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Featured Member

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Cynthia Guidry, P.E.

Director
Long Beach Airport (LGB)









When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I've been a member of SWAAAE on and off over the past 10 years while working for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). When I started at Long Beach Airport (LGB), I recognized the opportunities that SWAAAE offers to members and airports.

The chapter's smaller conferences allow attendees to network and exchange stories related to our industry. I appreciate the reduced venues, offering relaxed conversations and smaller groups. Specific to California airports and the challenges operators face, SWAAAE is an important networking resource to identify opportunities and overcome challenges unique to our State.

What is your professional background?


I'm a licensed civil engineer in the state of California. This background and degree helped me in many ways to launch my career in aviation.

While working on capital improvement projects at LAWA, I came to learn there are so many other aspects to airports than engineering alone. Airports are little cities run like a business, with HR, finance, technology, and many other important focus areas.

While earning my MBA at Pepperdine University, the organizational leadership classes were my favorite. These courses were my foundation for understanding the importance of building relationships and recognizing the value of people as they are who get things done. I learned there are different types of communication styles for different people — each with unique personalities. We don't have all the answers as individuals despite doing our best work. Teamwork is how we accomplish significant quality projects and programs with and for our many stakeholders.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

During my 18 years at LAWA, there were so many people who influenced me.

Five different female CEOs led the organization while I was there, some of whom are still in aviation. A few that immediately come to mind are Lydia Kennard, Gina Marie Lindsey and Deborah Flint.

There were also many great men who influenced my work and my career while at LAWA.

An important note about the past year while our industry, and LGB, specifically, rose to the crisis that was and continues to be the Covid-19 pandemic. I’d like to acknowledge the LGB team — employees, airlines and concessionaires, and our elected officials, business partners and stakeholders — for quickly coming together to get us through this tough period. We all worked together to streamline costs, including a City of Long Beach-wide furlough (reduced hours) for our staff. New and ongoing communications methods and messaging were key to keeping our programs and projects moving forward, as limited budgets allowed, while continuing to be responsive to our passengers. One year in, I’m so pleased that LGB continues to thrive and be an important resource for our community. A particular bright spot is that we now have two carriers offering nonstop service to Honolulu and Maui, in-demand destinations for our local travelers.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I'm a wife and a mom to two boys - rising middle-school and high-school students. They keep me busy making sure they get to their various extracurricular activities!

I love to golf when I do get my own time. There's something about being on the course between 6 - 7 a.m., and starting my day in this amazing way.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?


The window seat is my favorite. I like to look outside during takeoff and landing, and I often take pictures to savor the moment.

Past Featured Members

J. BRIAN O'NEILL, A.A.E.



Executive Director/CEO

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority

Read more about J. Brian

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

In 2015, when I relocated from New Hampshire to Arizona. I feel strongly about belonging to, and participating in, the local chapter of AAAE.

What is your professional background?

25+ years in progressive airport management - Assistant Airport Director - Air Service Development, Marketing, and Public Relations; Deputy Director; and now Airport Director.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

During the past two decades, I've been very fortunate to have had a couple of former bosses (Airport Directors) that provided great leadership and served as role models for me. Observing them as they interacted with elected officials, the FAA, local community members, the media, and various airport tenants was extremely educational.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I love spending time outdoors with my family. I also really enjoy watching college football.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

At 6'4" I appreciate an isle seat or the emergency exit row when I can get it.

GLADYS BROWN, C.M., C.A.E.



Airport Director
Yuma International Airport & Rolle Airfield

Read more about Gladys

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I joined SWAAAE within the first year of entering the aviation industry around 2009. I wanted to get involved and learn as much as I could. I felt SWAAAE was a great place to start. My first real introduction to the organization was with Todd McNamee.

What is your professional background?

