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Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour kicks off 2011 Pillars Of America Speaker Series
Published: 04/21/2011 19:35:00
The annual Pillars Of America Speakers Series kicked off this week at centennial hall Wednesday lunch time.

We spoke with organizer Leslie Dahl about the series. "Pillars is a speakers series that we've been hosting for 19 years now, and we bring folks to Juneau to speak to the young people and to the business community about their accomplishments. And they're all people that have either overcome great odds, or accomplished amazing things; primarily because of being citizens of the United States" said Dahl.

The first speaker this year was Vernice Armor; America's first African-American female combat pilot and a former captain in the United States Marines. She speaks at about 70 presentations a year around the country and the world. When offered the chance to visit Juneau, she jumped at the chance to spread her message of empowerment.

Armour told us about the focus of her speech: "What I speak about really the fundamentals are a breakthrough mentality, refusing to settle, even in the smallest of moments and demanding a breakthrough life. I like to call it unleashing the combat pilot inside and breaking your own personal sound barrier."

Glacier Valley Rotary Club has about 60 members, most of whom are involved in hosting the Pillars Series. The other two local Rotary Clubs are also amongst the sponsors of the program that has spread to two other places in the state.

Dahl comments: "Well, we're really proud of it. And I think the community is very lucky to have this caliber of speaker come to Juneau, and that's why we did it in the first place is so that people will get to see speakers they wouldn't normally get to see. And this year's line up is fantastic and folks should not miss it."

There are 2 more Pillars speakers the next 2 Wednesdays at Centennial Hall.

"Do what average people do, you'll have what average people have. I don't want to be average, do you? So what do we have to do to engage in our lives? I like to say that you HAVE permission to engage. I didn't give it to you; you have it on the inside. Once you do that, you're cleared hot." Adds Armour.

By: Mikko Wilson -