HAI is pleased to announce the 2010 Excellence in Communications Award recipient, Ken Swartz; North American Editor, Helicopter International and HELiDATA News, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Since 1974, Ken Swartz has written continuously on the helicopter industry, and has played a leading role in bringing news of the Canadian helicopter industry – the world’s second largest – to international attention. As a high school student, Swartz began contributing news stories to Rotary Review, a helicopter column in Aviation News magazine (UK). Living in the helicopter-saturated city of Vancouver, British Columbia, his first stories were about Okanagan Helicopters and Soloy Conversions.
With the launch of Helicopter International magazine in 1977, Swartz was appointed North American Editor, a position he has held ever since. His Canadian Comments column became a regular feature of the magazine. A year later he reported on the first of 25 HELI-EXPOs he has attended, covering the convention in San Diego. Swartz’s role expanded when HELiDATA News was launched in 1979, providing twice-monthly industry news. In 1987, Swartz was hired by CANAV Books to research and co-write Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada. This 250-page, 50th anniversary history book includes early sales of Sikorsky helicopters in Canada, and development of the P&WC PT6 as a helicopter powerplant. Between 1985 and 1994, Swartz was the leading editorial contributor to Helicopters Magazine (Canada), covering industry developments and the growth of Canada’s new helicopter manufacturing industry.
In the mid-1990s, recognizing that the helicopter industry was losing many of its pioneers, Swartz recorded the voices of more than 150 of Canada’s pioneers. During the past 10 years, he has written Looking Back articles for Helicopters magazine, contributed stories to Vertical magazine, and served as historical consultant on Operation Lifeline, a television documentary on the Canadian offshore helicopter industry. In 2009, Swartz formed Aeromedia Communications to provide aviation marketing and media services.
In the early 1980s, Swartz served on the Board of the Canadian Museum of Flight in Vancouver, helping the museum acquire rare Bell, Brantley, Piasecki, Sikorsky, and Boeing helicopters. He served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society from 1999 to 2003, and since 2002 has served as Director of Marketing & Communications for the Canadian Air & Space Museum in Toronto. In September 2009, he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the museum, a volunteer position. By effectively publicizing the helicopter’s uniqueness, and through his selfless service to historical preservation, Ken Swartz embodies the fine qualities celebrated by the Excellence in Communications Award.
All winners will be recognized at HELI-EXPO 2010’s annual “Salute to Excellence” Awards Banquet on February 22, 2010 in Houston, Texas. For more information about the 2010 “Salute to Excellence” Awards, contact HAI’s Communications Department at 703-683-4646, fax: 703-683-4745, or email: [email protected]. For more information on HELI-EXPO 2010, visit www.rotor.com.
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