I actually went to a merchant marine academy (the best one there is - California Maritime Academy) and received my undergraduate in mechanical engineering, got my license to sail and ended up staying shoreside working for a huge corporation as a mechanical and electrical integrity consultant. Life happened, found myself in Yuma, AZ, worked as a civil engineer under one of the kindest local professional engineers, Vonne Nicklaus, which got me the introduction and professional relationship with the airport. I did end up getting my master’s in business over those years which has helped a great deal. Fun fact: I actually started off as a sociology major at the first college I got a basketball scholarship at, a division 2 NCAA college (CSU Humboldt) then left after my first "redshirt" year to a division 3 NAIA college (Cal Maritime) to play volleyball and focus on academics.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

From a mentorship and growth perspective, it will have to be Corinne Nystrom and Barney Helmick. The growing pains and many conversations helped me tremendously - especially on the tougher days. There are many others too which have been there in friendship from the awesome teleconference coffee mornings with Mark Witsoe to the beginning times (when I just started my career) having a meal with Carl Newman on the Monterey harbor or the breakdown discussions with Courtney Johnson and Cathy Herring. A tough question for a person like me who is truly "been raised" within the industry with many influential encouraging professionals who truly want me (and others) to succeed.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

As of lately, golfing has been my thing however I love all sports whether basketball, football, walking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, hunting - I love getting out. I enjoy my three awesome sons who are getting bigger and stronger, time flies for sure. I have a crazy labradoodle, Sir Charles aka Charlie Doodle, that I thought could possibly be a service dog for the airport one day but that may be a thought for a while. One thing I have learned and want to share with everyone is to value the time together and that being kind as well as having patience is what we all need more of. Take the time to tell those around you how much they are loved and you appreciate them. You have this life to make a difference and our time is undetermined - so live your best life and love what you do.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

The middle seat of course, that way everyone leans to the other sides and you get the "elbow and shoulder room respect", just kidding, I do enjoy the extended leg room with a view when I can get it.

ASHLEY WHITMORE, CMC





Airport Manager

City of Tehachapi

Read more about Ashley

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I joined SWAAAE in mid-2020 because I believe networking and information sharing is vital to the success of our airports.

What is your professional background?

I have worked in local government since 2008, beginning my career in the City Clerks department. In 2015 I began assisting in the management of the airport and was officially named Airport Manager in 2018. Along with the airport, I currently oversee the City Clerks department and IT management team and serve as ACA's Region 3 Board Member.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

My greatest influence would have to be my grandmother. Although she was not personally in the aviation industry, she did work in local government. It was watching her drive and tenacity that pushed me to where I am today.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I am married with three children, ages 16, 10 and 8. We enjoy camping, swimming, going to the beach and watching movies.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

The one with a vacant seat next to it!

ROSEMARY BARNES, A.A.E.




Owner

PRoComms
Director of Public Relations
Aviatrix Communications

Read more about Rosemary

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I joined SWAAAE in 2015, coinciding with (finally!) completing my accreditation. I appreciated the support and acceptance of those I met while studying for the panel interview. I wanted to pay it forward to others who enjoy aviation as much as I do.

What is your professional background?

All-things airports! I have been blessed with an amazing 30-year career. I was bitten and smitten by Jet-A early in life when my family emigrated from Northern Ireland. We settled next to SFO, which played an important role in my and family members' lives for employment, and landings and takeoffs.

SJSU and SJC is where my career really took off, from FBO experience to roles in Operations, Property Management and where I ultimately settled into MarCom.

My true passion is telling the stories and communicating the important work airports do in supporting the communities they serve.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

There are so many to thank and acknowledge, but these three top my list:

Jerry Bennett, who gave me my big break in Operations at SJC - both an internship and later a Manager-on-Duty role.

Marily Mora, A.A.E., who I viewed as a mentor as I transitioned from Operations to MarCom at SJC.

Steven Grossman, A.A.E, was always very supportive of me during our time together at OAK. I appreciated Steve's charismatic leadership and his incredible way of connecting and engaging with everyone he met.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I lead a very active life connecting and spending time with family and friends. Hiking, swimming, book clubbing, wine tasting, dog walking and traveling (pre-Covid) keep me busy.

