May 2, 2023
As the business aviation maintenance community comes together in Hartford, CT for a week of education and networking, attendees were welcomed to the event with advice to help them maximize their “personal toolbox”.
Keynote speaker Andy Papathanassiou, a former college football player who in 1992 became NASCAR’s first-ever “pit crew coach” and was pivotal to winning teams, said thinking like an athlete can help anyone in any profession succeed.
It’s not about physical capabilities, he explained; it’s about practice and repetition, coaching and mentoring, eliminating distractions and constantly attempting the impossible.
Understanding this, Papathanassiou said, “You will be able to climb any wall, you can bust through any barrier, you will soar as high as your aircraft, you can do anything.”
He told attendees to ask themselves three questions: Who are you? Where are you? Who are we as a team? These are the questions in your toolbox, he said, and the answers will help you reach your goals.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen also welcomed attendees to the conference and asked them to share the knowledge they gained at the event.
“Take the lessons of this week, supply them to the broad community and your companies,” he said. “We will pay it forward. This is what our industry has always done – look to the future.”
As business aviation looks toward an FAA reauthorization bill this year, Bolen noted that that future needs to include a continued prioritization of safety as a core value and a dedication to growing the workforce and bringing people into the industry who will allow it to thrive.
“People need to know they can come into our community and we’re going to give them the tools they need to grow and develop,” Bolen concluded. “We’re going to give them the tools they need to be their best selves.”
To highlight the industry’s commitment to growing the future business aviation workforce, the NBAA Maintenance Committee presented the Maintenance AMT scholarships and Hilsmann Memorial scholarships at the conference.