The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) named Shelly Simi, a long-time industry executive and advocate, as the recipient of the 2021 Frank G. Brewer Trophy, which honors “significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the U.S.”
NAA, which will present the Brewer Trophy to Simi during its Fall Awards Dinner on December 6, said she is being recognized for “her professional leadership and unwavering dedication in promoting aviation and aerospace education through industry partnerships, workforce initiatives, and organizations dedicated to aviation across the United States."
Principal of industry relations and communications consultancy New Heights PR & Communications, Simi has had a career spanning more than three decades, including roles with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Adam Aircraft, Jeppesen, Boeing, and Aurora Flight Sciences. She also formerly led the National Association of State Aviation Officials.
During her career, NAA said, “Simi is known for going above and beyond to expand and promote aviation education outreach efforts that encourage students to choose aviation as a career.” She is a co-founder of the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education, which is a clearinghouse of resources for teachers through a partnership with the FAA and other organizations. In addition, she helped establish the GAMA “Be a Pilot” learn-to-fly program and is a founding board member of Women in Aviation International.
“The Brewer Trophy represents the best in aviation education, and the fact that it resides in the nation’s premier educational institution, The Smithsonian, is evidence of that,” said NAA president Greg Principato. “Shelly throughout her career, in a variety of roles, has made the promotion of aviation education a high priority. Whether attracting and training new pilots, helping start Women in Aviation International and her participation in Girls in Aviation Day, or a variety of other roles, Shelly’s passion and energy have left a lasting impact.”
“I’m honored to be this year’s recipient of the Frank Brewer Trophy. Having the encouragement of so many mentors like Phil Woodruff, it is exciting to know that we are making a difference in young lives through our efforts to promote aviation education,” Simi said.