Created in 2008, the award recognizes individuals who have shared their outstanding business aviation industry expertise, provided extraordinary service, exhibited leadership and made significant contributions to the scheduling and dispatching function.
Grady is the manager of flight dispatch for CSX Corporation, where he has worked as a dispatcher for more than 30 years. He oversees all scheduling requests and dispatch responsibilities for CSX’s two aircraft, which fly wherever the company’s railroad runs, across the entire eastern half of the United States.
“For me, it’s not an individual award, it’s a team award,” said Grady. “From the beginning, I had a great team on the S&D Committee.” Grady was appointed chairman of the inaugural NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Subcommittee in 1989, which later was promoted to full committee status, and he led the S&D Conference during his term in office from 1990 to 1993. He has spoken at many S&D Conferences over the years.
Grady’s career in business aviation began when he graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in aviation management. While at Auburn, Grady was captain of the War Eagle Flying Team and was the 1974 SEC Top Pilot in the Southeastern Conference intercollegiate precision-flying competition.
He soon joined the flight department at CSX – then Chessie System, Inc. – and relocated with the company three times, as various mergers and acquisitions brought the headquarters from Cleveland, OH to Richmond, VA, to the current base in Jacksonville, FL.
“We’re proud of Gerald’s accomplishments and he’s very deserving of this award,” said Dennis Jones, director of aviation at CSX and Grady’s manager. “He’s been an outstanding leader in the aviation department. Gerald’s professionalism and attention to detail have made the CSX flight operation a success. Some of his many assets are his ability to interact with top leaders in the company, his knowledge and his experience. Gerald has shared that knowledge with others in the industry and is always there to help.”
In 2002, Grady was appointed a liaison to the then-new NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Advisory Council. He also has been a recipient of the NBAA Aviation Support Services Safety Award recognizing 30 years of safe operations.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in aviation,” said Grady. “I started dispatching with a string and a map; now I couldn’t do it without a computer. I feel fortunate that I’ve always had a job where I enjoy going to work every day.”
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen will present Grady with the award during NBAA's S&D Conference, to be held Jan. 22 to 25, at the San Antonio Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in Texas.
For more information on the conference, visit www.nbaa.org/sdc.