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Jack Pelton and George Saling, newest additions to NAHF Board of Trustees

Two Outstanding Aviation Leaders
Added to the Board of Trustees

The NAHF mission of “inspiring future generations through the accomplishments of
America’s aerospace pioneers, heroes and leaders” will be greatly advanced by two outstanding additions to the Board of Trustees: Jack Pelton, retired Chairman of Cessna Aircraft Company, and George Saling, previous Aviation Director for Phillip Morris and Altria

(Dayton, Ohio – January 27, 2012) The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) today announced the addition of two outstanding aviation professionals to their Board of Trustees, Jack Pelton and George Saling. Jack is the retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cessna Aircraft Company. A native of California, Jack has over three decades of aviation experience. He joined Cessna in 2000 as Vice President of Product Engineering. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer in 2003 and Chairman in 2005. Prior to joining Cessna he was Senior Vice President of Engineering for Dornier Aircraft. He started his career at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California.

Jack was a member of the Board and previous Chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. He also served on the Board of Directors of the National Business Aviation Association, the Sedgwick County Zoological Association, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Chamber and Wichita Habitat for Humanity. Currently he serves on the boards of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Corporate Angel Network. He is co-chairman of EAA’s Gathering of Eagles, an event that supports youth-inspiration and education programs such as Young Eagles.

In 2007, Jack was given the Kansas Ad Astra award for being the state’s most influential businessman. In 2008 he received one of the industry’s top accolades–the AVIATION WEEK Laurel for Business and General Aviation–and the Freedom of Flight award, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s highest award. In 2010, Jack received the Lindbergh Award given by the Lindbergh Foundation to individuals whose work has significantly contributed to the concept of balancing technology and nature, and he received the Captain Elrey Jeppesen Award for Leadership in General Aviation for communicating the value of the industry.

George Saling is a graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. It was there he earned his bachelor’s degree, received his commission as a 2nd LT in the Army, and had his first pilot training through the Army ROTC program. After completion of Field Artillery Basic School, George became an Army Ranger and an Army Aviator. He was an aviation platoon leader flying the O-1 Birddog in Vietnam. After Vietnam he returned to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, where he was an instrument instructor and general support pilot flying C-47s and U-8s. Through the GI Bill and Federal Express training program in Little Rock, Arkansas, George obtained his ATP and Falcon 20 type ratings.

During the oil embargo of 1973, George joined Tenneco Oil where he held several positions in marketing and human resources. George returned to aviation full time with Tenneco Aviation as Manager of Employee Relations and Administration followed by a tour with GTE Corporation as their Travel Services Manager, overseeing both commercial travel operation and executive aircraft operations. Later he joined FlightSafety International and managed FlightSafety’s Teterboro Learning Center in New Jersey for training both Falcon pilots and maintenance technicians. In July 1991, he joined Phillip Morris Management Corporation as the Director of Aviation responsible for six bases and seventeen aircraft. In 2000, he assumed responsibility for Philip Morris’ global travel operations and was promoted to Vice President of Aviation & Travel Services.

George served on the NBAA Board of Directors from 1994 thru 2005. At various times he was Chairman of the Industry Affairs Nominating and Membership committees. He served as Treasurer, Vice Chairman, and from 2001-2003, Chairman of the Board. He has participated on numerous industry committees and is a charter member of the Aviation Director’s Roundtable.

In 2008, George was selected by the Flight Safety Foundation to receive their Meritorious Service Award, and by the National Business Aviation Association to receive their John P. “Jack” Doswell Award for life long achievement in support of business aviation.

Phil Roberts, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the NAHF said, “It is an honor and a privilege to add such noteworthy aviation professionals like Jack Pelton and George Saling to our Board of Trustees. The addition of Jack and George will allow the National Aviation Hall of Fame to fulfill our mission of ‘inspiring future generations through the accomplishments of America’s aerospace pioneers, heroes and leaders.’”

The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964. Its mission is to honor America’s outstanding air and space pioneers, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring free admission to the public, interactive exhibits, youth education programs, its annual enshrinement ceremony, national merit awards, and other public outreach programs.

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Media Contact:

Chris Grazel
NAHF Executive Director
[email protected]
TEL: (937) 256-0944 x26