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CELEBRATING35 YEARS: 1984 - 2019
The Aero Club of Metropolitan Atlanta was founded in 1984 by Lockheed Aircraft Company executives and local business people to serve the aviation community.
From our March 13, 2019 Meeting: John "Lites" Leenhouts, President of SUN 'n FUN International & Founder of the Aerospace Center for Excellence
Our March speaker was John “Lites” Leenhouts, CEO and President of SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In International and The Aerospace Center for Excellence located in Lakeland, Florida, is a 27-year veteran of the United States Navy with a distinguished record of service as a carrier fighter pilot. Lites passion for aviation has spanned over nearly 5 decades from hitch hiking to his first airshow as a young kid to retiring from the United States Navy in 2001 as the Commodore of the Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic. Lites holds the distinction of being the most experienced US Naval aviator of all time having successfully completed 10 major deployments and achieved 1,645 arrested carrier landings.
After his retirement from the Navy, Lites worked for over 10 years for the Northrop Grumman Corporation. He created a successful, teaming arrangement with the Boeing Corporation to modify, repair and overhaul all variants of the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet.
“Lites” became the CEO & President of SUN ‘n FUN, Fly-In, Inc. in 2011 and steered the corporation to new heights that most could only dream of. Forming and guiding the SNF team, he drove the organization to become debt free for the first time in over 4 decades. Additionally, Lites has founded and molded the Aerospace Center for Excellence, a subsidiary of SNF whose mission is to populate the aviation industry with aerospace professionals.
Lites and his wife Nancy enjoy flying in their 1930 Waco or 1964 Piper Comanche, driving antique British cars, or riding their Harleys on the many back roads of our great nation.
From Our December 6, 2018 Meeting: Tom Vice, President & CEO, Aerion Corporation.
Our December Speaker was Tom Vice, President and CEO of Aerion Corporation. Mr. Vice is responsible for all aspects of the leadership of Aerion Corporation, including Aerion Supersonic and Aerion Technologies Corporation of Palo Alto, California, which specializes in advanced aerodynamics software.
Vice joined Aerion from Northrop Grumman, where he served as president of its Aerospace Systems sector overseeing an $11 billion global advanced technology business with 23,000 employees. Aerospace Systems is a pioneer in space-based observatories, satellites, fully-autonomous intelligent systems, combat aircraft, high-powered lasers, and microelectronics.
Previously, Vice was president of Northrop Grumman’s Technical Services sector, a leader in integrated logistics and modernization, defense and government services, and training solutions, with more than 19,500 employees in 300 locations in all 50 states and 29 countries.
The EPPS Award for Outstanding Aviation Achievement was Presented to Major General George Harrison, USAF (Retired).
George Harrison retired as Associate Director, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, Georgia in 2016. Before his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in July 1997 as a Major General, he was Commander, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. George began his Air Force career as an F-4 pilot at MacDill AFB, Florida in 1963. Since then, he has flown combat in Republic of Vietnam (RVN), Iraq and Bosnia. He commanded the 4485th Test Squadron, the 479th Tactical Training Wing, the USAF Air Warfare Center, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia and served as the Director of Operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
The EPPS Award for Outstanding Aviation Achievement is given in the name of Pat Epps, a Georgia Tech alumnus, and his family who have made such a positive impact on aviation in the Atlanta Area. Ben Epps, Pat’s father, flew a powered aircraft of his own design at Athens, Georgia in 1907, just three years after the Wright Brothers’ first successful powered flight.
Thank you, Mr. Epps, for making this honor possible!
About the Atlanta Aero Club
The Atlanta Aero Club is dedicated to providing a forum for matters affecting aviation in the Atlanta area, both commercial and general; recognizing and awarding those making the greatest contribution to furthering aviation in the Atlanta area; communicating and disseminating information affecting aviation; and promoting all aviation and recognizing its importance to the metropolitan area and to the State of Georgia.
Please take a few moments to browse the site and see what the Aero Club has to offer. If you would like to attend one of our great events, keep an eye out to the right in the Upcoming Events section for information.
Individual Memberships are only $55 a year. Business memberships are $250 per year and allow up to 10 named individuals. Support the Atlanta Aviation Industry by joining or renewing now!
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The Atlanta Aero Club, a Chapter of the National Aeronautic Association will present Daniel J. Christman, President of Aero Atlanta Flight Center, with the 2018 Annual Epps Award for outstanding achievement and contributions to the Aviation Community in Georgia and the Southeast region. Pat Epps will present the award at the Atlanta Aero Club’s luncheon, March 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Epps Award is given to an individual, Company, or Government agency, determined to have made significant contributions to the aviation community.
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