Highlighting the Women of Air Wisconsin: Part 1

This month, we’re highlighting women throughout our company on our social media channels and asking them to share advice or insight. The hope is that their words will inspire others, guide the next generation, and offer encouragement to anyone who needs it.

In this two-part series, you’ll hear from women whose careers are more commonly top-of-mind when you think of aviation and hear from women whose careers are not. We’ll highlight that women tend to be in the minority when it comes to many aviation careers such as pilot, mechanic, or aircraft dispatcher. Companies like Air Wisconsin and the organizations mentioned in this blog are trying to change that by educating girls and women on the types of opportunities available.

This series will also help amplify the voices of the women already in those roles at Air Wisconsin Airlines, providing an example and inspiration for anyone who chooses aviation as their career path. Please join us in celebrating and acknowledging the contributions made by these outstanding women.

Photo taken pre-pandemic.

As an A&P Mechanic, Kassidy performs maintenance and repairs various parts of the aircraft including working on the engine. This is a very technical job that requires problem-solving skills, the ability to troubleshoot complex problems, and the right certifications. Kassidy loves her job and plays a hands-on role in keeping our operation safe and on-time. She is one of the few female aircraft mechanics in the United States.

In December 2019, only 2.5% of aircraft mechanics in the US were women, according to the FAA. Out of all of the possible careers in aviation, this one has the smallest percentage of women. Many companies like Air Wisconsin are emphasizing the need for more diversity in the field and raising awareness.

Kassidy hopes more women pursue this rewarding career and reminds us all to find our support system. No one accomplishes anything alone.

“Always gaining knowledge and moving forward is what I love about my career. I have earned my place, but I was not walking alone. The individuals that stood by me and lent a helping hand when I needed it will always have my utmost appreciation and gratitude. Tomorrow is why I love working in this industry. Each day is brand new.”

– Kassidy Wykoff
Photo taken pre-pandemic.

Sonji discovered her passion for aviation by chance. When she graduated from high school, she wanted to become a Registered Nurse. After taking some business classes, Sonji started to lean toward Human Resources Management. But it wasn’t until she was hired as a Ramp Fleet Service Clerk with a mainline carrier that she realized how much she loved the fast-paced aviation industry.

Although she had jobs in other industries after, Sonji still loved aviation and eventually joined our team. Now, Sonji supports our largest crew base and positively impacts the lives of countless people every day. By supporting our crew members, they are better able to take care of our passengers.

Sonji reminds us that the people you work with every day make a world of difference. Find your work family.

“I am very proud of my strong work ethic and my ability to be a team player for the Inflight/Flight team. I am valued. Knowing that my work family appreciates what I do in the office daily motivates me… Follow your dreams, and never compromise your integrity.  Every step that you take in life is not easy, but always remain authentic. Figure out your purpose, and strive to reach it. Nothing happens overnight, so be patient with the process.  Don’t let your attitude determine your altitude. Be accountable for your actions. Don`t judge others, and encourage others who need direction in this journey called life.”  

— Sonji Nicholas
Photo taken pre-pandemic.

Interested in aviation? Take First Officer Trista’s advice and get involved with an aviation-based organization to explore the many different paths available. She suggests Women in Aviation International, which is the largest and most well-known. Other female-led aviation organizations include but are not limited to Sisters of the Skies and the Ninety-Nines.

If you want to fly as a career, you also have numerous options. During her career, Trista was a flight instructor, flew scenic tours, was part of a fire patrol team, flew corporate flights, and currently flies commercial flights for us under the United Express banner. In December 2019, 7.9% of pilots in the United States were women, according to the FAA. That number is slowly growing as more companies like Air Wisconsin and our partner United Airlines commit to encouraging girls and women to explore aviation and other opportunities in STEM.

Your journey is unique. Find the path that works for you and go for it! Trista is proof that childhood dreams come true if you’re willing to work hard and believe in yourself.

“I would highly recommend getting involved in one of the female aviation organizations like Women in Aviation International. These organizations provide several benefits and opportunities to members such as scholarships, networking, and mentoring… I love so many aspects of working in aviation… Being an airline pilot is all I’ve ever wanted to be since I was 8 years old. Every time an airplane would fly overhead, I would look up in amazement. Now whenever I step into the flight deck, I’m still just as amazed that this is my career. Being responsible for 50 passengers in a multi-million dollar aircraft is a huge privilege.”

— First Officer Trista Higgins
Cori pictured with her son.

Behind-the-scenes members of our Maintenance team like Cori make up about 30% of our Maintenance department at Air Wisconsin. As the Program Manager of Aircraft Components, Cori’s job impacts our entire operation. She manages all of the repairable components from our aircraft that are sent to third-party vendors for repair. Additionally, Cori ensures these vendors meet or exceed the standards set by our Maintenance Program. She also works closely with other internal departments to verify inventory levels are sufficient to support the operation.

