lift infrastructure development, safety, training, and education. He currently serves as Infrastructure Advisor to the Vertical Flight Society, is Co-chair of the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team’s (USHST) Infrastructure Working Group and is a committee member on the National Fire Protection (NFPA) 418, Standard for Heliports. He is also a platform instructor at the Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where he teaches heliport accident investigation techniques and in 2010 was one of a select group of experts that assisted in developing the “Heliport Evaluation Training Course” for FAA and DOT inspectors. He is past president of the National EMS Pilots Associating (NEMSPA) and past president of the Indiana Association of Air Medical Services (INAAMS). Rex is an alumnus of Parks College of Aviation and is a former U.S. Army Warrant Officer and ‘Aeroscout’ Helicopter Pilot and Instructor Pilot having served both on active duty and in the Indiana Army National Guard.
People have always been the passion for Chase. Combining an affable personality with a strong sense of civic engagement, his role at American affords the opportunity to represent American’s interests to a diverse mix of community stakeholders and visiting dignitaries.
While still relatively new to the industry, Chase has taken to it with vigor. Understanding that everything is a result of what came before, a full and thorough education of history is vital. Airlines are no different and Chase always considers himself a student, constantly on the prowl for new knowledge.
Prior to joining American and entering the Aviation field, Chase worked as an in-house Petroleum Landman for an exploration and production company.
Chase serves on the Board for the Tulsa Regional Chamber and State Chamber of Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, Economics, & Energy Management.
He oversees the management of the state’s 239 airports including the Anchorage and Fairbanks International Airports, is the chair of the executive board of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, is a Trustee for The International Air Cargo Association, and is an Accredited Airport Executive of the American Association of Airport Executives.
After retiring from the Unites States Air Force in September 2012, Mr. Binder joined Lockheed Martin’s National Airspace Implementation Support Contract (NISC) team in assisting the Federal Aviation Administration upgrade Alaska’s airspace and air traffic infrastructure. He joined the State of Alaska government in June 2013 when he became the Operations Manager for the Division of Statewide Aviation, directing aviation operations and planning for the state’s rural airports.
Mr. Binder is a former U.S. Air Force pilot and combat veteran with over 21 years of service, having retired as a commander and a command pilot with both fighter and trainer aircraft experience in the F-15C Eagle, T-38 Talon, and the T-6 Texan II. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1995 and a Master of Science degree in Space Systems from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 2006.
Mr. Binder and his wife Kia have four children and live in Anchorage, Alaska.
of Intermodal, Georgia Department of Transportation
Steve Brian is the Aviation Program Manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation which administers the FAA Block Grant Program andthe State Aviation Grant Program. Prior to joining the
Department, Steve was the Airport Director in College Station, TX and Brunswick, GA (managing the Brunswick Golden Isles and the McKinnon St. Simons Island Airports).
He has over nearly 40 years of experience in managing airports holding position in the communities of Birmingham, AL, Binghamton, NY, and Kinston, NC. He also served in
Washington, DC with ACI working on issues affecting small airports, air service, and international route development.
Steve is a graduate of Auburn University, a certified member of the AAAE, and holds a private pilot certificate.
Bob Brock, a Kansas native is the Director of Aviation & UAS for the Kansas Department of Transportation. Prior to joining KDOT, Bob served a 22-year career in the Air Force. An instrument-rated commercial fixed-wing and helicopter instructor pilot, he also serves as a Regional Director of the National Association of State Aviation Officials board and the FAA Drone Advisory Committee.
He is an alumnus of Pittsburg State University and Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University.
Congressman Brown serves as the Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, where he helps shape the policies to ensure we maintain the best-trained and best equipped military, make the right investments to fight 21st century threats, and keep our country strong and safe. Congressman Brown is also a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as the Committee of Natural Resources, working to build 21st century transportation networks and ensure future generations of Marylanders enjoy a clean and healthy environment. He was also tapped by Democratic leaders to serve on the equally-divided House Committee on Ethics. The Ethics Committee interprets, investigates and enforces the House Code of Official Conduct and rules regarding gifts, financial disclosure and other activities of Members of Congress and employees. Congressman Brown is currently co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition' National Security Task Force.
The son of immigrants and raised in a home where his father was the first in the family to ever attend college, Congressman Brown was taught the value of service at a young age. Through his military and public service, Anthony has devoted his life to serving his community and defending our nation.
A retired Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, Congressman Brown’s military record spanned more than a quarter century as an aviator and JAG officer, during which time he graduated first in his flight class and received both Airborne and Air Assault qualifications. Congressman Brown was awarded the Legion of Merit for his distinguished military service. In 2004, he was deployed to Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star and became one of the nation’s highest-ranking elected officials at that time to serve a tour of duty in that conflict.
In 1998, Congressman Brown was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates to represent Prince George’s County. Recognized by his colleagues for his leadership, Congressman Brown rose quickly, serving as Vice Chair of the powerful House Judiciary Committee and, later, as Majority Whip.
