The International Society of Women Airline Pilots was initially formed as a social club in 1978.
It was the dream of two women, Beverley Bass (American Airlines) and Stephanie Wallach (Braniff Airways), both of whom were living in New York City in 1977. They met on several occasions and discussed the possibility of organizing a meeting of the new female pilots who were being hired by the various airlines.
In early 1978 a group of female pilots were invited to attend a Zonta meeting honoring Amelia Earhart in Washington DC. It was at that event that Beverley and Stephanie presented their idea of creating a female airline pilot organization to the pilots in attendance. It was well received and they quickly began to formulate a plan to move forward. Mary Bush (Hughes Airwest) suggested they have the first meeting in Las Vegas, where she was based, and she would arrange it.
Beverley and Stephanie returned to New York to draft a letter that was subsequently sent to the chief pilot of each airline that employed female pilots. Mary Bush (Hughes Airwest) returned home to Las Vegas to arrange the first meeting. A coworker suggested she contact Claudia Simpson (Continental Airlines) which she did, and shortly thereafter Claudia was able to secure the Circus Circus Hotel as our meeting site and arrange for meeting space and accommodations for the attendees. Continental Airlines sponsored the luncheon for the 21 charter members who were in attendance at the first ISA convention in May 1978.
Beverley Bass (American Airlines)
Stephanie Wallach (Braniff Airways)
Emily Howell Warner
*Last names as of 1978