Plan your Annual Conference experience and be sure to attend these informative education sessions.

SCAA Annual Conference
February 15 – 17, 2023
Spartanburg Marriott, Spartanburg

Education Sessions
Thursday, February 16

9:15 a.m. FAA Annual Update – Presentation

Get the latest update from the Federal Aviation Administration including new initiatives that will impact airport operations.

Meet the Speakers

Michael O’Harra
Michael O’Harra is the Regional Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Southern Region. He is the senior agency official within the eight-state Southern Region that also includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He is the FAA Administrator’s primary representative to elected officials, civic groups, aviation industry, educational institutions, and other Federal agencies for the region. He is responsible for outreach activities to stakeholders and local communities regarding environmental impacts and noise management issues, as well as information sharing on initiatives such as airspace and procedure modernization, UAS integration, commercial space activities and other critical agency initiatives. He has over 30 years of experience in the aviation and space industry, which includes prior leadership on major capacity and policy initiatives for the FAA and previous positions in private industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Steven Hicks
Steven E. Hicks is Director of the Office of Airports for Southern Region, FAA’s largest region. As Director, Mr. Hicks is responsible for the implementation of Airports National Aviation Transportation Policy. Mr. Hicks administers an annual Airport Improvement Progam (AIP) budget of over $600M and a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program of $700M.  He is responsible for Airport Certification and Safety Programs, Airport Design, Airport Compliance, and Environmental requirements, for over 550 National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) airports, in the eight states and two U.S. Territories’ (U.S.Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico). Additionally, he provides direct support to FAA Global International Leadership Initiatives for enhancing aviation safety in the Caribbean.

Parks Preston
Parks Preston is the Assistant Manager of the Atlanta Airports District Office. During his 19 years at FAA, he served as an Aviation Planner, Environmental Specialist and Program Manager. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management. He is an Army veteran and a multi-engine commercial pilot. He is married with five children and four grandchildren.


10:00 a.m. SC Aeronautics Commission Annual Update – Presentation

How did aviation in SC fare in 2022, and what is on tap for 2023? Find out when you attend this annual update session.

Meet Gary Siegfried

Gary Siegfried is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission and is charged with managing the state’s executive aircraft fleet as well as the state airports system.

Gary has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and is a registered professional engineer in the State of South Carolina. He has focused the vast majority of his career on airport engineering and project management, having spent 26 years as an airport consultant before coming to the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission in 2016.

Outside of work, Gary enjoys spending time with his three children, cooking and travelling to warm destinations to go scuba diving.

11:00 a.m. Preparing the State of South Carolina for Urban Air Mobility – Presentation

Zoom out and take a look at how air mobility will benefit the State of South Carolina and how airports can prepare.

Meet the Urban Air Mobility Panel

Dr. Dan Nale
Doug Barnes
Josh Gibson
Steve Gould
Julian Jenkins
Greg Jones
Avery Lollis
Nelson Tart
Gary Siegfried
Nick Harrington

12:20 p.m. Truths and Myths About Today’s Workplace – Presentation (Please contact presenter for videos)

This session will be provocative and entertaining while it takes you on a journey from the past to the present to identify the truths and myths affecting the way we manage ourselves in today’s work environment. Through stories, facts, evidence, and observations you will learn to look at yourself and your work environment differently. This session promises to make you say “I never thought of that” and will encourage you to do just one thing differently as a result of what you learn.

Meet Mindy Price

Mindy is the owner of Direct Effect Solutions, a woman-owned management consulting company based in Columbus, Ohio. She is an expert in human behavior and organizational dynamics and works with companies around the country to create high-performing systems.  In her spare time, she can often be found reading, exploring, or cooking. As a product of the 80’s, she has yet to solve the Rubik’s cube. She loves to have adventures that turn into good stories. 

