20th Anniversary Conference

Keynote Speakers

Richard H. Anderson, CEO, Delta Air LinesRICHARD H. ANDERSON - CEO, Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Richard H. Anderson, 52, became Chief Executive Officer of Delta Air Lines on Sept. 1, 2007 after serving as a member of the Board of Directors since April 2007.

Anderson has nearly 20 years of aviation experience. He entered the industry in 1987 at Continental Airlines, where he ultimately served as staff vice president and deputy general counsel. In 1990, Anderson began a 14-year career at Northwest Airlines where he served as vice president and deputy general counsel; senior vice president of Technical Operations and Airport Affairs; executive vice president and chief operating officer; and from 2001 to 2004, as chief executive officer.

Prior to joining Delta, Anderson was executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group and served as president of UnitedHealth's Commercial Markets Group. He also serves as a director of Cargill Inc. and Medtronic Inc.

A native of Galveston, Texas, Anderson holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law. He and his wife, Susan, live in Atlanta.

Jessica CoxJESSICA COX - The first female pilot born without arms, to fly with her feet.

The doctors don't exactly know why Jessica was born without arms. Sonograms and other prenatal tests did not reveal this rare congenital condition. However, from infancy her feet became her hands. She learned to feed herself and write with her feet. Throughout childhood, she participated in many activities including swimming, gymnastics, and tap dancing. Jessica started tae kwon-do when she was ten, earning her first black belt at fourteen in the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation.

When first learning to drive, Jessica was encouraged to use special modifications. Even after her car was modified, she decided to remove them and drive without. She holds an unrestricted driver's license.

As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, Jessica attended classes taking notes with her feet. At 25 words per minute, Jessica was able to type out her papers with a regular computer keyboard on the floor.

Jessica's greatest challenges are not the ordinary daily tasks required for her to live independently. Her greatest triumph in life stands far above any physical feat. It is her unrepentant regard for herself a whole person, her high degree of self-acceptance that gives her the freedom and power to insist that society accept her, too, just as she is.

Victoria CoxVICKI COX - Air Traffic Operations Senior Vice President, Senior Vice President of NextGen and Operations Planning for the FAA

Victoria Cox is Air Traffic Operations Senior Vice President, as well as Senior Vice President of NextGen and Operations Planning for the FAA. The goal of the NextGen Implementation Plan is to focus the FAA and the aviation community on making firm commitments to implement new operational capabilities in air traffic control and airport operations in a coordinated, timely fashion. The FAA’s Senior Vice President for NextGen and Operations Planning has primary responsibility for the development and execution of the plan.

Cox has been Director of International Technology Programs in the Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering. Except for a year-long rotation to the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology as DoD Laboratory Liaison, she was involved in international R&D since 1994. She was the Chief of Physics and then Scientific Director of the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development, London, from 1994-1998 and was Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory International Office after that. Before that she managed a variety of R&D projects and organizations for what is now the Air Force Research Laboratory. Earlier, she worked as a Physicist with NASA, managing and operating space environmental effects laboratories.

Jeff DeckelbaumJEFF DECKELBAUM - VP of Product Support for Integrated Defense Systems
VP of Engineering for Global Services & Support
The Boeing Company

Jeff Deckelbaum is the vice president of Product Support for Integrated Defense Systems and vice president of Engineering for Global Services & Support. This dual role is intended to more closely integrate the Product Support function with IDS Engineering and Mission Assurance, as well as the corporate Engineering, Operations and Technology organization.

As VP of IDS Product Support, Deckelbaum is responsible for charting the course for the Function to ensure alignment across all of the IDS businesses, which entails providing highly skilled people, processes, tools and functional discipline. His responsibilities include staffing programs, career development and training, application of best practices, deployment of common processes and tools, accelerating Lean+ improvements, and identifying synergies with Commercial Aviation Services.

As VP of Global Services & Support (GS&S) Engineering, he serves as chief engineer of the GS&S business with responsibility for the development, deployment and program oversight of engineering resources in GS&S.

Prior to this assignment, Deckelbaum served as vice president of Product Support and Engineering for GS&S. Previously, he led Special Operations Forces Support Programs for Logistics Support Systems and also served as chief engineer and deputy for Logistics Support Systems’ Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades.

Deckelbaum joined the company in 1979 as a strength engineer. He advanced through the Engineering organization, holding various Technology and Management assignments on the AV-8B, T-45 and Advanced Tactical Fighter programs. He also held positions in Quality and in the New Aircraft Products Division, now part of the company’s Phantom Works organization.

