The VABA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization committed to represent, develop, and support all aviation businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception, the VABA has provided a unified voice for businesses involved in aviation in general
The VABA, chartered by the Legislature of Commonwealth of Virginia, is organized and recognized as an activity whose mission is to:
Perpetuate the development of aeronautical businesses within the Commonwealth of Virginia
Enhance the development of general aviation and regional airports and the infrastructure to support the same for the Commonwealth
Represent the interests of aeronautical industry within the Commonwealth of Virginia's legislature.
Work toward the improvement of airport and flight safety operations for all Virginia aviators
Thomas "Mike" Mickel
Mike was elected as President in August 2016 and has served in the role from 2006 to 2010. He founded Dominion Aviation in 1983 as an aircraft management and charter company. Mike, a 35 year veteran of corporate aviation, is dedicated to service and committed to quality with safety at the forefront of every decision. He is an experienced pilot with over 10,000 hours of flight time, is Airline Transport rated and certified to fly numerous corporate jets and helicopters.
With over 46 years of military and civilian aviation experience Dave has flown over 30 different aircraft logging over 10,000 flying hours. Retiring from the United States Air Force in 1997 as a Brigadier General he joined Liberty University as the Vice President of Finance and Administration and later as the Executive Vice President. He currently serves as the President of Freedom Aviation and Assistant Provost for Aeronautics.
Donna Speidel began her career in 1974 in a family pavement marking business after graduating from George Washington University in 1972. In 1981, Donna started Speidel Construction initially painting highways and airports to exclusively working on airports over an 18-year period. While working on airports, she noticed that airfield markings lacked the quality and scrutiny of highway markings. Over several years, Donna’s practical knowledge combined with her desire to identify problems that seemed unique to the airfield marking industry. Since 1998, Donna has been addressing the industry about the importance of airfield markings and about the need to improve methods for their installation. In 2006, Sightline was awarded a research project by the Innovative Pavement Research Foundation (IPRF) under a Cooperative Research Agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to write a “Best Practices Airfield Marking Handbook”. The Airfield Marking Handbook was published in September 2008. Sightline serves the industry as specialty consultant intent on the improved performance of airfield markings around the world.
Retired Marine Corps Aviator/Colonel. Currently, Airport Enterprise Director for the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (HWY). Experienced in program and project management, retail sales, and strategic planning. Multi-engine fixed wing and rotary wing commercial pilot with instrument rating.
Scott Strimple is a leading educator and evangelists for small unmanned aircraft operations. He is a Captain and FAA check pilot for United Airlines and a certified flight instructor with 25000 manned flight hours. His more than 40 years operating sUA combined with extensive subject matter expertise in flight training provide Scott with an industry leading perspective to the world of unmanned flight. His leadership and experience with unmanned aviation have been recognized by his appointment to the Governor of Virginia’s Unmanned Systems Commission. He is a founding member of Virginia UAS and is an Executive Committee member and task group lead with the ASTM working closely with the FAA to develop standards for the unmanned aviation industry. As the director and founder of The Drone Flight School, Scott facilitates industry leading drone training and is frequently seen presenting at industry events, contributing written work and being quoted by numerous media outlets. He is also an Emmy award winging cinematographer, a member of the Society of Aerial Cinematographers (SOAC) and a senior flight instructor for the Unmanned Vehicle University.
Judy Lin Bristow
Judy Lin Bristow is a Partner at the firm of Williams Mullen in Richmond. She serves as a member of the Business & Corporate Practice Team, chair of the firm’s Aviation Practice and member of the firm’s Unmanned Systems Team. Her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions; corporate counseling; private securities offerings; private equity and venture capital transactions; joint ventures; business aviation transactions; anti-trust and trade regulation; and general business matters. Judy handles transactions for clients in multiple industries including the banking & financial services, insurance and insurance brokerages, government contracting and transportation industries, and she has experience working with insurance and transportation regulators.
Judy’s aviation practice focuses on serving clients who seek to own, manage and/or operate aircraft that are used for business transportation. She represents both public and private corporations and private individuals in connection with aircraft sale, purchase, leasing, fractional ownership, management, charter and financing transactions, and assists clients in structuring their aircraft operations to comply with applicable rules and regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration, Internal Revenue Service and state and local taxing authorities. Judy is also a member of the National Business Aviation Association.
Ron Gatewood is the founder and President of SkyWorld Aviation, Inc., a successful General Aviation aircraft management, and maintenance service firm. President of Tracey Corp., an airport development, management and FBO firm. President and founder of Midland Development Corp., a hanger construction firm.
Ron's military career includes 27 years command pilot with extensive flying experience in the United States, Asia and Africa as Naval Aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps. Maintenance Officer of a Marine Jet Squadron in high intensity combat operations. Executive transport pilot for U.S. ambassadors overseas and U.S. Marine Corps General Officer Transportation in the United States.
Honors: Distinguished Flying Cross - 4 Awards, Air Medal - #48 with Gold Star, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal - 2 Awards, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal.
Pat grew up in aviation in the family businesses founded by his father, the late State Senator Charles J. Colgan. Colgan Airways a FBO & regional airline and Colgan Air a Part 121 Regional Airline, both operating from the Manassas Regional Airport. The FBO offered a wide range of services including fuel, maintenance, flight school, aircraft sales and charter. Colgan Air, a regional airline, based in Manassas operated Beechcraft 1900’s and Saab 340’s. When the family sold the airline in 2007 they were operating a fleet of 53 turbo prop aircraft as partners with US Airways, Continental and United Airlines with daily scheduled service feeding major airports that included Washington Dulles, Boston Logan, Houston, Newark and La Guardia and employing more than 1200 people. Colgan operated maintenance bases in Manassas, VA, Hyannis, MA, Albany NY and Houston TX.
Pat and his brother Mike acquired Capital Aviation in 1999. They grew the company into a large Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility based in Manassas. Capital Aviation capabilities included airframe maintenance, avionics upgrades and installations, instrumentation and avionics bench repairs, tool calibration and interior refurbishment and completion. In 2017, they sold the repair station certificate to Leidos Incorporated. Pat is the General Manager of the Leidos 145 Repair Station at Manassas Regional Airport.
Delegate Richard L. Anderson (Rich) represented the 51st House District in the Virginia General Assembly. In his legislative capacity, Del. Anderson chaired the House Committee on Science and Technology and sat as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the House General Laws Committee, and the House Transportation Committee.
Rich is a native of Roanoke, graduated in 1979 from Virginia Tech, and served for 30 years in the United States Air Force before retiring in 2009 as a colonel. During his military career, he commanded Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launch centers and combat crews; led and operated a Minuteman II ICBM squadron, missiles, and launch crews; and served at HQ Strategic Air Command, HQ US Atlantic Command, HQ US Pacific Command, HQ US Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
As chair of the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus, Del. Anderson led General Assembly initiatives that affect 800,000 Virginia veterans and their dependents. He is Chairman of the Virginia War Memorial. He is also a member of the Virginia Board of Veterans Services, the Virginia War Memorial Board of Trustees, the Virginia WW I and WW II Anniversary Commemorative Commission, and the Governor’s Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities.
His non-veteran boards and commissions include chairmanship of the Virginia Commission on Civics Education, chairmanship of the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), member of the Virginia State Crime Commission, member of the Virginia Commission on Youth.
Rich holds a BA degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech and an MA degree in Public Administration from Webster University. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, and Air War College.
He served a three-year tour as National Commander of the United States Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) and is a Life Member of VFW Post 1503, American Legion Post 364, and DAV Chapter 48. He is also a member of the Freedom Museum of Prince William County.