AEA Awards

2017 AEA Awards Ballot

Each year during the annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show, two prestigious awards are presented: the AEA Member of the Year, which honors an individual from an AEA member repair station; and the AEA Associate Member of the Year, which honors a manufacturer, distributor or service provider.

The winners of each award are recognized by their peers for their service and participation in the general aviation industry and in the association. AEA members are encouraged to honor fellow AEA members by taking a few moments to vote.

To vote, cast your ballot between Nov. 14 and Dec. 2.

Ballot

 

 

Member & Associate Member of the Year

Each year during the annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show, two prestigious awards are presented: the AEA Member of the Year, which honors an individual from an AEA member repair station; and the AEA Associate Member of the Year, which honors a manufacturer, distributor or service provider.

Lifetime Achievement

The highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Aircraft Electronics Association’s board of directors is the AEA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented for exemplary service to the general aviation industry. The recipient is selected from a list of nominees created and voted on by the AEA board of directors.

Past REcipients

2016

2016 AEA Member of the Year:
Jeanne Rau-Flattery

In 1997, Jeanne Rau-Flattery became the majority owner and current CEO of Millennium International, an FAA/EASA repair station specializing in the repair and support of next generation and legacy avionics. 

In March 1993, she also became the current president of Aero Express Inc., which specializes in buying, selling, renting, leasing or trading aviation ramp and bench test equipment. She also is part owner/founder of Express Calibration Services, which was formed in 2008 and specializes in the repair and calibration of aviation test equipment. All three companies are AEA members. 

Millennium International became an AEA member in 1997, and Rau-Flattery was elected to serve on the AEA board of directors for nine years and served as treasurer for six years. She also chaired the AEA Finance Committee and served on the AEA's Strategic Planning Committee and Industry Outlook Committee.

2016 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Gogo Business Aviation

The recipient of the 2016 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award is Gogo Business Aviation, one of the industry's leading providers in-flight connectivity equipment. 

Interestingly enough, the company started as a sketch on a napkin -- and it took off from there. More than 20 years ago, Jimmy Ray founded a company called Aircell, with a visionary idea to bring affordable communications to every business and private aircraft in America. It was a groundbreaking concept; one that required years of dedication and innovation to realize. 

Today, with nearly 17,000 systems shipped worldwide, Aircell is known globally as Gogo: a leading provider of in-flight Internet and entertainment for both commercial and business aviation fleets.

A Collier Trophy nominee and the recipient of several dozen awards for innovation, Gogo Business Aviation is widely credited with many of the industry's most influential historical achievements, beginning with the groundbreaking airborne cellular concept that launched the company in 1991.

From in-flight Internet and Wi-Fi, to email, voice, texting, entertainment, cockpit data, and safety services, the company has come a long way since its original cellular voice service. 

Gogo Business Aviation serves a global customer base and has an authorized dealer/distributor network that spans six continents. An AEA member since 1992, Gogo Business Aviation is represented on the association's board of directors and sponsors an academic scholarship each year through the AEA Educational Foundation. The company also exhibits and often serves as a sponsor at the AEA International Convention & Trade Show, along with AEA Connect conferences throughout the year.

2016 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan, a nationally recognized aviator, businessman, art collector and civic leader, is the recipient of the 2016 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the AEA's board of directors. 

His father founded Duncan Aviation in 1956, and Robert began helping out while still a student. Only three years after graduating from Northwestern University in 1965, and at age 26, Robert was named president of the company. Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. 

He was instrumental in taking Duncan Aviation from a small, sales-focused business to an organization offering a diverse array of services in maintenance, modifications, avionics, accessories and instrumental repairs. 

Robert turned over day-to-day management of the company to his son, D. Todd Duncan, in 2007, and serves on its board as chairman emeritus. Robert and his wife, Karen, are passionate about aviation and flight. 

Robert's awards include the Living Legends of Aviation Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award in 2012, the Master Pilot Award in 2009, and National Business Aviation Association's John P. "Jack" Doswell Award in 2002. Robert has been named to the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame. 

Duncan Aviation has AEA memberships at 18 different locations, and the facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, has been an AEA member since 1970.

2015

2015 AEA Member of the Year:
Joe Braddock

The AEA member of the year honors an individual from an AEA member repair station and is voted on by their peers.

Joe Braddock has been involved in avionics his entire life after being born at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base where his father was stationed and specialized in avionics. Braddock's father combined his Air Force avionics training and civilian experience to found Southeast Aerospace with Joe, Joe's mother and his older brother. 

