Dr. LaVaughn Henry

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    47th Annual Conference - Letter from the President - Register now! see more

    Dear NAFA Members,

    I hope you all have had a great winter and have been able to enjoy and take advantage of the uptick in transaction activity in the business and general aviation markets. Most importantly, I hope everyone has enjoyed some well-deserved time off with their families enjoying warm weather or skiing in the mountains.

    Now that the brutal cold spells are in the past and the days finally longer, spring has finally arrived for most of us which can mean only one thing – the NAFA Annual Meeting and Conference is only a month away! I look forward to seeing industry friends, new members, learning more about our industry and factors that impact it, not to mention enjoying a few (maybe more) drinks with everyone, along with some not-so-great golf.  

    I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone to register for the NAFA conference. This year is different than the past few years and we are excited for everyone to enjoy:

    • The venue - the Hotel Del Coronado, which is a well-known luxury beachfront resort on the water in lovely sunny San Diego. This is a fantastic property and location; we think everyone will truly enjoy the new West Coast location for the conference,
    • We have a broad and diverse complement of speakers this year (many from outside our traditional pool of speakers).  Based on valuable feedback from you in the last few years, we heard what people wanted for upcoming conferences and have incorporated those recommendations in this year’s slate of speakers,
    • Improving our program now means that we are stacked with speakers from firms with a variety of acronyms!  NAFA, NBAA, GAMA, NATA, NARA, ABA, FDIC, FHLB, ASA, NBC, MSNBC – what would aviation be without a multitude of abbreviations.

    We are very enthusiastic about this year’s conference and hope you can join us. I’d like to thank Jim Blessing and his committee – along with Karen Griggs - who have organized this year’s conference. Jim and his team have been working very hard to make sure the program reflects what you want to hear. Here is a list of some of the speakers and topics covered:

    • John Heilemann – National Affairs Analyst for NBC and MSNBC, staff writer for The Economist, Wired and The New Yorker.  Co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics.  He may be uniquely qualified to help us understand what is happening at the highest levels of our political system and why, and where we may be headed as a nation,
    • Our Economic Keynote Dr. LaVaughn Henry is an employee of the FDIC and prior VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  Expect a fresh presentation this year by a seasoned speaker in economic circles, with detailed insight on both the US Economy and Monetary Policy,
    • A town-hall style session on the State of the Aviation Industry will be anchored by the Presidents of NBAA (Bolen), GAMA (Bunce), and NATA (Hiller),
    • Our New Aircraft Showcase focuses this year on new products from light sport to supersonic – with Textron and Dassault, along with the Icon A5 and Aerion Supersonic,
    • The Pre-Owned Market Update panelists will cover the full spectrum of aircraft - from single-engine piston through larger cabin jet,
    • Other panels will dive into the potential impact of the new tax laws on the aviation industry, and a look back at the changes we have seen since the financial collapse of 2008,
    • Members are sure to see some familiar names but will also see new faces like Jeffrey Ball, Brian Proctor, and Timothy Obitts.  Ball is a community bank owner who is also Chairman of the Government Relations Council of the American Bankers Association and a Member of the Board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  Proctor is the President of Mente Group, and also the current Chairman of NARA.  Obitts is the General Council and VP of Operations and Business at the National Air Transportation Association.

    We received feedback that last year’s conference did not allow enough time for networking. We listened and have decided to not have a speaker at lunch to create more time to spend with each other.

    The NAFA Board has been working hard to address several issues of importance to the membership and I will update everyone at the meeting on our initiatives and progress that we have made to improve the organization.

    Rooms are almost all sold out, so please hurry and register. I look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego.

    Take care,


  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NAFA's 48th Annual Conference a Great Success! see more

    Ft. Lauderdale, FL., March 3-6, 2019 – #NAFA48 - The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) held its 48thAnnual Conference March 3-6, 2019.  With 108 companies in attendance, and over 200 attendees, the conference was a great success. The conference was held at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The four-day event included a 1-day NAFA Aircraft Education Program, Annual Business Meeting and a wide array of aviation and finance-specific Sessions.

    NAFA announced new officers for the next year, with Jim Blessing assuming the role as president, succeeding Ford Von Weise. Additionally, Jim Simpson will become vice president.  NAFA also welcomed industry veteran Ed Medici to the Board of Directors.

    “The 48thAnnual Conference reflects a continued commitment by NAFA to raise the bar, with economic and business thought leaders, aviation industry experts, and seasoned veterans in the finance community,” said Jim Blessing president of NAFA.  “Engaging discussions about the future of the aviation industry, workforce shortages, the approaching ADS-B deadline, and new aircraft entering the marketplace highlighted the event.”

    Keynote speaker this year was Geoff Colvin, Acclaimed Author & Senior Editor, Fortune Magazine. He spoke about Leading Ahead of What’s Next – The New Rules of Business.  

    Economic Analyst, Dr. LaVaughn M. Henry, spoke to the audience about The Status & Outlook of the  U.S. Economy & Monetary Policy.Dr. Henry is a policy analyst for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

    Conference participants also included Mark Baker, President of the Aircraft Owners’ & Pilots’ Association, Steve Brown, COO of the National Business Aviation Association, Gary Dempsey, President of the National Air Transport Association, and representatives from a wide variety of aircraft manufacturing and aviation service organizations.

    NAFA would like to thank the conference sponsors:  

    -       Platinum Sponsor– Embraer – host of the Welcome Reception along with an Open House and Static Display a their Fort Lauderdale facility. 

    -       Gold Sponsors– AIC Title Service, Aircraft Bluebook, AOPA Finance, Global Jet Capital, Insured Aircraft Title Service, JSSI Advisory Services, Rolls Royce and Wright Brothers Aircraft Title. 

    -       Silver Sponsors– Aero-Space Reports, Aircraft Guaranty-Corp, AirFleet Capital, Aviation Management Systems, Essex Aviation, LL Johns Aviation Insurance, Salem Five, Scope Aircraft Finance, and V-Ref Aircraft Value Reference. 

    -       Bronze Sponsors– Aviation Legal Group, Asset Insight, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems.

    NAFA’s 49thAnnual Conference is to be held in Napa Valley, California April 28 through May 1, 2020.

    About NAFA:

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry’s service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit the website at www.NAFA.aero


  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Leading Economist & Aviation Industry Powerhouses at the 48th Annual Conference see more

    NAFA is pleased to announce that Dr. LaVaughn M. Henry is returning to our Annual Conference as the guest speaker on economy. Dr. Henry is a Policy Analyst in the Banking and Regulatory Policy Section at the FDIC and will discuss the Status and Outlook of the U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, from 9:30-10:30 am. 

    We are also happy to welcome aviation powerhouses Mark Baker, President, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), and Ed Bolen, President, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) for the State of the Aviation Industry, moderated by Ford von Weise, Director-Head of Global Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank. Come hear what these industry leaders have to say on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, from 10:45 am to noon.  Click here for the full program agenda.