December 3, 2009

Dear NBAA Member Representative,

At this critical time for the business aviation community, it is an honor to serve as your new chairman of NBAA’s Board of Directors. As the year draws to a close, and the Board’s planning for the coming year continues in earnest, it seems an opportune time to update you on recent developments, and the work underway by your Board and Association to support the industry.

First, I’d like to thank outgoing Chairman Jeff Lee for his outstanding leadership in guiding NBAA as the Association’s Members are facing some of their toughest challenges in years. Jeff’s steady hand has provided the Board and professional staff with the consistent direction that is critically needed in times like these.

Recognizing NBAA Directors’ Perspectives, Contributions

At the 2009 NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, the Association’s directors re-affirmed their commitment to having broad representation from the industry on the Board, with directors who provide a diversity of experiences, attributes and perspectives.

I’m pleased to welcome our newest director, Scott Moore, who serves as chief pilot and director of aviation for Luck Stone, a family-owned, Virginia-based supplier of stone construction products. Scott flies a Beech King Air 350 for Luck Stone; he is a Certified Aviation Manager and former U.S. Air Force pilot with nearly 7,000 hours in 12 different aircraft, along with a quarter-century of flight department management and military leadership experience. I know NBAA Members will be well served by his inclusion on the Board.

Effectively Marshalling the Association’s Resources

Also at the Convention, I reported that NBAA ended the fiscal year on sound financial footing, thanks to responsible management by the Board and staff, and leadership from Ed Bolen and his management team.

NBAA actively reduced expenses during the fiscal year while still providing valuable advocacy and Member programs. NBAA’s financial statements for the year were audited by BDO Seidman, an international CPA firm with expertise in not-for-profit organizations and associations. The firm issued a clean audit for NBAA, citing the use of accounting best practices and a high level of transparency in the Association’s financial transactions and record-keeping.

Thanks especially to Mike Herman, head of the Board’s Audit Committee, for his dedication to ensuring that NBAA’s finances are transparent and in compliance with federal regulations.

Demonstrating Business Aviation Value

As NBAA Members know, the industry’s marketplace challenges over the past year have been exacerbated by misperceptions and mischaracterizations of business aviation in Washington and elsewhere.

With the Board’s support, NBAA has worked throughout the year to demonstrate the essential role business aviation plays in the nation’s economy and transportation system. The work in this regard has chiefly been conducted through the No Plane No Gain industry advocacy campaign, jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

This blended-impressions campaign has used a wide range of advocacy initiatives to tell the real story of business aviation – from ads featuring American legend Arnold Palmer, to studies quantifying the positive results companies of all sizes experience through the use of their aircraft, to earned-media outreach, to the use of online toolkits, social networks and webinars to help enable NBAA Members spread the campaign’s message and make their voices heard.

NBAA redoubled its work to underscore the value of business aviation at the Association’s Convention, given the high visibility of the event. While the Convention’s Media Kickoff Breakfast, Opening General Session and other events highlighted the industry’s contributions to citizens, companies and communities across the U.S., Attendees from all 50 states also showcased the diversity, breadth and depth of the industry.

Leading Advocacy for the Industry in 2010

Your Association has undertaken extraordinary steps to meet the challenges of 2009 and enable business aviation to ascend to new heights. While the outlook for 2010 remains challenging, NBAA is well positioned for success in the year ahead. I look forward to working with you as chairman, and welcome your thoughts and comments as we work together to advance our industry’s agenda and grow our businesses. Feel free to contact me at

Patrick C. Cunningham,
Chairman, Board of Directors,
National Business Aviation Association