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Board of Directors

Volunteering is a key component of Vintage Aircraft Association membership. Our Board of Directors and Officers are elected by the membership. One-half of the officer team and one-half of the directors are elected each year to serve two-year terms. Our current Officers, Directors, Board Advisors, and Directors Emeritus are listed below.

Geoff L RobisonSmallGEOFF L. ROBISON – President, New Haven, Indiana

Geoff began flying in 1982 and received his private single-engine land certificate in 1983. He attended his first EAA fly-in in 1983 and immediately became active in the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA). He began volunteering with the Aircraft Parking & Flight Line Safety Committee in 1983 and served as the co-chairman of this committee for about 15 years. Geoff also served as the chairman of the VAA Security Committee and on the VAA Convention Committee as well during that same period.

Geoff served as an advisor to the VAA board of directors for seven years and has served as a director since 1996. Geoff is currently flying a Cessna 120 and a Cessna 170A and is engaged in the restoration of a 1940 B Model Funk aircraft. Geoff also currently serves as a tour coordinator for EAA’s Aluminum Overcast B-17 Tour and has participated in this EAA program since 1998. After spending three years with the U.S. Army in Europe as a military policeman in the early ’70s, he returned from military service and became a police officer and later the police chief in his hometown of New Haven, Indiana. He now serves his community as a city court judge and has done so for more than eight years.

DavisClarkSmallDAVE CLARK – Vice President, Plainfield, Indiana

As a child, Dave built almost every type of flying model airplane. Dave learned to fly in J-3 Cubs in 1958 in Indianapolis, where he and his wife, Wanda, moved so he could attend pharmacy school at Butler University. He has owned an Aeronca Chief, an Aeronca Scout, and two Tri-Pacers. Dave has been working on and restoring airplanes since 1969. Currently he is restoring his 1946 Aeronca Chief. After his retirement, he enrolled as a student in the Vincennes University Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) program in Indianapolis and graduated in 2005. He is now an A&P instructor there.

For five years Dave served as the president of the Hendricks County Board of Aviation Commissioners to build a new airport, (2R2) which opened in December of 2001. Dave attended two EAA conventions in Rockford and has attended all but two fly-ins in Oshkosh. He served as a judge of the antique aircraft category for 25 years, served as co-chairman of Antique Judging, and now serves as the Vintage Aircraft Association Chief Judge. He also serves as the VAA Development Committee chairman.

Steve-Nesse_2011_smallSTEVE NESSE – Secretary, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Steve was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and grew up on a farm near there. Having a deep interest in aviation, he received his private certificate in 1967. In 1975 he purchased a 1946 Navion from his father. After joining EAA in 1967 at Rockford, Steve has attended 43 consecutive EAA conventions.

A charter member of VAA Chapter 13, Steve has served as vice president and president of that chapter. Currently he serves as chairman of the Metal Shaping Workshop and Tall Pines Café at AirVenture. After serving two years as an advisor and later as a director, he has been serving as secretary of the Vintage Aircraft Association since 1991.

Jerry-Brown_2012_smallJERRY BROWN – Treasurer, Greenwood, Indiana

As a member of EAA and VAA since 1983, Jerry has served as an Antique Classic Judge since 1999 and has received his 50 mission Young Eagles pin.  He received a Bronze Lindy in 1991 and again in 1998 as VAA Customized Antique Champion.  Since his retirement in 1989, he has worked full time restoring WACOs.  He is involved with most phases of the restoration process including engines and airframes.  He emphasizes the importance of having younger enthusiasts participate in restoration work by providing hands-on experience for them in his WACO shop.

Jerry is a member of EAA Chapter 729 and served as Treasurer of the American Waco Club for 16 years.  Jerry is a private pilot, SEL, MEL with 3,000 plus hours in single engine airplanes, 1,000 of which is with conventional gear.  His business and community service includes 25 years as founder and CEO in plastics manufacturing and the custom sportswear business as well as serving on the Board of Trustees of Franklin College.

Ron-Alexander_2012_smallRON ALEXANDER – Director, Griffin, Georgia

Ron Alexander learned to fly at age 16 in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana.  He went into the United States Air Force in 1964 completing pilot training in 1965.  He served a total of five years in the Air Force including a combat tour in Vietnam.  After military service he was hired by Delta Air Lines in 1969 as a pilot.  He retired as a Captain in 2002 after 33 years of service.

