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Tuesday, 02 August, 2022

NATA Announces Recipients for 2021-2022 Industry Excellence Awards

Washington, DC, August 2, 2022 – Today, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the recipients of its 2021-2022 Industry Excellence Awards. Award winners will accept their respective honors at this year’s Aviation Business Conference on November 3rd in Miami, Florida, and will be celebrated across NATA’s online channels.

“It is by the dedication and fortitude of our members that aviation businesses have continued to thrive despite great challenges over the past few years. We are so pleased to recognize those individuals and companies that have gone above and beyond to ensure the overall health of the industry through their dedication to safety, commitment to continuous training, and excellent service to their clients, colleagues, and communities,” stated NATA COO Keith DeBerry. “We look forward to celebrating the achievements of these award recipients during a luncheon at NATA’s Aviation Business Conference in Miami this November.”

NATA is pleased to honor the following 2021-2022 recipients:

TheAirport Executive Partnership Awardrecognizes an airport manager for outstanding efforts to nurture the relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators. John Black has led the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority since its inception, transforming the airport from a surplus WWII training field to a vibrant economic hub for the area. In addition to supporting extensive new aviation development, he has attracted significant commercial development to the surrounding area.

Winner: John Black, Executive Director, Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority
Smyrna, TN

TheExcellence in Pilot Training Awardrecognizes an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the field of pilot training. Jeffrey Wolf’s integrity and natural ability to connect with people makes him an exceptional flight instructor and mentor to many young aspiring aviators. Jeff leads by example and stands by the belief, “its’ not about who’s right, it’s about what’s right.”

Winner: Jeffrey Wolf, Chief Flight Instructor, Paragon Flight Training
Fort Myers, FL

TheNATA Safety 1stCertified Line Service Professional Awardrecognizes achievements of certified line service professionals on an annual basis thereby raising awareness of the positive impact that they have on safety, service and business success. David Hernandez champions safety in every aspect of his work and area of responsibility. He anticipates the needs of both client and colleague and is always eager to participate in and assist with leading operational safety initiatives, including advancing organizational SMS objectives.

Winner: David Hernandez, Line Service Manager, Mayo Aviation
Centennial, CO

TheNATA FBO Customer Service Representative Awardrecognizes the valuable impact FBO CSRs have on the success of our industry. Carla Keeney’s exceptional work in the client service industry and her drive to be the best in the field uniquely qualify her win. Carla is highly regarded by her team and her clients.

Winner: Carla Keeney, Customer Service Manager, Jet Access Indianapolis
Greenfield, IN

TheNATA Future Leader Awardrecognizes an individual who has shown outstanding promise, passion, and professionalism within the general aviation community. Shae Helling is a team builder who fosters a positive organizational culture for his staff. When morale was low last summer during the peak of the pandemic, Shae improved employee morale through leading by example. He took the time to learn the technical aspects of each position and joined his team in putting in the long hours required during this time.
Winner: Shae Helling, Director of FBO Operations & Marketing, Bismarck Aero Center
Bismarck, ND

NATA is also pleased to recognize the following companies for receiving the 2022 Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer (AMT) Award. The AMT Award is given in recognition of aviation maintenance organizations that have exceeded in their safety standards and encouraged and supported aviation maintenance technician (AMT) training for their employees. Companies with an asterisk have been awarded 5-year recognition.

145 LLC*


Bismarck Aero Center*

Clay Lacy Aviation

Fargo Jet Center

FlexJet/Flight Options LLC*

Hill Aircraft & Leasing Corporation

Home Depot Aviation*

Intercontinental Jet Service Corporation

NetJets Aviation*

Proctor and Gamble

Textron Aviation - Greensboro Service Center*

Textron Aviation - Indianapolis Service Center*

Textron Aviation - Mesa Service Center

Textron Aviation - Milwaukee Service Center

Textron Aviation - New York Service Center

Textron Aviation - Orlando Service Center*

Textron Aviation - Sacramento Service Center*

Textron Aviation - San Antonio Service Center

Textron Aviation - Tampa Service Center*

Textron Aviation - Wichita Service Center

Registration for NATA’s upcoming Aviation Business Conference is now live. Find further details and pricing information for the November 3rd event here.

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.