NBAA Names Nine Recipients of 2023 Kern Professionalism Award

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-431-5970,

Washington, DC, Oct. 10, 2023 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced it will bestow its 2023 Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award to nine individuals who continually demonstrate outstanding professionalism and leadership that drive business aviation safety.

Recipients of this year’s award are:

  • Boyd Brokaw, IAC/Expedia Global
  • Max Grover, Liberty Mutual
  • Bruce Gullingsrud, Mente LLC
  • Lee Hall, Aviation Performance Solutions
  • Michael Kopp, Jet Linx
  • Wendy Langen, Mente LLC
  • James Lara, Gray Stone Advisors
  • Garry Melia, MassMutual
  • William (Bill) Scanlon, Adobe

“No matter the size of your operation, professionalism is the foundation upon which truly effective safety cultures are built,” noted Mark Larsen, CAM, NBAA director of safety and flight operations. “We are pleased to honor these individuals who, across their various job positions and responsibilities, all serve as models for professionalism and safety in our industry.”

The awards will be presented during the “Leadership Perspectives on Aviation Safety” session taking place Thursday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. PDT, during the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). The session is part of the NBAA National Safety Forum, held throughout the convention, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 17.

This year’s forum will address the application of a safety management system (SMS) to manage your personal and operational safety, discussing how business aviation personnel can effectively address specific issues inside each component of an SMS and the relationship between an SMS and a positive safety culture. Learn more about the NBAA National Safety Forum.

First awarded in 2016, the Professionalism in Aviation Award honors U.S. Air Force veteran and Convergent Performance co-founder Dr. Kern, who has authored nine books on human performance.

The peer-nominated award recognizes individual pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants, dispatchers and other aviation professionals who excel in leadership in the areas of professional ethics; vocational excellence; continuous improvement; professional engagement; professional image; and selflessness.

All Kern Award nominations are vetted by a panel of NBAA Safety Committee members. NBAA will begin accepting nominations for the 2024 awards in January.

Learn more about the Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award.

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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 10,000 company and professional members 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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