Tom Poberezny Retires
EAA CHAIRMAN TOM POBEREZNY ANNOUNCED his retirement as
chairman of both the association and AirVenture at a ceremony
held July 26 under the fabled Brown Arch. Tom, now chairman
emeritus, had served for decades as chairman of AirVenture
Oshkosh, president of EAA from 1989 to 2010, and chairman of
the EAA board of directors since last year. President/CEO Rod
Hightower has assumed the chairman’s duties.
“I’ve been with EAA for 49 years. I spent my whole life
working for this organization, and I’m very proud of what we’ve
accomplished,” Poberezny said. “I’ve had the pleasure of taking
credit for what you’ve done.”
A special resolution was passed by the EAA board of directors
honoring Poberezny. “Upon learning this news, we unanimously
passed a resolution honoring Tom’s years of leadership to our
group and success in helping make EAA the world’s leading
aviation association,” EAA Board Vice President Louie Andrew
stated. “Additionally, we thanked Tom for his many contributions
in making AirVenture Oshkosh the world’s premier aviation event
that draws pilots, airplanes, members, and guests from around the
globe every year.”
(See Tom Poberezny’s farewell column on Page 3.)
Tom Poberezny announces his retirement as chairman July 26.
PRESIDENT’S AWARDS HONOR HAL SHEVERS, CRAIG WILLAN
THE 2011 PRESIDENT’S AWARDS PRESENTED during AirVenture honored
Hal Shevers, EAA 279855, founder and chairman of Sporty’s Pilot
Shop, and Craig Willan, EAA 165239, president of Omega Research
Inc. The awards provide EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower an
opportunity to personally acknowledge members whose participation
and contributions represent the essence of EAA.
Shevers said Sporty’s went to EAA a few years ago and asked to
do something for its youth programs on a year-round basis. About the
same time, Sporty’s began offering its educational programs online.
Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Course—a $215 value—is
offered for free to youth who have taken a Young Eagles ride. The
online course is designed to take these aspiring aviators all the way
through the process of passing the FAA written exam required to
earn their private pilot certificate.
Shevers and Sporty’s partnered with EAA in April 2009 to start
the Next Step program, a follow-up to the Young Eagles introductory
Craig Willan, an aircraft metallurgical engineer who has a passion
for electrical aviation developments, is also a homebuilder and
lifetime EAA member who, with his wife, Connie, has made major
contributions to EAA.
They helped fund the Willan Space Gallery, the Founders’ Wing,
and recent AirVenture buildings and grounds improvements. But
Willan is most proud of one addition his money has purchased—
benches for the AirVenture grounds.
At AirVenture 2004, Willan brought his brother, Brent, who at the
time was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. “It was difficult for
him,” he recalled. “There was little shade and few places to sit down.”
After Brent passed away in 2005, Willan made sure seating was
addressed in the site’s upgrade plans by donating 250 benches.