Tom Poberezny Named A 'Distinquished Wisconsin Aviator'
(l to r) Ron Schmal, air show director; Gen. Al Wilkening; Astronaut Mark Lee; Tom Poberezny; and Hamid Quraishi, award chairman for the Deke Slayton Airfest.
May 21, 2007 — EAA President Tom Poberezny received the Distinguished Wisconsin Aviator Award Saturday, May 19, during the 10th annual Deke Slayton Airfest in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Astronaut Mark Lee, the 2000 recipient, presented the award. Among those also present was past recipient (2003) Maj. Gen. Albert Wilkening, Adjutant General of the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard.
"I am very pleased to receive this award in joining outstanding past recipients," Poberezny said. "I accept it with great pride."
Hamid Quraishi, award chairman, lauded Poberezny's leadership in aviation and his lifelong involvement in flight. "The great contributions he's made to aviation and all his credentials makes Tom Poberezny a most deserving recipient," Quraishi said.
The award honors individuals for their accomplishments in furthering interest in aviation, and for their leadership and inspiration to current and future generations of aviators. Poberezny was elected EAA president in 1989. Under his leadership as EAA AirVenture Chairman, the annual convention has become the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, attracting 650,000 attendees from 70 nations and in excess of 10,000 visiting aircraft.
He was also a member of the U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Team that captured the World Championship in 1972, Poberezny won the individual U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship in 1973, then went on to fly with the legendary Red Devils/Eagles Aerobatic Team for 25 years.
Past DWAA recipients include Major General Fred R. Sloan, Wisconsin Air National Guard deputy adjutant general; Brig. Gen. Richard "Ric" Severson, Commander of the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Air Force Reserve; Astronaut Jeffrey N. Williams; and the first recipient, Astronaut James Lovell. For more information, visit the LaCrosse Air Show website.