Co – Presidents
Born and raised in Quito – Ecuador in the 60’s, aviation was always part of my life. My father formed an airline in late 50’s that was the flag airline for the country for many years.
For my brothers and me, flying was the usual and going from one place to another was the norm. I spend time with my dad and his captains in the cockpit and I was able to see their world with a different view.
I went to Law School and then I moved to the US in the early 80 to study Finance and became a banker for more than 30 years. Banking and Insurance has been part of my life for many years. When I got married, my husband had a private pilot license already so when we moved to California it became natural to become a pilot specially since the weather here gives the opportunity to fly often.
I became very involved with Women of Aviation International Week and I am the only Private Pilot that has a Jefferson Award for Public Service bringing women into the aviation world, in the Bay Area. I am very proud of that accomplishment given to me in March 2014.
The Aviation Industry needs to have more of us out there and as such, I am often talking and presenting in schools about aviation, its relationship to STEM and being able to inspired the future generation of pilots. It is also important to let them know that the aviation industry also includes people in different roles of management, business and engineering.
Pamela Svrdlin has served as Co-President of SFBA Chapter since January 2011. She started flying gliders at 15 and moved to a Cessna 172 at 16. After graduating Truckee High School she planned on going to San Jose State University (SJSU) for Physiology; however, when she got there she realized she really wanted to be an aviation major. In 2007 while in college she co-founded the Women in Aviation Club to help connect her fellow female aviators with each other and the aviation industry. In Spring of 2009 she graduated from SJSU with a BS in Aviation Operations with a Minor in Business. Shortly after graduation she received her Private Pilot Certificate. With the help of Women in Aviation International, she created the Changing the World Scholarship to honor her mentor and friend, Sandra Clifford. In 2011 she received a scholarship through Women in Corporate Aviation and Universal Weather and Aviation to complete her Aircraft Dispatcher’s Certificate. In 2013, she completed her practical exam in Houston, Texas at Universal’s headquarters and received her certificate. Currently she is working at Santa Clara County Airport as the Airport Operations Supervisor. She helps manage Reid Hillview Airport and San Martin Airport.
The fact that Christine’s birth announcement was an airplane makes her path in aviation seem “meant to be”. With a father who is an airline mechanic and an uncle who is a professional pilot, she was immersed in aviation from the start. Flying lessons were a high school graduation gift from her parents and after learning to fly at HWD, she left the area for 20 years to pursue her aviation career. Flight instructor, regional airline pilot, major airline pilot, fractional pilot, first officer, captain, check pilot are all positions she has held. A little over a year ago she returned to her roots in the Bay Area and discovered the wonderful camaraderie of the SF Bay Area Chapter of Women in Aviation. When she isn’t flying a Learjet at work, she is flying her Cessna 140 for fun, hiking with her husband or working towards her BS in Business Aviation Administration.
Dorina is a basic neuroscientist by training and always liked machines and electronics. As a child she was always very enthusiastic when flying to the Greek islands or the annual summer trip to Germany to improve her language skills. It was quite disappointed when every trip ended, because she knew she would be stuck on the ground for several months until the next flight. During one of the trips she had the opportunity to go into the flight deck. Looking at the instruments and the view was very exciting. In high school she remembers looking at the charts of her high school friend’s dad, who was an airline captain for Olympic airlines. She knew she wanted to get involved with aviation, but did not have enough exposure until 2008 when she moved to the Bay area. This was the first time she got exposed to general aviation, taking flying lessons. While saving for the private’s pilot’s license, she is working towards the flight dispatcher license, attends local workshops related to aviation safety, and volunteers for air shows in the Bay area. Her goal is to transition into a career in aviation in the future. As a membership chair her priority is to keep the members of our chapter engaged and help organize local events.
2012 – SFBA members travel to South Africa to support and collaborate with SAWIA, Southern African Women in Aviation & Aerospace.