NBAA Congratulates Association Directors Named to Important New Safety Advisory Committee

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Washington, DC, Aug.22, 2019 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today congratulated the appointment of two association directors to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) newly created Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC).

William Ayer, who also serves on the Board of Directors for Honeywell, will serve as SOCAC chair. Shelley Lesikar deZevallos, principal with Independent Mortgage Company and West Houston Airport president, will serve as a member on the committee.

“NBAA applauds the selection of Bill and Shelley to the SOCAC,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Both are exceptionally qualified for service, given their long, distinguished careers in the aviation industry. The expertise they will bring to their work on this important committee will help provide government and industry with informed decision-making on the highest aviation safety priorities.”

The SOCAC was created as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 to provide the DOT with guidance on some of the most pressing safety issues confronting the aviation industry, including aircraft and flight standards certification processes, oversight of safety management systems and risk-based oversight efforts, among other matters.

Ayer is a member of the FAA’s Management Advisory Council, and the immediate past chair of the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee. In addition to Honeywell, he serves on the boards of the University of Washington, the Museum of Flight and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation. began his career as a salesperson with the Piper Aircraft Company. After starting Air Olympia, a regional airline in Washington state, in 1981, Ayer joined Horizon Air in 1982. Horizon became a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines in 1986 and he was named chief executive officer of the parent company in 2002. He retired from the company at the end of 2013.

In addition to her work on NBAA’s Board, DeZevallos likewise serves on the AOPA Foundation’s board. She teaches as an adjunct professor with Oklahoma State University, and has been a member of the Transportation Research Board, and the Government Interrelations Committee for the National Academy of Sciences, and is a founding member and president of Texans for General Aviation. She and her husband live in a hangar with their twin daughters and their airplane.

In DOT’s announcement regarding the formation of the SOCAC, Secretary Elaine Chao noted, “The committee’s input will help the department ensure that the FAA remains the world’s leader in aviation safety.”

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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 professionals and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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