Stuart O. Witt, General Manager of Mojave Air and Space Port, and recipient of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade’s 2013 Navigating Change Award, will provide an update on groundbreaking projects and programs underway in Mojave at the Tuesday, May 28 Business Briefing luncheon.
The 11:30 a.m. luncheon meeting in the Hellenic Center in Lancaster is presented by the AVBOT AEROCOMM (Aerospace, Defense Industry and Base Support) Committee, chaired by Al Hoffman. Call the AVBOT office at 661-942-9581 for reservations.
Mojave Air & Space Port continues to make national and global headlines as Witt’s administrative team and the Board of Directors attract cutting edge technology companies and traditional industries to a place where they grow and innovate in a climate of freedom.
Witt was born and raised on Scodie Ranch in Onyx and attended school K-12 in Isabella, graduating in 1970. He is a 1974 graduate of California State University Northridge, and was graduated from the Naval Aviation Schools Command 1976. In 1980 he completed Naval Fighter Weapons School, (TOPGUN), and in 1996 was graduated from the University of Maryland’s Center for Creative Leadership.
His military career took him to sea on USS JFK as a carrier based F-14 Tomcat pilot. He was also an FA-18A Hornet project pilot at the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake, CA.
Between 1985 and 1993 Stu served as an Engineering Test Pilot on the B-1B, F-16C and F-23 with Westinghouse Electric Corp. From 1993-2002 he served as Executive Vice President of CTA Inc., where he directed engineering projects from Lower Manhattan to Oahu. Bottom line, Stuart Witt is a 43 year veteran of the aerospace industry and continues to be a forward leaning force for commercial space.
For the past 11 years he has been directing the expansion efforts of the Mojave Air and Space Port. In 2004 Mojave was designated the nation’s first inland spaceport and played host to the world as Scaled Composites qualified and won the $10 million Ansari XPrize, giving birth to the commercial manned spaceflight industry.
Witt is a founding executive member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and currently serves as Board Chairman. Additionally, he is a trustee on the Kern Community College Board. Most recently, Stuart is credited with crafting and actively supporting Governor Brown’s signature on new Space Participant Liability reform in California, Assembly Bill 2243.
Stu is married to the former Susan Etoch. The make their home in Ridgecrest, and are the parents of three adult sons.
Norm Hill Aviation sponsors May Business Briefing
Norm Hill Aviation, LLC, a new addition to the Antelope Valley aerospace industry, will be introduced as the sponsor of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade Business Briefing luncheon on Tuesday, May 28 at the Hellenic Center in Lancaster.
Tom Weil, a member of the Board of Trade’s AEROCOMM arm, said Norm Hill, president and CEO of Norm Hill Aviation, will talk about his company and its decision to choose California City Airport as its new and expanded base of operations. Norm Hill will speak prior to the luncheon address by Mojave Air & Space Port executive Stu Witt.
Weil said Norm Hill Aviation, LLC (NHA) plans to relocate its operations to a hangar complex in California City in early July. The company has secured four hangars, the largest of which covers 14,500 square feet. Office and shop areas include an additional 2,500 square feet. And three additional hangars each range from 1,600 to 3,000 square feet.
NHA will have a more than one-acre site, including ramp space, allowing the company to consolidate its existing operations and provide additional room to expand its service, repair, and parts departments.
A company statement said: California City airport is ideally located in a non-corrosive and arid environment that is ideal for the storage and operations of its retired aircraft and spares business. The new facility allows NHA to expand its capabilities to address the needs of the Gulfstream community and to branch out into new partnerships and operations as the needs of the community continues to evolve.
NHA has been in business for ten years as consultants in the Gulfstream Business Jet marketplace. Norm Hill, CEO, has over 40 years of aircraft experience with 30 years of experience specific to Gulfstream Aircraft. NHA offers consulting services for aircraft acquisitions, repair, outfitting, engine management, APU repair, technical appraisals, borescope inspection, and risk management ,and has seen rapid growth in the demand for its services over the past three years.
NHA specializes in optimizing any GAC aircraft situation to capitalize on events in the owner/operators favor. NHA also provides services through a partner company, its Rolls Royce Turbofan and Honeywell APU engine business, AeroEngine Specialist, LLC, which will be expanding its operations to the new facility with a 3,000 square foot engine shop, ideal for repairs and teardown of Turbofans and hot sections for APU’s.
“With our partner company, we are strategically aligned in today’s market place to provide the best value to fulfill all of the Gulfstream community needs,” the company wrote.
Norm Hill Aviation, LLC, is very much a family business. Norman Hill, who started his career as a U.S. Air Force crew chief, went on to positions with Lockheed, the Jet Center, Circus-Circus Hotels Flight Department, Dallas Airmotive and Western Jet Aviation before founding his own company. He has held an FAA A&P license since 1985,and is recognized for his expertise in maintenance and repair of Gulfstream Aircraft worldwide.
