ERIE – The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) will hold its 118th Annual Event featuring American hero Ambassador C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger as its keynote speaker, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier. All media are invited to attend. Sullenberger is a retired American fighter pilot, diplomat and airline pilot best known for the “Miracle on the Hudson,” when he landed US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s frigid Hudson River in January 2009 after both engines were disabled by a bird strike. All 155 people on board survived.
“Ambassador Sullenberger is a consummate leader and a true American hero who understands that training, experience and quick thinking are critical in times of crisis,” says MBA President and Chief Executive Officer Lori Joint. “We are excited to learn more about his timeless management principles, including his credo of 'leadership by personal example,' as well as his life lessons which prepared him for that heroic landing.”
According to his official biography, Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. He recently served as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations Specialized Agency, in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He was nominated to the position by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2021. He served in the post in 2022.
Sullenberger has a long history of service. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. During his active duty, he was stationed in North America and Europe. After serving in the Air Force, in February 1980, he became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement from commercial flying in March 2010.
Throughout his more than 40-year career, Sullenberger has been an active and ardent safety advocate. After logging more than 20,000 hours of flight time, he became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009, when he, as captain, and his First Officer Jeff Skiles safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to the emergency water landing in the Hudson River. The Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike.
Sullenberger, Skiles and their crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in TIME's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honour.
Sullenberger is the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters and also wrote Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America's Leaders. Clint Eastwood directed the major motion picture about Sullenberger’s life, titled “SULLY,” based on Highest Duty. The film was released to critical acclaim in September 2016 and garnered four Broadcast Film Critics nominations and one Academy Award nomination. Highest Duty was republished that year as SULLY: My Search for What Really Matters.
Sullenberger is a native of Denison, Texas, and pursued his childhood love of aviation by learning to fly at age 16, while still in high school. At his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1973, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he also has two master's degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Purdue University.
“Ambassador Sullenberger has certainly led an exemplary life,” Joint states. “We expect that our members and their guests will be fascinated by his story and leave inspired and engaged by his lessons in leadership and how they can apply them to their own organizations.”
A sellout each year, the MBA’s Annual Event is the tri-state region’s premier business networking event, featuring the nation’s most prominent figures in business, politics and journalism. Among the most recent speakers are innovation expert George Blankenship (2022), Ret. Navy Admiral William McRaven (2021), American businesswoman Kat Cole (2019), “Shark Tank” stars Damon John (2018) and Robert Herjavec (2016), and legendary coach Lou Holtz (2017). The event was not held in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.
Annual Event sponsors include Ridg-U-Rak, UPMC Health Plan, Logistics Plus, PNC, Howard Industries, MacDonald Illig, Greenleaf Corporation, Parker LORD Corporation, McInnes Rolled Rings, Insurance Management Company and Widget Financial.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these presentations reflect the views and opinions of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Manufacturer & Business Association or any of its officers and directors.