After starting his career as a financial journalist in Tokyo and working at one of the leading law firms in New York, Jim joined Aviation Advisory Service in 1990. Jim’s father, Selig Altschul, who was a pioneer in aviation finance, founded Aviation Advisory in 1947. Jim is able to draw on an exceptional network of relationships throughout the aviation industry and related fields, and bring to bear his wide-ranging experience in addressing the challenges faced by new ventures.
In 1997 and 1998, Jim put together California Hangars, LLC, which he believes was the first retail direct participation program to invest in an airplane hangar project. California Hangars owned and operated a 51-unit general aviation hangar project at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, California for 17 years. California Hangars consistently delivered very high levels of occupancy and tenant satisfaction, and provided superior returns to its investors. Jim founded Hayward Hangars, LLC, and has handled all aspects of development, financing, local government relations, and property management.
Jim is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B., East Asian Studies, cum laude) and of Columbia Law and Business Schools. He is a member of the New York bar.
Ardies began working for the Commission in 2009 as an intern. Rising through the ranks, he became the lone 5010 airport inspector as an Aviation Program Manager, conducting airport and pavement inspections at Oklahoma’s public-use, general aviation airports to provide each community with a foundation for the federal and state capital planning process. In 2016 he became Manager of the Airport Division to oversee the development of the Commission’s Five-year Airport Construction Program which directs approximately $25 million of federal, state, and local funding per year. He was responsible for airport inspections, airspace zoning reviews in accordance with the State’s Aircraft Pilot and Passenger Protection Act, the state’s anemometer tower marking law, and providing assistance to airports with their development, operation, and technical documents. Ardies served as Deputy Director from January 2019 through October 2020, and was unanimously selected by the seven-member Commission to fill the State Director of Aeronautics position, beginning November 2020.
He has led many statewide agency initiatives including a three-year effort working with the state legislature regarding the protection of military training airspace. He also managed a two-year project that conducted an Aerospace and Aviation Economic Impact Study which established the industry as the second largest economic engine in the state. Under his leadership the Commission developed a unique P3 (public/private) partnership at Carlton Landing Airport on Lake Eufaula, and guided the difficult but necessary five-year effort to close Lake Murray State Park Airport.
Ardies was awarded the honorable 2020 State Aviation Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). The award, which was established in 1989, honors State Aviation personnel who have excelled in their service and dedication to aviation progress and development in their state. Ardies was also listed in the Power 15 List in Aviation and Aeronautics in Oklahoma by the Journal Record in 2020.
Director Ardies graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Aviation Management with double minors in Business Administration and Air Traffic Control. As part of his education through the aviation program, he also received a commercial pilot’s license with single and multi-engine instrument ratings and is a certified flight instructor.
Over the course of his career, he has been involved with over 115 research projects – worth more than $20.8 million project funds since 2002 – related to transportation infrastructure systems and pavement/geo/engineering materials, serving as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator. Research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Strategic Highway Program, Portland Cement Association, various state departments of transportation and highway research boards, among others.
Dr. Ceylan has authored and co-authored over 345 peer-reviewed publications, which includes 6 edited books, 4 invited book chapters, more than 130 journal articles (plus 3 fully peer-reviewed Geotechnical Special Publications), and over 140 fully-refereed conference proceedings and technical reports. He is also an avid technical presenter, having delivered over 350, including more than 100 invited presentations at universities and conferences with several keynote lectures. During the course of his tenure at ISU, he has advised and mentored over 70 graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, and research staff.
And besides having served on the editorial board for 9 international journals, he has been a member of over 30 national and international committees and organizations, serving as the chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute (GI) Pavements Committee, chair of the newly-formed ASCE Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) Task Force Committee on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Impacts, and having organized and chaired many technical conference sessions for these professional associations
More recently, I've helped commercial efforts to facilitate the integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) by supporting Vantis, North Dakota's statewide BVLOS UAS network.
