WICHITA, Kan., Dec. 21, 2010 – Since its launch in 2008, the Wichita Aero Club has established itself as a nationwide forum for discussion of key aviation issues, networking and philanthropy. It has announced an impressive slate of speakers for the coming year after having established a solid reputation for attracting leaders from industry and government in its first two years of existence.
Formation of the club was announced at a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association convention in October 2008 with the support of 20 founding companies.(A full list appears at the end of this release.) Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group inaugurated the monthly lunch series in December 2008, and during the past two years the club has welcomed 38 different speakers. They have included a sitting U.S. senator, a sitting U.S. congressman, a sitting governor, the CEOs of 10 national trade or industry organizations, six CEOs of major aerospace companies, the chair of a federal agency and other notables.
“Despite the turmoil in the industry, the devastation of losing so many associates and friends in work force reductions, the uphill battle against the rhetoric coming out of Washington, and the monumental challenges of trying to jumpstart our businesses in the face of troubled global economies… despite all of that, our club has not only survived but thrived,” said Robert Stangarone, the club’s chairman. “Over the past two years, we have made it possible for those of us in Wichita to hear, first hand, from national leaders in industry, government and news media,” he said. “We have stimulated debate on key issues that will shape our future in these unique and challenging times. We have recognized individuals like Velma Wallace for her great accomplishments. We have supported aviation education initiatives such as Exploration Place’s Aviation Camp, and have provided a major financial contribution to those Wichitans who lost their jobs in the downturn,” he added.
More information on the Wichita Aero Club is at www.wichitaaeroclub.org along with video clips from past speakers and information on future speakers on the Events tab.
2011 scheduled speakers
In 2011, the Wichita Aero Club will launch its year with a pair of unique sessions. The first will be a panel featuring Wichita State University President Dr. Don Beggs, Dr. John Tomblin of the National Institute for Aviation Research and Dr. Tony Kinkel, the newly appointed president of the National Center for Aviation Training, where the January luncheon will be held. In February, the WAC will return to the Wichita Airport Hilton Hotel for a panel on aviation and the environment co-sponsored by the Lindbergh Foundation and featuring John and Martha King of the King Schools. Wichita native Clay Lacy, a 2010 National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee will follow in March before Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group makes a return visit to the WAC podium. He was the Club’s first speaker. Kansas’s newest Senator, the Honorable Jerry Moran will address the group in May. There will be no luncheon in June, when the second annual Wichita Aero Club Golf Classic takes place at Crestview Country Club, but the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Chief Executive Officer and President; Craig Fuller will also make a return visit in July. John P. Johnson, the President of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is slated for August and Peggy Chabrian, the President of Women in Aviation has agreed to speak in September. Gary Scott , who heads Bombardier Commercial Aircraft will provide insight into the company’s new CSeries airliner program in November. The year will culminate with the WAC’s third annual ON-AIR Summit.