Executive Biographies

Thomas L. Hendricks

President and CEO
National Air Transportation Association

Tom Hendricks was named president of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) in July 2012. He began his flying career in general aviation in the mid-1970s when he received his private pilot certificate in Hamilton, Ohio. He comes from a family of aviation enthusiasts.

NATA, the “Voice of Aviation Business,” represents over 2,300 companies that provide aeronautical services at airports in the U.S. and beyond.  NATA’s members own, operate and service general aviation, commercial and military aircraft. Hendricks leads a highly skilled group of professionals that provide strong advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues before federal, state and local governments. NATA also provides a host of member services including the highly renowned Safety 1st Program, viewed as the “Gold Standard” for training professional line service personnel and other staff.  He also serves on the board of directors of the National Aeronautic Association and the board of governors of the Aero Club of Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining NATA, he was senior vice president of safety, security and operations for Airlines for America (A4A), formerly the Air Transport Association, beginning in June 2010. In this role, he was responsible for the technical and operational functions of A4A and developing and shaping A4A regulatory positions on flight operations, safety, engineering, air traffic management and security. In addition, he led A4A efforts in cargo, passenger facilitation, airport infrastructure and passenger service standards. He co-chaired both the ADS-B In Aviation Rulemaking Committee and the Working Subcommittee of the NextGen Advisory Committee. Additionally, Hendricks served on the Commercial Aviation Safety Team Executive Committee and the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing System Executive Board. 

Prior to joining A4A, Hendricks oversaw day-to-day flight operations at Delta Air Lines as director of line operations. As a captain and air-transport-rated pilot, he also served as a chief pilot in Atlanta and represented Delta on several key industry groups. He has extensive domestic and international flying experience on the Boeing 767-300ER, DC-9, Boeing 727, Lockheed L-1011 Tri Star and MD-88 aircraft. He currently owns and operates a Piper Malibu aircraft.

A retired Air Force Reserve colonel and career fighter pilot, Hendricks also served on active duty as a U.S. Navy officer on the USS MIDWAY (CV-41) and as an instructor pilot at the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School. A native of Fairfield, Ohio, Hendricks graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with secondary emphasis in Business Administration. 

Hendricks has been married to his wife Suzette from Charleston, South Carolina, for more than 35 years, and they have two adult children.


William R. Deere

Senior Vice President for Government & External Affairs
National Air Transportation Association
Bill Deere joined NATA in April of 2014 and leads the association’s policy, advocacy, and communications efforts.  No stranger to aviation, Bill twice served as a professional staff member at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), rising to the position of Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs.  Bill was AOPA’s principal representative to Capitol Hill and managed its Washington, DC, office. In between stints at AOPA, Deere served on the House Appropriations Committee staff for Rep. Jim Lightfoot (IA).  Representative Lightfoot, a pilot, was a leading member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee and was deeply involved in the development of FAA reform legislation designed to improve the agency’s personnel and procurement processes.
Bill also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, overseeing the day-to-day interactions between the Department and the Senate, including the confirmation of the Department’s nominees and the ratification of treaties.  Most recently, Deere was Vice President for Government Affairs at the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom), an association of voice, video and data providers including AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink, as well as mid-size and smaller rural communications providers.    

Timothy R. Obitts

General Counsel
National Air Transportation Association
Prior to joining NATA, Obitts was the Managing Partner of the law firm Gammon & Grange, P.C., specializing in the representation of nonprofits, including trade associations.  During his 17 year tenure at Gammon & Grange, P.C., Obitts also created and sold several businesses, most recently a radio station that was moved from a minor market to a major market. Prior to becoming an attorney, Obitts was an executive with a national retailer.

Jason Miller

National Air Transportation Association