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Thursday, 02 May, 2019

NATA Announces Recipients for 2018-2019 Industry Excellence Awards

Today, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the recipients of its Industry Excellence Awards, presented annually to individuals and organizations that demonstrate superior service to the aviation business community, particularly through their leadership skills and advancement of a safety-first culture. This year, the Association added two new honors acknowledging the contributions of FBO customer service representatives (CSRs) and rising aviation business leaders. Award recipients will be recognized during the June 18th Industry Excellence Awards Presentation Luncheon held in conjunction with the NATA 2019 Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference.

NATA is pleased to recognize the valuable impact FBO CSRs have on the success of our industry with its inaugural annual FBO Customer Service Award. This year’s recipient is Kristine (Krissy) Ross, Supervisor of Customer Service with Pentastar Aviation (Michigan), where she began her career over 30 years ago. Her impact has helped the company build long-term relationships with its customer base—cultivating a reputation of helpful, friendly CSRs that consistently go above and beyond. Additionally, over the past decade, Ms. Ross has contributed to Pentastar Aviation’s charitable efforts by also volunteering her time to organize logistics for the company’s community outreach.


The NATA Future Leader Award was also added to NATA’s annual program this year to encourage and recognize aviation business professionals who make significant contributions to our industry and serve as guiding lights for the next generation. This award is given to an individual who has shown outstanding promise, passion, and professionalism within the general aviation community. This recognition will be given to Michael Hushek, FBO Manager with Naples Aviation (Florida), who oversees a 24/7 operation and manages a staff of 50. His 15-year aviation career encompasses 10 years of FBO management, where he often seeks opportunities to engage, develop, and mentor his staff members for future success.


Naples Aviation’s Scott Seber, Line Technician III will receive NATA’s fifth annual Safety 1stCertified Line Service Professional Award. This award recognizes the achievements of certified line service professionals demonstrating their positive impact on safety, service, and business success. Mr. Seber has worked with Naples Aviation for the past 20 years, encouraging a high standard of safety, professionalism, and leadership on the ramp—demonstrated by his willingness to train new line service team hires and learning about the latest equipment and aircraft to ensure quality work within his department. Mr. Seber also regularly volunteers his time and 30-year aviation expertise on the company’s safety committee to foster the application of industry best practices for his team, customers, and community.


The ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award (sponsored by Aircraft Technical Publishers for over 30 years) acknowledges the exceptional performance of a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic or radio repairman who has practiced his or her craft for a period of 20 or more years. NATA will present this year’s award to Mr. Douglas Levangie, Vice President of Maintenance Operations and Advisory Services at Pentastar Aviation. Mr. Levangie’s nearly 40-year aviation career includes more than 34 years with Pentastar Aviation. Through his attentiveness and leadership, the company is maintaining the highest expectations for airworthiness and quality standards, business ethics, and customer service within his department and across the organization.


The recipient of NATA’s Airport Executive Partnership Award is Flora Margheritis, C.M., Airport Manager at Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in California. This award recognizes an airport manager for his or her efforts to foster relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators. With three decades of airport operations experience, Ms. Margheritis has supported Los Angeles World Airports and VNY’s safety, security, and sustainability efforts—including solar and sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) projects. Additionally, she collaborates with onfield businesses and the local community to address noise impacts; works to maintain optimal business practices; manages the airport’s financial self-sufficiency; and enforces rules, regulations, and minimum standards.


Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation is the recipient of NATA’s Excellence in Pilot Training Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the field of pilot training. Since 1939, the college has been the only comprehensive aviation program at a public university in Michigan, and with just under 1,000 undergraduate students, is the third largest aviation program in the nation. The college is a leading force, training the future aviation workforce with over 50 aircraft, 80 years of education experience, and a 92% post-graduation success rate.

“For over 30 years, the Association has celebrated those that embody the spirit of general aviation, serving as model examples for their peers and the next generation of aviation leaders. NATA is excited to once again recognize the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that contribute to advancing the health and vitality of our industry,” stated NATA President Gary Dempsey.

NATA recently announced the recipients of the William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award and the Distinguished Service Award to long-time aviation business and community leaders Martin (Marty) Hiller (Marathon Jet Center/Marathon General Aviation) and Don Campion (Banyan Air Services), respectively. NATA will also present its Distinguished Public Service Award to Dorenda Baker, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR).

Contact NATA at or (202) 774-1535 ext. 6 for more information on the Industry Excellence Awards Presentation Luncheon and to secure tickets. Registration is also available for the full Aviation Business Conference at






For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for more than 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.