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. Advisors are appointed for two year terms.
Our current Officers, Directors, Board Advisors, and Directors Emeritus are listed below.
SUSAN DUSENBURY – President, 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”.
TIM POPP – Vice President, 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. .
DAN WOOD – Secretary, Newnan, Georgia
Dan caught the flying bug from his father who owned Taylorcrafts back in the forties. His first flight, at the age of nine, was with his Uncle in a Brantly helicopter. Dan earned his Private Pilot’s license in 1978 in a Cessna 150 while living near Lansing, MI. After he received a degree in Aircraft Engineering at Western Michigan University in 1986, he earned his A&P certificate in 1995. His engineering discipline took Dan and his family from Michigan to Tennessee to Georgia.
Dan worked at Aeroquip Aerospace, General Motors (Saturn) and he recently retired from Panasonic Automotive Systems as a Global Director of Supplier Quality Assurance. He has owned a Cessna 172, Cessna 182, an Aeronca Champ, currently a Cessna 170, and has a Cessna 170 project. Dan’s Cessna 170 has received awards at Oshkosh, Sun N Fun, Blakesburg, SERFI, and local fly-ins. He is current President and Technical Counselor at EAA Chapter 6 in Newnan, GA with previous stints as President, Secretary/ Newsletter Editor. and has flown Young Eagles. Dan joined EAA in 1988, VAA in 1994 and has attended numerous Oshkosh Conventions. He started volunteering at Oshkosh in 2008 in the Classic Aircraft Judging group and has since moved to the Contemporary Judging group where he currently is the Vice Chairman for Contemporary Awards. Dan and his wife (Debbie) live in Newnan,
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.
DAVE CLARK – Director, 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, Chief Judge, and Vice President of Vintage.
GEORGE DAUBNER – Director, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
George’s love for aviation started at the tender age of 12, when he attended his first airshow at his hometown airport in Hartford, Wisconsin. He realized then that he wanted to make flying a large part of his life. He started flying in 1969 and earned his Private ticket in 1970. In 1974, George was hired as a co-pilot flying Beech 18s for a Milwaukee based charter company. His job duties also included managing the Hartford Airport on weekends. During that period George was able to check-out in many different types of antique and classic aircraft-including a Cub, Stearman, Great Lakes, and Luscombe, to name a few.
Having retired after 25 years of corporate flying, George spends his time now as the Program Manager for the EAA B-17 Tour, and as a pilot on the EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor. Since 1983 George served the VAA during our Oshkosh convention as a volunteer for, or Chair of VAA Parking and Flight Line Safety and today as Vice Chairman of Vintage Field Operations. In the past George has also served the VAA as Vice President.
JON GOLDENBAUM – Director, Riverside, California
Jon’s aviation career began in 1963, when he served as a line boy and mechanic’s assistant for Guinn Flying Service, Pearland, Texas. He earned his private pilot certificate by exchanging manual labor for flying time. After graduating in 1964 from Stephen F. Austin High School, Houston, Texas, he attended the University of Texas, where he continued to exchange work for flying time to attain commercial, instrument, and flight instructor ratings as he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Jon retired as a lieutenant colonel after 17 years of active duty in the Air Force. He maintained and operated general aviation aircraft throughout his Air Force career. Jon has served as president of Consolidated Aircraft Coatings of Riverside, California, a manufacturer of FAA-approved covering systems, paints, and primers for aviation. In 2004, he became a trustee at the Tom Wathen Center, Flabob Airport, Riverside, California, a nonprofit charity dedicated to bringing challenged young people into aviation careers, becoming its chairman in 2013. He’s an active classroom and flight instructor while continuing to run a successful business.
Jon has owned a Piper J-3 Cub, Taylorcraft BC-12D, Stinson 108-3, Beech Queen Air, Beech V35 Bonanza, Navy N3N in the Antique/Classic aircraft category. He actively flies a Navy N3N-3, DC-3, C-47, C-53, T-28, Bonanza, Champ, and Cub, and is an active instructor in all. Jon holds ratings in an ATP, DC-3, MD-11, B-737. CFI, CFII, MEI, with 11,500 hours total with 3,000 hours of tailwheel.
JOHN HOFMANN – Director, 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.
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
DAN KNUTSON – Director, Lodi, Wsconsin
Dan Knutson, a pilot of 44 years lives in Lodi, Wisconsin. He can often be found at Knutson Field, named after his father, EAA Hall of Fame Inductee Richard Knutson Dan is there either flying or enjoying an airport picnic. Dan is an accomplished pilot and has participated in the restoration of 22 airplanes, nine of which he still owns. Since getting his pilot license in 1973, he has enjoyed studying and owning vintage airplanes. Owning and restoring collector automobies is also a passion for Dan.
