NBAA YoPro Council

There’s no better time for young people in business aviation. And much of the momentum has to do with the work of two NBAA staffers: Sierra Grimes and Brian Koester.

In 2014, the pair saw an opportunity to bring industry peers together in a forward-thinking organization. The outcome was the “Young Professionals in Business Aviation” group, which is known as “YoPro.” (Mostly under age 40, a YoPro is a young professional employed in any capacity within the bizav industry).  Sierra and Brian then formed the NBAA YoPro Council, comprised of an interdisciplinary group of volunteer members and associate members.

After two years of successful YoPro events, Sierra and Brian co-conceived yet another big idea. This time, with the help of the Council, Sierra and Brian were instrumental in getting the inaugural “40 Under 40” initiative off the ground.

As one of NBAA’s Board members, I know that Sierra, Brian and other NBAA staff members on the Council were not eligible to be nominated for the 40 Under 40 award. But if they were, they certainly would have made “The List.”

So I wanted to give all of the young professionals on the NBAA staff a special “shout out” for their strategic thinking and infectious energy:

  • Jessica Allston, Project Manager, Content Marketing & Advertising
  • Coryn Alvarez, Manager, Marketing Strategy & Partnership
  • Tyler Austin, Manager, Professional Development
  • Edward Bagsic, Manager, Conventions VIP Events & Budgets
  • Chris Cherkis, Senior Manager, Conferences & Seminars
  • Sierra Grimes, Manager, Registration
  • Brian Koester, Senior Manager, Flight Operations & Regulation
  • Eddie Kyle, Marketing Traffic Manager
  • Samantha Lohse, Senior Manager, Marketing
  • Andrew Reilly, Manager, Communications
  • Cecilia Scott, Manager, Event Marketing
  • Julie Stubbs, Registration Assistant


“NBAA’s YoPro program is a wonderful creation by young professionals for young professionals,” explained Ed Bolen, President and CEO, NBAA. “It provides a platform that allows those individuals still in the early stages of their career to be part a dynamic group that not only shares their passion and commitment to excellence but also understands the many challenges they face both personally and professionally.”


NBAA YoPro “Business Aviation 40 Under 40”

Below is the inaugural “Business Aviation Top 40 Under 40” list that was announced on October 1. (I’m thrilled that several of my own nominations made the cut).

Airport Business

  • Anthony Banome, Fontainebleau Aviation
  • William “Billy” Bohlke, Bohlke International Airways
  • Erin Croop, Base Operations at Page Field
  • Brad Elliott, Desert Jet Center
  • Jessica Rowden, Cutter Aviation


  • Jeff Ramsden, Ramjet Aviation, Inc.
  • Cyrus Sigari, JetAVIVA
  • Chris Swathwood, Altivation
  • Zach Ungerleider, Textron Aviation

Business Management

  • Joseph Barber, Clay Lacy Aviation
  • Jennifer Drolema, Northern Jet Management
  • Kyle Eiserer, Apex Executive Jet Center
  • Kali Hague, Jetlaw, LLC
  • Adam Hartley, Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
  • Mohammed Husary, UAS International Trip Support
  • Josh Jabour, AirSure Limited
  • Jade Martin, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
  • Chris Quiocho, OFFLAND Media
  • Gina Radke, Galley Support Innovations

Cabin Attendant

  • Jennifer Ciotta, contract flight attendant


  • Lee Brewster, Flightdocs
  • Anna Romer, 3M
  • Brian Tyminski, Compressed Gas Systems


  • Kate Latis, BizAv Young Talent Initiative
  • Kindra Mahler, Fargo Jet Center
  • Christopher Salley, National Jets, Inc.
  • Caleb Stitely, Chantilly Air, Inc.


  • Catrina Capistrant, VISA
  • Jared Grindstaff, MasterCorp
  • Corey Hobbs, Jet Aviation
  • Nick Lambert, Van Wall Equipment
  • Alex Marks, CAM, Exelon
  • Daniel Perez, Latitude 33 Aviation
  • Mary Poirier, CAM, Jackson National Life Insurance
  • Matthew Simmonds, Dallas Area Flight Department
  • Shaesta Waiz, Dreams Soar
  • Brandon Williams, Richardson Aviation


  • Adam Beckman, The Ohio State University
  • Neil Everett Capano, YonderWest Aero, LLC
  • Ernesta Corcoran, Jetstream Aviation, Inc.


When you distill the work of the NBAA regarding this platform of recognition for the nominees, it’s all about building momentum. Most importantly, the idea is to further encourage young people working in our industry (or those interested in doing so). We want these young men and women to understand how dynamic a career they can build for themselves in business aviation, and how rewarding it can be.

“As I look at the talent on the Top 40 under 40, along with the incredible professionals on the NBAA team itself, I’m confident that the future of the business aviation industry is extremely bright and in very capable hands,” explained Mike Nichols, CAM, NBAA’s Vice President for Operational Excellence & Professional Development.


Call to Action…

For those tenured industry professionals (like myself), I feel that it’s our duty to shine a light on the future leaders, and create a sense of excitement for what’s to come. The only way we’ll solve our talent shortage is to encourage more aviation enthusiasts to join us!

If you know of a shining young star on your team – or within the business aviation community – please join me in submitting nominations for next year’s 40 Under 40 awards. The NBAA YoPro Council will begin accepting applications in February, 2019.


Review bios for the 2018 Business Aviation Top 40 Under 40 recipients.

Learn more about the NBAA YoPro initiative.


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