EABCE2015 to Honor Founders of Europe’s Biggest Business Aviation Event
May 12, 2015
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  • Washington, DC, May 12, 2015 – This year’s European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2015) will include an awards luncheon held to honor four individuals whose vision laid the foundation for what is today Europe’s largest and most significant annual business aviation event.

    At the luncheon, Kathleen Blouin, Fernand Francois, Brian Humphries and Jack Olcott – four leaders with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the two organizations that jointly produce EBACE – will be recognized for tireless dedication to launching EBACE, and to making the show a premier business aviation event, and a catalyst for the industry’s growth in the European region.

    “EBACE got its start because Brian, Jack, Fernand and Kathleen had a keen understanding of the need for a show in Europe that would be focused strictly on business aviation,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The industry clearly responded, with strong participation in the event – from its first year to the present. We want to celebrate these individuals’ incredible achievement, not just in launching and growing a show, but in helping advance business aviation in Europe.”

    Bolen pointed out that, for the first EBACE event in 2001, organizers hoped for several hundred attendees. In fact, more than 3,600 people attended that original EBACE, with nearly 200 exhibitors on the show floor, and about 30 aircraft on static display. Today, EBACE2015 is expected to draw about 13,000 attendees, with nearly 500 exhibitors and more than 60 aircraft on static display.

    The luncheon to honor the four individuals will be held on May 19, as one of a number of events being held during EBACE2015 to celebrate the show’s 15th year.Bolen noted that the four leaders who will be recognized are highly regarded industry veterans.

    For example:

    •Blouin joined NBAA in 1992 as senior manager, convention services, and successfully grew NBAA’s annual convention into one of the largest trade shows in the United States. Blouin was instrumental in the creation and development of the largest business aviation events on four separate continents, including shows in Latin America and Asia. She most recently served as NBAA’s senior vice president, conventions and forums, prior to stepping down from her position in 2014.

    •Francois was appointed as CEO of EBAA in 1993, a position he served in until 2004. Under his leadership, EBAA’s membership grew from 75 in 1993 to almost 200 in 2004. Prior to his appointment at EBAA, Francois was a private pilot working in the international aviation trade press. He currently is the president of Business Aviation & Regional Transport (BART) International, a leading European business aviation magazine.

    •In 2007, Humphries was named president of EBAA; he had previously served at the association as its chairman, from 1996 to 2004, and its CEO from 2004 until 2007. Humphries is also chairman of the British Helicopter Association, and has served a three-year term as chairman of the Montreal-based International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), representing the interests of business aviation globally at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

    •Olcott was named NBAA’s president in 1992. During his 11 years in that position, the Association doubled its membership, expanded its services to the business aviation community, grew its flagship convention in the U.S., and launched multiple international events.

    As part of the awards luncheon ceremony, the four individuals will participate in a panel discussion that will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the first EBACE, and the evolution of the show over the ensuing years. The panel discussion will be moderated by industry journalism figures Wilson Leach ofAviation International News and Bill Garvey of Business & Commercial Aviation.