We're Just a Phone Call Away
By Trevor Janz, EAA 656941
EAA Manager of Chapters and Eagle Flights
June 12, 2012 - Recently, I was invited by Ernie Kelly, president of EAA Chapter 677 (Columbus, Georgia), to participate in the chapter's monthly meeting via phone. This is not a new idea, but merely a reinstatement of chapter outreach from the Paul Poberezny days. When Paul wasn't traveling to our chapters, he would often participate in chapter meetings via phone.
Ernie sent me an e-mail to prepare me with a short overview of what the chapter was doing and its most recent Young Eagles rally. Chapter 677 conducts Young Eagles rallies monthly.
Ernie called me and then put me on speakerphone. I took a few moments to talk about my new role here at EAA as manager of chapters and Eagle Flights. I then had the opportunity to ask them a few questions about their chapter. They informed me that it was growing and they have a possible new "clubhouse" coming together at their local airport. It was very motivating talking with them.
The big news in Columbus is that EAA, IAC, and Chapter 677 member Marty Flournoy is taking his Giles aircraft to Hungary to compete in the world aerobatic championship in July. And they were very excited about using their chapter Young Eagles credits to send an 11-year-old to the EAA Air Academy this summer.
It was uplifting to hear that a chapter member, who just recently graduated from high school, has been accepted at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The chapter helped mentor this teenager to attain his private pilot certificate prior to getting accepted to the academy.
Chapter 677 is an excellent example of EAA members working together to grow and make a positive impact on the aviation community. I know there are many more chapters like 677 out there and I would like to hear from you. Please let me know if Jeff Skiles or I can attend one of your meetings via phone. This is great way that we at headquarters can connect with chapters and members nationwide.
Jeff and I are also planning to travel to you over the coming fall and winter. We will be looking for chapters that can host meetings both for their own members and those of nearby chapters. I will keep you posted on our travel plans and look forward to meeting more of you.