WASHINGTON – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, today announced the inaugural class of scholarship recipients through the ACI-NA Educational Foundation.
“For 75 years, ACI-NA has served as the industry’s go-to organization for solving challenges and seeking out long-term solutions that create a more innovative and sustainable future,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “As we reflect on our rich past and look toward our brightest days, it all comes back to the talented and dedicated professionals – both from airports and from their business partners – in our industry who have shaped and strengthened the important ways airports serve their local communities. We are proud to recognize the next generation of airport industry leaders and help support their continued professional development through these impactful scholarships.”
ACI-NA’s Educational Foundation provides educational scholarships for courses or educational programs beneficial to airport administration to qualified students. For 2023, two U.S. recipients and two Canadian recipients were selected from a diverse pool of applicants. Each recipient will receive a scholarship to continue their professional development and industry learning through the U.S. Airport Professional accreditation program or the Canadian Airports Online College’s Diploma in Airport Operations and Diploma in Leadership Essentials.
2023 ACI-NA Educational Foundation Scholarship Recipients
Director of Engineering and Maintenance
Hollywood Burbank Airport
Stephanie Gunawan-Piraner currently serves as the Director of Engineering and Maintenance for Hollywood Burbank Airport where she manages a team of 45 and is responsible for project development and maintenance of the airport. She is also the Owner and CEO of Astra Engineering Consulting. She has held a variety of engineering positions with John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport and has successfully managed both airfield and terminal programs. She began her career as an engineer in the geotechnical industry and worked on everything from conventional analysis to a more complex numerical modeling. Gunawan-Piraner earned a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UCLA.
SSi, Inc. (Safety and Security Instruction)
Branding Brooksby currently works as a projects director at SSi, Inc. (Safety and Security Instruction), and specializes in the development of efficient and effective training programs for airport personnel across the United States. He also serves as the Young Professional liaison for the Airport Security Committee and UAS Task Force for ACC and participates in the ACI-NA Safety Task Force. He has previously worked with the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority and Pinnacle Aviation. Brooksby earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Management Technology, Air Transportation Management from the Arizona State University – Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering in 2018.
ADM Aéroports de Montréal
Nadia Benelfellah has been with ADM Aéroports de Montréal for two years, currently serving as a communications advisor. She contributes to upholding the reputation of YUL airport through effective communication strategies and projects, enhancing the travel experience of the airport’s travelers and the working experience of airport employees. She has held a variety of communications, public relations, and government relations roles. Benelfellah earned a Bachelor of Laws from Université de Montréal in 2016 and a Bachelor of Political Science from Université de Montréal in 2013.
Specialist, Route Development and Passenger Experience
Fort McMurray Airport Authority
Jessica Perry has worked in a variety of roles at the Fort McMurray International Airport since 2014, currently as Route Development and Passenger Experience Specialist. Perry started her career as a security guard with the airport authority. She also worked with one of the airport’s concessionaire partners before being offered a full-time position as a receptionist and pass office coordinator. In 2019, she was promoted to Commercial Coordinator where she was responsible for relationships with airport tenants and their leases. Perry was promoted to Route Development and Passenger Experience Specialist in 2022.
Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at www.airportscouncil.org.
About the ACI-NA Educational Foundation
ACI-NA established an ACI-NA Educational Foundation to provide educational scholarships for courses or educational programs beneficial to airport administration to qualified students, including employees of Airport Members of Airport Operators Council International, Inc. The foundation has obtained tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501(c)(3) from the IRS, so any contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law for U.S. taxpayers. Moreover, 100% of funds received will be provided to qualified students as ACI-NA will donate all administrative services necessary to process contributions and distribution of funds.