Deckelbaum holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University. He also holds a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University.

Robert FornaroROBERT FORNARO - COO, AirTran Airways

Robert Fornaro, president and chief operating officer, joined AirTran Airways in March 1999. In this role, he oversees the areas of customer service, finance, marketing and operations.

From 1992 to 1997, Fornaro served as senior vice president - planning for US Airways where he directed the company's route planning, pricing and revenue management and overall corporate strategy. Before joining US Airways, Fornaro held the position of senior vice president - marketing planning at Northwest Airlines. His responsibilities included managing Northwest's international alliances and regional airline partner relationships.

Prior to Northwest, Fornaro was senior vice president - marketing and planning at Braniff, Inc. Fornaro also served as vice president - research for Jesup & Lamont Securities, Inc. and director of future schedule planning for Trans World Airlines.

Fornaro, a native of New York, earned his bachelor of arts in economics from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, N.J., and his master of arts in city and regional planning from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Fornaro resides in both Orlando, Fla. and McLean, Va., with his wife and three children.

J.W. CORKEY FORNOF - Stunt Pilot and Aerial Coordinator and Director for movies

J.W. Corkey Fornof is a pilot with single and multiengine land and sea plane ratings, an instrument rating and a waiver from the FAA to perform low-level aerobatics. "Corkey" is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the Motion Picture Pilots Association, and holds a current Motion Picture/Television Flight Operations Manual.

"Corkey" has logged 15,000-plus hours in over 287 different types of aircraft. He has been around the world with his flying abilities and has numerous contacts in this field. The varied skills and contacts that he possesses allow him to help your production capture the thrill and fascination of aviation in the safest, most cost-effective manner.

"Corkey" has flown low level stunts for every major airshow in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico and South Africa. He formed the first civilian high performance aerobatic flight demonstration team, using WWII fighters. He also formed and lead the first civilian jet demonstration team. Additionally, "Corkey" has worked as a test pilot and corporate pilot.

"Corkey" has been featured in every major aviation magazine in the world, and has filmed all over the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica, Argentina, South Africa, the Bahamas, Canada and Thailand.

CRAIG FULLER - President and CEO of AOPA

Craig Fuller became the president and CEO of AOPA on Jan. 1, 2009. He brings to this position a career that includes senior public affairs positions in business, association leadership, and executive positions in the federal government, including eight years of service in the White House from 1981 to 1989.

As president and CEO of AOPA, Fuller draws on his Washington, D.C., experience as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs (1981-85) and chief of staff to Vice President Bush (1985-89). His business positions have included service as president or vice chairman of leading public affairs firms. His association experience includes service on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee and leading a health care association as president and CEO for more than six years.

Fuller earned his private pilot certificate at 17 and later earned his instrument rating. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in political science and earning a master's degree in urban studies from Occidental College, he joined the public affairs consulting firm of Deaver and Hannaford, founded by two principal assistants to then California Gov. Ronald Reagan, Mike Deaver, and Peter Hannaford. He frequently flew Cessna Skyhawks and Skylanes and Grumman Tigers to client meetings in California and Arizona. He later bought a Cessna 172RG Cutlass.

When Reagan was elected president, Fuller joined the new administration as the assistant to the president for cabinet affairs. And he flew his 172RG from California to the East Coast, ultimately basing the aircraft at AOPA's home field in Frederick, Maryland.

Doug HinzieDOUG HINZIE - President, Chevron Global Aviation

Doug Hinzie is President of Chevron Global Aviation, a position he assumed in September 2006. He is responsible for the company’s worldwide aviation fuels business. Global Aviation is one of the world’s leading suppliers of jet fuel and aviation gasoline to commercial airline, general aviation, and military customers.

Hinzie is a native Texan and graduate of Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He has spent 24 years with Chevron, working in engineering, operations, sales, product management, trading, marketing, technology, and corporate staff.


James E. LoveJAMES E. LOVE - Acting Director of Military Equal Opportunity, Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity

James (Jimmy) E. Love currently serves as the Acting Director of Military Equal Opportunity, Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity. In his current position, Love advises and assists senior Department of Defense officials in formulating and monitoring DoD equal opportunity policy for the active duty and reserve forces.

Love graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and holds a Master of Arts degree in Personnel Management/Human Relations. His military education includes completion of Squadron Officer School in residence, the Air Force Professional Personnel Management Course, Air Command and Staff College in residence, the Air War College seminar program, and the Defense Race Relations Institute (currently the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute).

Love retired in 1993 from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. Among his several distinguished awards are the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Achievement, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Outstanding Unit Award, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Leadership Award.

