Keynote Speakers

John T. Brogan
President and Chief Executive Officer
United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG)

John T. Brogan joined the company in 1997. John began his career as a senior accountant, then in 2001 became a general aviation underwriter in the New York office. He has held a series of management roles, from branch manager, to Senior Vice President and regional supervisor, to Executive Vice President and manager of both general aviation and workers’ compensation departments. In February 2016, John became President and COO, overseeing all underwriting and claims departments and was named Chief Executive Officer in 2017. John is active in a wide range of aviation and insurance organizations and associations. He is a member of the Aviation Insurance Association’s Eagle Society, he serves on the Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Advisory Committee, the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Executive Committee, The Wings Club Board of Governors, the General Aviation Study Group of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI) and is a Certified Aviation Insurance Professional.

Pete Bunce
President and CEO
GAMA

In April 2005, Peter (Pete) Bunce became President and CEO of GAMA, which has North American headquarters in Washington, D.C. and European/Middle East headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. He and the GAMA staff travel worldwide engaging regulators, policymakers, and elected officials to promote general aviation and advance the interests of GAMA’s global membership of more than 100 airframe, avionics, engine, and component manufacturers, as well as the world’s leading business aviation maintenance, repair, and overall companies. Pete retired from the United States Air Force in March 2005, with his last assignment as the Director of the Air Force Congressional Budget and Appropriations Liaison. During his 26-year Air Force career, Pete flew F-15s and A-10s, while commanding several large operational fighter units. Pete was named the 2007 Aviation Industry Leader of the Year by the Living Legends of Aviation. In December 2009, he was awarded the ICAS Sword of Excellence, the air show industry’s premier annual award. In January 2010, he was inducted as one of the 70 Living Legends of Aviation.

Shaesta Waiz
Founder
Dreams Soar, Inc.

Shaesta Waiz, founder of the non-profit organization Dreams Soar, Inc., flew around the world solo in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft in 2017, becoming the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft. The purpose of the global flight was to inspire the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and aviation professionals, particularly young girls. Shaesta flew over 24,000 nautical miles on her 145-day journey, visiting 22 countries across five continents. She inspired over 3,000 children and young adults on her global flight, hosting 32 Outreach events in 14 of those countries. Born in an Afghan refugee camp, she and her family immigrated to America in 1987 when she was a young child to escape the Soviet-Afghan war. After discovering her passion for aviation at age 18, Shaesta attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, the first in her family to do so. Shaesta holds a commercial pilot license and is the first certified civilian female pilot from Afghanistan. Shaesta is the recipient of the National Aeronautic Association’s 2017 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Trophy, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s 2018 Trophy for Current Achievement, and the Royal Institute of Navigation’s 2018 Certificate of Achievement.

Speakers

Andrew Broom
Chief Executive Officer
Citation Jet Pilots and the CJP Safety and Education Foundation

Andrew Broom – Chief Executive Officer of Citation Jet Pilots and the CJP Safety and Education Foundation Andrew Broom is an accomplished aviation leader with executive experience at both aircraft manufacturers and member associations. He joined CJP after successfully launching the HondaJet for Honda Aircraft Company where he led all marketing and communications efforts globally from 2012 to 2016. Prior to Honda he was Vice President of Communications and Outreach at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and had responsibilities that included advocacy programs, efforts to grow the pilot population, and the annual AOPA Aviation Summit. Broom has also worked at Hawker Beechcraft, Eclipse Aviation, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He earned both a BS in Aeronautical Science and an MBA from Embry-Riddle, and completed his Certified Flight instructor, Instrument Instructor ratings.

David Miller
Chairman
CJP Safety and Education Foundation

David Miller – CJP Safety and Education Foundation Chairman, CJP Director and Founding Member David Miller was Chairman, President and CEO of Auto Wax Company, Inc., in Dallas for 30 years until selling the company to ITW, Inc., in 2005. Since then, Miller has focused his efforts as a volunteer partner of Dallas Social Venture Partners, developing effective boards for start-up nonprofits. He is also a volunteer pilot for Lighthawk, in which he flies endangered species to release points in North America. Miller has an ATP rating and has accumulated over 6,000 hours. In addition, he has type ratings in the Sabre 40/60 (NA265), Falcon 10/50 (DA 10 and DA 50), Citation 525S and Citation Mustang 510S. Miller is a former board chair and life trustee of The Lamplighter School, Oak Hill Academy and an advisor to Greenhill School in Dallas. Miller authored an aviation book, "Confessions of a Very Private Pilot," writes monthly columns in Twin and Turbine magazine, and speaks on aviation topics.

