End Of An Era For EAA — Poberezny Retires


Just about a year after hiring Rod Hightower to take over the day-to-day operations of EAA, Tom Poberezny on Tuesday officially announced his retirement from the organization founded by his father. “I’ve been with EAA for 49 years,” Poberezny said, “and I’m proud of what we’ve done together. EAA is a way of life, a culture, and it’s very special to me.” Going forward, EAA has “tremendous potential,” Poberezny said. “What you all can do for aviation is incredible.” Poberezny is about to turn 65 soon, and he said there are still things he wants to do, places to go, and a lot he wants to share. “EAA is a 24/7 job,” he said. “What I won’t miss is constantly checking my Blackberry and getting phone messages in the middle of the night.”

Poberezny announced his decision in a last-minute news conference held under the historic brown arch at the edge of the flight line, near the center of the show. He said he had no prepared remarks but wanted to speak from the heart. “This is a message to the members,” he said to the press corps. “I hope you capture the heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation I feel to all the members and volunteers. I want to say thank you.” He ended with words of encouragement. “I’m excited about the future. Look at those blue skies, that flight line, and all those airplanes. This is the best Oshkosh ever.”