Robert C. (Bob) Hill, shop foreman at Norm Hill Aviation, is also a USAF veteran with more than 22 years of experience, including significant time devoted to maintenance and repair of Gulfstream aircraft as an A&P / QC inspector. Bob was a crew chief/QC inspector at Bombardier/Learjet in Tucson, AZ for six years, and previously served with Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft piston aircraft.
Carol E. Hill, an avid photographer for 40 years and owner of an antique business, brings her experience to the office management side of Norm Hill Aviation, handling accounting and vendor relations, as well as sales and marketing.
The Officers, Directors, Staff, Members and Friends of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade (AVBOT) in honor of Dr. Jackie Fisher’s service to the organization as Past President (2008-09) and current Director, are pleased to award this scholarship in memory of Nickolas Lee Smith, Dr. and Mrs. Jackie Fisher’s grandson. Click here for the pledge form: AVBOT Pledge Form for Nickolas Lee Smith 4-23-13
AVBOT elects Class of 2016 directors
Thirteen directors were elected to three year terms on the Antelope Valley Board of Trade Board of Directors when votes were counted Tuesday at the Annual Meeting and Business Briefing luncheon in Lancaster.
The AVBOT Class of 2016 will assume their duties on the 39-member board July 1, following the annual AVBOT Installation Banquet on Thursday, June 27 at the University of Antelope Valley Ballroom in Lancaster.
By alphabetical order, the following individuals were declared elected:
MICHAEL BELZIL – LOCKHEED MARTIN
Mike Belzil is the Site Director of Security and Emergency Services at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company’s legacy Skunk Works, Plant 10 in Palmdale. He is responsible for security operations at Plant 10 and off-site locations, directing a workforce of about 170 people. Mike retired from the Air Force in the rank of colonel in May 2004. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he served as Chief of Staff at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. Mike is on the board of directors of the Flight Test Center Historical Foundation and is past president of the Edwards AFB Civilian-Military Support Group.
GUSTAVO CAMACHO – CAMACHO AUTO SALES INC.
Gustavo “Gus” Camacho, president of Camacho Auto Sales, is a longtime member and supporter of the Board of Trade. He is a past director and treasurer of the Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and served on the boards of directors for the American Heart Association and the Antelope Valley College Foundation. He currently also serves on boards of the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce and the AV Sheriffs Boosters. He is a former director and a past president of Lancaster West Rotary Club. Gus was recently elected as a director of the Independent Automobile Dealers Association of California.
STEVEN DERRYBERRY – KESTLER DERRYBERRY LLP
Steven Derryberry is the managing partner of the law firm Kestler/Derryberry LLP, specializing in Business Law, Real Estate Law and Trust and Estates Law for Antelope Valley residents. Steven has spent his career working to improve the Antelope Valley one client at a time. Steven believes that the Antelope Valley Board of Trade is one of the most important community based organizations to ensure the Antelope Valley businesses have a voice in the State of California and in Washington, D.C.
KARINA DREES – MOJAVE AIR AND SPACE PORT
Karina Drees, Deputy General Manager and Director of Business Development for the Mojave Air & Space Port (MASP), implements strategic initiatives for companies operating in Mojave and for the aerospace industry. Previously, Karina held senior positions in strategy, business development and operations for technology companies. She has a BS from Arizona State University and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She is a director of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, a judge for the MIT Global Challenge and an SBIR proposal reviewer and panelist for the National Science Foundation.
GORDON ELDER – INDIVDUAL MEMBER
Gordon Elder, CFP® recently retired after serving the Antelope Valley as a financial advisor for 34 years. He was a medic in the U. S. Air Force, a founding member of the Lancaster Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Committee, and a director for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. He has served continuously as an AVBOT director since 1990. Gordon and wife, Beth, live in Lancaster and have three grown children and four grandchildren.
JOHN FERGIONE – INDIVIDUAL MEMBER
John Fergione’s career began as a US Naval Aviator in 1971. He joined General Dynamics in 1981 as an F-16 Experimental Test Pilot and later tested the F-22A until retirement from Lockheed Martin in 2007. He is a member of the US Naval Reserve (retired) and holds the rank of Captain. A member of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade since 1994, John is a Past President. He is also a Past-President and Fellow of The Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP). He was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor in Lancaster in 2009. He chairs the SETP Scholarship Foundation, and is vice-chairman of the SETP Foundation. John is a director for the Edwards AFB Civilian-Military Support Group.
