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Thu, Sep 14, 2017

National Aviation Hall Of Fame Leader Resigns After 19-Year Tenure

Ron Kaplan Raised Funding, Awareness For Congressionally-Chartered Non-Profit And Its Honorees

Ron Kaplan informed the National Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Trustees of his resignation from the organization, effective as of July 31, 2017, citing philosophical differences with the NAHF executive leadership.  He had served the Congressionally-chartered non-profit in various capacities since being recruited onto the staff in 1998, including four years as Executive Director. Kaplan leaves his present position of Enshrinement and Outreach Director to expand his aviation and media consulting service.

Over his 19-year NAHF tenure, Kaplan is directly responsible for over $5 million in fundraising, including sponsorships, legacy giving, grants and merchandise programs. He most recently led the solicitation of over $200,000 in sponsorships for the upcoming 2017 Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony in Alliance, Texas, and in June secured a $250,000 gift from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company to sponsor the NAHF Learning Center’s World War II Gallery.

Kaplan led the 2000 transformation of the NAHF’s annual enshrinement ceremony into a broadcast-quality stage and video production widely acclaimed as America’s “Oscar Night of Aviation.”  Volunteer celebrity-pilot guests and emcees he was responsible for enlisting to participate have included Harrison Ford, Nick Clooney, Dennis Quaid and Ted Williams, among others.
In the effort to broaden the national reach and brand recognition of the Dayton-headquartered NAHF, Kaplan co-founded the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) in 1999, coordinated the “Duggy the DC-3” education program national tour in 2005, and created the Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation in 2008, each prominently featuring enshrinees of the NAHF.

He also was instrumental in establishing both the NAHF’s annual presence at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the NAHF’s prestigious Combs-Gates Award at the National Business Aviation Association Convention, two the industry’s largest events. For a number of years he served as Editor-in-Chief of the NAHF’s quarterly membership magazine, chronicling past achievements of enshrinees and their current participation in NAHF programs, and facilitated the placement of similar coverage in national media outlets.

Since formally establishing his consulting business, Reel Stuff Aviation Resources LLC, in 2012, Kaplan has provided a variety of non- and for-profit organizations with event planning, video production, photography, sponsorship, and media relations services. Among his clients are, the Bremont Watch Company, Columbus COSI, the Air Force Museum Foundation, and the Aviation Community Foundation.
Volunteer services outside of his NAHF role include serving as Media Coordinator for the “Gathering of B-25s” events at Grimes Field, Ohio, and advocating for the restoration of the original 1929 Port Columbus Air Terminal property to house the Ohio Aviation Hall of Fame.  Kaplan is also an aviation artist and a columnist for Warbird Digest Magazine, and oversees Surf Ohio LLC, a lifestyle brand he created in 1978 while attending Ohio University.

Kaplan, a native of Columbus, Ohio, has lived in Dayton since 1995 and currently resides in Kettering, Ohio.

(Source: News release)



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