The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) has named Eric Crump as the organization’s new executive director. Crump, who will assume the position on June 1, is credited with opening the Polk State College Aerospace program in 2012 and has served as the program’s director since its launch. In addition to flying as a corporate pilot, he has previously held positions as the aviation content manager and chief instructor for Gleim Publications and chief ground instructor for Middle Tennessee State University.
“Over the last ten years, as the former airport director of Lakeland Linder International Airport, I’ve had the opportunity to watch Eric build the aerospace program at Polk State College into the robust aerospace educational institution it is today,” said ACE President and CEO Gene Conrad. “Eric is a dynamic, passionate aviation professional and educator and we are extremely fortunate to have him join our ACE team.”
Crump has worked as an exhibitor, sponsor and volunteer at the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, ACE’s primary fundraiser, since 2008. Along with hosting Sun ‘n Fun, ACE offers science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs, flight training and aerospace-related college scholarships and hands-on learning facilities. The organization is also in the process of opening the Elevate Aerospace and Logistics Business Incubator, which is aimed at accelerating aerospace business growth.