"As we grow, our issues are not just our issues, but issues we share with others. By becoming active members of our industry associations, we have an opportunity to be side-by-side with our industry peers, competitors and customers, to learn their concerns and needs so that we can come alongside them and help them exactly when they need us. It is only through the conversations and relationships we gain by being active in these associations that we move our industry forward."
Todd Duncan, Duncan Aviation chairman
Duncan Aviation has been a member of the Aviation Electronics Association (AEA) since 1970 after Ron Hall (above), a retired Duncan Aviation avionics sales rep, attended his first AEA convention in Kansas City.
According to Ron, those early conventions were small, with only about 150 people and booths consisting of little more than cardboard structures with a table.
In those early days, AEA drew companies together to discuss their frustrations and share their ideas and successes with the latest technical information. Even though many were competitors, they shared anyway in order to make the industry better. Ron says it was this collaboration that helped Duncan Aviation to grow from a small radio and instrument shop into an experienced facility with technicians specializing in the maintenance, repair and installation of the latest in avionics technology.
Duncan Aviation Avionics Sales Rep Ron Hal was an AEA board member for 20 years.
Shortly after his first convention, Ron joined the AEA Board of Directors and stayed for 20 years. During those two decades, Duncan Aviation hosted three regional meetings in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In 1985, Ron was named the AEA Member of the Year. And because of his dedication and continued involvement in AEA during his entire career, he received the AEA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011—the highest honor bestowed on an AEA member.
Duncan Aviation's AEA involvement and influence didn't end with Ron's retirement. Gary Harpster, avionics installation sales rep, stepped up and actively participated at several regional and national AEA events. As a well-known expert in the industry on NextGen technology, he has presented educational sessions to operators around the world.
Gary was an active board member, serving as vice chairman and chairman of the board for several years. He also served on the AEA Trusteeship Committee and was named 2008 AEA Member of the Year.
Another chapter in Duncan Aviation's AEA history unfolded in 2014, when Mike Minchow, manager of completions and avionics sales, was among the newly elected directors selected by the members of AEA.
Today, AEA boasts nearly 1,300 member companies in 43 countries.
To find out more about our long histories with other industry alphabet associations, read the Spring 2015 Duncan Debrief.
In The Trenches
Business aviation association governing boards work to benefit our industry as a whole, bringing about long-term changes and future growth. But oftentimes, it’s in the trenches of the subcommittees and regional events where the day-to-day issues that impact business aviation are addressed. Many of Duncan Aviation’s tech reps, department leaders, regional managers and sales representatives meet many times a year in these industry subcommittees.
Mike Chick, manager of engineering certification—SMS/21