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Governor Abbott appointed Sharon Denny, Amy Gowder, Cathy Kilmain, J.Ross Lacy, Robert Mitchell and Terry Stevens to the Aerospace and Aviation Advisory Committee for terms to expire September 1, 2017. He has also appointed John Elbon, Robert Harless, Janine Iannarelli and Gilberto Salinas for terms to expire September 1, 2019. The Governor additionally named Janine Iannarelli as presiding officer. The Committee assists in the state’s economic development efforts to recruit and retain aerospace and aviation jobs and investments in Texas.

Gilberto Salinas of Brownsville is executive vice president of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. He is a board member of the International Economic Development Council and a member of TexasOne, Team Texas and the Texas Economic DC. Previously, he served as city editor of The Brownsville Herald and as marketing coordinator for the Brownsville Public Utilities Board. Salinas received a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas and Master of Communication from the University of Texas Pan-American.

Sharon Denny of McKinney is vice president of Strategy for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. She previously served as vice president for Strategic Growth and Integration for Raytheon Technical Services Company (RTSC). Prior to her position at RTSC, Denny was director of Raytheon Company’s corporate strategy, where she led the company’s market intelligence efforts, among other strategic growth-related responsibilities. She is member and has served on the advisory board of Women in International Security, a nonprofit organization that promotes the influence of women in foreign and defense affairs. She also serves on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Advisory Council on Aerospace. Denny received a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science in natural resource management strategy from the National Defense University in Washington D.C.

Amy L. Gowder of San Antonio is vice president of Supply Chain Management for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. Previously, she was president & general manager of Lockheed Martin Commercial Engine Solutions. Gowder also served as director of Affordability for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. She is a member of the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame and was named by Aviation Week Network as a top 40 under 40 aviation executive. She received a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering from Arizona State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Fellows Program.

Cathy Kilmain, Ph. D. of North Richland Hills is the executive vice president of engineering for Bell Helicopter, where she leads the engineering organization and is responsible for providing strategic direction for designing, developing and integrating technologies for use in Bell Helicopter’s current and next generation products. Previously, she served as vice president of XWORKS and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation for Bell Helicopter. She is a member of the Expanding Your Horizons Program, designed to encourage young women to pursue careers in science and engineering. Additionally, she is a member of the American Helicopter Society, where she served as the deputy director of Vehicle Integrity on the Technical Council and the southwest director at large on the board of directors. Kilmain received a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Syracuse University and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

J.Ross Lacy of Midland is the president of Lacy Oil Corporation, and is a Midland city councilman representing District 4. He also serves as president of the Midland Spaceport Development Corporation Board and is a member of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Development Board, John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute Advisory Council, University of Texas Permian Basin College of Business and Engineering Advisory Board and the Junior Achievement of the Permian Basin Board of Directors. Lacy received a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Bob Mitchell of Pearland is president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. He also serves on numerous boards including the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, University of Texas Medical Branch Health System Advisory Board, Texas A&M University at Galveston Board of Visitors. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the Manned Spaceflight Education Foundation, Inc., HCA Gulf Coast Regional Advisory Board, Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Board of Advisors, and Gulf Coast Limestone, Inc.

Terry Stevens of Waco is a partner of First Title Company of Waco, LLC, and President/CEO of M&I Industries, Inc. He currently serves as chair of the McLennan County Spaceport Development Corp and is a director of Cool City Avionics of Mineral Wells. He is a past chairman of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a director on the Chamber’s Community Foundation. Additionally, Stevens serves on the chamber’s Economic Development Retention & Expansion Committee. Stevens is a former mayor and city council member of Woodway, Texas, and has served as a board member and chairman of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.

John Elbon of Seabrook is vice president and general manager of Space Exploration at Boeing overseeing the strategic direction of civil space programs, and support of various NASA programs such as the International Space Station (ISS), Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program, and the Space Launch System. Previously, he served as vice president of Systems Integration for the United States Army’s Future Combat Systems at Boing, and as the program manager for several NASA programs including Constellation, ISS, and the Checkout, Assembly & Payload Processing Services contract at Kennedy Space Center. Elbon received a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Robert Harless of Dallas is vice president and general manager of the Gulfstream Service Facility. Previously, he has served the Gulfstream Corporation in Brunswick, GA as an aircraft mechanic, airworthiness inspector, and crew chief. Harless received a Bachelor of Arts in applied science from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ. 

Janine K. Iannarelli of Houston is the founder and president of Par Avion Ltd. She is a current member of the National Business Aviation Association, European Business Aviation Association, Houston Aviation Advisory Association, Women in Aviation International, and the American Marketing Association. She is a board member of Mercury, The Orchestra Redefined and a past board member of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. She also serves as an ambassador for Texas Children’s Hospital and is a founding member of the Peace Parks Foundation of Stellenbosch, South Africa. She was named by the Fort Worth Business Press as a Great Woman of Texas in 2011. Iannarelli received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Montclair State University, New Jersey.

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