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Fri, Aug 05, 2022

Dennis Dunbar Named Sun ‘n Fun Director of Air Shows and Attractions

The Road from Oshkosh to Lakeland

Sun ‘n Fun, the Lakeland, Florida nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of aviation education and renowned for its annual week-long fly-in and airshow, has named Dennis Dunbar its new Director of Air Shows and Attractions. Over the course of his two decades in the air show management business, Mr. Dunbar has helped organize hundreds of aerial events ranging from fly-ins to fleet weeks to Super Bowls. For the last ten-years, Dunbar has overseen the air shows at EAA’s storied AirVenture event.  

Currently, Mr. Dunbar serves as the Chairman of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Board of Directors. Prior to his appointment to the ICAS board, he chaired the Event Organizers Safety and Operations Committee.

Gulf Coast Avionics president and CEO, and chairman of the Aerospace Center for Excellence’s board of directors Rick Garcia remarked: “Dennis brings valuable industry experience to Sun ‘n Fun. His reputation as a leader in air show entertainment, education and safety is a perfect fit as we engage, educate, and accelerate the next generation of aerospace professionals.”

Dunbar’s success is ennobled by the tenacity and hard work by which he achieved it. Prior to enrolling at Indiana State University—from which he graduated with a degree in Professional Pilot Technology—Dunbar financed his flight training by fueling aircraft at his local airport. After graduation, Dunbar remained in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he worked as a flight instructor and FBO manager before rising to the station of airport director. Dunbar produced his first air show at age 25—and apparently found the experience to his liking.

When asked how his experience at Oshkosh stands to benefit Sun ‘n Fun, Dunbar asserted: “Our goal isn’t to create an Oshkosh in Florida, but to create a culture that focuses on people first and encourages everyone to play a role in becoming the best Sun ‘n Fun we can be. As the director of air shows and attractions, I have an awesome opportunity to empower and support our volunteers so we can foster a low stress, safe, and entertaining event where our aviation friends and family can come together to be inspired and enjoy the camaraderie of flight.”

Gene Conrad, president and CEO of Sun ‘n Fun and the Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) program stated: “I’ve worked side by side with Dennis for the last 10-years as a volunteer at EAA AirVenture, and in my role I have had the unique opportunity to watch Dennis use his passion and creativity to elevate the entertainment aspect of AirVenture to new heights. I have also witnessed Dennis’s unwavering love and dedication to the volunteers, performers and kids of all ages that make events like ours special. We are fortunate to have Dennis join our team and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work as our 49th annual Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo is just a short eight months away!”

FMI: www.flysnf.org

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