Arizona Airports Association

2019 FALL CONFERENCE SPEAKERS


SESSION 1: Arizona Department of Transportation Update

 Moderator: Mike Smejkal, A.A.E., P.E.
 VP Planning and Engineering

 Tucson Airport Authority

Mike Smejkal currently serves as the Vice President of Planning and Engineering for the Tucson Airport Authority and leads a team that complete TAA’s planning, environmental, design and construction projects for Tucson International Airport and Ryan Field. Mike previously served as the Sr. Director of Development Services and Director of Engineering for the TAA.

Prior to joining TAA, Mike was a Project Manager and Engineer for a Midwest based consulting engineering firm. He completed design and construction projects at airports ranging in size from Large Hubs to small General Aviation facilities. Mike is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) of the American Association of Airport Executives and a licensed Professional Engineer. Mike has a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.

 Speaker: Don Kriz, P.E. 
 Aeronautics Group Manager
 ADOT MPD

Mr. Kriz is currently the Manager for Aeronautics for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) as well as the State Airport Engineer. Originally from Chicago, Mr. Kriz attended the University of Arizona in Tucson earning a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and is also a registered Professional Engineer in the State. He spent over 30 years as an Aviation consultant working for various consulting firms in Arizona before accepting a position with ADOT in April of 2016. His main responsibilities include managing ADOT’s Aeronautics group which includes oversight of each of its five programs, including the Airport Development Grant program for Federal/State Local Matching (FSL) grants, the Airport Development Grant program for State/Local (SL) grants, the Airport Pavement Management System (APMS), the State System Planning Program and the Airport Development Loan Program.


SESSION 2: Environmental Hot Topics


 Moderator: Lance McIntosh
 Managing Engineer
 C&S Companies
Throughout his 25 plus year career, Lance has worked almost exclusively on airport improvement projects. He has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to successfully complete projects at a majority of Arizona’s public use airports. His work includes geometric design, pavement design, pavement rehabilitation, infrastructure design, and development of complex phasing plans. Lance also assists sponsors with airport capital improvement programs, preparation of grant applications and reimbursement requests, annual reports, DBE reporting, and coordination with FAA and ADOT.

As a consultant, Lance participated in the creation of the Arizona Best Practices Guide. In 2004, Lance assisted the Arizona branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with developing and publishing Arizona's first ever Infrastructure Report Card. He researched and authored the aviation portion of the publication. Several years later, in 2015, ASCE requested that he once again author Arizona’s aviation section for incorporation into the national Infrastructure Report Card. Lance holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Arizona State University and he is a registered professional engineer in Arizona.

Lance is third generation Arizona native and has a great deal of pride in our great state. He has two children, Malia and Ian. Lance has a passion for the outdoors and most of his vacations revolve around the hunting and fishing seasons in Arizona and various other states. However, as his kids say, he does a lot more “fishing” than “catching”.

 Speaker: Zach Puchacz
 Airport Planner 
 Mead & Hunt

Zachary Puchacz has a combined 16 years of airport management and aviation consulting experience. His career began as an intern at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO) while pursuing a degree in Aviation Science and Administration from Western Michigan University. After graduating Western Michigan University, Zachary became an airport operations coordinator at Teterboro Airport (TEB) and later an airport operations officer at the Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, Michigan.

In combination with Zachary’s 10 years as an airport planner with Mead & Hunt, he has experience in virtually all aspects of airport management including aircraft rescue and firefighting. As part of his responsibilities while employed at Teterboro Airport, Zachary became certified as a firefighter and was one of the first responders on scene of the aborted takeoff runway overrun of a Challenger 600 at TEB on February 2, 2005.

His experience with AFFF as an ARFF firefighter contributed to the research published in ACRP Research Report 173, Use and Potential Impacts of AFFF Containing PFASs at Airports, in which Zachary was a co-author. Since the publication of the report, Zachary has continued his research into the use and potential impacts of AFFF containing PFAS while assisting airports nationwide with their PFAS mitigation strategies.

 Speaker: David Mack 
 ADOT 
Industrial Stormwater
 Program Coordinator

David’s been an environmental professional for almost 20 years. He’s a graduate of the University of Arizona where he majored in Environmental Science, and since that time he has worked within Arizona at Terracon, Southwest Hazard Control and Granite Construction. He’s current employment is with the Arizona Depart of Transportation (ADOT) as an Industrial Stormwater Coordinator where he does his best in maintaining clean water and efficiency. Some of his specific duties include preparing stormwater plans for ADOT’s off highway properties and performing/ managing the wet weather monitoring program per ADOT’s MS4 permit. David is also a part of the Southern Arizona Environmental Management Society (SAEMS), and currently serves on the board as President-Elect. With SAEMS David has participated in many events and previously served on the board as Secretary, and Co-Chair of the RCRA Committee. When asked by the current board to come back and help out David didn’t hesitate. David believes in the purpose of SAEMS for the Tucson Community and would like to see it expand its current surroundings. In his free time David is a well-trained “Soccer Dad” transporting his two boys all over to extra-circular activities across Tucson. And in his extra-free time trying to train for the upcoming El Tour De Tucson bike race this November.

