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Leadership Conference Focuses on Building Your Legacy
January 9, 2013
In aviation, these are uncertain times. On the one hand, the industry is recovering from the economic headwinds of the last four years, expanding in emerging markets and celebrating the passage of a wide-ranging FAA reauthorization. On the other, challenges remain in both the Washington policy arena and the marketplace – including a generational shift in the aviation talent pool.
That's why the NBAA Corporate Aviation Management Committee (CAMC) decided to make the theme of the 2013 Leadership Conference, set for Feb. 12 and 13 in Austin, TX, "Leadership Legacy: Inspiring the Future."
"This year, we wanted to focus on how the choices you make everyday affect the people you leave behind when your job is done," said conference co-chair Chris Adams, director of marketing at FlightSafety International.
To provide a glimpse of what the aviation industry might look like after the current generation steps down, the CAMC asked a leading futurist, Glen Hiemstra, to be the keynote speaker. Hiemstra will look ahead to the future of transportation in the 21st Century and what new technologies and trends will shape the aviation community.
With an eye to the future, "good leaders build future leaders," said Jay Evans, NBAA's director of professional development. "Good leaders put good people around them."
Additional keynote speakers at the conference include: Mark Fernandes, chief leadership officer of Luck Companies; David Everitt, recently retired as the president of John Deere and company's Agriculture and Turf business; Bryan Dodge, a motivational expert; author and award-winning speaker James Kouzes, and NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. The legacy theme, linking the past and the future, is also embodied in speaker Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of Orville and Wilbur Wright.
"We also have author and leadership change expert Cheryl Cran, who will talk about what leaders need to do succeed, not just now, but in 2020," said Adams.
Adams and conference co-chair Robin Eissler, co-founder of Jet Quest, reviewed course critiques from past Leadership Conferences in planning the 2013 event. In particular, they paid attention to critiques from 2010, when nearly all Attendees asked that humorist Craig Zablocki come back. "He's an incredible speaker, incredibly funny, and humor is such a great way to learn," said Adams. "He's very popular with Attendees, and he's completely changed his whole talk [for this year]."
The Conference also offers plenty of opportunities for networking, with longer breaks between sessions than before, and an evening event at Austin's famous Esther's Follies comedy venue. "It's going to be a great evening," said Adams, "We've reserved the whole theater, and they're going to do a whole aviation-themed show just for us."
Because of the high-profile speakers and ideal opportunities for networking, many Attendees list the Leadership Conference among the "must-attend" NBAA events on the calendar. Last year, the Conference drew nearly 300 Attendees, and in 2013, the co-chairs hope to break the 300 mark.
"Our goal isn't to host the biggest conference, but to target current and rising aviation leaders," said Adams. "In the same way, our goal isn't to tell people how to do a specific part of their job, it's to grow the leadership strength of the entire industry."