Arizona Airports Association

2020 'Walter Burg' Fall Conference

October 22, 2020

2020 'Walter Burg' Virtual Fall Conference Speakers

Clara Bennett

Bennett is an airport executive with more nearly 30 years of experience in aviation and local government. She currently serves as Boca Raton Airport Authority’s Executive Director. In her career she has served as Deputy Director of Transportation and Mobility/Airport Manager with the City of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.; been Board Member of the National Air Transportation Association and has served as Past President for the Florida Airports Council. Bennett obtained her MBA in International Business at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and also holds a B.S. in Aviation Management from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. She is a private pilot and has received several industry-related awards.

Renato “Ren” Camacho

Mr. Camacho has been President and CEO of Akron-Canton Airport since 2018. Ren has over 25 years of professional experience in the aviation and transportation engineering sectors, specializing in program management and customer service. Prior to his time in Akron-Canton, he has served as Chief of Planning and Engineering with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Port Control and served 14 years with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in various capacities. Ren received his Master’s Degree in Transportation Planning & Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio, a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, and is actively engaged in multiple leadership initiatives in the region. He has also received the designation of an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

Noel Campbell

Representative Noel Campbell is a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing Arizona's Legislative District One. He previously served in the Navy, retiring from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Commander. During that time, he received the Bronze Star, U.S. Air Medal with 16 Flight Strike Awards, U.S. Presidential Unit Citation, U.S. Vietnam Services Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and the National Defense Ribbon. In addition, he served on the Apollo 13 space module recovery team. He has also served in the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Forest Service and is a small business owner. Mr. Campbell grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and attended Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. He currently resides in Prescott, Arizona, has two adult children and three grandchildren.

Michael Hotaling

Michael Hotaling is Senior Vice President of C&S Engineers, Inc. and is responsible for leading the company’s aviation practice of 110+ technical and support personnel with offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. He is passionate about aviation and has dedicated his entire 29-year professional career to providing professional consulting services to airport sponsors. His areas of technical expertise include, program management, master and environmental planning, community outreach, noise mitigation programs and stakeholder engagement. Michael’s project work experience spans a wide range of aviation facilities from large-hub to general aviation airports. Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aircraft Engineering Technology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and lives in San Diego, California. He and Gigi have been married for nearly 30 years and they have two adult children.

Don Kriz

Mr. Kriz is currently the Manager for Aeronautics for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) as well as the State Airport Engineer. Originally from Chicago, Mr. Kriz attended the University of Arizona in Tucson earning a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and is also a registered Professional Engineer in the State. He spent over 30 years as an Aviation consultant working for various consulting firms in Arizona before accepting a position with ADOT in April of 2016. His main responsibilities include managing ADOT’s Aeronautics group which includes oversight of each of its five programs, including the Airport Development Grant program for Federal/State Local Matching (FSL) grants, the Airport Development Grant program for State/Local (SL) grants, the Airport Pavement Management System (APMS), the State System Planning Program and the Airport Development Loan Program.

Melissa McCaffrey

Melissa McCaffrey has served as Aircraft Owners & Pilots Associations (AOPA) Western Pacific Regional Manager since 2015. She is responsible for general aviation state advocacy, policy, and other aviation-related issues in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. McCaffrey has been with AOPA since 2012 and was previously responsible for air traffic and airspace-related issues for the AOPA Government Affairs division. She is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has a bachelor’s degree in air traffic management, and is a private pilot. McCaffrey lives in Temecula, California, with her husband and sons and flies out of French Valley Airport in Murrieta, California.

John McGraw

John McGraw, president of JMAC, has over 45 years of aviation experience, including 13 years flight test. Before starting JMAC, Mr. McGraw was the Deputy Director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Flight Standards Service from 2008 to 2012, an organization of more than 4,800 employees, and was responsible for ensuring the safety of flight for civil aircraft by setting standards for and certificating air carriers, air agencies, general aviation operators, airmen, and designees. Mr. McGraw is also the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the National Air Transportation Association and the Senior Advisor for Regulation and Certification for Airbus Americas. Mr. McGraw has been involved with UAS Operations since 2002 and in 2018 received a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for helping the first seven UAS operators receive approval from FAA to perform Commercial Operations in the US. A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Mr. McGraw served 24 years in the U.S. Army, Active, Guard, and Reserve. He has over 4,000 hours of flight time, and is a U.S. Army Master Aviator. Mr. McGraw serves on the Auburn University Aviation Management Advisory Board and is a member of the Auburn University Aerospace Engineering Advisory Council.

Michael Racy

Mr. Michael Racy has been at the helm of the respected, local public and government relations firm, Racy and Associates for almost 30 years. In that time he has built a reputation of being the foremost authority on political issues involving real estate and land development. Michael has extensive experience working in all jurisdiction of Pima County as well as across the state of Arizona. Mr. Racy will be providing some insight as to what he feels are the most significant policy issues facing the region.

Mike Smejkal

Mike Smejkal currently serves as the Vice President of Planning and Engineering for the Tucson Airport Authority and leads a team that complete TAA’s planning, environmental, design and construction projects for Tucson International Airport and Ryan Field. Mike previously served as the Sr. Director of Development Services and Director of Engineering for the TAA.

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.

Arlando Teller

Arlando Teller began his career in aviation by becoming the first Native American graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1995. After graduation, he entered the City of Mesa's Falcon Field Airport's General Aviation Management Internship program. Teller continued his aviation career first as an airport planner for the City of Phoenix's Aviation Department and later as the Aviation Management Intern for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In 2009, Teller returned to the Navajo Nation to work as a senior transportation planner for the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation. He was promoted to program manager for the new Department of Airports Management within the Division of Transportation and later served as the Deputy Division Director. In November 2018, Teller was elected to the Arizona Legislature to represent Arizona's 7th District. After election, Teller became a sitting member on the Land & Agriculture Committee and the Transportation Committee.

Ryan Waguespack

Mr. Ryan Waguespack is the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Senior Vice President. He joined the NATA staff as Vice President of Aircraft Management, Air Charter Services and MROs in November 2018. Ryan also serves as the Chair of NATA’s WorkForce Development Committee and Illegal Charter Task Force, as well as Vice Chair of the Air Charter Committee as an association member. Prior to NATA, Waguespack held the position of Vice President of Business Development of Summit Aviation and is the founder of the Alabama Business Aviation Association. He is also a frequent guest lecturer at universities nationwide, including Auburn University in the Harbert College of Business, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Dubuque. Ryan is a recreational pilot who lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Amanda and two children.

Mike Williams

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. Prior to joining the FAA, Mr. Williams served as the Director of Airports for the County of San Bernardino, (CA), where he oversaw a system of six (6) general aviation airports. Prior to that, Mr. Williams was employed as the Development Manager for the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. Mr. Williams began his airport management career in 1992 with the City of Palm Springs, California, serving in various capacities with the Palm Springs International Airport. Ultimately, Mr. Williams served as the Deputy Director of Aviation – Operations where he had oversight for operations, maintenance, security and capital development for the Airport.

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