Congressman Brown made an even larger impact on Maryland during his eight years as Lt. Governor. He fought to increase investments in Maryland schools so that every child could receive a world-class education, protected victims of domestic violence, expanded health coverage to over 391,000 Marylanders, increased employment and health services to veterans, and spearheaded efforts to plan for and coordinate the arrival of 60,000 BRAC-related jobs to Maryland, including at Joint Base Andrews and Fort Meade.
Congressman Brown is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He and his wife Karmen are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Largo. They reside in Prince George’s County where they are raising their three children, Rebecca, Jonathan, and Anthony.
In addition to decades of experience as a government relations professional and his proven background managing associations, Burke is a visionary leader who serves the airport industry as a passionate advocate for legislative and regulatory policies that strengthen the ability for airports to serve their passengers, customers, and communities.
Prior to joining ACI-NA, he served for 13 years as President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). Growing its member programs, its financial position, its standing on Capitol Hill and around the world are among his many accomplishments at AAFA.
Throughout his career, Burke has served in many roles, having previously led government affairs efforts for Food Distributors International, the American Bakers Association, and the National Association of Broadcasters.
Kevin is a graduate of American University with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Kari earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from St. Edward’s University.
Prior to this role Ms. D'Alessandro served as the Director of the Organizational Performance Division in the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service (AIR). As Division Director, she provided leadership in the monitoring and assessment of AIR's organizational performance to reduce risk in the National Airspace System and integrate quality and safety into all aspects of AIR's operations.
Ms. D'Alessandro has held various leadership roles within AIR since joining the FAA in 2006. She was sworn into FAA's executive service in June 2015 as Manager of the Engine and Propeller Directorate (E&PD) with employees across the New England and Eastern Regions. In addition to her many years with the E&PD, she spent time at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC working as the Technical Special Assistant to AIR's Director and Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety. Prior to joining the FAA Ms. D'Alessandro spent 18 years at General Electric, quickly progressing through a variety of engineering jobs of increasing responsibility. During that time, she gained extensive experience in engineering design, administration and leadership.
Ms. D'Alessandro brings together a strong knowledge base of the local New England aviation and political landscape, together with a broad FAA network in Headquarters and across the country, enabling her to provide strong FAA representation with local stakeholder groups.
Ms. D'Alessandro earned her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and control systems from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Ms. D'Alessandro is Six Sigma Black Belt certified.
Prior to becoming Executive Director, Greg served as the Airport Director for the ACPA-SE Chapter. These years permitted establishment of professional relationships with the FAA Southern Region, FAA Airport District Offices, Southeastern State Aeronautic Agencies, and consultants who specialize in airport project development and airfield pavement design.
The presentation will highlight concrete overlay technology use and how concrete overlays can be the next generation of long-lasting, resilient pavements for airfields.
When Greg is not sharing his knowledge of concrete pavements, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family and rooting on his alma mater, North Carolina State University (BS Civil Engineering, 1983).
Aviation Project Manager
7 Years of Experience
Auburn University – BS in Aviation Management
Certified Member, American Association of Airport Executives
Katie has seven years of airport planning and project experience including previous work experience as the statewide aviation planner and aviation project manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), where she was actively engaged in the State Aviation System Planning process. As an airport planner, Katie has participated in many airport layout plan and master plan updates across the southeast including the planning of two new general aviation airports. Katie is a private pilot and FAR Part 107 small UAS remote pilot. She has been an active participant in many sUAS missions around the metro Atlanta area, including several at airports. Katie was part of the team who conducted the first sUAS flight on the airfield at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Jared began his career in aviation as a Loadmaster on C-17’s in the US Air Force. After 7 years of service in both Iraq and
Afghanistan Jared completed his BA in Political Science from the College of Charleston and his Master’s in Public Policy
with a focus on state and local public finance from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Jared
served as a White House Intern for President George W. Bush and served on the Board of Directors for the National
Conference of State Legislators. Jared was the Director of State Government Affairs at AOPA where he personally
impacted aviation law in over 22 states. He now serves as the Director of Aeronautics for the State of Utah and is the Chair of the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education. He is an AAAE CM, an FAA certified private pilot and UAS pilot.
Elwell previously served at the FAA as the Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Environment from 2006–2008. Most recently, he was Senior Advisor on Aviation to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Earlier in his career, he served as a legislative fellow for the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
From 2013–2015, as Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations at Airlines for America (A4A), Elwell was responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence for major U.S. air carriers.
Prior to A4A, Elwell was Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) from 2008–2013. In this role, Elwell represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy for the civil aerospace manufacturing interests of more than 300 AIA member companies.
Elwell was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft. While maintaining his proficiency as an MD-80 Captain, he served as Managing Director for International and Government Affairs at American Airlines.
Dan earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs. Lieutenant Colonel Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.
