• 2013 Wisconsin Aviation Conference

    Posted on April 29th, 2013 John Dorcey No comments

    Spring has taken forever to arrive in Wisconsin this year. In fact, many of our northern airports have a foot or more of that white stuff still on the ground. It was prophetic planning by the conference committee to locate this year’s event in Madison (south central WI). Midday temps in the mid-60s provided perfect weather for the pre-conference social events of sporting clays and a golf tourney.

    A welcome reception with nearly 40 exhibitors will draw attendees back to the Marriott Madison West Conference and Trade Center. Wild stories of fantastic tee shots and busted clays will undoubtedly fill the room. Dinner will be held at the nearby Capitol Brewery. The Wisconsin Airport Management Association (WAMA) will be presenting their 2013 Blue Light Award, recognizing excellence in reporting Wisconsin aviation news and information.

    The conference reconvenes on Tuesday at 9:00 AM and continues through Wednesday lunch. More information is available at the WAMA website. Conference registrations are available at the door.

  • History comes alive

    Posted on March 31st, 2012 John Dorcey No comments

    There are many opportuntities for you to experience Wisconsin’s history come alive this spring. The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame will be participating in some of these events and attending others. We hope to see you there.

    West Allis Historical Society

    April 16
    History of Mitchell International Airport
    West Allis Historical Society
    West Allis
    The West Allis Historical Society will host a presentation by long-time Mitchell Gallery of Flight director Chuck Boie. Boie, a retired corporate illustrator from Milwaukee, is an expert on the airport’s history. The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is a museum located within the airport’s terminal. The presentation includes numerous images, many of which are not available elsewhere.

    The West Allis Historical Society is located at 8405 West National Avenue.  The program begins at 7 p.m. is free and open to the public.


    May 3
    Wisconsin Veterans Museum (WVM) Gala
    Monona Terrace
    The Wisconsin Veterans Museum’s (WVM) Foundation will hold its annual fund raiser on Thursday, May 3. The event, held at the Monona Terrace, will include a reception, dinner, and booksigning. The evening’s keynote address features historian and writer Hugh Ambrose. Ambrose, author of The Pacific, served as historical consultant for the HBO miniseries of the the same name. Ambrose will share his journey in writing the book and work on the video series.

    Tickets are available online or by phone at 608-264-6086. All proceeds from the event support the development of educational programs and exhibits at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.


    May 4
    Operation Greatest Generation
    Railroad Museum
    Green Bay
    A day-long celebration and recognition for the Wisconsin men and women who shaped the course of history during World War II. Actvities include WWII vehicle exhibit, WWII re-enactors, tours of General Eisenhower’s European command train, and the 132nd Army Band. Featured guest speakers include Hugh Ambrose, author of The Pacific, and James Magellas, WWII veteran and author of All the Way to Berlin.

    Operation Greatest Generation runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all veterans, their guests and the public. The National Railroad Museum is located at 2285 South Broadway in Green Bay. An RSVP is strongly encouraged. For more information and to RSVP, visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum website or call 608-266-1009. Additonal information and directions to the National Railroad Museum are avilable at their website.


    2012 Wisconsin Aviation Conference logoMay 7-9
    Wisconsin Aviation Conference
    Chula Vista Resort
    Wisconsin Dells
    The 57th annual conference, the one conference where all of Wisconsin aviation meets, is scheduled for May 7-9. There will be 12 educational sessions including the following topics: NextGen, marketing techniques, attracting and retaining FBOs, aviation insurance, and airport economic impact statements. Beyond the educational opportunities, there will be association meetings, award ceremonies, and networking opportunities.

    The conference is sponsored by the Wisconsin Airport Management Association, Wisconsin Aviation Trades Association, Wisconsin Business Aviation Association, aviation consultants and suppliers. The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame is one of more than 40 exhibitors. Additional information is available at www.wiama.org or by calling 715-358-2802.

  • Aviation Awards

    Posted on January 17th, 2012 John Dorcey No comments

    Every one of us should be an advocate for peer recognition. Receiving an award is a motivating experience. Attending an awards presentation is both inspiring and educational. How many times have you said during an award presentation, “Gee, I didn’t know he or she accomplished that.” Awards provide an opportunity for positive press for the recipient, their employer, and the aviation industry as a whole.

    2012 Wisconsin Aviation Conference logoThe Wisconsin Aviation Conference is an annual event where a lot gets accomplished in a short period of time. The conference consists of training, networking, exhibitions, large and small group meetings, and meals with award ceremonies. This year’s conference – the 57th annual – will be held May 7 – 9, 2012, at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Recognition awards have been a part of the conference for more than 50 years. More Wisconsin aviation awards are presented at this statewide conference ever year than any other venue. The program includes six awards.

    The Wisconsin Airport Management Association (WAMA) sponsors five of them – Person of the Year, Lifetime Service, Airport Engineering, Distinguished Service, and Blue Light. The Wisconsin Aviation Trades Association (WATA) sponsors the Wisconsin Aviation Business Person of the Year. In addition to the peer recognition awards, WAMA presents several scholarships during the conference. You can be a part of the award process even if you don’t attend the conference. You may nominate worthy individuals for any of the WAMA awards. The online nomination process is simple and fast. The only restriction is that nominees must be living.