Diana previously served as SVP of Policy & Strategy at PrecisionHawk, and Head of the UAS & Robotics Practice Group at the law firm of LaBarge Weinstein.
Diana is a member of the World Economic Forum UAM Working Group, and Chair of the Flight Safety Foundation Autonomy and AAM Working Group. She also serves on the Board of the ASPIRE Center, which is focused on accessibility in autonomous vehicles for people with disabilities.
Diana previously served as Special Advisor to the Chairman of the FAA Drone Advisory Committee. She has held leadership roles across many industry associations including as President of the Small UAV Coalition and President of the Drone Operators Federation. She has participated in government advisory boards and rule-making committees focused on drones, and served as Legal Expert for the United Nations Working Group on Geospatial Information Management.
Diana has testified before the US Congress on aviation policy and regulations. She holds a BA in Politics & Governance, a MA in Globalization Studies and a JD in Law & Technology.
Prior to this role Ms. D'Alessandro served as the Director of the Organizational Performance Division in the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service (AIR). As Division Director, she provided leadership in the monitoring and assessment of AIR's organizational performance to reduce risk in the National Airspace System and integrate quality and safety into all aspects of AIR's operations.
Ms. D'Alessandro has held various leadership roles within AIR since joining the FAA in 2006. She was sworn into FAA's executive service in June 2015 as Manager of the Engine and Propeller Directorate (E&PD) with employees across the New England and Eastern Regions. In addition to her many years with the E&PD, she spent time at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC working as the Technical Special Assistant to AIR's Director and Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety. Prior to joining the FAA Ms. D'Alessandro spent 18 years at General Electric, quickly progressing through a variety of engineering jobs of increasing responsibility. During that time, she gained extensive experience in engineering design, administration and leadership.
Ms. D'Alessandro brings together a strong knowledge base of the local New England aviation and political landscape, together with a broad FAA network in Headquarters and across the country, enabling her to provide strong FAA representation with local stakeholder groups.
Ms. D'Alessandro earned her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and control systems from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Ms. D'Alessandro is Six Sigma Black Belt certified.
Ryan has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a Master in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and is AICP certified. In his previous career he worked as a legislative aid in the U.S. Congress.
He previously served as Director of TxDOT’s Maritime Division, as well as Director of Facilities for the Texas Department of Public Safety. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee, where he served as Co-Chair of the Marine Highway Sub-Committee and Domestic Shipping Sub-Committee until 2021. He currently serves as chair of the National Association of State Aviation Officials State Block Grant Program Committee.
A U.S. Navy veteran, he served on active duty for over 22 years, as a Naval Aviator in the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community flying the P-3 Orion. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Texas and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, graduating with honors.
Prior to joining GSP, Mr. Howell served as the development director for the Asheville Regional Airport. He also previously worked at the Little Rock National Airport and Nashville International Airport. Mr. Howell is an accredited International Airport Professional by Airport Councils International and a certified airport manager by the American Association of Airport Executives. He earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
Prior to this position, Kennington-Gardiner served as Director of the Lower Manhattan Recovery Office to coordinate federal emergency transit investments following the 9-11 terror attacks. She was responsible for providing oversight of $4.5 billion in support of post 9/11 infrastructure establishment or replacement activities.
Kennington-Gardiner has over twenty years of experience working for the FAA. She started with the agency in 1991 as an electronics engineer leading implementation efforts for numerous surveillance and weather radar installations throughout the FAA's Eastern Region. The blend of academic and practical skills she secured while in the field provided an opportunity for her to progress to General Engineer for larger Agency Projects and Programs prior to her stint with the Federal Transit Administration where she served as an Account Manager for the East Coast defining and prioritizing major federal infrastructure investments. These experiences led her to the most challenging positions of her FAA tenure. In her current position she provides corporate oversight for all projects and initiatives associated with delay reduction for the largest airports in the New York Metro Area.