SESSION 3: Aircraft Registration

 Moderator: Ryan Reeves
 Airport Business Coordinator
 Chandler Municipal Airport


Ryan is currently the Airport Business Coordinator at Chandler Municipal Airport. His posting at Chandler comes after two-years as the Airport Coordinator of Buckeye Municipal Airport, which followed a 10-year tenure as General Manager of the Lux Air Jet Centers FBO at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport.

Born into a General Aviation family, he took his first ride at three and is an aircraft owner. He began managing aircraft line service at FBO's and aerial application operations in 1995. Outside of aviation, Mr. Reeves has instructed at both the high school and university levels and served as an administrator for program and course development. Mr. Reeves is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and holds a Masters Degree from the University of Illinois. He is in the process of completing his private pilot’s license, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Mr. Reeves is also the President of the Phoenix Wing of the American Aviation History Association, as well as an advisor to AAHS - National Headquarters, fostering a dedication to research and preservation of aviation’s heritage. He is a member of the Eighth Air Force Next Generation Association, the Foundation of the U.S. Air Force Museum, the Foundation of the National Naval Aviation Museum, the Arizona Aerospace Foundation, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and a former docent at the Pima Air & Space Museum, as well as a public lecturer on a variety of aviation historical subjects. He is currently conducting research for a text on the history of Naval Air Facility Litchfield Park and a book on the heritage of U.S. flight crews in WWII.

 Speaker: John Parks
 ADOT Presenter

John worked for many years in the banking industry working in fraud prevention and mitigation for the small business lending division of a major bank. In 2013 John left the private sector and began leading the Criminal Records Check Unit for the State of Arizona, completing background searches on auto dealers, professional driving school owners and instructors and on commercial driver’s license examiners. In 2015 John assisted the then supervisor of the Aircraft Registration Unit with several special projects and really enjoyed working with that unit’s customer base, so when the opportunity arose in 2016 to work full time as the unit supervisor, John gladly accepted.


SESSION 4: Workforce Development


 Moderator: Alice Bimrose, A.A.E., ACE
 Special Projects Administrator
 City of Phoenix Aviation Dept.


Alice is a Special Projects Administrator in the Facilities and Services Division for the City of Phoenix Aviation Department at Sky Harbor International Airport. She has been with the Aviation Department for more than 20 years, working in several different areas including Public Relations, Capital Management, Design and Construction, the Business Office, the Director’s Office and Human Resources. Before joining the city, Alice worked for 13 years in private and non-profit organizations.

Alice has a Master of Arts degree from Ottawa University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University. She has completed the Certificate of Airport Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. She is an Airport Certified Employee in Airfield Operations and an Accredited Airport Executive through the American Association of Airport Executives.

 Speaker: Jamarah Hayner
 President
 JKH Consulting 

Jamarah Hayner has led community involvement, small business utilization, and workforce development efforts for both public- and private-sector clients, as well as for government agencies in Phoenix, Los Angeles and New York. Throughout her career, she has helped clients ensure that communities and small businesses are valued stakeholders in projects affecting their neighborhoods, with a special focus in the areas of transportation, aviation, real estate and housing policy and workforce development. She has led the workforce development teams for the design phases for two of Valley Metro Rail’s signature light rail projects: South Central Extension and Northwest Extension II. In Los Angeles, she has created workforce and education pipeline programs for Los Angeles World Airport’s Automated People Mover developer and LA Metro’s Crenshaw-LAX Light Rail Line

 Speaker: Mary Niemczyk, PhD
 Associate Professor
 Arizona State University


Dr. Mary Niemczyk is an Associate professor in the Aviation programs at Arizona State University. Before joining the Aviation faculty, Dr. Niemczyk earned her PhD in Learning & Instructional Technology at ASU. She also worked as a financial analyst at a major US carrier and co-founded an aviation human performance company, which mostly focused on determining the best instructional methods for training pilots on technologically advanced aircraft. Additionally, Dr. Niemczyk is an FAA certified pilot.

