Meridian Exhibits at Regional Forum in West Palm Beach

Team Meridian is ready to welcome visitors to their exhibit at the NBAA Regional Forum in West Palm Beach, FL. (l to r): Jeremy Ojerholm, Patti Sullivan, Kirk Stephen, Estrella Montero, Ken Forester, and Susan Forester.

On Wednesday, January 29, Meridian sent a team of six associates to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) to represent the company at the first NBAA Regional of the year. The event proudly hosted a record-breaking 3,000 attendees, making this the most-attended regional to be hosted in West Palm Beach.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to 2020,” said Dina Green, NBAA vice president of events. “We had nearly 30 aircraft and vehicles on display, in addition to more than 150 indoor exhibitors. We’ve been hosting this forum at Atlantic Aviation for several years, and it’s always a great event to showcase the latest trends and technologies shaping business aviation.”

In welcoming attendees to the show, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen took a moment to remember basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others who died in a helicopter accident on Jan. 26. “Our community can pay tribute to Kobe and the others by making sure we learn from the accident,” he said. “We don’t know the cause now, but we will, and whatever it is, we will make sure it is something we can isolate, understand and learn from, because one thing our industry has always done is learn from the mistakes of the past.”

Throngs of attendees gather inside the hangar to meet with exhibitors and to network with fellow business aviation professionals.

Pointing out that the start of 2020 marks the beginning not only of a year, but a new decade, Bolen said, “This will be one of the most significant decades in the history of aviation and aerospace. Things are happening today at a pace we really haven’t seen at least since the dawn of the jet age.”

Citing technologies like drones, urban air mobility, supersonic jets and more, Bolen said innovation will allow business aviation to grow and prosper. While there have been events around the world featuring sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), most recently in Davos, Bolen noted the industry will take another step forward by holding a summit in March that will look at how stakeholders can increase the production and use of SAF.

This is a great industry, and it’s an industry in an age of innovation,” he said. “This is an exciting time for business aviation. Innovation is all around us, but among our key challenges will be our ability to bring in young, excited, talented, innovative, passionate young people. Can we attract them? Can we retain them?” Bolen noted that nearly 200 students were in attendance for the 2020 PBI event. “It’s an extraordinary industry that does capture the imagination of a lot of people,” he said.

The opening session concluded with a scholarship presentation from Dreams Soar’s Shaesta Waiz – who in 2017 became the youngest woman to fly solo around the globe in a single-engine aircraft. The inaugural Jimmie J. Norman Memorial Scholarship was presented to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Lauren Abernathy.

The West Palm Beach Forum also featured education sessions on the most pressing topics in business aviation: ADS-B implementation, career paths in business aviation, tax benefits and limitations for aircraft operators, improving safety through aircraft data and financing options for aircraft.

Meridian had a great showing at this year’s event, having the opportunity for face-to-face business paired with the event’s record-breaking attendance. There was constant activity at the Meridian booth throughout the entire event. Kirk Stephen, Director of Marketing, said, “West Palm is a must-attend event for us. We do a lot of business in South Florida, so it makes sense for us to be here and meet with many of our customers, vendor-partners, and friends in person.”

The static display enjoyed great weather for showing its vast array of
business aircraft models.

The next NBAA Regional Forum will be held at San Jose International Airport (SJC) in San Jose, CA, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Meridian will be exhibiting, and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

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Meridian Names Patti Ann Sullivan Vice President of Aircraft Management

Meridian is pleased to announce that Patti Ann Sullivan has been named Vice President of Aircraft Management. In her new position, Ms. Sullivan will oversee the sales of aircraft management services and will be responsible for driving the growth of the aircraft management business. Ms. Sullivan has extensive business aviation experience, specializing in aircraft banking, finance and sales. She will be based at the company’s headquarters at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, NJ.

“I am delighted to welcome Patti to the Meridian team,” says Emil Iannone, Meridian’s Chief Operating Officer. “Her background and experience in multiple disciplines within the industry will be a definite asset as we continue to grow our aircraft management business and, more importantly, strengthen our client relationships.”

Ms. Sullivan’s responsibilities include developing and visiting prospective new clients, negotiating aircraft management agreements, coordinating with other Meridian departments to ensure a smooth transition from the sales process to in-service operation and managing regional sales executives. In addition, she will focus on the needs of existing customers, offering counsel on the optimum operational and financial strategies to maximize the value and efficiency of their aircraft ownership. Ms. Sullivan will also be an active presence in the industry, representing the company at various events and association meetings.

“I am delighted to join such a well-respected organization as Meridian,” says Sullivan. “Meridian is a leader in the business aviation industry and is well-known for its outstanding customer satisfaction and commitment to excellence. I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of our aircraft management business.”

Prior to joining Meridian, Ms. Sullivan was Executive Vice President of Elevate Jet, an aircraft management and charter company in Bedford, MA. She also worked for Executive Jet Management (EJM), serving as an East Coast Vice President of Aircraft Management and Owner Services, successfully increasing the company’s market share in the region. Prior to EJM, Ms. Sullivan held several positions of increasing responsibility in the aviation finance sector with a variety of leading institutions, including Key Bank and Textron Financial. She also has extensive experience providing strategic, operational and financial advisory services to aircraft management, charter and executive aviation enterprises.

Ms. Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a minor in Finance from Boston University. She has earned Dale Carnegie Certificates in Sales, Presentation and Leadership Effectiveness. She is a past Board Member of NAFA, MBAA and NARA (associate) and is a member of NBAA, HAI, NATA and IAWA.

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Meridian Proudly Participates in Holiday Gift Drive

Representatives from the Center of Hope and Safety, the Port Authority of NY & NJ, and tenants of Teterboro Airport stand proudly behind a display of the many donations received for this year’s annual gift drive.

With every holiday season comes the Center for Hope and Safety’s Annual Gift Drive. This year marked the 26th anniversary since the inception of this important event. Meridian, along with other Teterboro Airport-based tenants, gathered together to donate new toys, games, clothes, shoes, gift cards, and other gifts for those in need.

On Friday, December 13, Meridian drove a van filled with boxes containing a variety of donated gifts over to the AvPorts Administrative Building. The Center for Hope and Safety was very appreciative of the airport’s combined effort and commitment to the community. Meridian employees generously donated toys, food items, kitchen appliances, electronics, and apparel.

The Center for Hope and Safety’s mission is to assist women and children who are victims of domestic violence, including emotional, economic, sexual and physical abuse. The agency provides emergency and transitional housing, emotional support, and a diversified continuum of services focused on safety, empowerment, and self-sufficiency. Through community partnerships, the Center for Hope and Safety raises awareness, provides services, and educates community members about domestic violence.

Meridian is proud to participate in such an impactful campaign that delivers holiday cheer to local families. Together, we can all make a difference by continuing the tradition of helping these families by providing them with much-needed donations for a warm and loving holiday. Remember, the greatest gift of all is giving!

For more information about the Center for Hope and Safety, please visit their website at http://www.hopeandsafetynj.org/

Thank you to everyone who donated!

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