1:35 p.m. Economic Development Case Study – Georgetown County Airport – Presentation

Like many South Carolina airports, GGE has available under-utilized land. Also like many airports, it demonstrated the need for a plan to achieve self-sustainability. By thinking outside traditional boxes to include considering Economic Development, investment and jobs creation, it created and is developing that available land into an aviation industrial park. Airport personnel teamed up with the county administrator, county council and the airport commission to collectively change the way the county views and operates the airport.

Meet Al Smith & Jim Taylor

Al Smith, P.E.
Project Manager, Talbert and Bright, Inc.
Smith graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1976. He has been working as a Design Engineer / Project Manger in Airport design with Talbert & Cox, Inc. and Talbert & Bright for over 40 years at numerous airports in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. His first project at the Georgetown County Airport was in 1987 and he’s been responsible for the design and overseeing construction of virtually all projects constructed at GGE and their sister airport PHH in that 35 year time span.

Jim Taylor
Airport Director Georgetown County Airports
Taylor has degrees in Business Management, W.A.C.C. and Marketing and Business Administration, WKU. He has held the following positions.

  • Line crew, Lycoming Air Services
  • Sr. Vice President, Lycoming Air Service Inc.
  • Exxon’s Dealer Advisory Council
  • President, Penn Valley Airshows
  • Airport Manager Selinsgrove, Penn Valley Airport concurrent with General Manager of Heritage Aviation
  • General Manager of Energy Aviation concurrent with Airport Manager Selinsgrove Penn Valley Airport

2:20 p.m. Airport Development Update – Wagler Presentation; Reit Presentation

Get a summary of the programs and initiatives that occurred in 2022, and well as upcoming projects.

Meet Austin Wagler

3:20 p.m. The Center of Resilience Excellence South Carolina (CORE SC) and the New Space Economy – Presentation 

CORE SC is a consortium dedicated to creating resilient solutions for South Carolina, while pursuing a permanent NASA presence in our state. Through our collaborative work with NASA, other federal and state agencies, and partners throughout South Carolina, we are leading the State into the New Space Economy with projects, technology, and most importantly, collaboration. Learn about what CORE SC and partners are doing with EVTOLs, Microgrids, 3D Printed Technology, CubeSats and how we are better together.

Meet Kevin Limehouse

Kevin Limehouse is the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Charleston County Government. Kevin works directly with staff and leadership to improve the services the County provides to its citizens, cultivates relationships with external partners by developing innovative projects and initiatives that result in community improvements, and researches and develops efficient internal processes,

Kevin is especially proud of the partnerships that led to the creation of the Center of Resilience Excellence South Carolina (CORE SC), a NASA-inspired consortium serving the state of South Carolina focusing on creating resilience solutions and bringing a permanent NASA center to the State. Kevin serves as the Program Administrator for CORE SC and manages programs, projects, and partnerships on behalf of the CORE SC board. CORE SC is dedicated to fostering collaboration across all sectors and region. By working together we can provide the best solutions and opportunities for South Carolina citizens, industries, and educational institutions. CORE SC partners are dedicated to preparing South Carolina for the new space economy. You can learn more about Kevin’s work with CORE SC by visiting coresc.net.

Friday, February 17

8:50 a.m. Aviation Education Grant Showcase – Presentation

Find out more information and where to look for Aviation Education Grants.

Meet Doug Adomatis & Robb Williams

Doug Adomatis
Adomatis teaches courses in aviation at Greenville Tech Charter High School and organized South Carolina’s inaugural aviation competition, “AviCom”.  The competition took place on February 1st at Patriots Point onboard the USS Yorktown. Ten high school teams from across the state participated in the competition, sponsored by national companies and local interests. How will you support AviCom 2024 as an education initiative?

Robb Wlliams

9:20 a.m. Good to Great: Writing a Winning Grant Request

Learn how to craft the perfect grant request. 

Meet Skeets Cooper & Chris Bethea

Skeets Cooper

Chris Bethea

Get More Info

PO Box 80994
Charleston, SC 29416
(877) 359-7222