|Receiving EAA chapter awards Saturday morning were (in back, l to r) Martin Sutter, Philip Hazen, Beth Rehm, Gary Piper, andâ€”on behalf of Rod Hatcher - Art Schwedler. In front are - on behalf of Avril RoySmith - Tom Ridderbush, on behalf of Martin Sutter; Rod Crum, Robert Baker, and - on behalf of Martin Sutter, Matt Gregg. (photo by Andrew Zaback)
EAA hosted the annual Chapter Leaders Breakfast and award ceremony Saturday, joining in the Founders' Wing of the AirVenture Museum.
EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower gave some remarks to the full room of leaders, pledging that the organization would support them in their efforts to grow their chapters, attract young members, and engage in their local communities.
"When I see something that works, I am a famous thief of good ideas," he said. One of the things he learned during his 47 Grassroots Pilot Tour stops held over the 18 months before convention was that "there are some great chapters out there."
The awards were presented in three categories: the Major Achievement Awards, the Web Editor of the Year, and the Newsletter Editor of the Year.
Major Achievement Awards
Robert Baker, EAA Chapter 92, Coto de Caza, California, became a "later-in-life" pilot at the age of 61.
He served as the chapter's vice president, and is currently serving as the chapter's webmaster and Young Eagles coordinator. During 2011, Robert flew 50 of the chapter's 300 Young Eagles after he added two extra events to the yearly schedule. The chapter expects to fly more than 400 Young Eagles this year.
Philip Hazen, EAA Chapter 44, Rochester, New York, has served as chapter president, vice president, and webmaster, and has been on the board of directors since 1985.
He has also been active in the Young Eagles program since it started in 1992, and currently holds the position of Young Eagles coordinator.
Phil's efforts began back in the 1980s when the chapter decided it needed to find a permanent location. Through Phil's research and negotiation, a half-acre of land next to Brockport's Ledgedale Airpark was purchased.
As the chapter outgrew its original home, a 3,500-square-foot Sport Aviation Center was built to allow the chapter to better accommodate guest speakers, seminars, and Young Eagles events. This building would likely not be standing if it were not for the efforts of Phil.
Martin Sutter, EAA Chapter 983, Granbury, Texas, has served as president, treasurer (EAA 661); vice president (EAA 34); tech counselor, chairman, and food services (EAA 983). He actively assists in fly-in events and is willing to spread his advice, encouragement, or hands-on support to anyone in sport aviation.
From 1996-1999, Martin taught sheet metal classes for homebuilders. He has also conducted more than 35 tech counselor inspections and several hundred tech visits and support to assist area builders.
He has assisted in the installation in at least 25 sets of wings, provided technical help to many more, performed first-flight testing on a dozen aircraft, and remains the go-to guy with homebuilding questions.
Martin even helped build a specially adapted RV-6 to an EAA member who had lost an arm.
Accepting on Martin's behalf Saturday morning was Don Crum.
Web Editor Award
The EAA Chapter Web Editor awards recognize the commitment and creativity these editors put forth to maintain their chapter's informative and high-quality websites.
Earning first place this year was Rod Hatcher, EAA Chapter 839, Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.
Art Schwedler accepted the award on behalf of Rod.
Second place went to Gary Piper, EAA Chapter 863, Lebanon, Tennessee - Gary also serves as newsletter editor and Young Eagles coordinator.
And the third place award was presented to Matt Gregg, EAA Chapter 180, Sarasota, Florida. Accepting on behalf of Matt is Martin Sobel.
Newsletter Editor Award
The EAA Newsletter Editor Awards recognize the editors who have shown high excellence in their newsletters while focusing on content, layout, appearance, and consistency.
The first place award went to Beth Rehm, EAA Chapter 932, Wonder Lake, Illinois.
Avril Roy-Smith, EAA Chapter 723, Camarillo, California, was named second place winner. Accepting on Avril's behalf was Tom Ridderbush.
Chosen for third place was Marty Santic, of EAA Chapter 75, Quad Cities, Illinois.