Sky’s the limit for EAA

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 :: Editor
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

My first encounter with the Experimental Aircraft Association was a Girl Scout field trip to its former museum and headquarters that was less than five miles from where I grew up in Muskego. I remember being awestruck by everything I saw. A year or two later, EAA moved its headquarters and museum to Oshkosh. When I moved to Appleton 20 years ago and we visited EAA, I was captivated, once again, by everything I saw, from models of the earliest planes to space vehicles. When we’ve taken our children, it seems like there is always something new and different.

The museum is just one component of EAA. It’s a membership organization with chapters around the globe and programs to get children and teens interested in aviation as well as host of the world’s largest fly-in, AirVenture. The event, which attracts visitors and planes worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in Oshkosh. EAA’s original fly-ins were first held in Milwaukee and then Rockford, Ill., before making the permanent move to Oshkosh. AirVenture adds more than $170 million annually to the region’s economy.

But to keep AirVenture and EAA growing, Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton knows both need to appeal to a wide audience. With that as a goal, Pelton is putting additional focus on youth programs, including Young Eagles, to pique interest in aviation among children and teens. One youth program focuses just on girls to encourage them to consider a career in aviation. You can learn more about EAA’s growth plans in Nikki Kallio’s cover story starting on page 20.

For those of you who dream of working from home at least some of the time, check out Jessica Thiel’s Insider feature starting on page 29. With technology advances providing more employees the ability to work from home combined with the labor shortage (a person may choose one job over another if working from home part of the time is possible), more businesses are employing remote workers.

Inside this issue of Insight, you will also find the 2019 New North Mid-Year Report. In addition to a column by New North’s new Executive Director Barb LaMue and a business locator piece featuring economic highlights, there’s an article by Kat Boogaard on how the New North is working to help businesses with their employee attraction programs. With so many employers talking about the need for more workers, it’s a must read.


coming up

Cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent in today’s technology-driven world and businesses need to be prepared. The Cybersecurity Symposium on Sept. 10 at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley in Appleton will provide business owners with the information and tools they can use to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Visit to learn more.

Manufacturing First

Mike Staver, the author of “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards” and an internationally renowned speaker and coach, is the keynote speaker
for the 2019 Manufacturing First Expo & Conference, which will be held Oct. 30 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Prior to Staver’s address, David Kohler, president and CEO of Kohler Co., will provide an introduction and presentation.

Visit to learn more.


Listen to EAA Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton talk about how the Oshkosh-based organization is seeking to pique young people’s interest in aviation.

Pelton’s interview is just one of many you will find online at

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