|John R. Leenhouts (left) was announced as the new president of Sun ’n Fun. Former President John Burton (right) has accepted a position as president of Sun ’n Fun’s Florida Air Museum. Photo by Ric Reynolds
In a year that marks the 100th anniversary of naval aviation, Sun ’n Fun chose a 27-year naval aviator to lead the organization. John R. Leenhouts, a carrier fighter pilot, was introduced Friday as Sun ’n Fun’s new president to AirVenture media representatives.
John Burton, who served as Sun ’n Fun president for the past 12 years, introduced Leenhouts, whose navy call sign is “Lites.” Burton has accepted a position as president of Sun ’n Fun’s Florida Air Museum.
Leenhouts is only Sun ’n Fun’s third president and is excited to lead it to the next level.
“We have a great platform from which to leap off to the next level,” he said.
One of his main goals is to heighten Sun ’n Fun awareness – especially locally.
A passionate aviator, Leenhouts owns and flies both a 1941 Stearman N2-S and a 1930 Waco RNF.
He earned his private ticket in 1970 and has accumulated more than 10,000 hours as pilot-in-command of various military, antique and civilian aircraft.
“I’m tremendously excited about this amazing opportunity,” Leenhouts exclaimed. “This is literally a dream come true for me and I look forward to building on past accomplishments as we create pathways for continued growth and success.”
Leenhouts is a member of EAA, AOPA, Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Florida Antique Biplane Association, Stearman Restorers Association, and EAA Warbirds of America.