Safety Award Alumni


Previous Safety Standdown Award winners have gone above and beyond the minimal job expectations. These individuals live by the framing principals of Safety Standdown. They have demonstrated an exceptional dedication, commitment and contribution to aviation safety through their actions and behavior.

Mark Chaffinch, Norfolk Southern Corporation
2017 Recipient

Mark Chaffinch, Chief Pilot for Norfolk Southern Corporation, has a passion for learning and a special interest in safety related topics. Nominated by his peers for his outstanding commitment to aviation safety, Mark Chaffinch has been in the aviation business and flying for more than 30 years, including 21 years as a corporate pilot for Norfolk Southern Corporation. Throughout his career, he has worked in various fields in the industry, including fueling, medevac support, airline services, customer service and international charter dispatch. Prior to becoming Chief Pilot for Norfolk Southern Corporation, Mr. Chaffinch progressed from Captain to the flight department’s Safety Officer. He developed and implemented an in-house Safety Management System (SMS), which helped the company successfully attain all three stages of IS-BAO certification. Mark is the catalyst that launched Norfolk’s Flight Department to new heights in the safety arena. In addition, Mark is an Adjunct Professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and teaches various courses in their Corporate Aviation Management Program.

Robert L. Sumwalt, III, National Transportation Safety Board
2016 Recipient

Robert L. Sumwalt, III has demonstrated his dedication to aviation safety throughout his career. The award was presented to him at the 20th annual Bombardier Safety Standdown USA, held from September 27 to 29, 2016 in Wichita, KS. Robert L. Sumwalt was sworn in as the 14th chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 10, 2017. Since joining the Board, Chairman Sumwalt has been a fierce advocate for improving safety in all modes of transportation, including teen driver safety, impaired driving, distractions in transportation, and several aviation and rail safety initiatives. Before joining the NTSB, Mr. Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. During his tenure at US Airways, he worked on special assignment to the flight safety department and served on the airline’s Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) monitoring team. Following his airline career, Sumwalt managed the corporate aviation department for a Fortune 500 energy company. In other notable accomplishments, he chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group and co-founded the association’s critical incident response program. He also spent eight years as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) and has written extensively on aviation safety matters. He has co-authored a book on aircraft accidents and has published more than 100 articles on transportation safety and aircraft accident investigation.

Matthew Barre, Aflac
2015 Recipient
Matt Barre

Matt Barre has proven his commitment to safety in aviation through his influence in local, regional, and national advocacy for flight safety. Matt serves as the flight department’s Safety Advisor for Aflac. With his extensive experience and training in aviation safety garnered on active USCG duty, Matt has guided his department through ISBAO Stage Two and Three certification. He holds periodic “Safety Days” that go beyond flight crews to include and train all department staff and a group of frequent passengers – extending safety practices and awareness beyond the flight department, to the very individuals receiving transportation support from this important business unit. As chairman of the SE Aviation Safety Roundtable, Matt’s leadership has promoted growth in participation and influence as one of North America’s most vibrant safety organizations. Matt Barre has demonstrated his dedication to be an example of safety in the aviation industry.

Ed Coleman, Air Arctic
2014 Recipient

Ed Coleman embodies the very essence of the safety award and also the founding principles of Safety Standdown. He is a former Air Force and business jet pilot who has dedicated his entire 30 year career to aviation safety. As a faculty member at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Ed has taught courses in aviation safety program management, aerospace system safety, and aircraft crash and emergency management. His safety efforts in business aviation are well known and he was previously the aviation safety muscle at BP, where he worked tirelessly to institutionalize SMS processes and FOQA in a highly diverse global fleet of contracted rotary and fixed-wing.

Jeff Wofford, CommScope, Inc.
2013 Recipient

Jeff Wofford has been a dedicated supporter of Safety Standdown since his first exposure. He makes sure all of his pilots have the opportunity to attend so they can build their knowledge base. Jeff and his department developed a comprehensive SMS that applies to their operation. He also enforced the importance of his department becoming IS-BAO compliant. Jeff involves himself and his department in regional safety meetings. He is a person who is taking the safety message, not only to his own group of pilots, but attempting to build the safety culture amongst those throughout his region. Jeff Wofford is a professional aviator in the strictest sense of the term. His dedication to the industry is second to none.

Troy Smith, FBI
2012 Recipient

Troy Smith is a perfect example of someone who goes above and beyond job expectations on a daily basis. He constantly looks to improve the performance of himself and his team. Troy attends training to improve his skills and gain the insight needed to bring improvement programs to his company. He continually promotes knowledge‐based training, personal discipline and responsibility as elements of aviation professionalism and safety. By attending training workshops like Safety Standdown and continuous improvement efforts implemented by himself within his company, Troy Smith is a model for every other industry aviator. He never stops looking for the next improvement program and always makes sure he leads by example.