CHUCK HOEY – CHARLES HOEY AND ASSOCIATES
Chuck Hoey is a real estate broker and has worked for Charles Hoey and Associates for 3 years and has worked in real estate for 30 years. Chuck specializes in industrial and office real estate. Chuck has served the Antelope Valley Board of Trade as a board member for 12 years and is a past secretary. He is also a member of the Lancaster West Rotary, GAVEA and the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. He is also a sea captain and skipper for 58 to 104 foot power boats for charter. Chuck has been married to his wife Diane for 32 years and has two children, Theresa and Marcus.
KELLY KENNERKNECHT – KAISER PERMANENTE As the Public Affairs Representative for the Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley Service Area, Kelly Kennerknecht manages area-specific internal communication, patient communication, media relations as well as community and government relations. Kelly has been a director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade since 2010. She is currently the Secretary for the Executive Committee and has served as Chairperson for the Health Care Committee in 2011 and Secretary for the Joint Legislative Committee.
LISA MOULTON – INDIVIDUAL MEMBER Lisa Moulton serves as the district coordinator for State Senator Steve Knight. She is a current director for the Antelope Valley Board for Trade and serves as the Vice-Chair of the Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission. Lisa graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree from California State University of Northridge. She serves on the board of directors of the Care Net Women’s Resource Center of North County and is the secretary for the 36th Assembly District Republican Central Committee. Lisa has served as the president of the Antelope Valley Republican Women Federated. Lisa and her husband Glen have been married for 32 years and have two daughters.
GEORGE PASSANTINO – PASSANTION ANDERSEN COMMUNICATIONS George is managing partner of Passantino Andersen Communications where he applies his passion for branding and reputation management for companies around the world. Prior to opening Passantino Andersen Communications, George served as Senior Fellow in Government Reform at the Reason Foundation. George has also served as a full time director of the historic California Performance Review initiated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has also served as a legislative consultant in the California State Legislature. George and his wife Michelle live in the Antelope Valley and have two children.
DR. KENNETH SANTARELLI – CSU LONG BEACH ENGINEERING Dr. Santarelli is the Director of the CSU, Long Beach – Antelope Valley Engineering Program. As an AVBOT Director he has been serving as a co-chair of the Education Committee. During his term he was instrumental in leading the AVBOT/Industry/Community effort to bring CSULB to the Antelope Valley to offer a unique degree completion program for Bachelor’s Degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Dr. Santarelli is retired from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and received a doctorate in Organizational Leadership and MBA from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Ocean Engineering) from CSULB. He is also a registered Professional Engineer.
STAN TURNER – EDWARDS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Stan Turner is the President/CEO of Edwards Federal Credit Union. Stan is currently a member of several organizations including the Lancaster West Rotary Club, the CivMil group, the AV Chamber, AV Board of Trade and is active in the Central Christian Church. He lives in Palmdale with his wife Joan. They have a total of six children. Stan is committed to the success of our community and will work hard to help fulfill our Mission “to engage in maintaining and promoting diverse business and industry, quality infrastructures and a strong legislative voice for the benefit of its members and the Greater Antelope Valley.”
JOHNNY ZAMRZLA – WESTERN PACIFIC ROOFING Johnny Zamrzla is the President of Western Pacific Roofing Corp. and has been actively involved in the roofing industry since 1957. He is extremely active in the Antelope Valley, including being the President of The Showdown Rodeo, California Circuit Finals Rodeo, Chairman of the Antelope Valley Fair Joint Powers Authority, and serves on numerous Boards, including the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Boosters and the Antelope Valley Hospital Foundation, to name a few. He and his wife Pam, reside in Lancaster on their working ranch.
The AV Board of Trade at their annual legislative trip to DC. A tradition since 1957, AV Board of Trade delegates discussed issues of importance with Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon as well as Congressman Kevin McCarthy during a visit in March of this year. We value our time with both Congressman and they are always kind enough to stop for a quick photo op as we depart. Delegates seen here include: Jack Stewart, Don Rhea, Drew Mercy, Cathy Hart, Al Hoffman and Vicki Medina
The AV BOARD OF TRADE Transportation Committee recently traveled to Los Angeles to present the transportation priorities for the region to the MTA Planning Committee. Click on the link to view our letter as presented to Supervisor Antonovich and the Committee. Transportation Committee letter to MTA0001
Bill Taylor, Co-Chair of the Committee was our spokesperson at that meeting. Our message was well-received and we have been invited back for an in-depth discussion in February of 2013.
Transportation Committee members at that meeting (left to right): John Currado, Co-Chair (Allstate Financial); Len Engel (AVTA); Vicki Medina (AVBOT); Supervisor Michael Antonovich; Bill Taylor, Co-Chair (Granite Construction); Robert Vanderstok (Chapman Communications); Wendy Williams (AVTA); Norm Hickling (District Director, Supervisor Antonovich)