As the business grew and prospered, along with his avionics proficiency, Braddock became the face of the company, a role he has thoroughly enjoyed and embraced. Under his leadership, Southeast Aerospace has been an active AEA member for many years. Alongside his brother, Braddock co-created the widely used and recognized Southeast Aerospace website, which was one of the first avionics sites in the 1990s to provide detailed avionics information and specifications. As current vice president, Braddock has continued to manage the sales and marketing department from beginning to present, with the company growing to more than 100 employees. 

2015 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
L-3 Aviation Products

The AEA Associate Member of the Year recognizes a manufacturer, distributor or service provider for exemplary service and support and is voted on by their dealer network. 

L-3 Aviation Products is one of the industry's leading providers of commercial, military and general aviation avionics. It manufactures a diverse line of safety- and efficiency-enhancing products that sets the standard for next-generation requirements, including configurable voice and data recorders, collision avoidance systems, navigation products, display systems and processors. L-3 Aviation Products also offers aftermarket services, including MRO and integrated performance-based logistics for military and commercial systems. 

L-3 has delivered flight safety avionics for general aviation since 1962, when the business was founded as the avionics division for Learjet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. L-3 acquired the Avionics Systems division in 2003. Today, the company provides a wide array of avionics technologies designed to improve situational awareness and enhance safety. L-3 has been a pioneer in the development of collision avoidance, lightning detection, standby systems and most recently, advanced ADS-B technologies for general aviation. 

In 2012, L-3 Avionics Systems was combined with four other L-3 businesses to form L-3 Aviation Products. This organic collaboration added several new general aviation products and technologies to the portfolio, such as cockpit voice and flight data recorders, ADS-B transponders, TCAS II, Class A TAWS, cockpit displays and expanded MRO and service capabilities. The groundbreaking Lynx MultiLink Surveillance System is the result of a collaboration of engineering expertise and lean manufacturing processes between several L-3 Aviation Products' facilities.

The recipient of the 2016 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award is Gogo Business Aviation, one of the industry's leading providers in-flight connectivity equipment. 

2015 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Gary Kelley

Gary Kelley was presented with the 2015 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the AEA's board of directors. Kelley was recognized for his countless hours of volunteerism for the association, including his service as a board member and his leadership on the AEA's Future Studies Report, a strategic plan developed in the mid-1990s.

Kelley retired from Garmin International in December 2011 as vice president of marketing, where he led Garmin's aviation, marine, outdoor fitness and automotive divisions. He joined Garmin in 1992 as director of marketing, during which time he oversaw the development of Garmin's global marketing, sales, support and advertising strategies in the early days of the company. He also served as director of Garmin Europe from 1993 to 2004.

Under his executive leadership, Garmin was named the AEA Associate Member of the Year on three occasions: 1994; 2000; and 2011.

2014

2014 AEA Member of the Year:
Michael Kus

Michael J. Kus is the founder and director of Avionics 2000 Pty. Ltd., based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Since its conception in 1988, the company has grown and diversified to its present-day status as a full-service provider, including avionics, aircraft operation and airframe engine. This expansion has elevated Avionics 2000 to what is now, arguably, the largest privately-owned avionics equipment retailer and maintenance provider for general aviation aircraft in Australia. Kus is proud to have pioneered his company as the first in Australia to fit and certify TCAS in a business aviation environment (September 1999), and the first to obtain aircraft certification for primary means oceanic navigation using GPS (November 1999).

Prior to starting Avionics 2000, Kus served six years with the Victoria Police Force, Police Air Wing. He became a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME) in 1986 while serving with the police and is credited for orchestrating the avionics plan for its air ambulance service in 1985. His passion for aviation was launched in 1976, when he joined the Royal Australian Navy. He received avionics technician apprenticeship training with the Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm and trained as an electrical fitter. While concurrently serving his country, Kus received honors in 1982 from the Department of Technical and Further Education, NSW, for completion of its electronics and communications course.

Avionics 2000 has been a member of the AEA since December 1994. Kus is currently serving his third term on the AEA's board of directors, representing the Asia-Pacific region.

Kus has a strong bond with the AEA and its members and is dedicated to the technological and regulatory progression of this industry that he is so passionate about. When he's not immersed in his work, Kus enjoys spending time in Tasmania with his wife, Kimberly, and 6-year-old twins, Luca and Jacqueline. 

