Olcott retiring this year; NBAA seeks new leader

 - January 8, 2008, 7:51 AM

NBAA president Jack Olcott will step down at the end of this year when his employment contract expires, prompting the board of directors to begin searching for a successor who would take off-ice on Jan. 1, 2004. After leading NBAA for more than 11 years, 66-year-old Olcott will join former NBAA president John Winant as a president emeritus.

NBAA’s board appointed a five-person committee led by vice chairman Donald Baldwin to conduct a search for NBAA’s next president. On the search committee’s recommendation, the board has selected a “leading executive recruiting firm” to narrow the field of candidates on behalf of the committee.

“The membership expects a comprehensive and complete selection process, and we will accomplish that in 2003,” said Baldwin. “We are looking for a unique individual of exceptional talent to help lead NBAA in the coming years.” It is understood that the association’s directors are looking for an individual willing to commit to a lengthy tenure.

Olcott, an aeronautical engineer by training, joined NBAA in May 1992 after 17 years in the aviation publishing business with Flying  and Business & Commercial Aviation magazines. Although his employment contract with NBAA expires at the end of this year, he expects to continue to work in some capacity as an advocate for business aviation.

“Jack has led the association with great integrity, knowledge and enthusiasm,” said NBAA chairman George Saling. “We look forward to his continued service to NBAA and its members.”

Olcott told AIN he plans to be active for the next five years and “the options available for that activity are open.”

In a press release, NBAA noted that under Olcott’s watch:

• NBAA membership has more than doubled, from 3,076 companies in 1992 to more than 7,300 today.

• Convention attendance has nearly doubled, from 17,312 in 1992 to nearly 30,000.

• Major events were launched in Europe and Latin America as interest in business aviation increased.

• NBAA’s and General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s “No Plane. No Gain.” advocacy program has significantly increased awareness of the value of business aviation.

• In the U.S., the number of companies with business aircraft has increased from 6,642 companies operating 9,504 aircraft to 9,709 companies operating 14,837 aircraft.

• The association has successfully tackled dozens of legislative, regulatory, judicial and advocacy challenges.

“NBAA is indebted to Jack for his deep commitment to the membership and to business aviation over the past decade,” said Saling. “Replacing Jack will be difficult.”