Ron has been involved with antique airplanes since 1975 when he first begin restoring a PT-17 Stearman.  In 1979 he founded Alexander Aeroplane Company which was later sold to Aircraft Spruce.  Ron also developed the SportAir Workshop program that is currently being presented as the EAA SportAir Workshop program.  He lives in Griffin, Georgia where he has several antique airplanes including a Stearman Model 6 and a Curtiss Jenny that is under restoration.  He is developing an antique airplane museum that replicates the original Atlanta, Georgia Airport.

Susan-DusenburySUSAN DUSENBURY  – Director, Walnut Cove, North Carolina

Susan began flying at the age of 15 on a private airport (Overton Field) located near her shared hometowns of Andrews and Pawley’s Island, South Carolina.  She earned her private pilots certificate during her senior year in high school.  Susan is a graduate of Francis Marion University holding a degree in accounting and business administration.

While in college Susan earned her Commercial, Multi-engine, Instrument and Flight Instructor Certificates.  After college Susan enrolled in a two year Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics  course and graduated with an Associate Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.Susan is a longtime EAA and VAA member and volunteer and is currently serving as President of Vintage Chapter 3.

Susan recently retired from the national EAA Board of directors after serving for 20 years and also, recently retired from ABX Air (formally Airborne Freight Corporation) after flying 25 years of night freight.  Over time Susan has owned and/or restored several vintage airplanes including an Aeronca 7AC “Champ”, a Luscombe 8A, an Inland Sport, a KR-21 and a Culver “Cadet”.  She now owns and flys a 1953 Cessna 180 and a 1937 Taylor J-2 “Cub” from her farm in North Carolina and is currently restoring a 1935 Stinson SR-6 “Reliant”.

Robert-D-Bob-Lumley_2011-smallROBERT D. “BOB” LUMLEY – Director, Brookfield, Wisconsin

A native of Athens, Georgia, Bob is currently the vice president for a Milwaukee-based construction firm. He soloed in 1968 in a Piper PA-11 and holds a commercial pilot certificate. Bob is a lifetime EAA and Vintage Aircraft Association member. He’s also a charter member of VAA Chapter 11 in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

As a volunteer Bob has, since 1984, designed and managed the construction of additions to the VAA Red Barn, the new Vintage Hangar, as well as the Vintage area entry arch and other Vintage buildings. His AirVenture responsibilities include the selection and purchasing of VAA logo merchandise and setting up the Red Barn sales area prior to the convention. Bob was also a volunteer at Pioneer Airport, participating in its Young Eagles program with more than 300 missions. He serves as Santa for the EAA AirVenture Museum Christmas In The Air program and is on the EAA Nominating Committee. In 2009 Bob was a recipient of EAA’s President’s Award.

Joe-Norris_2012_smallJOE NORRIS – Director, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Joe grew up on a cranberry farm in central Wisconsin.  Several neighbors had light aircraft, and some had airstrips on their property, so it was always easy to be around airplanes and airplane people. A close friend of the family was the ag pilot Jim Miles (EAA #158), who introduced Joe to EAA by taking him to Oshkosh for the EAA convention in 1970, where they camped under the wing of Jim’s Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser. Joe joined EAA in 1976 and became a lifetime member in 2002.  Joe is also a lifetime member of VAA (VAA 5982). .Joe earned his private pilot certificate in 1978, and bought his first airplane in 1979 – a 1955 Piper Tri-Pacer.  He flew it for about a year and then converted it to PA-20 Pacer (tailwheel) configuration.  During this time Joe helped form EAA chapter 706 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

Over time Joe has earned commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates with airplane and helicopter ratings, as well an A&P certificate with IA. Joe also acted as a DAR for experimental aircraft for a number of years.

Joe has been actively involved with EAA, serving as a Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor, and has been an officer in two EAA chapters. Joe has volunteered at the EAA convention for many years, and was one of the 5 original members of the EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council. .In October of 2001 Joe was hired as a Senior Aviation Specialist in EAA’s Aviation Services department, a job was previously held by long-time EAA employee Norm Petersen. In 2008 EAA created the position of Homebuilders Community Manager and Joe was selected to fill that role.  In 2011 Joe decided to get out from behind the desk and back behind the stick, so he left EAA and has been working as a flight instructor at Cub Air Flight in Hartford, WI.  Joe currently owns and maintains three vintage aircraft – a Cessna 180, a Piper Super Cub and a Waco UPF-7.  He has previously owned a Piper J5A Cub Cruiser and another Super Cub. Joe built and flew a Sonerai II homebuilt and also owned a homebuilt Pitts S-1C. .

