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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Dividend Article

Air Force Pilot Devon Meister

Soars with Business Confidence by Sue McMurray

When Devon Meister says she spends her time chasing hurricanes, one might assume she is referring to life as a single parent of a young son. She’s not. A trained meteorologist and pilot in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Meister literally flies a WC-130J into the heart of some of nature’s biggest storms, where the best data can be collected and used to help save lives. She fulfilled this career dream in 2012 by being selected to join the nation’s only military hurricane hunter squadron.

But that wasn’t her only dream. She also wanted to start her own business. To achieve that goal, she chose the WSU Executive MBA Online for its business plan component and flexible schedule that would allow her to complete a program in a short period of time, in case the operations tempo at work became more intense.

“The WSU program allowed me to remain mobile,” she says. “I accomplished assignments from New York, Hawaii, St. Croix, Washington D.C., Florida, California, Yellowstone National Park, and on airplanes everywhere in between.”

Devon Meister standingCapstone creates meaning and self awareness

Meister went into the program expecting to become an entrepreneur.

For her capstone project, she developed Junior Authors, a publishing company dedicated to child authors. The company would publish award winning, quality children’s books written by children, for children, at a competitive price.

The product was structured as a classroom contest that met the common core curriculum’s writing requirement for each grade, so teachers could easily incorporate the Junior Authors program. Children would never know that they were meeting any type of common core criteria. The books would be offered to parents for purchase and also entered in the Junior Authors writing contest for nationwide publication.

“I selected this project because there is nothing like it on the market and it creates meaningful memories for parents and children while accomplishing a curriculum requirement,” she says.

From the capstone experience, team projects, and the EMBA coursework, Meister says she had a revelation: it takes a special personality to be an entrepreneur.

“An entrepreneur is someone who is interested in building the next billion-dollar idea, willing to accept a significant amount of risk, and willing to devote most of his or her time to the project over several years. And that’s not me!” she says.

Devin Meister in flight1Impacting communities

Instead, Meister set her sights on addressing solutions to existing challenges facing communities in the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Drawing from her personal struggle with fitness, she launched Live Fit with Devon, a nutrition and fitness business that provides coaching and accountability for individuals in the United States and Canada who also struggle to become and remain healthy.

“The capstone project taught me how to create professional, compelling content for my clients to help keep them motivated,” she says.

She also contributes to a local Montessori school, encouraging the community to take more personal responsibility in local education.

“Completing my EMBA was a first step in becoming a prominent player in my community. The experience brought my business aptitude and discipline to a new level and taught me I can manage much more than I ever thought I could,” she says.

“I can speak with confidence and relevance in business matters and play a more active role as a local leader.”

Meister plans to continue to serve in the Reserves as long as possible before retiring. Her next step is to become an aircraft commander and eventually an instructor pilot.

Visit to learn more about the Washington State University Executive MBA Online.

Devon flying