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National Aviation Hall of Fame Seeking Leader for Organization's Future

December 6, 2010

Since its founding nearly 50 years ago, the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) in Dayton, OH, has consistently told the dynamic story of aviation in America by honoring its visionaries and pioneers. The NAHF recently announced that it is conducting a search for a new executive director to lead the organization’s growth and ensure it excels in its mission for the next 50 years.

“The executive director is the primary face of the organization and should be passionate about aviation,” said NAHF trustee and chair of the search committee Bud Sittig. “Most importantly, we’re looking for a leader with significant executive experience, who can grow the long-term capacity of the organization.”

Chartered by Congress in 1964, the NAHF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the pilots, engineers and other people who have made a positive impact on aviation or furthered its history. Situated adjacent to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH, the Hall of Fame has an inspiring display of aviation history, as seen through the eyes of the people who made the greatest impact on the industry’s success. NBAA has been a proud supporter of the Hall of Fame since 2002.  

The executive director of the NAHF is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of the organization, institutional development, managing the Learning Center at the Air Force Museum and, starting in 2012, the execution of the NAHF’s premier event, the annual Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony every July.

“The Enshrinement Ceremony is our hallmark event and the executive director is the lead agent in making certain that every year it lives up to its unofficial nickname: ‘the Oscar night of aviation,’” said Sittig. “Every year, we have 600 to 800 attendees and the whole event is designed to honor the citizens who have helped make this nation great through their outstanding achievements to aviation.”

The NAHF has retained former executive director Ron Kaplan to run the 2011 Enshrinement Ceremony and the new director’s responsibility for the event will begin in 2012. In the first year, the new executive director will work to establish relationships with other aviation organizations and travel to events, including NBAA’s Annual Meeting & Convention. NAHF annually presents its Combs Gates Award at NBAA’s Convention and NBAA collaborates with NAHF throughout the year.

The new director will also focus on hiring new staff, representing the NAHF in the media and ensuring a sustainable financial position for the organization’s operations.

“This is a very important yet small organization that needs to be built into a robust nonprofit that honors our air and space legends,” said Sittig.

For more information about the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the executive director position, contact the NAHF’s Cee John at cjohn@nationalaviation.org.