Organization: Trident Technical College, Charleston, SC
Position: Dean of Aeronautical Studies, managing the programs of Aircraft Maintenance, Avionics Maintenance, and Aircraft Manufacturing
Education: PhD in Business Administration, Aviation Management Specialization
Background: Aircraft Maintenance – 15 years (USAF and civil aviation)
Aviation Education – 32 years (instructing at 2, 4, and 6 year institutions)
Throughout her career, she has been very active in industry leadership positions and was on the National Board of Directors for the American Association of Airport Executives for six years as well as served as a Great Lakes Regional Examiner for the industry Accreditation program. Linda served the Great Lakes Chapter in numerous leadership and officer roles. She has been a team member on various Transportation Research Board/Airport Cooperative Research Panels, including “Cultivating Talent in the Airport Environment” and “Airport Leadership Development Programs.”
Before working with ADK, she worked for 21 years with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) in various roles, and the last position she held was the Vice-President of Strategy Management. Linda has prior airport experience at Memphis International Airport and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
Michelle has over 15 years of experience with the State of Tennessee in various roles. She severed on an Executive Committee responsible for the Top to Bottom Review of operational and organizational efficiency within the Department of Transportation. The committee identified improvements resulting in $43 million dollars of departmental savings. She is currently serving on the TDOT COVID Response Team responsible for ensuring continuity of operations, evaluating organizational needs and performance, and the development and implementation of a return to work plan.
Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She is a graduate of LEAD Tennessee, an intense leadership training program for emerging leaders within state government.
Michelle and her husband Ryan have been married for 28 years and live in Middle Tennessee.
Director, Airports and Ground Infrastructure, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
As Director of Airports and Ground Infrastructure at NBAA, Alex Gertsen focuses on airport access and advocacy, runway safety as well as aviation noise and fly neighborly initiatives on behalf of business aviation. With over 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry Alex is an active pilot and aircraft owner. He started his career coordinating aircraft charters and logistics in the White House Travel Office. Alex’s passion for technology and his focus on safety grew as part of his work at Lockheed Martin and carried through his efforts at the American
Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA). He founded Aviation Fury, LLC and prior to joining NBAA consulted leading aviation technology companies to bring innovative safety solutions to airports and general aviation. Alex continuously relies on his Mooney for air transportation.
Alex is a graduate of The George Washington University and holds a Masters degree from The Johns Hopkins University.
Raquel provides corporate leadership in cross-organizational matters and represents the FAA with industry, the public and governmental organizations. At the time of her appointment, she managed programs in the Office of Aviation Safety's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).
From 2013 to 2018, Raquel served as Deputy Director for Policy and Planning (APO) at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC, where she advanced a wide-ranging portfolio of projects and crosscutting policy issues such as FAA Reauthorization, NextGen implementation, and integration of new users in the NAS. In 2016, she served as senior advisor to the Director of the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office on international issues. Raquel joined the FAA in 2007 as Manager of the FAA's Noise Division in the Office of Environment and Energy in Washington DC.
Prior to federal service, Raquel worked in the commercial aerospace industry as an advanced design aerodynamics and propulsion engineer at Boeing-Southern California, and McDonnell Douglas Corporation. She also performed airfoil research at NASA Langley Research Center.
Raquel holds a Ph.D. in the inter-disciplinary field of Transportation Science from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her dissertation on an economic analysis of aviation noise regulations. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City and a Master's of Science degree in aeronautics from George Washington University.
Lawyer, Regulator, Senior Executive
Reggie Govan, the former Chief Counsel of the FAA, played an integral role shaping public policy at the cutting edge of aviation technology and he has a deep understanding of the impact of the regulatory environment on emerging technologies. He is one of the architects of the legal and regulatory framework governing the commercialization of drone technology, strengthening drone security, and expanding performance-based rule making.
Reggie is an advocate for streamlining and accelerating the pace of regulatory development and for developing a new regulatory framework to recognize the important role of state, local and tribal governments in protecting private property and privacy rights.
Before joining the FAA, Reggie served as a corporate counsel with responsibility for a broad range of compliance issues and as Counsel to Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Carnegie Mellon University.
In 2018, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) recognized Hague with their Top 40 Under 40 award for her career achievements and contributions to the industry. Kansas State University recognized her with their Alumni Fellow award in 2019. Hague is chair of the Aero Club of Washington’s young professional Runway Program and she is an inaugural member of NBAA’s Young Professionals Council. Both programs provide networking and educational events and promote diversity and inclusion in the aviation industry. Hague is co-author of the Federal Aviation Regulations Explained book series. She has also written articles for Business & Commercial Aviation, AAAE’s Airport Magazine, Aviation Business Journal, and Twin & Turbine.
Mr. Long served as a partner in the Washington law office of Fulbright and Jaworski L.L.P. beginning in 2001, focusing his practice on aircraft finance. He also served as an associate and partner at Perkins Coie L.L.P. in Washington from 1985 to 2000, also focusing on aircraft finance. He began his legal career as a corporate associate at White and Case L.L. P. in New York from 1980 to 1985.
