NBAA2013 News Bureau

Bookmark and Share

NBAA, Regional Groups Seek Closer Ties

October 24, 2013

This year’s Local and Regional Group Networking Session, held on Oct. 23 at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2013), not only offered business aviation leaders from around the country the opportunity to network with each other, but also served as a forum for how they could work better with NBAA staff to achieve the industry’s goals.

“Collaboration” was the watchword of the networking session, a point brought home by numerous NBAA senior staffers – including Ed Bolen, president and CEO, Steve Brown, chief operating officer, and Lisa Piccione, senior vice president of government affairs – as well as the session’s leader, Don Hitch, chairman of the Local and Regional Group Subcommittee of the NBAA Access Committee.

Noting that regional groups have a positive impact on safety, bring people into business aviation and put a local face on the industry, Bolen said, “We want to take the local lessons learned and apply them in other regions and nationally.”

“The gridlock in Washington, DC makes the work you do all the more important,” Brown told the regional group leaders. Because most airports are municipally owned, regional groups have great opportunities to provide input to ensure that aviation facilities meet the needs of operators, he added.

During the networking session, Steve Hadley, NBAA's director of regional programs and Southwest regional representative, announced a new initiative designed to promote closer ties between NBAA leaders and regional group officials.

“Insights Connection” will be a series of meetings designed to promote two-way communication between NBAA senior staff and local leaders, enabling them to explore various Issues and opportunities. The first of these meetings, which will be conducted in conjunction with national and regional NBAA events, will be held in the Northeast in early 2014.

Building on the Roundtable

This year's networking session also reviewed the progress made at the inaugural Regional Leadership Roundtable, which was held in April in Denver, CO. Topics included: membership marketing, organizational discussions and further communication plans within the regional group network. The next Regional Leadership Roundtable is set for June 2014 in San Antonio, TX. In addition, quarterly teleconferences among roundtable participants are slated to begin next February.

The networking session also offered examples of how successful regional groups run their organizations. Neil Bracken of the Minnesota Business Aviation Association, one of the oldest regional groups, explained how his organization has evolved since being founded in 1955. By contrast, Reza Karamooz of the Nevada Business Aviation Association, which is less than a year old, explained how his group hit the ground running, thanks to the efforts of four committed people. During a subsequent discussion, others offered organizational and operational tips.

Bob Quinn, NBAA Central regional representative, recognized the good work of one local business aviation leader by presenting NBAA’s Silk Scarf award to Gordon Huff, executive director of the Minnesota Business Aviation Association. In the future, NBAA hopes to formally recognize other regional groups for their legislative, community outreach, safety enhancements, career/education and humanitarian efforts.

For a regional groups directory and more, view NBAA's regional resources.