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EAA Chapter Leaders Exchange Ideas at Fourth Academy

EAA Chapter Leaders Workshop
Academy attendees with EAA staff hosts in front of EAA's 1903 Wright Flyer replica in the AirVenture Museum.

EAA Chapter Leaders Workshop
EAA President Tom Poberezny welcomes attendees to the fourth EAA Chapter Leaders Academy.

September 18, 2008 — Another well-attended and productive EAA Chapter Leadership Academy was held over the past weekend, providing more than 20 participants with opportunities to learn and exchange ideas to improve their local aviation efforts.

Twenty-two EAA members in chapter leadership positions took part, representing 14 different chapters from throughout the country. In large and small groups they talked about membership recruitment, fundraising and new resources, and other topics.

Alan White, secretary of Chapter 272, Superior, Wisconsin, called the weekend gathering “incredibly worthwhile.”

“You realize there are a lot of folks who have questions just like you do,” he said. “We learned a lot of very good ideas from each other to help our local chapters. Hopefully I was able to spark some thoughts in other fellow members.”

Added Chuck Sheldon, EAA 114362, president of EAA Chapter 1436 in Taos, New Mexico: “We had the opportunity to work together to discuss similar challenges we all experience. Being able to meet with EAA staff members showed me that we are not alone. They’re here to help us.

Terri Gorman, EAA 14234, vice president/secretary of Chapter 62 in San Jose, California, also felt that meeting EAA staff members was very helpful. “I can now put a face to an e-mail,” she said. “I enjoyed meeting everyone…I've already had a message from one of the attendees and he and I will be sharing (guest) speakers.”

Group activities included an evening welcome social with EAA President Tom Poberezny and other members of the headquarters staff on Friday; a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum; and the EAA Chapter 252 Pancake Breakfast held Saturday morning at Wittman Regional Airport.

White described one recurring event conducted by his chapter - a collaborative effort with the local middle school. “Each year the seventh graders have a two-week aviation segment, and the chapter offers Young Eagles rides at the end of the segment,” he said. “Previous years as many as 300 kids flew with chapter members. Several academy participants thought similar programs could be developed in their areas.”

And that’s the idea, said Steve Buss, EAA Chapters Manager.

“EAA chapter members are extremely creative, and using a forum like this to exchange ideas is valuable,” he said. “Participants learn from each other and from the EAA headquarters team. Together we continue to strengthen the Chapter network. Our hope is that many more chapter leaders will take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

EAA has scheduled several other Chapter Leaders Academy sessions, all of which have openings for interested members. The next session is right around the corner, October 10-12, so those who are interested in attending should contact EAA Chapters as soon as possible at chapters@eaa.org.

Leaders Academies scheduled in 2009 include: January 23-25; February 27-March 1; March 27-29; September 18-20; and October 16-18, 2009. For more information, or to reserve a spot, please send us an e-mail listing your contact information and session preference.

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