PRESS RELEASE -The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) announced the addition of Bill Shepard to its staff as the Vice President of Education. In this role, Shepard will oversee the design, execution and funding of CAF’s national education program, called RISE ABOVE.Shepard has been a CAF member for four years and is deeply involved with the CAF Red Tail Squadron serving as squadron leader and P-51C pilot. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Their outreach program includes a restored P-51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile theater featuring the original film “Rise Above”; and resource materials for teachers and youth leaders.
The RISE ABOVE national education program is a result of the success of the traveling exhibit and will expand to include other compelling stories of World War II aviation, such as the Women Air Service Pilots (WASP); all done in an effort to use the lessons of the past to inspire today’s youth to “rise above” their circumstances.Shepard brings a unique set of talents to the position – in his recent past working for a mining company he was responsible for corporate supply, logistics and negotiations to engage communities from the U.S. through aboriginal communities in Northern Canada. This talent for community relations and passion toward education will be a tremendous asset to the CAF’s education program. In addition to his role as the CAF Red Tail Squadron Leader, he has held leadership positions with the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association, the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum and the Urban Pilots Network. “I am excited to have Bill join the CAF Headquarters staff to implement our national educational initiative, utilizing our highly effective distribution assets with CAF units around the country. These units can make a deep impact within their local communities and surrounding region, inspiring young people to ‘rise above’ and achieve their dreams,” said Stephan C. Brown, CAF president/CEO.
Shepard, who starts this January, says “I look forward to helping others realize their potential by celebrating the stories of the men and women that rose above their circumstances in service to their country, and am excited about the opportunity to continue what has become my life’s work to ‘Inspire for Higher’ in all aspects of my life.”