Strong Attendance, Programs at NBAA Leadership Conference

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,
Patrick Dunne (202) 783-9263,

Washington, DC, February 26, 2009 – The 2009 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Leadership Conference, themed “Winds of Change,” saw a strong attendance for the informative programs it offered last week in New Orleans, LA on February 18 and 19. Members of the NBAA Corporate Aviation Management Committee were pleased that more than 150 current and emerging leaders in business aviation spent two thought-provoking and interactive days creating a map to better navigate change in the business aviation industry.  NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen launched the Conference with a challenge that was repeated throughout the two days: transparency and grassroots activism will have the greatest impact on the viability of business aviation. Burt Rutan, keynote speaker, reiterated the need for the industry to embrace a culture of innovation.  The Winds of Change theme was explored with Curt Garbett of Spencer Johnson Partners as he emphasized that change is personal and provided a framework for leaders dealing with change. He used the text Who Moved My Cheese? as the launching platform of his presentation. Also on the first day, Attendees had the rare opportunity to learn about the impact of the current economic turbulence from some of the industry’s preeminent leaders: Bolen; Jim Christiansen, president, NetJets Aviation; Aaron Hilkemann, president, Duncan Aviation; and John Rosanvallon, president and CEO, Dassault Falcon.  The second day of the event featured a robust discussion titled “The Business Case for Business Aviation,” moderated by Steve Hadley, NBAA’s southwest regional representative. Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman of Bridgeworks provided insight into the pitfalls and opportunities leaders face in managing diverse teams.  A Conference highlight was when David Rimmer, executive vice president of ExcelAire, described his personal experience of being on the Legacy 600 during the mid-air collision with a GOL 737 in September 2006 over Brazil.  Rimmer’s insight into criminalization, ethics and politics brought the audience to a standing ovation at the end of his presentation.  The Conference wrapped up with a discussion by Bill Voss, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, who presented a powerful presentation on the importance of safety management systems (SMS) and the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). For more information on NBAA events, visit

Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (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 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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