Ashby Underhill

Coquina Law Group P.A.

Ashby Underhill is an experienced trial attorney at Coquina Law Group P.A. in St. Augustine, Florida. He has tried over 30 jury trials and countless bench trials. Ashby is Board Certified in Aviation Law by the Florida Bar. He focuses his practice on civil litigation, aviation litigation, insurance defense and real-estate litigation. He is routinely in the courtroom and has successfully represented many clients in jury trials. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been designated as a Super Lawyer Rising Star. Prior to founding Coquina Law Group, Ashby was a lead trial attorney at an insurance defense firm. While there, he tried many jury trials, which ranged from simple whiplash/neck injury cases to traumatic brain injury cases. He has successfully represented insurance companies against coverage claims and bad faith claims. Ashby was a prosecutor at the State Attorney’s Office of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, in St. Johns and Flagler County and was awarded the 2013 Trial Top Gun for the Seventh Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in 2013. Ashby graduated Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida in 2010. During law school he clerked for a construction law firm and was a Law Clerk for the Honorable Harmon Drew in the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Ashby was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches Louisiana where he competed in College Rodeos and graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration. Ashby was raised in an aviation family which resulted in his passion for flying and aviation

Britt A. Kral
Senior Underwriter
Hallmark Aerospace

Britt A. Kral is currently a Senior Underwriter for Hallmark Aerospace, located in Dallas, Texas since 2012. Britt had previously worked as an Aviation insurance agent for four years at Wenk Aviation in Highland Park, Illinois. Britt grew up and attended school in Lake Forest, Illinois. She is a competitive show jumper, marathon runner and avid tennis player, currently residing in the Turtle Creek area of Dallas Texas.

Donald J. Chupp
President and CEO
Fireside Partners Inc.

Appointed in 2018 as the Honorary Commander of the 436th Aircraft Maintenance Group, Dover Air Force Base, DE. Selected in 2017 to develop an Emergency Response Planning platform for the Commercial Space Transportation industry that will meet recent Federal Aviation Administration requirements for licensing and operations. Awarded the 2016 United States Department of Labor, Veteran Owned Business of the Year; State of Delaware. Routinely hires veterans and supports employee members of the National Guard and Reserve Forces; Corporate partner to the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). Engineered and delivered Live-Action Emergency Response Drill at the 2015 National Business Aviation (NBAA) Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference and the 2015 Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition; attendance and approval numbers break multiple records. Developed a Strategic Communications Workshops for the Council of Europe (COE), Directorate of Communication and his staff. Met with the COE Secretariat to discuss the current state of humanitarian response in major aviation accidents, and international implications for the future. Developed and delivered Crisis Communications trainings for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and prepared their technical specialists for investigative testimony in Washington, D.C. regarding the US Airways Flight 1549 ditching into the Hudson River, New York. Worked closely with NASA astronauts to develop professional development curriculum for the new NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), an innovative internal accident and mishap investigation office. Dispatched as a national resource expert to assist federal authorities in the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita response. Developed acute training protocols for Red Cross field volunteers serving in the Gulf area, many of whom had never dealt with mass casualty events.

John Springrose
Vice President and Aviation Practice Leader
Higginbotham Insurance Agency, Inc.

John Springrose is Vice President and Aviation Practice Leader with Higginbotham Insurance Agency in Houston, TX. John graduated with a BA in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as well as a BS in Aerospace Science from University of North Dakota. John has been in the aviation industry since 2002 first with Cessna Finance Company prior to moving to AIG Aviation, where he was Senior Underwriter and Assistant Branch Manager. In 2010, he joined Colt International/World Fuel Services as a Risk Manager and subsequently starting an aviation insurance brokerage, Colt Risk Management Services. In 2018, Higginbotham Insurance Agency, Inc. acquired Colt Risk Management Services.

Andrea Palmer
Senior Risk Management Analyst
Higginbotham Insurance Agency, Inc.

