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Meet our Board Members

Jim Hopkins
Chairman of the Board

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Ron Gatewood
Board Member

Catie Austin Brown
Board Member

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Rich Anderson

Thomas "Mike" Mickel
Chairman Emeritus


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Craig Parisot
Board Member


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Shane Combs
Board Member


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John Earl
Board Member


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Donna Lawson
Board Member



George Snyder
Board Member


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Tom Walker
Board Member


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Greg Campbell
Board Member



Joe Oyler
Board Member


Rod Hall
Board Member


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Jim Hopkins was elected as Chairman in December 2022.


Jim has 35 years of administrative, financial and operational experience in the aviation industry, with Signature Flight Support and its predecessor companies. During his tenure, he has held various roles from flying aircraft, to overseeing the fixed base operation (FBO) network, MRO and Aircraft Management & Charter operations. Jim is a graduate of Virginia Tech, with a major in management science. He is an ATP pilot and has over 5,000 hours of flight time.


His role at Signature Flight Support is Senior Vice President, Airport Relations and Strategic Programs. Jim is responsible for Signature’s relationships with the airports it serves in North America and opening new opportunities for both the airport and the airport’s community.

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.

Catie Austin-Brown is a native of Buchanan, Virginia.  She is Vice President at Austin Electrical Construction, Inc. (AEC), a family-owned business founded by her father in 1977.  AEC specializes in airfield lighting installation and maintenance, and the installation, maintenance and inspection of AWOS Systems and Navigational Aids.  The company serves air carrier and general aviation airports in Virginia and throughout the East Coast.


Ms. Austin-Brown graduated from Mary Baldwin University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an Elementary Education Teaching License.  She taught elementary school in Rockbridge County for seventeen years before assuming a full-time leadership role with AEC. 


Catie resides in Lexington, Virginia with her husband Stuart and their three children.  

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.


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.

Mike stepped down as Chairman after being elected as Chairman of the VABA in August 2016. He founded Dominion Aviation in 1983 as an aircraft management and charter company and is the President and CEO. 


Dominion Aviation Services is located at the Chesterfield County Airport. As a 35 year veteran of corporate aviation, he 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.

Craig is an accomplished leader, entrepreneur and operational executive. Over his 25-year career as a military officer and private sector executive, Craig has built a reputation as an innovator and results focused strategic thought leader doing business collaboratively and ethically. He is the President and CEO of ATA LLC, a Virginia data and AI solutions company with full stack skills and capabilities focused on bringing rigor, automation, and quality assurance to complex data platforms and data science applications.

Along with VABA, he was appointed by Governor Youngkin to represent Region 3 on the Virginia Aviation Board and is the current Chairman of the Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education (VA FREE). Craig is also a Senior Advisor to Virginia’s Lt Governor on aerospace, aviation and economic development.  He is a member of Rotary International and a corporate partner to the National Association of State Aviation Officials. He previously served on the Virginia Department of Aviation’s UAS Working Group and supports the Virginia Advanced Air Mobility Alliance (VAAMA) and the Aerospace States Association.

Craig engages in angel and growth stage investing. He has an MBA from Cal Poly and is an alumnus of Harvard’s Senior Executive Course in National and International Security. Craig lives in Great Falls, Virginia with his son, Jackson, and is passionate about family, fitness, community, art, comedy and improv, business, economic growth, technology and national security.

With over 27 years of experience in the aviation industry, Shane Combs is a seasoned professional who leads the completions sales and design team at Citadel Completions LLC, a premier provider of aircraft interior and exterior modifications. He is a certified project manager (CPM) and a lean six sigma (LSS) facilitator, with expertise in sales, operations, project planning, and team building.

Shane has a proven track record of delivering successful completion projects for a variety of clients, ranging from private owners to government agencies. He has also contributed to the growth and development of several aviation organizations, such as Dynamic Aviation, Aloft AeroArchitects, Dassault Falcon Jet, and Gulfstream Aerospace, where he held various leadership and managerial roles. Shane is passionate about advancing the aviation industry and serves as a board member of the Virginia Aviation Business Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports aviation businesses in the state.

John Earl is the FBO Manager at AU Aviation Services. At age 17, just after high school, John packed up his Datsun 510 and relocated from Southern California to Kansas City where he went to work for a small aviation company in Olathe, KS. That is when he discovered that being around aircraft and an airport FBO was cool (secret, it still is).


Throughout the ensuing years his career level progressed to the point where he was holding senior level titles in various locations throughout the United States. He has worked and lived in such diverse location such as Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Donna Lawson recently retired from the position as the legislative affairs officer for NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Since 2003, she had been responsible for developing and implementing strategies to communicate the value of NASA and Langley’s programs to federal, state and local government officials. She earned a master’s degree in Technical Communication and Management from Old Dominion University and is a resident of Poquoson, Virginia.


She is deeply committed to building advocacy for NASA and maintaining US leadership in aerospace. She collaborates with industry, academia and community leaders on cooperative efforts to raise awareness of the importance of NASA and the aerospace industry to the future and economic vitality of our Nation.  Read more.