For 47 years Dan has worked in the automotive industry. He started washing cars in high school and now is a partner in two Chrysler/Dodge..Ram/Jeep dealerships and works in one of the largest dealer groups in the State of Wisconsin. His role includes inventory management, purchasing, and employee supervision.
Dan has a passion for vintage airpanes and is grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of the Vintage Aircraft Association.
PAUL KYLE – Director, Mason, Ohio
Paul’s inspiration in flight came from his grandfather and father who took him to his first Oshkosh convention in 1983. During the late 80’s he started helping his grandfather build a Soneri II. While in college he started taking flight lessons in his father’s 1959 Cessna 150. He graduated from Concordia University in Wisconsin with a degree in Accounting, and acquired his CPA license in 2011. He currently resides in Mason, OH, with his wife Stephanie and young sons Ethan and Allon.
Paul has volunteered in numerous positions for Vintage, starting with the Antique Classic Division during the 1989 Oshkosh convention, where he worked the Flight Line. Later he started volunteering during the work-weekends in the mid 90’s, at Tall Pines Café, and chair of Aeromart. While he still helps out during the Work-Weekends, Paul’s main responsibility is now as Vintage Finance Chairman during AirVenture.
STEVE NESSE – Director, 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.
EARL NICHOLAS – Director, 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 held many Vintage volunteer positions over the years including the Daily Aerogram, producing volunteer name tags and computer operations.
JOE 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 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. Joe holds commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates with airplane and helicopter ratings, as well an A&P certificate with IA. Joe is also a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) for experimental aircraft.
Joe has owned a number of vintage aircraft over the years, including a Waco UPF-7, a Cessna 180,
Advisers to the Board of Directors
Jesse Clement – Adviser, Marion, Indiana
Jesse grew up on his family’s farm north of Marion, Indiana with a long time interest in aviation. He began flying model aircraft with two local remote control clubs, and when he was fifteen years old he was invited on a EAA Young Eagles flight with Ray Johnson in his 1947 Aeronca Chief. Soon after the flight with Ray, Jesse began flight training in Aeronca Champs, Piper Cubs, and Cessna 172’s.
While in high school, his family was able to acquire a 1947 Piper J3 Cub which he flew to Oshkosh in 2017 for the 80th anniversary of the Piper Cub. He has attended AirVenture since 2013 and has volunteered multiple years with Vintage. Jesse is currently a flight instructor at Western Michigan University and an aspiring professional pilot.
Luke Lachendro – Adviser, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Luke grew up in Wisconsin on a private airfield. He learned to fly in a Piper PA-16 Clipper and J3 Cub, soloed on his 16th birthday in a blizzard, and received his Private Pilot certificate at age 17. He has since accumulated hours in 48 different aircraft types and has given more than 200 rides through 950 flight hours. Luke was fortunate to grow up around airplanes and to have a father as a CFI. He is a 3rd generation pilot in his family and has a passion for introducing and reintroducing the joy of flight to any age group.
Luke earned a BBA in general management, emphasizing in healthcare management from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. He enjoys working as project controls for a construction company, and he is also a private aviation asset manager for a few clients. Luke is an avid volunteer for a few organizations that support general aviation. Through a successful career in the business world, he hopes to continue his efforts in giving back and paying it forward to a hobby he loves and enjoys every day.
Luke is passionate about the outreach of preservation, education, and commitment to giving people the chance and knowledge they need to be able to learn to fly or become interested in aviation. He appreciates the opportunity to continue to bridge the youth with the aviation community.
KEVIN McKENZIE – Advisor, Riverside, California
Kevin McKenzie got airplane fever early – his first flight was a $5 Discover Flying introductory flight he talked his way into as a 10-year-old. Kevin starts flight lessons at 15, paid for lessons with after school jobs, soloed on his 16th birthday, and became a Private Pilot at 17 – before he had a Driver’s License. He has been flying for 45 years and has a Commercial License with ASMEL and Instrument Ratings and a DC-3 Pilot in Command Type Rating.
Virtually all of Kevin’s fight time has involved general aviation vintage aircraft, and the majority of his flight time is in the PT-17 Stearman, N3N, the Ed Marquart MA-5 Charger sport biplane, and the DC-3.
Kevin has been an EAA member since 1981. Kevin has been a Trustee at the Tom Wathen Center and Flabob Airport in Riverside, California for almost 15 years and is active as an instructor in The Wathen Center youth aviation education programs.
Kevin is a graduate of Cal Lutheran and USC, and has worked as a practicing attorney in southern California for 33 years, including over 25 years defending aircraft accident cases.
JOEL MEANOR – Adviser, Keller, Texas
Joel’s interest in airplanes began very early in life, around age 4 or 5, while building plastic models with his brother. That interest grew into a passion once he started building balsa wood airplane models with his dad. Joel and his dad built every “stick and paper” WWI airplane they could find and eventually moved on to constructing larger, more complicated flying kits and hand launched gliders, which in turn led to a lifetime of airplanes.
