NBAA 20th Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

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S&D Conference Opens Today, Commemorates 20 Years

LONG BEACH, CA, January 14, 2009 – It’s hard to imagine now, but the NBAA Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Conference used to be an intimate gathering. The Conference began 20 years ago when 68 people convened at the Ramada Inn in Montvale, NJ to hear a panel discussion on issues and answers for schedulers.

To celebrate how far the Conference and the community have come in the past two decades, this year’s S&D meeting features a variety of special events and exhibits designed to celebrate the heritage of the scheduling and dispatching profession.

The Heritage, a commemorative book documenting 20 years of S&D Conferences, is available for only $10 to S&D 2009 Attendees. People who registered online for this year’s Conference had an opportunity to purchase this official history in advance and were able to pick up their copy at the registration desk when they checked in. Those who did not pre-order The Heritage can stop by the S&D Bookstore in the Long Beach Convention Center to obtain a copy.

Just opposite the S&D Bookstore in the main lobby of the convention center is a memorabilia exhibit that features the tools that schedulers and dispatchers have used to plan and manage trips over the years. Items include a globe, a map and string (used to calculate distances when obtaining charter quotes), an original bulky cell phone, No. 2 pencils, legal pads and hand-written schedules. Electronic aids range from first-generation computers to today’s PDAs, laptops and scheduling software. The memorabilia is displayed within three work areas that have been set up to represent the typical office environments of the 1980s (a stand-alone desk), 1990s (cubicle) and the new millennium (a “sit-to-stand” workstation that includes a treadmill).

During the past year, the S&D Committee compiled the milestones of the past 20 years and asked members of the S&D community to vote for the top five. The results will be revealed at Thursday’s luncheon. The S&D Committee also collected remembrances from veteran schedulers and dispatchers and assembled them into a series of written S&D “chronicles” and a pioneer video that will premiere at Wednesday’s Opening General Session (OGS).

One of those S&D pioneers will be recognized during the Conference for her years of service to the community. Sharon Forbes, who will receive the inaugural NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award during ceremonies at Wednesday’s OGS, is being cited for sharing her business aviation industry expertise, providing extraordinary service, exhibiting leadership and making significant contributions to the scheduling and dispatching function.

The 20-year celebration will culminate Thursday evening with a “reunion” in the Hyatt. Attendees are urged to bring a copy of The Heritage to the event so they can fill the blank pages in the back of the book with autographs and pictures from this year’s Conference. Pictures of friends and associates can be taken at an instant photo booth right at the reunion event.

Any person who attends an NBAA convention, conference, seminar or other program grants permission to NBAA, its employees and agents (collectively "NBAA") to record his or her visual/audio images, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, voices, sound or video recordings, audio clips, or accompanying written descriptions, and, without notifying such person, to use his or her name and such images for any purpose of NBAA, including advertisements for NBAA and its programs.