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April 12, 2018

'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot Capt. Sully Sullenberger to give Spring Meeting keynote

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, the "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot, will give the evening keynote address at the 2018 Spring Meeting. Tickets are now available for this May 15-16 event, which is being held this year for the first time in the new Davenport Grand hotel on the Spokane River waterfront.

AWB's Spring Meeting will feature an iconic leader, Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot whose "Miracle on the Hudson" captivated the world and was made into a 2016 motion picture starring Tom Hanks.

Sullenberger will give the keynote address at the Spring Meeting, to be held May 15-16 at a new location, the Davenport Grand Hotel in downtown Spokane. Reserve tickets now for the two-day event and Sullenberger's keynote address.

A lifetime of preparation and a rock-solid dedication to what he calls "leadership by personal example" helped Sullenberger glide the disabled US Airways Flight 1549 and save the lives of his 150 passengers and five crew members on Jan. 15, 2009. When a flock of birds disabled his plane's engines moments after takeoff on a flight from New York, Sullenberger assessed the facts and made the unprecedented decision to land the aircraft on the only open spot available -- the Hudson River. An immersive website associated with the film "Sully" details every one of the 208 harrowing seconds between that impact with the birds and the touchdown in the river.

That successful landing attracted international attention and acclaim, but it came from a unique life of preparation and experience.

His lifetime fascination with flight began at age 5; by age 16, he had completed his first solo flight. A former Air Force fighter pilot, Sullenberger had spent nearly 30 years as a commercial pilot. He was a specialist in accident investigations and instructed flight crews in how to respond to a crisis in the air.

"I think in many ways, as it turned out, my entire life up to that moment had been in preparation to handle that particular moment," he told Katie Couric on 60 Minutes.

Sullenberger is the bestselling author of the #1 New York Times best-selling "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters" and "Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America's Leaders."

Sullenberger is a highly sought-after public speaker, and has addressed groups including Hewlett Packard, Siemens, AT&T and the Cox Media Group.

"I've tried to do in my life what I've encouraged others to do. To never stop investing in yourselves, never stop learning, never stop growing, either professionally or personally. I think that's become an economic necessity. As the pace of change globally only accelerates, most of us cannot get through an entire working lifetime with only a single skillset. Instead we have to keep on learning, growing, stretching ourselves, sometimes reinventing ourselves," Sullenberger said in one talk.

He uses his own life's example -- including the decades of preparation that helped him successfully accomplish the "Miracle on the Hudson -- to discuss with audiences how education, teamwork, preparation and creating a culture of quality and safety can improve any organization.

"Sully kept his wits about him when everything was going wrong and negotiated the problem without panicking and that takes a superior person," said Clint Eastwood, who directed "Sully." "I can see why he became such an iconic figure. He’s the kind of guy that can walk into a room and instill confidence that everything’s under control."

Mark your calendars for May 15 and 16, when AWB's Spring Meeting will be held at the Davenport Grand in downtown Spokane. AWB's discounted room block is now open for reservations, so don't miss the opportunity to reserve a space in this luxurious new hotel adjacent to Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls.

Learn more and reserve your space here.

In this video clip, Sullenberger talks about his experience, the meaning of innovation, and turning adversity into opportunity: