In The News
Barrington Irving was a star attraction at the Compton Middle Schools STEM day on October 12. (Photo: Matt Thurber)I was wrong. In a conversation with Sheryl Barden, president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International, I dismissed her idea of reaching out to middle and high school counselors to promote careers in business aviation. We were discussing this subject before the NBAA Convention in October, where she was part of a panel session on business aviation careers. Knowing how busy the counselors are at my kids’ high school, I felt that it would be difficult to get their attention and that other industries are trying to do the very same to attract kids to their career opportunities. On October 12, I found out how wrong I was. I drove to Davis Middle School in Compton, Calif., to see the Compton school district’s first annual science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) day celebration and to see how the kids reacted to the arrival of Barrington Irving in a Robinson R-44 helicopter. Irving and his crew flew to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region in a Hawker 400XP equipped as the Flying Classroom, promoting STEM education and introducing kids to the joys of aviation. Irving took off on September 23 and completed the trip in Miami in mid-October. The visit to Compton wasn’t originally planned and was added at the last minute, during the Flying Classroom’s stop in Van Nuys, Calif., where Irving and sponsor Clay Lacy Aviation hosted an event for kids from Gault Elementary School. At the Compton event, more than 1,000 kids were bused in from other Compton schools. Davis Middle School, by the way, is named after Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, commander of the Tuskegee Airmen. All of us at the event were thrilled to see Tuskegee crew chief Levi Thornhill, who told the kids, “Pay attention to what your teachers are trying to teach you. Take advantage of what you learn and take care of your friends.” The STEM day at Davis Middle School wasn’t just about Barrington Irving’s Experience Aviation program and the Flying Classroom, although the arrival of the R-44 and a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department AStar was plenty thrilling for the kids. STEM participants put up booths to show off their work–robots, architectural models, flying machines, etc. The kids were uniformly polite and welcoming and they lined up in droves to see the inside of the helicopters. The R-44 carrying Irving was flown by a local hero, Robin Petgrave, chief pilot and president of Celebrity Helicopters and founder of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (both are based at Compton Airport). Petgrave and the museum put donations and grants to work to help local kids learn about aviation and learn to fly, and many of these kids have gone on to remunerative aviation careers. While at the STEM day, I spoke to two counselors at Compton schools and asked them if they wanted industry help to highlight careers in aviation. Rather than complain how busy they are, both responded enthusiastically. Apparently no industries currently are pestering these counselors for attention, so the door is wide open for aviation. This is where I was wrong, so Sheryl, by all means encourage everyone you know to contact their local middle and high school counselors and get aviation’s foot in the door. Every company I speak to in aviation these days complains about how hard it is to find qualified personnel. If we don’t prime the pump for the future, then it’s our own fault. These kids are enthusiastic, smart, ambitious and just plain fun. What is your plan to reach out to them?
[caption id="attachment_3179" align="alignright" width="300"] From left: Walter Boyne (NAA Chairman), Bruce Whitman, Janice Barden, and Hugh Risseeuw[/caption]
K. Barden Honored with the 2013 NAA Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award
Barden one of five recipients honored by the National Aeronautic AssociationSan Francisco – November 15, 2013 – Janice K. Barden, founder and chairman of Aviation Personnel International, was one of five recipients honored with the 2013 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Awards at the National Aeronautic Association’s (NAA) Fall Awards Dinner on Nov. 12, 2013 in Arlington, VA. Established in 1954, the Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award honors outstanding Americans who have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves. Barden was awarded alongside Ralph Crosby, Hugh Risseeuw, Bruce Whitman and Matt Zuccaro. “I am immeasurably proud of the lifelong accomplishments and impact that my mother, Janice K. Barden, has made in the lives of professionals working within the Business Aviation industry,” said Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International. “She has received an outpouring of emails from former clients, candidates and industry partners, congratulating her on this Distinguished Statesman honor, and all have thanked her for contributing to their success and the success of our industry. Janice is a true legend in aviation, and is very deserving of this award from the National Aeronautic Association.” In 1971, Janice K. Barden leveraged her 16 years as a professional aviation psychologist to create Aviation Personnel International (API), the first female owned and operated retained search firm designed exclusively to serve the hiring needs of private and business aviation professionals. Since API’s establishment more than 42 years ago, the firm has impacted thousands of corporate flight departments and professional aviation careers. “The values Janice imparted continue to live through those of us who she impacted,” said a former API Director of Aviation candidate, Don Henderson. In addition to this 2013 Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award, Barden’s additional honors and milestones include:
- Namesake for the UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship, which the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annually awards $1,000 to each of five undergraduates studying aviation-related curricula at NBAA and University Aviation Association (UAA) member institutions.
- Recipient of the NBAA John P. “Jack” Doswell Award in 1994, which is bestowed to those with a lifelong individual achievement on behalf and in support of the aims, goals and objectives of business aviation.
- Recipient of the NBAA American Spirit Award in 2000, awarded in recognition of an individual within business aviation who exemplifies the courage, pursuit of excellence and service to others that characterize men and women who created and nurtured the American aviation community.
- Served as NBAA Local Committee Chairman for a total of six times, more than any other person in NBAA history and the only woman to serve as chair. The Local Committee chairman traditionally acts as a liaison between NBAA and the Convention’s host city in the year leading up to the Show.
- Envisioned an outreach program for aviation students, and in 1990 created the annual NBAA Careers in Business Aviation Day.
- Appointed by George H. W. Bush to a Presidential Blue Ribbon Panel in 1992, to research the training options to address the Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Technician shortage.
- Creator of API’s Psychological Testing Program, a battery that has evolved into API's PEQ (Professional Evaluation Quotient), which assesses aviation professionals/candidates based on 17 factors.
- Recipient of the Kent State Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986, which recognizes and honors alumni who, through leadership, character and hard work, have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field, in their communities and at Kent State University.
- Clayton Marr, a senior at Arizona State University (ASU), is studying aeronautical management technology and professional flight. He is a certified flight instructor at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and has been an altitude chamber operator at ASU, an airline ramp agent, Alpha Eta Rho president and ASU American Association of Airport Executives chapter vice president.
- Francisco Patrana is a junior studying aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. He is a certified flight instructor and participated in the NIFA region SAFECON in 2011. Patrana was selected for both the Outstanding Member Award and Community Service Award from the aviation fraternity Alpha Eta Rho. He plans to obtain a master's degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in pilot technology. He would like to be a flight test pilot and hopes to be accepted at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School.
- Taylor Ratliff is a senior at Oklahoma State University (OSU), majoring in aerospace administration and operations with a pro pilot/aviation management minor. She holds a private pilot license and is president of OSU Women in Aviation. Ratliff assisted with the National Intercollegiate Flying Association regional competition, and is a member of the OSU Flying Aggies as well as being an aviation dispatcher for OSU.
- Scott Singleton is a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ, where he studies aeronautical science with a minor in business administration. Singleton's career goal is to fly for a major corporation. He has a PPL and instrument airplane rating with more than 150 hours. He has been an intern with ExpressJet Airlines in Atlanta, GA, and is a member of AOPA. Singelton has also been involved with Safe Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.
- Jonathan Wright is a junior at Kent State University, majoring in flight technology. He holds a private pilot license and is a member of the Honors College at Kent State. Wright is employed as a golf caddy at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA. He has assisted in various charity drives, helping to raise more than $21,000 for Cornerstone of Hope, a local grieving center.
- Mark Brutke is a junior at South Seattle College, where he has been on the honor roll and dean’s list. In 2016, he will complete the two-year program for both airframe and power plant certificates, along with an associate’s of applied science degree in aeronautical technology. Brutke plans to further his studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in workplace/occupational safety.
- Justin Moore has been accepted into the airframe and powerplant program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Community and Technical College. Moore’s many extracurricular activities have included the Talkeetna Build-a-Plane, through which he is currently working on a Cherokee 6/PA32-300 aircraft. Since 2011, he has worked at K2 Aviation as a summer aviation mechanic helper. Moore is also dedicated to community service; he assisted with evacuation, sand bagging and helping to move household goods out of danger during the Talkeetna flood of 2011.
- Dana Atkins is a junior at University of North Dakota (UND), majoring in aviation management. Her career goal is to work abroad for the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO) as a liaison between local governments and ICAO. Atkins is part of the Student Aviation Management Association, in which she will be conference co-director for the 2014 to 2015 academic year. Atkins has been on the UND Flying Team – National Intercollegiate Flying Association since spring 2014, and is a private pilot with 120 total hours. Atkins has performed volunteer work at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.
- William Dirks is a sophomore at University of North Dakota, majoring in aviation management. He is a member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at UND, and was awarded Outstanding Cadet MSI/MSII for 2013/2014. Dirks has served as the ROTC Raider’s Club president since 2013, and he has been an EAA Chapter 1342 member since 2013. He holds a private pilot license. Dirks has volunteered at the Special Olympics and at UND sporting events.
- Nathan Douglas is a sophomore at Western Michigan University, studying aviation flight science. He has his private pilot license and earned his instrument rating in May 2014. He plans to continue his commercial training to become a certified flight instructor. Douglas has performed extensive volunteer work, including assisting the KRESA Young Adult Program as a weekly volunteer.
- Nicholas Meyer is a junior at the University of North Dakota, studying aviation management and air traffic control. He holds his private pilot license, and as a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, he assisted with the annual B-17 Flying Fortress Tour in Van Nuys, CA. Meyer was awarded a Congressional Award Gold Medal, which is presented by the United States Congress to young adults who have achieved goals in public service, personal development, fitness and exploration. Meyer volunteered for two terms as president for Aviation Explorer Post 747, where he raised more than $2,000.
- Logan Salaki, a senior at Arizona State University, is majoring in air traffic management and aeronautical management technology. He worked as a training department intern at the Federal Aviation Administration in Phoenix, AZ. He has been a student member of American Association of Airport Executives since 2013, and treasurer for the Alpha Eta Rho Professional Aviation Fraternity since 2011. Salaki has performed volunteer work at Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and Falcon Field Airport.
The aviation community still debates what the term means — and how to achieve it.
BY HEATHER BALDWIN
For the past several years, professionalism has been one of the most widely used words and fervently discussed topics in aviation. Pilot and air traffic controller professionalism made the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB’s) Top 10 “Most Wanted” list in 2011. It was the focus of a 2010 NTSB forum and a 2009 Air Line Pilots Association, International white paper.
Technical ProficiencyAmong people who work in aviation, casual definitions of professionalism typically touch on two components: technical proficiency and emotional/relational proficiency. Guenther Matschnigg, a former senior vice president of safety and flight operations at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), says professionalism means “adherence to procedures and regulations; knowledge, experience and the willingness to do a job with the best information. It’s also a value,” he adds. “Don’t violate anything. Stick to the rules and don’t deviate.”
Relational ProficiencyTechnical competence is unarguably a foundational element of professionalism, but Sumwalt’s list of traits that make an aviation professional includes one additional line: “The ability and willingness to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I am wrong.’” That is where the discussion begins to cross over into the softer, but equally important, side of professionalism — the ability to effectively manage relationships and interactions with others. This aspect tends to be not only harder to measure, but for pilots and mechanics, who tend to be highly precise, analytical, data-driven and individualistic people, it is also very challenging.
Giving BackAs with every generation before them, millennials in general need coaching and development in order to be and to grow into employees recognized for professionalism. A willingness to mentor and bring along the next generation of workers must be included in any definition of the word professional in aviation, says Dale Forton, president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). “The mark of a professional today is someone who learns, earns and returns to their industry,” he says.