Categories
General Trade Show

Meridian Exhibits at Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

Team Meridian is ready to start Schedulers & Dispatchers in Charlotte, NC.  (Left to Right: Phil Boyer, Chris Battaglia, Jenny Deitschman, Jeremy Ojerholm, MaKayla Gorski, and Kirk Stephen)

Meridian sent a team of six associates to work their exhibit at the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) 31st Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2020) held at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC, from March 10 – 12.  The company sent representatives from Aircraft Management, Charter Sales and Operations, Customer Service, and Marketing.  The show ended with positive marks among exhibitors and attendees for the show’s timely content, new products and features and quality attendees.
The event ranked among the top 10 editions of Schedulers & Dispatchers, as measured by participation from exhibitors and the 2,500 registered attendees.  It began by addressing a difficult challenge confronting business aviation: the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, a particular concern for a highly mobile industry.
In the opening keynote address, Dr. Clayton Cowl, chair, preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine with the Mayo Clinic, provided an update on the rapidly evolving situation, along with practical tips for reducing community transmission of the virus. Don Chupp, president and CEO with global emergency-response firm Fireside Partners, offered advice regarding communications and business planning in light of the situation.
The opening keynote concluded with an inspiring presentation from Warren Macdonald, Australian environmentalist, adaptive mountain climber and bilateral above-the-knee amputee, who shared life-changing lessons learned after surviving a traumatic climbing accident.
Once the event got underway, attendees were on hand for education sessions covering a host of timely topics, including integration of unmanned aircraft systems into flight departments, combating cybersecurity threats, and the latest considerations for operations in areas ranging from America’s Eastern seaboard to Eastern Europe and Asia.
More than 90% of confirmed exhibitors were on hand, eager to share their perspectives. “We’ve got fixed-base operators from all over the country here exhibiting with us,” said Meghan Allen, associate brand director with SDC exhibitor Phillips 66 Aviation.

An aerial view of the trade show floor at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Bringing added energy to the show were first-time features, including an inaugural SDC New Products Showcase, which introduced 13 products and services new to the business aviation marketplace. “The showcase was very well received,” noted Tyler Austin, NBAA senior manager of certification. “It not only offered these new entrants an opportunity to build relationships with customers; it underscored the innovative spirit characteristic of business aviation.”
With a nod toward the industry’s future, a group of SDC participants gathered before show-start at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with 45 students from Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, a local STEM high school, where industry professionals offered the students a first-hand look at the career possibilities available in business aviation.
SDC participants also displayed their pay-it-forward spirit, gathering more than 1,000 pieces of professional business attire for local charities Dress for Success-Charlotte and Suit Up Charlotte.
Despite the event’s momentum, organizers concluded the full SDC program one day early, when the exhibit floor closed on Thursday, March 12.
NBAA’s public statement about the decision noted that the association’s highest priority remains the health and well-being of participants. With that in mind, the SDC organizers added that their planning was informed in part by a series of continually evolving announcements from several authorities, including the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public health and aviation-safety experts – all of which were impacting travel planning and other decisions.
“As with all NBAA events, we view our participants as partners whose health, safety and security is always our foremost concern, and that was the guiding principle behind this decision,” noted NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We thank all SDC participants for their support in this challenging environment, and we look forward to welcoming them back for an even better conference in 2021.”

Downtown Charlotte at night.
Categories
Aircraft Management Detailing Executive Terminal (FBO) General Hayward Maintenance Private Air Charter

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!
Categories
Aircraft Management Executive Terminal (FBO) General Maintenance Private Air Charter

Meridian Exhibits at Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

The Meridian Team at the 2016 Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Tampa, FL.  (l to r): Matt Lipka, Kirk Stephen, Chris Battaglia, MaKayla Hambek, Brian Potter, Mike Moore, Phil Boyer, Stephany Cabrera, Bob Platten, and Anthony Banome.
The Meridian Team at the 2016 Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Tampa, FL. (l to r): Matt Lipka, Kirk Stephen, Chris Battaglia, MaKayla Hambek, Brian Potter, Mike Moore, Phil Boyer, Stephany Cabrera, Bob Platten, and Anthony Banome.