Andrea M. Palmer is a Senior Risk Management Analyst with Higginbotham in Fort Worth, Texas. Andrea graduated with a B.A. in history from the University of Texas and cum laude from Baylor School of Law, which she attended on a full academic scholarship. After law school, Andrea spent five years litigating with the law firm of Anderson & Riddle, LLP, in Fort Worth, Texas. Andrea represented pilots, manufacturers, MROs/FBOs, and common carriers in state and federal court throughout the United States. In 2018, Andrea joined Higginbotham, where she provides contract review, coverage analysis, and claims handling to the firm’s aviation clients.

Elizabeth Vasseur-Browne

Cooling & Herbers, P.C.

Elizabeth Vasseur-Browne is an attorney with Cooling & Herbers, P.C. in Kansas City, Missouri. Her practice focuses on defending aircraft component manufactures, aviation businesses, aircraft owners, pilots, aerial applicators and mechanics in state and federal courts. She also defends certificate holders against FAA and DOT administrative sanctions and enforcement actions and represents clients before the NTSB. She is a licensed pilot.

Luke Uithoven
Vice President
Kimmel Aviation Insurance Agency

Luke Uithoven is the Vice President of Kimmel Aviation Insurance Agency, Inc located in Greenwood Mississippi, an agency specializing in agriculture aviation but also covering a wide range of the aviation industry including warbirds, corporate aircraft, pleasure and business aircraft, hangars, and workers compensation. Luke holds a degree from Mississippi State University in Risk Management, Insurance and Financial Planning. He is licensed in 48 states and has completed the Leadership Training program within the National Agricultural Aviation Association sponsored by Syngenta. He is a licensed pilot and an active member in the Aviation Insurance Association, the National Agricultural Aviation Association, and the Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association. Within the Aviation Insurance Association, Luke has contributed to the Education Committee for 10 years and currently continues to serve. In 2015, he was elected to represent the Agents and Brokers Division on the Aviation Insurance Association Board of Directors and served for 2 years. Currently he is serving the Board of Directors as a Director at Large. Luke, an Eagle Scout, also serves on the Mississippi State alumni board of Leflore County and is the President of Kappa Sigma Alumni for the Delta Chi chapter. In his free time, he enjoys flying, golfing, and ringing his cowbell at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. He lives in Greenwood with his wife, Lindsey and their young son, Hatch.

Mica Nguyen Worthy
Partner
Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Mica serves as legal counsel to clients in the aviation and global supply chain industries, representing airports, general aviation companies, FBOs, and manufacturing, technology, and service companies. She has experience with assisting clients in defending claims involving products liability, aviation accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death claims, as well as providing analysis of issues involving aviation expert witness challenges, aircraft valuation and damages, and contract dispute resolution. Mica assists clients through pre-suit negotiations, mediation, arbitration and litigation in State and Federal Courts. As a Certified Global Business Professional (NASBITE), Mica has a specific focus on assisting global clients with their international operations including trade issues, international contracts, trade credit payment disputes, international arbitration, and dispute resolution. Mica is a founding Board Member of the Charlotte International Arbitration Society, and has served as Chair of the N.C. Bar Association’s International Law & Practice Section. She is also currently a member of the Carolinas World Trade Association, and was recently accepted to join the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC).

Michele C. Sears
Partner
Michele C. Sears

Michele Sears focuses her practice of defense litigation in the areas of aviation, professional liability, premises liability, personal injury product liability. Michele represents major airlines and a host of other entities in the aviation, including fixed-base operators, third-party airport operators and airline contractors in a myriad of claims in the aviation field. She has defended aircraft crash cases involving claims of pilot error, defective components and negligent maintenance. Michele’s aviation practice also includes handling personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, and civil rights claims within the aviation field, as well as complex indemnity and insurance coverage issues that often arise in aviation litigation. Michele also directly represents insurance carriers in coverage and bad faith matters. She has represented major insurers and other clients in both state and federal courts in a wide range of complex claims and disputes. Many of these matters have included issues involving contracts, insurance coverage and indemnity claims. Michele has sixteen years of complex tort litigation and trial experience.