I'm enjoying building my new PRoComms business, a little bit every day.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

Aisle, definitely. Climbing over fellow passengers during a long flight is on my must-avoid list.

JUDY M. ROSS, A.A.E., C.A.E.



Assistant Director
Mineta San Jose International Airport

Read more about Judy

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

When I moved to California (the first time), my supervisor was working on the SWAAAE Summer Conference and encouraged me to participate. I think I started working on the conference even before I was an official member!.

What is your professional background?

I have worked the aviation industry my entire career. I am starting my six year at Mineta San Jose International Airport; three years as the Assistant Director and two years as Deputy Director, Planning and Development. In addition, I served as Deputy Aviation Director at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for seven years; Director of Airport Planning and Development at Little Rock National Airport for two years; and while at San Diego International Airport for 10 years, she was Manager of Program Controls, as well as holding other positions. This year I serve as your President of the Southwest Chapter of AAAE, where I am also a Certified Airport Executive (C.A.E.). Also, I serve on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) where I am an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.). I earned a Master’s degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

I have had many influences in my career, some great and some I would call "learning experiences". I would say my first positive influence was Arlene B. Feldman from New Jersey. Early in my career, she was an example of what you can achieve with focus and working hard toward your goals.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I like to travel and see new places. I also like to hike and see where a trail takes me.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

Aisle-I like my space.

DAVID SPERLING




Senior Aviation Planner
C&S Companies, Inc.

Read more about David

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I joined SWAAAE in 2000 to connect with the airport and consultant community when I moved back to the Phoenix area.

What is your professional background?

I have been an airport consultant for 23 years; 18 years with a large multi-national firm, and the past 5 years at C&S. I have also taught the airport management and planning curriculum at Arizona State University for the past 7 years, and served on the Chandler Airport Commission for 7 years and am serving my third term as Chair.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

I had a professor in college for several courses whose passion for aviation affirmed that this was the field for me. Also, my first boss allowed me to grow by giving me responsibilities and project management assignments beyond what I expected.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

Outside of work, I spend my time with family. My wife, Lee Ann, and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary earlier this year. We have two daughters, Amelia (16) and Sophie (13) who are active student-athletes, and we spend a lot of time at the soccer field and volleyball court. Our golden-mix, Ruby, and Stella the cat seem to get a lot of our attention, also.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

I recently switched from window to aisle.

Jennifer Maples, A.A.E., C.A.E., A.C.E.



Aviation Superintendent 

City of Phoenix Aviation Department

Read more about Jennifer

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I joined SWAAAE in 1997 when PHX was hosting the Summer Conference, and my boss, Debbie Klein, was the conference chair… and I’ve been grateful for it ever since!

What is your professional background?

I’ve been with PHX my entire airport career - 23 years and counting! I am currently the Facilities & Services Planning Superintendent overseeing several airport maintenance, operational readiness, capital planning, and asset management functions.

Prior to PHX, I worked for Evergreen Airlines, Cutter Aviation, American Express, and my favorite – as a station manager for Papillon Helicopters in Hawaii!

I have a B.S. in Aviation Business Administration with a Certificate of Emphasis in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and became an Accredited Airport Executive in 2007.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

Two important people instilled a love for aviation in me at a young age. My father worked in the industry my entire life, first as an A&P at North American Rockwell at LAX, and then he moved on to management at Hughes Airwest, then Republic, then Northwest Airlines. Later, a dear friend of mine from high school, David Santo, had his pilot’s license before he could drive! He flew gliders at Turf Soaring School, and I was a benefactor, getting to fly with him. He was the one who convinced me to go to Embry Riddle, and the rest is history!

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I love to travel and explore new places! I also really enjoy hiking, photography, and believe it or not, I am a quilter. I’ve made several dozen quilts and never kept one – they were all gifted to others.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

First Class! But more often than not, I have to settle for a window seat.

William J Critchfield, A.A.E., C.A.E.



Retired

TOA, Los Angeles County Airports (5 Airports), KKIA Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, San Bernardino County (7 Airports), FAA Airports Safety
Read more about William

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I recall it was 1959, the original California Association of Airports - professional relations and information exchange.