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, proudly participated as an exhibitor at the 2016 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2016). This year’s conference was held in Tampa, FL, at the Tampa Convention Center from Tuesday, January 19 through Friday, January 22, with a record 2,800-plus attendees and a record 517 exhibitors taking part in the event. The program included dozens of innovative education sessions, various networking events and ample opportunities to give back to the local community.
“We strive to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience each year and, as a result, more and more people understand this is the place to be,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president of operational excellence and professional development. “Schedulers and dispatchers are the buyers and they are empowered to come here and make choices, while gaining valuable skills and knowledge through robust education sessions.”
SDC2016 included many new features, most notably an increased focus on humanitarian efforts in support of the host city by holding a food packing event for Feeding America Tampa Bay. About 200 conference attendees volunteered time to pack 800 bags of food so needy children and their families would have food for the weekend. Additionally, this was the sixth year the conference collected gently used business clothes for local charities. This year, a total of 4,379 garments were collected, breaking last year’s record of 1,500 items. Read more about philanthropic events at SDC2016.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen also took the opportunity to talk to attendees about the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill, which when introduced next month, is expected to include a call for privatizing air traffic control with user fees.
Calling it an “imminent battle,” Bolen urged SDC2016 attendees to contact lawmakers urging them to vote against the plan, adding they could use NBAA’s online Contact Congress resource to easily make their voice heard. “It’s a tremendous opportunity we have to make our views known,” he said. “We need all of you to be active and engaged in this process. The future of business aviation is at stake.” View Contact Congress.
Other new and expanded features of the conference included:
1. A unique approach to learning with innovative concepts, such as session rooms configured to inspire engagement and provide a more intimate and inclusive setting for professional development.
2. Two opening general session speakers who spoke to the conference theme – “unlock your potential.” On Jan. 19, best-selling author and entrepreneur Ty Bennett discussed leadership, and on Jan. 20, Bob Hobbi, President and CEO of ServiceElements International, facilitated realistic scenarios demonstrating challenges that schedulers and dispatchers experience in the workplace.
3. For the second year, a third full day of education sessions was offered on a wide-range of topics – from surviving audits to regulatory compliance and international operations to technology challenges.
“Professional development is a cornerstone of the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, and we are continually striving to understand how our attendees want to learn and listening to their feedback and then trying to adapt to that,” said Jo Damato, NBAA’s director of educational development and strategy. “This conference is going into its 28th year and we don’t ever want to be a conference that looks the way it did 28 years ago or even five years ago. We are always moving forward and always looking at what can attendees get from this event that improves their professional development ”
Dozens of scholarships also were awarded at SDC2016, with thousands of dollars in monetary and training scholarships presented to dozens of individuals.
Additionally, Dorette Kerr, a former chair of the S&D Committee, received the association’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award. Read more about Kerr and the award.
“The conference went great, we had a lot of positive feedback from attendees about the event,” said SDC2016 Chair Eve Gregory, with C&S Wholesale Grocers, noting that it takes hundreds of volunteers to make the conference a success each year. “The organizing committee did a remarkable job – it was apparent in the exhibit hall, in the session rooms and in everything that they planned. I’m so proud of the conference they produced.”
Next year’s conference (SDC2017) is scheduled for February 7 through 10 in Fort Worth, TX.
The Meridian booth is shown featuring our new FBO, Meridian Hayward, at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) in Hayward, CA.
The Meridian booth is shown featuring our new FBO, Meridian Hayward, at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) in Hayward, CA.

Categories
General Private Air Charter

Meridian Exhibits at Record-Breaking Schedulers Conference

Team Meridian at the booth during the exhibition. (l to r: Anthony Banome, Estrella Reynoso, Edvina Floed, Mike Moore, Bob Platten, Andrea Politis, Greg Johnson, and Kirk Stephen)
Team Meridian at the booth during the exhibition. (l to r: Anthony Banome, Estrella Reynoso, Edvina Floed, Mike Moore, Bob Platten, Andrea Politis, Greg Johnson, and Kirk Stephen)

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, proudly participated in the 2015 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2015) at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA. The annual conference was held from Tuesday, Feb. 3 through Friday, Feb. 6, with a record-breaking 2,700-plus attendees. The company sent nine representatives from its Headquarters in Teterboro, NJ, as well as three local representatives from the West Coast, including CEO Ken Forester.
This year’s conference featured a groundbreaking live-action business aviation emergency response drill, five days of in-depth educational opportunities, and a visit from former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. The live emergency response simulation was staged during the first-ever Second-Day General Session. Blending live actors with video simulations, the immersive drill left many attendees reflecting on the effectiveness of their own emergency response plans.
“This has been an incredibly exciting and engaging show,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president of operational excellence and professional development. “We’ve had packed session rooms, people taking every opportunity to share experiences with their peers from across the country and a powerfully captivating emergency simulation that brought the participating crowd to its feet.”
Mineta, an esteemed aviation leader who has also served as a congressman, the mayor of San Jose, as well as U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, visited the conference on Thursday, Feb. 5, meeting NBAA staff and committee leaders while touring the exhibit floor. His visit was all the more fitting, with the conference held less than 3 miles from the airport that bears his name: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).
“We’re very proud to have had former Secretary Mineta on hand to demonstrate his enthusiasm for our industry,” said Steve Brown, chief operating officer of NBAA. “Many of the attendees were inspired by his service and he, in turn, was clearly impressed with the professionalism of business aviation schedulers and dispatchers and the contributions attendees made to the local community.”
SDC2015 broke more than attendance records, with the conference’s annual Pay It Forward program collecting a record 1,452 suits, dresses, shirts and other business attire for Dress for Success and Sacred Heart San Jose. With a first-ever pedometer competition, based on steps walked across the show floor, the conference also raised $4,000 for the two local charities.
The educational program at SDC2015 was more dynamic than ever, with in-depth sessions on advanced topics such as personal use of aircraft, international aviation regulations and handling and Fit for Duty: Not Just for Flightcrews.
There were more than 450 exhibitors at the show, and NBAA unveiled a new category of its Flying Safety Awards: the Scheduler and Licensed Dispatcher Safety Award, which will be presented for the first time in 2016.
“This conference gets more dynamic, more informative and more rewarding every year,” said NBAA’s Jo Damato, NBAA’s director of educational development and strategy. “That’s all because of the active involvement of our attendees and the leadership of the Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee. This event always brings out the vitality and dedication of our community.”
This was the 26th year since the show’s debut in 1989. Meridian’s own Bob Platten has been there since the beginning. “I remember standing in a room with about 25 people from the industry, and we were asking ourselves, ‘What do we want this to be?’ Twenty-five years later, the educational component has expanded tremendously, attendance has grown to almost 3,000 people from companies based all over the world, and the networking opportunities are boundless. It’s really amazing to see how the show has evolved over the years, and I am really glad to be a part of this important event.”
Next year’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2016) is scheduled for Jan. 19 to 22 in Tampa, FL.