2021-2022 Board of Directors

President 
Jorge Rubio, A.A.E., C.A.E.

Airports Deputy Director
City of San Diego Airports
3750 John J. Montgomery Drive
San Diego, CA 92123

Read more about Jorge Rubio.

Jorge Rubio, A.A.E., C.A.E. is the Airports Deputy Director for the City of San Diego Division of Airports where he is responsible the overall operations, maintenance, and development of the Montgomery Gibbs Executive and Brown Field Municipal Airports. Jorge has also held several positions at County of Ventura Department of Airports and with AvPorts at the Tweed New Haven Regional Airport. Jorge has a BS degree in Aviation Administration from the State University of New York at Farmingdale. In 2013 he was honored with the “40 under 40” Award by Airport Business Magazine, in 2015 with the Aviation Excellence Award by SWAAAE, and in 2019 received the President’s award from SWAAAE. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

1st VICE PRESIDENT
Corinne C. Nystrom, A.A.E.

Airport Director
Falcon Field Airport
4800 East Falcon Drive
Mesa, AZ 85215

Read more about Corinne Nystrom.

Corinne has been employed in the airport management profession for over 30 years. She is the Airport Director at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Arizona, which is home to over 700 based aircraft and over 90 businesses. Corinne previously served as the Airport Manager in Grand Junction, Colorado. She has served as the president of both the Arizona Airports Association and the Colorado Airport Operators Association, as well as serving on various community-related boards. In 2002, she was appointed by the Governor of Colorado to serve as the airports representative on the Colorado Aeronautical Board and served in this capacity until accepting her current position in Arizona. Corinne is an accredited airport executive (A.A.E.) and earned a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Colorado with emphases in human resources and transportation management. Corinne’s favorite activities include snow skiing and high altitude mountain hiking.

2nd vice president
Tai Jye Chen, C.M., P.E.

Chief Administrative Officer - Planning and Development
Sacramento County Department of Airports
                           6900 Airport Boulevard
                           Sacramento, CA 95837

immediate Past President and aaae director
Judy M. Ross, A.A.E., C.A.E.

Assistant Director
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
                             1701 Airport Blvd., Suite B-1130
                             San Jose, CA 95110

Read more about Judy Ross.

Judy M. Ross, AAE, CAE, is the Assistant Director of Aviation for Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) since April 2018. She served as Interim Assistant Director of Aviation since 2017 and Deputy Director of Aviation – Planning and Development at Silicon Valley’s airport since 2015. This experience has included managing the administrative functions of the Airport Director’s Office as well as the five Airport divisions: operations, facilities and engineering, finance, planning and development, and business development.

Judy’s vast knowledge of the aviation industry and steady management approach was developed through her three years at SJC as well as at other U.S. airports. She served as Deputy Aviation Director at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for seven years; Director of Airport Planning and Development at Little Rock National Airport for two years; and while at San Diego International Airport for 10 years, she was Manager of Program Controls, as well as holding other positions.

Judy earned a Master’s degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota. She is also an Accredited Airport Executive through the American Association of Airport Executives. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Chapter of AAAE, where she is also a Certified Airport Executive.

Director (Southern California)
Courtney M. Johnson, C.M., C.A.E.

Director of Airports
County of San Luis Obispo
975 Airport Drive
                         San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Director (Southern California)
welton Trang, C.M.

Airport Operations Officer
John Wayne Airport
3160 Airway Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Director (Northern California)
Graham Ritz, C.A.E., C.M., ACE

Airport Operations Supervisor, Terminal Management
Mineta San Jose International Airport
1701 Airport Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95110

Read more about Graham Ritz.

Hello! I am Graham Ritz and am an Airport Operations Supervisor at the Mineta San Jose Intl. Airport. I was born and raised in Indiana and graduated from Lewis University in 2015 with a B.S. in Aviation Administration. While at Lewis, I was a member of the university’s baseball team and enjoyed playing in intramural sports (football, basketball, you name it). During my college summers, I was fortunate to have experienced 4 separate internships (Indianapolis Intl. Airport {2 summers}, Put-in-Bay Airport, & Washington Dulles Intl. Airport). Throughout those internships, I found my “calling” within Airport Operations. The day following graduation, I began my Ops career as an Airport Operations Supervisor at the Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI) where I managed the day-to-day operations of the airport. In October 2016, I made the drive west to San Jose after accepting a position as an Airport Operations Supervisor at SJC! I began as an Airport Manager-on-Duty overseeing the day-to-day operations of the facility and later transitioned to where I am presently within Terminal Management.

