Leaders of the Year 2010

The 2010 Ground Support Leaders of the Year awards ceremony at Aviation Industry Expo recognized six recipients for contributions to the industry.


The industry gathered another year to recognize contributions to the industry. The following individuals and companies were nominated by members of the industry, and the nominations were voted upon by the magazine’s editorial advisory board.

The following recipients were introduced during a reception in Las Vegas during Aviation Industry Expo.

Team Leader of the Year: Similar to the original Leader of the Year Award, this title is for an individual who has taken a leadership role with personnel

Joe Daniels, East Bay Automotive Supervisor, UPS

Joe Daniels began his career at UPS more than 20 years ago, starting as an east bay GSE mechanic. He advanced to supervisor before becoming a Sac Valley automotive supervisor. His current assignment is automotive supervisory for the Mather Gateway Valley Division. In his work, he has become an industry leader through aiding manufacturers and equipment owners with troubleshooting and technical advice. He is described by colleagues as hard working with a can-do-it attitude. Among his many accomplishments is a GSE fleet that has logged 71,033 hours in two years with only one minor break down, and reduced maintenance costs of more than $20,000 in 2009 versus 2008 with increased hours in 2009.

“He is an industry leader,” said Terry Larson, area automotive manager at UPS, introducing Joe at the reception. “Everyone does tap into Joe.”

“I appreciate this award, but without my bosses giving me the authority to run the gateways the way I know them and the way I was trained … I wouldn’t be able to get awards like this,” said Daniels, accepting the award.

Safety Leader of the Year: For a person or company who has introduced a new method, procedure or product to improve industry safety records

Shawn Mack, director of training, Banyan Air Service

Shawn’s aviation career began in 1993 at World Jet at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Joining the Banyan team in 1996 as a line technician, he was promoted in 2000 to supervisor of line service with eight people reporting to him on mid-shift.

Currently, he is Banyan’s director of training and the liaison to the airport administrator regarding operations and certifications. His responsibilities include training new teammates and recurrent training for existing teammates, while working alongside them.

He is responsible for ensuring that all 34 line service technicians are AOA certified, meaning they can conduct movements on the airport operations area and assist at customs.

Shawn is also part of the Banyan Training Rodeo team and contributes by developing questions for this refresher course, which consists of eight different stations related to line service activities, such as towing, fueling and customer service.

Shawn has been safety certified with NATA and as a NATA Certified Trainer. This is the second time Shawn has received the Safety Leader of the Year award. He was selected in 2008 for refining Banyan’s spotting procedures and this year for developing the lightning hold procedures.

“Better than the recognition is the chance for me to give ideas that could potentially save somebody’s life,” said Shawn, accepting the award. “After nearly being struck by lightning myself, the need for standardized procedures, as far as lightning hold procedures, was evident.”

Kaizen Leader of the Year: Japanese for continuous and incremental improvement, this award is for a person or company who has implemented a new business philosophy about business work place practices focusing on efficiency and improvement in productivity, performance or processes

Sean Hopkins, vice president, supply management, Allegiant Air

Upon graduation from high school, Sean Hopkins joined the Marines where he first began working around ground equipment. After completion of college, he did a brief stint in banking before deciding to enter into the aerospace industry. He found he had a talent for the airline business and throughout the years worked closely with those who would create Allegiant Air. He is currently vice president over several departments in Allegiant. In the last two years Sean helped change Allegiant’s philosophy on the acquisition, use and maintenance of its GSE.

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