Mr. Long received his law degree magna cum laude from Cornell Law School in 1980, and his bachelor's degree in political science from Colgate University in 1972.
Prior to his legal career, Mr. Long served in the U.S. Navy aboard the frigate USS Thomas C. Hart (FF-1092) as a division officer and navigator. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant and qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. Mr. Long was recognized for his role in the rescue efforts following the collision of USS Belknap (CG-26) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in the Mediterranean Sea in 1975.
Rob also serves as the Department of Transportation (DOT) Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinator (RETCO) supporting FEMA Region VI. As the DOT executive lead for Transportation Emergency Support Function (ESF-1) across a large multi-state area, he leads DOT emergency transportation programs across all DOT modes while ensuring development, training and deployment of emergency preparedness/response plans. As the RETCO, Rob serves as the executive point of contact and linkage to transportation stakeholders, local, state and federal agencies and elected officials. ensuring development, training and deployment of emergency preparedness/response plans. As the RETCO, Rob serves as the executive point of contact and linkage to transportation stakeholders, local, state and federal agencies and elected officials.
Rob Lowe has more than 34 years of FAA experience and has held numerous leadership positions across multiple service units within the agency. The majority of his public service career has been in the FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO) in roles that include the Central Service Area Director of Operations for Air Traffic Services South, Terminal Operations, Technical Operations and System Operations. Known for his systemic operational expertise and customer relations, Rob also has spent a number of years in the Washington DC area working in FAA HQ and the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC). He has also led large service delivery point facilities such as Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), and all the Air Traffic Control Towers and TRACONs in Northern Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana. Extensive experience in Crisis Response and Emergency Operations is another trademark of Rob Lowe's federal service playing crucial leadership roles in response to events such as September 11, 2001, Hurricanes, wild fires and floods. He served as the senior Department of Transportation representative (S-1) in New Orleans, Louisiana, immediately after Hurricane Katrina leading the evacuation, response and initial restoration for which he was recognized with the Department of Transportation's highest award (Gold Medal) for his actions.
Born in Albuquerque, NM, Rob is also an accomplished Sports Public Address Announcer. He is often heard across Texas and around the country announcing Airshows, as well as High School, NCAA, and Professional sporting events.
NBAA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Christa Lucas oversees the association’s outreach to the U.S. Congress, the federal administration, state and local governments, the aviation community and grassroots programs, working to ensure the safety, efficiency and acceptance of business aviation. She was originally hired as vice president, government affairs in January 2014.
Lucas came to NBAA from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where she was the associate administrator for airports. While there, she oversaw a $3.35 billion annual federal airport grants program and passenger facility charge collections totaling $2 billion. She also managed programs for national airport planning and development, including safety standards, design and engineering, certification, environmental processing and financing.
Previously, Lucas was deputy assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this capacity, she served as the principal advisor to the secretary on a broad portfolio of responsibilities covering domestic and international aviation, international trade, and other international cooperation and facilitation issues.
Before joining the office of the secretary of transportation, Lucas served as the legislative director to Representative Jerry Costello (IL) and was professional staff on the House Aviation Subcommittee, which Rep. Costello chaired. She managed the legislative agenda and handled responsibilities related to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Lucas received her B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and her M.P.P. from George Washington University.
From 2013 through 2017, MacPherson worked as a transportation attorney, first as of counsel at Jones Day and then as the principal at Rebecca B. MacPherson, Attorney at Law, PLLC. She specialized in advising clients on the impact of Federal transportation regulations on day-to-day operations, including compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations, hazardous materials regulations, airport slots, and citizenship determinations. She made guest appearances on National Public Radio's The Diane Rehm Show and Marketplace, as well as CNBC, to discuss the impact of FAA initiatives on unmanned aerial vehicles. She authored the chapter "The FAA's Certification and Regulatory Scheme for U.S. and Foreign Air Carriers" in the 2014 publication Aviation Regulation in the United States.
MacPherson served as the FAA's Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations from 2004 to 2013, where she was responsible for providing legal and policy guidance to senior FAA officials on matters associated with the development of regulations governing all aspects of aviation, as well as overseeing the drafting of new and amended regulations and the day-to-day implementation of existing standards and regulations. MacPherson routinely represented the FAA's interests before the White House and Congress. In 2012, her portfolio was expanded to include legal oversight of the FAA's international and legislative programs and initiatives.
Prior to joining the FAA, MacPherson was a regulatory attorney at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a trial attorney at the U.S. Maritime Administration. She graduated cum laude from Tulane School of Law in 1990 and magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola University in 1986.
MacPherson is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars. She is a two-time recipient of the Secretary of Transportation's Gold Medal; she was named the Federal Bar Association's Transportation Attorney of the Year for 2008 and was awarded the Department of Transportation's Schneider Award for 1995.
