Arizona Airports Association
Moderator: Mike Smejkal, A.A.E., P.E.
VP Planning and Engineering
Prior to joining TAA, Mike was a Project Manager and Engineer for a Midwest based consulting engineering firm. He completed design and construction projects at airports ranging in size from Large Hubs to small General Aviation facilities. Mike is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) of the American Association of Airport Executives and a licensed Professional Engineer. Mike has a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Speaker: Don Kriz, P.E.
Moderator: Lance McIntosh
Throughout his 25 plus year career, Lance has worked almost exclusively on airport improvement projects. He has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to successfully complete projects at a majority of Arizona’s public use airports. His work includes geometric design, pavement design, pavement rehabilitation, infrastructure design, and development of complex phasing plans. Lance also assists sponsors with airport capital improvement programs, preparation of grant applications and reimbursement requests, annual reports, DBE reporting, and coordination with FAA and ADOT.
As a consultant, Lance participated in the creation of the Arizona Best Practices Guide. In 2004, Lance assisted the Arizona branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with developing and publishing Arizona's first ever Infrastructure Report Card. He researched and authored the aviation portion of the publication. Several years later, in 2015, ASCE requested that he once again author Arizona’s aviation section for incorporation into the national Infrastructure Report Card. Lance holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Arizona State University and he is a registered professional engineer in Arizona.
Lance is third generation Arizona native and has a great deal of pride in our great state. He has two children, Malia and Ian. Lance has a passion for the outdoors and most of his vacations revolve around the hunting and fishing seasons in Arizona and various other states. However, as his kids say, he does a lot more “fishing” than “catching”.
Speaker: Zach Puchacz
Zachary Puchacz has a combined 16 years of airport management and aviation consulting experience. His career began as an intern at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO) while pursuing a degree in Aviation Science and Administration from Western Michigan University. After graduating Western Michigan University, Zachary became an airport operations coordinator at Teterboro Airport (TEB) and later an airport operations officer at the Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, Michigan.
In combination with Zachary’s 10 years as an airport planner with Mead & Hunt, he has experience in virtually all aspects of airport management including aircraft rescue and firefighting. As part of his responsibilities while employed at Teterboro Airport, Zachary became certified as a firefighter and was one of the first responders on scene of the aborted takeoff runway overrun of a Challenger 600 at TEB on February 2, 2005.
His experience with AFFF as an ARFF firefighter contributed to the research published in ACRP Research Report 173, Use and Potential Impacts of AFFF Containing PFASs at Airports, in which Zachary was a co-author. Since the publication of the report, Zachary has continued his research into the use and potential impacts of AFFF containing PFAS while assisting airports nationwide with their PFAS mitigation strategies.
3: Aircraft Registration
Moderator: Ryan Reeves
Airport Business Coordinator
Chandler Municipal Airport
Ryan is currently the Airport Business Coordinator at Chandler Municipal Airport. His posting at Chandler comes after two-years as the Airport Coordinator of Buckeye Municipal Airport, which followed a 10-year tenure as General Manager of the Lux Air Jet Centers FBO at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport.
Born into a General Aviation family, he took his first ride at three and is an aircraft owner. He began managing aircraft line service at FBO's and aerial application operations in 1995. Outside of aviation, Mr. Reeves has instructed at both the high school and university levels and served as an administrator for program and course development. Mr. Reeves is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and holds a Masters Degree from the University of Illinois. He is in the process of completing his private pilot’s license, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Mr. Reeves is also the President of the Phoenix Wing of the American Aviation History Association, as well as an advisor to AAHS - National Headquarters, fostering a dedication to research and preservation of aviation’s heritage. He is a member of the Eighth Air Force Next Generation Association, the Foundation of the U.S. Air Force Museum, the Foundation of the National Naval Aviation Museum, the Arizona Aerospace Foundation, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and a former docent at the Pima Air & Space Museum, as well as a public lecturer on a variety of aviation historical subjects. He is currently conducting research for a text on the history of Naval Air Facility Litchfield Park and a book on the heritage of U.S. flight crews in WWII.
Moderator: Alice Bimrose, A.A.E., ACE
Special Projects Administrator
City of Phoenix Aviation Dept.
Alice has a Master of Arts degree from Ottawa University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University. She has completed the Certificate of Airport Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. She is an Airport Certified Employee in Airfield Operations and an Accredited Airport Executive through the American Association of Airport Executives.
