Gary Dempsey

President 
National Air Transportation Association

Gary Dempsey was named the National Air Transportation Association’s (NATA) 9th President in September of 2018, dedicating efforts to assuring aviation businesses have a voice in Washington DC. Dempsey is also tasked with ensuring Aviation Business best practices are shared. Gary adheres to NATA’s mission of never compromising safety as well as supporting, inspiring, and continuously improving aviation businesses.

In July 2018, Gary retired as Jet Aviation’s Vice President of Sales Americas 
— a position he held for two years. Prior to this appointment, Gary was appointed President of Jet Aviation Holdings USA, INC, in July 2006. Based in Teterboro, New Jersey, Gary previously led networks of high-quality fueling bases, aircraft management services, satellite line maintenance centers, air carrier charter divisions, South and Central American operations and the aviation staffing company Jet Professionals.

Before joining Jet Aviation, Gary was Vice President of Service Center Operations for Gulfstream Savannah and General Dynamics Aviation Services (GDAS). Prior to Gulfstream, Gary led some of the top-rated FBOs and service centers in the U.S. and dedicated efforts to serving the general aviation transportation industry.

Gary holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Wilmington College. Additionally, Gary is an FAA licensed pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings, and he is also an A&P technician with FAA inspection authorization. Gary was a member of NATA’s Board of Directors for the past 6 years, serving as Board Chair in 2014. He is a former member of the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council, a Wings Club member, and a strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County, Florida.

Gary was inducted into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame in 2015 for his contributions in the field of business aviation. 

Gary is married to Tamara and they have 3 grown sons.


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Timothy R. Obitts

Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel
National Air Transportation Association
 
Timothy R. Obitts serves as the Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, for the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). In this role, Mr. Obitts oversees the day-to-day operation of NATA and also serves as its general counsel.

Prior to joining NATA in November 2014, Obitts served as the managing partner of Gammon & Grange, P.C., a national practice law firm specializing in nonprofit and communications law, and also co-chaired its litigation practice. During Obitts' 18 years at Gammon & Grange, he served as corporate counsel and general counsel for many nonprofits and trade associations, handling a wide array of issues that affect their day-to-day activities and also lobbied Capitol Hill and federal agencies.

Obitts earned a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from California Western School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree, double major Philosophy and History, from Gordon College, where he also was named All-New England in Tennis, NAIA. Obitts is licensed to practice law in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia and Virginia, as well as numerous federal and appellate courts, and the U.S Supreme Court. Obitts co-founded several nonprofit organizations and serves on several nonprofit boards. Obitts and his wife of 20 years, Krista, have five children, ranging in age from six to sixteen.

Jason S. Miller, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
National Air Transportation Association
 
Jason Miller joined NATA in December of 2012 overseeing the Association’s finance and accounting functions. Jason’s involvement with the aviation industry includes previous work as the CFO of the airline-owned charge card business, Universal Air Travel Plan. Jason’s background also includes the hospitality sector, previously serving as both Senior Manager of Internal Audit and Senior Manager of Marriott’s Security Exchange Commission Reporting function for Marriott International. 
 
Jason began his career with the Big Four Accounting firms (Ernst & Young LLP/ KPMG LLP) where he specialized in both entrepreneurship and non-profit organizations as a financial statement auditor. In addition, he also serves as Treasurer for a number of non-profit organizations. 

Shannon Chambers

Vice President of Marketing and Communications

National Air Transportation Association

 

Shannon Chambers is the National Air Transportation Association’s (NATA) Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In this role, Chambers leads NATA’s strategic and creative flow of marketing, initiatives, and member communications. She also serves as Editor of the Association’s quarterly publication, the Aviation Business Journal, and supports the Association’s meetings and events. 

 

Chambers has served NATA members for the past 12 years in varying roles spanning marketing, membership, communications, and public relations. While at NATA, Chambers has worked to establish www.nata.aero as the members' primary resource for news, services, and training. She has also been responsible for launching the Association’s social media presence, the development of the Aviation Business Journal, and assisting in the successful promotion of industry-standard programs such as the Safety 1st Training Center and its predecessor, the NATA Safety 1st Professional Line Service Training (PLST Online).

