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Thread: Hightower Resigns as EAA President/CEO

  1. #1
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Hightower Resigns as EAA President/CEO

    Just posted on EAA.org:

    October 22, 2012 - The Board of Directors accepted the resignation of President and CEO Rod Hightower today. Hightower will be returning to St. Louis to reunite with his family.

    "Maura and I have five children ranging in age from pre-school to college freshman," Hightower said. "When I accepted the position two years ago I believed that we could as a family relocate to the Oshkosh area. But our family and school involvement have increased as our children advance in the schools they, and we as their parents, love. It would simply be too great a hardship on my family to move them to the Oshkosh area."


    Jack Pelton, recently retired Chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of EAA. In his role as EAA Chair, Pelton will guide the organization through the leadership transition.


    "I will be working closely with the EAA Board of Directors to ensure a seamless transition to a new leader," Pelton said. "The directors of EAA and I thank Rod for his service. We understand how difficult it is to relocate a family of school-age children."


    "EAA, as all of aviation, faces many challenges with the continuing economic slump and the decrease in personal aviation participation. As an association we must remain focused on the original mission of our founder, Paul H. Poberezny, to welcome all members no matter what they fly, celebrate our volunteers, and treat our employees fairly," Pelton added.

    Hal Bryan
    EAA #638979
    Online Community Manager
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  2. #2
    danielfindling's Avatar
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    Great message from the "new" or "renewed" EAA:

    "EAA, as all of aviation, faces many challenges with the continuing economic slump and the decrease in personal aviation participation. As an association we must remain focused on the original mission of our founder, Paul H. Poberezny, to welcome all members no matter what they fly, celebrate our volunteers, and treat our employees fairly," Pelton added.

    I am hopeful that actions will follow the words.

    Daniel

  3. #3
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielfindling View Post
    I am hopeful that actions will follow the words.
    That can be interpreted a few different ways, hopefully it means more grass roots aviation that more members might actually be able to afford.

  4. #4
    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Despite impassioned reports to the contrary, Rod Hightower could not convince me or many others that he was an aviator first and a CEO of a large corporation second. I look forward to another go at a renewed EAA that recognizes that its members are members, not customers.

  5. #5

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    At this point, most of us don't have any real insight into the demise and departure of Mr. Hightower. Whatever the real reasons are, Corporate dissatisfaction, member unrest, a huge professional growth opportunity or even the unlikely prospect of the stated rationale, the EAA is unquestionably at the threshold of a magnificent opportunity. I urge the board to carefully review candidates to succeed him and find most imperatively, a person with real leadership qualities. The board should take into account how miserably they failed this test in their last selection and ensure that they do not repeat their own error again.

  6. #6
    RickFE's Avatar
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    I must be missing something. What has Mr. Hightower done or not done that I should be happy he is gone?

  7. #7
    Sirota's Avatar
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    Hightower OUT

    I guess all the grumbling since AirVenture (god I hate that name) was heard after all!

    Changing of the Guard back to top
    HIGHTOWER OUT AT EAA
    In a surprise announcement Monday, EAA president and CEO Rod Hightower announced he was stepping down effectively immediately. The decision came following a board of directors meeting in which former Cessna CEP Jack Pelton was elected chairman of EAA's board.
    EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said Pelton has not been named the president or the CEO but he will handle the transition from Hightower. Pelton will meet with staff Tuesday.
    Hightower said he was stepping down to spend more time with his family, and he plans to move back to St. Louis. Hightower was hired in July of 2012 to replace former EAA president Tom Poberezny.


  8. #8
    Don't let the doorknob hit you in the butt Rod..... and take your picket fences with you!

  9. #9

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    I had the honor to meet his family at AV this year. His son had just gotten his PPL on his 17th birthday. Very nice family. It is hard to ask a family to move when they get to high school age. Their college futures hinge too much on how they are in high school. I wish him and his family all the best.

    Now it is up to the EAA board to decide how they want the future of EAA to be. I hope some strong candidates come to selection. Lets hope the best years of EAA are ahead.

    All the best Rod.

  10. #10
    kscessnadriver's Avatar
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    I see this as a forced removal, by the ever deafing roar of the few who think EAA should be nothing other than homebuilts. And if that's the case, I may elect to not renew my membership. I'm disappointed to see him go, it seems like he was doing a good job at increasing the income for the organization and putting it on a path to continued expansion in GA in general, rather than sitting in a niche corner that will continue to decline as the population gets older.
    KSCessnaDriver
    ATP MEL, Commercial Lighter Than Air-Airship, SEL, CFI/CFII
    Private SES

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