NBAA 20th Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

Bookmark and Share

Online News Bureau

Schedulers Celebrate Heritage, Disney Speaker Offers Service Tips at OGS

LONG BEACH, CA, January 14, 2009 – Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Conference got underway today, as the “pioneer video” about the history, growth and value of the Conference debuted at the Opening General Session (OGS).

Anne-Marie Smith, chair of NBAA’s S&D Committee, which organizes the Conference each year, recounted the significant milestones of the annual gathering in fairy-tale fashion, telling Attendees, “The Conference has been the single biggest influence on my career.” However, she added, “It is a story that doesn’t have an ending yet, because it is still being written.”

Two of the longest-serving S&D leaders who have figured prominently in the advancement of the profession were feted at the OGS. Gerald Grady of CSX was recognized for serving as the first S&D Committee Chairman from 1990 to 1993. And Sharon B. Forbes of DuPont Aviation, an active participant in the community since the inaugural Conference in 1989, became the first person to receive NBAA’s S&D Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award.

Forbes said, “I am truly overwhelmed to receive this prestigious award from my peers. I never imagined that participating in the first gathering of schedulers and dispatchers 20 years ago in Montvale, NJ would change my life forever, but it did. It is difficult for me to articulate how proud I am of everyone in this profession. I accept this award on behalf of all schedulers – past, present and future.”

The OGS was not just a celebration, however. Like virtually all events at the Conference, it was an educational opportunity as well. Keynote speaker Bruce Kimbrell of the Disney Institute discussed the concept of “Guestology” – knowing and understanding the needs and wants of guests so service providers can exceed their expectations.

“In the Disney chain of excellence,” explained Kimbrell, “we believe everything we do begins with leadership, followed by cast (employee) excellence, which leads to guest satisfaction, financial results and repeat business. At Disney, we exceed expectations by paying attention to details. Taking the extra step is the Disney difference.”

In practicing “Guestology,” Disney studies its guests, not only examining their demographics, but their psychographics. “It’s not just knowing guests; it’s understanding them,” declared Kimbrell. “The more we understand the people who we are providing service to, the more opportunity we have to exceed their expectations.”

Kimbrell suggested that service organizations, such as flight departments, must have a common purpose and quality standards that are clearly defined, prioritized and well understood and embraced by everyone in the organization. Also, service organizations must maintain consistency in execution and never cease trying to improve.

To hear a podcast of the full presentation given at Wednesday’s Opening General Session, visit Podcasts & Presentations.

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.