2014 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
PS Engineering

PS Engineering, the recipient of the 2014 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award was founded 29 years ago by Mark Scheuer, and it has evolved from a portable intercom company to a fully-fledged avionics manufacturer. The company was formed when Scheuer purchased a 1971 Grumman AA-1A, and was singularly disappointed with the lack of a good intercom. With an understanding of the importance of cockpit communication for training, crew resource management and general pleasure flying, Scheuer sought the aid of the best engineer he could find. And from that, the portable Aerocom intercom was developed.

Since 1985, the company has been committed to providing general aviation pilots with audio solutions in the cockpit as well as in the cabin, and it is devoted to supporting a network of more than 600 dealers worldwide, most of which are AEA members.

The company credits its success to listening and paying close attention to its dealer network. When the company first entered the panel-mount intercom business in 1990, one of the first contacts Scheuer made was with Monte Mitchell, then president of the AEA. From their conversations, he learned the value of the organization, but also the importance of personal connection with the members and the networking opportunities available at the annual AEA International Convention and AEA Regional Meetings.

Gary Picou, PS Engineering's executive vice president, who is completing a nine-year tenure on the AEA board of directors and is chairman of the AEA Government & Industry Affairs Committee, has brought 35 years of avionics experience to the company. The strength Picou brings has helped make it a company that is highly regarded within the industry.

PS Engineering's only business is as a general aviation avionics manufacturer, focused on aircraft audio systems. In its facilities near Knoxville Tenn., it employs 15 people both in design engineering and electronic manufacturing, as well as in maintaining an FAA-certified repair station. PS Engineering's product line includes panel-mounted intercoms (including an LSA-specific stereo intercom and high-noise systems), and audio control panels for a broad range of aircraft. Throughout the years, it has received awards from the aviation press for product innovations.

The company is proud of its ability to deliver most of its products off the shelf, as a service to aid the dealers. The company's Pro-Support industry-leading warranty and product support brings the dealer a no-questions-asked warranty program. Users and installers will always get an experienced voice, often the company founder, on the line with any needed answers.

PS Engineering has forged partnerships with other avionics and aircraft manufacturers to provide custom audio solutions, including Avidyne, BendixKing, Honeywell, L-3 and Eclipse Aerospace. With the sheer volume of products of all sorts shipped from its East Tennessee factory, it's no wonder why so many airplanes on the ramp have PS Engineering products. It's easy to see the impact this company has had over the years in AEA members' business. According to the company, AEA members should expect to see more innovation from PS Engineering in 2014.

An AEA member since 1991, this marks the second time PS Engineering has been named the AEA Associate Member of the Year, as it won the award for the first time in 1997.

2013

2013 AEA Member of the Year:
Kent McIntyre

Kent McIntyre of Bevan-Rabell Inc. was first introduced to the world of aviation by often flying with his uncle, a World War II pilot, in the 1970s. He began taking flight lessons in the summer of 1976, and it wasn't long until he was working and pumping gas at the airport in Wellington, Kan. 

McIntyre attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., and later earned a bachelor's degree in business at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., in 1983.

He worked for Mike Kelley Aircraft, now Air Plains Services, for several years. In 1989, he began working for Bevan-Rabell as the shop manager with virtually no avionics experience except flying. He served as an avionics and sales manager until 2001, and he then bought the business from Bob Patterson. 

An AEA member since September 1986, Bevan-Rabell is an FAA-certified repair station located at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

McIntyre has been actively involved with the AEA for a number of years, previously serving as a member of the AEA board of directors.

2013 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Sandia Aerospace

The recipient of the 2013 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award was founded in 1997, by a group of avionics professionals to provide high-quality avionics products to general aviation, corporate aviation and regional airline markets.

Located in the high desert of Albuquerque, N.M., Sandia Aerospace's product offerings include the STX 165 transponder with built-in encoder, the SAE 5-35 altitude encoder, the SAC 7-35 air-data computer, avionics cooling fans and MARC 70 interface modules.

Sandia Aerospace products are offered worldwide by both avionics modification centers and aircraft manufacturers.

The company also provides product development, product design and product manufacturing for other aerospace companies.

An AEA member since 1998, Sandia Aerospace actively participates in the annual AEA International Convention and Trade Show and the various AEA Regional Meetings that take place around the world.

Sandia's founder, Dennis Schmidt, has been an active participant in AEA events and activities for more than 30 years, when he was employed by King Radio, Foster AirData and Terra Avionics. Schmidt has also served as a member of the AEA board of directors.

