NBAA Announces Winners of 2004 USAIG/PDP, Ginocchio and NORDAM Scholarships

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Las Vegas, NV, October 12, 2004 – This morning the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced the 2004 winners of the United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG)/Professional Development Program (PDP) Scholarship, Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship and NORDAM Dee Howard/Etienne Fage Scholarship.

USAIG/PDP Scholarship

NBAA has selected three students in aviation-related collegiate programs to receive the USAIG/PDP Scholarship. Each recipient will receive $1,000.

Meghan Elizabeth Burlager of Fraser, MI, is a sophomore majoring in aviation flight science at Western Michigan University. A flight enthusiast, she volunteers and visits elementary schools to talk to children interested in the field of aviation.

Greg James Gilger of Nevada City, CA, is a sophomore at the Prescott, AZ, campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). A commercial pilot with an instrument rating, Gilger’s jobs have included working as a flight-line manager helping with second-hand maintenance under the supervision of a certified A&P mechanic.

Casey Ryan Wells of Lake Odessa, MI, is a senior pursuing a dual major in aviation flight science and aviation administration with a minor in business from Western Michigan University. A private pilot, Wells plans to become a certified flight instructor, and his ultimate goal is to work in corporate aviation.

Since 1999, USAIG has sponsored 18 students seeking careers in business aviation through the PDP Scholarship program. NBAA, in cooperation with the University Aviation Association (UAA), developed the Professional Development Program to train future flight department leaders. For more information, visit

Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship

NBAA has selected five students enrolled at NBAA/UAA-member institutions to receive the Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship. Each recipient will receive $5,000.

Randi Lin Coon of Lohrville, IA, is pursuing a B.S. in aviation-professional flight with a minor in computer networking and applications from St. Cloud State University. She has a commercial SEL and MEL and instrument rating; is president of the Aero Club and a member of Aviation Ambassadors, Honors Club; and has completed more than 700 hours of community service.

Shaun Matthew Gerber of Fort Wayne, IN, is a student at Purdue University. He has a commercial pilot’s license, is a certified flight instructor and was a member of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. He has been a volunteer with several groups including food-service and youth organizations.

Michael William O’Neal of Monmouth, IL, is majoring in aeronautical science at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona, FL, campus. He holds a private and instrument rating. He has held various jobs, including as a research assistant for the ERAU Laboratory for Advanced Instrumentation Research, ERAU summer conference assistant and flight control system development team member.

Laura Ann Sokol of Redford Township, MI, is majoring in aviation flight technology at Eastern Michigan University. She currently is a student pilot and working as an enrollment coordinator and accountant for prospective students for the university’s aviation flight program.

Benjamin Ryan Westervelt of Parker, CO, is a sophomore majoring in aviation and business at the University of North Dakota. He has a private pilot’s license.

The Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship was created in 2001 by NBAA and the family and friends of the late Lawrence Ginocchio to honor his outstanding personal contribution to the business aviation community. Named for a remarkable man whose strength of character inspired a high standard of caring in the aviation community, the Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship recognizes those individuals who have demonstrated honesty, integrity and selflessness in their dealings with others. These individuals should possess a passion for aviation, as Larry Ginocchio did, and have utilized their interest or involvement in business aviation to enhance the lives of others.

NORDAM Dee Howard/Etienne Fage Scholarship

Kai Emerson Van Horn, an aerospace engineering student, is the recipient of the 2004 NORDAM Dee Howard/Etienne Fage Scholarship. He will receive $2,500 for his studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, AZ campus. “I want to make improvements in propulsion technology that will allow for a reform in the aerospace industry towards more environmentally conscious and efficient methodology,” Van Horn noted in his application.

The NORDAM Dee Howard/Etienne Fage Scholarship was created by The NORDAM Group to encourage students who are pursuing education in the fields of aerospace engineering and aeronautical systems maintenance engineering. It is named in honor of two aerospace engineering pioneers, Dee Howard and Etienne Fage, and it is administered by NBAA.

For More Information

NBAA offers several scholarships to promote professional development and business aviation careers. For more information, visit

The United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) provides a complete spectrum of coverages for owners, operators, manufacturers and maintainers of corporate, private and commercial aircraft. USAIG has been a Member of NBAA since 1953.

Headquartered in Tulsa, OK, NORDAM has been a world leader in aircraft component manufacturing and repair since 1969. It comprises eight operating divisions and subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the United States that serve a variety of markets within the aerospace industry.

NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,700 companies that own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.

Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via e-mail. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release e-mail list, fill out and submit the online form found on the web at