The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced earlier this week that Senior Vice President, Operations, Robert P. Blouin would resign from the organization effective Aug. 31, 2004. Blouin's departure comes in the same month the NBAA announced its selection of General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President Ed Bolen as its new leader. The two developments -- and the short fuse between Blouin's announcement and his scheduled departure date -- fueled speculation that his decision was somehow related. However, Blouin told AVweb yesterday that his decision had nothing to do with Bolen's pending arrival. Instead, Blouin said his decision to leave the NBAA has been "in the works for some time" and that the timing was related more to his scheduled vacation than to any other factor. According to the NBAA, Jay Evans, the association's director of operations, will serve as acting vice president of operations, until a replacement for Blouin is found.
Noting that he has been "blessed" with offers of new opportunities since deciding to leave the NBAA, Blouin said in a prepared statement, "I have had a wonderful seven years at NBAA and have learned much from the board, members and staff. I am very thankful for the opportunity given to me with such a great organization. I am especially proud of the people I have in the Operations Department. They are a great human resource to the Members. Looking forward, Ed Bolen is absolutely going to be great for NBAA. I have extended an offer to assist Ed, the Board, Staff and Members in any way I can. My choice to leave really comes down to expanding my professional experience, and to be able to face some new and exciting challenges and opportunities."