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Documents | 2013 WFA Submission

2013 Woodie Flowers Award - Ms. Wendy Holladay


Through 8 years of turmoil and triumph for Team 1912 Combustion, Wendy Holladay has always shone brightly as a steadfast beacon for FIRST. Through success and failure alike, this indomitable veteran never wavered in support of the team which she founded, nurtured, and forever changed. Years of fiery service have publicized her face to every regional FIRST team and volunteer. Her brand of tough dedication and firm, experienced guidance has taught generations of Combustion alumni invaluable STEM skills and led our FIRST community to incredible heights.

Ms. Holladay's years of technical experience make her the lead electrical mentor and our most trusted practical advisor. She embodies communication by training eager new students to program, wire, and troubleshoot. As a lead website and SPHERES mentor with 4 years of Beta Testing service, this 2012 Beta Test Superstar mentors 1912 and local teams with new FRC hardware and software. Ms. Holladay guides 1912 through both the electrical and mechanical design process, and inspires every 1912er with her stern work ethic and eye for scheduling and detail.

Yet her technical expertise tells only half the story. After several particularly tumultuous seasons, Ms. Holladay remade 1912 from perennial loser to regional outreach leader. Always stepping up to coordinate robot demos, she encourages students to pursue new contacts and community work. She has directly organized most of 1912's outreach and fundraising, including the keystone Science and Rocket Camps, Capitol visits, Special Olympics, and green projects. Ms. Holladay motivates countless students to volunteer at demos, speak to sponsors, and craft competitive award essays, videos, scrapbooks, and outreach materials.

Her extensive work across the FIRST family of programs makes her one of the area's best known mentors. Her Ignition Team initiative has founded many FRC, FLL, and JrFLL teams, and she was the first head reviewer and organizer at the 2012 JrFLL State Expo. She promoted FLL as a volunteer at 3 State Competitions and head coordinator of the 2012 Combustion FLL Qualifier. Ms. Holladay also partnered with local schools for 3 years of Science and Rocket Camps. For 6 past Jumpstarts, she has ensured that dozens of rookie teams left with driving robots. From kickoff to competition, numerous teams have relied on her boundless gracious professionalism to untangle messy control boards and wade through LabVIEW code.

Every facet of Team 1912 and our FIRST community is illuminated by her tireless dedication. A 30-year NASA Stennis Space Center engineer and the E3 Electrical Test Stand lead, 1912's wise matriarch also mentored 5 NASA interns (2 FRC alumni) and 1 NASA engineer. Ms. Holladay lifted our team from failure to success and uses her unique communication skills to spark 1912 season after season. With her FIRST connections, volunteering, and model status as a strong engineering woman, Wendy Holladay fuels every bit of our Combustion fire.