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Board of Directors
Bill Klaers, Co-Chairman
Bill Klaers is a co-owner and President of Westpac Restorations, one of the nation’s premier World War II aircraft restoration facilities. Mr. Klaers’ aviation career began as a hobby when he was working as a general contractor in California in the early 1980s. His interest in aviation evolved into a passion for military history and vintage aircraft restoration, and led to the establishment of Westpac Restorations in 1997.
In 2006, Westpac Restorations was relocated to the campus of the National Museum World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs. A tour of Westpac Restorations is an integral part of the museum experience, giving visitors an up-close look at restoration work in progress, and an opportunity to learn about the technologies and craftsmanship that went into the development of military aircraft during World War II.
In addition to his successful restoration business, Mr. Klaers is fully committed to the on-going effort to develop the National Museum of World War II Aviation into a world-class history project. He serves voluntarily as Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the museum, and as its President and CEO.
Colonel James M. Stewart, USAF (Ret.), Co-Chairman
Jim Stewart is a career USAF fighter pilot with a background in aeronautical engineering, flight test, and operations research. His military career was focused on the development of several key aircraft and space systems, and bringing those systems from design to operational capability. He was also given responsibility for planning and coordination of a 1985 meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Chancellor Helmut Kohl at a U.S. Air Force Base in Germany, one of the key points in a series of events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
After retirement from the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Stewart served as president of a publicly traded company in Colorado, and has established and owned several small businesses. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ent Federal Credit Union for eleven years, and now serves as Chairman Emeritus of that organization.
Mr. Stewart holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Technology from Boston University. He has served on the Colorado Commission for Higher Education and the Sickle Cell Advisory Board, as well as numerous boards and commissions throughout the Pikes Peak area. He is a founding director of the National Museum of World War II Aviation, and serves as Co-Chairman of its Board of Directors.
Colonel Victor C. Andrews, USAF (Ret.) Secretary-Treasurer
Vic Andrews is a career U.S. Air Force officer with 30 years of active service. His military career included service as a combat pilot, squadron commander, wing commander and Vice-Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He flew 400-plus combat missions during the Viet Nam War, amassing more than 800 combat hours in the F-4 D and E models.
After his Air Force career, Mr. Andrews joined the staff of USAA Property and Casualty Insurance as a military affairs representative, and was later promoted to Vice President and General Manager of the Mountain States Regional Office in Colorado Springs. In that capacity he provided leadership to the 1,200 USAA employees in Colorado. He retired from USAA in 2008.
Mr. Andrews graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Humanities. He holds a Master of Arts in Management and Supervision degree from Central Michigan University, and is a graduate of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute at the Center for Creative Leadership. He is actively involved in the community, serving on numerous boards and commissions throughout the State of Colorado. Mr. Andrews serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Museum of World War II Aviation Board of Directors.
John Dibbs is a professional air-to-air photographer, author and historical consultant, specializing in WWII aviation. Mr. Dibbs’ passion for aviation was inspired by his father, who grew up near an airfield made famous in the Battle of Britain during the Second World War.
British born and raised, Mr. Dibbs began his career in a London studio where he cultivated his graphic design and photographic talents. His love and knowledge of aviation led him to work with several organizations associated with the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, near Cambridge. His attention to detail and eye for historical accuracy quickly earned him an unrivalled reputation in warbird photography. He has flown over 900 air-to-air sorties in 125 different aircraft types, and has authored 13 books, including the award winning Flying Legends series.
Consultancy and volunteer work has since expanded his portfolio to raise awareness of the role and sacrifice of the World War II aviator. In pursuit of this work, Mr. Dibbs recently relocated to Seattle where he runs The Plane Picture Company.
Mark Earle has 35 years of experience in aviation and airport management, with more than 20 years at the CEO level at commercial service airports in Texas and Colorado. In this capacity, his responsibilities have included oversight of airport administration, finance, operations, security, planning and development. He has developed more than $400 million in aeronautical infrastructure and business park assets at the airports under his direction.
Mr. Earle has been actively involved in military history and aviation heritage projects throughout his career. He worked on special projects at the Virginia Aviation Museum, and led the effort to develop the Silent Wings Museum which documents the history of the U.S. combat glider program in World War II. Prior to moving to Colorado Springs, Mr. Earle served on the Board of Directors of the Silent Wings Museum and the Texas Aviation Heritage Foundation, and on the Advisory Board of the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University.
Mr. Earle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Business Administration from Texas State University, and is actively engaged in research work with the National Academies of Science. In addition to his governmental affairs and special projects work for the National Museum of World War II Aviation, Mr. Earle continues to work as a consultant in the aviation industry.
General Ronald Fogleman, USAF (Ret.)
General Ronald Fogleman, USAF, retired in 1997 after 34 years of active service in the United States Air Force. At the pinnacle of his career, General Fogleman served as Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Fogleman has more than 7,600 flying hours in fighter, transport, tanker and rotary wing aircraft, including 806 hours accumulated during 315 combat missions. He has served in leadership positions throughout his military career, including command of an Air Force wing, an air division, a numbered air force, a major command and a unified command. General Fogleman has received numerous awards and decorations, and continues to be actively engaged in national defense matters and military history projects since his retirement.
