Leadership Conference

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Program Schedule

2017 NBAA Leadership Conference: Strength & Courage

In two days at the NBAA Leadership Conference, you will:

  • Enhance your leadership skills professionally and personally
  • Hear from renowned speakers and authors – experts in leadership and the virtues of strength and courage
  • Network with industry leaders to build relationships and learn best practices

This Leadership Conference is designed for current and future leaders in every facet of the business aviation industry regardless of your title in your organization – both aircraft operators and vendors who provide products and services to our industry.

Key Takeaways for the 2017 LC Participants

The 2017 NBAA Leadership Conference focuses on Strength and Courage. Today’s aviation leaders are required to lead and make effective business decisions at a pace that aligns with the velocity of the businesses they serve. No individual – regardless of their title in their organization – can truly make a positive difference without the courage to step up and dig in. Courage is not just limited to heroic acts or major events. Instead, courage is the human virtue that emboldens us, in all of our actions, not only when others are looking on, but even more importantly when no one is watching. It is the virtue and the skill that drives us to do the right things, to admit when we don’t know something and work to learn it, to put in the extra effort and as a result of all of this, to positively affect change. Courage is a teachable and learnable skill and at the 2017 conference you will learn tangible lessons to help develop your courage and courage in those around you.

Courage is the most important of virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
– Maya Angelou

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

Tuesday February 14, 2017

(Pre-Conference Event)

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
NBAA PDP Course: Managerial Communications

Meets Objective: L4
Presenter: Phil Gibson, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

This course is designed for flight department personnel who want to disseminate information using effective verbal and non-verbal communication strategies and engage personnel in order to enhance performance and understanding at relevant levels of the corporation. Communication techniques, tools, barriers and technologies are presented in a practical manner to assist in the management of a corporate flight department.

A separate registration fee is required to participate in this PDP course.

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Leadership Conference Registration
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception

Join your fellow attendees at the Welcome Reception to meet new people and establish industry contacts that will be by your side during your leadership journey.

Wednesday February 15, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Conference Kick-Off
Conference Co-chairs Josh Mesinger, Mesinger Jet Sales and Reggie Arsenault, Jeppesen
8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Leadership Courage: Research, Results & Leading Without Authority
Chris White, Managing Director, Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan

Chris White will open the conference with a researched based overview of the importance of the leadership virtues of strength and courage. He also will focus on his own research on leading without authority – a topic about which he is personally passionate – which is particularly relevant for the business aviation industry. Chris studies and speaks about how people without a leadership title can step up with courage and act like leaders to affect positive change. He presents his research looking at social movements throughout time around the world. While flight department leaders might have a leadership level title in their flight department, within the greater organization they often struggle to affect change, find ways to add value and get the attention of their principals and companies. This session will provide take-away skills to summon the courage within yourself to step up and lead without authority.
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Morning Networking Break
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Industry Update
Ed Bolen, President and CEO, NBAA
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Creating a Culture of Courage: The New Leadership Challenge
Cindy Solomon, Founder & CEO, Cindy Solomon & Associates, Researcher, Speaker & Consultant

Cindy is an internationally recognized professional researcher, speaker & consultant who focuses her work on creating a culture of courage in organizations and increasing leadership effectiveness. She believes courage is a learnable skill, not just an innate personal characteristic. Her research and experientially-based customized presentation at this year’s conference will provide targeted lessons for developing your own courage and helping others do the same. She speaks about four distinct types of courage and how to identify issues and what type of personal courage to heed to face the specific circumstance. Cindy’s presentation will help all attendees improve their leadership qualities regardless of their title in their organization by developing their inner courage and understanding how and when to use it.

Cindy has two best-selling books, The Rules of Woo: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Capturing the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Customers and Creating a Culture of Courage. Her client list includes a who’s who of corporate and entrepreneurial America with clients as varied as The Mayo Clinic, Raytheon, Alaska Airlines, KeyBank, Oracle and Google asking Cindy to help their organizations create long lasting, profitable relationships with their employees, their leaders and their customers.

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.
Welcome Back & Leadership Courage Video
1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Having Courage to Breakthrough
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s First African-American Female Combat Pilot

Known simply as FlyGirl, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour went from beat cop to combat pilot in 3 years. Within months of earning her wings, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. Serving two tours overseas, she became America’s First African-American Female Combat Pilot. Upon returning home, she realized that many people wanted to create breakthroughs in their own lives, they just didn’t know how. From her experiences, she created a 7-step process called the Zero to Breakthrough™ Success Plan. FlyGirl talks about turning obstacles into opportunities, the courage it takes to do that and owning the opportunity for major personal and professional breakthroughs. Her presentation is full of tangible relevant take-away lessons for our audience.
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon Networking Break
3:30 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.
Leadership Courage Video
3:40 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Courage Against All Odds
Brian Shul, Vietnam Veteran & SR-71 Blackbird Pilot

Brian served as a Foreign Air Advisor in Vietnam, flying 212 close air support missions in conjunction with Air America. Near the end of all hostilities, his AT-28 aircraft was shot down near the Cambodian border. Unable to eject from the aircraft, Brian was forced to crash land into the jungle. Miraculously surviving, he was severely burned in the ensuing fireball. Crawling from the burning wreckage, he was finally found and rescued by a Special Forces Team. During his recovery he was told he'd never fly again and was just lucky to be alive. Two days after being released from the hospital, Brian was back flying Air Force fighter jet aircraft. As a final assignment in his career, Brian volunteered for and was selected to fly the secret spy plane, the SR-71. This assignment required an astronaut type physical just to qualify, and Brian passed with no waivers. Brian’s phenomenal comeback story from laying near dead in the jungle of Southeast Asia, to later flying the world's fastest, highest flying jet, has been the subject of numerous magazine articles and an inspiration to many. Brian’s courage to keep pursuing his dreams despite incredible challenges, and eventually starting his own business, will provide attendees incredible stories on the importance of courage and practical lessons on how he has applied what he learned through his experiences to his post-military life and entrepreneurial endeavors. His presentation is captivating, his photography of the SR-71 that he incorporates into his presentation is one of a kind and his message is directly relevant to attendees of the NBAA Leadership Conference.
5:00 pm
Closing Announcements
Conference Co-chairs Josh Mesinger, Mesinger Jet Sales and Reggie Arsenault, Jeppesen
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Evening Offsite Event
Location: El Tucán Miami

