For the third year in a row, I got to participate in the NBAA’s Local and Regional Group Committee Leadership Roundtable event. This year was different, though, as I am now on the LRGC Committee; I was appointed earlier in 2017.
This year’s event was held in Chicago, a great city that I’ve been fortunate to visit a few times before.
Upon our arrival to Chicago, we were whisked away on a coach bus for a ‘Gangster Tour’ of downtown, seeing the locations of various events that happened during Prohibition in the city. We stopped at a lovely little speakeasy, Delilah’s, and had a drink before heading to dinner at the iconic Lou Malnati’s! There was no shortage of great food and even better conversation with our fellow group leaders. People from all over the US who have various roles within their local business aviation association were on hand for the event. After dinner, the group separated, some attendees took a cab back to the historic Congress hotel, while some went on their own adventures. I was a part of the adventurous group! Originally we thought we’d pay a visit to Navy Pier, but were persuaded to take another route. Walking around in downtown, we saw lots of beautiful architecture and buildings. We stopped at Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain, before finally making our way back to home base. We figure this detour earned us at least 2 miles of steps; still not quite enough to undo the damage we did at dinner though!
The next day was the Roundatble event. We met in the Congress. seated all together to discuss and share best practices from our own local and regional business aviation associations. Keynote speaker, and fellow Alabamian Lt Col Ken Mumm kicked off the day with his leadership advice, mixed in with anecdotes from his days as lead USAF Thunderbird. Thats right, a Bama boy spent his military career not only flying fighters, but THE fighters. The USAF Demonstration Squadron, and he was the boss. Now I have to say that I gave the man a bit of a hard time about being a graduate of the cow college — because as a lifelong Bama fan, thats just what you do. And as an AU alum, he expected it as his Father is also a Bama fan. Thank you, Lt Col Mumm for joining us at the event! You’re not only a great speaker but also a huge advocate for business aviation and we’re thankful to have you on our side.
The rest of the day saw lots of great speakers as well — we heard from maintenance leaders, ATP, scholarship committees, and the FAA. After all this discussion we separated to Breakout Sessions where we were able to further discuss the topics we wanted to learn more about. Among the topics were — media relations, Wild Apricot (web hosting), marketing, leadership changes, and more. We listened to the media relations group where we discussed podcasting and social media as means to get your message to your membership. From there we went to marketing, as those are topics most relevant not only to my role with the MBAA but for my work as well. Before we knew it, time was up for the day! We gathered for a group photo of this year’s attendees and that was that. Again the group divided — some to conquer the city, but it was time for us to venture to O’Hare and to (attempt) to travel back to the Twin Cities. (more on that adventure on the next blog post! )
Thank you to the MBAA for sending me to this event, and for allowing me this opportunity to serve the MN business aviation community.
Also a thanks to the NBAA LRGC for having me on the committee; I’m continually honored to be on a committee with these amazing leaders from all over the US!