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2022 WAMA Award Winners

October 17, 2022 4:06 PM | Anonymous

Each year, the Wisconsin Airport Management Association recognizes individuals who have made an impact on aviation in the state!

Airport Engineer Award:

Ryan Falch, SEH

Ryan, now a senior engineer with SEH, has assisted many airports in part 139 inspections, Capital Improvement and Master Planning, and runway reconstruction. For four years while a member of the MSA’s Aviation division, he designed, engineered, and managed several large-scale projects at Alexander Field (KISW) in Wisconsin Rapids. What sets Ryan apart is his dedication to familiarizing himself with the airfield, community, and stakeholders. 

Distinguished Service Award:

Michael Stephens, Dane County Regional Airport

Michael currently serves as the Director of Operations and Public Safety for the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison. He has been an invaluable resource and friend to Wisconsin airports in many professional capacities, including as a former FAA Certification Safety Inspector for the Great Lakes Region. Michael is always willing to assist when called upon by his fellow airport operators, and his vast knowledge and extensive connections will be greatly missed when he retires.

Lifetime Service Award:

Randy Van Natta, Becher Hoppe

Randy served as president and CEO of Becher Hoppe Associates, an engineering consulting firm in Wausau, Wisconsin, from 2004 through 2021. While president, he continued to actively consult on airport improvement projects and provide quality assurance reviews. His passion for aviation kept him involved in airport consulting. Randy and Becher Hoppe are long-time supporters of the Wisconsin Airport Management Association and the Wisconsin Aviation Conference. Since the beginning of 2022, Randy has served as a senior consultant at Becher Hoppe.

Blue Light Award:

Frank Pipia, Jr., TSA

Frank is the TSA stakeholder manager for Wisconsin. In this role, he wears many hats, all of them well. Frank handles strategic communications and public affairs, graphic design, and public and media relations. He works closely with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation and often invites delegation members to tour Wisconsin airports while Congress is in recess. Frank also coordinates and promotes TSA Pre-Check enrollment events. During COVID, Frank was a steadying presence, relaying to the public the positive things airports implemented to keep the traveling public safe.

Person of the Year Award:

Josh Holbrook, WBOA

Josh is a project manager with the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics. Project managers typically are only assigned one commercial service airport. Still, Josh has juggled Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (EAU) and Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) on multiple occasions, including the last year. Both airports have an extensive capital improvement program and have added additional projects with CARES and AIG funding. Josh always supports airports aggressively pursuing funding opportunities and never says no when asked to help with another project. Even when stretched thin due to staffing shortages and additional federal grant programs, Josh delivers for his airports.

Congratulations to all!

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