Aerial Gilbert, Outreach Manager
Aerial Gilbert is the Outreach Manager for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has a German Shepherd Guide Dog named Splash. Aerial is a member of the Board of Directors of Sonoma County's Earle Baum Center of the Blind, the Northern California Association of Educators and Rehabilitation Specialists for the Blind. She is also an active member of the American Council of the Blind and Guide Dog Users, Inc. She's a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.
Aerial is an avid athlete and was chosen to take part in the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay, carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of San Francisco with her Guide Dog by her side. Aerial rows regularly on San Francisco Bay with the Marin Rowing Association; she has competed successfully in the Sausalito Open Water Regatta, the World Games in Canada and the 33-mile Annual Catalina Crossing across open ocean. Aerial's numerous rowing accomplishments include:
- Competing in the first-ever adaptive division of the World Rowing Championships in Seville, Spain in 2002 (her team won bronze).
- Competing in the adaptive division of the World Rowing Championships in Milan, Italy in 2003 (her team placed fourth).
- Competing with the United States Rowing Team in the World Championships in Banyoles, Spain in 2004.
- Competed with the United States Rowing Team in the World Championships in Eton, England in 2006 (her team was ranked 5th in the world).
- Competed in the 2007 World Rowing Championships in Munich Germany where they qualified their boats for the Paralympics in 2008 in Beijing China.
- Inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 2004.
- Inducted into the Northern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame 2007.
Aerial will be rowing at the 2010 Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) in the first-ever adaptive event at the HOCR to support Perkins School for the Blind sports programs which include Community Rowing in Boston.
Through her work with Guide Dogs for the Blind, her personal courage and spirited enthusiasm for life, Aerial has helped many others understand blindness. She shares her personal experiences in public presentations to fraternal organizations, businesses, schools and other groups. She has been featured in numerous publications, including Sunset, Outside and Family Circle, and best-selling author Marci Shimoff's book Happy for No Reason. Aerial is also featured on the website www.incrediblepeople.com.