Arizona Airports Association Announces Awards of Excellence

The Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) awarded the Airport Executive of the Year, Corporate Member of the Year, and the President’s Award at its annual spring conference held in Yuma, AZ at the end of April. Recipients included Ms. Gladys Brown, C.M., C.A.E., Airport Executive of the Year; Mr. Ryan Toner, P.E., Corporate Member of the Year; and Ms. Carmen Rose, P.E., President’s Award winner. Each honoree has made lasting positive impacts on airports in Arizona and within the organization, and AzAA recognizes their outstanding contributions.

Ms. Gladys Brown, C.M., C.A.E, currently serves as the Airport Director at Yuma International Airport (KNYL) and the small rural airport Rolle Airfield (Aux 4). Prior to becoming the Airport Director, Ms. Brown was the Deputy Airport Director and originally joined the Yuma County Airport Authority (YCAA) in 2009 as Director of Operations. Over the course of her tenure at YCAA, Ms. Brown has been awarded numerous industry awards and recognitions, including the California Maritime Academy 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award, the American Association of Airport Executives – Southwest Chapter (SWAAAE) 2017 Executive of the Year, and the AzAA 2017 Airport Executive of the Year. Additionally, under her leadership, Yuma International Airport has been selected twice as the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Arizona Airport of the Year in 2015 and 2021. Ms. Brown is a Past President of AzAA and regionally serves on the Board of Directors as the At-Large Director of SWAAAE.

Ms. Brown’s unwavering commitment to AzAA and other industry organizations, dedicated leadership practices, mentorship beliefs and efforts, and advocacy efforts on behalf of Arizona airports and collaborations with numerous community partners are attributed to her receiving this year’s Executive of the Year recipient. As noted in her nomination, Ms. Brown “is truly an exceptional airport executive who has dedicated herself [as] an active and effective leader within the community and aviation industry on the local, state, and federal level….”    

Mr. Ryan Toner, P.E., currently serves as Vice President and Airport Development Business Unit Leader at Dibble, a multi-discipline planning, engineering, and design firm headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Toner is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Arizona and Colorado and has over 19 years in the industry. He has been with Dibble since 2011. Mr. Toner has been an active and engaged member of AzAA over the last ten years and served as Associate Director from 2016 – 2018. Mr. Toner has “consistently fostered not only an environment of collaboration on behalf and for the betterment of [the AzAA] organization, but has also selflessly given his time, both as an industry professional and as a volunteer, for our efforts across the state. Not only does he maintain a high-level of dedication to AzAA, but he also works quite diligently to ensure other professional organizations (AAAE, ACC, etc.) both communicate and align with AzAA’s goals,” as stated in his nomination.

Ms. Carmen Rose, P.E., currently serves as the State Aviation Engineer with the Arizona Department of Transportation – Aeronautics Division. Previously she spent 15 years as a private consultant as a Project Manager working for numerous airport clients across the state. She has been associated with AzAA since 2011 and served as Associate Director from 2019 – 2021. Ms. Rose volunteers on several AzAA committees and has been organizing the annual spring conference golf tournament since 2023. Outgoing 2023 AzAA President, Sarah Demory, A.A.E., bestowed the award on Ms. Rose noting her “generous contributions, support, and time given to AzAA not only over the last year, but for many years.”