Claudia Holliway (nee Bower) left this life on September 14, 2017. She was born on February 12, 1960 and is the daughter of the late Theodore David Bower, who preceded her in death, and Lois Mary (Green) Bower. Claudia was raised in Winnetka, IL and as an adult lived in Nashville, TN prior to moving to Lake Park, GA in 2005. At the time of her passing, she was the Vice President and National Aviation Business Development Lead for Michael Baker International, a global engineering and consulting firm. She was totally devoted to the firm due to its many fine staff members at all levels. Prior to that, Claudia worked in the Country Music business and Sears (headquarters).
Claudia was involved in many career and civic-oriented organizations. Beginning in high school where she was an active member of multiple student volunteer efforts, she continued to serve with great enthusiasm. Related to her career, Claudia was a leader within the Airport Minority Advisory Council; National Board Member and Committee Chair, American Association of Airport Executives; Board Member, International Association of Airport Executives; Director, Society of American Military Engineers-Nashville Post; President, Society for Marketing Professional Services-Nashville Chapter; and Board Member of multiple committees, Southeast Chapter American Association of Airport Executives. She held various committee memberships in other professional organizations at the time of her passing. Claudia was a frequent speaker and session moderator at dozens of aviation industry conferences. One of her favorite activities was being a student mentor through the Academic Affairs Committee of AAAE, where she witnessed several of her mentees and other students whom she came to know grow into airport leadership staff. Within the past decade, Claudia's career involved frequent travel, both domestic and international. While she found all places interesting, some of her favorites included Alaska, Abu Dhabi, Quito Ecuador, Mobile, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Ireland, Natchez (MS), Salt Lake City/Park City, Albuquerque, Savannah, Malta, Iceland and Canada. Between family vacations and business trips, Claudia fulfilled her travel goal by visiting all 50 states by her fifty-second birthday.
Claudia found great honor to serve the community. She took pride in being an Art Ambassador and Cultural Arts Guild Board Member, Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts; Board Member and Vice President, Cypress Lakes Homeowner Association; Volunteer Builder, Habitat for Humanity; Vice President, Kiwanis Club of Valdosta, Inc.; and member of the Military Affairs and Red Carpet Planning committees, Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. She was a past member of Wymodausis, Readers Review and the Retired Officers Wives Club. Claudia donated time and financial resources to many other organizations, both locally and nationally, and was a significant fundraiser for a couple of aviation-related scholarship foundations.
Claudia was recognized for her career achievements on multiple occasions. On August 2, 2017, Claudia was presented the Georgia Airports Association President's Award by Jim Galloway, Executive Director, Valdosta Regional Airport. In May 2017, Claudia was granted the AAAE Leadership Award, which is a special honor created and given by the sitting Chairman of the AAAE Board. She was twice named the Southeast Chapter American Association of Airport Executives Corporate Member of the Year (2009, 2014), Georgia Airports Association Corporate Member of the Year (2010) and was the recipient of the Society of American Engineers Regional Vice President's Medal (for meritorious service) in 2002. In 2001, she was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for her service to the Glasgow (KY) Airport.
Although she enjoyed so many things life had to offer, Claudia's favorites were being a grandmother, music, movies, gardening, cooking, entertaining, interior decorating, books, the lake she lived on, college football and animals.
Claudia is survived by her loving mother, daughter Heather Bower and dear granddaughter Isabella Bacon, to whom she was a devoted "Granny," of Houston, brother Greg Bower (Ann Ridge) of Chicago, aunt Ruth Green of Slayton, MN and many other special family members. She was preceded in passing by her grandparents, son-in-law Marcus Bacon, aunts, uncles, and cousins. She leaves behind her beloved dog Shelby and cats Gus and Holly, as well as literally dozens upon dozens of close, loving and loved friends, too many to name, but all of whom she cherished and considered family.
Claudia had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. While she was compassionate toward others and was laser focused on her career, she never took herself too seriously and wasn't shy about dressing you in silly costumes, or being the "class clown." As such, it was her wish that no one mourn her passing. Rather, she wanted all to remember the good times, laughter, fun and fellowship that was shared throughout the years.
At Claudia's request, there will be no funeral or interment. Instead, she has asked that people celebrate her life by always being kind, loving and generous to one another and living life to its fullest. Also, friends, family and loved ones are encouraged to revel and share memories at a favorite restaurant, a special place, or as a larger group during a conference. Whether noisy or quiet, places at which Claudia enjoyed spending time with so many dear ones; those that will invoke the spirit of love and friendship which has been shared for many years. In Claudia's memory, her family requests that contributions be made to the American Association of Airport Executives Foundation (www.aaae.org), the SAMA Educational Foundation, Inc. (www.secaaae.org), the Humane Society of the United States, or a local animal shelter of choice. Condolences may be made online at www.mclanecares.com McLane Funeral and Cremation Services.