NEW YORK, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wings Club, recognized as the premier aviation club in the world, will honor Mr. Dave Barger, JetBlue Airways CEO, with the 2014 Distinguished Achievement Award. Acknowledging outstanding accomplishments in the field of aviation, The Wings Club will present this award on October 24, 2014, at the 72nd Annual Awards Gala to be held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
As part of the founding leadership team of JetBlue Airways in 1998, Barger served as the airline's first President and Chief Operating Officer before being named Chief Executive Officer in May 2007.
Barger leads JetBlue's 15,000+ crewmembers in a network that now spans 85 cities from Anchorage, Alaska to Lima, Peru, and from Portland, Maine, to San Diego, California. For 10 straight years, JetBlue has been awarded highest honors in airline customer satisfaction among low-cost carriers in North America by J.D. Power & Associates.
Raised in Detroit, Barger grew up with aviation in his blood, inspired by his father, who was an airline pilot for 37 years. From the earliest age, he loved airplanes and was fascinated by the connections airlines create between people and places across the world. As a young man, he joined New York Air as a front line gate agent, one of the first batch of new carriers launched after the 1978 deregulation of the U.S. airline industry. He later held leadership roles for Continental Airlines, ultimately as head of its global hub at Newark International Airport.
Recognized as a leader in global aviation, Barger currently serves as a member of the board of governors of both the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airlines for America (A4A). He is also a member of the board of governors of the Flight Safety Foundation; past chair of FAA's NextGen Advisory Committee, which is working to modernize U.S. air traffic control infrastructure; and president emeritus of The Wings Club.
Passionate about community involvement, Barger has made service a cornerstone of the JetBlue culture and brand. He has chaired and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of New York's PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning) organization, and is closely involved with Aviation High School in New York, the country's largest public aeronautical high school. He is also a member of the board of directors of the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in underserved communities to create a greener, more sustainable city, and a member of the board of directors of the USO of Metropolitan New York.
The Wings Club's Distinguished Achievement Award has been presented annually since 1975. Past recipients include Neil Armstrong, Senator John Glenn, President George H. W. Bush, Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager, Frederick Smith, Steven Udvar-Hazy, T. Allan McArtor and Jim Albaugh, as well as 12 present and former airline CEO's including, Robert Crandall, Herbert Kelleher, Gordon Bethune, Sir Colin Marshall, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, and Sir Richard Branson.
The Wings Club, founded in 1942, is the premiere global aviation society. Its primary purpose is to encourage and support education in aviation and aerospace, and through its Scholarship Fund, provide scholarships to colleges and universities for students in aviation-related fields. The Club is dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of aviation and affords a forum for speeches, discussion and debate on topical aviation issues of the day. The Wings Club is comprised of over 1,300 aviation industry leaders, professionals in related service fields, academic leaders and aviation enthusiasts.
Recognizing significant achievements that contribute to the advancement of the aeronautical and aviation matters, The Wings Club recognizes and honors people with the Distinguished Achievement Award, Distinguished Scholar Awards and Outstanding Aviator Award. For more information please call (212) 867-1770, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wingsclub.org.
SOURCE The Wings Club