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Melody Clair Winston expands family’s legacy in business, aviation, real estate

Melody Clair Winston (Photo courtesy of Melody Clair Winston)

Melody Clair Winston is an entrepreneur and expert in commercial real estate and aviation. She currently is executive director of Golden Eagle Aviation, a fixed-base operation that specializes in jet charters, jet maintenance and fuel services. She supervises airfield operations where the renowned Tuskegee Airmen trained and launched successful missions for the U.S. Army during World War II.

Winston also serves as executive director of corporate property assets and director of real estate and construction for Living Word Christian Center. She manages the organization’s multimillion-dollar portfolio of assets, which includes the 33-acre Forest Park Plaza in Forest Park, Illinois, and the 17-acre Washington Plaza in Tuskegee, Alabama.

As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?

My superpowers are turning “pain into progress.” [Being] born at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, [having] an uncle who was a documented Tuskegee Airman and losing my grandfather and mentor in a plane crash created a passion to mentor our youth into positions in the aviation industry.

Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities? 

It is important to be in a position of leadership as a Black woman to show strength and uniqueness, passion and progress. … There are different ways to accomplish inclusiveness and diversity for women.

If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why? 

Clara Bell Williams, my great-great-grandmother and the first  Black woman to graduate from New Mexico State [University].

As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?

Being honored at the 2016 BET Awards with the “Shine A Light Award” for our Legacy Flight Academy Youth Initiative for reaching over 5,000 future minority pilots. Giving and serving others is the ultimate reward in itself.

How can our audience connect with you online?

Twitter: firstborn1

IG:   melody_winston

FB:    Melody Winston, Bill Winston Ministries

www.bwm.org; www.legacyflightacademy.org