Arizona Airports Association Names 2019 Awards of Excellence Recipients

Left to Right: Lance McIntosh (Corporate Director); Scott Brownlee (2nd Vice President); Brad Falcetti (Executive Director); Judi Krauss (Associate Director); Steve Johnston (Past President); Mike Smejkal (President); Zenia Cornejo (Executive Director); Ryan Reeves(1st Vice President); Matthew Smith (Executive Director); Joey O’Rourke (Executive Director).  Not Pictured: Desirae Barquin (Administrative Director)

The Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) awarded its 2019 Awards of Excellence at its Spring Conference hosted by Laughlin-Bullhead International Airport and held in Laughlin, Nevada. Joe Husband (Glendale Municipal Airport) and Dr. Robin Sobotta (Prescott Regional Airport) received 2019 Airport Executives of the Year Awards, and Jared Bass (Dibble Engineering) received the 2019 Corporate Member of the Year Award.  In addition, AzAA President Steve Johnston awarded Ed Faron (Deer Valley Airport and AzAA Past President) the 2019 President’s Award, while the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Airport of the Year was given to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Each honoree has made lasting positive impacts on airports in Arizona, and AzAA recognizes their outstanding contributions.

Joe Husband

Joe Husband, CM, CAE, who is currently serving as Airport Administrator and General Manager of the Glendale Municipal Airport, was awarded Airport Executive of the Year. Husband’s airport career spans almost thirty years serving in many different management roles in varied work areas. He has been Director of three airports over the years, including two general aviation reliever airports and one Part 139-certificated airport in transition. During 2018, he managed two airports simultaneously for over six months: Glendale Municipal Airport (where he won the 2018 Aviation Safety Advisory Group of Arizona [ASAG] Airport Safety Award) and Kingman Municipal Airport.

Charlie McDermott and Dr. Robin Sobotta with her award.

The second Airport Executive of the Year award recipient, Dr. Sobotta, AAE, is Airport Director of Prescott Regional Airport. Dr. Sobotta has been playing a role in the aviation community in Arizona for the last 17 years, including administration, operations, and public outreach at three commercial service airports and two general aviation airports. She is also the Founding Chair of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)-Prescott School of Business. In February 2017, she took a temporary leave of absence from ERAU-Prescott School of Business to serve as Director of Aviation for Prescott Regional Airport. Since that time, the growth and development of the aviation industry in the Prescott region has exploded, and her integral role helped bring the first-ever jet-service to Prescott Regional Airport.

Jared Bass receives his award from
Zenia Cornejo.

Jared Bass, PE, was named 2019 Corporate Member of the Year.  Bass is a Vice President at Dibble Engineering, a Sr. Project Manager in its Airport Development Group, and a well-known engineer and consultant with experience at 16 Arizona airports over the past 12 years. He was nominated, and ultimately awarded, Corporate Member of the Year award for his work on Prescott Regional Airport’s recent $6 million runway rehabilitation project.  The timely completion of this important regional project enabled United Express (operated by Sky West Airlines) to begin service on schedule on August 29, 2018.

Steve Johnston, left, and Ed Faron.

Ed Faron, AAE, Airport Manager of Deer Valley Airport received the President’s Award.   Faron was instrumental in putting together a legislative briefing book that was used at Aviation Day at the Capitol to inform key legislators of the economic benefits that various airports have not only statewide, but in their own Districts.  In addition, Faron continues to monitor legislative actions that could affect airports and keep AzAA apprised of upcoming aviation issues in the state.  His leadership in AzAA has been invaluable to the organization.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s ADOT of the Year award was accepted on behalf of the airport by Scott Brownlee, the airport’s Deputy Director. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport recently had its most record-breaking month ever with a 26 percent increase in passengers over last year for the month of March.  The selection criteria used by the ADOT Aeronautics Group to determine the winner each year includes an airport’s accomplishments in the areas of aviation advocacy and community relations, airport management, special events and recognition as well as innovative activities and programs implemented at the airport.