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L. Welch Pogue Award Dinner Honoring Gary C. Kelly

  • September 10, 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Jones Day, 300 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20001
  • 10

Registration

  • Table of 10
    One (additional) attendee seated at VIP/head table(s)
    Recognition at event
    Recognition on website
    Recognition in event materials
    Preferred seating (front of room)
    Opportunity to display sponsor materials at event
    (Commitment must be received by September 1 for event recognition)
  • Table of 10
    Recognition at event
    Recognition on website
    Recognition in event materials
    Preferred seating (mid-room)
    (Commitment must be received by September 1 for event recognition)
  • Table of 10
    Recognition at event
    Recognition on website
    Recognition in event materials
    (Commitment must be received by September 1 for event recognition)
  • One ticket to the event

Register

L. Welch Pogue Award Dinner

The prestigious annual L. Welch Pogue Award for lifetime achievement in aviation will be presented to Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Southwest Airlines Gary Kelly, on Tuesday, September 10, 2024.

The first L. Welch Pogue Award was presented in 1994 to its namesake, the former chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board and a U.S. delegate to the Chicago Convention, which created the legal blueprint for post-World War II expansion of commercial aviation.

Gary Kelly joins a long line of preeminent L. Welch Pogue Award winners who have helped shape modern international commercial air transportation.

The L. Welch Pogue Award is jointly presented by the International Aviation Club, Aviation Week Network, and Jones Day.

Schedule of Events

5:30 p.m. -- Reception

6:45 p.m. -- Call to Dinner

7:00 p.m. -- Dinner and Presentations

Gary Kelly is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Southwest Airlines. Most recently, Gary served as Southwest’s Chief Executive Officer for 18 years from 2004 through January 2022. Under Gary’s leadership, Southwest grew to become the nation’s largest airline in terms of originating domestic passengers carried and is a mainstay on Fortune magazine’s list of the most admired companies in the world, ranking 39th in 2024. 

Gary began his career at Southwest Airlines in 1986 as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO in 2001, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. Gary assumed the roles of Chairman and President in 2008. Gary started his career in 1977 as a CPA for Arthur Young & Company in Dallas.

Southwest Airlines enjoyed an unprecedented streak of 47 consecutive years of profitability until 2020—a record unmatched in the commercial aviation industry. Southwest ranked as the highest Low-Cost Carrier for Customer Satisfaction in the J.D. Power North American Satisfaction Study for the fourth year in a row in 2020 and has been named as one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to work for the past 13 consecutive years.

Gary’s biggest source of pride is the fact that Southwest Airlines has never had a single layoff in the airline’s 50-plus-year history. Gary pioneered the airline’s transformation through several major initiatives, including the acquisition of AirTran Airways, the repeal of the Wright Amendment, the launch of international destinations for the first time in Southwest’s history, the installment of a new reservation system, and the launch of service to Hawaii in 2019—all while staying true to the Company’s core values and People-centric Culture.        

Gary has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including the 2020 Philanthropic Leadership Award by the Ireland Funds; 2017 Wings Club Distinguished Achievement Award; 2017 Junior Achievement Dallas Business Hall of Fame; 2016 Texas Business Hall of Fame; and 2016 Tony Jannus Award. Gary was twice named D CEO Magazine’s CEO of the Year; he has been named one of the best CEOs in America by Institutional Investor magazine three times. Gary was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010, and the UT McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame in 2013. Gary received the 2013 Father of the Year Award and the 2013 McLane Leadership in Business Award at Texas A&M University.    

Gary recently retired from the Board of Airlines for America, the airline industry advocacy group, where he served as Chairman from 2012-2014 and 2020-2022. Gary is a member of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Board, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Board, the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Dallas Roundtable, the Business Council, and the Southwestern Medical Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Dallas Citizen’s Council and an appointee to the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, since 2022.

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