As a faculty member at ASU, Dr. Niemczyk has taught 13 different aviation courses, and developed three new courses. Because of her background in learning and instruction, Dr. Niemczyk is often invited by University’s to conduct external reviews of their Aviation programs. She is currently the Secretary for the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), and also serves as a Visiting Team Chair, and the Industry/Educator Forum Co-Chair. Dr. Niemczyk is also a past-president of the University Aviation Association (UAA).

Dr. Niemczyk’s research interests center on improving instructional and learning strategies to enhance the performance of individuals in complex, ill-defined environments, such as aviation. Based on her research as well as other educational psychology and neuroscience research results, she developed a learning model – The 4 A’s of Learning (active, associate, anticipate and awareness). Her work also focuses on determining the best attributes, knowledge and skills that can lead to successful performance in aviation training and job performance, as well as how to incorporate and effectively utilize the talents of the Millennial and Gen Z generations in the aviation industry. The results of her research have been published in peer-reviewed aviation and education journals and she is currently writing a chapter for an ICAO book which is focusing on how recruit, retain and educate the next generation of aviation professionals.

 Speaker: Gladys Brown, C.M., MBA
 Airport Director
 Yuma International Airport 
Gladys Diva Brown, C.M., C.A.E. is the Airport Director at Yuma International Airport. Yuma International Airport is co-located with the MCAS Yuma and is a Shared Use airport with a Joint Use Operating Agreement. Ms. Brown’s primary function is to operate the airport in compliance with applicable FAA regulations and state law, as well as, to maintain the positive relationship with Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and to promote Commercial Air Service and General Aviation in a safe and secure manner. Yuma International Airport was the 2015 Arizona Airport of Year recipient, which is awarded and recognized by the Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautics Group. Gladys was the Southwest American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE) 2017 Executive of the Year, the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) 2017 Airport Executive of the Year, recognized as one of aviation’s best and featured as one of the brightest in the 2017 Airport Business 40 Under 40, the 2017 Yuma Chamber of Commerce Athena International Award recipient, received the California Maritime Academy 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award and featured in Cal State University “Made in the CSU” as one of the notable CSU Alumnus in the Aerospace and Aviation Sector. Prior to becoming the Airport Director, Ms. Brown was the Deputy Airport Director and originally joined Yuma International Airport in March 2009 as the Director of Operations. In addition to the duties of the positions she has held, Ms. Brown was the airport project manager overseeing all engineering, cost estimating and construction at the airport. Ms. Brown worked previously in various capacities as a Civil Engineer, Mechanical & Electrical Integrity Consultant and a High School Math Teacher. She earned her Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the California Maritime Academy accompanied with a USCG Third Assistant Engineer License. Ms. Brown is a Past President of the Arizona Airports Association and continues to support the one voice approach for key issues in aerospace and aeronautics for the State of Arizona, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the regional Board of Directors for the Southwest AAAE chapter. On a national level, Ms. Brown is the vice-chair of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Industrial Aviation and Military Relations committee. Ms. Brown obtained her AAAE Certified Member (C.M.) designation, is an active member of the Southwest AAAE chapter and is recognized as a Certified Airport Executive (C.A.E.). In her down time, Ms. Brown volunteers in the STEM/AVID curriculum, serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, Visit Yuma Board of Directors, is the Chairman of the Naval Sea Cadet Committee Yuma Sea Eagles Squadron, participates in the Expect More Arizona for Yuma County Education Advisory Council, President of the National Society of Professional Engineers Yuma Chapter leading the annual competitive mathlete competition MathCounts, participates assisting in various youth sport teams, and officiates basketball. Ms. Brown has a strong commitment to her community, believes in mentoring to help build leadership for tomorrow and leads to inspire through passionate forward movement.

Corporate Appreciation Lunch & General Membership Meeting     

Moderator: Barney Helmick, A.A.E.
Airport Director
Flagstaff Airport   


Speaker: Adam Deibel
EAA/Young Eagles



SESSION 5: Prescott Airport Case Study

Moderator: Carmen Rose, P.E.
Senior Project Engineer
Dibble Engineering


Carmen is a Senior Project Engineer with Dibble Engineering. She specializes in partnering with airport sponsors as they plan for, design, and construct new infrastructure at their airports. With over 10 years of cumulative experience, she has been involved in the aviation industry since 2006 where she started as an engineering intern developing construction plans for pavement maintenance and new airfield pavement projects. She has a BSE in civil engineering and an MSE in Transportation Engineering from ASU. Her side passion is teaching people to believe in themselves so that they can confidently reach their goals. Her book is available on Amazon, called “How to Believe In Yourself: A 7-Step Guide For Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt”

 Speaker: Duane Dana, P.E.
 Project Manager
 Dibble Engineering


Duane Dana, Duane has over 16 years of diverse civil engineering experience from ground transportation and land development to airport development. He has provided design and construction administration services for a variety of high-visibility projects at busy airport such as Sky Harbor, Falcon Field, Glendale Municipal and Prescott Regional.

