Minnesota Aviation Trades Association Holds Annual Membership Meeting & Barbecue

BLAINE, MINN. – Members of the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association (MATA) held their annual meeting, August 20, 2015 at Twin Cities Aviation, Anoka County – Blaine Airport, Blaine, Minnesota. A catered barbecue dinner preceded the meeting with members and invited guests.

Officers present included Greg Reigel, president; Alison Wynne, vice president; Nancy Grazzini-Olson, treasurer; and Dave Weiman, secretary. Board members Dick Cross and Doug Evink were also present, along with members at large. Among special guests were Rick Braunig and Kathy Vesely of the Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics; Katie Pribyl and Bryan Budds of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association; Gary Schmidt, Joe Harris and Glenn Burke of the Metropolitan Airports Commission; and Gary Black of Cirrus Aircraft. MATA member and former board member, Bill Ahmann, and his staff at Twin Cities Aviation, hosted the event.

Greg Reigel discussed the accomplishments of the organization over the past year including, but not limited to an active and engaged board of directors, which has met all of its stated objectives, which were to 1) hold scheduled and meaningful board meetings, every two months; 2) work on “advocacy” at both state and federal levels; 3) engage in joint efforts with the Minnesota Business Aviation Association (MBAA) and Minnesota Council of Airports (MCOA), including meeting with congressional delegates in Washington, and legislators at “Minnesota Aviation Day At The Capitol;” 4) meet quarterly with representatives of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to discuss its initiatives and member concerns; 5) complete a new website and Facebook Page; and 6) reinstate MATA’s scholarship program.

Reigel added that work is underway by MATA, MCOA and MBAA to create a state aviation caucus and underscored the importance of member recruitment by all members, noting the work being done by their board of directors. Nancy Grazzini-Olson reported that membership had increased over 2014.

Alison Wynne chaired the MATA Scholarship Committee and noted that eight students from five member businesses applied for the $2,000.00 scholarship. The person named this year’s recipient was Caitlyn Brady, a student at Minnesota State University – Mankato, who aspires to become a commercial pilot.

Elected to the board was Butch Detjen of Airways Aviation Center, Inc., Grand Rapids, Minnesota; and Dave Lessard of St. Paul Flight Center, St. Paul Downtown Airport, St. Paul, Minn. Both board members were elected to three-year terms.

Members pledged their support of “Minnesota Aviation Day At The Capitol” held each spring with the Minnesota Business Aviation Association, and the Minnesota Council of airports. The date is to be announced.

Under new business, Gary Schmidt of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) introduced newly appointed Anoka County – Blaine Airport Manager Glenn Burke. Burke comes to MAC with 21 years of experience as manager of South St. Paul Airport – Fleming Field. He is originally from the state of New Jersey, and received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Aviation Management at the University of North Dakota. The Burkes have five children – two in high school, two in college, and one out of college.  Burke has supported MATA over the years in providing meeting room space at Fleming Field, and as an active member and past president of the Minnesota Council of Airports.

For additional information on the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association, refer to its website at www.mata-online.org, or contact Nancy Grazzini-Olson at 952-851-0631 extension 322, or email ngo@thunderbirdaviation.com.

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