Press Release: NASAO's Virtual Conference Concludes Successfully
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Posted by: NASAO
Washington, DC (September 17, 2020) - The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) successfully held their first ever virtual Annual Conference this week.
The 2020 Annual Conference - NASAO's 89th - was originally scheduled to take place in Greenville, SC. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the NASAO Executive Board faced the decision to cancel the event, or shift to a virtual platform.
In addition to being NASAO's first ever online event, the three day conference made history being the first large scale conference of the national aviation associations held virtually following COVID-19. With over 500 registered attendees and 30 exhibitors, the virtual conference was also the highest attended NASAO Annual gathering in history.
In striving to be an accessible resource to the aviation community, NASAO opted to price registration at $30 and $60 for members and non-members respectively. With a lower price-point and no travel costs, State aviation staff who typically would not be able attend in person, got to take advantage of the education and networking opportunities.
"NASAO's first priority is always to serve the needs of our members. Now more than ever, it's important to come together. Our hope was that lower pricing would allow more of our members to benefit from the conference, and we're happy to see that was indeed the case," reported Greg Pecoraro, NASAO's President & CEO.
Lobby of the NASAO Virtual Conference
The conference sessions addressed a variety of topics, from workforce development to the impact of COVID-19. The virtual platform remains open for a full month, so registered attendees can re-watch all the sessions, and continue to visit Exhibitor Booths.
Some of the highlight events of the conference included the Keynote session with FAA Deputy Administrator, Dan Elwell; election of the 2020-2021 NASAO Board; and the presentation of the NASAO Awards honoring state and individual contributions to aviation.
2020-2021 Elected NASAO Board
Executive Board Members
Chair: Bobby Walston, North Carolina
Vice-Chair: Tony McCloskey, Pennsylvania
Treasurer: Dave Ulane, Colorado
Secretary: James Stephens, South Carolina
Immediate Past Chair: John Binder, Alaska
Regional Board Members
Northwest Mountain Region: Jared Esselman, Utah
Western Pacific Region: Amy Choi, California
Southwest Region: Dan Moran, New Mexico
Great Lakes Region: Clayton Stambaugh, Illinois
Central Region: Ann Richart: Nebraska
New England: Jeff DeCarlo, Massachusetts
Eastern Region: Mark Flynn, Virginia
Southern Region: Michelle Frazier, Tennessee
Most Innovative State Program Award:
PFAS Grants Program - Michigan, Office of Aeronautics, Department of Transportation
The award recognizes truly unique and service-oriented state aviation programs, projects, and activities. Many innovative aviation programs that began at the state level have spread to other states or in some cases have been adopted or accepted by the federal government and the aviation community.
State Aviation Distinguished Service Award:
Grayson Ardies, Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
The award recognizes State Aviation personnel who have excelled in their service and dedication to aviation progress and development in their state.
within state aviation agencies and is open to any employee of a state aviation agency, excluding people who have retired from a state agency, directors or acting directors.
NASAO Board Chair's Award:
Tracy MacDonald, Meetings & Membership Senior Manager, NASAO
Dominique Khan, Marketing & Communications Manager, NASAO
Each year, the Chair of the NASAO Board selects a recipient based on their outstanding contribution to the association and support of the Board Chair. This year, two of the NASAO staff were selected for their combined leadership and contributions over the past year.
NASAO President's Award:
Hilary Fletcher, Director of Community & Governmental Affairs / Associate Principal, Jviation
Each year, the President & CEO of NASAO selects a recipient based on their outstanding contribution to the association and support of the President's initiatives.
Kenneth A. Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award:
Carol L. Comer, Director, Division of Intermodal – Aviation, Rail, Transit & Waterways, Georgia Department of Transportation
This is NASAO's most prestigious award. It recognizes a director of a state aviation agency who embodies the spirit, optimism, and fierce pride in the capabilities of the state aviation agencies.
Next year's conference will take place in Colorado Springs, followed by Greenville, SC in 2022. [View the 2021 Conference preview video]
NASAO extends many thanks to the 2020 Virtual Conference sponsors and exhibitors, without which the event would not be possible.
About the National Association of State Aviation Officials
NASAO is dedicated to representing the interests of the states and the public before policymakers at the federal level. Its goal is to ensure the nation has a safe, secure, efficient, and well-funded aviation system as a powerful economic engine for growth and job creation across the nation. NASAO is the only organization deeply invested in representing the public interest in all facets of aviation and airports. NASAO members organize, promote and fund a wide variety of aviation programs across the nation.