Matt Dean, NBAA Silk Scarf Award Winner

July 14, 2021

NBAA this week presented its Silk Scarf Award to Matt Dean, general manager at Batten International Airport (RAC) in Racine, WI, in recognition of his many contributions to the aviation community across the Badger State throughout his more than 23-year career.

That includes Dean’s work as a vocal advocate on behalf of general aviation and business aviation during the 2016 legislative battle over privatization of the nation’s ATC network, noted NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

“The Speaker of the House was from Wisconsin, and everyone in Washington wanted to see him,” Bolen recalled during a July 12 online presentation of the Silk Scarf Award to Dean. “And because of the great work of Matt and others in the state, we were able to have a significant impact and, ultimately, we were heard in Washington.”

Dean has also worked with the Wisconsin Business Aviation Association (WBAA) since 2011 and currently serves as the group’s executive director. “You’ve been the glue that’s held the WBAA together and you’re the one that’s doing all the work there,” said Jeff Baum, WBAA board member. “On behalf of the board we’re very, very grateful for you doing that.”

“I’ve seen Matt at almost every one of our regional roundtables, no matter where in the country,” added Steve Hadley, NBAA’s regional program director and Southwest regional representative. “Your support, involvement and how you work with people is awesome.”

Bob Quinn, former central regional representative for NBAA, recalled working with Dean several times prior to his retirement in 2019. “Racine is a wonderful place and your hospitality was appreciated,” he told Dean. “You never said no; you always said yes. This award is much deserved.”

“Matt has been such a positive influence and inspiration to so many of us in this industry,” said NBAA Northern Mountain Regional Representative Kristi Ivey. “His legacy as a true leader in business aviation both locally and nationally is why we are here today.”