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New Chairman of the Board Knows Chapters Are EAA's Foundation


Jack Pelton
EAA's new chairman of the board, Jack Pelton

By Trevor Janz, EAA 656941
EAA Manager of Chapters and Eagle Flights

October 30, 2012 - By now most of you have heard that Rod Hightower resigned as EAA president/CEO effective last Monday, October 22. While the news was unexpected for us, we wish Rod well in his future endeavors and thank him for his efforts over the past two years.

However, I would like to talk more about what's ahead than what is behind us. On Tuesday, EAA staff had the opportunity to meet with Jack Pelton, the retired chairman and CEO of Cessna Aircraft. Jack is a member of the EAA board and was recently elected as chairman. Following Rod's departure, Jack accepted the role of heading the transition to new association leadership. Jack will be working with EAA's senior leadership team to assure the day-to-day operations - including the programs and services relied upon by EAA chapters - continue smoothly.

Jack is not EAA's new president and CEO. He will be here as chairman of the board to ensure that EAA will continue to serve its members, chapters, and volunteers effectively until that new leader comes aboard. EAA staff was pleased to hear directly from Jack, as well as EAA Founder Paul Poberezny, during Tuesday's meeting. In a time of change, seeing Paul and Audrey there to support the organization and its mission is always gratifying.

One thing that came through clearly was Jack's support of EAA chapters. Although most of us may be aware of Jack only through his work at Cessna, he knows EAA chapters very well. He and his father were longtime members of EAA Chapter 1 in Riverside, California, when Jack was growing up. As part of that group, the Peltons together built a Fisher FP-101 in their garage.

I've known Jack and his wife, Rose - a "soon-to-be pilot" - for many years. He has always spoken highly of our chapters and how important you all are to EAA. Jack understands that chapters are truly the backbone of EAA and you are responsible for carrying out the association's mission.

He is passionate about flying and all of the facets of EAA that make it such a special organization. He emphasized to our staff that EAA has a unique place in aviation and great potential to bring people into flying that is unmatched by any organization.

I am excited about the future and where we are headed. We can meet the challenges that aviation and EAA face, if we do it together. EAA's chapters are a major part of that. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail at tjanz@eaa.org or call me at 920-426-5914.

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