Auburn aviation plans weekend of homecoming festivities

AUBURN – A full weekend of activities has been planned for the aviation management program in conjunction with Auburn’s homecoming festivities.

Beginning on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. in Lowder 125, Ralph J. Vasami, CEO of Universal Weather and Aviation Services Inc., will address students and faculty at a public forum. Vasami is the 2010 Aviation Management Advisory Board Distinguished Visitor.

“The Distinguished Visitor Program is an excellent way for our students to supplement their traditional classroom experiences by interacting with prominent industry executives,”says Joe Hanna, chair of the Department of Aviation and Supply Chain Management. “We are grateful to the Aviation Management Advisory Board for their efforts to bring high quality industry leaders to campus, serving to benefit both the college and the surrounding community. We look forward to being able to host Mr. Vasami and hear him discuss how the globalization of business has created new opportunities and challenges for his organization.”

As chief executive officer of Universal Weather and Aviation Inc., Vasami is charged with leading the company’s day-to-day operations, setting and communicating its vision, priorities for growth and efficiencies, policy and procedures for global compliance and service standards and strategic planning.

Vasami joined Universal full-time in 1982 as a meteorologist in the company’s White Plains, N.Y., location, having been associated with the company earlier as an intern. From 1988 to 1991, he served as manager of the company’s satellite weather office in Pittsburgh and for more than five years was also responsible for Universal’s midwest sales territory.

He later transferred to Universal’s Houston headquarters where he was eventually named senior manager of meteorology. Vasami then held executive positions, including vice president of sales and marketing and chief operating officer before being named president in 2004 and CEO in March 2007. In these roles, Vasami has traveled extensively throughout the world meeting with customers and key business partners.

Vasami earned his bachelor’s of science degree in meteorology from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt. For the last four years, he has been a member of the Houston chapter of Vistage, the world’s largest CEO membership organization.

Students, faculty, alumni and friends are invited to attend the annual reunion tailgate event, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6, in front of the Nichols ROTC Building beginning at 9 a.m. Admission is free but registration is requested. Go to http://2010amreunion.eventbrite.com/ to register.

(Submitted by Dina Kanellos.)

Contact: Dianne Townsend, (334) 844-2342 (dtownsend@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)