Outside of my professional life, I enjoy the outdoors, going on hikes, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family. When time allows, I enjoy utilizing my private pilot skills and flying friends around the Bay area. I enthusiastically enjoy showing the Bay’s beautiful attractions from the air versus the ground (via car). My girlfriend and I reside with our pet in Gilroy, CA.

Director (Northern California)
Brett J. Godown, C.A.E., C.M.

Airport Director
Salinas Municipal Airport
30 Mortensen Avenue

Salinas, CA 93905
                         

Director (At-large)
GLADYS D. BROWN, C.A.E., C.M.

Airport Director
Yuma International Airport
& Rolle Airfield

2191 E. 32nd St., Suite #218
Yuma, AZ 85365

Read more about Gladys Brown.

Gladys Diva Brown, C.M., C.A.E. is the Airport Director at Yuma International Airport. Yuma International Airport is co-located with the MCAS Yuma and is a Shared Use airport with a Joint Use Operating Agreement. Ms. Brown’s primary function is to operate the airport in compliance with applicable FAA regulations and state law, as well as, to maintain the positive relationship with Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and to promote Commercial Air Service and General Aviation in a safe and secure manner. Yuma International Airport was the 2015 Arizona Airport of Year recipient, which is awarded and recognized by the Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautics Group. Gladys was the Southwest American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE) 2017 Executive of the Year, the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) 2017 Airport Executive of the Year, recognized as one of aviation’s best and featured as one of the brightest in the 2017 Airport Business 40 Under 40, the 2017 Yuma Chamber of Commerce Athena International Award recipient, received the California Maritime Academy 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award and featured in Cal State University “Made in the CSU” as one of the notable CSU Alumnus in the Aerospace and Aviation Sector. Prior to becoming the Airport Director, Ms. Brown was the Deputy Airport Director and originally joined Yuma International Airport in March 2009 as the Director of Operations. In addition to the duties of the positions she has held, Ms. Brown was the airport project manager overseeing all engineering, cost estimating and construction at the airport. Ms. Brown worked previously in various capacities as a Civil Engineer, Mechanical & Electrical Integrity Consultant and a High School Math Teacher. She earned her Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the California Maritime Academy accompanied with a USCG Third Assistant Engineer License. Ms. Brown obtained her AAAE Certified Member (C.M.) designation, is an active member of the Southwest AAAE chapter and is recognized as a Certified Airport Executive (C.A.E.). Ms. Brown is a Past President of the Arizona Airports Association and continues to support the one voice approach for key issues in aerospace and aeronautics for the State of Arizona, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE). On a national level, Ms. Brown is the vice-chair on the Industrial Aviation and Military Relations committee of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Ms. Brown volunteers in the STEM/AVID curriculum, recently elected to the Cal State Maritime Academy Foundation (CMAF) Board of Directors and is the CMAF External Relations Committee Chairman, serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, Vice-Chair for Visit Yuma, Yuma 50 Board Member, United Way of Yuma County, participates in the Expect More Arizona and on the Yuma County Education Advisory Council, President of the National Society of Professional Engineers Yuma Chapter leading the annual competitive mathlete competition MathCounts, participates assisting in various youth sport teams, and officiates basketball. Ms. Brown has a strong commitment to her community, believes in mentoring to help build leadership for tomorrow and leads to inspire through passionate forward movement.

Director (Nevada)
Alex Kovacs, C.M, C.A.E.

Director of Finance
Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
2001 E. Plumb Lane
Reno, NV 89502

Director (Arizona)
ALEX SMITH, A.A.E.

Operations Manager
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority
5835 South Sossaman Road
Mesa, Arizona 85212

Corporate Director
MICHAEL D. HILL

Sr. Project Manager
Sundt Construction, Inc.
2620 South 55th Street
Tempe, AZ 85282

Corporate Director
David S. Sperling

Principal Consultant
C&S Companies
2575 E Camelback Rd, Suite 740
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Read more about David Sperling.

David Sperling has more than 20 years in the aviation industry, holding various positions with large national and multi-national engineering firms. He has provided professional airport and aviation consulting services to clients of varied size from small general aviation to large hub airports for projects projects related to airside, landside and terminal development; capacity enhancement and delay reduction; and safety. Additionally, David is serving his third term as Chair of the City of Chandler (Arizona) Airport Commission, and is a faculty associate at Arizona State University responsible for developing and delivering the graduate and undergraduate Airport Management and Planning curriculum. He is an instrument-rated private pilot and brings perspective gained from the broad range of experience from these endeavors to all of his projects. David has been an active member of SWAAAE since 2000 and regularly serves as the budget lead for the Chapter’s conference committees, as well as volunteering on other committees.