Director, Business Development
Matt has 30 years of business development experience with Saab, Inc. in Syracuse, NY, pursuing safety- and surveillance-related contracts with the FAA, various State aviation departments, and the Department of Defense. Matt led the company’s capture of FAA contracts for the Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-X) and Capstone/Safe Flight 21 ADS-B programs, and the Wide-Area Multilateration surveillance program with the Colorado Division of Aeronautics. He is currently directing Saab’s launch of its camera-based, Remote Tower System in the U.S. – centered on FAA certification and commissioning at Leesburg Executive Airport, Virginia.
Prior to joining Sensis Corp. in 1988, Matt worked as a radar system engineer with General Electric. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Mike McHugh is the Aviation Education Coordinator for the North Dakota
Aeronautics Commission and has been working in this role since 2015. Prior to working for the Aeronautics Commission, Mike spent 12 years as a high school teacher, instructing
an aviation class available to 10-12th grade students in Bismarck, North Dakota. During the time as a high school teacher, Mike became a Google Certified Teacher and was awarded the Scott Crossfield aerospace teacher of the year.
As the Education Coordinator, he is tasked with promoting aviation education careers as well as overseeing the agencies educational programs. Mike is a graduate of the University
of North Dakota with a degree in Aviation Management and Masters (M.Ed) in Instructional Design and Technology. He is also a commercial pilot (ASMEL).
Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Maritime Association where he championed a ten-year strategic plan that revolutionized the west coast shipping industry, and produced a labor contract that generated cost reductions of nearly $1 billion.
He also served as the Vice President for Administration and Human Resources at the New York University Medical Center and Group Director for Human Resources at Ryder Systems, Inc.
Mr. Miniace holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Creighton University. He serves on Advisor Boards for Creighton University, Stanford University School of Law, and New York University School of Law. He has also served on the Board of Directors for numerous businesses, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
Carol Niewola is the Senior Aviation Planner at NHDOT/Bureau of Aeronautics, a position she’s held for nearly 15 years. She is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering and holds a Professional Engineers License. She was one of the original team members pursuing and implementing the FAA’s State Block Grant Program for New Hampshire in 2008. She brings to this program a diverse understanding of the aviation industry having been both an airport consulting planner and engineer for over 13 years, an airport manager for a thriving general aviation airport in southern Maine, and continues to provide independent consulting services for airports outside of New Hampshire. Ms. Niewola has had her private pilot’s license since 2003.
Mr. O'Harra serves as the FAA Administrator's primary representative to Congressional, state, local and tribal officials, aviation industry, educational institutions, civic organizations and other Federal agencies, and spokesperson for the Agency within his geographic area of responsibility. He is responsible for outreach activities to stakeholders and local communities regarding environmental impacts and noise management issues, as well as information sharing on initiatives such as NextGen, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration, Commercial Space, airport improvements and airspace and procedure changes. Mr. O'Harra provides leadership for the 24/7 Regional Operations Centers (ROCs) that communicate information on aircraft accidents and other emergencies impacting aviation operations to appropriate internal and external entities.
Mr. O'Harra's previous appointment was as the Deputy Regional Administrator for the FAA Southwest Region in February 2008, which included serving as the Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinator (RETCO) to ensure effective transportation emergency planning and response for incidents of national significance for the Department of Transportation's Region 6.
His FAA career also includes various leadership positions as an acting Chief Information Officer and as the national Operational Integration Manager, where he was instrumental in the effective oversight of several major capacity initiatives. Mr. O'Harra also chaired the FAA Airport Obstruction Standards Committee (AOSC) working group that was responsible for developing corporate policy solutions to highly visible issues in the airport environment. He previously held positions in private industry for nearly a decade spanning both aviation and aerospace fields.
Mr. O'Harra graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. Michael and his wife, Cristy, have three daughters.
Mr. Payne was selected in 2006 as the State’s Program Manager for the Colorado Surveillance Project, which is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the FAA and State of Colorado. This project brings surveillance to mountain airports supporting the State’s multimillion-dollar ski industry by employing the NextGen Technologies of ADS-B and Wide Area Multilateration (WAM). Phase I of the project, which provides surveillance (“radar-like”) services to four mountain airports in northern Colorado, was successfully completed and certified for use in the NAS. Phase II, which provides surveillance coverage to four additional mountain airports in southern Colorado, was completed in 2012.
Mr. Payne was on the team that designed the camera system at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) that addressed visibility issues associated with the FAA staffed ATCT.
Mr. Payne is the Program Manager for the Colorado Remote Tower Project currently being tested and evaluated at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL). This innovative project is another collaborative effort between the Colorado Division of Aeronautics and the FAA NextGen Program Office. When certified the Colorado Remote Tower Project will provide full Class D airport control services by employing a series of distributed video cameras in conjunction with a track based (radar) surveillance to display a comprehensive picture of the airport surface and local airspace to the air traffic controller.
