A Message from the President

Happy New Year! I hope that you and your families have had a wonderful end-of- the-year holiday.

As I begin my first year as President of UAA’s Board of Trustees, I look forward to another year of promoting collegiate aviation and supporting future young professionals in the industry. Having served on the Board of Trustees for the past six years, I want to express my gratitude to our board members, committee chairs, Memphis-based staff, and active members. Because of you, we have continued to grow as an organization, providing invaluable opportunities and resources for our membership and the industry.

The last couple of years have been challenging. However, we have emerged from those challenges and have become more robust as an organization. This year, for the first time in our history, we surpassed the $500,000 revenue mark and are now classified as a medium-sized nonprofit organization as recognized by the IRS. This is an extraordinary milestone for our organization.

Additionally, our 75th Annual Conference in Colorado Springs set records for attendance, exhibitors, and gross revenue. The expanded conference proved more challenging for our staff. However, thanks to their efforts and the many volunteers, it was one of the more successful conferences we have had in recent years. Moreover, thanks to the collaboration with Alpha Eta Rho, we had more student engagement than any previous conference. Furthermore, thanks to the efforts of our staff, Board of Trustees, and others, our membership has grown to over 1,200. This is the largest membership we have had in the history of our organization.

Looking towards our 76th year, I have several goals that I would like to outline. First, I challenge the chairs of our standing committees to increase member engagement to ensure our members are supported and have the resources to meet their goals. To our Board of Trustees, I charge them with the task of continuing to enhance the organization in such ways that add value to our members. Moreover, I also charge them with finding innovative ways to ensure future professionals are supported and have ample opportunities to enhance their skills. Finally, we must continue to remind the industry that we have been in place for over 75 years supporting collegiate aviation and supplying the industry with well-educated graduates who demonstrate a commitment to the profession.

To achieve these goals, I am asking for your support and continued engagement with UAA. I believe that we can achieve so much more to ensure a sustainable future for our industry. This starts with you providing feedback, engaging within the industry, presenting at UAA conferences, and conducting research/scholarship. If there is a way the Board of Trustees can support these endeavors, please let us know.

I look forward to working with you this year and continuing to climb to new heights.

Chaminda Prelis, Ph.D.
President, University Aviation Association