MnPilots Hangar Flying
Be an influence!
February 1, 2018
We recently had our annual business meeting for the Minnesota Pilots Association. We had a wonderful evening! Amongst the items of business was the election for three Board of Directors positions. We are pleased to announce Gregg Strathy and Steve Thibault have been re-elected, and Patrick Halligan has been elected to his first term. We are so grateful for these three outstanding individuals, and the expertise and energy they bring to the board.
The annual meeting gives us a chance to review the last year and look forward to what we wish to accomplish this year. Amongst highlights was increased membership, now at 655, up by over 100 from the previous year. While this is terrific (we began with a grand total of 7 back in 2013) we have much to do to raise this number this year. One of the very first things I am asked when I approach our legislators about items relating to aviation is, “How many members does your organization have?” There is power in numbers, folks, and we have tapped only a small proportion of pilots in Minnesota. Board member Randy Schoephoerster has signed on to lead a membership drive. You will be hearing more from him as this year progresses. Thanks, Randy!
One of our key missions is to increase awareness and participation of young people in aviation. The Minnesota Pilots Association tasked Gregg Strathy to work to revive interest in the Aviation Merit Badge program, a part of the Boy Scouts of America. Gregg is an Eagle Scout, an Aviation Merit Badge Counselor, and the leader of Aviation Exploring Post 521. At our 2017 GMAG, we hosted over 20 Boy Scouts who completed requirements for the Aviation Merit Badge, with much volunteer help from the ranks of MN Pilots. Gregg and his colleagues established Post 521 in the summer of 2017 with the MN Pilots Association as the sponsoring organization. Exploring is open to both boys and girls, age 14-20, who have completed eighth grade, with a goal of providing exposure to and insights regarding career opportunities in a given field. This past year Gregg and the Explorers were able to visit the control tower at MSP Airport, Wings of the North Museum at Flying Cloud Airport, The Learning Jet at Downtown St. Paul Airport, Sun Country Airlines Dispatch and Flight Ops, Cirrus Aircraft Manufacturing in Duluth, and Academy College where youth met with representatives from the College, and to fly flight simulators.
We already made inroads into the Girl Scouts of America, working to establish a Merit Badge program in their organization. Mary Alverson, one of our Board members, and Lynn O’Jala will be leading those efforts.If you have interest in helping with our efforts with young people, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your help and support will be much appreciated!