As a graduate of Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY, Kennington-Gardiner holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree. She is also the recipient of a Master of Science, Management of Technology from NYU Polytechnic University.
She has completed 12 different Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) guidebooks and syntheses that pertain specifically to airports and their response and recovery to emergencies, social media, funding industrial aviation development, aviation education, strategic planning, and organizational effectiveness, and aviation education.
In 2019, Dr. Kenville was appointed by the US DOT Secretary to be a member of the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC) for a four-year term.
Kim has served on the National Research Council’s committee on Leaded Emissions in Piston-Powered Aircraft. In 2016, she was appointed to the US DOT Committee for Improving Air Service to Small Communities. Dr. Kenville has been a member of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission since 2011.
She owns Kim Kenville Consulting (KKC) which is a registered disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) under the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines in ND, MN, and WI. Kim has consulted with various airports on strategic planning and guiding public input processes, along with teaching Airport 101 and the Certified Member course for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).
Kim is a private pilot, she is married to an airport engineer and they have five children. Kim grew up in Thief River Falls, MN.
Prior to joining RDU, he served as chief executive officer and president of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority after also holding the position of director of airport operations within the organization. Landguth holds both bachelor and master’s degrees in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
He was selected as the 2016 Airport Revenue News Medium HUB Airport Director of the Year, and serves on the board of directors for the Airports Council International – North America. He is also a board member for both the Raleigh and Durham Chambers of Commerce. In 2017, Landguth was named CEO of the Year by the Triangle Business Journal and is a North Carolina Airports Association President’s Award recipient.
As Director, Matus leads this emerging part of the Thales Airspace Mobility Solutions business serving as a system-of-systems integrator combining sensor technology with cloud-native, digital tools to modernize and facilitate the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) globally.
Anthony is a project panel member on ACRP 01-37 Best Practices in State Aeronautics Division Performance Measures.
Anthony has over 30 years of engineering experience with over 24 years being with PennDOT. In addition to aviation, he has experience in bridge design/construction/inspection to roadway maintenance to highway project delivery.
Recently, Anthony was serving as Acting Deputy Secretary for PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation which is responsible for overseeing Aviation, Public Transportation, Passenger Rail, Rail Freight, Ports, and the state’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs. He also serves as the Vice Chair for the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) Board of Directors Executive Committee.
Anthony has earned a bachelor’s degree in Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology (1991) from Penn State University and holds a master’s degree in Engineering Science from Penn State University (2003). He is registered in the state of Pennsylvania as a professional engineer and serves on Penn State Harrisburg’s Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology Advisory Board.
Mike McHugh is the Aviation Education Coordinator for the North Dakota
Aeronautics Commission and has been working in this role since 2015. Prior to working for the Aeronautics Commission, Mike spent 12 years as a high school teacher, instructing
an aviation class available to 10-12th grade students in Bismarck, North Dakota. During the time as a high school teacher, Mike became a Google Certified Teacher and was awarded the Scott Crossfield aerospace teacher of the year.
As the Education Coordinator, he is tasked with promoting aviation education careers as well as overseeing the agencies educational programs. Mike is a graduate of the University
of North Dakota with a degree in Aviation Management and Masters (M.Ed) in Instructional Design and Technology. He is also a commercial pilot (ASMEL).
Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Maritime Association where he championed a ten-year strategic plan that revolutionized the west coast shipping industry, and produced a labor contract that generated cost reductions of nearly $1 billion.
He also served as the Vice President for Administration and Human Resources at the New York University Medical Center and Group Director for Human Resources at Ryder Systems, Inc.