George's dedication and commitment to the aviation industry led him to found GHS Aviation Group in 2004. George's passion for aviation and his desire to use the experiences gained from his top level executive positions at US Airways and Korean Air to make a difference in the global aviation industry has been the foundation upon which the “GHS” culture of respect, responsiveness to clients, and always exceeding a client’s expectations has been built.


Beginning his career with US Airways as a line pilot, George subsequently ascended to senior management positions. He served US Airways from 1994 to 1997 as Director of Flight Safety and Quality Assurance before being promoted to the position of Vice President Corporate Safety & Regulatory Compliance in 1997. Following these successes, George was recruited by Korean Air in January 2000 to head its Corporate Safety, Aviation Security, and Regulatory Compliance Department in Seoul, Republic of Korea.  Read more.

Tom is the founder and CEO of DroneUp, the leading complete drone services provider, transforming businesses and government organizations with drone technology solutions. DroneUp’s diverse suite of products includes flight services, data analysis, drone program development, regulatory consulting, training, equipment, and drone delivery.

Recognized as a UAS industry pioneer with patented mobile app technology and a commitment to research and development, DroneUp further fuels invention and application across private and public sectors. With our people, services, and innovative solutions, DroneUp delivers on operational challenges with efficiency, reliability, and safety. Read more.

Greg Campbell serves as the Director of the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), appointed by Governor Glenn Youngkin.


Campbell previously served as Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) since 1992.  He is certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives and a past president of the Virginia Airport Operators’ Council.  As SHD’s Executive Director, Campbell promoted commercial air service for the Shenandoah Valley; led the Airport Commission’s 25 employees; and oversaw all aspects of business and air service development, marketing, operations, public safety, finance, planning and capital improvements.


Greg has passionately served his community over the years.  He serves as a board member of the Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA).  He is a past president of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce; former chairman of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership; and recently served as a board member on Go Virginia Region 8.  Campbell was named Airport Manager of the Year in 1996; was selected as Aviation Person of the Year in 2012; and was awarded the James Madison University Public Servant Award in 2013.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bridgewater College.

Joe Oyler is the Senior Manager of State and Local Government Operations at The Boeing Company. He leads state and local government relations activities in the Mid-Atlantic Region for key Boeing geographical areas that include Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Ohio.


Before joining The Boeing Company, Oyler served as Managing Director of Public Policy for the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), overseeing infrastructure and economic development policy. In 2022, the DRC was recognized as the National Chamber of the Year. Prior to joining the DRC's Public Policy team, Oyler served as Managing Director of Leadership Programs for the DRC.


Oyler's background includes time as a communications and legislative affairs consultant within the Department of Justice; military program management consultant within the Department of Defense; policy intern to U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1); and legislative researcher at The Franklin Partnership, a government relations firm that represented the City of Fort Worth.


Oyler was appointed by Governor Glenn Youngkin to the Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council. He also serves as a commissioner of the Arlington Economic Development Commission and on the boards of the Virginia Aviation Business Association, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and the National Landing Business Improvement District.


Mr. Oyler served in the United States military as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps Reserve and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Virginia Wesleyan College.


He and his wife, Brittany, live in Stafford, Virginia with their dog, Trooper.

Rod Hall is a government affairs advisor in the Washington Office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP. His practice focuses on transportation and infrastructure issues. Mr. Hall advises an array of corporate and municipal clients on legislative, political, and regulatory matters before both houses of Congress as well as the Executive Branch. Prior to joining the firm, President Obama appointed Mr. Hall to serve as the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) assistant administrator for Government Affairs. For five years, Mr. Hall served as the principal advisor to two FAA administrators on matters concerning Congress, aviation industry groups, and other governmental organizations. Before joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Hall served as a senior congressional staffer within the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2015 Mr. Hall was appointed by Governor Terence R. McAuliffe as a member to the Virginia Aviation Board. During his eight-year tenure on the board, Mr. Hall represented multiple geographic regions and is the immediate past Chairman. He also serves as a member of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority and as the Prince William County representative on the Stafford Regional Airport Authority.

Mr. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dillard University (New Orleans) and also a master's in political science. Mr. Hall and his family reside in Manassas, VA.

Cynthia Lawrence
Board Member


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Cynthia is the Director of the Office of Workforce Development at Carilion Clinic. Prior to joining Carilion, Cynthia founded and led two companies from 1986 – 2015, when they were acquired.


Cynthia is the founding President of the Blue Ridge Partnership for Health Science Careers and serves on the boards of the Virginia Lottery, Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Authority, Mill Mountain Theatre and Virginia Ready.  She is a member of the Virginia Chamber’s Workforce and Education Committee and is on the President’s Advisory Council for Hollins University and Advisory Board for the Department of Management at the Pamplin College of Business.  She recently completed three terms on the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Commission as a City of Roanoke appointee.


Cynthia serves on numerous civic arts, education, and human services boards in the area. In 2018, she and her husband Mark received the Silver Hope Award from the MS Society in honor of their community service. Cynthia is a native and lifelong resident of Roanoke, Virginia.  The Lawrences live in Roanoke City. 


Bud Oakey
Bud Oakey, President
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Craig Whitham,
Vice President
Katie Hellebush,  Director
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Kelly Evans, Member Specialist
Tamara Ridenour, Deputy Director
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