Who we are/mission

Whirly-Girls International is a nonprofit, educational and charitable organization dedicated to advancing women in helicopter aviation.

The Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund, Inc., was incorporated in 1974 to oversee and administer the scholarship funds raised by the Whirly-Girls and their supporters. The Fund is a federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity. The Fund administers many separate scholarships currently valued at more than $175,000.

Jean Ross Howard Phelan, Whirly-Girl #13, founded Whirly-Girls in 1955. In hopes of developing an organization where female pilots could share information and camaraderie, she was one of 13 charter members representing women helicopter pilots from France, Germany and the United States.

As of 2016, there are more than 1,920 members representing 47 countries. Whirly-Girls is an official affiliate member of Helicopter Association International and holds its annual conference at HAI’s HELI-EXPO.


Members-Only Benefits

The best things on this website are only available to current Whirly-Girls. Be sure your dues are paid up and request your personalized log-on.

Please note: you only need to pay dues for the current year to become an active Whirly-Girl again. You must be an active Whirly-Girl to apply for a scholarship.

What you’ll find with current membership:

Member News: News directly from Whirly-Girls. Read about Whirly-Girls’ adventures around the world.

Job Postings: Find out about those word-of-mouth openings that come and go quickly.

The Collective Pitch: Read the newsletter to stay up on the latest from all over.

Scholarships: Only current members can apply for the over $50,000 in scholarships.

Online Forum: Looking for a job, need advice or just want to share an opinion? Add your thoughts to an existing thread, or start a new one.


Whirly-Girls Board of Directors 2016-2017
Title WG# Name
President WG#1711 Joni Schultz
Vice President of Operations WG#694 Colleen Chen
Vice President of Marketing WG#1650 Krista Holstrom
Vice President of Membership WG#1771 Jessica Kanellos
Vice President of Scholarships WG#1195 Alison Husain
Scholarship Director WG#1714 Banumathi Cole
Scholarship Director WG#1835 Sarah Smith-Dufton
Treasurer WG#1777 Ann Lockwood
Secretary WG#1680 Sharlene Miles
Immediate Past President WG#1178 Laura McColm


Whirly-Girls Volunteers
Position WG# Name
Associate Member (Auxiliary) Chair WG#1462 Ioanna Metaxenia Athanasiou
Collective Pitch Newsletter Editor WG#1329 Laura McColm
Copy Editor WG#742 Lisa Di Giovanna
Emeritus Circle Chair WG#247 Nelda Lee
Graphic Designer WG#1772 Ronnie Bogart
HELI-EXPO: Membership Manager WG#1771 Jessica Kanellos
HELI-EXPO: Merchandise Manager WG#1650 Krista Holstrom
Historian WG#295 Sherry Rossiter
Livingston Award Committee Chair WG#202 Diane Dowd
Membership Database Manager WG#718 Cassie Morris
Membership Director WG#388 Deb Sawyer
Military Membership Coordinator WG#1176 Camille Griffin
Silent Auction Chair WG#1764 Holley Gardel
Webmaster WG#1329 Laura McColm
Website Committee WG#31 Danna Henderson
Website Committee WG#1398 Kate Garrison
Whirly-Girls Banner Trustee WG#1711 Joni Schultz

There are ten officers who serve a two-year term on the Whirly-Girls Board of Directors. Every year four or five new officers are elected by the membership. The Immediate Past President remains on the board for another two-year term in an advisory capacity for the incoming President and to provide continuity in the transition process.