Last week, Meridian was well-represented at the 2017 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV. Meridian, with FBO locations at Teterboro Airport (TEB) and Hayward Executive Airport (HWD), was proud to participate in the largest business aviation event of the year by sending a team of 14 associates to represent the company at its 400 sq. ft. exhibit to welcome customers, prospects, visitors, and friends. NBAA-BACE is held annually by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). NBAA’s 2017 convention took place October 10-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Henderson Executive Airport (HND).
This year’s convention coincided with the one-year anniversary of the opening of our new West Coast FBO, Meridian Hayward, located in Northern California. An article in the Autumn edition of Business Aviation Magazine featured an interview with our CEO, Ken Forester, about the facility and highlighted the importance of business aviation in the region. Meridian also ran print advertisements in major industry publications, while also drawing crowds to its exhibit with an exciting and well-attended raffle on the second day of the show. The grand prize was a briefcase filled with a mystery amount of cash. Two additional winners walked away with high-value Amazon gift cards, and and many lucky spectators were given Meridian t-shirts after the raffle was over. The company was well-represented at the show by all departments from both locations, including Customer Service, Charter Sales & Operations, Aircraft Management, Aircraft Maintenance, and Marketing.
Ken Forester, CEO, was at the event and had this to say, “We are extremely pleased to be at this year’s NBAA Convention during the 1st anniversary of the opening of Meridian Hayward. We have come a long way since opening our doors last year, and we are still welcoming new customers to our FBO everyday. This event is a great opportunity for us to share the message with our industry colleagues that we are now firmly established on the West Coast and receiving aircraft for both transient and charter customers. Hayward is the keystone of our long-term growth strategy, which also includes a new hangar project in Teterboro that is expected to be operational by year’s end, and the continued expansion of our managed fleet.”
NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition is the country’s sixth-largest trade show, and the largest in the world focused on business aviation. This year’s event likely set a record for number of attendees — about 27,000 were expected. Attendees represented all 50 U.S. states and dozens of countries. NBAA2017 also hosted 1,100 exhibitors (including more than 100 new exhibitors), a static display inside the Las Vegas Convention Center, and some 100 aircraft at the outdoor static display at Henderson Executive Airport. NBAA-BACE remains the preeminent venue for manufacturers to unveil new models. For example, this year, the Bombardier Global 7000, Gulfstream G600 and Pilatus PC-24 made their debut at the show.
All three days of the show were packed with well-attended education sessions, including half-day programs at the NBAA National Safety Forum and Single-Pilot Safety Standdown. Discussions featured top safety experts and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). On the final day of the show, more than 1,000 students came to NBAA-BACE, many to participate in Careers in Business Aviation Day, hearing from Dreams Soar Founder and around-the-world pilot Shaesta Waiz – plus a chance to interact with industry leaders and potential employers at the College/University Roundtable event. A charity auction event, held by NBAA and the Corporate Angel Network, raised $435,000 for CAN’s mission to transport cancer patients to treatment centers.
Next year’s convention will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL from October 16-18, 2018. We hope to see you there!
Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, was a proud sponsor of FlightSafety’s 21st Annual Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament held on Monday, June 26, 2017. The company sent a team of people to meet and greet golfers at the sponsored hole, as well as a foursome to play in the tournament. Meridian sponsored the ‘Closest to the Pin’ contest hole, which was hosted by two representatives of the company, Stephany Cabrera from Charter Operations and John Hunter from Marketing. Stephany and John welcomed golfers throughout the day, offering water bottles, power bars, sunscreen, and Meridian golf balls. The Meridian foursome included Ron Palmer, Bob Platten, Nehemias Camacho and Chuck Faust. While Team Meridian did not win any prizes, the final score was a respectable 67 in the scramble format.
