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In Memoriam

IAWA honors those who were trailblazers in the aviation and aerospace industries. We remember our colleagues for their contributions to IAWA throughout the years. Their achievements, passion and leadership will not be forgotten.

Susan Baer

Advisory Board Member

Susan Baer was a pioneer. A 37-year veteran of the aviation industry, she was the first person to have managed all of the major Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) airports. Prior to joining Arup, Susan was the Director of Aviation at the Port Authority. She was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of one of the world's busiest airport systems John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Teterboro, and Stewart International airports. Susan passed on August 9, 2016.

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Andrea Brantner

Board Member

Andrea Brantner’s professional career was devoted to contract law associated with the purchase and leasing of aircraft by major commercial airlines. As a Senior Vice President and Lead Counsel for GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), she was well positioned to serve on IAWA’s Board of Directors and later the Advisory Board. Sadly, she passed away unexpectedly on April 16, 2024, following a brief but difficult battle with cancer, which she had expected to be able to beat, being the strong, tenacious, and dedicated person she was for any cause she undertook. She was 63.

Andrea began her career in the summers during her years at Boston College Law School, first serving as editor for the Boston College Law Review and later as an intern for the international law firm, Milbank in New York. Earning her JD degree in 1989, she continued working for Milbank, then full-time, first in New York, later in Tokyo and then back to New York, as legal counsel for airlines, aircraft manufacturers and lenders, all as clients. A year after returning to the US, she went to work for Boeing in Seattle, a former client.. Following two years at Boeing and needing a change, she joined GECAS in Stamford, CT, (then known as GE CAPCAS), where she worked the remainder of her career. At GECAS, she identified inefficiencies and established a system that changed the process by which commercial aircraft were purchased or leased in the industry. She brought those same skills to the IAWA leadership, leading the charge to apply for and secure 501C3 status for the organization.

Fighting and beating breast cancer in 2012, Andrea saw the opportunity to keep cancer awareness in the forefront and raise money for cancer research by participating in the Avon 39 (mile) walk three times. As a master networker, she put to work her skills to raise substantial funds for both cancer research and for IAWA.

Andrea was dedicated to mentoring and supporting all women in all capacities and roles, and had served as the director of the intern program at GECAS for many years. She advised and mentored IAWA board members and others based on her knowledge and experience. Her mentees from the IAWA program took major steps forward in their career because of her. Andrea made very natural introductions that allowed her to connect to others in her field. 

She was known to nudge members to implement the Board’s actions, not always a popular role in any volunteer organization whose members have full-time careers and families. And perhaps most telling, she did things because they were the right thing to do even if they were not easy. She also brought humor, liveliness and fun, especially to the conferences, letting the good times roll among the women with whom she associated. Her presence, her work and her vigor were much appreciated and will be sorely missed. In her memory, the Board pays tribute to Andrea and her many efforts for IAWA. Further, the Board is establishing a scholarship in her memory, as enabled by the 501C3 status she worked to achieve for the organization. 

Susan Sheets Brogan

Board Member

Susan Sheets Brogan, who had steered the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) for 20 years, died April 7, 2016 from complications related to cancer. She was 63. Sheets Brogan had spent the past several decades actively involved in the general aviation community, working with NBAA, GAMA, NATA and AOPA on key issues. She was also deeply involved with the larger aviation community in Washington, serving as president of the International Aviation Club, president of the Aero Club of Washington and secretary of the International Aviation Womens Association in 2011. A private pilot, Sheets Brogan began her aviation career in 1980 with Aerospatiale. She joined NARA in 1991, leading the association initially as executive director and later as president. Most recently, she served as director, special programs for Jetnet IQ, and led her own consulting firm, Brogan Aviation Consulting. "Susan Sheets Brogan was active in promoting and protecting general aviation for many years, working...to advance the interests of aircraft owners and operators," NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said of her passing. "She was a constant positive presence, always with a warmth and grace that brought the community together. She will be missed."

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