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Leadership Bios

*Order of Daedalians Bylaw 6.4 (b) was changed in 2020 to have the National Elected Officers who were on the 2020 ballot serve for a two-year term. The bylaw reads, “Unless terminated by death, resignation or removal, elected officers as stipulated above (list of officer positions), shall serve for two years or until their respective successors are elected or appointed and qualified.”

Lt. Col. Olga Custodio, USAFR (Ret)

Lt. Col. Olga Custodio, USAFR (Ret.) is the first Latina U.S. military pilot. Custodio received the HQ AETC Aviation Safety Award for superior airmanship. In 1988, she also became the first Latina pilot for American Airlines and later one of the first Latinas to upgrade to Captain. She is active in Women in Aviation, Int’l, and the Latino Pilots Association. A Daedalian since 2011, a life member and trustee for the Daedalian Foundation for six years.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Owens, USAF (Ret)

Former Vice Commander of Air Education and Training Command. He served as 607th Air Operations Group Commander, Commander of the 36th Wing and Vice Commander of Pacific Air Forces. He is the current President and CEO of Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, Texas. and a past Daedalian National Commander from 2015-2019. A Daedalian since 1983.

Lt. Gen. Mark “Chris” Nowland, USAF (Ret)

With more than 20 years of senior executive leadership experience in business and aerospace operations, Chris brings extraordinary depth as a Board Member. Culminating a 33-year military career as the USAF Director of Ops. He has flown over 3,600 hours in trainers and fighters. He is married to Kristan, a former Air Force Nurse for over 30 years. A Daedalian since 2015.

Honorary Member Bio

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk

Wally Funk, ATP – CFI-AI – MEL – GLIDER – IGI – GS – AIR SAFETY INVESTIGATOR, is being nominated to become an honorary member of the Daedalians. In over sixty years of flying, she has accumulated over 19,600 hours of flying time. She began her first job in aviation at age 20 as a civilian flight instructor of United States Army officers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. She has soloed more than 700 students and put through thousands of Private, Commercial, Multi-engine, Seaplane, Glider, Instrument, CFI, Al and Air Transport Pilots. She was selected for the Women in Space program in 1961 and was rated among the highest of the qualifying candidates also known as the Mercury 13. After six decades of passionately pursuing spaceflight, her dream was fulfilled when she participated in the first manned Blue Origin flight to space in July of 2021. At the age of 82, she became the oldest person to travel to space. Additionally, in 1971, she was the first woman to successfully complete the FAA General Aviation Operations Inspector Academy course, became the first woman promoted to the FAA SWAP program as a specialist in 1973, and in 1974 was the first female Air Safety Investigator with the NTSB. She has made important contributions to aviation safety and been a lifelong advocate of flying, airpower and women in aviation, space and STEM careers. As a public figure, she has been featured in multiple publications and books and given dozens of speeches and presentations to audiences ranging from local schools and civic groups to the United States Coast Guard and the European Space Agency.

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