NASAO Chair Stepping Down for Consulting Opportunity

 Joseph Pestka, Administrator of Aviation for the state of Missouri and current Chairman of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, (NASAO) is leaving both positions to open an office in Missouri for Jviation, an aviation engineering, planning and construction company based in Denver, Colorado. His first day with Jviation is January 4th.

"Being a part of the NASAO family has been a highlight of my career," said Pestka ."I’ve learned so much and have been mentored by many great NASAO members."  Pestka, who became Missouri’s Aviation Administrator in 2003 was elected Chairman of NASAO in September at the association’s annual conference, held this year in Nashville, TN.  
Henry Ogrodzinski, President of NASAO said that Chairman Pestka has been clearly one of the most active and dynamic members of the association. "He quickly became my essential go-to-guy on a wide area of subject matter," said Ogrodzinski, "ranging from Block Grant States (Missouri was one of the first) to navigational aids, to security issues."  In fact, according to Ogrodzinski, Pestka has led or participated in nearly 10 NASAO Committees in the past eight years.  As a NASAO staffer, Ogrodzinski said he will miss Pestka’s willingness to help out with any problem, his wise advice, his wide range of experience, his solid base of aeronautical knowledge and is informal, laid-back style of management. 

That sentiment is also shared by others on the NASAO Executive Committee. “I wish Joe well in his new venture and thank him for his service to NASAO over the years," said Debbie Alke, NASAO Vice Chairman and Administrator of the Montana aviation office. Tommy Booth, Director of Aeronautics for the state of Mississippi and NASAO Treasurer said Pestka has provided tremendous leadership to NASAO. "I consider Joe a very good friend and I wish him well in his new endevour," said Booth.  "I will miss his personal mentoring, steady and calm demeanor, and look forward to a continued relationship as Joe joins the NASAO “alumni” ranks," said Alke.   
While NASAO is losing a strong and thoughtful leader  to Jviation,  Ogrodzinski said he is "very happy" for Joe because this is a wonderful opportunity to work with one of the most respected firms in the community and with another dynamic, [leader] former Chairman of NASAO, Travis Vallin. "We are very excited to have Joe join us at Jviation," said Vallin, Vice President and Senior Program Manager. "He exemplifies the qualities I’ve come to known so well in State Aviation Directors and his past consulting experience will help us meet the needs of our clients in the Central region." 
Look for a more in-depth article in the next issue of the State Aviation Journal.