AOPA & NATA Presidents Address Aviation Business Community At Minnesota Trades Conference

BLOOMINGTON, MINN. – Mark Baker, President of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), and Tom Hendricks, President of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), were featured speakers at the Minnesota Aviation Trades Conference, March 21, 2014 in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Minnesota Aviation Trades Association (MATA) sponsors the conference. Other speakers included Cassandra Isackson, Director of the Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics; Roy Furhmann, Vice President of Management & Operations, Metropolitan Airports Commission; and State Representative Michael Beard (District 35A).

Rep. Beard was honored during the conference as the “Public Official of the Year” by MATA for his work to strengthen air transportation in the state. Beard was first elected to the State Legislature in 2002 and is not seeking reelection. In addition to serving in the Minnesota Legislature, Beard is a pilot, aircraft owner, and businessman.

Also recognized during the conference was Gordon Hoff, Executive Director of the Minnesota Business Aviation Association (MBAA), who received MATA’s “Distinguished Service Award.”

Hoff worked tirelessly to get legislation passed in Minnesota to reduce aircraft registration fees and adjust the aviation tax on jet fuel, so that business aircraft owners are taxed according to how much fuel they consume, and not solely on the value of their aircraft. Hoff is also responsible for organizing “Minnesota Aviation Day At The Capitol” because he realizes the benefits of an active and engaged aviation community.

Topical speakers at the conference included a panel featuring Dan Riservato of Flightdocs, Richard Sedgewick of Target, and Chad Menne of Malibu Aerospace, LLC, who spoke on using technology to streamline aviation businesses; and Tena Petis of on the topic of social media.

Conference sponsors included Wings Financial Credit Union, Thunderbird Aviation, Allianz, St. Cloud Aviation, Flightdocs, Bolduc Aviation Specialized Services, and Midwest Flyer Magazine.

For information on MATA, contact Nancy Grazzini-Olson at 952-851-0631 (ext 322) (

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