Tim-Popp_2012_smallTIM POPP – Director, Lawton, Michigan

Tim joined EAA in 1988 and is now a lifetime member.  He began taking flying lessons and attended his first EAA Convention that same year and has attended every convention since.  Tim earned his private pilot’s license in 1989 and later added a tail wheel endorsement and an instrument rating.  He joined VAA in 1994 about the time he began volunteering with the VAA Contemporary Aircraft Judges and currently serves as the vice-chairman of the group.  He owns a 1958 Cessna 172, which he purchased in 1994 and has slowly restored over the years.  He is currently building a Van’s Aircraft RV-7.

Tim is an active member and past president of EAA Chapter 221 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He is an active Young Eagle program participant having flown more than 500 Young Eagles over the years.  He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and is an Environment, Health & Safety manager for a major pharmaceutical company.  He has been happily married for over twenty-five years to his wife Liz, who also actively volunteers with the VAA. .

Advisors to the Board of Directors

John-HofmannJohn Hofmann –  Advisor, Columbus, Wisconsin

John’s interest in aviation was handed down from his father. He grew up with plastic models, advancing to radio control and culminating in his private pilot certificate in 1982. He attended his first Oshkosh convention in 1978, joined EAA in 1982 and became a VAA member in 1988. In 1990, John moved from Minnesota to Indiana and became involved with EAA Chapter 226 in Anderson where he eventually served as Secretary and President.

While in Indiana, John received his A&P certificate and worked in technical publications at Rolls-Royce. While working for Ken Cook, Co. in Milwaukee, he also wrote marketing and technical materials for Beechcraft and was privileged to help edit Duane Coles final book. For the past decade, with his wife Susan, they have operated The Rees Group, Inc. in Madison, WI, specializing in the management of non-profit corporations and foundations.

John is the past treasurer of the Midwest Antique Airplane Club as well as the current editor of the Brodhead Pietenpol Association newsletter, Cub Clues, the Luscombe Association newsletter and the Taylorcraft Owners Club newsletter. He has restored several aircraft and currently owns and flies a Piper J3 Cub and a Pietenpol Air Camper.

RayJohnsonRay Johnson – Advisor, Marion, Indiana.

Ray grew up on a farm near Marion, Indiana & has had a life long interest in old airplanes, having a uncle who took him for his first ride in an Aeronca Defender. He received his private pilots license in 1980 & the same year joined EAA & the Vintage Airplane Association. He was honored with a Bronze Lindy in 1995 & then again in 1996 received Grand Champion Classic Aircraft with his 1947 Aeronca Chief (11AC).

Ray has attended every Oshkosh Convention since 1980. In 1991 he started the Fly/In Cruise/In held annually in Marion, Indiana, this year being the 25th consecutive Fly/In held there. This year will be the sixth year serving as Chairman of and conducting the daily “Vintage In Review” program at Vintage Interview Circle. Ray is retiring this year from American Electric Power after 42 years of service

Earl-NicholasEarl Nicholas –  Advisor, Libertyville, Illinois

Earl’s love of flying came from his parents who often took their children to airport fences to watch the planes. He began flying in college, but couldn’t afford to continue (at $14.00 per hour wet, including instructor). At the urging of his father he again took up flying at the Stick & Rudder Club at Waukegan Airport (UGN) and passed his private check ride in 1974.

Earl served as a board member of Stick & Rudder and later as its assistant treasurer, treasurer, and president. His first visit to the Oshkosh convention was for one day in 1981. He began camping and volunteering on the Vintage Flight Line the following year and joined Vintage in 1987. Earl has had many Vintage jobs over the years including the Daily Aerogram, producing volunteer name tags and computer operations. He currently manages the Vintage online digital media.

Directors Emeritus

Bob_Brauer_2012_smallBob Brauer –  Director Emeritus, Chicago, Illinois

Bob received a degree in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1971 and served as a plane captain in P2V Neptune aircraft for the US Navy Reserve at NAS Glenview from 1958 until his honorable discharge in 1962. He joined EAA in 1972 and the Antique/Classic Division (Vintage Aircraft Association) in 1975 after volunteering to work on Convention and pre-Convention flight line duties. He was appointed advisor to the Division Board in 1986 and elected a Director in 1988.

Bob served as Chairman of the VAA Chapter Membership and Information operations during EAA AirVenture until 1998. He continues to serve as Director Emeritus and as Chairman of VAA Convention Facilities Maintenance. By profession Bob is an electrical engineer. In addition to VAA involvement, he has served as an officer for several years in EAA Chapter 260 as Secretary and Treasurer, and is currently Vice President of VAA Chapter 26 in Lansing, Illinois. Bob holds a private license with an instrument rating.