Mr. Miniace holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Creighton University. He serves on Advisor Boards for Creighton University, Stanford University School of Law, and New York University School of Law. He has also served on the Board of Directors for numerous businesses, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
Mr. O'Harra serves as the FAA Administrator's primary representative to Congressional, state, local and tribal officials, aviation industry, educational institutions, civic organizations and other Federal agencies, and spokesperson for the Agency within his geographic area of responsibility. He is responsible for outreach activities to stakeholders and local communities regarding environmental impacts and noise management issues, as well as information sharing on initiatives such as NextGen, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration, Commercial Space, airport improvements and airspace and procedure changes. Mr. O'Harra provides leadership for the 24/7 Regional Operations Centers (ROCs) that communicate information on aircraft accidents and other emergencies impacting aviation operations to appropriate internal and external entities.
Mr. O'Harra's previous appointment was as the Deputy Regional Administrator for the FAA Southwest Region in February 2008, which included serving as the Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinator (RETCO) to ensure effective transportation emergency planning and response for incidents of national significance for the Department of Transportation's Region 6.
His FAA career also includes various leadership positions as an acting Chief Information Officer and as the national Operational Integration Manager, where he was instrumental in the effective oversight of several major capacity initiatives. Mr. O'Harra also chaired the FAA Airport Obstruction Standards Committee (AOSC) working group that was responsible for developing corporate policy solutions to highly visible issues in the airport environment. He previously held positions in private industry for nearly a decade spanning both aviation and aerospace fields.
Mr. O'Harra graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. Michael and his wife, Cristy, have three daughters.
A native of Roswell, Georgia, Mr. Pantino earned his undergraduate degrees in political science and public relations from the University of Georgia. He also holds a master’s degree international public policy from Erasmus University in the Netherlands
Gary has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and is a registered professional engineer in the State of South Carolina. He has focused the vast majority of his career on airport engineering and project management, having spent 26 years as an airport consultant before coming to the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission in 2016.
Outside of work, Gary enjoys spending time with his three children, cooking and travelling to warm destinations to go scuba diving.
Stambaugh is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where he obtained a Master of Public Administration degree focusing on aviation administration. He served as a graduate assistant working with various partners through the National Airport Safety Data (5010) Program. His primary research focused on using digital technologies, such as social media, to improve airport communication, public relations, and marketing. Stambaugh also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Flight from SIU. He holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate for Airplane Single and Multi-Engine Land with an Instrument Airplane rating, as well as a Remote Pilot Certificate. Stambaugh now acts as an Assistant Lecturer for SIUC and teaches both on and off campus.
Prior to Aeronautics, he served as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Special Services Corporation in Greenville, SC. During his time with Special Services, the aircraft management company grew from a fleet of four aircraft to ten, most of which were offered on the aircraft charter market for private use. Stephens’ past experiences also include airport management in McMinnville, Tennessee, and aircraft maintenance in Greenville, South Carolina.
Stephens has served as Treasurer on the executive committee of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) for the past year, and in October, will be stepping away from State Aviation and NASAO to manage the Greenville Downtown Airport here in Greenville, South Carolina.
Townes is an engineering graduate of West Point, where he earned the Eisenhower Award upon graduation. He also holds an MBA from Long Island University and completed the advanced “PMD” post-MBA graduate program at Harvard Business School. He is a featured speaker at aerospace conventions and symposia and has testified on aviation matters before the U.S. House of Representatives, FAA, and NTSB. He was most recently a Keynote speaker at the large SC Aerospace & Manufacturing Expo in South Carolina, and a featured speaker at the annual IATA World Cargo Symposium in Europe. Ranger and ACL are periodically featured in the aviation trade and financial press.
He founded Ranger Aerospace in 1997 in Greenville SC. Ranger co-invests to acquire, lead and grow companies in the aviation and aerospace sectors, as full-time sleeves-up Officer experts. Under Townes’ leadership, Ranger Aerospace has employed as many as 4,250 people at 56 airports. As the management stewards for over $650 Million in various buying, selling, and investing events over 25 years across multiple growth companies, Ranger’s efforts have yielded superior results through transformational leadership, fostering and growing truly High-Performance quality-centered cultures. Large-scale previous Ranger successes include “ASIG,” Elsinore Aviation, Skytanking GmbH, Keystone Helicopter, the Keystone “HeliPlex,” Composite Technology Inc., Ranger International Services Group, CAV International, Ranger Saudia Ltd., US Logistics, Hawthorne Services, and Intech Aerospace.
