October 02, 2008

American Airlines executive to speak at banquet

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Robert W. “Bob” Reding, executive vice president-operations for American Airlines, will deliver the keynote address at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 2008 “Aviation in the Future” banquet later this month.

The banquet is Friday, Oct. 24, and coincides with the aviation program’s 14th annual career fair earlier in the day. The career fair is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms A, B and C. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. in Ballroom D.

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the career fair and banquet. For more information, contact David A. NewMyer at 618/453-8898.

Appointed to his current post in 2007, Reding is responsible for airport services, according to a company biography. He also oversees the carrier’s maintenance and engineering, flight operations, operations planning and performance, and the safety, security and environmental departments.

Reding earned a master’s degree in business administration from SIU-Edwardsville in 1975. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from California State Polytechnic University.

Reding has more than 35 years experience as a pilot and airline executive. He will speak “on the seismic shift in commercial aviation since the U.S. government deregulated it 30 years ago. As these aviation graduates prepare to launch their careers, Reding will talk about lessons learned

in that time and some of the challenges and opportunities he sees for the next generation aviation professionals,” according to the company.

Reding previously served as chief operations officer for American Eagle Airlines and as a chief executive of two airlines. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force pilot training program, and served as an officer and pilot flight examiner with the U.S. Air Force from 1972 to 1979. He has an FAA Air Transport Pilot Rating for Douglas DC-9/MD 80 and Boeing 737 series aircraft, and has more than 10,000 hours as a commercial pilot.

Reding has “his finger on the pulse of the airlines, and he can talk about the current dynamics of the airline industry,” NewMyer said.

“He’s one of the most senior airline industry executives to speak at an Aviation Management Society banquet,” NewMyer said. “He is well versed in all parts of the airline operation, from weather and dispatch to flight to maintenance and oversees all of that plus more at American Airlines.”

Aviation students will receive scholarships totaling an estimated $25,000 at the banquet.

Approximately 250 people are expected at the banquet, sponsored by the Aviation Management Society, an SIUC registered student organization

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for SIUC students. Tickets are available online at http://ams.aviation.siu.edu/Banquet.htm. Tickets are also available by calling SIUC’s Department of Aviation Management and Flight at 618/453-8898, or at the aviation flight dispatch counter at Southern Illinois Airport, between Carbondale and Murphysboro.

“It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about being a senior vice president at the nation's largest airline, the challenges and exciting aspects of his job, and what the future holds in store for American Airlines,” said Wes DeHoyos, a senior in aviation flight and aviation management from Chicago, who is Aviation Management Society president. “We are also looking forward to hearing any advice he has on how to become a leader in the aviation industry.”

The career fair earlier in the day will feature between 25 and 30 companies, NewMyer said. There are approximately 2.1 million jobs in aviation, and 9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is aviation-related, NewMyer said.

The Department of Aviation Management and Flight, and the Department of Aviation Technologies are in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.