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Tippets Shares Story of Perseverance & Overcoming Adversity at Leadership Conference
Monday, September 9, 2013 6:45 AM

John Tippets

We all go through adversity in life, and the key according to American Airlines FCU retired President and CEO John Tippets, is to not give up. Tippets presented “Hearts of Courage: Perseverance and Overcoming Adversity” at the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Leadership Conference & Expo last week in San Antonio.

Hearts of Courage is a book Tippets wrote to pay tribute to his parents’ lives. Hearts of Courage brings to life the amazing, true account of the 1943 Gillam plane crash in the wilderness of Southeast Alaska. Pilot Harold Gillam, along with five others, including engineer Joseph Tippets, left Seattle Jan. 5 and were en route to a scheduled refueling stop near Ketchikan when disaster struck.

The harrowing events that followed required tremendous courage, enormous ingenuity, perseverance and many small miracles. The passengers endured sub-zero temperatures and scarce food for 29 days until a dramatic rescue saved them. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, Tippets says his mother never gave up hope that his father would survive.

“Everything is life is conditional upon our attitude,” Tippets told a credit union audience Friday. “We can choose to persevere or we can choose to give up.”

Although there were many times Joseph Tippets felt discouraged, faith, hope and courage kept him going. While the story Tippets shared with the credit union audience was a true account of the 1943 Gillam plane crash, the message can be applied to any personal or professional struggle – never give up. With faith, hope and courage, we can persevere.