In 2006 I joined the SFBAA. With only 20 members at the time, I opened my big mouth and asked why there were so few when South Florida had such a large aviation community. Next thing I knew I was the Membership Committee Chair. By August of 2007 we had over 60 members and the current president Don Roller (a full time pilot) decided he could not commit the time necessary to run the organization. At our mid-year board meeting he stepped down and nominated me to take over as President.
I have been President of the SFBAA for almost 15 years and with the help of many great board members we were able to build this organization into one of the largest and most respected regional groups in the United States. I am proud of how we were able to create a unified voice for business aviation here in South Florida and then used it to make real changes at both the state and local level that have benefitted our industry to this day.
What I am most proud of over these last 15 years is the amount of money we have raised for charities and scholarships -- and having and the privilege of being able to give that money to its all-deserving recipients. Our golf tournament and sponsor donations have generated over $400,000 which has been given in the form of scholarships for students continuing their education in aviation, students who strive to make our world a better place through stand-out community service, and also to charities such as Make-A-Wish and Angel Flight Southeast. Calling a student, awarding them a scholarship, and listening to their response is something that I will always cherish.
For the past few years I have not been able to dedicate the time necessary to maintain the organization at the level it has grown to and I have taken notice. Behind the scenes, my brother Scott has been taking control and handling all the leg work of our events. At our board meeting last week I decided to step down as SFBAA President and Scott was unanimously chosen by the board and committee members to take my place. In all honesty, as most of you are aware, Scott has been helping me from the very beginning and this organization would not be where it is today without his dedication and active participation.
I will continue to run the SFBAA Charity Golf Classic and will maintain an active position on the board, but it is time for me to step down as President. Scott has proven himself a leader and he’s a much better delegator than I will ever be. We have a lot of new faces on the board this year and I am excited to see the direction Scott takes us. To all the members and sponsors, I appreciate your continued and long-lasting support. All of our achievements are because of you.