• Home
  • About
  • News
  • A Report on the Recent SCAA Conference on New Leadership Solutions for Today’s Biz Av Challenges By Bert Botta

A Report on the Recent SCAA Conference on New Leadership Solutions for Today’s Biz Av Challenges By Bert Botta

17 Sep 2019 11:12 AM | Stacy Crawmer (Administrator)

A Report on the Recent SCAA Conference on New Leadership Solutions for Today’s Biz Av Challenges. 

Do you jump out of the sack at o’dark thirty and thank God for another day? Or, like me do you dread rolling out, feeling for and recoiling at the light? Ever since I retired from flying, I almost dread travel since the memories of stumbling around in the dark still haunt me! But once I hit the road, the old feeling of the magic of travel returns and I feel inspired once again to face the unknown with anticipation and a sense of awe at the inevitable mystery that happens on the road. 

This journey started off with an early commute to SFO from my home in the North Bay of San Francisco, fearing the worst! Even on a good day SFO isn’t known for its speedy arrivals and departures so with one runway, 28L closed a few days ago for construction repairs, this was not a good omen.. 

No worries, all went well, my Alaska flight blocked out and took off right on schedule. 

I even managed to squeeze in a great movie on the flight down, The SkidRow Marathon, which was perfectly timed to end right at touchdown in SAN. If you get a chance to watch it on Netflix, it’s a real powerhouse: www.skidrowmarathon.com 

If you ever wondered what you were put on earth for, this might help clarify your mission! But I digress... 

The Journey 

Tim Goulet, the General Manager of Ross Aviation at Thermal, CA and an SCAA mover and shaker, set up a fantastic car rental for me with Go Rentals. If you ever get a chance to rent from them, take it! I was treated like royalty and not because of any nepotism between Tim and the Go Rental management, they’re just that good, friendly and service-oriented. Contact Marshall B. Roberts at: marshallr@gorentals.com 

The car that I had, a shiny, brand new Toyota RAV 4 did remind me of my last “modern” rental car experience where I had to call the rental company to learn how to start the thing! 

After pushing buttons, and frantically scanning the owner’s manual on my previous rental I finally gave up and called the rental company; they gave me a very complex set of instructions; step on the brake and push the start button! 

That’s another reason why I like my ’95 Toyota airport car, I can read the gauges, I twist a knob to turn on the air conditioner and I don’t have to wrestle the car for control when I press the wrong button on the steering wheel. 

Also when I open the hood on my old beater, it actually looks like there’s an engine in there! 

The Conference 

The conference was held at the Westin Resort and Spa, a very beautiful and well equipped location in the hills of Carlsbad, CA. Once I settled in, I took a look at the SCAA day’s agenda and my first impression when I saw the presenters bios was, “Man, the first speaker isn’t even a pilot! How will the attendees, many of whom were pilots, relate to this guy and his presentation?” 

I couldn’t have been more wrong! Both speakers were great and the first one, Mark Howerton, a licensed marriage and family therapist, was a combination of stand-up comedian and a powerful teacher of the basic principles of high level emotional intelligence. 

Mark Howerton 

Mark’s presentation was almost like a follow-up to the SkidRow Marathon movie I told you about on my flight to SAN; Mark’s message was kind of a mission statement for life; I began to wonder, “Is this all a message of some sort for me?” 

He talked about the “8 Components to a Full and Healthy Life” and their value for a balanced life. They are “inside-out” solutions to modern day stressors. Obviously there’s much more in-depth to each of these but I’ll list them here and if anyone wants more coverage, please feel free to contact me since they have great meaning. 

The 8 components are: Professional Success, Financial Intentionality, Emotional Regulation, Physical Health, Relational Fitness, Intellectual Stimulation, Deeper Awareness, and Playful Engagement. 

He also talked about the importance of The Leadership Mindset. A powerful component of this talk was his question: “How do I harness my life-defining events to serve others?” 

There was much more but suffice it to say, it greatly transcended my initial reaction of “how‘s this guy going to be relatable to the pilot population” since it struck at the core of every human being, aviator or not. 

Mark’s contact info is: balancedlifeleadership@gmail.com and 949-933-6275. 

Craig Picken 

Craig Picken, a former Naval Aviator representing the NorthStar Group was the second speaker and his message was more aviation “nuts and bolts” than Mark’s but equally as informative and valuable. His focus was on leadership, pilot recruitment and knowing the culture of an organization. 

He talked about the pilot shortage and the mentality of new, young pilots entering the industry and the need to make a piloting career and aviation in general, “cooler” and more attractive to the new generation. 

You can contact Craig at: craig@NorthStar ESG.com or at 910-509-7129. 

The sponsors of the conference were: The Dyer Group, Baldwin Aviation, Universal Weather & Aviation, and Collins Aerospace. 

The next event will be the 5th annual SONO (Southern and Northern California) in Palm Springs, November 7th, 2019 (see below) 

I encourage anyone who is interested in connecting with other aviation enthusiasts and adding your 2¢ worth to our beloved industry to attend the next SONO event described below. We need your input, your ideas and your help to make the next 10 years the best yet in Business Aviation because it sure isn’t going to happen without our help... 

And here’s to the magic of flight, amidst delays surrounding my Alaska return flight, we snuck through from SAN to SFO, with nary a minute lost!




Images provided by 

© Southern California Aviation Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software