Speaker: Jamarah Hayner
Speaker: Mary Niemczyk, PhD
Dr. Mary Niemczyk is an Associate professor in the Aviation programs at Arizona State University. Before joining the Aviation faculty, Dr. Niemczyk earned her PhD in Learning & Instructional Technology at ASU. She also worked as a financial analyst at a major US carrier and co-founded an aviation human performance company, which mostly focused on determining the best instructional methods for training pilots on technologically advanced aircraft. Additionally, Dr. Niemczyk is an FAA certified pilot.
As a faculty member at ASU, Dr. Niemczyk has taught 13 different aviation courses, and developed three new courses. Because of her background in learning and instruction, Dr. Niemczyk is often invited by University’s to conduct external reviews of their Aviation programs. She is currently the Secretary for the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), and also serves as a Visiting Team Chair, and the Industry/Educator Forum Co-Chair. Dr. Niemczyk is also a past-president of the University Aviation Association (UAA).
Dr. Niemczyk’s research interests center on improving instructional and learning strategies to enhance the performance of individuals in complex, ill-defined environments, such as aviation. Based on her research as well as other educational psychology and neuroscience research results, she developed a learning model – The 4 A’s of Learning (active, associate, anticipate and awareness). Her work also focuses on determining the best attributes, knowledge and skills that can lead to successful performance in aviation training and job performance, as well as how to incorporate and effectively utilize the talents of the Millennial and Gen Z generations in the aviation industry. The results of her research have been published in peer-reviewed aviation and education journals and she is currently writing a chapter for an ICAO book which is focusing on how recruit, retain and educate the next generation of aviation professionals.
Speaker: Gladys Brown, C.M., MBA
Yuma International Airport
Gladys Diva Brown, C.M., C.A.E. is the Airport Director at Yuma International Airport. Yuma International Airport is co-located with the MCAS Yuma and is a Shared Use airport with a Joint Use Operating Agreement. Ms. Brown’s primary function is to operate the airport in compliance with applicable FAA regulations and state law, as well as, to maintain the positive relationship with Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and to promote Commercial Air Service and General Aviation in a safe and secure manner. Yuma International Airport was the 2015 Arizona Airport of Year recipient, which is awarded and recognized by the Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautics Group.Gladys was the Southwest American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE) 2017 Executive of the Year, the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) 2017 Airport Executive of the Year, recognized as one of aviation’s best and featured as one of the brightest in the 2017 Airport Business 40 Under 40, the 2017 Yuma Chamber of Commerce Athena International Award recipient, received the California Maritime Academy 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award and featured in Cal State University “Made in the CSU” as one of the notable CSU Alumnus in the Aerospace and Aviation Sector. Prior to becoming the Airport Director, Ms. Brown was the Deputy Airport Director and originally joined Yuma International Airport in March 2009 as the Director of Operations. In addition to the duties of the positions she has held, Ms. Brown was the airport project manager overseeing all engineering, cost estimating and construction at the airport. Ms. Brown worked previously in various capacities as a Civil Engineer, Mechanical & Electrical Integrity Consultant and a High School Math Teacher. She earned her Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the California Maritime Academy accompanied with a USCG Third Assistant Engineer License. Ms. Brown is a Past President of the Arizona Airports Association and continues to support the one voice approach for key issues in aerospace and aeronautics for the State of Arizona, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the regional Board of Directors for the Southwest AAAE chapter. On a national level, Ms. Brown is the vice-chair of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Industrial Aviation and Military Relations committee. Ms. Brown obtained her AAAE Certified Member (C.M.) designation, is an active member of the Southwest AAAE chapter and is recognized as a Certified Airport Executive (C.A.E.). In her down time, Ms. Brown volunteers in the STEM/AVID curriculum, serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, Visit Yuma Board of Directors, is the Chairman of the Naval Sea Cadet Committee Yuma Sea Eagles Squadron, participates in the Expect More Arizona for Yuma County Education Advisory Council, President of the National Society of Professional Engineers Yuma Chapter leading the annual competitive mathlete competition MathCounts, participates assisting in various youth sport teams, and officiates basketball. Ms. Brown has a strong commitment to her community, believes in mentoring to help build leadership for tomorrow and leads to inspire through passionate forward movement.
Appreciation Lunch & General Membership Meeting
Moderator: Barney Helmick, A.A.E.
Speaker: Adam Deibel
5: Prescott Airport Case Study
SESSION 6: Airport Ground Leasing
Speaker: Steven Cole
Prior to his current position with Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Scott spent more than four years with the FAA in North Dakota as a program manager/community planner. Scott received his pilot’s license over 25 years ago and is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives. Scott was also previously certified as an Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighter with first responder training.
Speaker: Mike Williams, A.A.E., CAE
Mike Williams represents the Federal Aviation Administration as the Manager of the Phoenix Airports District Office. The ADO serves airports in the States of Arizona and Nevada.