What is your professional background?

Airport Operations and Safety (USMC Combat Engineer), Business Administration (BA)

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

My first boss, Jack Egan, A.A.E.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

Golf, sports, shooting

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

Jump seat (can't do that anymore), a seat near the rear (aft of the wing).

Patrick Murphy




Environmental Graphic Designer/Owner
115 DEGREES WEST

Read more about Patrick

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

Member since 2013. I joined SWAAAE as as result of attending AzAA conferences and AAAE conferences. I found out many of the same great people I had met were also SWAAAE members and I wanted more opportunities to interact with those people.

What is your professional background?

I have an Industrial Design Degree and Economics Minor from the University of Cincinnati. I began designing signage and wayfinding for Marriott Corporation in 1988 and continued on that track until designing for ATL and their complete signage redo prior to the 1996 Olympic Games. Although I did work on projects for the Olympic Games after ATL, it was the ATL project which created the foundation for a career in Aviation Signage and Wayfinding.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

Jennifer Maples of PHX has been the greatest influence in my aviation career; first by emphasizing the need for signage design to prioritize the long term maintenance parameters of signs and building in the flexibility needed in the airport environment. Secondly, Mrs. Maples encouraged me to become more involved in organizations such as SWAAAE.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

Well of course Design, all types of Design, interests me on a daily basis whether as a professional, consumer or admirer. Playing Golf and supporting the Vegas Golden Knights as well as the Dallas Cowboys provides competitive and emotional outlets. Finally, I would be happy to share my dogs with you.; just let me know where you want me to send them.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

Window seat either at the front of the plane or in about row 8; the first row for the second flight attendant to collect my drink ticket.

Sean Moran, C.M., ACE



Assistant Airport Manager
City of Livermore - Livermore Municipal Airport

Read more about Sean

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

I joined in 2010 as an Academic Member, attending California State University - Los Angeles.

What is your professional background?

When I was attending college, I started out as a Passenger Services Agent for Hallmark Aviation Services at LAX, working for both Emirates and Spirit Airlines. I participated in two internships with the City of Los Angeles in the Van Nuys Airport Noise Office, and in the Airport Operations Department for the John Wayne Airport. My first full-time job was working as an Airport Operations Officer for the Ventura County Department of Airports, where I was fortunate enough to "wear many different hats" and I credit my time there to the experiences & lessons learned. I moved back home to the SF Bay Area, and spent a few years working for the City of Hayward as an Airport Operations and Noise Specialist. Before working for the City of Livermore, I spent 2 years at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport as an Airport Duty Manager.

Who was the greatest influence in your aviation career?

My biggest influence has definitely been Mr. Curt Castagna, President/CEO of The Aeroplex-Aerolease Group. Mr. Castagna has provided invaluable advice and mentorship through just-about every step of my journey so far. Before I made any job change, I have sought out his advice and guidance. I am humbly grateful for all of the support he has given to me, and many of his other students.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

I am a very active person. Over the past few years I have become "addicted" to Obstacle Course Racing (Spartan, Tough Mudder, Etc....) and I consider this sport to be a metaphor to life. During everyone's journey, we meet obstacles along the way. When we meet these obstacles, we can either give up, exit the course, and go home, or conquer that obstacle, and push forward towards the finish line.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

If anyone wants to get me a Christmas Gift, I'm a size "Business Class" in airplane tickets.

Wayne Armoogam




President

Luminous Egress

Read more about Wayne

When did you join SWAAAE and what motivated you to do so?

Mid 2019 - was told by another member that it would be the best organization to expose our luminous technology.

What is your professional background?

BSE Arizona State University, Executive Education Program at W P Carey School of Business at ASU.

Do you have any favorite past times or hobbies, and/or would you like to share about your family or pets?

Golf. Travel. I have a wife and two teenage daughters.

What is your favorite seat in an airplane?

Window

Photo: Long Beach Airport
Long Beach, CA

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