Meridian Hosts Special Guests

Camden Forte (left) and Jackson Walsh (right) share a seat on one of Meridian's private jets.

Camden Forte (left) and Jackson Walsh (right) share a seat on one of Meridian’s private jets.

Meridian recently had two special visitors come to our Teterboro location to check out our facility and aircraft. Jackson Walsh and Camden Forte are not CEOs, bankers, attorneys, or aircraft brokers. They are simply two great kids that are facing battles that no child should have to endure.

At two weeks old, Jackson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma intermediate risk, stage 4. Neuroblastoma is a solid cancerous tumor that begins in the nerve cells outside the brain of infants and young children. For months his Fair Lawn family went through a battery of tests, biopsies, and four rounds of chemotherapy.

The community rallied around the Walsh family, and ‘A Go Fund Me’ page was set up. People brought the family meals and held fundraisers. He was declared cancer-free in January. Now Jackson’s parents have created the JacksonStrong Foundation to help other families facing the same challenges. Jackson’s father is Ryan Walsh, a former Meridian employee who used to work in the Detailing department.

Facing a similar challenge, Jackson’s friend Camden came into this world about 18 months ago, and immediately faced a battle against Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Cam spent his first ten days in the hospital before he was able to go home for the first time.

Since that day, he has spent an additional 10 days in the hospital for IV antibiotics; he takes approximately 20 pills a day to digest his food, antacids twice a day, vitamins, has been on two different antibiotics orally to fight lung infections, and is currently taking six nebulizers that consist of three different types of medicines per day, and chest physical therapy three times a day. Cam’s parents, Thomas and Jacqueline, are taking on the battle against CF by creating TeamCam to support the fundraising efforts of the Great Strides campaign.

Meridian was happy to host these great kids and their families for a day. Jackson and Cam took a tour of Meridian, got to see the planes take off and land from the airport, and enjoyed some time in the cabin of one of our private jets.

If you would like to learn more about their stories or how you can help, please visit their Facebook pages:

JacksonStronghttps://www.facebook.com/Jacksonstrong2015/?hc_ref=SEARCH
Team Camhttps://www.facebook.com/TeamCam831/

Walsh and Forte families

The Walsh and Forte families in the Meridian hangar.

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Meridian Attends SDC2017 in Fort Worth, TX

Team Meridian is ready to greet visitors at its booth during SDC2017 in Fort Worth, TX.  (l to r): Jamie Labocki, Estrella Reynoso, Bob Platten, MaKayla Hambek, Lindsay Berkel, Mike Moore, Saqiba Parveen, and Kirk Stephen.

Team Meridian is ready to greet visitors at its booth during SDC2017 in Fort Worth, TX. (l to r): Jamie Labocki, Estrella Reynoso, Bob Platten, MaKayla Hambek, Lindsay Berkel, Mike Moore, Saqiba Parveen, and Kirk Stephen.

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.

Kirk Stephen (right) of Meridian is shown with Richard Allsop (left) of Signature Flight Support.  Mr. Allsop was the lucky winner of Meridian's booth raffle held on Wednesday, February 8.  The Grand Prize was an Apple Smart Watch.  Congratulations Richard!

Kirk Stephen (right) of Meridian is shown with Richard Allsop (left) of Signature Flight Support. Mr. Allsop was the lucky winner of Meridian’s booth raffle held on Wednesday, February 8. The Grand Prize was an Apple Smart Watch. Congratulations Richard!

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Meridian Exhibits at West Palm Beach Regional

The Meridian Team working the booth at the NBAA Regional Forum at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI).

The Meridian Team working the booth at the NBAA Regional Forum at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI).

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company with locations at TEB and HWD, is proud to have exhibited at the first NBAA Regional Forum of 2017 at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on Thursday, January 26. The company sent representatives from Charter Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing to meet and greet visitors at its booth. The Meridian team was happy to see many familiar faces while also meeting new people in the industry, many who were exhibiting or attending for the first time.

According to Kirk Stephen, Marketing Director, the NBAA Regional in West Palm Beach is an important event in which to exhibit. “South Florida is a huge market for us, so it makes perfect sense for us to be here. In addition, we are continuing to create awareness of our new and recently opened FBO located at Hayward Executive Airport in Hayward, CA. Anyone flying a business jet into the San Francisco Bay area should know they now have another option, Meridian Hayward. We hope our presence at West Palm Beach reinforces our commitment to our customers, vendors, and friends in the region who have given us so much support.”

It was an event featuring strong participation, a robust lineup of products, dozens of airplanes, and local policymakers on hand to recognize the industry’s value. The forum set a record for the venue, with more than 2,400 attendees, a sold-out floor with 145 exhibitors and a static display featuring 28 aircraft and six ground vehicles.

“As evidenced by the significant turn-out of attendees and exhibitors, Palm Beach continues to be one of the most important markets for business aviation,” noted Mike Nichols, CAM, NBAA vice president, operational excellence and professional development. “The mood was positive, and a lot of business connections were made at this event.”

The timing and location for the forum were also important, given that the business aviation community learned last week of the Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) now scheduled to take effect when President Donald Trump is at his Mar-a-Lago residence, located 2.1 nautical miles from PBI. NBAA added a special pop-up education session to discuss the changes operators could expect.

The forum also served as a kick-off of for NBAA’s 70th anniversary, and association President and CEO Ed Bolen said the milestone was a time to reflect on the past and look toward the future. In the past year, the industry has lost aviation leaders such as Arnold Palmer, Bob Hoover, Gene Cernan and John Glenn, reminds reminder “that a torch is being passed, and we have an opportunity to carry on their legacy by getting involved,” Bolen said.

The forum also played host to Jerry Allen, Palm Beach International Airport; Jeff Ramsden, South Florida Business Aviation Association and Shawn Rowan, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. Additionally, Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick, who came by to lend her support to the industry. “As a county we are committed to the industry,” she said. “It’s an important part of our economy.”

And, as always, the forum provided an invaluable opportunity for companies to meet current customers and connect with new ones, as well as network with industry peers. “It’s very important for us to get face time with all of our clients,” said Ivette Pla, director, Jetex. “There are always new customers coming into the market, so this is a good way to tap into those clients.”

Meridian is planning to exhibit at the next NBAA Regional Forum, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 23 at Fort Worth Meacham Airport (FTW) in Texas.

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