Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company with FBO locations at Teterboro and Hayward Executive Airports, proudly participated in the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) 2017 Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2017) held this year in Fort Worth, TX, from February 7-10.
Meridian sent a team of nine representatives from several departments within the organization, including Charter Sales and Operations, Aircraft Management, Customer Service, and Marketing. In addition, Mike Moore, VP of Aviation Sales, gave a presentation about Aircraft Management to a large crowd attending the annual Grand Prize Luncheon on the last day of the conference.
In keeping with the festive spirit of S&D, Meridian held a booth raffle on the first afternoon of the event. The grand prize was an Apple Smart Watch and the lucky winner was Richard Allsop, Sales Manager with Signature Flight Support at London Luton Airport. The drawing was captured on Facebook Live and posted on the company’s website. The entire Meridian Team congratulates Richard on his new digital timepiece!
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen was on hand to welcome attendees to the show and talk about the future of the industry. NBAA is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The event proved to be a resounding success, with more than 2,900 attendees and 541 booths on the exhibit floor – both new records for the annual event. “The record-setting attendance and sold-out exhibit floor highlight the fact that SDC continues to provide high-quality education, networking and business development opportunities for this important segment of the business aviation industry,” said NBAA’s Vice President of Operational Excellence and Professional Development Mike Nichols, CAM.
NBAA decided this year to change a long-standing format for exhibitors. In past years, booth space was limited to a standard 10′ x 10′ space, putting all participating companies on equal footing. This year, for the first time ever, exhibitors were allowed to purchase booth space ranging from 10′ x 10′ up to 10′ x 40′, creating a mini-BACE atmosphere. Reactions to the new format were mixed. This year’s conference offered dozens of educational sessions with topics such as career development, operational excellence, international operations, and many others.
Every year at S&D, there is a strong tradition of giving back to the local community. This year, event organizers partnered with “Ana’s Baskets” to benefit Safe Haven of Tarrant County, TX, a non-profit organization that exists to end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change. The ‘baskets’ are actually laundry baskets filled with household cleaning supplies from sponges, to soap, to shower curtains, and are provided to Safe Haven clients to help them begin new lives free of domestic violence.
More than 100 volunteers packed 30 baskets with about $3,100 in supplies on Feb. 7, prior to the opening of SDC2017. During the conference, attendees also donated clean, ready-to-wear clothing and sample personal items to area charities. Additionally, furniture purchased specifically for the event will be donated to the local YMCA.
Dozens of scholarships also were awarded at SDC2017, with thousands of dollars in monetary and training scholarships presented to individuals. Additionally, Aymie Thornton, a longtime Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee volunteer, received the association’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award. “I urge schedulers and dispatchers to stay engaged all year long,” said Gordon. “People can get involved with their local and regional groups. There’s a lot of ways to stay connected throughout the year and continue to make those connections until the next conference.”
Next year’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2018) will be held in Long Beach, CA, from February 6-9.