 

Prior to NATA, Shannon served as Director of Membership and Marketing for the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), where she was responsible for the direction of membership efforts, redesign of NAA's Web site, and served as Editor of AERO Magazine

 

Chambers began her extensive career in association management with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, where she was responsible for coordinating exhibits and exhibitor services at the world's largest amusement industry trade show with over 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees.

 

Shannon is a member of Women in Aviation International and is on the Editorial Board for the Aviation Aerospace Women of Excellence. She holds a master's degree in business from Strayer University and a bachelor's degree in English from George Mason University. Chambers is currently working toward earning her Certified Association Executive credential. 


Jonathon Freye

 Vice President, Government & Public Affairs

National Air Transportation Association

 

Freye has served as Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s aviation subcommittee, since 2016. He has drafted and negotiated inclusion of the Congressman’s initiatives during multiple reauthorization bills before the committee, including the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, and oversaw the implementation of the Congressman’s previous legislative victories.

 

Prior to working for Rep. Lipinski, he was the Federal Government Affairs Representative for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority where he advanced the authority’s policy priorities before Congress and the federal agencies. He also spent a year as a legislative fellow in the office of Senator Maria Cantwell, then-Chair of the Senate aviation subcommittee.

 

Freye began his career as a flight instructor at his alma mater, Western Michigan University, and served at the appointment of Governor Jennifer Granholm as a Michigan Aeronautics Commissioner. He holds a commercial pilot’s license (ASEL/AMEL), is a certified flight instructor (CFI/CFII/AGI) and also holds a merchant mariner’s credential. 


John McGraw

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
National Air Transportation Association

 

McGraw served as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Director of Flight Standards Service before joining NATA as its head of regulatory affairs in 2013. 

McGraw held several key leadership positions at the FAA before retiring in December 2012. As the FAA’s Deputy Director of Flight Standards Service from 2008 to 2012, McGraw oversaw agency divisions that administered policies for aviation safety inspectors as well as guidance for the aviation industry.  McGraw’s previous assignments in the FAA include manager of the Flight Standards’ Flight Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400), where he was responsible for developing and implementing new airspace navigation technology.  He also served in several key management positions at the FAA, including with the Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, and others.

Prior to joining the FAA, McGraw was a Department of Defense Test Director/Test Pilot for the U.S. Army Aviation Technical Test Center and a Flight Test Engineer for the U.S. Navy Rotary Wing Test Directorate at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland.  He served 24 years in the U.S. Army and is a U.S. Army Master Aviator with more than 4,000 hours of flight time.

McGraw holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University.


Ryan Waguespack

Vice President of Aircraft Management, Air Charter Services and MROs

National Air Transportation Association

Ryan Waguespack joined the staff of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) as Vice President of Aircraft Management, Air Charter Services and MROs in November 2018. A long-time supporter of the aviation business community and NATA, Ryan Waguespack served as the Chair of NATA’s WorkForce Development Committee and Illegal Charter Task Force, as well as Vice Chair of the Air Charter Committee as an association member. As Vice President, Ryan leads the Association and industry effort to combat illegal charter, working with the FAA and its Field Offices to educate the public on the risks, assisting the FAA in enforcement through data collection and reporting, and leveraging existing data sources to help the agency focus enforcement efforts. 
 
Previously, he served in various operational roles for charter management companies, as well as aircraft sales, working closely with clients to educate them throughout the purchasing process and help them attain the best aviation solution for their needs. Prior to NATA, Waguespack held the position of Vice President of Business Development of Summit Aviation. 

Waguespack is the founder of the Alabama Business Aviation Association, an organization dedicated to promoting the value of business aviation throughout the state, educating stakeholders on the value of business aircraft and community airports, and advocating on behalf of aviation businesses. 

A staunch champion for promoting aviation workforce development, Ryan travels the country to speak at industry events dedicated to reaching the next generation of pilots, maintainers and business aviation leaders. He is also a frequent guest lecturer at universities nationwide, including Auburn University in the Harbert College of Business, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Dubuque. Through Waguespack’s community-building initiatives at the universities, he is working to develop channels to connect rising students with aviation businesses. 

Ryan is a recreational pilot who lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Amanda and two children.