It is the end of an era for the Aviation Development Council (ADC) and the Air Services Development Offices (ASDO) at JFK, LGA, EWR, TEB. ADC was started 58 years ago as a way for the local airports to be connected with the community in which the airports are located. ADC brought about ASDO 34 years ago as a means to connect local businesses with opportunities within the airport. Both were not for profit organizations that were funded by PANYNJ and the airline partners to serve the communities and businesses in the surrounding areas.
ADC administrated community outreach programs spanning education, training, youth programs, after school initiatives, STEM, leadership, cultural and so many more. The goal of the program was to ensure the airports were engaged in the community and giving back to the future of aviation, the young people in the surrounding areas.
ASDO, the B2B program managed by ADC, is proud to report that they have facilitated over $3 Billion in contracts to local suppliers. They have been connecting local suppliers of goods and services to airport/airline buyers through various programs, events and one on one support.
Bill Huisman, Executive Director of ADC was asked about what he will miss most about the end of the program he has been a part of for 18 years. “I think that we will miss our airport and aviation community partners & colleagues the most. There was always a feeling of community or family among the people who we worked closely with at the PA airports. Whether it was our airline colleagues, our PA airport partners, the members of KAAMCO, LAAMCO, NIAMCO – or our friends at the Kiwanis Club of LaGuardia Airport, the JFK Rotary, or the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts, or Vaughn College, or the Cradle of Aviation. I could go on and on, and I’ve left out so many more. Bottom-line, we will miss the community spirit and everyone who was part of it. Thanks to everyone who made our job more enjoyable & rewarding – thanks for the ride!”
Ralph Tragale, the former Assistant Director of Aviation at the PANYNJ and former director of the programs said, “For more than 50 years ADC and ASDO have been helping the airports strive to provide a better quality of life to neighbors by ensuring that residents get their share of the economic benefits generated by the airports. Their efforts helped hundreds of local businesses and entrepreneurs and those efforts will be missed as the Port Authority decided to end the community program that became a model around the country”.
Dolores Hofman, Program manager at Queens ASDO, the ‘Airport Matchmaker’, reflected “I will miss the JFK and LGA family of people that I have come to know and love over the years. I live my life by saying “what goes around, comes around;” well it seems to come back tenfold for me. I LOVE Aviation and wouldn’t trade even one day of my 54-year career with absolutely anyone. It has been both a joy and a pleasure serving the airport communities all these years and I feel so thankful and so blessed for being given the opportunity and lived the working life that I have.”
Both Bill and Dolores have plans to stick around, keeping their positions in the various airport community and civic associations they are affiliated with. Which is great news for all those who know them. The ADC/ASDO program and the people that worked in the program really changed the lives of so many people and businesses at and around the airports. They have left a legacy they should be proud of.
Helene Gibbs, NJ ASDO Program Manager said, “I have enjoyed working with you at the Airlines, Airport Companies, Area Chambers of Commerce and other agencies on many projects that have positively impacted the aviation and local communities. Your continued support of ASDO’s Program has successfully brought economic opportunities to so many people and businesses surrounding the airports. I hope that you will continue to support local business.”