UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA OMAHA AVIATION INSTITUTE HOSTS "STATE OF THE INDUSTRY: AVIATION TODAY" DURHAM LECTURE PANEL DISCUSSION & HONORS CONVOCATION
OMAHA, Neb., April 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The (UNO) Aviation Institute hosted its 31st annual Durham Lecture and Honors Convocation and event on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 which featured a panel discussion on the state of the aviation industry and special Honors Convocation awards ceremony. Following the Durham Lecture panel, Jamie Walker, President and CEO of Jet Linx Aviation, was presented with the prestigious Bill Shea Award by William F. Shea for his exemplary leadership and transcendent contribution to the aviation industry.
The Durham Lecture Series welcomed Omaha Airport Authority Board Member Willy Theisen, David "Fig" Newton, Southwest Airlines System Chief Pilot, and Jet Linx's Jamie Walker, to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the aviation industry, as well as the innovative partnerships being pursued to maximize career opportunities for students seeking a career path in aviation. The panel was moderated by Scott Tarry, PhD, the Director and Professor for the Aviation Institute. The panelists recounted the history of Omaha's aviation community and the intertwined stories of their organizations. Ultimately, it was a shared culture of innovation and customer service that brought the Aviation Institute, Jet Linx and Southwest Airlines together.
"Our goal as a Company is to nurture the advancement and promotion of all team members, which may include pathways to other segments of the industry where Jet Linx doesn't reside. We embrace the career aspiration of our pilots who desire to fly for a commercial airline long term and Southwest is an ideal partner," said Mr. Walker, referencing the Destination 225° program, which allows UNO students to fly with Jet Linx on their path to becoming Southwest pilots. "It's what inspired us to create this career pathway and we are proud to help those team members in their journey." Mr. Theisen echoed the sentiment, capturing the essence of the Omaha aviation community: "It's a shared culture of teamwork; leading, sharing, taking care of each other."
The coveted Bill Shea Award is bestowed upon aviation industry leaders who have gone beyond the call of duty and given of their time, energy and resources to significantly impact the aviation industry for the better. It is given in honor of William F. Shea, an aerospace educator, lecturer, renowned aviation industry leader and pioneer, who has held a number of aviation positions over the past forty years, including Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator for Airports, Presidential appointment; Director of Aviation, Port of Portland; Commissioner of Aviation, Binghamton, NY; and Chief of Caltrans Aeronautics Division. Mr. Shea has also been presented countless awards and recognitions, including the USDOT Gold Medal for "Meritorious Achievement" for Exemplary Performance as FAA's Associate Administrator for Airports and spokesman and advocate for the National Airport System; and the Silver Medal for the Superior Achievement Award, which recognized the exemplary manner in which he performed his duties as FAA Associate Administrator for Airports.
"It is an honor to receive the Bill Shea Award on behalf of Jet Linx," said Mr. Walker. "This award is a tribute to my father, Denny Walker, who introduced me to the world of private aviation, and each and every member of the Jet Linx team, whose contributions have been pivotal to creating and pursuing initiatives that aim to advance our industry over the past 20 years. Without their efforts and the support of my fellow panelists and our longstanding relationships with their respective organizations, such positive industry change would not be possible. We look forward to fostering the next generation of aviators and continuing to make a difference in the aviation industry."
Mr. Walker and Jet Linx have transformed the private aviation industry through their innovative business model and locally-focused operations. Jet Linx is the only global private aviation company to provide Aircraft Management, Joint Ownership and Jet Card Membership services through its 21 private terminal locations nationwide. Mr. Walker joined Jet Linx in 2002 to help develop the Company on a national scale. Since joining, Mr. Walker has ushered in a number of industry-leading initiatives that have enhanced the Company's programs and processes, sales and marketing, branding, culture and industry relationships. Under Mr. Walker's leadership, Jet Linx has experienced significant growth in all areas – from one location to 21, from four Company-owned aircraft to a fleet of over 120 managed aircraft, and from 20 employees to over 550 team members across the country.
"The partnerships we have made are essential to our success and only possible in a place like Omaha," said Dr. Scott Tarry. "Our culture of collaboration and genuine love of aviation and the people we serve is what keeps us moving forward."