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Akron Native Joins Ranks of Remarkable Women
AKRON, Ohio, September 22, 2016 – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced today that businesswoman, philanthropist, wife and mother Savannah James will christen Wingfoot Two, the newest addition to its fleet of world famous Goodyear blimps in a ceremony to be held on Friday, October 21, in Suffield, Ohio.
“Savannah’s Akron-born roots and passion for improving the local community made her a natural choice to christen Wingfoot Two,” said Goodyear Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Richard J. Kramer. “Goodyear has a long-standing tradition of enlisting strong, accomplished women to christen our iconic airships, and we are proud to welcome Savannah to the family.”
Goodyear has recognized noteworthy women for nearly a century through the tradition of christening Goodyear blimps. Celebrated aviator Amelia Earhart (1929), astronaut Dr. Sally Ride (2000) and president of International Speedway Corp. Lesa France Kennedy (2006) are among those who have christened a Goodyear blimp. Robin Roberts, award-winning co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” served as the most recent christener, of Wingfoot One in 2014.
“I feel absolutely honored to be a part of this christening,” said James. “With Goodyear being so much a part of Akron and our Foundation always wanting to better our community, I feel like it is a perfect match. Goodyear means so much to our community, and we feel a sense of gratitude to be part of this amazing event.”
James was born and raised in Akron, where she met her future husband, LeBron James, while in high school. An active volunteer for the LeBron James Family Foundation since it was founded in 2004, she turned her commitment to philanthropy and her community into the I PROMise Makeover, an annual event started in 2013 that empowers and inspires young women. Also, James is currently preparing to launch a mentor program for young women in Akron, beginning with students at her high school alma mater, Buchtel High School.
While rich in history, the Goodyear blimps continue to bring innovation to the skies. In 2014, Wingfoot One was introduced as the first of three new, advanced airships and marked the first major structural design change of a Goodyear airship in nearly 70 years.
New features include enhanced aerial television coverage capabilities, increased flight range to cover more of fans’ favorite events and a larger in-flight passenger experience with unparalleled panoramic views.
Since 1917, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles for public relations and defense applications, many built at the Suffield facility.
Goodyear, founded in 1898 in Akron, is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 66,000 people and manufactures its products in 49 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com.