Overall, there were 150 golfers and over 200 total attendees that participated in the annual tournament. Winning foursomes hailed from Gama Aviation, Honeywell, and Tradewind Aviation. The winner of the Meridian sponsorship hole was Steve Alcock, who took home a beautifully-crafted Ping putter for landing his ball closest to the pin. Other winners included Chris Hancock from Dassault Falcon Jet and Chris Curtin from ExcelAire. In addition to a fun day on the links, there was also a charitable component – FlightSafety raised $1,400 for Corporate Angel Network. Corporate Angel Network is the only charitable organization in the United States whose sole mission is to help cancer patients access the best possible treatment for their specific type of cancer by arranging free travel to treatment across the country using empty seats on corporate jets.
Michele Posey, Director of Sales and organizer of the event, had this to say, “The annual FlightSafety Golf Tournament is a fun way for us to thank our valued customers each year by providing a relaxing day on the golf course followed by a dinner with awards and prizes. We also want to thank our sponsors, like Meridian, for their generosity and support. Now that the 2017 tournament is behind us, we’re already planning for next year.”
On Friday, June 16, Meridian unofficially began summer by celebrating its 5th Annual Pot Luck Lunch. The company provided hot dogs and hamburgers, while employees contributed by bringing in homemade dishes that represented a wide range of diverse foods and cultures. The grill station was operated by Master Grillers, John Langschultz and Rob Santangelo. The Iron Chefs of Maintenance exhibited their culinary skills behind the burners for throngs of hungry people seeking grilled meats.
A table was set up underneath a canopy that featured trays of delicious dishes. Here is a list of some (yes, only ‘some’) of the many dishes prepared:
Cold Quinoa salad
Jerk Chicken and Rice
Rice and beans
Greek Meatballs and Zucchini balls
Coconut Layer cake
The luncheon, which began at noon, was set-up inside the first bay of the main hangar. A Pot Luck Dinner, which began at 5:00pm, was also prepared for the evening shift. Participation was stronger than expected, with about 75 people attending the lunch and 100 people attending the dinner. It’s safe to say that everyone walked away from both meals very full. Overall, it was a great way to end the week, and start the summer.
For more pictures, click here.
Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company, is pleased to announce that its Fixed Base Operation (FBO) in Teterboro has again been voted the top FBO in the Northeast by readers of Aviation International News (AIN) and by registered members of FltPlan.com in their 2017 FBO surveys. Readers of Professional Pilot (ProPilot) again recognized two of our customer service representatives among the top four in the nation in its annual PRASE Survey. Meridian was also voted the #1 FBO at Teterboro Airport in all three surveys. These industry surveys are well-respected and the entire staff is honored to be recognized for its exceptional service.
Meridian was voted in the top 10% of all US FBOs in the AIN survey, while FltPlan.com’s Pilots’ Choice Awards rated Meridian #8 among its Top 50 US FBOs. ProPilot readers ranked Meridian among the top 20 Best US FBOs. The AIN and ProPilot surveys also measure individual customer service, and the company is proud to say that both Betsy Wines and Victor Seda continue to be recognized for their outstanding efforts. AIN recognized Betsy Wines for going ‘Above & Beyond’, while ProPilot had both Wines and Seda ranked #1 and #3 respectively in the Best CSR category. This is the 17th time that Betsy has been voted Best CSR by ProPilot readers, and 2017 marks the 11th year in a row that Betsy and Victor have been together in the Top 5 of the category.
Steve Chandoha, Meridian Teterboro President, credits his team as the main reason for the continuing high marks the company receives. “Our entire FBO team, from Security to Customer Service to Line Service, understands that we must treat our customers as individuals. Betsy and Victor continuously demonstrate these values with their work ethic and attention to detail. I am very proud of them, and the entire staff of Meridian Teterboro.”
“Exceptional service is the cornerstone of our corporate culture here at Meridian, and we are very pleased that our customers and colleagues see and appreciate that commitment,” said Betsy Wines, Vice President of Customer Service & Human Resources. “We are honored that they have named us the top FBO at the airport, as well as recognizing us as one of the leading FBOs nationwide.”
Ken Forester, Meridian CEO, summed up his appreciation of these survey results by saying, “I am proud of the entire team that works to exceed expectations every day. It is important to us that every pilot and passenger feels welcomed and valued when they arrive at Meridian. We understand that customers have choices when they fly into Teterboro, and we truly appreciate their business.”
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.
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.