Elling Halvorson Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award

Lauren Sánchez is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and news anchor who began her career working in local news while studying at the University of Southern California. Following a successful national television career, Laurens love of aviation truly took flight. Laurens father, a former flight instructor who still flies to this day, instilled in her a passion for aviation. He inspired Lauren to get her pilots license and fulfill her dream of becoming a pilot, which ultimately led her to found Black Ops Aviation in 2016. 
A true trailblazer, Black Ops Aviation is one of the first female-owned and operated aerial film and production companies with a focus across television and film. Later this year, Lauren is taking part in what will be a historic all female space flight aboard Blue Origins, New Shepard.  
Lauren is also a dedicated philanthropist — serving as Vice Chair of the Bezos Earth Fund which is dedicated to fighting climate change and the protection of nature.
As a Latina, Lauren champions efforts to enhance opportunities for all Latinos. In 2023, she was honored for her work in support of educational and critical needs programs with  This is About Humanity, an organization dedicated to supporting separated and reunified families at the U.S.-Mexico border. She is also deeply involved in the Day 1 Families Fund, which helps U.S. homeless families, and Bezos Academy, which provides tuition-free preschool education in underserved communities. 
Whether taking flight in a helicopter or working to change the world through her charitable endeavors, Lauren Sánchez is devoted to improving the lives of others.