The non-profit Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) has established its inaugural Board of Trustees, the group now focusing on multiple aspects of renovating the original 1929 Port Columbus Air Terminal into its new home and establishing its public programming.
The nine volunteer Board of Trustees presently serving the OAS represent diverse business, aerospace, and education backgrounds and have collectively begun to direct the newly formed organization along with OAS founder and Executive Director, Ron Kaplan, who now additionally serves as interim Chairman of the Board. Since their first meeting in May, trustees have been focused on administrative tasks, the “Phase One” campaign to raise matching funds required by the State of Ohio for its $550,000 grant, and preparing for a multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign to follow.
Earlier this year the OAS announced a memorandum of understanding with The Ohio State College of Engineering’s Center for Aviation Studies to partner in developing aviation STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curricula for teens and the creation of aviation events and activities related to Ohio’s air and space pioneers. Potential partnerships with other Ohio universities, non-profits, and education programs are in discussion. In March the OAS and Moody Nolan, its Columbus-based architectural firm, also premiered an animated video fly-through video depicting the 13,000 square-foot terminal when completed, including a state-of-the-art STEAM learning facility. Other involvement includes The Hodge Group serving as philanthropic counsel and Signature Flight Support who are supporting the project with office space.
A recently completed feasibility study for the OAS confirmed the board’s enthusiasm for saving and transforming the historic terminal into the home of the OAS, especially for its mission of providing youth with learning and workforce development opportunities. Upon review of such feedback, it was proposed that the OAS change its name to better emphasize its role of providing education resources to those of all ages and backgrounds. As a result, the OAS trustees unanimously approved changing the organization’s name to the “Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center,” which is now reflected in a new logo (the 501(c)(3) organization had originally been formed as the Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Museum).
The inaugural OAS Board of Trustees are:
Christopher Axene, Equity Principal, Rea & Associates, Inc.
Tim Beach, Executive Administrator, Youth Aviation Adventure
Earl Lee, Principal, Director of Experiential Design, Moody Nolan Architects
John Mitchell, President, Tuskegee Airmen Inc., Ohio Chapter; Captain (Ret), American Airlines
Stephanie Morgan, Executive Director, Air Transportation/Aerospace Campus, OSU College of Engineering
Christine Mortine, Certified Flight Instructor; FAA Designated Pilot Examiner
George O’Donnel, Vice President, Arshot Real Estate Services LLC
Andrew Pierce, Director, Buckeye Tigers A.C.E. Academy; Lt. Colonel, USAFR
Robert E. Tanner, Executive Director, Aerospace Partnerships, Parallax Advance Research
OAS Executive Director Ron Kaplan said, “Ohio Air & Space, as we call it in shorthand, could not ask for more experienced, visionary and energetic trustees to get us started on the path to success. It will be an honor to serve and grow this organization together, make the historic terminal shine, and start making a positive difference as soon as possible.”
About The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center
The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to permanently preserving the inspiring legacies of this state’s outstanding pioneers of flight, prominently heralding their achievements both as a point of pride and to foster continued innovation and a skilled workforce. The OAS will additionally educate the public about the rich history of Ohio’s aviation and aerospace industries, and its airports, including that of the OAS future home in the soon-to-be-renovated original Port Columbus Air Terminal, located at John Glenn International Airport (CMH) in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center , visit www.ohioairandspace.org