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Mon, Feb 21, 2005

AOPA Regional Reps On The Lookout For Bad Laws

Who Watches Those Who Rule?

AOPA's "front line" in defending members' interests in the states is the association's 13 regional representatives.

"These experienced aviators also have the knowledge and the contacts within the state governments and legislatures to get things done for general aviation," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Many of our reps are former state aviation officials themselves, so they know where to find the levers of power."

AOPA recently realigned regions in the middle of the country to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the regional representatives. (See AOPA's Regional Affairs Web page.)

The Midwest Region now includes Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, with veteran rep Bob Dickens "re-upping" for another tour. A former FAA official, NTSB investigator, and decorated Army aviator, Dickens is also a fixed- and rotary-wing CFI and Grumman Tiger owner. "We're thrilled to have an experienced hand like Bob back on the AOPA regional affairs team," said Cohen. "He's uniquely situated both geographically and from an experience and professional network standpoint to handle the Midwest region."

Minnesota has been added to the Great Lakes region and the experienced hands of Bill Blake, former head of the Illinois Division of Aeronautics and vice chairman of the National Association of State Aviation Officials.

Shelly Lesikar, who joined AOPA as Southwest regional representative last April, now has Arkansas in addition to New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Lesikar is a third-generation pilot and former Cessna representative, who also has experience in both city government and the Texas legislature.

(Photo: Front row: Craig Dotlo, John Pfeifer, Shelly Lesikar; middle row: Bill Leavens, Stacy Howard, Mike Ferguson, Bill Hamilton; back row: Bill Blake, Chris Hudson, Tom George, Bob Minter, Nelson Rhodes.)



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