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Fortner Leadership Will Balance Long Experience with New Energy

Gary Fortner, image courtesy Fortner Engineering.

During its 2020 annual meeting, ARSA’s board of directors elected Gary Fortner to the association’s senior volunteer leadership position. Fortner, vice president of engineering for Fortner Engineering in Glendale, California, will serve as ARSA’s president for its 2021 program year.

Fortner has nearly 30 years of aviation experience. He has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from San Diego State University, a master’s in material engineering from California State at Northridge and in 1998 he was appointed an FAA Designated Engineering Representative (FAA-DER) specializing in the approval of major repair and major alteration of hydraulic accessory components.

ARSA’s board represents a broad range of international maintenance interests. Board members direct the association’s work to best serve the aviation community. Fortner has served the volunteer leadership body since 2001 and will enter his 21st year serving as its president for the second time. His predecessor, W. Ian Cheyne, concluded his own two-decade-long service as a director.

“The Fortner family has been part of this association since the beginning,” said Executive Director Sarah MacLeod. “The generational support from Gary’s father as one of ARSA’s founding members exemplifies the backbone of the aviation maintenance industry, which ‘breeds its own.’ Gary has been the face of voluntary commitment for the small family-owned business that ensures the association’s adherence to independent maintenance organizations and the next generation of maintenance professionals.”

The board has welcomed five new members since 2017, a period of transition during which experienced directors have been able to work with new representatives from companies that have long supported ARSA’s mission and work. This year, Hugh McElroy, CEO of Signature Aviation, PLC, filled the vacancy left by Cheyne and Bob Mabe, director of regulatory compliance for HAECO Americas, took over for his colleague David Latimer.

“I feel [ARSA’s board of directors] is well positioned to serve the association, its members and the aviation maintenance industry,” Fortner said. “Having welcomed some new faces in the past few years, we have the right mix of long experience and new energy to navigate what will be an interesting year.”

Terrell Siegfried, assistant general counsel and corporate secretary for the NORDAM Group, LLC, was also elected to serve as ARSA vice president. Josh Krotec, senior vice president for First Aviation Services, Inc., became the association’s treasurer. Both Siegfried and Krotec first joined the board in the past four years, bringing new energy to executive committee service alongside Fortner’s years of involvement.

While the work of that “interesting year” will be continual, it will take its most public form during ARSA’s 2021 Annual Conference. The event will go ahead on schedule in March with both in-person and online components; registration will open in December 2020.



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