The AHS staff is lean but extremely efficient, with a staff to member ratio of 1:1,000 – one of the lowest in association organizations. The following descriptions indicate the basic areas of responsibility for each of the AHS headquarters staff members. Any questions that you may have can be directed to the staff member who covers that area. You can contact us at +1-703-684-6777 – our extensions are listed below.
Executive Director, x111
Mike Hirschberg assumed the duties of the AHS Executive Director on June 1, 2011, after 20 years in the aerospace industry, primarily in vertical flight. As the Executive Director, he is responsible for the execution of the strategic direction set by the AHS Board of Directors.
He represents the vertical flight technical community and advocates for the advancement of vertical flight research and technology to the executive and legislative branches of the government. Mr. Hirschberg is the publisher of all society publications, including Vertiflite, the Journal of the AHS, and the AHS Annual Forum Proceedings.
Mr. Hirschberg was previously a principal aerospace engineer with CENTRA Technology, Inc., providing technical and program management support for over 10 years to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Office of Naval Research (ONR) on advanced aircraft and rotorcraft concepts. Prior to this, Mr. Hirschberg worked from 1994 to 2001 in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office, supporting the development of the X-32 and X-35 vertical flight propulsion systems.
He served as the Managing Editor of Vertiflite magazine from 1999 to 2011, and had been a contributing author since 1997. Mr. Hirschberg is an internationally-known lecturer, frequently presenting on vertical flight at short courses, meetings, conferences and universities, and is the author/co-author of nearly 100 publications on helicopter, V/STOL and advanced aircraft developments, including three books.
Mr. Hirschberg holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia and a M.E. Mechanical Engineering from Catholic University of America. He is currently completing an MBA at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech).
He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).
Kay Yosua Brackins
Deputy Director, x103
Kay Brackins joined the Society in 2004 and is now the Deputy Director. Before coming to AHS, she oversaw the graphics, design and production of Vertiflite for over 20 years.
Kay is the principal liaison with the AHS technical community and attends all AHS Technical Council meetings. Kay also works closely with the Forum Technical Chair to coordinate the Forum’s technical sessions and works with the Forum student volunteer program. She is also the point-of-contact for the Student Design Competition.
As Director of Graphics, Kay is responsible for the graphics and design of Vertiflite and all Forum and membership promotional material, and assists in the production of the AHS Journal.
Kay is also the Secretariat Deputy Director of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and handles all communications, via website, to IHST members. IHST is dedicated to reducing the worldwide helicopter accident rate, both military and civilian, by 80% by 2016.
Director of Meetings and Advertising, x105
David Renzi joined the Society in February 2002 and he is the principal coordinator of the annual AHS Forum, the largest event of the year for the Society. He conducts all technical exhibit sales and coordinates the exhibit hall floor and sponsorships. He also administers the subcontracting for Forum activities including convention and hotel services, tours, special events, transportation, and entertainment.
David works with the Director of Membership in the coordination, planning and scheduling of the Annual Forum and bi-annual Board of Directors meeting.
He is also the principal advertising contact for Vertiflite magazine, the AHS website, and all Forum-related publications.
Director of Membership, x107
Liz Malleck joined the Society in July 2007 and is responsible for all of the Society’s member benefits and services. She develops and implements the individual membership campaigns, interfaces directly with the chapter presidents and membership chairs, and generates the quarterly membership reports and statistics.
She is the liaison for the Society’s corporate and educational members, including overseeing the billing and accounts receivables as well as solicitations for new corporate members. Liz handles the transactions made online concerning membership renewals/applications and she oversees all membership address changes. She is also responsible for all of the membership materials that the Society generates, including member applications and the Officer’s Guide.
Additionally, Liz is the point-of-contact for the Federal City Chapter meetings and assists in registration for the Society’s many specialists’ meetings. At the Forum, she is the Exhibitor Registrar, interacting with many of the Society’s valuable corporate members.
Director of Information Resources, x104
Randy Johnson joined the Society in October 2007. He is the Society’s in-house IT specialist and is responsible for all network and systems administration. He is also the Society’s webmaster, and together with the Director of Membership is responsible for configuration and maintenance of the AHS membership database.
Office Manager/Membership Liaison/VFF Scholarship Coordinator, x100
Holly Cafferelli joined the Society in June 2006. She is the primary phone coordinator and receptionist, and assists in serving members’ publication needs. As Membership Liaison, Holly assists with updating and renewing individual memberships, as well as mailing all chapter meeting notices and general membership information. She is the principal point-of-contact for purchases of technical papers and books, as well as AHS novelties. Holly is also the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) Scholarship Coordinator and the manager of the Society’s Facebook page. In addition, Holly is the Editorial Assistant for Vertiflite.
217 N. Washington St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-2538 USA