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NATA Elects Four New Board Of Directors Members And Announces New Leadership

Eric R. Byer
Vice President, Government and Industry Affairs


Alexandria, VA, March 29, 2012 - Today at its annual membership meeting, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the selection of James Sweeney, president of Fargo Jet Center, as chairman of the NATA Board of Directors and Marian H. Epps, chief financial officer of Epps Aviation, as treasurer effective immediately. Sweeney replaces Todd Duncan, chairman, Duncan Aviation, and Epps replaces Robert "Buddy" Stallings, president, Eastern Aviation Fuels, Inc. 

"NATA greatly appreciates Todd Duncan's leadership as board chairman over the past year," said NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne. "We now welcome Jim Sweeney as he takes over the reins in this year of change and opportunity for the association."

NATA also elected four new members to its board of directors: Gary Dempsey, president, flight services - The Americas, Jet Aviation Holdings USA, Inc.; Marty Hiller, executive vice president, business aviation, World Fuel Services; Robert Olislagers, executive director, Centennial Airport; and Steve Loyd, president and owner, Loyd's Aviation.

Gary Dempsey joined Jet Aviation in 2003 and was appointed president of Jet Aviation Holdings USA, Inc., in July 2006. Based in Teterboro, New Jersey, Dempsey oversees the daily operations of Jet Aviation's North American network of high-quality fueling bases, its aircraft management services, satellite line maintenance centers, air carrier charter division, South and Central American operations and aviation staffing company Jet Professionals.

Prior to this appointment, Dempsey held the position of senior vice president, aircraft maintenance and OEM development where he was responsible for growing the aircraft maintenance business within the North American Jet Aviation facilities. This involved managing relations with aircraft OEM companies and developing new agreements for the worldwide organization.

Dempsey has led some of the top-rated FBOs and service centers in the U.S. and is dedicated to serving the general aviation transportation industry. He graduated from Wilmington College, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration. He is a licensed A&P mechanic with FAA inspection authorization and is also a multi-engine pilot with instrument rating. 

Marty Hiller is executive vice president, business aviation of World Fuel Services. From 1975 until 1982, the Hiller family operated coal-mining operations in eastern Kentucky. In 1983, Pacific Power and Light purchased and merged Hiller Fuels, Inc. into Nerco-Hiller Coal Company. The Hiller family operated this entity until 1985. The Hiller Group, Inc. was founded in 1985, and grew into one of the largest aviation fuel distributors in the United States. In 2011, World Fuel Services purchased The Hiller Group, Inc., with Hiller assuming management of domestic and global business aviation as executive vice president, business aviation.

Hiller is a member of the NATA Presidents Council, Presidents Council University of Notre Dame, and a member of the NBAA. He graduated from Trine State University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and a Minor in Finance.

Robert Olislagers has been the executive director and CEO of Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado, since September 2000. He has been working in aviation for more than 25 years, serving as airport manager for a number of airports throughout California and New York.

He serves as a member of the board of directors for the International Association of Airport Executives, South East Business Partnership, HSS Security, Inc., and Developmental Pathways. He is a Lifetime Member of the Air Force Association. His notable honors include the Leadership Award from the American Association of Airport Executives, Airport Executive of the Year from SW Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives, Airport Operator of the Year from N.O.I.S.E, among many others. Olislagers has written numerous publications on airport security, aviation and aviation history, airport noise, airport management, and airport land use issues, as well as one book on the history of airports.

Steve Loyd has been the president of Loyd's Aviation since 1986. He joined the company in 1973, working alongside his father, Byron Loyd, who established the company in 1958. Prior to joining the family business, Steve received his degree in Business from the California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo.

Loyd's Aviation, celebrating its 53rd anniversary, is the only full-service FBO on Meadows Field in Bakersfield, California. Loyd's started out of one hangar and now encompasses 33 acres of land and accommodates 90 aircraft. This growth led to the addition of many new businesses: fuel sales and line service, maintenance and parts, aircraft management, charter service, hangar and storage rental, and aircraft sales.

"The NATA Board of Directors comprises the finest leaders representing all areas of general aviation," said NATA's Coyne. "The association will benefit tremendously from the vast experience of Gary, Marty, Robert and Steve. We appreciate their support and commitment in joining the NATA Board of Directors."

 Click here to view the full list of the NATA Board of Directors.

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NATA, the voice of aviation business, is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.