Last year, I joined the Minnesota Business Aviation Association’s (MBAA) Communications Committee, as a means to participate more within the organization which furthers the industry I’ve come to love so much. The MBAA group does a lot for advocacy within the state, such as ensuring Legislatures at all levels within Minnesota are thinking with General / Commercial Aviation’s best interests at heart. MBAA hosts a monthly luncheon, held normally at a member’s facility, with an aircraft on display for members to see, sit in, and ask questions about. MBAA also hosts a fundraising golf tournament each year, benefiting local students who can earn scholarship money for type ratings if they are seeking work as a pilot, or for A&P training if they choose to be an aircraft mechanic. MBAA also has an annual Winter Celebration, where members come together for an evening out with dinner, music, and more networking with colleagues from our industry.
Members of MBAA are from all aspects of General Aviation, whether they are pilots, mechanics, flight support, logistics, avionics, sales people, admin support, FBOs, fuel representatives, students, retirees, OEMs, aircraft management, the list goes on! An organization like MBAA has many resources for people in the industry, and it offers many networking opportunities for members and potential members.
My reasoning for joining the Communications team was two fold; I saw an opportunity to offer my skills to the organization by assisting in sending emails and newsletters to members regarding events and other pertinent information, but updating the website when needed, as well as taking a hold of Social Media platforms for the group. This meant taking a leadership role on the already established Facebook page (Facebook) but also gaining control of a fallen Linked In page to reconnect with members who are more comfortable with that site (LinkedIn)
With my taking on a role in this volunteer committee, I have enjoyed being more connected with the leadership of MBAA. I’ve gotten to know other leaders within the local group, expanded my network, and broadened my skills within marketing and SM.
When I was approached to join the MBAA group for the NBAA Regional Leadership Roundtable, I was sincerely flattered. I haven’t been a part of the team for very long, but was not going to miss the huge opportunity to learn all I can from the leadership that other states have within their own organizations.
However, I was not only invited to join in on the event, but I was asked to lead a roundtable discussion on Social Media and Communications in a breakout session at the event. Something I had never done, but was ready for the challenge!
Fast forward to Wednesday May 13th, and the meet & greet at the Golden Wings Museum in Anoka. (If you’ve read my earlier post about MN Pilots Association’s event at the museum, then you already know how I feel about the museum.) We were not only able to share the amazing aviation collection amassed by Greg, but his curators gave tours and told us stories and facts that even I didn’t know! Thanks again to Craig Shiller for his help on the quiz! We had a pig roast dinner, which was quite amusing for many of the out of town guests. But by far, the hit of the evening was the aircraft. For me, it was getting to meet colleagues from all over the nation (Chicago, St Louis, New York, Colorado, Fand most excitedly for me–ALABAMA!) and from all levels of business (Ph. D, President, VP, of their respective organizations. etc).
At a roll call on Thursday morning, it was discovered that many of the attendees knew each other from other events, but they had not attended a RLR before. I was the most noob of the noobs, since I hadn’t attended any NBAA events before.
Once the day’s events got going, we learned about taxes and how to structure your organization to keep tax law in check. We also learned about the Alliance, an organization in place to help protect airports and GA across America (Alliance site) Another important aspect of having an organization like MBAA is fundraising, and asking for money. This also includes Grant writing, that when asked for a show of hands showed that none of our colleagues are using to their full advantage. A quick exercise with a partner helped to shake off the dust on asking for grant money, but we would all benefit on more practice! We also discussed the role of an Executive Director within the groups, and came to the conclusion that each state would use the ED in a different capacity, but also in a similar aspect. There were also conversations on events, those which were successful and those that were not. Ultimately, it was decided that research is imperative to planning an event, and to making sure your speaker wasn’t just at an event with the same audience!
After lunch, we went into breakout sessions. Oh, boy! I took a spot at the table with the tent card for ‘social media and communications’ and waited. It wasn’t long before I had tablemates, and we talked about the things we are working on, the obstacles we’ve seen, and what we can do to improve. The time FLEW by, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time there. Conversation with the group was easy, but I was prepared to facilitate it with more questions as we went along.
Overall, I am still appreciative in the chance I had to meet and learn from these amazing people, and I look forward to learning more from them in the future!