2017 Press Releases

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NBAA to Honor Joan Sullivan Garrett, Preston Henne With Association's Highest Awards

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, Sept. 6, 2017 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) will present its Meritorious Service to Aviation Award to Joan Sullivan Garrett, and its John P. "Jack" Doswell Award to Preston Henne, at the 2017 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), to be held Oct. 10-12, in Las Vegas, NV.

The awards are NBAA's highest honors. The Meritorious Service to Aviation Award recognizes extraordinary lifelong contributions to aviation. The Doswell Award recognizes lifelong individual achievement on behalf of and in support of the aims, goals and objectives of business aviation.


Joan Sullivan Garrett

The founder of MedAire, Garrett is an industry pioneer in critical-care medical response utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and trained professionals. More than 30 years after she launched MedAire in 1985, the company continues to provide lifesaving products and services for both the aviation and maritime sectors.

Garrett, who served as CEO of MedAire until 2006, used aviation medicine statistics and real-world experience to advise the aviation industry on health and safety-related issues. Her congressional testimony in 2001 is credited with prompting the FAA to issue a final rule requiring U.S. airlines to carry automated external defibrillators and enhanced emergency medical kits.

Earlier in her career, Garrett served as a critical-care flight nurse and chief medical officer. It was during an emergency helicopter evacuation flight in a remote area of Arizona that she realized many more lives in remote locales could be saved with advanced aviation-safety solutions, including ground-based telemedicine assistance, improved medical kits and equipment and crew training.

"In founding MedAire and advancing the practice of utilizing cutting-edge medical care for those even in the most remote locations, Joan has made a lasting difference to all those who travel by air and sea," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "Her contribution to the health and safety of the flying public and everyone in the aviation industry has been groundbreaking."

"Joan's career, achievements and tireless dedication to business aviation exemplify the spirit of NBAA's Meritorious Service to Aviation Award," Bolen continued. "Countless people have benefitted from the medical expertise provided by her team, and we are honored to recognize her decades of distinguished service to the industry."

Garrett has authored numerous white papers on health and medical subjects, from the use of inflight defibrillators, to issues concerning bio-terrorism. She is often quoted in national and international media outlets, and has received an award from Arizona State University for positively impacting the state’s economy while exhibiting ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

A 30-plus-year member of NBAA, Garrett has served as chair and vice chair of the association's Associate Member Advisory Council, as well as a member of NBAA’s Board of Directors. She also has received Flight Safety Foundation's Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award, and served as vice chair of the foundation’s board of governors.

Learn more about NBAA's Meritorious Service to Aviation Award.


Preston Henne

Henne is the retired senior vice president of programs, engineering and test at Gulfstream Aerospace, where he was responsible for product program management, engineering, flight operations and advanced design and technology development. Henne is credited with leading the design, development, test and certification of the Gulfstream V.

In addition to bringing the Gulfstream V to market, Henne's organization led the development of the Gulfstream 150, 280, 450, 550 and 650. The Gulfstream V, the G550 and the G650 all won the prestigious Collier Trophy, which is awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association for the greatest achievement in aeronautics and astronautics in America.

Earlier in his career, while at McDonnell Douglas, Henne was responsible for the aerodynamic design of the wing on the C-17 military airlifter. He later served as chief design engineer for the MD-80 airliner and went on to become the vice president and general manager of the MD-90 airliner program.

"Preston Henne's visionary work to advance the technology of flight has been nothing short of extraordinary," said Bolen. "His career-long focus on design and engineering has produced some of the world's most innovative developments in aviation. We at NBAA are proud to recognize him with the prestigious Doswell Award."

Henne earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois, and a master's degree in engineering from California State University at Long Beach.

He was a member of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Engineering and Advisory Board. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Henne has received numerous awards, including the Living Legends of Aviation, Industry Leader of the Year Award, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Hap Arnold Award, and an Aviation Week Laureate Award in general/business aviation. In 2012, he was presented with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' highest aeronautical achievement honor, the Reed Award, for his exemplary leadership in the development, design, testing and certification of major airplane programs and significant contributions to supersonic boom mitigation.

Learn more about the Doswell Award.


NBAA-BACE is business aviation's most important annual event, where participants have an unequaled opportunity to view the latest business aircraft, products, technology and services the industry offers. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Oct. 10-12, the event also offers a premier networking venue, and dozens of educational sessions.

Learn more about NBAA-BACE.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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