    Bill LeGore (left) prresents award to Jeff Gaier

    Bill LeGore (left) prresents award to Jeff Gaier

    Past recipients for the Person of the Year award include: Steve Wittman, Howard Morey, Charles Swain, Paul Poberezny, Roy Shwery, Preston Wilbourne, and Timothy Hoeksema, among others. The Lifetime Service Award has been presented to: Robert Skuldt, Libby Parod, Carl Rindlisbacher, Harry Chaplin, Earl Pingel, and Warren Basler. Recipients of the Airport Engineering Award include: Joe Abernathy, Bill Green, Andrew Platz, and Aaron Stewart. Tom Thomas, Pete Drahn, Gary Dikkers, and John Chmiel have received the Distinguished Service Award. The Blue Light Award is presented to persons in the media who have distinguished themselves by their excellent reporting on Wisconsin aviation. Some of the previous recipients of the Blue Light Award are Dave Weiman, Fred Beseler, and Rose Dorcey.

    We all know someone who works hard every day for the betterment of aviation in Wisconsin. There may be a media person who has provided excellent coverage of events at your airport you would like to recognize. Your nominee may be an aviation educator who volunteers for the Civil Air Patrol. Thinking about potential nominees is inspiring, completing the nomination form is educational. Recognizing someone for their efforts is rewarding.

  • Wisconsin Aviation Conference 2010

    Posted on May 5th, 2010 John Dorcey No comments

    The 55th annual Wisconsin Aviation Conference concluded today in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The conference attracted hundreds of aviation professionals – airport managers, staff, and commissioners, consulting engineers, suppliers, contractors, FBOs, pilots, and government officials. The multiple day event included 12 educational sessions, three association meetings, and a banquet presentation by Mark Van Tine, President and CEO of Jeppesen.

    Recognizing the past and future of Wisconsin aviation has been an important part of each year’s conference. Scholarships have increased in importance with three awarded this year totaling $3000. Five individuals were recognized for their dedication, work ethic, and commitment in various aspects of the industry.

    Distinguished Service Award

    Clint Torp

    Awarded since 2000, the award recognizes individuals for their long-term efforts in the industry or a successful special project. Clinton Torp, Assistant Airport Manager, La Crosse Municipal Airport, La Crosse, Wisconsin, is this year’s recipient. Clint was recognized for his work on the WAMA website and online conference registration. Clint is a 2005 graduate of the University of North Dakota and is working on his MBA at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.




    Blue Light Award

    Fred Beseler

    The Blue Light Award recognizes people in the media industry for their reporting efforts regarding the state’s aviation industry. Fred Beseler has been an aviation writer since 1981, when he wrote a two-page feature on EAA AirVenture for the La Crosse Tribune. For the past three years, Fred has been a regular contributor to Forward in Flight, the magazine of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF). Fred joins two other WAHF writers, Gary Dikkers and Rose Dorcey, who have earned the Blue Light Award.



    Engineer of the Year

    Dave Jensen (left) with Mark Porlier

    The conference has been recognizing the work of engineers since 1983. This year’s recipient, Mark Porlier of Clark Dietz, Incorporated, has worked on projects at more than 20 Wisconsin airports over the years. Mark’s recent work at the Lakeland/Noble Lee Memorial Airport earned him this year’s award. Redesigning the airport’s non-airside lighting systems, taking advantage of LED lighting, instant-on motion controls, and other technology advancements will reduce the airport’s electrical consumption by 83%. The Lakeland project recently earned an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) award.



    Aviation Person of the Year

    Rose Dorcey with John Reed

    This is the longest running of the awards presented as part of the Wisconsin Aviation Conference. Beginning in 1969, Wisconsin aviation notables including nine inductees to the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame have earned this recognition. Rose Dorcey is the 2010 Wisconsin Aviation Person of the Year. A nomination for Rose read, in part, “Wisconsin has been a leader in aviation and the centennial celebration told the story. That story would not have been heard if not for Rose Dorcey’s commitment, enthusiasm, and leadership.”



    Lifetime Service Award
    C. Barry Bateman has been the airport director at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport since September 1982. He has overseen numerous major airport improvement projects and hundreds of small ones. One project that grew from an early vision – the development of an aviation museum, has become a model for other airports. The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is located near Concourse C in the airport’s terminal. Barry has provided numerous internships and has partnered with the Wisconsin DOT’s Bureau of Aeronautics and its Aviation Careers Education program. Bateman also serves as manager of Milwaukee’s Lawrence J.Timmerman Airport.

    The 2011 Wisconsin Aviation Conference – the 56th annual conference – will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin’s, Sierra Hotel. The conference begins May 2 and concludes May 4, 2011. Additional information will be available through the Wisconsin Airport Management Association.

  • Warner-Curtiss unveiled

    Posted on May 5th, 2009 John Dorcey No comments

    A. P. Warner first flew his airplane on November 4, 1909. The airplane was lost in a hangar fire sometime around 1914. Between those dates, thousands viewed the airplane, a majority of them saw it fly.

    Warner-Curtiss exhibit, Wisconsin Aviation Conference

    On Tuesday, May 5, 2009, the airplane became visible once again. This time the Warner-Curtiss is smaller (1/4 scale) and it will never fly, but the hundreds who viewed it that day were as filled with awe as those who saw the original. The Wisconsin Aviation Conference, May 4-6 in Eau Claire, provided the perfect venue for the first public appearance of the model. Nearly 300 aviation professionals were in attendance and most all of them stopped to look at, study, and appreciate the craftsmanship in construction.

    Rose Dorcey, WAHF president, told the A. P. Warner story during the event’s banquet. She also shared details of WAHF’s Wisconsin Centennial of Flight celebration and how to participate. Visit the WAHF website to learn where you can join in the celebration.