Mitchell Garber

Dr. Mitchell Garber is a physician and engineer with over 25 years of military and civilian experience in transportation accident investigation. He was the first and only full-time Medical Officer at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), participated in well over 1000 investigations in all transportation modes, and has presented testimony to Congress regarding medical issues in transportation accidents. He specializes in the investigation of medical issues in transportation and other accidents, including the evaluation of pathology, toxicology, human performance, and biomechanics in accident investigation. Dr. Garber has addressed a wide range of medical and human factors issues in all transportation modes, including physical standards, fatigue, perception, medication use, visual impairment, obstructive sleep apnea, substance dependence, injury analysis, egress and evacuation concerns, ergonomics, and the effects of pre-existing disease on transportation operator performance, among others. Additional work specific to aviation has included investigations of hypoxia, spatial disorientation, and visual and vestibular illusions. He has often been called upon to evaluate the potential role of subtle cognitive impairment from a variety of causes in complex transportation accidents. Dr. Garber also has expertise in the optimization of ergonomics for customized office and industrial workstations. He has held a private pilot certification since 1996.

Nicholas Methven
SVP, Underwriting Executive
Global Aerospace

Nick Methven joined Global Aerospace in 2002 as an executive underwriter in the Northeast Regional office. In 2009, he was promoted to Senior Vice President heading up the Atlanta office and later became responsible for the Chicago and Dallas offices as well. In July 2013, Nick was appointed to the role of Senior Vice President, Underwriting Executive and is currently responsible for leading Global's Manufacturers Product Liability underwriting department and developing underwriting strategy for other product lines. Nick received his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Science from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY and later earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Delaware. Nick holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Certified Aviation Insurance Professional (CAIP) designations. He is also an instrument rated private pilot.

Robert S. Werderich
President/Founder
Robert S. Werderich

*Organize and monitor the operation of: flight school, maintenance, corporate flights, traffic observation flights, college education programs, computer testing center and retail sales including e-commerce. *Obtained Cirrus Certified Training Center status in 2005 *Obtained the first and only “Aviation Vocational School” status from the Illinois State Board of Education in 2010 *Manage corporate aircraft for Bison Gear, McGrath Air Group, Maplecrest Construction, Bice Vehicles, Illinois Truck and Rose Packing *FAA 141 certified school *Approved by the Veterans Association *AOPA Top 10% Flight School in America 2016, 2017 and 2018

Benjamin Weber
Head of Aviation & Space
PartnerRe

Aviation (Re-)Insurance practitioner since 1986. Started as Treaty Underwriter with Winterthur Re in Switzerland, he then joined PartnerRe in 1998 when Winterthur Re was sold to PartnerRe. Longest serving head of department at PartnerRe. In addition, he served the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI) in various functions and became its president in 2011 and 2012.

Selina Tvenge
Aviation Reinsurance Underwriter
PartnerRe

Selina Tvenge is an Aviation Reinsurance Underwriter at PartnerRe, where she works with clients in the US, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining the treaty underwriting team in 2013, Selina worked as Claims Analyst at PartnerRe for five years with focus on aviation reinsurance claims. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Risk and Insurance from the ZHAW School of Management and Law in Zurich and acquired technical knowledge at the FTS Aviation Engineering School in Zurich.

Susan Hofer
Partner
Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Susan Hofer serves as the Chair of the firm’s Aviation Litigation Practice Group. Susan has been litigating since 1988 and is licensed to practice law in North Carolina. She has also been admitted to practice Pro Hac Vice in many other jurisdictions. She joined the Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP team in 2014. In addition to her extensive litigation experience, Susan is an FAA certificated pilot, holding commercial and certified flight instructor, small unmanned aircraft system, remote pilot, instrument airplane, and glider certificates. This combined expertise, along with a technical background from extensive patent research experience, enables her to effectively and successfully analyze and litigate aviation, products liability, and other technically-based cases. She has successfully represented manufacturers, pilots, mechanics, FBOs, Part 135 operators, and others in matters involving everything from complex litigation arising from major air crashes to FAA enforcement actions. Over the years Susan has spoken numerous times to various aviation and legal groups and taught a college course in Aviation Law. Susan is an active member of aviation and legal organizations including the North Carolina Bar, American Bar Association, Aviation Insurance Association, International Aviation Womens Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, Organization of Flying Adjusters, National Business Aviation Association, and is a Panel Attorney for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Susan is an active pilot, who flies a Mooney 252 in the course of her law practice and for enjoyment. She was elected as an officer of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, presided as President of the organization in 2008-2009, and now serves on the Board of Directors.