NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen

March 11, 2020

The themes of adaptability and how to adjust to a quickly evolving operating environment took center stage in the opening keynote at the 2020 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2020), taking place March 10-13 in Charlotte, NC.

“Focusing on resiliency, we want to talk about how we can work together to move forward,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, who also reminded conference-goers that ”managing and communicating through challenges is what we do in business aviation.”

SDC2020 Co-chair Stephen Clark, business development manager at Gerald R. Ford, International Airport , echoed that statement: “It goes without saying that business aviation – while challenged – is open for business. The best thing you can do when facing turbulent times is to be grounded and humble – but stay engaged.”


As a part of an ongoing strategy to consult with top COVID-19 experts and share information with event attendees and other association members, NBAA welcomed Mayo Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Clayton T. Cowl to SDC2020.

“It is important that we take basic precautions to prevent its spread,” said Cowl, who focused on the role of hand washing, basic hygiene and staying home when sick, in limiting the community transmission of COVID-19. He also noted that, even though the illness appears to be relatively mild among healthy individuals, it does pose a serious risk to people over the age of 80 and to immunocompromised individuals.

Don Chupp, president and CEO, Fireside Partners, a global emergency response firm, urged attendees to mindfully resist compressive stress in our lives. “The majority of us have been inundated with COVID-19 coverage,” said Chupp. “There are other storylines – we still have work to do.”

Attendees also were inspired by keynote speaker Warren Macdonald – motivational speaker, outdoor adventurer and bilateral above-the-knee amputee, whose life changed dramatically after a backcountry climbing accident.

Warren Macdonald

Macdonald, a wheelchair user and adaptive mountain climber drew lessons from his own life. “Practice resilience,” he said. “Make a habit of doing hard things.”

Also recognized during the keynote sessions were S&D scholarship winners, and S&D Outstanding Achievement and Leadership Award winner Jeanie Friscia.

Read more about Friscia.

Read more about the S&D scholarship award recipients.

Read more about the S&D training scholarship recipients.

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