 Speaker: Peter Knudsen, P.E. 
 Construction Inspector & Administration 
 Dibble Engineering

Peter brings over 30 years of engineering design and Construction Administration (CA) experience. His CA experience includes airports, roadways, drainage, water and wastewater.

 Speaker: Robin Sobotta, A.A.E., PhD
 Airport Director
 City of Prescott


Dr. Sobotta is an Accredited Airport Executive with 16 years’ experience at four commercial service airports and two general aviation airports. She served as the Founding Chair of the School of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott, and was a business consultant to NASA. Robin previously served on two Arizona Commissions focusing on: Aerospace and Defense, and Non-Traditional Employment for Women. She was also a Panelist on four Transportation Research Board Airport Projects focusing on: passenger terminal design, common use passenger processing systems, and social media for customer engagement. Robin authored a book on the Administration of Public Airports, and holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Arizona State University and an MBA in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Speaker: Doug Whitney
Operations & Maintenance Supervisor 
Prescott Regional Airport 


Speaker: Scott Cays
Project Manager
Fann Construction


SESSION 6: Airport Ground Leasing

 Moderator: Steven Johnston
 Airport General Manager
 Kingman Municipal Airport


Mr. Johnston has over 30 years of experience in many aspects of airport management which include compliance issues, grants, construction, economic development, community relations, operations and special events. He has Recently accepted the position of Airport General Manager for the City of Kingman, Arizona.He was the Airport Supervisor-Manager at Lake Havasu City for eleven years, Director of the Marina Municipal Airport in California for ten years, Assistant to the Airport Manager at Arlington Municipal in Washington State for seven years) and four years at Seattle-Tacoma International in Noise Abatement and Remedy offices. He is the President of the Arizona Airports Association, a Certified Airport Manager and member of the American Association of Airport Executives for 30 years and a Certified Airport Executive via the Southwest American Association of Airport Executives. He has served in other airport management associations that included the Washington Airport Management Association for ten years and the Association of California Airports for nine years. He has a degree in Air Transportation Management from Green River College. He has had the opportunity to serve as a FAA Safety Team Representative at Lake Havasu for six years and served as the Vice Chair for Monterey County, California as an Airport Land Use Commissioner.

 Speaker: Matt Smith
 Airport Manager
 Grand Canyon 

Matt began his aviation career as a line service specialist at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport in 2001. He then worked as the airport drafting technician before moving to America West Airlines as a Price Analyst. Matt also worked for the TSA, Yuma International Airport, and ADOT Aeronautics. Matt became the manager of the Grand Canyon National Park Airport in January 2018. His professional interests are airport planning and economic development.

Speaker: Steven Cole
Owner
South West Appraisal Associates

SESSION 7: FAA Update

 Moderator: Scott Brownlee, C.M.
 Deputy Director/COO 
 Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport


Scott is currently the Deputy Director of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Dakota with a double major in Airport Administration and Business Management along with 30 plus years of aviation experience. His experience includes general aviation, commercial service, state aeronautics as well as FAA.

Prior to his current position with Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Scott spent more than four years with the FAA in North Dakota as a program manager/community planner. Scott received his pilot’s license over 25 years ago and is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives. Scott was also previously certified as an Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighter with first responder training.

 Speaker: Mike Williams, A.A.E., CAE
 Manager
 FAA Phoenix Airports District Office

Mike Williams represents the Federal Aviation Administration as the Manager of the Phoenix Airports District Office. The ADO serves airports in the States of Arizona and Nevada.

Prior to joining the FAA, Mr Williams served as the Director of Airports for the County of San Bernardino, (CA), where he oversaw a system of six (6) general aviation airports. Prior to that, Mr Williams was employed as the Development Manager for the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. Mr Williams began his airport management career in 1992 with the City of Palm Springs, California, serving in various capacities with the Palm Springs International Airport. Ultimately, Mr Williams served as the Deputy Director of Aviation – Operations where he had oversight for operations, maintenance, security and capital development for the Airport.

Mr Williams is a 1990 graduate of Arizona State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Management Technology: Airway Science Management.

Mike is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.), having received this distinction in 1998 from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

Mike is a Certified Airport Executive (C.A.E.) from the Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE).

Mike is a past member of the Arizona Airports Association and SWAAAE. Mike is a past Board Member of SWAAAE and the AAAE Board of Examiners.

Contact Us
107 S. Southgate Dr.
Chandler, AZ 85226
P: (480) 403-4618
F: (480) 893-7775
info@azairports.org


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