Love is married and shares three daughters and four grandsons with his wife Beryl.

Sonny PerdueSONNY PERDUE - Governor of Georgia

Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Georgia’s 81st Governor on January 13, 2003. Governor Perdue immediately went to work reforming the state budget, setting priorities, and cutting wasteful spending. His efforts helped stimulate the economy and turn the state budget deficit that he inherited in to a substantial surplus. The Governor then invested in his top priorities and got results. During Perdue’s first term, Georgia created over 200,000 new jobs and posted the highest graduation rate and SAT scores in state history. After a first term marked by numerous accomplishments, Governor Perdue won re-election by an overwhelming margin in November 2006.

As Georgia’s Governor, Perdue has led the state based on his life experiences prior to entering public service. Sonny was born on December 20, 1946, in Perry, Georgia, to a lifelong farmer and a classroom teacher. He graduated from Warner Robins High School and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1971 from the University of Georgia. Following his service as a Captain in the United States Air Force, Perdue became a successful small business owner, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation. Today, those businesses have grown to include several locations across the Southeast.

For all of his success in business and public service, Governor Perdue is proudest to serve as devoted husband, loving father, and grandfather. Sonny is married to the former Mary Ruff of Atlanta, Georgia. The couple has four children and ten grandchildren. Additionally, Sonny and Mary have served as foster parents for eight newborns awaiting adoption.

Governor Perdue is also an aviation enthusiast. He is the holder of single, multi-engine and commercial fixed-wing pilot ratings and recently obtained a helicopter pilot rating in a Robinson R44.

Kathleen VasconcelosKATHLEEN VASCONCELOS - Production Manager of AOPA Air Safety Foundation's safety programs

Kathleen Vasconcelos manages the production of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's safety programs, including online courses and live seminars. Covering topics such as weather, runway safety, aerodynamics and GPS, the Air Safety Foundation's programs are available to all pilots free of charge.

Prior to joining the Air Safety Foundation, Vasconcelos worked in AOPA's Public Relations department where she communicated AOPA's message to the media and general public.

Vasconcelos is a commercial pilot with instrument and multiengine ratings and is also an instrument-rated flight instructor. She holds a degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Patty WagstaffPATTY WAGSTAFF - Aerobatic Champion and Air Show Performer, WAI pioneer

To Patty Wagstaff the sky represents adventure, freedom and challenge. A six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team, Patty has won the gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competition and is the first woman to win the title of US National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times. Patty has trained with the Russian Aerobatic Team and has flown Airshows and competitions in such exotic places as South America, Russia, Europe, Mexico and Iceland. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Motion Picture Pilots Association, United Stuntwomen's Association, working as a stunt pilot and aerial coordinator for the film and television industry.

Patty's skill is based on years of training and experience. She is a six-time recipient of the "First Lady of Aerobatics" Betty Skelton Award, and a 1997 inductee into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame. In July 2004, Patty was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the National Air and Space Museum's Award for Current Achievement in 1994. Having received many awards for her flying, she is particularly proud of receiving the Airshow industry's most prestigious award, the "Sword of Excellence", and the "Bill Barber Award for Showmanship" Recently she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Air Force Association, was inducted into the EAA/IAC Hall of Fame and in 2005 received the NAA/99's Katherine Wright Award. Patty Wagstaff Airshows, Inc. is based in St. Augustine, Florida.

Peggy WhitsonPEGGY WHITSON - first female Space Station commander and record-holder for the most planetary orbits from space

Peggy Whitson is called NASA’s most experienced astronaut because as of this year she’s logged 377 days in space. Whitson is a biochemistry researcher who made her first space mission in 2002, with an extended stay aboard the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 5. In 2007, she became the first female commander of the International Space Station when Expedition 16 was launched on October 10, 2007. During Expedition 16 Whitson oversaw the first expansion of the station’s living and working space in more than six years. The flight of Space Shuttle mission STS-120, commanded by female astronaut Pam Melroy, was the first time that two female mission commanders have been in orbit at the same time.

Whitson has performed a total of six career spacewalks, adding up to 39 hours, 46 minutes, more than any other woman. Whitson was born and raised in Mt. Ayr, Iowa, but considers Beaconsfield, Iowa her hometown. Whitson received a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1981. She then went on to earn her doctorate degree in chemistry from Rice University in 1985, and following completion of her graduate work, continued at Rice as a Robert A Welch Post-doctoral Fellow until October, 1986. She is married to Clarence F. Sams, Ph.D.