Utah Aeronautics Division to Recognize Five Awardees at Conference

Award nominations have been submitted, and the awardees have been chosen! The Utah Aeronautics Division has named five individuals who have demonstrated outstanding progress in making contributions to the aviation industry in the State of Utah. They will be honored at the Utah Aeronautics Conference Evening Reception on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah.

Shalyn Drake, USU, “Rookie of the Year” | Shalyn Drake has been a high school English teacher for over a decade and started a drone club at Farmington High School. Despite Shalyn’s little time in the industry, she has already left an impact on hundreds of youths. Shalyn created Rookie Fly Days to bring hands-on flight experiences around the state of Utah. She joined the Civil Air Patrol, quickly becoming a sUAS Pilot and Instructor, where she has already taught dozens of cadets and senior members how to fly. In addition, Shalyn has visited with over 40 educators, giving class presentations, teaching at an Educator’s Workshop, and provided demonstrations to help them set up college courses for multiple universities.

Jeff Hansen, UBAA, “Aviation Professional of the Year” | Jeff Hansen demonstrates a profound knowledge of private and corporate aviation, along with a visionary scope that continues to broaden Utah’s aviation industry. He is a perpetual leader that constantly gives back to Utah’s community. Whether it’s through the UBAA, mentorship, scholarships and/or aviation education, he’s constantly there to lend support or leadership to anyone who reaches out. He’s grown Aircraft Services Utah as the premier Part 91 aircraft management company in Utah.

Michael Duke, DBT Aero, “Innovator of the Year” | Michael Duke has developed with his company, DBT Aero, six-seat future autonomous aircraft with a target fuel economy of an SUV or luxury car traveling six times faster. The aircraft are designed to be the most efficient, high-speed aircraft ever developed whether powered electrically, with hydrogen or using traditional fuels.

Senator Wayne Harper, Utah Senate, “Partner of the Year” | Senator Wayne Harper has been at the forefront of most aeronautics-related legislation in Utah for at least the last 20 years. He has been an advocate for aviation and has shepherded many bills through the legislative process.

Andreas (Baron) Wesemann, Utah State University (USU), “Gail Halvorsen Lifetime Achievement” | Baron Wesemann has served over 41 years in 10 different wings of the Civil Air Patrol. He is the embodiment of aviation education in the state of Utah with many historical successes. From Civil Air Patrol flying events to Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge, he constantly looks for opportunities to bring aviation to the community—especially youth! He brings aircraft, hands on STEM events and activities to airport open houses, community events and school visits. He received a $238,500 Federal Aviation Administration Workforce Development Grant to bring aviation to the rural communities of Utah. He has created or advised eight aviation clubs at USU, where they support outreach events, including Girls in Aviation Days, Oshkosh Air Venture trips, and STEM events at elementary schools from Cache Valley to St. George. He has also received a Hill AFB STEM Grant, to support hands-on activities to encourage youth to aviation careers.

Visit the conference registration site to sign up.