After a busy and productive several weeks, I wanted to pause and give you an update on some exciting announcements and several opportunities that I’ve had to tell the story of our industry.
At NBAA’s Annual Meeting and Convention, I participated on an Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) press conference with fellow AAAA board members Selena Shilad of AAAA, Ed Bolen of NBAA, Matt Zuccaro of HAI and Niel Ritchie of the League of Rural Voters to discuss the important work of the AAAA and some of its achievements. Most recently, AAAA launched a new website, www.aviationacrossamerica.org. Among the many features is an interactive map of the U.S. showing a snapshot of the economic impact of general aviation by state, community and, very importantly, congressional district. To date, they have also been successful in garnering the support of 46 of the 50 state governors through signed proclamations recognizing the value of general aviation. I also had an opportunity to meet many of our members on the show floor and to attend the Air Charter Safety Foundation Board of Governors meeting.
On the way back to Washington on November 1, I had the great pleasure to speak at the opening of Auburn University’s Aviation Management Advisory Board meeting. I expressed the vital importance of NATA to the aviation community, the immense value of aviation to the country and finally the vast significance of their future role as leaders in perpetuating and advancing this incredibly exciting and rewarding industry.
Just this past week, NATA concluded another successful Aviation Business Roundtable – my first. We followed this with a very busy, yet productive Board of Directors Meeting. In these events, we made some major personnel announcements. I was particularly pleased to announce that Jim Coon will be joining NATA as our executive vice president and Amy B. Koranda is being promoted to vice president. Jim, currently the chief of staff of the U.S. House Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will lead NATA’s policy, strategy and advocacy efforts. Amy will add several major association programs to her current responsibilities as head of NATA’s highly regarded Safety 1st Program. With Jim and Amy rounding out our senior leadership team, we are poised to advance the association services and to reposition NATA within Washington.
To cap the week off, I am honored to have been named to the Board of Governors of the Aero Club of Washington at this week’s luncheon and annual meeting. For many years, the Aero Club of Washington has brought together people from all areas of aviation to discuss the most pressing issues of our industry, and I am proud to serve on their board with others who value aviation so highly in their lives and careers.
With the holidays approaching, it is a time for reflection and giving thanks. I am most thankful for my family, the opportunity to work to protect and advance the wonderful aviation businesses that make up this dynamic organization, the support of our membership and the tireless efforts of our board members and staff.