Tom Poberezny Retires from EAA Chairman Position

Tom Poberezny and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) today jointly announced that Poberezny is retiring as chairman of the association and AirVenture Oshkosh after decades of leadership and success.

Louie Andrew, vice president of the EAA Board and chairman of its Executive Committee, said the Board unanimously passed a resolution praising Poberezny for his leadership to the group and success in helping make the nonprofit organization the world’s leading aviation association. Andrew also said the Board thanked Poberezny 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.Poberezny has led EAA – now in its 58th year – since 1989, when he assumed the top position after his father, Paul, retired from active day-to-day involvement. He has served as chairman of the annual EAA Convention for more than 30 years and will assume the title of chairman emeritus August 1, when his retirement is effective.

“Tom, like his father, has been a visible leader for EAA and a mentor to thousands of flight enthusiasts, especially the countless young people that he has helped understand and become involved in the wonder of flight and the importance of aviation to our society,” Andrew said. “We will miss his daily involvement and valuable input, but we are happy to know that he will continue to be a good friend and an informal adviser as we move into an exciting future.”

Tom Poberezny will continue to be “the best ambassador” for EAA and its many programs.

“I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish during my tenure,” he said. “From increased attendance at our convention to the expansion of our facilities and programs, I am pleased to have led the effort to set the stage for future growth.”

Poberezny added that he is especially proud of the Young Eagles program, an effort to reach out to millions of young people and introduce them to the marvel of flying and flying machines.

“The building blocks for the continued success and growth for EAA have been laid, and I look forward to helping in new and different ways in the years ahead,” he said.

Poberezny said he feels fit and enjoys the work, but added that “fresh thinking and new ideas are the fuel to propel us forward. EAA is well-positioned to step into the future with confidence, strong leadership and a promising outlook.”

Rod Hightower, current EAA president and CEO, will assume Tom Poberezny’s responsibilities. Andrew said that Hightower’s work with Poberezny over the past year prepared him well for the new duties.

“Tom has left big shoes to fill, and I’ll work hard to do my best for our members, our business partners, the aviation community and the entire Fox Valley area, especially Oshkosh,” Hightower said.

KITPLANES Editor Mary Bernard began her career in aviation journalism in 1998 and has worked in publishing for more than 15 years.

2 Replies to “Tom Poberezny Retires from EAA Chairman Position”

  1. I remember watching Mr. Poberezny so capably fly his Pitts Special in Denver, CO as part of the Red Devils aerobatic team, back in the 1970's, before he was president of the EAA. Blue skies sir, and congratulations on a life well spent so far!

  2. Things have changed since I met Tom at the 1966 show. We spent an evening with Paul, Bob Hoover, John Church, Mira Slovak, Gil Macy and the few others who flew World War 2 aircraft, during those early years. That year I had a Corsair. There weren’t many of us and each was known to the others. At that time the aircraft were worth about $14,000 and an average person could own one.

    Now the prices have reached the millions and the show’s attendance numbers near a million.

    In 1966 the show still had a very personal touch, a touch that allowed Paul the luxury of spending some time with a few friends.

    The show has expanded from its modest beginning, to what it is now – one of the world’s leading, if not the leading event.

    All of this due, in a great part, to the efforts of Paul, and his son tom.

    Aviation owes this pair a heartfelt thanks, for the past, and the future.

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