NGPA Concludes 4th Aviation Inclusion Summit After Focused Peer-to-Peer Training, Awarded 2022 Henderson Trophy

Tysons, VA, November 4, 2022 –

NGPA concluded its fourth Aviation Inclusion Summit  (AIS) yesterday, hosted at the Air Line Pilots Association, International Headquarters, in McLean, Virginia.  The event drew over 125 attendees and speakers from across the aviation spectrum to highlight ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts and valuable training sessions. 

Board Member Martin Rottler reflected, “having the opportunity to learn from and work with representatives and leaders from across the industry will better equip us to serve in our professional and volunteer work.”

The AIS consisted of networking and informative breakout sessions addressing CRM, allyship, unconscious bias, and upstander training. In addition, the event featured an inclusion panel that highlighted the experiences of leaders within our peer organizations. These representatives included Samantha Whitfield, Executive Director Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals; Allison McKay, CEO of Women in Aviation International; Claudia Zapata-Cardone, Vice President of the Latino Pilots Association; Zac Brown, Vereinigung Cockpit (Diversity Committee) & President of European Pride in Aviation Network; and Harley Pasiderio, President of the Professional Asian Pilots Association.

The past two days offered critical learning to aviation industry professionals, enabling them to advance their respective organizations’ inclusion efforts upon returning to work. The aviation industry’s focus on DEI efforts was further amplified by the attendance of acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolan. In his keynote address, he outlined that “our [the FAA’s] first commitment is to safety, but our second is to diversity.” He also cited how paramount diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion are to achieving the best culture of safety.

“The visibility that an event like this brings to the aviation industry is paramount to progress. Bringing to light barriers to inclusive workplaces across our industry helps initiate policy changes that lead to positive change for all,” said NGPA President Brian Gambino.

During the AIS, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) presented NGPA with the Clifford Henderson Trophy. NGPA President Brian Gambino and Board Chair Steven Tustin formally accepted this award yesterday during the conclusion of the Summit.

The Henderson Trophy is awarded to “…a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States,” said Greg Principato, President and CEO NAA.

Previous recipients include numerous trailblazing individuals such as Marion Blakely and Martha King and organizations like The Tuskegee Airmen and The Ninety-Nines.

Doing the hard work of ensuring diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion requires a continuous commitment to education; the NGPA extends a thank you to this week’s attendees, who are dedicated to becoming equal, authentic, and respected, everywhere. The NGPA looks forward to hosting our Industry Expo in Palm Springs, CA, February 9-10.

The NGPA is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis. Founded in 1990, NGPA is an international organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) aviation professionals and enthusiasts. Our organization aims to encourage individuals to begin aviation careers, foster an environment of equality for LGBTQ+ aviators, promote safety, and establish personal and professional networks. The NGPA makes this a reality through education, outreach, and social events. Our organization is run by a board of directors, executive leadership, and volunteers! For more information, visit


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