Senior Airport Planner, Autumn Ward, based out of ESA’s Tampa office was inducted to the Board of Directors for the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society (TJDAS). Established in 1964 by the Tampa and St. Petersburg Chambers of Commerce, the TJDAS recognizes outstanding contributors to the growth and improvement of the scheduled airline industry.

Tony Jannus is credited with helping to create the world’s first commercial airline—now a multi-billion-dollar industry—when on January 1, 1914, he piloted a flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa charging his lone passenger, Mayor Abe Pheil of St. Petersburg, $5.00 for the 23-minute ride.

Today, his namesake organization awards nearly $20,000 a year in scholarship funds to students pursuing careers in aviation at colleges and universities, and recognizes one distinguished individual for outstanding contributions to scheduled air transportation at its annual gala event. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, who most notably served as Captain for the miraculous landing on the Hudson River that saved 155 people; Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic airline; and U.S. Congressman James L. Oberstar who served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during his 36 years in the House, among many others.

Please join us in congratulating Autumn on her new appointment!