2013 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Dan Derby

Dan Derby was presented with the 2013 Aircraft Electronics Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the AEA's board of directors, during the Opening Ceremonies of the 56th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show on Tuesday, March 26, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

Derby was recognized by the AEA board for his countless hours of volunteerism for the association, including his service as a member of the AEA board of directors, eventually becoming vice chair of the board; serving as a board member of the AEA Educational Foundation and promoting and funding the scholarship program; and serving as chair of the AEA Strategic Planning Committee. He also was named the 2001 AEA Member of the Year.

Derby started working for Atlantic Aero in Greensboro, N.C., on July 5, 1976, beginning a remarkable 32-year aviation career with loyal service to Atlantic Aero in a variety of roles. For the first six years of his career, Derby troubleshot, diagnosed, repaired and installed avionics systems for many customers and aircraft owners.

In August 1982, he was promoted to avionics manager.

In January 1987, Derby was promoted again, this time to vice president of line and avionics. After serving in this role for 10 years, Derby became vice president of service marketing in January 1997, where he was responsible for maintaining and expanding the company's share of the technical services market.

Two years later in January 1999, he was named senior vice president of operations, where he was responsible for the management of the entire organization. In addition, he became a minority shareholder and was a member of the Atlantic Aero Holdings board of directors.

In August 2002, Derby became executive vice president and accountable manager for the repair station.

After his retirement in 2008, the AEA dedicated the Dan Derby Center for Professional Development on Sept. 24, 2008, at its new international headquarters in Lee's Summit, Mo. Each year, hundreds of AEA members and industry professionals meet in the Derby Center to conduct technical training, industry events and professional development forums at this state-of-the-art facility.

"Dan Derby is one of those rare individuals who puts the good of an organization before himself," said Paula Derks, AEA president. "Dan was a true believer in promoting careers in the aviation maintenance industry to youth, and his work on behalf of the AEA and its Educational Foundation will always be appreciated."

Since Dan's retirement, the Derby's have been able to spend precious time with their family and enjoy traveling around the world. Together, Dan and his wife, Donna, have experienced memorable moments with trips to Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland, China and numerous sites in the U.S. The Derby's are active members of the Sheets Memorial Baptist Church and enjoy their new home on the lake.

2012

2012 AEA Member of the Year:
Jim Joubert

Jim Joubert was born in 1954, at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Alameda, Calif. He literally was born into aviation, as his father, Jim Sr., had a career in aviation in the Navy, and later as an avionics inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration. Joubert's father taught him to fly at a very early age, and he first soloed at the age of 16. He has many fond memories of his family's vacations and outings in the family C-172.

Joubert officially began his aviation career in 1972, at the age of 18. He was offered a job as an apprentice instrument technician at Pan Western Instruments in Long Beach, Calif. Joubert quickly learned the many facets of the instrument business, and in 1974, the company relocated to Van Nuys, Calif., as part of the full-service FBO/Cessna dealer, Golden West Skyways, where he managed the instrument shop.

In 1975, Joubert married his high school sweetheart, Sylvia, and together they opened their first business in 1976, called J&S Aircraft Instruments. As J&S Aircraft Instruments, Joubert bought and sold aircraft instruments and did freelance instrument repair for other shops in the Southern California area. In March 1982, Joubert founded Pacific Southwest Instruments. Now, 30 years later, PSI has grown into a worldwide, well-recognized provider of aircraft instruments and repair services. He currently serves as president and CEO at PSI.

Joubert has been active in the AEA for many years, and he has served as a board member for the last six years. He was re-elected this year to serve another term. He also serves on the AEA Finance Committee and the AEA Government & Industry Affairs Committee. PSI is a regular participant and sponsor at AEA meetings and events.

2012 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics began as a small repair station for Wichita's growing aircraft industry in 1964, and it has become a top-rated overhaul/repair facility and major OEM manufacturer of instruments, avionics and emergency power supplies. Helping customers solve problems is the key to the company's success. Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics is dedicated to providing superior quality and safety at affordable prices. The company specializes in supporting avionics shops that focus on providing service and value to their customers.

When Mid-Continent was purchased by John Winter in 1980, the company embraced a commitment to engineering, quality and service that continues to this day. With the 1991 addition of a facility in Van Nuys, Calif., and the new direction provided by Todd Winter, president and CEO, the company expanded its service capabilities, innovative product lines and international reach. Today, Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics has the expertise to overhaul nearly 6,000 different products, including gyro, altimeter, HSI and autopilot system overhauls -- both the Kansas and California facilities are FAA/EASA-authorized repair stations.

Since 1981, Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics has been a longstanding member of the AEA. John Winter, Todd Winter and Matt Fowle have served on the AEA board of directors at various times. John Winter was named the AEA Member of the Year in 1995, and AEA's board of directors honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 for his many contributions to the avionics industry.

