2018 Award Recipients

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Wright Brothers Memorial Award

Michael Kasbar

(View Bio)

World Fuel Services
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

The Greater Miami Aviation Association Wright Brothers Memorial Award is the most prestigious of the GMAA’s awards. It is presented to individuals who have demonstrated innovation, vision, perseverance, and have transformed their industry segment. The WB award recognizes such revered leaders for their success in transforming their business and creating a lasting economic impact on our community.


Juan Trippe Award

John Dietrich
 John Dietrich 

(View Bio)

Atlas Air Worldwide


This award recognizes the significant contributions made by an individual to the development of international aviation. Juan Trippe started Pan American World Airways, Inc. in 1927. Under his leadership, Pan Am essentially started America’s commercial aviation advances overseas by pioneering international routes and operating global daily flights.

Glenn Curtiss Award

Luis Morell

(View Bio)

HEICO Repair Group

The Glenn Curtis Award, named for one of the GMAA founders and himself, an aviation and urban pioneer and innovator, recognizes extraordinary individuals whom have contributed to the air transport, MRO, business and private aviation sectors in the Americas. The recipient demonstrates innovation, extraordinary customer support and product quality, as well as in the field of education.

Edward V. Rickenbacker Award

willlard shepherd
Lt. Col. Willard Shepard

(View Bio)


The Edward V. Rickenbacker Award is named for the former Chairman & CEO of Eastern Air Lines, who helped make South Florida a major aviation center and set his example of American work ethics. Rickenbacker was also a WWI flying ace who fought bravely for our country. This award recognizes individuals demonstrating courage, perseverance, work ethics and charitable work.


The Pioneer Award

judge cristol
Judge A.J. Cristol

(View Bio)

This award is given to demonstrate deep appreciation to an individual who has dedicated their life to the aviation industry and is revered by his peers to be an outstanding role model. Recipients either achieved a unique pioneering status, or have demonstrated consistent integrity over many years.

Corporate Achievement Award


(About ISTAT)

Accepting the award on behalf of ISTAT is GMAA member David Sutton (View Bio). David is President & CEO of VLF Aviation Services, which is based in Miami. He serves as a board member and officer of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading and is a former Chairman of the ISTAT Foundation Board of Trustees.


This award recognizes the contributions of a corporation or an association to the aviation industry and the South Florida Community.

A Big Thank You To This Year’s Sponsors!