NBAA is paring down its search for a new leader

 - October 10, 2007, 6:00 AM

NBAA has narrowed its list of potential successors to president Jack Olcott to three candidates, and the announcement of who will take the organization to “another level” is expected sometime this month.

The trio was culled from a list of 100 compiled by international executive search firm Spencer Stuart, and all have been interviewed by the NBAA board of directors. “We are still working through the process,” said NBAA vice chairman Donald Baldwin, who is head of the selection committee. “That’s really all I can share at this point.”

Difficult Choices
Baldwin said the selection committee and the board interviewed a variety of candidates. “We looked at a lot of different people in and out of business aviation and the aviation industry,” he said. “I really don’t want to share at this point the backgrounds of any of our very narrow list. I think we’ve got some terrific people that we’re looking at and it’s really made our job very difficult.”

Olcott announced late last year that he would be stepping down when his employment contract expired at the end of this year. After leading NBAA for more than 11 years, the 66-year-old Olcott will join former NBAA president John Winant as president emeritus.

He told AIN at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month that his contract runs until December 31 and he has “a consultancy of sorts” for the next two years. He said the nature of the consultancy would depend on what the new president wants to achieve.

In addition, Olcott has reactivated General Aero Co. Inc.–which he has owned for a number of years–to provide services to the business aviation community. He will operate from offices at the Morristown Municipal Airport, N.J., and will help flight departments improve their safety, security and efficiency.

‘Be Patient’
Although Baldwin maintained that the board is on schedule for picking Olcott’s successor, he admitted that the actual decision is “taking more time” and being “made very difficult” because of the quality of the candidates. “Be patient with us,” he added.

Olcott has said he would have been willing to extend his term in office, but it is understood that the NBAA board wanted an individual willing to commit to a lengthy tenure at NBAA’s controls.