Gene-Chase-2002Gene Chase – Director Emeritus, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Gene was an avid model airplane builder and typical airport kid while growing up in Scottsbluff, NE. He was a WWII Navy carrier pilot and remained active in the Reserve, retiring as a Lt. Commander.  He obtained his CFr during college and has maintained it since.  His civilian aviation career includes instructing, charter, corporate, cloud seeding and an intense interest in vintage aircraft.  His non-aviation positions include 20 years of mechanical and civil engineering duties, and work as a computer analyst.  He previously owned and restored a 1935 Taylor E-2 Cub, and a 1933 Davis D-1-W.  He also owned and restored a 1929 Church Midwing which was donated to the EAA Museum.Gene joined EAA in 1961 and was active in EAA Chapter 10 in Tulsa, OK.

In 1973, Gene accepted a position on the EAA Headquarters staff from which he retired in 1987.  In 1989 he was named advisor to the Antique/Classic Board of Directors and elected Director the following year.  At EAA Oshkosh Conventions he served as co-chairman of the Antique Aircraft Judging Committee.  In November, 2011 Gene returned to Tulsa, OK to be close to family. He is currently active in the EAA Vintage Chapter 10 in Tulsa.

Phil-Coulson_2002Philip Coulson – Director Emeritus, Lawton, MI

Phil had a great love for airplanes as a child, his interest included building airplane models. His first ride in an airplane was at the age of 16 in a Fairchild PT-23. Twenty years later, that same pilot, Horace Sackett, was Phil’s guiding light in restoring his 1930 Waco INF. Phil learned to fly in 1962. His original dual instruction and solo flying was in a Piper J-5. He and his wife Ruthie are lovers of Wacos and greatly enjoy flying their 1932 Waco UBA. Phil’s military career consisted of four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

Phil is a lifetime EAA member and began attending the EAA Convention in Rockford, IL in 1962. Phil is currently President of the American Waco Club, Inc. He was appointed Advisor to the Antique/Classic board in 1985 and served in that capacity until 1987 when he was elected Director. Phil has been a volunteer at the Conventions since 1973, serving in various capacities—currently as Antique Judge. He is retired from a lifetime of surveying and engineering projects. The Coulsons live in Lawton, MI.

Ron-Fritz_2012Ron Fritz – Director Emeritus, Kent City, Michigan

Ron’s interest in airplanes goes back to 1945 when his parents took him to the Muskegon County Airport for his first exposure to airplanes. His first formal instruction was in a Piper J-3 at Wayland, MI in 1957 when he was a freshman in high school. He purchased a Ryan PT-22 and restored it in 1964. His next plane was a 1933 Waco UIC. Ron had the good fortune to be invited to, what turned out to be, the first organizational meeting of what was to become the Antique/Classic Division of EAA.

Ron served on the first Board of Directors until 1974. He came back onto the board in 1978 as an Advisor and came up through Director and eventually Secretary. Ron resigned from the board in 1988. During that time he served as History of Flight Chairman and then A/C Forums Chairman until he resigned from those. In Michigan Ron was very active in antique activities and knew most of the classic airplane owners in the state. He organized A/C Chapter 8 and served as its first president. Ron continues to serve the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association as a Director Emeritus.

Charlie_Harris_smallCharles Harris – Director Emeritus, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Charlie was named for Charles A. Lindbergh who flew the Spirit of St. Louis over his hometown on the day of his birth during Lindbergh’s U.S. tour in 1927. He received his first airplane ride at the age of three standing up in the front seat of the family OX-5 Travel Air 2000 biplane. He soloed a J-3F60 at 16. He is a lifetime member of EAA and VAA and is a member of EAA’s Warbirds and IAC. Charlie was named the first Oklahoma Aviator of the Year in 1984, was inducted into the Oklahoma Air & Space Hall of Fame in 2001 and into VAA Hall of Fame in 2006.Charlie is a charter member of the Tulsa Vintage Chapter 10; he served multiple terms as president and has been its Newsletter Editor since 1985.

Charlie has served as senior co-chairman of the Tulsa Regional Fly-In since 1981. He co-founded the National Biplane Association in 1987 and served as its Chairman from 1987 to 2009. Charlie was elected to the Vintage Board in 1988 and served the Division as Treasurer from 1996 to 2009. He also served as Chairman of the VAA Executive Committee from 2002 to 2009 and as VAA Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chairman from 1995 and continues to date. Charlie retired from the active VAA Board of Directors in 2009 but continues to serve the board in an emeritus status and on special projects.

