The AAAE Young Professionals (YoPro) Committee is committed to providing career development, networking and educational opportunities for the next generation of airport professionals and to bridge the gap between current and future aviation leaders. 

The AAAE YoPro Committee is open to all current AAAE members 35 years of age or younger. The AAAE Young Professionals Committee is intended for those just entering the workforce or early in their career. There is no additional cost for members who wish to participate in the AAAE Young Professionals Committee.

Committee Leadership and Liaisons


Jacob Kohlhorst,  A.A.E.


Abhaya Tripathi,  C.M., ACE

Vice Chair
Allegheny County Airport Authority

Brady Brewster

Steering Group Member
McFarland Johnson, Inc.

Shon Dempsey,  C.M., ACE

Steering Group Member
Frederick Municipal Airport

Steven Derengowski,  C.M.

Steering Group Member
InterVISTAS Consulting USA LLC

Tracy Guerrero

Steering Group Member
Indianapolis Airport Authority

Lance Lamkin,  A.A.E.

Steering Group Member
University of Oklahoma Max Westheimer Airport

Lauren LaSalle

Steering Group Member

Arjun Nair,  C.M., ENV SP

Steering Group Member
Syracuse Regional Airport Authority

Cameron Sidor,  C.M., ACE

Steering Group Member
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Melinda Montgomery,  A.A.E.

Committee Advisor
Trenton-Mercer Airport

Jennifer Richards

Staff Liaison

Jeremy Valcich,  C.M., ACE, IACE

Staff Liaison

Get Involved

Recruitment, development and involvement of Young Professionals is critical to the future of AAAE.  YoPro currently has two working groups that members can join and lend their voice and expertise:

Professional Development Working Group
The Professional Development Working Group is focused on fostering professional development, encouraging continued education through the Association’s trainings, events and programming, as well as promoting educational opportunities for members. 

Focus areas can include but are not limited to:

  • Promotion of professional development through trainings, events and programming
  • Encourage and advance the MentorMatch program (e.g. MentorMatch Spotlight, other initiatives to strengthen the program)
  • Develop and promote professional development programming (eg. Airport Management Webinar Series, Airport Profiles, Corporate Profiles, other programs , etc.)
  • Leadership Development (Webinars, Lectures, etc.)
  • General educational opportunities for members

Membership Engagement Working Group

The Membership Engagement Working Group is focused on recruitment and retention of the Committee’s members. The WG will look to promote opportunities for members to engage via the Hub, LinkedIn and other online forums. Networking within the committee, AAAE, and the aviation industry will be a key component of this WG.

Focus areas can include but are not limited to:

  • Continued membership growth/engagement through strategic marketing planning (eg. the development of a Quarterly Newsletter, AAAE Magazine articles, Social Media content, LinkedIn page, AAAE Hub, etc.)
  • Coordination with AAAE Regional Chapters to support their growing Young Professional  memberships
  • Outreach to IAAE and other aviation industry organizations to partner on programs providing membership benefits and to support industry initiatives
  • Support Academic Relations in marketing the Young Professionals Committee to student members 
  • Networking Opportunities