Professional Development

Bookmark and Share
Click to return to the November-December 2009 Edition

CAMs Stand Out in a Crowd, Say Recruiters

"We recruit aviation leaders for today and develop aviation leaders for tomorrow," says Jodie Brown of Summit Solutions, the business aviation executive search and training firm she founded in 1984. Brown is one of several respected recruiters who focus exclusively on the business aviation industry and have come to value NBAA's Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) credential as an industry standard.

"I support NBAA's mission of promoting professionalism and safety in business aviation," says Brown, "And the CAM does that by providing an opportunity for people in aviation to gain a variety of skills they may not have developed through formal education."

Summit Solutions' clients include companies of all sizes, such as aircraft manufacturers, repair stations, fixed base operators and aircraft owner-operators. Brown says her firm focuses on recruiting for management positions, like chief pilots, maintenance managers and flight department directors. She also says that for every position Summit Solutions recruits, her team always looks for two things: experience and ability.

"Candidates have an easy time measuring their experience," says Brown, "They know the hours they've logged with a particular aircraft, the in-flight situations they've had to deal with. But we're also looking for ability – specifically the ability to grow into the future. The 'CAM' tells me that a candidate has self-reflection and self-discipline, will bring best practices into an organization, values continuing education and will foster continuing education for their people."

"The CAM [credential] demonstrates that a candidate has proven his or her skills," says Brown. "All other things being equal, I would choose the candidate with the CAM."

“I honestly have noticed a tremendous difference in the caliber of applicants who have 'CAM' next to their title.”

— Cyndy Thiel
Founder and President, C.T. Solutions

Cyndy Thiel, founder and president of C.T. Solutions, agrees that candidates who have achieved the CAM designation stand out among all those she sees. Like Brown, Thiel recruits business aviation leaders for clients across the country, from the largest flight departments to owner-operators.

Thiel says, "I've found that CAMs tend to be self-driven, forward thinkers, more current in industry knowledge, and they take their responsibilities as aviation leaders very seriously." In her experience, CAMs are either looking to become flight department leaders or are currently managers who are looking to advance by focusing on best practices and mastering a vast breadth of industry knowledge.

"I do not make those statements lightly," says Thiel, "I honestly have noticed a tremendous difference in the caliber of applicants who have 'CAM' next to their title."

In this challenging job market, Thiel adds that she would encourage the most talented candidates she works with to pursue the CAM certification to demonstrate their knowledge and experience to employers. "I tend to be a mentor sometimes, and I have candidates who are otherwise very highly qualified," she says. "This credential is an additional tool that I hope would help them find their dream position. I would definitely recommend it."


Learn more or apply for the exam online at