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Tampa, FL, Jan. 22, 2016 – The 2016 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2016) concluded Friday, Jan. 22 at the Tampa Convention Center with a record 2,800-plus attendees and a record 517 exhibitors taking part in the annual conference, which included dozens of innovative education sessions, various networking events and ample opportunities to give back to the local community.
“We strive to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience each year and, as a result, more and more people understand this is the place to be,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president of operational excellence and professional development. “Schedulers and dispatchers are the buyers and they are empowered to come here and make choices, while gaining valuable skills and knowledge through robust education sessions.”
SDC2016 included many new features, most notably an increased focus on humanitarian efforts in support of the host city by holding a food packing event for Feeding America Tampa Bay. About 200 conference attendees volunteered time to pack 800 bags of food so needy children and their families would have food for the weekend. Additionally, this was the sixth year the conference collected gently used business clothes for local charities. This year, a total of 4,379 garments were collected, breaking last year’s record of 1,500 items. Read more about philanthropic events at SDC2016.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen also took the opportunity to talk to attendees about the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill, which when introduced next month, is expected to include a call for privatizing air traffic control with user fees.
Calling it an “imminent battle,” Bolen urged SDC2016 attendees to contact lawmakers urging them to vote against the plan, adding they could use NBAA’s online Contact Congress resource to easily make their voice heard. “It’s a tremendous opportunity we have to make our views known,” he said. “We need all of you to be active and engaged in this process. The future of business aviation is at stake.” View Contact Congress.
Other new and expanded features of the conference included:
“Professional development is a cornerstone of the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, and we are continually striving to understand how our attendees want to learn and listening to their feedback and then trying to adapt to that,” said Jo Damato, NBAA’s director of educational development and strategy. “This conference is going into its 28th year and we don’t ever want to be a conference that looks the way it did 28 years ago or even five years ago. We are always moving forward and always looking at what can attendees get from this event that improves their professional development ”
Scholarships and Award Winners
Dozens of scholarships also were awarded at SDC2015, with thousands of dollars in monetary and training scholarships presented to dozens of individuals.
Additionally, Dorette Kerr, a former chair of the S&D Committee, received the association’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award. Read more about Kerr and the award.
“The conference went great, we had a lot of positive feedback from attendees about the event,” said SDC2016 Chair Eve Gregory, with C&S Wholesale Grocers, noting that it takes hundreds of volunteers to make the conference a success each year. “The organizing committee did a remarkable job – it was apparent in the exhibit hall, in the session rooms and in everything that they planned. I’m so proud of the conference they produced.”
SDC2017 is scheduled for Feb. 7 to 10 in Fort Worth, TX.
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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 www.nbaa.org.
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