In 2007, Fowle was named the AEA Member of the Year, and the company was named the AEA Associate Member of the Year in 2001.

In addition, Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics has earned numerous AEA Avionics Training Excellence Awards. The company sponsors an annual AEA Educational Foundation scholarship and supports the Foundation through significant donations to the annual silent auction. For their innovative products and customer support, dealers are saying thank you to Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics as their selection for the 2012 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award.

2012 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan was presented with the 2012 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Aircraft Electronics Association's board of directors, during the Official Opening of the 55th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show on April 4 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in Washington, D.C. 

In 1957, he established Dytronics Co. Inc., and a number of products were designed and sold to companies engaged in the new aerospace efforts. By making null adjustments to simultaneously solve a couple of simple electrical equations, he realized that precise phase angles could be synthesized with remarkable precision. The resulting primary phase angle standard was quickly recognized, accepted and adopted by the metrology laboratories of all branches of the military, NATO nations and major aerospace contractors.

In addition, while piloting a single-engine airplane traveling to serve customer needs, Ryan had a shocking experience with the encounter of a thunderstorm. With a strong desire to help pilots avoid the dangers of thunderstorms, he worked on a solution. The resulting product was the Ryan Stormscope. The highly successful product generated a 360-degree map around the aircraft for pilot viewing of lightning activity. It was sold to the 3M Co. in 1981. Currently, it is owned and marketed by L-3 Avionics Systems, and more than 50,000 Stormscope units are flying today.

Following the sale of Stormscope, Ryan founded Ryan International Corp., a long-time member of the AEA. Under his direction, Ryan International developed world-class traffic advisory system products, triumphing over the challenges with uncommon creativity. In 2005, Ryan International Corp. merged with Avidyne Inc. The combined companies brought together avionics visionaries and extended Avidyne's capabilities and market reach.

Ryan attended Ohio State University, earned a degree in electrical engineering and continued advanced studies in physics. Throughout the years, Ryan has been recognized with a number of awards, including the 2010 Benjamin G. Lamme Medalist award, presented by the college of engineering at Ohio State University, the highest engineering award for meritorious achievement in advancing engineering.

2011

2011 AEA Member of the Year:
Gunter Hemmel

Gunter Hemmel becomes the first European named AEA Member of the Year. An active member of the AEA, his company, Avionik Straubing, has been a long-time AEA member, and he serves on the AEA Europe Technical Advisory Committee.

Since 1970, Hemmel has been engaged in aircraft electronics. He founded his first company in Munich, called IFL, and received his license as certifying staff. In 1977, he founded his own avionics shop, Avionik Straubing.

The company is located at the Straubing-Wallmuhle airfield in Atting. He began with three employees, continuing with the establishment of the GmbH in 1986. The company is led by Hemmel and his wife, Iris, whom he married in 1978.

Together, they have built the company to become one of the largest avionics companies in Europe with international clients. The company also has established a reputation in the military sector. Helicopters of the German army are flying with products which he develops.

Hemmel is well known throughout the AEA European region, and he attends the AEA Europe Regional Meeting every year, as well as the AEA International Convention & Trade Show in the United States. Today, the staff of Avionik Straubing has reached 50 employees.

2011 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Garmin

Garmin is the recipient of the 2011 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award, a visionary in the field of global positioning system technology.

When GPS technology was still in its infancy, Garmin’s founders envisioned a wide range of products that would help pilots, mariners and consumers pinpoint positions and navigate to destinations.

In 1989, Gary Burrell and Dr. Min Kao formed a company to carry out their vision. Their company’s name is a combination of the founders’ names.

Gary and Min thought GPS was going to change the face of navigation. Garmin’s goal, as it was then, remains simple: To create navigation and communication devices that can enrich its customers’ lives.

Garmin entered the aviation market with the GPS 100, a panel-mounted receiver targeted to aviation, marine, military and survey.

Over its 21-year history, Garmin has continued to bring many innovative and market “firsts” to the aviation industry.

In 1991, the company introduced the world to the GPS 95, the first portable GPS with a moving map. In 1994, the GPS 155 panel-mount unit was the first GPS receiver on the market to receive full FAA certification for IFR approaches.

In 1998, Garmin introduced the GNS 430 that integrated GPS, COM, VOR, LOC and glideslope into a compact package with a full-color moving map – all for less than $10,000. The G1000 all glass cockpit followed in 2003, and it’s now the cockpit of choice on over 30 aircraft models by more than 10 aircraft OEMs.

