Marlena Exposito

Exposito, Marlena 4829034_4004829034

Title: Airline Pilot
Company: Southwest Airlines
Location: Dawson, Georgia, United States

Marlena Exposito, Airline Pilot at Southwest Airlines, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in aviation.

Ms. Exposito’s infatuation with aviation commenced at the age of five when she got on a plane from Los Angeles to Atlanta following the San Fernando Earthquake of 1971. She recalls holding her father’s hand at the airport as she gaped in awe at a Delta 747, and he told her, “There is nothing you can’t do. If you want to go to the moon, you can. If you want to fly airplanes, you can.” From that day, Ms. Exposito had a passion for flight and dreamt of one day flying her own plane. Today, Ms. Exposito is regarded as the only Cuban-born female airline pilot in the United States, and she is honored to represent her family who fled Cuba in order to offer her greater opportunities in life.

Since 2007, Ms. Exposito has excelled as a safe and skilled pilot with Southwest Airlines, as well as with AirTrain Airways. She gained prior experience working as a pilot for Atlantic Southeast Airlines from 2002 to 2007 and Aircraft Solutions Inc. from 2000 to 2002. Ms. Exposito also served as a certified flight instructor at the Flight School of Gwinnett, Inc., the institution where she received her private pilot certification in aviation in 2000. She was hired by Aircraft Parters Inc. and flew corporate jets with them and several other private and corporate companies until she was hired by Atlantic Southeast Airlines in August of 2002. While freelance corporate flying, the companies she flew for included Panoz, Honey Baked Ham, etc. from June 2001 to August 2002.

Before spearheading her pilot career at the age of 33, Ms. Exposito spent the 1990s as an NAUI scuba diving instructor for Silent World Dive Center and Low Key Water Sports, Inc in Key Largo, Florida and the United States Virgin Islands. Additionally, in 1996, she was a personal fitness trainer with the Life Fitness Center Inc. Ms. Exposito is backed by a BFA in illustration and sculpture with an emphasis in philosophy from Georgia State University, a degree she received in 1989.

Ms. Exposito is a member of Women in Aviation and has been published in the Gwinnett Newspaper, as well as interviewed by Despierta America as an accomplished and professional Latina airline pilot. She attributes her career success to the “internal why,” which pushes her to continue to learn and grow in her field, set goals, and aim to obtain them as a reward. Looking ahead in her career, Ms. Exposito would like to sit in the captain’s seat and serve as the overseer on a flight. Up until this moment in her career she has served as a first officer, focusing on the programmatic elements of a flight. She plans to continue to live by her motto, “Die young as late as possible. Live your passion and live your life like you’re not going to see tomorrow so you don’t miss out on anything today.”

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