Jan. 30, 2019

The 2019 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC) celebrates 30 years this week in San Antonio, TX, and attendees gathered this morning to remember the past and look toward the future.

“We have a big milestone to celebrate this year,” noted Kindra Mahler, co-chair of the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Committee. “What started out [in 1989] as a small gathering of 70 attendees, has evolved into one of NBAA’s premier conferences, housing over 500 exhibitors and nearly 3,000 attendees.”

Watch a video celebrating 30 years of SDC.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen also took the opportunity to commemorate the conference’s milestone and thank the attendees for all they give back to the business aviation industry, including their support during last year’s fight against ATC privatization.

“All of you got engaged, got active, and you made a difference, and I’m here today to say thank you for saving our industry,” he said. “We had our great challenge, and it taught us that when we work together and we coordinate and we communicate, we can make a big difference and solve problems.”

Bolen encouraged attendees to tell the industry’s story of jobs, economic development and humanitarian efforts. He discussed NBAA’s efforts to attract and retain the next generation of industry professionals, including internship and mentorship resources, creating a new membership category to allow students to join the association and meeting with high school and college students to talk to them about business aviation.

“it requires everybody to get involved, to get beyond their job description, to do something where we recognize that our job really matters, our career really matters, our industry really matters,” he said. “This is where you can be part of something meaningful, something that helps our companies, our communities and our country.”

Changing Mindsets

Keynote speaker Karen McCullough discussed how shifting one’s mindset and embracing change is vital for success.

“Life gets better by change, when we begin to make improvements of ourselves,” she said. “We have to be open to continuous learning and new opportunities.”

Change can come from many areas, she said, noting that:

  • Creating rituals changes mindsets
  • Happiness leads to change
  • Social support is key

McCullough also talked about generational differences between Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and the up-and-coming Generation Z. To orchestrate how these groups can collaborate and how they need each other, she asked attendees to split up into groups and then played TV show themes from different eras, asking the groups to work together to figure out each theme song – from Charlie’s Angels to Rugrats.

“Think of each other as a resource and share ideas,” she said. “Listen to people who have a different point of view than you.”

S&D Award and Scholarship Recipients

S&D Award and Scholarship Recipients

SDC also is about recognizing current and future industry leaders, and the opening session included a recognition of award and scholarship winners.

Longtime business aviation volunteer Kellie Rittenhouse received NBAA’s S&D Outstanding Achievement and Leadership Award. Rittenhouse is a certified aviation manager and holds an FAA dispatcher certification. She is director of aviation for Hangar Aviation Management, LLC. Learn more about Rittenhouse’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement and Leadership Award.

Monetary and training scholarships also were presented at the session.

Learn more about the 2019 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Training Scholarship winners.

Learn more about the 2019 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Scholarship winners.

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