Mr. Payne obtained and manages the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Blanket Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to operate its fleet of UASs.
Mr. Payne was a member of the Denver RNAV SIDS and STARS Working Group, which was responsible for designing the RNAV arrival and departure routes for Denver International Airport and the two major satellite airports in the Denver Metroplex -- Centennial Airport (APA) and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC). He has worked closely with the FAA to develop both Public and Special instrument approach procedures for Ski Country Airports in Colorado.
Sr. Aviation Engineer and Project Manager responsible for Design and Construction Administration projects at Commercial Service and General Aviation Airports – 33 years of experience
BSCE, Civil Engineering, University of South Florida, 1987
Professional Engineer in Florida
Mr. Prange's expertise is in project planning, design, scheduling, inspection and construction administration, and client communications for all types of aviation-related facilities. He is also involved in the administration of FAA and FDOT grant programs, including preparation of FAA and state grant funding pre-applications and applications. Mr. Prange’s experience includes aviation, road and bridge, site civil, landscaping and irrigation, drainage, pavement rehabilitation, architectural, and environmental projects. He prefers a hands on approach to projects where he is involved in all stages of a project from conception to construction.
Numerous projects involving Runway, Taxiway and Apron construction and reconstruction using P-401, P-404 and State asphalt mix designs.
CAROLINAS AVIATION MUSEUM
Bachelor of Arts: Biology and Anthropology (concentration – Native American Studies)
Masters of Education: Science Curriculum and Instruction
Duke University Certificate Program in Nonprofit Management / Duke Continuing Studies
Stephen Saucier – Is a museum and STEM education leader. He has worked with science centers, children’s museums, national parks, and schools developing master plans, strategic plans, interactive exhibits, educational programs and curricula, opening facilities, and helping position organizations develop compelling visions for meaningful impact and sustainable operations.
As Exhibit Coordinator for the Louisiana Nature and Science Center in New Orleans, he led the development of natural and cultural exhibits, program development, and exhibit interpretation. He became a National Park Ranger at Mesa Verde National Park in Southwest Colorado developing interactive tours through 800+ year- old cliff dwellings and archeological sites. He later became the Outreach and Science Director at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, New Orleans, where he launched several initiatives including geography and science- based outreach programs that traveled nationally.
Having moved to North Carolina in the early 2000s, he became the Founding Executive Director for a start-up children’s museum - KidSenses Children’s InterACTIVE Museum – where he ran a $3 million capital campaign, master planning, construction, program development and workforce development. When it opened in 2004, the museum was awarded honors from North Carolina’s Main Street Program for its public/private partnership development model. He then went on to become the Executive Director of a statewide association – the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative – where he directed a network of 34 science centers, museums, and children’s museums throughout North Carolina to advance STEM education through legislative advocacy raising $18 million in State funding. He was then recruited to become the Executive Director of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, a 200-acre site in western NC that was originally the east coast tracking station for early NASA space travel programs. While there, he led the transformation of the facility to become a STEM education center.
Now, he serves as President of the Carolinas Aviation Museum, having been there since October 2017. Working with a new Board of Directors and a revamped and talented team, Stephen is building on the Museum’s 25-year history toward becoming a significant cultural institution and STEM/aviation educational resource in Charlotte, NC. He works with a dedicated staff of 7, over 35 activate volunteers, and a 10-member Board of Directors to achieve a new level of vibrancy and relevancy in this region and the State working to address STEM education and workforce development in aviation and aerospace.
In addition to economics journal and law journal publication, Brent has authored pieces for Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired, Air Traffic Management magazine, and elsewhere. He’s appeared as an interview guest for news outlets like C-SPAN, NPR, CBS, and CNBC Asia. Brent has a BA in economics from Wheaton College and a law degree from the George Mason University School of Law.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Solomon served as FAA Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, Environment and Energy (APL) in Washington, D.C. As Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, Environment, and Energy, Ms. Solomon was responsible for leading the FAA's efforts to foster the safety and capacity of the global aerospace system in an environmentally sound manner. In this role, she focused on FAA's reauthorization efforts, corporate management of international engagement through the FAA's Global Leadership Initiative, and overseeing the agency's environmental activities and initiatives in NextGen and ICAO.
Before joining the FAA, Ms. Solomon served as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, working on the Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety & Security. She served on the Commerce Committee staff for Chairman Jay Rockefeller, then Ranking Member Bill Nelson.
Before joining the Commerce Committee, she served in a variety of roles for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. In addition to advising on aviation policy, she developed and implemented legislative strategies on homeland security, surface transportation, and immigration policy.
Ms. Solomon graduated from Duke University with a degree in Political Science, and originally hails from New York City.
