Leadership and Professionalism:
The Keys to Improving Aviation Safety

Leadership and Professionalism are focal points for improving safety in business aviation. Setting the example, providing vision and doing things the right way – even when no one is looking – is how to make a difference in safety. By setting examples as true safety leaders and aviation professionals we move the safety needle in the right direction.

The 2021 National Safety Forum will be held in Room W232 at the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Presented by: Jeff Wofford, NBAA Safety Committee Chair

Join the kickoff of this year’s National Safety Forum as we set the stage for the day’s discussions on leadership and professionalism.

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

NTSB Perspectives on Leadership and Professionalism

Presented by: Mike Folkerts, National Transportation Safety Board; and Fabian Salazar, National Transportation Safety Board

What can be learned from the accidents where safety leadership challenges or a lack of professionalism were links in the error chain of the accident? Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board will quantify the scope of these issues in business aviation, review accidents where these challenges occurred, and share the Board’s recommended strategies to prevent similar accidents from occurring.

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

President’s Perspective and Award Presentations

Presented by: Ed Bolen, NBAA President & CEO

NBAA’s President & CEO shares his perspective on how leadership and professionalism affect business aviation safety. The NBAA Doswell Award; Above and Beyond Award; 50, 60 & 75-year Safe Flying Awards; and Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Awards will also be presented.

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Igniting Positive Professionalism

Presented by: Tony Kern, Ed.D, Convergent Performance, LLC

For far too long, professionalism discussions only occur when something unprofessional happens. This leads many to assume – incorrectly – that professionalism is merely the absence of its negative. According to Dr. Tony Kern, the author of several books on the topic, true professionalism is the rocket fuel that drives continuous improvement in oneself and others, crosses functional and generational lines, and shapes cultures of excellence. Join Kern for an entertaining and candid conversation on optimizing human performance and reducing human error in the often-unforgiving aviation environment.

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Leadership Influences on Aviation Safety

Presented by: Antonio Cortés, Ph.D., EagleView Technologies

Safety within an organization needs to begin at the top and every level within the organization needs to be fully engaged. Does your company management really understand aviation department risk? If they did, would they be OK with the present state of risk? Do you truly understand the risk associated with current actions and activities of your operation to present an accurate picture to management? Learn how to address these critical safety leadership issues and set up your organization for safety success.

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.


11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Bringing It Together: Panel Discussion & Q&A

Moderated by: Jeff Wofford, NBAA Safety Committee Chair
Presented by: Mike Folkerts, National Transportation Safety Board; Fabian Salazar, National Transportation Safety Board; Tony Kern, Ed.D, Convergent Performance, LLC; Antonio Cortés, Ph.D., EagleView Technologies; Paul “BJ” Ransbury, NBAA Safety Committee Vice Chair; and Dan Boedigheimer, Ph.D., Advanced Aircrew Academy

The earlier sessions of the National Safety Forum will have provided insight to what the issues are and proposed solutions to improve safety leadership and professionalism in business aviation. This collaborative panel and audience discussion will build upon those presentations and bring the collective vision of improved safety leadership and professionalism together.

12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Presented by: Paul “BJ” Ransbury, NBAA Safety Committee Vice Chair

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