Ranger’s most recent growth platform is ACL Airshop, with air cargo support operations doubled in 5 years to more than half of the world’s Top 100 airports. The mantra is “GROW THE NETWORK” – plans call for again doubling the global strategic footprint and capabilities of this unique company in the coming years. ACL Airshop is supplementing its network power with innovative new technologies, including proprietary Repair Station software, ULD Control logistics programs, Bluetooth tracking, and the award-winning “FindMyULD” App putting all of the ULD logistics management systems into the customer’s hand.
Mr. Townes has incisive and informative commentaries (and perhaps some bold predictions) on the current state of play in the fast-moving Aviation sector … in his trademark “high energy” style.
Director, NCDOT Division of Aviation
In his role as Director of Aviation for the NC Department of Transportation, Mr. Walston is responsible for all aviation functions regarding state airport and aviation system planning and development, and programs that provide funding and resources to communities for constructing and improving airports throughout North Carolina. He also oversees the division’s aircraft utilized by state agencies, the state’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drone) Program, and support for aviation business development across the state.
He is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). In 2019 he was awarded the Kenneth Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award from NASAO.
A graduate from NC State University, he has a BS in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Military Operational Art and Science from the US Air Force Air University's Air Command and Staff College. He is also a registered professional engineer in NC.
As a Lieutenant Colonel in the NC Air National Guard, he serves as a Civil Engineer Operations Officer with the 245 Civil Engineer Flight located in Charlotte, NC. LtCol Walston has served over 25 years in the National Guard.
A native to North Carolina he now lives in Wake Forest with his wife and four children.
Kyle has a multi-faceted background in aviation that has its roots in his home state of North Dakota. Additionally, he is a graduate from the University of North Dakota’s aviation program where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Airport Management, a Bachelor of Aeronautical Sciences in Air Traffic Control, and a private pilot’s license.
Throughout the last decade, he has advocated for additional airport infrastructure funding support at all levels of government and has worked with state legislators to pass positive legislation to further enhance the aviation industry within North Dakota. He also previously held the position of NASAO’s Great Lakes Regional Director and currently serves as a member of its Executive Board.
Additionally, Kyle also serves as an Executive Board member for the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site Authority which oversees and provides direction to the congressionally authorized UAS test site within North Dakota.
Stephanie Ward is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BS in Urban Planning and a Masters in Parks and Recreation Planning.
She has been involved in the aviation industry for more than thirty years beginning with obtaining her private pilot license
at 17. She has been an aviation planner and manager with Mead & Hunt for 21 years and has over 29 years of aviation
planning experience completing projects of all sizes across the U.S. She is a certified planner (AICP) and has completed
more than 200 projects across the country ranging from traditional airport master planning, and environmental
assessments, to state aviation system plans and national research for the Airports Cooperative Research Program
(ACRP) where she has been involved with more than 20 projects. Stephanie’s perspective as both an aviation planner
and pilot brings unique understanding to her projects, big and small. She has a passion educating the public on the value
of aviation and getting our next generation of aviation professionals engaged in our exciting industry.
Doug works directly with users of UAS in the state, FAA, and other state/local government agencies and administer's the Commission’s UAS program. He also conducts research related to other states’ rules and regulations for UAS and determines how Oklahoma can best position itself within the industry. He is the primary contact point to develop/update a UAS strategic plan for the state and provides recommendations to other state agencies or local governments on UAS operations, regulations, and policies.
Doug holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Central Christian College, McPherson, Kansas.
Trevor's work has facilitated advancements in C2 and DAA technologies and in BVLOS Operations. He was also instrumental in facilitating test site participation in the FAA's Integration Pilot Program, now the BEYOND program. Trevor holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Aviation Management and a Master of Business Administration