In 1983, Joel took a break from building airplanes to serve a successful tour in the United States Marine Corps where he had the opportunity to fly in and operate out of nearly every military aircraft. Joel served globally with 1st Force Reconnaissance Company as special operations and a highly effective expeditionary force for U.S. asset protection, counter terrorism, information gathering and dynamic assault.
In 1992 Joel earned his A&P and FCC licenses from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. Shortly after earning his A&P, Joel’s first opportunity to work on real airplanes came at West Penn Airport (9G1), maintaining flight school aircraft at a small public airport northeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Trading work time for flight hours, Joel went on to obtain his private pilot’s license in 1994, eventually adding a seaplane rating and tailwheel endorsement over the years. Joel went on to be a professional aircraft mechanic, working around the world in the helicopter industry. He eventually obtained multiple degrees, licenses, and certifications in the aviation industry with concentration areas including aviation maintenance, operations, and business management.
Today, professionally, Joel is co-owner of a group of companies in the aviation industry that serve other businesses in effectively identifying talent. For over two decades, Joel and his companies have devoted 100% of their effort and services to helping the aviation and aerospace industry and its people. Joel’s contribution and primary roles in his businesses include administration, finance, HR, legal, as well as helping determine and formulate policies and direction for his growing organization.
Joel volunteers for various organizations, including the Vintage Aircraft Association as a Judge in the Classic Aircraft category, putting to use his decades of experience of professional aircraft maintenance combined with his love for aviation history and historic aircraft. He fly’s animal rescue flights for Pilots N Paws. Joel is also a longtime EAA member, having served as his local EAA Chapter Secretary and Club A&P. He is an active member, huge advocate, Past President and current Fly-In Chairman for the Texas Chapter of the Antique Airplane Association. Since taking on the role of Fly-In Chairman, Joel has systematically improved attendance and interest in the annual fly-in by outlining and communicating objectives, promoting initiatives and programs, improving relationships, sparking enthusiasm, listening to participants, learning from every event, and following up with everyone. Joel also volunteers his time helping veterans’ transition from the Armed Forces to the civilian workforce.
Joel has two children, one grandson, and has been happily married for nearly 30 years to his wife, Kathy, who enjoys flying with him in their Cessna 182.
Charlie Waterhouse – Adviser, Dayton, Ohio
Charlie’s involvement in aviation began at age 14 with a Young Eagles flight at the DeKalb County Airport (kGWB). Along with his father and younger brother, he started to get more involved with his local VAA chapter, and in 2010 he attended his first AirVenture where he found a passion for volunteering. He has since taken on the role of Vintage Forums and Type Club Chairman, as well as serves as a Vintage Youth Ambassador. He attended the EAA Air Academy in 2010 and 2012. During the summer of 2014, Charlie obtained his private pilot certificate, and in 2015, he was honored in the EAA Young Eagles Yearbook.
Charlie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Dayton. He is currently employed by the United States Air Force as a Flight Technology Engineer within the F-16 Program Office, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. His work focuses on flight controls, flying qualities, aerodynamics, and flight performance. Charlie is also an Eagle Scout, loves the outdoors, and enjoys running in his free time. He’s currently pursuing his tailwheel endorsement and hopes to own a vintage aircraft someday.
DAVID BENNETT – Director Lincoln, California
Dave was interested in aircraft of all kinds in his childhood years. He and a close friend spent countless hours wandering around the Pontiac Airport as well as building model aircraft. Through the years the model aircraft changed to full-size as Dave helped build a couple of home built airplanes. Professional career and family duties made it tricky to arrange consistent time for flight lessons. A flight instructor was located who would fly at 6:00 a.m.-providing flight training before going to the office in the morning. Dave first volunteered at Convention in the early ’80s with his son Scott. He has done many volunteer jobs through the years. Currently he chairs the Chapters and Membership booth. Dave’s professional career is in the field of electronics. In the U.S. Navy he was a FTG2 Fire Control Technician. He retired from Hewlett Packard after 30 years, and is now working on microwave amplifiers at Teledyne Electronics Technologies. Dave’s home is just a short walk from the Lincoln, California (LHM) Regional Airport where airplane noise is still considered “music”.
BOB 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.
PHILIP COULSON – Director Emeritus, Lawton, Michigan
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’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.
BOB LUMLEY – Director, Brookfield, Wisconsin
A native of Athens, Georgia, Bob retired as vice president of 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 since 1981, Bob has designed and managed the construction of additions to the iconic Vintage Red Barn, the Vintage Hangar, as well as other Vintage buildings. For years Bob also managed the Red Barn Gift Shoppe. 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 Vintage Nominating Committee. Bob currently serves as Chairman of Vintage Pioneer Video during AirVenture. In 2009 Bob was a recipient of EAA’s President’s Award.
GENE 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 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.”