NBAA Announces 2021 Kern Professionalism Award Winners

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Washington, DC, Sept. 8, 2021 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today named seven 2021 recipients of its annual Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award, which honors individuals in the business aviation industry for outstanding professionalism and leadership in support of aviation safety.

The 2021 Kern Award winners are:

● Carl Bennett

● Bryan Burns

● Bruce Landsberg

● David Ryan

● Jared VanLue

● Nick W. Verdea, CAM, GLP

● Michael Webb, CAM

“NBAA is pleased to recognize these seven individuals who exemplify the ideals outlined in Dr. Kern’s Integrated Model of Professionalism,” said Mark Larsen, NBAA director of safety, standards, and flight operations. “Their history of outstanding leadership and professionalism has made them real, positive game-changers for business aviation safety.”

The awards will be presented during the NBAA National Safety Forum on Thursday, Oct. 14, and Dr. Kern will be a featured speaker on igniting positive professionalism. This year’s event will focus on leadership and professionalism as keys to improving aviation safety. The National Safety Forum is held in conjunction with the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which runs Oct. 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV.

Created in 2015 to honor Dr. Kern, a co-founder of Convergent Performance, distinguished U.S. Air Force veteran and author of five books on human performance, this peer-nominated award recognizes individual pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants, dispatchers and other aviation professionals who excel in leadership in the following areas:

● Professional ethics

● Vocational excellence

● Continuous improvement

● Professional engagement

● Professional image

● Selflessness

The nominations are vetted by a panel of NBAA Safety Committee Professionalism Working Group members.

NBAA will begin accepting nominations for the 2022 awards in January. Learn more about the Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award.

Learn more about NBAA’s efforts to promote professionalism in business aviation.

Learn more about the 2021 NBAA National Safety Forum.


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

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