Covering period March 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021
As I look back on our past fiscal year, there's a lot that I would like to forget. But there's also a lot that's been accomplished in 2020 that gives us reason to be excited about our future.
We have all been affected by the shared experiences of a pandemic. We had to do things that we've not done before, but our resilience kept us strong. Like most, EAA was faced with making a lot of sacrifices. There were layoffs, there were furloughs, there were stay-at-home mandates, but there was collective commitment from our staff, who in constant contact with our members, and we have not wavered on delivering the programs that we always deliver yearround. We never missed a publication or newsletter. We held a virtual AirVenture and homebuilders week. We doubled down on the number of webinars, and lots of our offerings were delivered in new ways. The tough reality surrounding the first-ever cancellation of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh had a deep negative economic impact on EAA, the aviation industry, and the surrounding communities, but one thing is for sure: We came out of this stronger. There was proof that The Spirit of Aviation is alive in all of us, even in some of the darkest times.
That is the common thread connecting all of us. That spirit that keeps moving us forward to support the opportunities that provide access to the pathways we're creating at EAA to build aviation interest, to sustain it, and more importantly, to grow it.
We are heading into the final phase of fundraising for Project 21 and are looking forward to the grand opening in the spring of 2022. This expansion will make the EAA Aviation Museum even more of a premier destination for all things aviation, and we're excited for our members to make the trek to Oshkosh throughout the year to take advantage of everything we'll have to offer. Project 21 will stand in tribute and testimony to the support and strength of EAA's membership, and that of our partners who understand and believe in the mission of our organization. You'll also be hearing a lot more in the coming months about AeroEducate, which will provide a series of educational opportunities for young people considering careers in just about any aspect of aviation.
This past year has been a difficult one, to say the very least. It's easy to look back and dwell on the many negative aspects of 2020, but the reality is that we have so much to be thankful for. Our membership is now more than 244,000 strong. As we continue to move forward and launch new pathways for access to aviation, I am honored to lead this organization. I am grateful and thankful for our members and supporters, and I know that we are truly stronger together.
Jack J. Pelton
EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board