Washington, DC, June 30, 2014 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen announced today that Kathleen Blouin, senior vice president of conventions and forums, will officially step down from her position today, June 30, after 22 years with the Association. Blouin will, however, continue to serve as a senior consultant to the Association.
Bolen praised Blouin for her years of distinguished service to the Association and the industry. “Although Kathleen has agreed to remain engaged with NBAA, her decision is a time for everyone in business aviation to recognize her profound impact, both in the United States and internationally,” Bolen said.
“Kathleen was instrumental in the creation and development of the largest business aviation events on four separate continents, which have advanced the industry’s interests,” Bolen added. “The shows that Kathleen helped build in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia have unquestionably been premier marketplace events for the industry, but they have also helped advance an understanding of the importance, and potential, of business aviation, in all parts of the world. It is a breathtaking record of accomplishment, and for those of us fortunate enough to be in this industry, Kathleen has, quite literally, changed the world.”
Blouin thanked Bolen, stating: “NBAA and the business aviation community have been a central part of my life for many years, and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with so many outstanding, visionary people at the Association, and also across the business aviation community. I’m delighted that, as part of an exciting new chapter in life, I’ll continue to be involved with an organization and industry that has meant so much to me.”
Since coming to NBAA in 1992, Blouin has successfully grown NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE) into one of the five largest trade shows in the United States. The most recent Convention, in October 2013, featured 1,100 exhibitors, a sold-out outdoor static display of 83 airplanes of all types and sizes, and an all-new indoor static display of aircraft and helicopters. More than 25,000 people attended the event, including people from every U.S. state and more than 90 countries around the world.
Blouin also led NBAA’s effort to launch the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in 2001, in partnership with the European Business Aviation Association. Held in Geneva, Switzerland, EBACE is the only European event to focus exclusively on business aviation. The inaugural show in 2001 drew 3,620 attendees and more than 190 exhibitors. EBACE2014 drew about 13,000 participants and featured 499 exhibitors and a sold-out static display with 56 aircraft.
In 2004, Blouin spearheaded NBAA’s project to launch the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) in conjunction with Brazil’s Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral. The event, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was the first Latin American exhibition to focus exclusively on business aviation.
Blouin also organized the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE), which was first held in 2005. The event, which was the first dedicated business aviation trade show ever organized in Asia, is now widely recognized as one of the world’s premier business aviation events, with nearly 200 exhibitors, more than 38 aircraft on static display and thousands of attendees.
“Kathleen stands for excellence in all she does,” Bolen said. “We’re grateful for her contributions to NBAA and the international business aviation community. We look forward to working with her in her new capacity.”
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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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