At-large board member of aaae
Kevin Bumen, A.A.E., C.A.E.

Chief Commercial Officer
San Francisco International Airport

 AAAE BOE Representative
 Kevin Smith,  A.A.E.

 General Manager
 Truckee Tahoe Airport District
 10356 Truckee Tahoe Airport Rd.
 Truckee, CA 96161

Read more about Kevin Smith.

Kevin Smith currently serves as the General Manager of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he went to college at BYU, completing a Master’s Degree in Planning and Resource Management in 1997. Before managing airports, Mr. Smith held various positions with FBOs and then in local government including City Planner, Community Development Director, Reserve Police Officer, and Deputy City Manager for various communities in Utah. Kevin is an instrument rated private pilot and an Accredited Airport Executive. He currently resides on the north shore of Lake Tahoe with wife and 4 children.

AAAE BOE Representative
Mark Witsoe, A.A.E. C.A.E.

Marketing and Business Development Manager
County of Kern
3701 Wings Way, Suite 300
Bakersfield, CA 93308

AAAE Nominating Committee  Representative
Carl Newman, a.a.e., C.A.E.

 Airport Administrator
 Glendale Municipal Airport
 6801 N. Glen Harbor Blvd., Suite 201
          Glendale, AZ 85307

Read more about Carl Newman.

Mr. Newman has almost 40 years of aviation experience. He is currently Airport Administrator (Manager) for the Glendale Municipal Airport. He supervises, manages, plans, organizes, and directs the operations, development and administrative activities at the Airport. Prior to this he served as the CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) in Jackson Mississippi. In that role he was responsible for developing the strategic vision of the airport system, leading the staff in the day-to-day operation of two airports, representing the authority with business and community leaders and the aviation industry. He was also responsible for the capital development program and for growing both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues while overseeing all aspects of revenue generation including the JMAA’s business development, air service development, marketing, real estate development, and properties departments.

Prior to that, Mr. Newman served as General Manager for the Houston Airport System’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). His duties and responsibilities include the daily operations of Houston’s largest airport and the development and implementation of policies and procedures. In addition, Mr. Newman also coordinated the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the budget and expenditures for IAH, among other duties.

Mr. Newman served as Assistant Aviation Director (COO) at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and held various other leadership positions including Deputy Aviation Director, Facilities Superintendent, and Airside Operations Manager.

Mr. Newman is a former board member for American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and served on the Executive Committee of the organization. He is a past Chairman of the organization. He is also a Past Chair of the Operations, Planning and Safety Subcommittee for AAAE and served as the Second Vice President of the Southwest Chapter of AAAE. He also served on the board for the Central Arizona Chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. While in Jackson Mississippi, Mr. Newman served on several boards including the East Metro Corridor Commission, the West Rankin Utility Authority, the Jackson Partnership, the Mississippi Airports Association and Greater Jackson Chamber.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona and a Masters of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Executive Director
Cathy Herring

Director of Operations
SWAAAE Headquarters
KCA Association Management
107 S. Southgate Dr.
Chandler, AZ 85226

AAAE Director
Jennifer Maples, A.A.E., C.A.E., ACE

Aviation Superintendent
City of Phoenix Aviation Department
2515 E. Buckeye Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Read more about Jennifer Maples.

Jennifer Maples is an aviation professional with 30 years of industry experience and has spent the last 24+ years at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. She is currently the Facilities & Services Planning Superintendent overseeing operational readiness, asset management, maintenance, and COVID-19 planning & recovery functions. Jennifer holds a degree in Aviation Business Administration with a Certificate of Emphasis in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2007 she became an Accredited Airport Executive and served five years on the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Board of Examiners. She is active in the airport industry, currently serving as the Immediate Past President for the Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE). Jennifer has been active in AAAE since 1998, is a past president of the Arizona Airports Association, and a former board member for the Phoenix chapter of Women in Transportation (WTS). In addition to frequent speaker & moderator roles at industry conferences, she has been a guest lecturer at the Naval Post Graduate School, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and Kansas State University. Jennifer has been recognized by SWAAAE as a Certified Airport Executive and was honored with the 2013 President’s Award as well as the 2016 Aviation Excellence Award. She was also recognized as the WTS Member of the year in 2011 and attended the prestigious WTS Leadership Academy at Rutgers in 2014.

Click here to view the pathway to getting involved in the chapter and serving on the SWAAAE Board of Directors.

Photo: Reno-Tahoe International Airport
Reno, NV

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