The Bubble Run by Cool Events, which was scheduled to take place on the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds today, Saturday, September 9, was canceled in January. Please visit their website to contact them at https://bubblerun.com.
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Meet Your Chapter Staff
January 18, 2022 – To kick off this year’s chapter improvement article series, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves. Although some of you have known us for a long time, there are many new faces joining the chapter leader ranks whom we have not yet had the privilege to meet. Hopefully these bios will help to give you a picture of the staff that is on hand to serve you. You can also access a directory, which includes our direct lines and a list of the areas we cover. This will be helpful to reference so you know the appropriate person to call with your question.
John Egan (EAA 336835) - EAA Chapters Dept. Manager
I am a longtime EAA member since 1989, and joined EAA staff here in Oshkosh in 2017. I have been a member of three different EAA chapters, and am currently attached to EAA Warbird Squadron 32 and EAA Chapter 252, both here in Oshkosh.
I am an extensive airplane homebuilder with a scratchbuilt Pietenpol Air Camper ready to cover and on hold while I focus on my current project scratchbuilding a Piper Super Cub replica. I am a sport pilot, tailwheel endorsed, and a current officer in our EAA Employee Flying Club. I enjoy flying our club’s RV-12, which I pulled a rivet in as the One Week Wonder project during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018.
My bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering helps drives my desire to build not only airplanes but also pancake griddles. I built our EAA pancake griddle often seen at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and drew the plans for chapters to make one of their own. I am always thrilled when I see a completed pancake griddle project at a chapter event and I encourage all chapters to build a griddle as it’s a great team event putting “mind to hand” as Paul Poberezny used to advocate as our EAA founder.
As EAA senior chapters manager, I am very excited to be part of EAA’s staff, and I fully enjoy supporting our nearly 900 chapters and squadrons around the country, in Canada, and internationally. We have a great chapters team here on staff to help our chapters grow participation in recreational aviation. I encourage all chapter members to stay active and stay involved as part of this great EAA organization, and allow us to assist you with your selected chapter activities.
David Leiting Jr. (EAA Lifetime 579157) – EAA Eagles Program Manager
I have been on staff with EAA for six years, although my involvement with EAA extends far beyond that time. I first attended AirVenture Oshkosh in 1994 at 6 months of age and have never missed a year. In fact, I took my first Young Eagles flight during AirVenture 2002 in a DC-3! I do not come from a family of aviators, but was lucky enough to have a supportive and passionate family. In fact, my mother is now the Young Eagles coordinator for her local chapter, as well as a volunteer chairman at AirVenture.
Through my chapter involvement, I am a former president and Young Eagles coordinator for EAA Chapter 1342 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I am currently the vice president of EAA Chapter 252 in Oshkosh. My wife Michelle and our dog Miller reside in Fox Crossing, Wisconsin. Other than flying around the Wisconsin countryside, we enjoy cheering on the Green Bay Packers, attending IndyCar races, and hiking many of Wisconsin’s state parks with Miller.
Serena Kamps (EAA Lifetime 1011028) – Chapter Field Representative I
Although I grew up a short 20-minute drive from Oshkosh, noted that at a certain time each year in the sky to the northwest there would be a continuous line of airplanes going the same direction, and even attended the air show at AirVenture a few times as a kid with my family, my real interest in aviation didn’t begin until about the age of 13. I began to notice and become more curious about airplanes and began to read lots of aviation-related books. Eventually I put that line of airplanes in the sky together with AirVenture and realized what it meant to have EAA practically in my backyard! At the age of 16, I had my first single-engine airplane ride and knew I had to learn to fly. In order to do this, I knew I would need to work and save up for a while. I had already done some volunteering at EAA and decided this would be the best place for me to work. I have now been on the EAA staff for 10 years, nearly six of those with chapters. I earned my private pilot certificate in 2013 and followed it last year with my instrument rating. EAA has been a wonderful place to work and I have enjoyed being a part of the chapters department serving our most dedicated members.
I am a board member of EAA Chapter 252 in Oshkosh. When not doing something aviation-related, you can usually find me practicing, teaching, or performing harp. I recently became engaged to a fellow pilot and flight instructor. We are looking forward to a spring wedding.
Christopher Gauger (EAA 746128, Warbirds 606917) – Chapter Field Representative I
I was born and raised in Oshkosh, and although I did not come from an aviation background, I was constantly surrounded by it while growing up. I’ve been in love with aviation since I attended my first AirVenture at age 4, and throughout my childhood I visited the EAA Aviation Museum dozens of times. I had an “unofficial” Young Eagles flight at age 11 in a Cessna 172, which helped fuel my desire to learn to fly.
I’ve been on the EAA staff since 2018. I started out working for the Young Eagles program, and now I’m a chapter field representative, where my present duties include overseeing the Ray Aviation Scholarship and chapter websites. I earned my private pilot certificate shortly before Christmas 2021, fulfilling my near-lifelong dream of learning to fly. Having finally achieved this goal, I’m looking forward to where my aviation journey will take me. I’m also a member of EAA Chapter 252 and Warbirds Squadron 32. In the latter chapter, I serve as treasurer, web editor, and newsletter editor. I’m also a board member for EAA’s Employee Flying Club.
In my personal time, aside from flying and other aviation-related activities, I enjoy studying history and reading books, spending time with my family and friends and dogs, and listening to music and attending concerts.
Natasha Sarauer (EAA 1347644) – Administrative Assistant Chapters and Communities
I have been with EAA for just over two years now. Before this I had not much of an aviation background other than my father being an aircraft mechanic in the Navy. As my knowledge of aviation was very slim, I had always looked to the sky when I would hear an airplane. It makes me wonder if I have always had a love of aviation, but I just didn’t know how to unleash it. This position has given me many firsts and some wonderful experiences with AirVenture being one of them. Even though I have never lived far from Oshkosh, 2021 was the first year experiencing AirVenture and let me tell you it was a blast! Along with that, just a few days after I started I received my first small aircraft ride thanks to David Leiting. A few other experiences include flying out to lunch on multiple occasions with our chapters team, washing and then receiving a ride in EAA’s B-25, and getting a ride in a 1929 Travel Air. I guess you could say I have become very fond of the “right” seat. Ask anyone, if the right seat is offered my answer is always yes.
Samantha Olson (EAA 797800) – Young Eagles Program Assistant
Born and raised just 20 minutes from EAA, I have always had fond memories of the museum and AirVenture. My dad has taken me to every AirVenture, likely, since the year I was born, exposing me to the wonderful world of aviation early on in my life. I remember the days where we would come to the museum and wander around looking at all of the airplanes when we would visit my grandmother, whom was working in the museum gift shop. EAA has always been a part of my life, so to work here has been a nostalgic journey for me.
I started working for EAA back in May 2021 as the communities seasonal administrative assistant. After the summer was over, I was hired on full-time with the chapters department as the Young Eagles program assistant. As a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, I am incredibly grateful to be given this opportunity to work with pilots, not only in my own community here in Oshkosh, but internationally as well. While I have always had an appreciation for the aviation community, working here at EAA has exposed me to the world of aviation in more ways than I ever could have dreamed possible.