APRIL 9, 2010, ORLANDO, Fla. — Each year during the AEA International Convention, two prestigious awards are presented at the AEA Annual Awards Luncheon: the AEA Member of the Year, which honors an individual from an AEA regular member company; and the AEA Associate Member of the Year, which honors a company that is an AEA associate member. This year’s winners were announced this afternoon during the annual luncheon, which featured guest speaker Jeff Skiles, first officer of US Airways Flight 1549, “The Miracle on the Hudson.”
The 2010 honorees are DAC International, which was chosen the AEA Associate Member of the Year, and Rick Ochs of Spirit Avionics, who was named the AEA Member of the Year.
DAC International, Austin, Texas
Organized in 1980 by Terry Armstrong and Michael Crouch, DAC International, a Greenwich AeroGroup Co. located in Austin, Texas, offers avionics and test equipment solutions for corporate and general aviation, airlines, special missions and military aircraft operators, modification centers and manufacturers worldwide.
With many years of experience working as regional marketing directors of a Fortune 500 aerospace company, Armstrong and Crouch recognized the business opportunities of representing small, U.S.-based avionics manufacturers to worldwide markets.
The DAC concept was to identify a group of companies that produced quality products but could not justify an in-house international marketing arm. DAC’s extensive knowledge of worldwide buyers and sellers, combined with a broad base of manufacturers, became an excellent resource when working with the airlines, aircraft OEMs, executive aviation dealerships and brokerage companies. As DAC’s success grew, the company was approached by major equipment manufacturers for exclusive sales contracts.
DAC works with quality avionics manufacturers and often is viewed more as an extension of the manufacturer’s sales team than an outside distributor. DAC now has in-house capability for avionics design, system integration design and manufacturing.
DAC International has been an active AEA member since 1983, and its staff regularly attends the AEA International Convention & Trade Show and all regional meetings in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the South Pacific.
Rick Ochs, Spirit Avionics, Columbus, Ohio
Rick Ochs founded and manages Spirit Avionics Ltd., an FAA-certified avionics repair station in Columbus, Ohio.
Ochs previously had an extensive career in the United States Navy and private avionics industry. With more than 25 years experience, Ochs has become a well-known representative and leader within the avionics community.
He is dedicated to establishing avionics technicians’ national certification and academic accreditation standards to enhance professional development.
Ochs presently serves on the AEA board of directors and is a member of the AEA Program and Member Services Committee. He also is involved in other industry organizations, such as NBAA, NCATT, EAA and Youth Aviation Adventure. He serves on several advisory boards and has received many FAA and FCC certifications and awards. Ochs is passionate about youth aviation careers and has invested a large amount of time and energy highlighting the positive potential of aviation careers.
Nominees for the 2010 AEA Member of the Year and 2010 AEA Associate Member of the Year were:
AEA MEMBER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:
• PETER FLANAGAN, Pacific Avionics, Bankstown, NSW, Australia
• Kirk Fryar, Sarasota Avionics, Venice, Fla., United States
• Soren Jakobsen, Dansk Fly Elektronik, Roskilde, Denmark
• Michael Kus, Avionics 2000, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
• Rick Ochs, Spirit Avionics, Columbus, Ohio, United States
AEA ASSOCIATE MEMBER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:
• DAC International
• Flight Display Systems
• J.P. Instruments
• L-3 Avionics Systems
• Satcom Direct
• Universal Avionics Systems Corp.
Click here for high-resolution photo of Rick Ochs and the DAC International logo.
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Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including government-certified international repair stations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of avionics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.