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Wednesday, 11 October, 2023

Scheeringa Named NATA Ong Trophy Recipient, Schmidt Receives NATA Distinguished Service Award

Washington, DC, October 11, 2023 – Former NATA (National Air Transportation Association) Board Chairs Michael Scheeringa and Greg Schmidt receive top honors for 2022-2023. Scheeringa and Schmidt will be recognized during the Association’s Industry Excellence Awards Presentation Luncheon held in conjunction with the November 2nd NATA 2023 Aviation Business Conference in Long Beach, California.

Michael Scheeringa, Managing Director of SAR Trilogy Management based in Orlando, will receive the William “Bill” A. Ong Award, NATA’s highest honor for career service. 

“Michael Scheeringa’s vision for strengthening partnerships with other leading aviation industry groups and elevating NATA’s stature in Washington continues to benefit the Association to this day,” said NATA President and CEO Curt Castagna. “As a champion of the greater good, Michael compels organizations like NATA to be a catalyst for positive change, moving the entire industry ever forward. His leadership and work on the Board helped NATA provide a voice for FBOs, charter operators, and all aviation businesses on Capitol Hill, which is key as we help usher through critical, comprehensive legislation such as FAA Reauthorization.”

Early in his career, Scheeringa spent 13 years at US Airways where he held several officer-level positions including operations, planning, and oversight of several of the company’s wholly owned subsidiaries. Scheeringa subsequently turned to the general aviation community with CEO roles at Flight Options from 2004-2008, Signature Flight Support from 2009-2012, and BBA Aviation from 2013-2015. 

Scheeringa joined the NATA Board of Directors in 2011 and served as Vice Chairman beginning in 2012, then Chairman beginning in 2013. During his tenure, he was credited with helping the industry navigate long-term lease options for FBOs and other airport tenants at a time when the craze for short-term leases was hampering growth, while helping NATA and its members strategize big-picture plans for long-term success.

In March 2015, Scheeringa followed his entrepreneurial spirit, establishing an aviation infrastructure and support investment company with Sanjay Aggarwal. Through SAR Trilogy Management LLC, Scheeringa and Aggarwal foster investment in aviation, transport, logistics, and travel businesses, leveraging their expertise to create sustainable and profitable growth.

Greg Schmidt—President & CEO of Pentastar Aviation in Waterford Township, Michigan—will receive NATA’s Distinguished Service Award. 

“NATA and its members greatly appreciate Greg’s commitment to the strategy and execution of NATA’s mission over the past 10 years. Greg has been a driving force in numerous NATA initiatives, including development of an industry ethics statement, protecting air charter operators from unfair tax treatment, and defending aviation businesses and airports from threatening legislative proposals,” stated Castagna. “Greg and Michael continue to be strong partners for NATA and the advancement of aviation businesses. We look forward to celebrating their achievements in November.”  

Schmidt is responsible for the overall performance, strategic direction, and long-term growth of Pentastar Aviation. Now entering his 15th year with the company, he previously served as Pentastar’s Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. 

Under Schmidt’s leadership and through the efforts of his team, Pentastar has been ranked as the #1 FBO in the United States for three consecutive years in the annual Aviation International News FBO Survey. This year Pentastar was the only FBO in the survey to rank in the top-10 in all five categories: line service, passenger amenities, pilot amenities, facilities, and customer service representatives. The 2023 Professional Pilot Prase Survey ranked Pentastar #2. 

Schmidt served on the NATA Board of Directors from 2013-2019 in roles including Treasurer, Vice Chairman, and Chairman from 2017 to 2018.

In the decade prior to joining Pentastar, Greg held numerous leadership roles with Pulte Homes, Inc. During his tenure with Pulte, he served as the President of Pulte Homes of Ohio and as Manager on the Corporate Asset Management Committee, overseeing capital investments across the U.S.

Schmidt is active in the greater business aviation industry, serving on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA) and chairing the association’s Government Affairs Committee. Schmidt also currently serves on the Western Michigan University College of Aviation Advisory Board. 

Schmidt also served as the founding Secretary & Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Center for Success Network, a non-profit organization he helped establish, which focuses on providing educational support and life-skills training to children in the cities of Pontiac and Detroit, Michigan, and Marion, Indiana.

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.