DES MOINES, Iowa - America’s first Black female combat pilot, former Marine, author and consultant, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour will headline the 2021 Women Lead Change Central Iowa Conference on Oct. 27-28, 2021, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Virtual registration is open until Oct. 22 at “Flygirl” Armour replaces previously announced closing keynote speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones.

A gutsy trailblazer, her resume is an impressive collection of “firsts” including America’s first Black female combat pilot. She served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. She was also a diversity liaison officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps. After her military service, FlyGirl revved up her career in the private sector as an entrepreneur, consultant to business, and author of Zero to Breakthrough, The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for
Accomplishing Goals that Matter
In 2007, FlyGirl launched VAI Consulting & Training, LLC. Through that work, she helps individuals and organizations make gutsy moves and create breakthrough results by applying her “Zero to BreakthroughTM” Success Model – a mindset that helped to propel her career and kept her safe in air combat. As her newest business venture, in 2020 FlyGirl started FlyGirl Construction, a General Contracting Firm in the Atlanta, GA area.
As a Black gay woman and single mom, FlyGirl brings vital experience to her role as a member of the Forbes School of Business & Technology Board of Advisors and COMCAST/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She has two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards as a pioneering pilot, including honors for her commanding role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
EMC Insurance is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2021 Central Iowa Conference. Also scheduled to appear are Selena Rezvani, Jennifer Pastiloff, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Mariana Atencio, Judi Holler, Brad Johnson, David Smith, Laura Vanderkam, and breakout sessions featuring local experts
IWLC d/b/a Women Lead Change is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement, development and promotion of women, their organizations and to impacting the economy and future workforce. For more information visit