First female African American combat pilot delivers inspiring speech

Last updated on January 17th, 2020 at 06:08 am

Tina Hodges, CEO/CXO of Advance Financial; Vernice ‘FlyGirl’ Armour; and Mike Hodges, chairman of Advance Financial. FlyGirl is the first female African American combat pilot who now shares her experiences as a motivational speaker.

Vernice ‘FlyGirl’ Armour, the first African American combat pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces, visited local financial services company Advance Financial last week to share her message with employees about engagement, overcoming obstacles and accomplishing goals.

“I’m so glad our employees had the opportunity to hear FlyGirl speak,” said Tina Hodges, chief executive and chief experience officer for Advance Financial. “Her dynamic speech left us all feeling empowered to, as she put it, ‘bloom where we’re planted’ and provide fantastic service to our customers.”

FlyGirl, who grew up in Tennessee and attended Middle Tennessee State University before serving two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, spoke at Advance Financial’s annual management camp. She encouraged employees to give themselves permission to truly engage with their work, their customers and each other. Once the team is engaged, they are ‘Cleared Hot’ to breakthrough and achieve unimaginable results. ‘Cleared Hot’ is a military term for when a soldier has permission to fire on a target. In her presentation, FlyGirl translated those combat tenets and practices, making them applicable as corporate leadership and organizational success tools.

FlyGirl’s visit to Advance Financial during its monthly management camp is just one of the many growth opportunities Advance Financial provides for its employees. Hodges believes it’s important to constantly give employees development opportunities to keep them engaged and help them advance through the company.