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July 28, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - While they each have their niche, they share one big similarity. They are helping to make EAA as well as its annual fly-in convention better each year.

Four EAA members will be presented the President’s Award at 7:30 p.m. today at Theater in the Woods. The President’s Awards provide EAA President and Chairman Tom Poberezny an opportunity to personally acknowledge members whose participation and contributions represent the “essence” of EAA.

The 2009 winners include Skip Lehman, Roscoe Morton, Bob Lumley, and Jack Dueck.

Skip Lehman
Skip Lehman said he’s like a kid on Christmas morning—even in the middle of January—if he’s in Oshkosh.

But EAA members should feel the same way, thanks to Lehman’s work with EAA and its partners.

“Skip Lehman has been invaluable in his support and working with EAA partners whose relationships bring great value to the organization,” Poberezny said. “Not only has he helped at AirVenture, but he has been helpful on a year-round basis.”

Lehman began working at Oshkosh in 1994, and put together the original Young Eagles sponsorship. He now represents many of the largest firms that have a presence at the fly-in convention.

During that time, manufacturers have improved their facilities on the AirVenture grounds, from non-air conditioned tents to indoor trade show displays with concrete flooring and underground electrical power.

“We were instrumental in bringing EAA into the 21st century,” he said. “Other manufacturers are now doing the same things with more permanent displays and more beautiful displays.”

But a partnership must work both ways, he said. “Ford Motor Company, for example, is truly a great EAA partner. They give EAA members special pricing on vehicles and sponsor the Fly-In Theater and opening day concert,” Lehman said. Ford also donates a one-of- a-kind car to be auctioned off for Young Eagles. (This year it’s called the AV-X10 Dearborn Doll, and it’s based on the 2010 Ford Mustang GT.)

Roscoe Morton
Go to the flightline any time during AirVenture and you’ll hear him, explaining aerobatic maneuvers or talking to aviation greats about their historic firsts.

It’s the voice of Roscoe Morton, who has been chief announcer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh since 1974, as well as chief announcer at Sun ’n Fun and other events throughout the nation, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

“Roscoe Morton has been the voice of EAA and the public address system for decades,” Poberezny said. “He not only does a great job in organizing our air show announcers and activities, but he has done so for a long time.”

In fact, Morton estimated he has interviewed more than 800 of aviation’s greats. His favorite interviews? EAA founder Paul Poberezny, airplane builder and racer Steve Wittman, and aerobatic pilots Marion Cole and Charlie Hillard.

Why does he do it?

“I get pleasure out of saying good things about people,” he said. “I like to describe what they are doing so the audience can better understand and appreciate it.”

Morton began his aviation career by soloing—illegally—at age 15 in 1947. He worked as a locomotive fireman to pay for flying early on. A U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, he retired as a Boeing 747 captain for what is now Delta Air Lines. He is also a three-time captain of the U.S. Aerobatic Team in world competition, and he wrote the first U.S. aerobatic rule book.

Bob Lumley
Nearly 30 years ago, Al Kelch dreamed about improved facilities for the Vintage area. He asked Bob Lumley, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, for advice on those building projects, and soon Lumley was in charge, from building additions to the VAA Red Barn, to converting a shed into a workplace, and more.

But Lumley also found himself thinking of improvements. “I dreamed of getting rid of the tents beside our building and in 1994 drew up an initial rendering of what that building should look like,” he said.

That dream finally became a reality this year, with VAA in its own new building. After major construction of the VAA’s Vintage Hangar was completed by MPB Builders of Ripon, volunteers took over, framing the new administrative rooms and volunteer center in time for the 2009 fly-in convention.

But construction isn’t the only thing Lumley has done for the vintage division. He also is in charge of merchandizing, with the help of Georgia Schneider.

“Bob Lumley is one of the active leaders in the Vintage aircraft area,” Poberezny said. “He shows year-round dedication as a director and spends countless hours preparing for activities during AirVenture. He certainly deserves to be recognized.”

Lumley may be receiving the President’s Award, but he said he couldn’t have accomplished what he did without the support of the vintage board members, past and present.

“Everyone gave me an opportunity to be involved,” he said. “They made it happen. I just happened to be around to do it.”

Jack Dueck
Jack Dueck, of High River, Alberta, Canada, has been a homebuilding and restoration enthusiast for his 50- year aviation career, having restored a CF-PII, an Aeronca Chief 11AC, a Luscombe, and also having “slowbuilt” a Van’s RV-4 that first flew in 1999. But he’ll tell you first and foremost, “I’m a volunteer.”

And how. Dueck serves as a member of the EAA Canadian Council and of the EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council; is EAA Chapter 1410’s founding president, where he also serves as a technical counselor and flight advisor; and is a SportAir Workshops instructor. His most recent volunteer effort: editor of the EAA e-newsletter for aviation and Canada, Bits and Pieces.

He has also been a featured instructor on several of the popular Hints for Homebuilders videos on the EAA website. That led to his recent publication of the book Sheet Metal Building Basics, which provides the fundamentals “that everyone starting a sheet metal project should know,” he said, plus plenty of solid info that steps beyond the “how-to” basics into the “why-to” of the task.

“Jack Dueck is a member of our homebuilt council, and he’s been a great leader in developing and distributing information from the standpoint of the design craftsman who is trying to design an airplane,” Poberezny said. “He is also a strong voice for EAA in Canada.”

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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