In 2006, Garmin announced WAAS certification for the GNS 400/500, which gave pilots access to hundreds of additional airports. In 2009, Garmin introduced more than a dozen new aviation products that spanned from light sport aircraft to high performance jets, including, the G3000, a fully integrated touchscreen cockpit for Part 23 turbine aircraft; and the G500, an all-glass cockpit for Part 23 Class I/II aircraft models that has been certified for retrofit on nearly 600 aircraft models and has advanced features like synthetic vision. In 2010, Garmin announced the G5000, its first integrated flight deck for the Part 25 aircraft market.

Garmin unveiled the GTN 650 and GTN 750 series touchscreen avionics earlier this week at the AEA convention.

Today, with more than 8,000 employees and 20 offices worldwide, Garmin is a global leader in GPS.

Since its beginning, Garmin has been an active member of the Aircraft Electronics Association. Gary Kelley, Carl Wolf, and currently, Matthew Harrah have served on the AEA board of directors.

Garmin sponsors an annual AEA Educational Foundation scholarship and supports the Foundation through significant donations to the annual silent auction. 

Dealers count on Garmin to provide training classes at every AEA regional meeting in every corner of the world as well as at the annual international convention each year.

They are one of the few AEA associate member companies who have been recognized by its dealers twice before as the Associate Member of the Year, in 1994, and again in 2000.

For their innovative products and customer support, dealers are saying thank you to Garmin as their selection for the 2011 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award.

2011 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Ron Hall

Ron Hall was presented with the 2011 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award during the Opening Session of the 54th annual AEA Convention & Trade Show on March 23 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev.

Hall grew up in the small town of Winfield, Kan., about 45 miles southeast of Wichita. It was there that Hall was introduced to the basics of electricity and electronics.

As a young teenager, Hall and several of his friends connected with a local ham radio group. They participated in field days, antenna raisings and studied for their general licenses. They also become cadets in the Civil Air Patrol.

Hall experienced his first flight at age 16, when the Air Force flew several cadets in an old, noisy cargo aircraft from Wichita to Salina, Kan., for a two-week summer camp.

After graduating from high school, Hall attended the local Junior College, and later, he began working toward an engineering degree at Wichita State University.

In January 1962, Hall enlisted in the United States Air Force. After basic training, Hall was assigned to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. It was there that his fundamental electronics knowledge was upgraded to aircraft navigation repair.

Later in 1962, Hall was transferred to Lincoln, Neb., and the 307th A&E squadron. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Lincoln had two B-47 squadrons, and his group of new trainees became top notch aircraft radio repairmen.

Following his release, Hall returned to Wichita and went to work for LearJet, where he met Bill Lear. Soon, Hall transferred to a new LearJet maintenance facility opening in Lincoln with a new avionics shop.

In 1968, American LearJet changed ownership and became what is known today as Duncan Aviation.

Hall’s career flourished from 1968 until his retirement in 2007 at Duncan Aviation.  He served stints as shop manager, installation shop manager and engineering supervisor, avionics sales and APU sales director.

Hall attended his first AEA convention in Kansas City in 1970, where he met AEA’s founder, Chuck Peacock. Attending the AEA convention became an annual event for Hall, and he forged new relationships with several AEA members throughout his career.

Duncan Aviation hosted several AEA Regional meetings, and Hall served on the AEA board of directors for 20 years. In 1985, he was named the recipient of the AEA Member of the Year Award.

Hall and his wife of 44 years, Phyllis, have three children: Allen, Douglas and Gretchen; along with nine grandchildren.

After 41 years in the aviation business, Hall retired four years ago and travels the world with his bride. Together, they have visited more than 30 countries.

2010

2010 AEA Member of the Year:
Rick Ochs

Rick Ochs founded and manages Spirit Avionics Ltd., an FAA-certified avionics repair station in Columbus, Ohio.

Ochs previously had an extensive career in the United States Navy and private avionics industry. With more than 25 years experience, Ochs has become a well-known representative and leader within the avionics community.

He is dedicated to establishing avionics technicians’ national certification and academic accreditation standards to enhance professional development.

Ochs presently serves on the AEA board of directors and is a member of the AEA Program and Member Services Committee. He also is involved in other industry organizations, such as NBAA, NCATT, EAA and Youth Aviation Adventure. He serves on several advisory boards and has received many FAA and FCC certifications and awards. Ochs is passionate about youth aviation careers and has invested a large amount of time and energy highlighting the positive potential of aviation careers.

