The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, in conjunction with duGard Communications, honored the Historic Flight Crew on February 11, 2016 at the Meharry Medical College with a luncheon and panel discussion. When Perri dugard Owens and her great staff contacted us in December about honoring us in February, we were so excited. As many of you know, our historic Flight 5202 took off from Atlanta, GA and landed in Nashville, TN. This would mark the 7th Anniversary of our historic flight. To read more about that day, click HERE.
After a couple of months of coordination, it was finally time for us to make our way to Nashville. We arrived at the airport and was greeted by Grand Avenue transportation that drove us to the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. Once we checked into our rooms and were settled, we proceeded back downstairs of the hotel to meet the fabulous members of the duGard Communications team. It was such a treat to finally meet the faces behind the voices and emails that we’d been corresponding with since December. By now we were starving, so we decided to make our way over to Ruth’s Chris for dinner before we called it a night.
The next morning, our transportation was waiting for us at the hotel to take us to Meharry Medical College where the First In Flight Luncheon and Panel Discussion was taking place in the Cal Turner Family Center. Prior to the start of the festivities, we were able to meet and mingle with some of the guests and also some members of the Airport team. We were also able to conduct several interviews with the local media stations. Entertainment for the event was provided by the MET singers and they were phenomenal!
Davita Taylor, Director, Business Diversity Development and Special Assistant to the President and CEO of The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, served as Mistress of Ceremony. The Welcome was given by Dr. Dexter Samuels. He is the Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Health Policy and Senior Vice President for the Student and Faculty Affairs at Meharry Medical College. He also serves as the Vice Chair for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners. The Greeting was given by Rob Wigington. He is the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.
The panel discussion was moderated by Vicki Yates, who is an Anchor with News Channel 5 in Nashville. Attendees were also able to ask us questions from the audience. Rob Wigington and Davita Taylor conducted the closing remarks and presented us with a Proclamation from the Mayor, Megan Barry. Prior to departing to the airport for our return flights home, we were able to take several photos with attendees, exchange pleasantries, sign autographs, and conduct a few more interviews.
I had such a great time meeting everyone and I was so impressed with duGard Communications. I’m sure I can speak for the other members of the crew on how they rolled out the red carpet for us and truly gave us the VIP treatment. Once again, I’d like to thank Perri duGard Owens and her team along with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the attendees, the city of Nashville, and anyone else that had a hand in making this event a success.
Photographer: Emanuel O. Roland, II
To view interview clips, click HERE.