WINDSOR LOCKS, CONN., December 2, 2014 – Scott Ashton, President of the Board of Directors, has announced the appointment of Jerry Paul Roberts as Executive Director of the New England Air Museum effective December 15, 2014. Roberts succeeds Michael P. Speciale, who retired on December 1, 2014 after 29 years of service.Mr. Roberts has been a writer, an historian and a museum professional for over 30 years. He began his museum career at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York City and served as Aerospace Curator, Senior Curator and ultimately, Vice President in charge of exhibits and education. Here he created dozens of interactive experiences and exhibitions and oversaw the transformation of the British Airways Concorde into a major walk-through attraction.
Mr. Roberts then served as Executive Director of the National Lighthouse Museum and most recently as Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum where he continued to design and build world class exhibits, create dynamic public programs, and cultivate strategic collaborations and strong donor involvement and support.In Connecticut, Roberts also coordinated the History and Heritage component of OpSail 2012. He directed the effort to have Essex recognized as the state’s first War of 1812 battle site, coordinated the 1812 bicentennial commemorations, wrote and co-produced a documentary on the battle and recently published, The British Raid on Essex, the Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812, through Wesleyan University Press.“We enthusiastically welcome Jerry’s experience, expertise and commitment to our mission”, said Mr. Ashton. “He has just the right blend of skills, energy and vision needed to lead NEAM into the future.”
“This is an exciting opportunity,” said Mr. Roberts. “I believe my experience, passion for aviation history and unique skills can help broaden NEAM’s already impressive appeal and make the museum and its exhibits even more dynamic and relevant. I am looking forward to working with the staff, volunteers, board of directors and the aviation community to take NEAM to the next level.”
Mr. Roberts lives in Deep River, CT with his wife, Jeni and their two young children.NEAM Board of Directors worked with Marie Dalton-Meyer, a transition consultant affiliated with Third Sector New England’s Executive Transition Program. The program supports nonprofit organizations before, during and after the critical time of change in executive leadership. Creative Arts Workshop is a non-profitThe New England Air Museum is committed to presenting the story of aviation, the human genius that made it possible and the profound effects that it has had on the way in which we live.
The New England Air Museum is the largest aviation museum in New England and is a private, non-profit educational institution that was organized in 1959. Three larger hangars and an outdoor display contain more than 80 aircraft with permanent exhibits that include the oldest surviving aircraft in the U.S. – the 1870 Silas M. Brooks Balloon Basket, as well as an S-39 Amphibian plane – the first aircraft built in Connecticut by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. Featured year-round are many historical aircraft and exhibits including a focus on World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen, and a display about Amelia Earhart alongside a Lockheed Model 10 Electra – the same type of plane flown by the female aviator. The Air Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting historically significant aircraft and related artifacts, engaging visitors through high-quality exhibits helping them to understand aviation technology and history and inspiring students through innovative and hands-on educational programs. It is owned and operated by the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with four full-time employees, 18 part-time employees, and more than 175 volunteers. The New England Air Museum is located on 36 Perimeter Road (off Route 75) on the North end of the Bradley International Airport airfield in Windsor Locks, Conn. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and features a large gift shop. For more information, www.neam.org or (860) 623-3305 or Facebook at New England Air Museum.