2010 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
DAC International

Organized in 1980 by Terry Armstrong and Michael Crouch, DAC International, a Greenwich AeroGroup Co. located in Austin, Texas, offers avionics and test equipment solutions for corporate and general aviation, airlines, special missions and military aircraft operators, modification centers and manufacturers worldwide.

With many years of experience working as regional marketing directors of a Fortune 500 aerospace company, Armstrong and Crouch recognized the business opportunities of representing small, U.S.-based avionics manufacturers to worldwide markets.

The DAC concept was to identify a group of companies that produced quality products but could not justify an in-house international marketing arm. DAC’s extensive knowledge of worldwide buyers and sellers, combined with a broad base of manufacturers, became an excellent resource when working with the airlines, aircraft OEMs, executive aviation dealerships and brokerage companies. As DAC’s success grew, the company was approached by major equipment manufacturers for exclusive sales contracts.

DAC works with quality avionics manufacturers and often is viewed more as an extension of the manufacturer’s sales team than an outside distributor. DAC now has in-house capability for avionics design, system integration design and manufacturing.

DAC International has been an active AEA member since 1983, and its staff regularly attends the AEA International Convention & Trade Show and all regional meetings in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the South Pacific.

2010 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Dan Walker

The Aircraft Electronics Association’s board of directors selected Dan Walker, past director of domestic marketing for King Radio Corp., as the AEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2010.

Walker will be honored during the official opening ceremonies Thursday, April 8, at the 53rd annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Fla.

Walker’s interest in the field of aviation electronics began when he joined the Air Force and was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for Officer Candidate School. At school, he worked on navigator/electronic counter measures, spending more than four years in both airborne and ground work.

Walker’s last duty area was at the Olathe Naval Air Station in Olathe, Kan. By then, he had earned his pilot ratings at flying clubs across the country, and in the mid-1960s, Wilson’s Flying Service in Kansas City hired him. One day, Walker was flying a charter passenger who would change the course of his life. “I flew a gentleman named Wayne Ross who had an ad agency and was doing work for King Radio Corp.,” Walker said. “I mentioned that I was about to get out of the Air Force and wanted to do something with electronics — and that’s when he told me about his advertising client.” A lunch interview soon followed with Glenn Bergmann, vice president of marketing for King Radio, and Bud Glover, well-known vice president of sales for King Radio. Walker was hired as Southeast regional sales manager — one of three regional managers — and was moved to Atlanta in the late 1960s.

From Atlanta, he transferred to Memphis in 1970, followed by Dallas in 1976. Later, Walker relocated to King Radio’s headquarters offices in Olathe to set up a dealer-direct program. Like others who worked for King Radio during this time, Walker recalls the company’s extraordinary leadership. “Bob Cox put together an infrastructure to support everything we did,” Walker said. “If one department would say they couldn’t do something, Bob would
ask, ‘Why not?’ We had a smooth operation.”

Throughout the AEA membership, Walker is credited with his style of leadership in working with and supporting the dealer network. In a controversial move, King Radio had decided to no longer work through wholesalers, but to work directly with the dealers. The plan was to have 10 regional sales people to staff five regions: one manager on the road and his paired counterpart at headquarters. “I’m proud of the people who got their aviation start in this program,” Walker said. “They have gone on to have extremely successful careers in the industry.”

When asked about working for King Radio founder Ed King, Walker said, “He was just an extremely innovative man. He is the type of person who, when you talked to him, you had to be careful what you said because he was always thinking way ahead of you. He is a tremendous engineer and knew what people wanted when it comes to flying — and he was smart enough to hire Bob Cox to run the company. “(King’s) key to success was timing, innovation and hiring the right people.”

Walker left King in 1991, with the title of director of domestic marketing. He spent the next four years at Goodrich. “When Goodrich faded out of the general aviation repair business, I faded out, too,” Walker said.

Today, Walker and his wife, Dyana, live in Kerrville, Texas, and stay busy with landscaping, photography and traveling. “The only part of my life that is still involved in aviation is when I look up and see the Mooney’s flying into Kerrville,” Walker said.

