EAA Chairman/President Tom Poberezny took to the podium Sunday afternoon for
his annual wrap-up briefing, he had the relieved look of a man who just won a
15-round prizefight with a challenging opponent.
"In my 35 years as chairman, these were
the most difficult conditions ever" leading up to a convention, Poberezny
"But it's not how you start; it's how you
EAA's army of volunteers and staff divided and
conquered the litany of tasks that needed to be done to overcome the soggy
grounds and, literally, save the 2010 convention.
"People are passionate for this event and
for EAA," he said.
Though figures will likely show a decrease in
overall attendance, all sectors of showplanes except for vintage saw increased
numbers, he said, plus there were more exhibitors than 2009 and international
visitors were up 4 percent.
"This was a great convention - we couldn't
get all the aircraft on the field, but we wound up getting more on than we had
thought possible," Poberezny said.
The sight of coming over the State Highway 44
overpass and seeing a North 40 absent of airplanes was surreal, he said.
"I never thought that would have happened,
but it did…and we overcame it."
What was headlined early in the week as 'Sploshkosh"
was just Oshkosh by the end - a collection of aviation-loving people gathering
for their annual reunion.
Poberezny fielded several questions regarding
transitioning to EAA's new president and CEO, Rod Hightower - EAA's first
president not named Poberezny.
"We need to make it seamless for the
members," he said. "Rod will have my full support, whatever it
Hightower becomes president of EAA on September
7, 20010. Poberezny will remain EAA and AirVenture chairman, focusing on
partnerships, EAA donors, and programs.
DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3;
2015: July 27-Aug. 2