Buck_Hilbert_smallE. E. “Buck” Hilbert – Director Emeritus, Union, Illinois

Buck is a native of Chicago and a graduate of Lewis College.  He began learning the “pilot’s point of view” while working as a line boy at the old Elmhurst Airport near Chicago in 1938.  The pay wasn’t much, but it was “flyin” time and he soloed an Aeronca 65LA Chief in October, 1941. He enlisted in the Air Force shortly thereafter, into the Training Command, where he flew and instructed in many of the training aircraft of that era.  He flew gunnery training at Las Vegas Army Air Field in B-17s and finished up teaching Chinese Nationalist Pilots twin engine transition. Recalled for the Korean War, Buck qualified as an Army Aviator and flew with the HQ.  Company Air Section of the 24th Infantry Division.  “A most rewarding and memorable experience,” he reports.

Buck is at home at “Hilbert’s Funny Farm” where he has an airstrip and keeps a stable of interesting and flyable “old” airplanes including the Airmail Swallow he flew across the nation to commemorate the Bicentennial and United Air Lines 50th Anniversary.  An Aeronca C03, a Champ and Stinson L-5 also reside in that stable.

Buck is a retired United Airlines captain.Buck has been with our organization since the beginning.  He served as its first President from 1971 through 1975.  He also served as Treasurer of the Division and as a member of the EAA Aviation Foundation Board of Trustees. His “Pass it to Buck” columns of interaction with members were enjoyed by all for many years in the Vintage Airplane magazine. Buck continues to serve the VAA as a Director Emeritus.

Gene_Morris_smallGene Morris – Director Emeritus, West Lake, Texas

The airplane bug bit Gene at the age of 10 when he became an avid builder of models. His first plane ride was in a Bellanca 14-9. During World War II he worked in his father’s aircraft repair business on what would be some fantastic antiques today. Gene began flying lessons at age 15 and at age 18 had his commercial license before high school graduation. He started flying for American Airlines in 1955 and retired from the airline flying the Boeing 747.

Gene has owned several antiques including an American Eaglet, which was named Reserve Grand Champion at EAA Oshkosh ‘76. He joined EAA in 1964 and the Antique/Classic Division in 1975 (now the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association.) Gene served many years as an Antique Judge beginning in 1977. He served the VAA as an Advisor beginning in 1979 and as a Director beginning in 1983. In 1978 he was instrumental in forming EAA Chapter 685 at Hampshire, IL.  Since 2003 Gene has been Director Emeritus on the VAA Board.

Wes_Schmidt_2012_smallWes Schmid – Director Emeritus, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Active in EAA since 1956. In the early years Wes was involved with the preparation of Experimenter and Sport Aviation magazines. He prepared advertising programs in addition to a variety of special publications such as manuals, brochures, data books, and other educational and promotional materials.

Wes is Director Emeritus of the EAA Board, having served 33 years as Secretary. Forums chairman since 1959-the Rockford days-when just one tent and a few speakers were involved. From this modest beginning the forums program evolved into today’s eleven buildings in which over 500 educational forums are presented during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. He is co-author of the EAA Foundation’s book “Golden Age of Air Racing.”

JohnTurgyan250John Turgyan – Director Emeritus – Trenton, New Jersey

John has been actively involved in aviation since his days as a line boy at age 13.  He soloed at 16 and received his private and commercial pilot ratings at 17 and 18 respectively.  He flew everything on the airport from Cubs to Aztecs.  He has owned several airplanes, including a J-3, PT-22, Champ, Stinson 108-3, Howard DGA-15, Stinson SR-6, and a Beech Bonanza (S/N 67). John currently owns a Spartan 7-W, a Howard DGA-11 and a Waco Taperwing. John joined EAA in 1970 and the Antique/Classic Division (A/C), now the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) when it was founded in 1972.He enjoyed flying to Hales Corner for long weekends, working on a variety of projects with Paul Poberezny.

John was named to the Antique/Classic Division Board of Directors in November 1979 and served for several years as Director and now as Director Emeritus. His volunteer work at Oshkosh included serving as a Co-Chairman of A/C activities and Chairman of the Picnic Committee.  For four years he was on the A/C Judging Committee and he served as Chairman of the A/C Interview Circle. John started working as an airline pilot in 1967 with Allegheny Airlines which was purchased and became US Air. He flew for them until 1998, as a 1st officer and then Captain. John is a lifetime member of EAA and the VAA.

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