2009

2009 AEA Member of the Year:
Tom Richmond

2009 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Aspen Avionics

2009 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Robert Carpenter

2008

2008 AEA Member of the Year:
Gary Harpster

2008 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
EMTEQ

2008 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Bruce Baxter

2008 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Paul Brenner

2008 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Tom Sternig

2007

2007 AEA Member of the Year:
Matt Fowle

2007 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Aircell

2007 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Monte Mitchell

2006

2006 AEA Member of the Year:
Ray McDonald

2006 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Sandel Avionics

2006 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
John Winter

2005

2005 AEA Member of the Year:
Tom Greer

2005 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
EDMO Distributors

2005 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Jack Grose

2004

2004 AEA Member of the Year:
Fred Atwood

2004 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
WSI

2004 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Gary Burrell

2003

2003 AEA Member of the Year:
Barry Aylward

2003 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Sandia Aerospace

2003 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
George Lewison

2002

2002 AEA Member of the Year:
Ken Malone

2002 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Avidyne

2002 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
UPSAT

2002 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Edward King Jr.

2001

2001 AEA Member of the Year:
Dan Derby

2001 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Mid-Continent Instruments

2001 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Robert Kauffman

2000

2000 AEA Member of the Year:
Rick Garcia

2000 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Garmin

1999

1999 AEA Member of the Year:
Bob Haase

1999 AEA Member of the Year:
Al Ingle

1999 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Universal Avionics Systems Corp.

1998

1998 AEA Member of the Year:
Michael O'Leary

1998 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
BFG Avionics Systems

1997

1997 AEA Member of the Year:
Ed Furst Sr.

1997 AEA Member of the Year:
Jim Lauer

1997 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
PS Engineering

1996

1996 AEA Member of the Year:
Pat Ahr

1996 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
S-TEC Corp.

1995

1995 AEA Member of the Year:
John Winter

1995 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
EDMO Distributors

1994

1994 AEA Member of the Year:
Paul DeHerrera

1994 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Garmin

1993

1993 AEA Member of the Year:
Bill Faux

1993 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Trimble Navigation

1992

1992 AEA Member of the Year:
George Lewison

1992 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Dallas Avionics

1991

1991 AEA Member of the Year:
Jim Cook

1991 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Bendix/King

1990

1990 AEA Member of the Year:
Robert Carpenter

1990 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Terra Avionics

1989

1989 AEA Member of the Year:
Leroy Davenport

1989 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
II Morrow

1989 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Northstar

1988

1988 AEA Member of the Year:
Tom Sternig

1988 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Hawkins Associates

1987

1987 AEA Member of the Year:
Tommy Tomlinson

1987 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
B&D Instruments

1986

1986 AEA Member of the Year:
James Griffin

1986 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
ARNAV Systems

1985

1985 AEA Member of the Year:
Ron Hall

1985 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Global Systems

1984

1984 AEA Member of the Year:
Dutch Arver

1984 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
S-TEC Corp.

1983

1983 AEA Member of the Year:
Robert Samo

1983 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Texas Instruments

1982

1982 AEA Member of the Year:
Robert Scott

1982 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Narco Avionics

1981

1981 AEA Member of the Year:
Don Castleberry

1981 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Sperry Flight Systems

1980

1980 AEA Member of the Year:
LeRoy Dahler

1980 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Canadian Marconi

1979

1979 AEA Member of the Year:
James Adams

1979 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
King Radio

1978

1978 AEA Member of the Year:
Ed Stead

1978 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Foster Airdata

1977

1977 AEA Member of the Year:
Ed Furst Sr.

1977 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
IFR Systems

1976

1976 AEA Member of the Year:
Jack Grose

1976 AEA Member of the Year:
Gene Zobisch

1976 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Wulfsberg Electronics

1975

1975 AEA Member of the Year:
Max Swafford

1975 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Collins Avionics

1974

1974 AEA Member of the Year:
John Miller

1974 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Sperry Flight Systems

1973

1973 AEA Member of the Year:
Tom Kokocinski

1973 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
King Radio

1972

1972 AEA Member of the Year:
Leo Bronee

1972 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Bendix Avionics

1971

1971 AEA Member of the Year:
Carl Schroeppel

1971 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Springer Aircraft

1970

1970 AEA Member of the Year:
George Matthews

1970 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Narco Avionics

1969

1969 AEA Member of the Year:
Russull Hammer

1969 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
King Radio

1968

1968 AEA Member of the Year:
Edward Caldwell

1968 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Wilcox Electric

1967

1967 AEA Member of the Year:
Jimmy VanAtta

1967 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Flite-Tronics Co.

1966

1966 AEA Member of the Year:
W.M. (Winnie) Lentz

1966 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
RCA Aviation

1965

1965 AEA Member of the Year:
Everett Kriese

1965 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
King Radio

1964

1964 AEA Member of the Year:
Charles Peacock

1964 AEA Associate Member of the Year:
Collins Radio