Transport yourself to a bygone era, one inspired by big bands, cabaret and perhaps a touch of Havana – what more could you ask for with a night out in lively Miami?! Experience it all with a night of dancing, performances, delicious hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Come join us out for a night to remember. Transportation provided from/to the Hyatt.

Thursday, February 16, 2016

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Welcome & Sponsor Recognition
Conference Co-chairs Josh Mesinger, Mesinger Jet Sales and Reggie Arsenault, Jeppesen
8:15 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.
Business Aviation Management Committee Update
Chris Adams, Chair, NBAA’s Business Aviation Management Committee
8:25 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.
Scholarship Introductions
Dan Wolfe, BAMC member
8:40 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Courage to Ask the Right Questions & Lessons About Leadership Courage
Cal Fussman, Journalist, Esquire Magazine, “What I’ve Learned”

Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, keynote speaker, and interviewing consultant. He has written the What I’ve Learned article for Esquire magazine for many years and interviewed countless world leaders, entertainers, celebrities, athletes, business leaders and others. The primary focus of his presentation is about how changing the question will change the answer in your personal and professional life. For the NBAA Leadership Conference, Cal also is going to pull stories and lessons about leadership, strength and courage from his countless interviews throughout his career to build a truly unique and exciting presentation for us.
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Morning Networking Break
10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Leadership Courage Video
10:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Courage in Negotiations
Misha Glouberman, Speaker, Author & Consultant

Misha is an expert on the subtle arts of negotiation and communication. He takes the principles of good negotiation and better listening, and applies them to a broad set of circumstances to help people solve problems together, reach mutually beneficial agreements, and communicate more effectively – in all walks of life. It takes great courage to set aside preconceived expectations or desired outcomes in a negotiation or day-to-day work and to stop, listen to others and be open to finding different, mutually beneficial and often better solutions. This is a very hard thing to do, but it is a skill that anyone at any level in an organization requires to truly succeed.

Misha Glouberman teaches negotiation and communication skills, runs meetings and conferences for organizations, and hosts live events. He is the author, with Sheila Heti, of the book The Chairs Are Where the People Go, which the New Yorker named as one of its top nonfiction books of 2011 and described as “a triumph of what might be called conversational philosophy.” In it, Misha relays everything he knows about communication, conferences, relationships, making friends, playing charades and more. His interest in how people connect extends into his work as a performer and artist.

12:00 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.
1:25 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.
Welcome Back & Leadership Courage Video
1:35 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Leadership Courage as a Way of Life
Shaun Tomson, World Champion Surfer, Author & Consultant

Shaun Tomson was a world-champion professional surfer from South Africa and an entrepreneur, having started multiple businesses. In his talks, he uses lessons learned surfing to discuss critical skills and lessons about leadership and courage. He applies these lessons to everyday life and business in a way that everyone can relate. A speaker on self-empowerment, positive values and peak performance, Shaun talks about the influence of a positive attitude on success in life and business based on his own experiences of overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges on land and in the world’s most dangerous waves. An attitude of Commitment and Positivity is the basis for his unique holistic business philosophy based on his #1 Amazon best-seller The Code – The Power of “I Will.”
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon Break
3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Platinum & Gold Sponsor Raffle Drawing
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Life Lessons in Leadership Courage
Alison Levine, Mountain Climber, Explorer & Leadership Consultant

Alison Levine led the first all-female climbing expedition up Mount Everest. The author of the New York Times bestseller On the Edge and world-renowned adventurer, she shares lessons learned from various extreme environments – ranging from Mount Everest to the South Pole – and explains how they apply to business and beyond. Her advice is flat-out contrarian and flies in the face of what you've been told by well-known management gurus and highly-paid executive coaches: encourage big egos, go backward – away from your goal, ignore the rules, ditch the plan, and reward failure. But it works for her, and it can work for you too. She provides a roadmap to help you scale whatever big peaks you aspire to climb – be they literal or figurative – by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to reach your potential as a leader. After undergoing two heart-surgeries, Levine served as the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, scaled the highest peak on every continent, and skied to both the North and South Poles – an accomplishment known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than forty people in the world have achieved. Levine extracts tangible lessons about leadership and courage from her experiences. Her presentation is dynamic and at the end of conferences she participates in she is often rated as the best presentation of the event. She will inspire attendees with her stories and message on courage and round out an incredible two days.
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2017 Leadership Conference Closing Reception

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.

Conference Sponsors


Duncan Aviation   Embraer
Gogo Jet Professionals




Airbus   Clay Lacy
Dassault Falcon   Go Rentals
Honeywell   Jeppesen  
Jet Aviation   Mente Group
RLG_Int   Satcom Direct
Sheltair   Standard Aero



Atlantic   CUTTER
CUTTER   Dallas Jet Intl
Fargo-Jet-Center   Jetex
Silver   Universal Weather

Conference Supporter


Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact NBAA via sponsorships@nbaa.org to learn how you can become an important sponsor of the 2017 NBAA Leadership Conference.