Young Professionals Committee

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 40 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.

Join the conversations:



YoPro Group Photo Annual 2021 Web


Committee Leadership and Liaisons

Abhaya Tripathi, C.M., ACE

Allegheny County Airport Authority

Tracy Guerrero

1st-Vice Chair
Indianapolis Airport Authority

Steven Derengowski, C.M.

2nd- Vice Chair
InterVISTAS Consulting USA LLC

Patrick A. Barnes, P.E.

Membership Engagement Lead
Burns & McDonnell

Lindsey A. Brithinee, C.M.

Professional Development Learning & Development Lead
Louisville Regional Airport Authority

Graham Ritz, C.M., C.A.E., ACE

Professional Development Mentorship Lead
Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority

Blanca Rocha Becerra

Secretary/Industry Coalition Lead
Blast Deflectors, Inc.

Cameron Sidor, C.M., ACE

Membership Engagement Marketing Lead
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

Jordan Bydume

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


The Young Professionals Aviation Coalition (YPAC) was established in 2023 with the mission of connecting young professionals’ groups across the aviation industry. YPAC aims to serve as a valuable resource for aviation professionals looking to advance their careers by uniting members from six distinct organizations. These organizations include the American Association of Airport Executives, Airports Council International - North America, Airport Consultants Council, Airport Minority Advisory Council, Transportation Research Board's Young Members Council in Aviation, and the National Business Aviation Association. YPAC focuses on fostering professional development, networking opportunities, and other career-enhancing activities for its members.