General Fogelman is a 1963 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and holds a Master’s degree in military history and political science from Duke University. He has also shared his expertise in military history as an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Vice ADM David E. Frost USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral David Frost, USN, retired in 1996 after 33 years of active service in the United States Navy. His final military assignment was as Deputy Commander, United States Space Command and Vice Commander, NORAD.
In earlier years, he served as the Director of Operations at U.S. European Command, Commander of Carrier Group Eight, Commander of Naval Space Command, Captain of two ships including the aircraft carrier Saratoga, Commander of two fighter squadrons, and Commander of Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun).
His education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the US Naval Academy. He completed the Harvard University program for Senior Executives in National and International Security and the Harvard Defense Policy Seminar. Admiral Frost received several distinguished awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Award, the Defense Superior Service Award, and four Legion of Merit Awards.(Source Page)
Kurt K. Peterson
Kurt Peterson is the managing principal of KPM Consulting LLC, and is the former president and co-owner of Black Rapid Inc., a company engaged in the photography industry. He has more than 25 years of executive leadership experience in project and business management within the real estate development and construction communities. Mr. Peterson has played a lead role as owner’s representative on several major development projects, and has successfully completed contracts totaling more than $1 billion while managing project budgets ranging up to $750 million. In addition, he has operated construction companies with annual volumes exceeding $150 million.
Mr. Peterson served as the director of Paul Allen’s vintage aircraft collection where he was responsible for acquisition, restoration and operation of the flying collection worldwide. He was also a founding member involved with the establishment of the museum for Mr. Allen’s collection.
Mr. Peterson’s initial involvement with the National Museum of World War II Aviation was during development and construction of the existing museum and Westpac Restorations facility in Colorado Springs. His continued involvement with the museum, which was inspired by his father’s service in the Air Force as a B-17 navigator, has brought in-depth development and construction management experience that will serve the organization well as the museum continues to grow.
Jim Johnson, the owner and president of GE Johnson Construction Company, represents the third generation of the Johnson family in the construction industry. He learned to lead the family-owned business from the ground up, first working as a laborer, and then progressing through every division of the company as his career progressed. After graduating from college, he gained experience in estimating, project supervision, project management, division management, and business development. He served in the role of Vice President before becoming President and CEO of the company in 1997.
Mr. Johnson’s passion for community service is a defining characteristic of GE Johnson Construction Company. He serves on several non-profit boards in the Colorado Springs area, and encourages GE Johnson’s employees to get involved and contribute to the success of the communities they serve.
Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Science degree from Kansas State University, and is actively engaged in university affairs. He has served on the Kansas State University Foundation Board of Trustees, the Kansas State University College of Engineering Advisory Council, and the Kansas State University Alumni Association Board of Trustees.(Source Page)
Harold and Susan Skramstad
Harold and Susan Skramstad are internationally recognized museum planning consultants. Harold Skramstad served for more than fifteen years as President of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. Prior to that, he served as Director of the Chicago Historical Society and has held several senior administrative posts at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Susan Skramstad served as the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the University of Michigan's Dearborn Campus.
The Mr. and Ms. Skramstad have served a wide variety of clients both in the United States and abroad in the planning of new museums as well as providing strategic, interpretive, and fundraising planning services to existing museums.
Their work has been recognized at the highest levels. In 1992 Mr. Skramstad received the Charles Frankel Prize (renamed the National Humanities Medal) from President George H. W. Bush for his achievement in bringing the humanities to a broad public audience. In 1994 President Clinton appointed Mr. Skramstad to the National Council on the Humanities. During his term on the Council he served as the Chairman of the Public Programs Committee. In 2002 President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Skramstad to the Presidential Commission to establish an action plan for a new National Museum of African American History and Culture. That museum was opened to the public in September 2016.
Gallagher and Associates
Gallagher & Associates (G&A) is an internationally recognized museum and cultural institution planning and design firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, and Singapore. G&A has extensive project experience in a broad range of subject areas, including history, natural science, social issues, music and the arts. The firm’s resume includes a wide spectrum of successful visitor experiences for public and private sector museums, visitor and cultural centers, learning facilities, science centers, corporations and entertainment attractions. The firm’s collective portfolio, spanning 25 years, is extremely diverse and includes interpretive and economic master plans, full service renovations and complete ground-up building projects.
G&A’s in-house teams of talented professionals combine thorough research, thoughtful planning and creative thinking to produce surprising and innovative solutions. The skills and expertise of the staff include architecture, exhibition design, graphic and environmental design, multi-media and digital technology, and immersive mapping, research and writing. The staff is also trained and well versed in the areas of universal design, accessibility, and LEED design.
G&A’s services include not only the complete design and oversight of projects; they also assist many of their clients in their branding, marketing, and fundraising efforts.G&A brings to the design process an uncommon commitment to innovation and success.