Stambaugh is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where he obtained a Master of Public Administration degree focusing on aviation administration. He served as a graduate assistant working with various partners through the National Airport Safety Data (5010) Program. His primary research focused on using digital technologies, such as social media, to improve airport communication, public relations, and marketing. Stambaugh also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Flight from SIU. He holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate for Airplane Single and Multi-Engine Land with an Instrument Airplane rating, as well as a Remote Pilot Certificate. Stambaugh now acts as an Assistant Lecturer for SIUC and teaches both on and off campus.
South Carolina Aeronautics Commission
James Stephens is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, and is charged with managing the state’s executive aircraft fleet as well as the state’s system of airports. He holds degrees in Aviation Management and Aircraft Maintenance from Bob Jones University, and is a licensed Airframe & Powerplant mechanic and Private Pilot.
Prior to Aeronautics, he served as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Special Services Corporation in Greenville, SC. During his time with Special Services, the aircraft management company grew from a fleet of four aircraft to ten, most of which were offered on the aircraft charter market for private use. Stephens’ past experiences also include airport management in McMinnville, Tennessee, and aircraft maintenance in Greenville, South Carolina.
Stephens is currently the chair of the South Carolina Aerospace Education Working Group, and is working with industry, academia, and government to promote the aerospace/aviation industry to South Carolina students. He serves as the Regional Representative for the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) Southern Region, and is a member of the NASAO Board of Directors.
Immediately prior to his current role, He served as the Deputy Regional Administrator of the Northwest Mountain Region. Prior to that, he served as the national Manager of the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, a $3.5 billion annual infrastructure grant program that aids airport owners in financing critical aviation infrastructure. The program is funded through the Aviation Trust Fund. Mr. Suomi oversaw project identification, prioritization, eligibility and ultimate grant obligation for approximately 2,500 grants annually.
Prior to his FAA roles, Mr. Suomi served in a variety of senior executive roles associated with private and public-sector aviation management positions, and has represented interests before Federal, State and local governments. He was vice president of BAA USA, Inc., the US subsidiary of BAA plc, the United Kingdom private sector airport company that owned and operated London Heathrow, as well as other major aviation facilities around the world.
Mr. Suomi is an accredited aviation professional with a record of accomplishment of increasingly responsible experience in chief executive officer and chief operating officer roles at U.S. airports, ranging from small reliever fields to large hubs, including Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports. His primary responsibilities included liaison with governmental (executive and Congressional) officials, Airport Improvement Program oversight, facility safety, emergency preparedness and response, security and operations, community relations, and stakeholder relations and facility development.
An accredited executive with the American Association of Airport Executives, Mr. Suomi has served as officer and/or board member in various state aviation organizations, functioned as a university instructor in Airport Development and Operations, holds a pilot certificate, has written articles and papers on airport issues, and spoken on various airport/airline subjects around the country.
Mr. Suomi received a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and has completed graduate work at the University of Central Florida, State University of New York, University of Pennsylvania, and George Mason University.
Executive Director, You Can Fly, AOPA
As Executive Director of You Can Fly, Elizabeth Tennyson is responsible for programs designed to get people flying and keep them flying. You Can Fly comprises four initiatives aimed at introducing high school students to aviation careers, improving the flight training experience, making flying more accessible through flying clubs, and returning lapsed pilots to the cockpit. Elizabeth joined AOPA in 1998 and has held positions that included managing editor of Flight Training magazine, executive editor of Pilot magazine, vice president of publications, vice president of e-media, vice president of aviation program operations, and senior director of communications. She is an instrument-rated private pilot and a hang glider pilot.
Under the direction of the Colorado Aeronautical Board, Dave leads the Colorado Department of Transportation’s innovative and forward-leaning Aeronautics Division.
Prior to his current role, Dave was the Northwest Mountain Regional Manager for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), where he managed the
association’s airport advocacy, state and local legislative and governmental affairs, and member engagement in seven
northwestern states. He serves as the current Secretary on the National Association of State
Aviation Officials (NASAO) Executive Committee, and previously was President of the Northwest Chapter of the American
Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and President of the Wyoming Airport Operators Association. An active pilot
since 1987, Dave is a seaplane rated private pilot, currently flying a variety of general aviation aircraft.
Dave has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver
and is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.).
12 Years of Experience
Auburn University, BS in Biosystems Engineering
Professional Registrations: Engineer, Georgia #38197; Tennessee #114258; Alabama #34924_E
Memberships: Water Environment Federation; American Water Works Association; American Society of Civil Engineers; National Society of Professional Engineers
Involved in several engineering excellence award winning projects during his career, Eddie excels at working on projects ranging from small municipal and private design, to city-wide modeling and program management. He has been involved in the planning and design of intakes, treatment facilities, pump stations, reservoirs, and distributions systems. In the program management realm, Eddie has assisted City officials in coordinating with contractors, consultants and private citizens, while assisting in the management of the rehabilitation design efforts of over 500 miles of pipe. He played an integral role in developing an asset management and GIS system for two local governments. Eddie has worked on numerous green projects, including wastewater reuse studies, green infrastructure master plans, and an award winning rain garden.
