Agenda and Events


Conference Highlights:

Sunday, May 6

Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Hampton Cove

Robert Trent Jones, Hampton Cove is a 54-hole facility with terrain that drastically changes from one side of the property to the other. Renovated in 2008, The Highlands course has been restored to its original Scottish Links design. Completely opposite in design is the River course, the only Robert Trent Jones layout without a single bunker. The River Course is a throwback to the way courses were built long ago. The dirt was merely pushed up to create the greens and tees, leaving all else, including massive oak trees, undisturbed.

The Highlands course, where our tournament will take place, is one of the gems of the Trail. The finishing holes are scenic and challenging. One of the most recognizable landmarks on the Trail is the old mule barn beside the fifth hole.  Click Here for a Course Tour

Welcome Reception with Exhibitors at Von Braun Civic Center

We will host a Welcome Reception with the Exhibitors at the Von Braun Civic Center on Sunday, May 6 to kick-off the SEC-AAAE 2018 conference.This will take place just before buses are loaded to go to our Welcome Social & Evening Event.  Everyone is welcome to attend this reception, but special guests will be first time conference attendees.

Opening Evening Social at Campus 805

Go back in time and back to school with us at the Opening Evening Social that is being held at Campus 805. Once a landmark of Huntsville City School System, this former school facility has an athletic and academic legacy of it’s own.  Hundreds of students passed through it’s doors.  Now the entertainment venue pays homage to it’s history with the name Campus 805.  The building traded in broom closets for breweries and homework for hanging out.

Straight to Ale and YellowHammer Brewery (local breweries) are both located here as well as a variety of other fantastic eateries and entertainment establishments.   We will welcome conference guests to Huntsville with a taste of our best brews, grub and one of our favorite local bands. See more here: Campus 805.

Monday, May 7

Keynote Speaker- Kristin Scroggins

The Future Workforce and Your Mission to Make it Successful

Kristin Scroggin has her Masters in Communication Studies, Bachelors in Communication Arts and has been a Communications Lecturer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for 11 years. Her passion is generational diversity, and for the past five years she has spoken at conferences and to organizations across the United States ranging from Fortune 500 companies to tiny non-profits.

Generational Diversity is one of the major issues managers of all levels are facing today.  With approximately half of the current US population under 33 years of age and 50% of executives expected to retire in the next ten years, organizations must begin putting a plan in place to attract and retain top talent.  If turnover is taking up more of your budget and time than you would like then you need to hear this presentation from genWHY Communication Strategies and Kristin Scroggin.

Awards Lunch

The Awards Lunch will be held at the Von Braun Center and feature a southern table theme.

Spouse Event

A Twickenham Tour through Alabama’s largest antebellum district awaits your spouse. The antebellum district features Federal, Italianate and classical architecture. Tour goers will also see 1819 Weeden House Museum, Alabama’s oldest house open to public.  This tour will be by local trolley and will feature samplings of fine spirits along the way.  The tour will end at Cotton Row for lunch and a cooking class with Chef James Boyce. Jimmy is a well-known chef who is regularly featured on the cooking segment of The Today Show, in Martha Stewart Weddings, and on Martha Stewart Living Radio. He and his restaurants are also featured in highly acclaimed magazines from Cooking Light, and Food & Wine, to Men’s Health.

President’s Reception, Dinner & Death by Chocolate at Von Braun Civic Center

The President’s Reception  will be held at the Von Braun Center and feature an elegant white table cloth dining experience that elevates, but still articulates the fine southern cuisine from across our conference.  Dinner will be followed by a Death by Chocolate  Dessert Crawl & feature the band JUICE.

Tuesday, May 8

Space & Rocket Center Lunch with Astronaut Hoot Gibson

Robert Lee “Hoot” Gibson is known as the man who’s flown everything. He is a former American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, and a retired NASA astronaut, as well as a professional pilot who currently races regularly at the annual Reno Air Races.  Hoot will be the keynote speaker for our lunch event at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Space Camp

The Huntsville International Airport Host Activity gives conference participants the Space Camp experience with a Competition, Awards Ceremony and Graduation from Space Camp at the end of the day.  Space Camp activities are first come/ first serve so register early and make your request for activities from the list below:

Underwater Astronaut Program (UAS):Participants will learn basic scuba safety skills with certified instructors and then dive to the bottom of a 24 foot Underwater Astronaut Trainer to master challenges simulated with microgravity. (It’s how real astronauts train.)  In addition, this challenge will include a Science on Orbit Tour to give participants a true sense of what it’s like to live and work in space.

Space Program Experience (SPE):  Teams will learn about how thermal protection systems shield spacecraft then they will build their own thermal protection shield.  Participants will also feel what it’s like to walk on the moon using a simulator that makes them feel a fraction of their weight.  The Multi-Axis Trainer is a gyroscope that lets you experience the feeling of disorientation while in a tumble-spin.

Aviation Challenge (AC):  Participants will train to be a fighter pilot where they learn to fly a supersonic jet, survive in enemy territory and push it to the max in a military grade centrifuge.  In the final mission of this activity the team flies together to disable rogue fighters.  This experience also includes an AC Plane Tour.

Museum Experience (ME):  You’ll hop on a bus from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for an exciting tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center facilities including stops at the Historic Rocket Test Stands and the Payload Operations Center, which is the science command post for the International Space Station.  When you return you’ll tour the Davidson Center museum with a guide that is a retired NASA Marshall Space Flight center employee so that you receive first-hand accounts from one of the people that developed the genuine artifacts on display.  Because of the location of the tour all participants in this activity must be U.S. citizens and have a picture I.D.


Our final evening will feature a full concert with iconic American rock band CHICAGO.  The have recorded over 36 albums and sold over 100,000,000 records.  They are famous for popular hits like You’re the Inspiration, Hard to Say I’m Sorry, Will You Still Love Me and If You Leave Me Now.  This conference will begin with a bang in the Rocket City and finish fantastically so you’ll want to make plans to stay through Wednesday morning for this trip whether driving or flying.

Conference General Sessions:

Airports Today- A National Perspective– Panel discussion with industry leaders providing an inside view and national perspective on airports today.  This panel features Todd Hauptli, AAAE, Scott Brockman AAAE, and Elliott Black with FAA.

Your Airport Brand:  An Asset Worth Managing- This session offers a two-for-one deal: a look at airport branding from both a creative and statistical perspective. Learn how your brand image can support your business goals and learn how research can help create a brand that matters to your passengers.

TSA: An Insider’s View- After a remarkable 40 year career in aviation DHS/TSA Executive Eddie Mayenscheim provides unique insight into current transportation security from an expert at the center.

Commercial Space Operations at Airports- Commercial Space Operations at Airports- Panelists Christopher Allison at Sierra Nevada Corporation and Todd Lindner, Director at Cecil Spaceport will discuss the current state of how air and space have merged and now offer opportunities that are “out of this world”

Cycles, Eras, Connectivity and Air Service- MIT’s Bill Swelbar will host a candid discussion about the airline industry today and aviation expectations.

Conference Round Table Topics:

AAAE Accreditation, SEADOG/WESTDOG National Disaster Response, UAS/Drones, Master Planning, Projects: Refurb vs Brand New, Creative Capital Financing, Tips to Handle IROPS, Airshows 101, Media Relations, Airport Branding, Customer Service, Loyalty Programs, Emerging Security Technology


Join the SEC-AAAE 2018 Conference Facebook Group Page

In this group you can share photos throughout the conference and stay up-to-date on conference events as they are happening.  Make sure you use our conference hashtag: #SECAAAEHSV18