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Chapter Leaders Get Update on EAA Reshaping


January 16, 2012 - EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower and EAA Founder Paul Poberezny today jointly sent a letter to the leaders of EAA's nearly 1,000 chapters, outlining the reshaping and strengthening moves originally announced by the organization last week. In the letter, Hightower and Poberezny highlight how EAA members and aviators will benefit from those changes.

In addition, Hightower recorded a video that also focuses on the topic, which is currently available in the EAA video area.

The letter to EAA chapter leaders reads:

Dear EAA Chapters Leaders and Members:

As EAA chapters are among the most essential and valued parts of our organization, Paul and I are sending you this letter to update you on the facts regarding some of the changes within EAA announced last week and the background behind those changes.

During the past year, I have traveled extensively to our chapters and aviation events across this country, meeting thousands of members and learning their views and concerns regarding today's aviation issues. We held 31 Grassroots Pilot Tour sessions that allowed up-close and personal dialogue with members and non-members alike, to better understand how EAA can best promote aviation and meet their needs.

It's with this knowledge that we are strengthening our organization by adding key leadership positions, flattening the management structure, and concentrating resources in EAA chapters, youth education and homebuilding, while improving our capabilities in member services.

EAA's mission remains the same: to grow participation in aviation, by inspiring people to fly, build, volunteer and outreach to promote aviation. That hasn't changed since our founding and won't change in the future.

What will change is how EAA operates its business. We will be more concentrated in areas that support our mission, just as described. We will respect our generous supporters by managing our costs, with the goal of spending 100% of donor dollars directly on the programs that we are all passionate about as we inspire the next generation of aviators, builders, and aviation professionals.

We will continue to support our members with knowledge and services that keep them flying, building and restoring so they can realize their dreams of flight.

In addition, EAA is welcoming Jeff Skiles to head our chapters and industry-leading youth education programs. Jeff is a passionate aviator who brings a wealth of experience and represents the very essence of what is possible and achievable in aviation. As co-chair with Sully Sullenberger of Young Eagles – the world's most successful aviation youth outreach program – Jeff has been inspirational to thousands of young people who dream of flying.

Chad Jensen, Manager of Homebuilder Communities, has been promoted to EAA's senior leadership team and will report directly to me. You may be interested to know that Chad's position had reported three levels of management below EAA's president for many years. We have elevated Chad's role to a strategic level to ensure our continued leadership in amateur-built aircraft and to lead our future initiatives in homebuilding, including the expansion of our homebuilding area at AirVenture Oshkosh. Chad will also represent our special interest communities, including Homebuilt Aircraft Council, Ultralight Council, IAC, Warbirds, and Vintage by providing them a seat at the senior leadership table for the first time in decades.

We've said goodbye to some employees as well. EAA has treated its employees with the greatest respect, and we have provided them with generous severance packages and assistance to help them transition to their next steps. We have also invited them to remain part of our extended EAA family and join us at AirVenture for The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.

Leading the world's most dynamic aviation organization comes with unique challenges and wonderful opportunities that sometimes require making difficult decisions. We hope that what we shared with you today is helpful to better understanding EAA direction and plans for our continued success.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thanks again for being a part of EAA.

Best regards,
Rod Hightower
EAA President/CEO

Paul Poberezny
EAA Founder


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