Director, NCDOT Division of Aviation
In his role as Director of Aviation for the NC Department of Transportation, Mr. Walston is responsible for all aviation functions regarding state airport and aviation system planning and development, and programs that provide funding and resources to communities for constructing and improving airports throughout North Carolina. He also oversees the division’s aircraft utilized by state agencies, the state’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drone) Program, and support for aviation business development across the state.
He is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). In 2019 he was awarded the Kenneth Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award from NASAO.
A graduate from NC State University, he has a BS in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Military Operational Art and Science from the US Air Force Air University's Air Command and Staff College. He is also a registered professional engineer in NC.
As a Lieutenant Colonel in the NC Air National Guard, he serves as a Civil Engineer Operations Officer with the 245 Civil Engineer Flight located in Charlotte, NC. LtCol Walston has served over 25 years in the National Guard.
A native to North Carolina he now lives in Wake Forest with his wife and four children.
Stephanie Ward is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BS in Urban Planning and a Masters in Parks and Recreation Planning.
She has been involved in the aviation industry for more than thirty years beginning with obtaining her private pilot license
at 17. She has been an aviation planner and manager with Mead & Hunt for 21 years and has over 29 years of aviation
planning experience completing projects of all sizes across the U.S. She is a certified planner (AICP) and has completed
more than 200 projects across the country ranging from traditional airport master planning, and environmental
assessments, to state aviation system plans and national research for the Airports Cooperative Research Program
(ACRP) where she has been involved with more than 20 projects. Stephanie’s perspective as both an aviation planner
and pilot brings unique understanding to her projects, big and small. She has a passion educating the public on the value
of aviation and getting our next generation of aviation professionals engaged in our exciting industry.
N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation
919.814.0572 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Basil Yap serves as program manager for the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division of Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program. In this role, he envisions and directs efforts that position North Carolina as a global leader in UAS (drone) safety, government integration, commercial and economic development, and knowledge creation. That includes ensuring North Carolina maintains the safest possible environment for drone operations; maximizes state and local agency use of UAS technology to improve public services and operations; builds a world-leading UAS economy; pursues research and innovations that promote drone safety, government integration and commercial development; and designs and advocates for supportive local, state and federal policies.
Under Mr. Yap’s direction, NCDOT has launched an impressive list of UAS innovation “firsts:”
North America’s first demonstration of an unmanned air taxi.
Launch of nation’s first routine drone package deliveries for pay.
Nation’s first and only permitting system for commercial and government drone operators.
North Carolina’s first coordinated drone response to a disaster.
North Carolina’s first Drone Summit and Flight Expo convening UAS leaders from business, government and academic focused on drone innovation.
Launch of initiative to develop an unmanned traffic management system for North Carolina.
Mr. Yap serves as a subject matter expert for state transportation and industry organizations, sharing his experiences, best practices and recommendations on developing drone technologies and programs. He serves on and advises national standards-setting committees, including the ANSI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collaborative, which in 2018 published the comprehensive Standardization Roadmap as a key resource for nationwide drone deployment.
North Carolina’s UAS Program, under Mr. Yap’s direction, has won numerous awards for transportation innovations, including the National Association of State Aviation Officials Organization’s 2019 Most Innovative State Program Award and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's 2019 XCELLENCE Award in the humanitarian category for North Carolina’s coordinated drone support of statewide emergency response during Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Mr. Yap secured and directs North Carolina’s participation in the Federal Aviation Administration’s three-year UAS Integration Pilot Program as one of only 10 U.S. teams selected. The N.C. pilot is creating viable operational concepts, testing tools and developing infrastructure that enables safe drone use for package delivery, particularly medical package delivery, food package delivery and transportation infrastructure inspection over local communities and beyond line of sight. Mr. Yap interfaces with the FAA’s program management team, assesses concepts and emerging UAS technologies, fosters technical interchange towards integrated solutions for advanced UAS urban and rural operations, and coordinates broadly across a diverse team of industry technology experts and government officials to achieve operations within North Carolina. This pilot offers the potential for unleashing a new era of drone use for public and private purposes across the state and the nation.
Mr. Yap brings to this work extensive experience in engineering, program and project management, policy development, and research design and analysis. In a previous role as an airport project manager with the Division of Aviation, he worked directly with 17 airports to administer federal and state grants for airport development. This required engaging and working closely with local governments and airport authorities on airport planning and land use, public outreach, project prioritization, construction monitoring and inspection, and assuring grant obligations were met.
Mr. Yap is vice chair of the National Association of State Aviation Officials UAS Committee, a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Aviation System Planning, FAA’s EDC-5 Innovations UAS working group, and ASTM International’s Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University.
*Ms. Zoldi is appearing in her private capacity. As such, the views and opinions expressed during her presentation do not reflect those of the DOD, do not constitute endorsement of any organization mentioned and are not intended to influence the action of federal agencies or their employees.