerospace as a lifetime career path to “get involved! … There are so many opportunities for hands-on experience. For those interested in aviation, find a Civil Air Patrol chapter. Encourage your school to get involved in robotic or rocket competitions. Most importantly, take classes in science and math, as those skills will serve you well no matter what field of endeavor you choose.”

    By selecting Carol Cash for the AIAA Member Spotlight for January 2014, AIAA acknowledges her for her many contributions to aerospace and her past leadership of, and continued involvement with, AIAA’s Public Policy Committee.