Koch, Witzig Chosen to Lead NBAA Board of Directors; Amalfitano, Weihs to Lead Advisory Council

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 13, 2021 – The voting members of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today re-elected four individuals to the association’s Board of Directors during an annual meeting held during the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). Additionally, Monte Koch, of Choice Hotels, succeeded Elizabeth Dornak, of DuPont, as board chair, and John Witzig, of Pfizer, will serve as NBAA’s new vice chair/treasurer.

Leadership on NBAA’s Advisory Council also changed today, with Michael Amalfitano, of Embraer Executive Jets, replacing Sheryl Barden, of Aviation Personnel International, as chair, and Tyson Weihs, of ForeFlight, becoming vice chair. As leaders of the Advisory Council, Amalfitano and Weihs will serve as the Business Member Advisors on the board of directors.  

Koch is a retired partner at BDT & Company. He has advised clients and invested in a broad range of industries, including real estate, lodging, aviation and technology, with a diverse background in both institutional and entrepreneurial settings. With more than 25 years of investment banking experience, he served as chairman of M&A for the Americas and global head of real estate investment banking at Deutsche Bank. In late 2012, he left Deutsche Bank to serve as co-founder, co-CEO and later vice chairman of Ten-X/Auction.com, the largest online marketplace for residential and commercial real estate transactions. Koch is a director of publicly-traded Choice Hotels. He holds an ATP license and is type rated in the Falcon 10, G-IV, G-V and Boeing 747-400. He also holds helicopter and seaplane ratings. He graduated from The College of William & Mary with a bachelor’s degree in management. Koch was reelected today to a two-year term as director. His term as chair will conclude in 2023. 

Having joined Pfizer in 2011, Witzig is responsible for worldwide transportation of personnel aboard company aircraft and ground vehicles. Witzig is a member of Pfizer’s Human Resources Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Council. He also is a member of the Aviation Director’s Roundtable. Prior to joining Pfizer, Witzig was the senior vice president of operations for CitationAir, Cessna’s fractional aircraft business, where he held roles of increasing responsibility, beginning as an aircraft captain in 2001. Previous roles ranged from being a line pilot for an overnight freight company, to chief pilot of a business aviation flight department. Witzig is an airline transport pilot with more than 7,000 hours of flight time and several type ratings. Witzig holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Witzig was reelected today to a three-year term as director. His term as vice chair/treasurer will conclude in 2023. 

Amalfitano is the president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets and has more than 40 years of executive leadership experience in business aviation and financial services. Prior to joining Embraer, Amalfitano served as executive vice president, senior managing director of business aviation at Stonebriar Commercial Finance. He also led as managing director, executive head of global corporate aircraft finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for over 22 years, following a decade-long tenure in sales management at GE Capital. Amalfitano is vice chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Amalfitano graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in financial management from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. His term as advisory council chair will conclude in 2023. 

Weihs is the co-founder and CEO of ForeFlight, a Boeing Company, the market leading provider of integrated flight applications for personal, business, military and commercial aviation. He is a recipient of the Eren Ozmen Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Godfrey L. Cabbot Award, a recipient of the prestigious Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) General Aviation Safety Award for measurably improving the safety of flight and a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. In addition to serving on the NBAA board, he also serves on the boards of GAMA, as well as the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Weihs is an active instrument-rated turbojet pilot and holds multiple type ratings for business aviation aircraft. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a computer science degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, and has an MBA from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management. His term as Advisory Council vice chair will conclude in 2023.  

In addition to Koch and Witzig, Bill Ayer of Honeywell and Sean Lee of The Coca-Cola Company were re-elected to three-year terms on the board of directors. 

Ayer began his career as a salesperson with the Piper Aircraft Company. After starting Air Olympia, a regional airline in Washington state, in 1981, Ayer joined Horizon Air in 1982. Horizon became a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group in 1986 and he was named chief executive officer of the parent company in 2002. He retired from the company at the end of 2013. Ayer is the chair of the FAA’s Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee. He formerly served on the FAA’s Management Advisory Council and chaired the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee. In addition to Honeywell, he serves on the boards of the University of Washington, the Museum of Flight and AOPA. Ayer received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Washington. Ayer started flying at the age of 15, holds an ATP certificate and has accumulated more than 5,500 hours of flight time. Ayer joined the board in 2014. 

Lee currently serves as global vice president, The Coca-Cola Company, leading the Global Operations and Workplace Services team and is the accountable executive for The Coca-Cola aviation department. Lee began his flying career as a United States Air Force officer, progressing through the rank of major and was honorably discharged after completing 10 years of service and flying over 40 combat sorties during that period. Post military service, he served in multiple corporate and aviation positions with MassMutual Financial Group and Hewlett Packard. Lee is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy as well as the USAF Russian Language Area Studies Immersion Program at the University of St. Petersburg in Russia, and has an MBA from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. In addition to his service with NBAA, Lee currently serves on the boards of the Coca-Cola Federal Credit Union and the New England Air Museum. Lee joined the board earlier in 2021. 

Review all members of the NBAA Board of Directors and Advisory Council.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at nbaa.org.

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