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Congratulations to Our 2023 Chapter Award Winners!

August 2023

Each year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, we recognize a handful of the many dedicated EAA chapter members through achievement awards. These include awards for chapter newsletter editor, chapter web editor, and chapter major achievement. The 2023 awards were presented at the EAA Chapter Leaders Breakfast in the Founders’ Wing of the EAA Aviation Museum on Saturday, July 29.

Congratulations to this year’s award winners!

Chapter Newsletter Editors

Our chapters’ newsletter editors are tasked with gathering content for each month’s issue, putting it all together in an eye-catching format and sending it to readers, which is certainly no small task. When choosing this award, we look at the general appearance of the newsletter as well as the quality of content. It takes commitment and dedication to produce a high-quality monthly newsletter. The chapter newsletter is also an avenue for sharing important announcements, chapter news and photos, educational articles, fly-in opportunities in the local area, and much more. The newsletter is one of the most important ways to keep chapter members connected.

This year, we presented four awards in this category.

Val Gregory — EAA Chapter 43 (Bloomfield, Colorado)

Val Gregory
Val Gregory

Richard Harrison — EAA Chapter 292 (Independence, Oregon)

Richard Harrison
Richard Harrison

Ed Griggs — EAA Chapter 323 (Sherman, Texas)

Ed Griggs
Ed Griggs

Dennis D’Angelo — EAA Chapter 1612 (Goldsby, Oklahoma)

Dennis D’Angelo
Dennis D’Angelo

Chapter Web Editors

Chapter web editors have the job of maintaining their chapter’s website, keeping its content fresh, and up to date. As we emphasize during Chapter Leadership Training, this is a big deal when the chapter website is often the first place the public will visit to look for more information about the chapter. For new people, the website often provides their first impression of the chapter. The most important information such as the chapter’s meeting location and the date and time of their monthly gathering need to be readily apparent. The website should be easy to navigate and not cluttered. In addition to meeting and contact information, chapters also use their websites to share useful links, calendars of aviation events, photos, aircraft builders’ logs, and much more. These are all features we look for when choosing winners of this award.

This year, we presented three awards in this category.

Robert Collins — EAA Chapter 54 (Saint Paul, Minnesota)

Robert Collins
Robert Collins

Doug Francisco — EAA Chapter 485 (Pensacola, Florida)

Doug Francisco
Doug Francisco

Linda Salzwedel — EAA Chapter 1365 (New Lisbon, Wisconsin)

Linda Salzwedel
Linda Salzwedel

Chapter Major Achievement Awards

Many EAA members go above and beyond the call of their duties as a chapter member or officer. To recognize these special individuals, EAA presents them with the Chapter Major Achievement Award. Winners are selected for their dedication to EAA and their chapter, their service to the aviation community, and their personal achievements.

This year, we selected two winners.

Glenn Botsford — EAA Chapter 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Glenn Botsford
Glenn Botsford

Glenn officially joined EAA in June 1990. Since then, he has been instrumental in the advocacy of Chapter 18’s Young Eagles program, having flown 143 Young Eagles and 21 Eagle Flights. Glenn is on his chapter’s Ray Scholarship board and works tirelessly on the paperwork and keeping tabs on the young Ray scholars, ensuring mentorship and support are provided along the way. Ever the professional, Glenn is a mixture of toughness and fun, finding teachable moments and discipline, and demonstrating what it takes to be a pilot. Glenn works with his chapter’s Young Eagles coordinator on scheduling and coordinating the yearly rally schedule. When asked, Glenn will also provide Young Eagles flights and Eagle flights outside of rallies.

Glenn has served EAA as a technical counselor for two decades, volunteering his time, talents, and tools to assist numerous other chapter members with their own homebuilt aircraft projects. Glenn is a part of the AirVenture homebuilt parking crew; working before, during, and after the event week parking airplanes, tracking volunteer hours, and training new youths and volunteers on what it takes to do the job.

Beyond EAA, Glenn is the treasurer of the Mitchell Gallery of Flight. When you read the mission statements of both EAA and the Mitchell Gallery of Flight, you can think of Glenn and his desire to “inspire present and future generations” and “to grow participation in aviation by promoting The Spirit of Aviation.”

Glenn flies an RV-7A he built in 2004. He is a gentleman with just enough swag and confidence to know he’s a pilot. Through his love of Young Eagles and sharing his story, he has and will continue to inspire our next aviation generation.

For these reasons, we are awarding this Major Achievement Award to Glenn Botsford. Congratulations!

George Coy — EAA Chapter 613 (Swanton, Vermont)

George Coy
George Coy

For more than 40 years, George has been “Mr. General Aviation” in the state of Vermont. He began his career in electrical engineering and founded a company that designed and built medical research equipment. But George soon branched into aviation, obtaining not just a private pilot certificate, but also instrument, commercial, CFI, multi-engine, seaplane, and tailwheel ratings and endorsements; as well as becoming an A&P and an IA. He spent many years instructing, teaching hundreds of student pilots and those pursuing additional ratings and endorsements.

As an extremely active member of EAA and Chapter 613, George makes aviation accessible to everyday people, especially youths. As one of the founding members of Chapter 613’s Young Eagles program and its other youth aviation programs, George paired his love of flying and working on airplanes to inspire the next generation of aviators. George served as president of EAA Chapter 613 and has held the position of treasurer for several years.

Through his leadership, mentoring, training, and long-term commitment, George is a keystone for EAA Chapter 613’s youth aviation and scholarship programs. He cleverly constructs new ways to raise funds for young aviators who have a spark of interest. This ranges from voluntarily brokering the sales of aircraft on the airfield in exchange for the customers donating to the scholarship fund, to volunteering his time to overhaul an engine and donating the proceeds to his chapter.

George is selfless and generous to his core. He often says that aviation has been so good to him, and that is why he is committed to giving back. EAA Chapter 613 is very fortunate for George’s life philosophy because they have youth aviators who otherwise could not afford to pursue their aviation interests without his caring and generosity.

One of the many young aviators mentored by George was Kyle Clark, who is now the founder and CEO of Beta Technologies, a leading company in developing electric aircraft.

Leadership and service are second nature for George, who also served as a Vermont state senator and as a member of the Vermont Aviation Advisory Council. His associations have proven invaluable in promoting and supporting general aviation in the state of Vermont.

Outside of EAA and Chapter 613, George and a business partner started a local flying club called Fly Vermont that makes aircraft and flight training available at a fraction of the cost found at other local flight schools. For example, the flying club offers five free hours of flight time to any high school student in Vermont who is interested in exploring aviation. More recently, George has leveraged his A&P and IA ratings to mentor youths who love to work with their hands as part of the Harbor Freight Fellowship Initiative. George’s aviation interests also led to international business. In the 1990s, he began importing Eastern Bloc aircraft to the United States and exporting American aircraft to Eastern Europe. He has flown six transatlantic flights between the U.S. and Europe as part of these business activities. George was contracted by the Sri Lanka Air Force to retrofit their Nanchang CJ-6s with engines from the Yakovlev Yak-52; he designed the conversions and provided onsite training for the engine retrofits. He was also instrumental in introducing the tailwheel version of the Yak-52 to the North American market.

Throughout his life, George’s aviation activities have been focused on giving back and expanding opportunities, both in his EAA chapter and beyond. He has opened the doors for countless people who now fly and work on airplanes, allowing them to achieve their dreams and to unlock their potential.

For these reasons, we are awarding this Major Achievement Award to George Coy. Congratulations!

Congratulations to all of our 2023 chapter award winners!

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