Like many people, it took Cori some time to discover what she really wanted to do as a career. Inspired by her mother, she kept looking until she found one that fit. Cori teaches us not to settle—find something you’re passionate about.

“I would have never guessed that I’d end up in the aviation industry. I grew up watching my mom’s unwavering passion and dedication to her career and knew I wouldn’t be satisfied until I found an industry I was as passionate about. I changed my career path countless times during college until I found the right fit in aviation, and I haven’t looked back. I strive to emulate her passion and dedication and pass this along to my kids. Whether my kids are 5, 17, or 30, I want them to always look for that ‘perfect fit’ in whatever they do in life.”

– Cori Fuller

Lisa was born to soar in the sky. Like many people who become Flight Attendants, she was never interested in the 9-5 lifestyle. Traveling and meeting new people is exciting and a much better way to spend the day. You also have the chance to build strong, life-long friendships with fellow crew members.

Lisa also enjoys taking care of others, which is why being a Flight Attendant is so rewarding. Not only do you help transport people to important events and fun vacations, but you’re primarily responsible for their safety. Lisa reminds us that there’s a whole world to explore and plenty of opportunities for anyone who doesn’t want to sit at a desk all day.

“I love being a Flight Attendant as I love to travel and love customer service. You are always meeting different people from around the world. Come join the friendly skies with me, and I promise you never want to go back to any other job.”

– Lisa Hopkins

Click HERE to read part two. You’ll learn more about the different career paths available within aviation and meet more of the women who help make Air Wisconsin a leader in the regional airline industry.

Explore all of our career opportunities HERE.

Be sure to follow us on our social media channels!

Enjoy Our Coloring Pages

Spending more time at home can be challenging during the pandemic, especially if you have younger children. We wanted to help! If you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids (or for yourself), check out our coloring pages.

We have four different designs below and a one page .pdf that combines all of the art to conserve paper. These were designed to fill an entire 8.5” x 11” page. You can select “fit to page” or “fill page” when printing for optimum results.

Be sure to share the masterpieces on social media and tag us @AirWisconsin or #AirWisconsin.

Happy Coloring!




Air Wisconsin Gives Back

Air Wisconsin has roots all over the country thanks to our employees. It’s part of our mission to give back to the communities where our team members live and work through various programs. During the holiday season, our company adopts a family or two every year through the Salvation Army at our headquarters, but it doesn’t stop there. Charitable giving occurs year round.

Gift Matching

We want to help support the causes that matter to our employees. Air Wisconsin will match monetary donations to 501(c) (3) charities. This allows us to positively impact many different causes, both at the national level and ones that are local to our team members.

Teams Giving Back

When people volunteer their time to better their community, everyone wins. Air Wisconsin gives groups of employees the opportunity to spend the work day volunteering instead of in the office, hangar or airplane. Employees who have participated say it’s a rewarding way to spend the day.

Charity Golf Outing

This annual summer event is held near our headquarters to support the local The Boys and Girls Brigade youth center. Employees system-wide are invited to attend if they are able.

Location Initiatives

Our bases often take it upon themselves to put together drives or events that give back to the local communities throughout the year. In Milwaukee, our team held a school supply drive and collected items over the summer for children in lower income areas. Our team in Chicago adopted a stretch of highway near one of our crew hotels, and groups volunteer for clean up duty when the weather is nice. Our management team in Washington Dulles and some wonderful crewmembers worked with United to make a flight extra special for a Make-A-Wish child who was on the way to having her wish come true.

Members of our crew in Milwaukee posing with donated school supplies.

Thank you to all of our employees for helping us make a difference! If you’re interested in learning more about career opportunities available at Air Wisconsin, go to www.airwis.com/careers.

What to Expect in Your Flight Attendant Interview

How exciting! You’ve been invited to interview for a Flight Attendant position with Air Wisconsin. Here’s what to expect and some tips on how to land your dream job.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Flight Attendant? It’s probably how personable they are. In addition to playing an important role in the safety of our passengers, you will also interact with people from all different places, with all different personalities. It’s no accident that your interview begins sitting in a circle with all of the other candidates. 

Our September 2019 Flight Attendant Class visiting our maintenance hangar in Appleton, WI.

While this probably isn’t like other job interviews you’ve had, it’s an important part of our interview process. Our recruiters and members of our Inflight training team want to see how well you interact with others. Things will start off with an ice breaker question, and the group might participate in an exercise together.

During this process, the Air Wisconsin team will decide who moves on to one-on-one interviews. Being on-time, dressing appropriately, and positively interacting with other candidates are what they are hoping to see. 

The next part of the interview process will feel more familiar. We’ll review your resume with you and ask different types of questions to determine if we are a good fit for each other. If we believe we are, we’ll offer you the job on spot.

Just remember to be yourself and have fun in your interview. Good luck!

Explore all of our open positions at www.airwis.com/careers.