NBAA to Honor Joe Clark, Bob Showalter at 2015 Convention

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,

Washington, DC ­– The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) will present its Meritorious Service to Aviation Award and John P. “Jack” Doswell Award to Joseph “Joe” Clark and Robert “Bob” Showalter, respectively, at the 2015 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2015) in Las Vegas, NV.

Joe Clark

Aerospace innovator Joe Clark is the chairman and CEO of Aviation Partners, Inc. (API) and chairman of the Aviation Partners Boeing joint venture. He is widely recognized as a pioneer in the fuel-saving and performance-enhancing technology of blended winglets.

Together, with entrepreneur Dennis Washington, Clark cofounded API in 1991 to develop and market winglet modifications for business and commercial aircraft. In its 25 years, API has supplied blended winglets to thousands of aircraft, including the Gulfstream II, Boeing Business Jet, several types of Boeing airliners, the Hawker 800 and 800XP and several Falcon Jet models. Worldwide, API’s winglets have saved an estimated 5 billion gallons of fuel.

“Joe Clark is an aviation visionary and a true entrepreneur,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “In founding API, he brought together the brightest minds in aerospace engineering and helped develop advanced technology to improve aircraft performance and minimize aviation’s impact on the environment.”

Clark’s passion for aviation began while still in college, when he started flying lessons. In 1964, a friend, Clay Lacy, invited Clark to travel to the Reno Air Races aboard a Learjet. In 1966, Clark founded Jet Air, the first Learjet dealership in the Northwest and was named vice president of sales for aircraft modification specialist Raisbeck Engineering. In 1981, he cofounded regional carrier Horizon Air, which later became part of Alaska Airlines. In 1986, he founded Avstar, Inc., a system to market business aircraft previously used for military training.

When Clark founded API, the company’s first project was developing blended winglet technology for the Gulfstream II, which increased the aircraft’s range, speed and fuel efficiency.

“We’re proud to recognize Joe Clark with NBAA’s highest honor, the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award,” said Bolen. “Like past recipients, his achievements have advanced the technology of flight.”

The Meritorious Service to Aviation Award celebrates extraordinary lifelong professional contributions to aviation. For decades, it has been presented to individuals who built the aviation industry, including business aviation.

Bob Showalter

Bob Showalter is the retired chairman of Showalter Flying Service, a fixed-base operator (FBO) started by his family in 1945, which he ran on Orlando Executive Airport (ORL) until 2014. During his 43-year career, he sold more than 600 aircraft and served in key roles with several aviation organizations. Under his leadership, Showalter Flying Service has hosted the static display for NBAA’s convention in Orlando nine times.

“Bob Showalter is one of the reasons NBAA’s convention has always felt at home in Orlando,” said Bolen. “Throughout his career, he’s exemplified customer service while demonstrating a passionate dedication to the industry.”

During his career, Showalter has held numerous leadership posts in the aviation industry. He was the youngest chairman of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and twice served as president of the Florida Aviation Business Association (previously known as the Florida Aviation Trades Association). He was also a longtime member of NBAA’s Security Council and has served on the Board of Visitors of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation since 1997.

From 1984 to 1986, Showalter was vice president of operations for Butler Aviation, where he was responsible for 26 FBOs – at the time the largest FBO chain in the country – before returning to Orlando and Showalter Flying Service.

A pilot, Showalter has more than 20,000 flight hours and has flown several relief missions in his 1974 Piper Aztec in the aftermath of natural disasters. He has received many industry awards, including NBAA’s American Spirit Award in 1996. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Today he works for his son as chief pilot of Showalter Aviation and Marine, Inc.

Established in 1987, the Doswell Award recognizes lifelong individual achievement on behalf of and in support of the aims, goals and objectives of business aviation. It is named for Jack Doswell, a renowned World War II combat veteran, business aircraft pilot and flight operations director who was actively involved in many NBAA committees and initiatives throughout the 1970s, and whose gifts inspired a high standard of involvement in the business aviation community.

About NBAA2015

As the most important business aviation event of the year, NBAA2015 offers attendees an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the latest issues affecting the industry. And as the largest gathering of the industry in the world, NBAA2015 is the premier place to review the latest business aviation products, technology and services, while participating in dozens of education sessions and making side-by-side comparisons of the most innovative aircraft on static display.

NBAA2015 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with two aircraft displays – an indoor one, on the exhibit floor of the convention center, and an outdoor display at Henderson Executive Airport (HND).

Learn more about NBAA2015.

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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 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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