2020 Conference Speakers

Rans Black
Jackson Airports District Office Manager, FAA

Rans has over 22 years’ experience with the FAA’s Airports Division, having served in staff and management positions in both the Atlanta and Jackson Airport District Offices. He has been the manager of the Jackson Airports District Office since 2003, overseeing the planning and development of the 150 airports in Alabama and Mississippi. His work experience also includes 6 years as an Army Officer and 2 years as an airport engineering consultant. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a registered professional engineer, and a private pilot.

Thomas M. Booth, Jr., PE

Aeronautics Director, MS Department of Transportation

Mr. Booth joined the Aeronautics Division of the Mississippi Department of Transportation as an Airport Engineer in October 1999.  In January, 2002, he was moved to Assistant Director and became the Director of Aeronautics in July, 2007.  His duties include coordination of airport improvement projects for public use airports with the FAA and assistance to consultants and airport officials with FAA airport design criteria.  He also reviews airport layout plans and inspection reports for the public-use airports statewide.

Mr. Booth is affiliated with the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) where he serves on the Finance Committee, the UAS Committee, the Airports, Planning, Development and Operations Committee, and is a member of the AASHTO Council on Aviation.  In FY2013, he served as the National Chairman on the NASAO Board of Directors.  He has served on the Delta State University Aviation Advisory Board and is currently serving on the Hinds Community College UAS Advisory Committee.

Mr. Booth is a 1985 graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs
State Health Officer, Mississippi State Department of Health

Dr. Dobbs is an Infectious Diseases physician with 20 years of experience in public health, with specific expertise in TB and HIV.   He served as a regional health officer in Mississippi from 2008 – 2012 and as State Epidemiologist from 2012 – 2016.  From 2016 – 2018 Dr. Dobbs worked as a clinician and Chief Medical Officer / Chief Quality Officer for a local health system.  In addition to his role at the Department of Health, Dr. Dobbs is an Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Population Health, teaching courses in Epidemiology and Health Policy.

William (Scott) Lynn
Aviation Safety Inspector, FAA Safety Team Program Manager Jackson, MS Flight Standards District Office

Scott Lynn is currently in his ninth year with the FAA.  He formerly worked for government contractor L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace for 12 years in the areas of Quality Assurance, Repair Station Service Engineer and Overhaul Technician.  His FAA certifications include Commercial Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor, Certified Ground Instructor, Certified Flight Instructor Instrument, Multi Engine Rating, Tailwheel Rating, Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic and Inspection Authorization.

Scott owns and operates a 1953 Cessna 170B.  He has an Associate of Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology from Hinds Community College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Resources from Auburn University.  He is married with one son and one on the way.

Jeff Wagner
Shareholder, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz. P.C.

Jeff Wagner, a shareholder in the Firm’s Jackson office, focuses his practice on public/governmental law and commercial transactional work. Mr. Wagner has extensive experience in public law matters, including the financing of public projects, public procurements and construction matters. Mr. Wagner regularly works with airports on all types of procurement, contracting and regulatory issues. Mr. Wagner served as counsel to the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority for over twenty years and has served as special counsel to the March Joint Powers Authority and the March Inland Port Airport Authority (Riverside, California) on Federal Aviation Administration regulatory issues. Mr. Wagner is general counsel to the Mississippi Airports Association. Mr. Wagner also helps clients in complying with regulatory requirements in other transportation infrastructure projects.

In addition to his public/governmental law work, Mr. Wagner helps clients in structuring and closing all types of complex financial transactions. Mr. Wagner has significant experience working with lenders and borrowers using federal and state loan guaranty programs, including programs through the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Small Business Administration. Mr. Wagner also represents clients in all types of affordable housing development.

Mr. Wagner’s experience has allowed him to develop an understanding of the organizational and practical considerations necessary to the achievement of a successful and timely result in all types of large and complex projects.