Introduction to Kristina Stuber
In honor of Military Appreciation Month, we want to introduce you to Kristina Stuber, Director of Development at Wings Over the Rockies™, who served in the Air Force and Maine National Guard. She talks about her military service, the impact of her service on her career and how her current role aligns with her passion for education.
Tell us about your military background.
My military background starts in my childhood. I am the daughter of retired Army Colonel and granddaughter of a retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4. I joined the Air Force after high school as an air traffic controller for 2.5 years and served in the Maine Air National Guard while I attended college for four years.
How does your military background shape your career today?
When you come from a family with a military history like mine it’s easy to get caught up in comparing experiences. For instance, my grandfather was on a Coast Guard cutter, The USCGC Taney, on the day of the bombing in Pearl Harbor and I was an air traffic controller in the Midwest. My Dad was flying gunships in Vietnam at the same age I was when I was just hoping I’d pass the weather section of my FAA exam.
What I have realized through my experience is that there are a lot of different ways to serve, and they are all important. There is a saying “if serving is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.” My time in the military is when I began to understand what that meant. While my military service is far behind me, I continue to lean into that philosophy by spending most of my career in the nonprofit sector and serving the community through volunteer work that focuses on public education and veteran’s advocacy.
What was the most rewarding part about serving in the military? What was the most challenging?
There are many rewarding parts of my service from the opportunity to see new places and meet new people to becoming an air traffic controller at age 18. The most challenging part of my military service was definitely that weather certification to become an air traffic controller. Ugh. It was also tough to be an 18-year-old woman entering a male-dominated industry where I was often the only female in the room. Yet, completing my training – and passing the weather certification – to become an air traffic controller at such a young age was also very rewarding.
Tell us about your role as Director of Development at Wings over the Rockies.
As Director of Development, I oversee all fundraising, sponsorship, grants, and membership for Wings Over the Rockies. I can’t say I ever thought I would use my aviation and Air Traffic Control knowledge after the military, yet here I am. This role combines my aviation experience with my passion for education. Wings has phenomenal education programs inspiring students to get involved and pursue careers in aerospace and aviation. It’s exciting to be at a spot in my life where my history aligns with my passions.
Is Wings doing anything special to recognize Military Appreciation month?
Every day Wings offers a Military/Veteran discount on general admission at both Wings locations. During Military Appreciation Month, Wings is offering a 20% discounted membership for the month of May for all veterans, active duty, and retired military. Also, we will be hosting a Warbird Invasion Showcase at Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight on Saturday, May 27th. This is an opportunity to see various types of warbirds used for military invasions on static display. More details about that event can be found here.