Rick Kennedy, GE Aviation’s Manager for Media Relations, has been selected to receive the 2017 Lauren “Deac” Lyman award for outstanding achievement in aerospace communications.
“We’re delighted to recognize Rick Kennedy with this year’s Lyman Award,” said AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher. “In a journalistic and aerospace public affairs career spanning four decades, Rick has earned widespread respect throughout our industry for his high standards of excellence, and for his comprehensive knowledge of aerospace history and the current industry.” Melcher added, “It’s always a pleasure to salute a communicator who excels at telling the incredible stories of our member companies and their noble workforce who AIA represents.”
After working for ten years with three daily newspapers, including the Cincinnati Post, Kennedy joined GE Aviation in 1988 in media relations, and has led the company’s media team since 1994. Kennedy has served as GE Aviation’s chief spokesman during its transformation from a $6 billion business in 1994 to a $26 billion business today. Kennedy is also the author of two books on the history of blues and jazz music.
“By joining the roster of previous AIA Lyman Award recipients, I join my longtime heroes of aerospace communications and that’s a thrill,” said Kennedy. “Aerospace will always be a magical industry with wonderful stories to tell.  The AIA has made this ole’ GE PR guy both humble and proud.”
“I’m thrilled to congratulate Rick on receiving this prestigious award,” said David Joyce, vice chair of GE and president and chief executive officer for GE Aviation. “Rick is a consummate public relations pro, with a track record of great contributions to GE Aviation and the aerospace industry.  It’s a proud day for us to see him recognized by the industry and his peers.”
Kennedy will receive the award at a special dinner held in his honor Wednesday, December 13 and will be recognized at AIA’s 53rd Annual Year-End Luncheon December 14.  The award is named after Lauren “Deac” Lyman, a Pulitzer-prize winning aviation reporter with the New York Times who later had a distinguished career as a public relations executive with United Aircraft, a predecessor to United Technologies Corporation. First awarded in 1972, the prize goes to an aerospace journalist or public relations professional who exhibits Lyman’s high standard of excellence. United Technologies Corporation is the longtime sponsor of the award.