NBAA’s five regional representatives have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic.
Steve Hadley, senior director of NBAA regional programs and Southwest Central representative, said, “For NBAA’s regional representatives, COVID-19 has given us challenges, but also opportunities to increase the effectiveness of how we network. We are virtually connecting with more members and industry stakeholders than ever before. We are thriving by taking on new initiatives using those tools.”
Fortunately, “working remotely is nothing new for us,” said Greg Voos, NBAA Southeast region representative. “The challenge now is to maintain connectivity with our members, regional groups, state leaders, etc. To accomplish this, we have adopted new tools and processes like utilizing Zoom calls to get regional group leaders together quarterly, which helps with ideas and camaraderie. We also reach out to members individually to better understand how COVID has affected their operations and to offer guidance we have gleaned while benchmarking with others.” Voos’ ancillary duties not include supporting NBAA’s Emerging Technologies Committee.
“We are virtually connecting with more members and industry stakeholders than ever before.”
Steve Hadley Senior Director of Regional Programs, NBAA
Northeast regional representative Brittany Davies has been holding monthly Zoom meetings for new members and hosting quarterly Zoom meetings for regional and local group leaders. “We’ve been encouraging each group to take this down time to tackle some organizational items,” she said.
When three of her states – Connecticut, New York and New Jersey – launched joint travel quarantine rules, Davies fielded many calls from worried pilots and started an email list to provide the latest information. She has also taken on new responsibilities at NBAA, helping with virtual presentations.
Western region representative Phil Derner now is one of the producers of NBAA News Hour webinars. He says videoconferencing “enables the face-to-face communication that allows the reps to attend more meetings and events over a shorter time span.”
Northern Mountain regional representative Kristi Ivey was on the education session planning team for 2020 NBAA GO VBACE and is lending her expertise to a staff team working to develop new business aviation certificate programs.
Ivey commends the regional groups in her region for being “instrumental in providing education content, scholarships and grants, and new items to their members.”
From the regional group perspective, Central Florida Business Aviation Association Board Member Kyle Eiserer said that pivoting to virtual meetings has been “fantastic because it shows that the aviation community continues to thrive and remain connected. There are many platforms available for local and regional groups to utilize. While this is different than in-person meetings, the connections remain strong.”
PNBAA Making the Best of Pandemic Restrictions
With more than 600 members, the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association (PNBAA) is doing its best to keep members engaged and informed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve pivoted from our usual large events, such as safety days and our popular barbeque, to smaller, virtual meetings of member subgroups, such as schedulers/dispatchers and maintainers,” said Ernesta Corcoran, a PNBAA board director. “Our S&D group, for example, has been getting together informally on a monthly basis, and the meetings have been so helpful and informative.”
Corcoran noted that the low-pressure meetings have also enabled people to check in with each other
and provide welcome camaraderie. The S&D and maintainer meetings have proved so popular that other PNBAA member subgroups, such as pilots and flight attendants, are also looking at starting up similar smaller meetings. Corcoran indicated that finding sponsorship support for their online sessions may help with fundraising for scholarships.
PNBAA also raised money for scholarships by managing to hold its annual golf tournament last September, albeit with appropriate restrictions. “We had a great turnout and were able to raise scholarship funds,” said Corcoran. “Everyone was so happy to be there and see each other.”