Press Release: Vertical Flight Society Announces 2020 Board of Directors

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Jim Sherman
703-684-6777 x110 

Vertical Flight Society Announces 2020 Board of Directors 
Industry Executives to Lead VFS


Fairfax, Virginia, May 13, 2020  — The Vertical Flight Society, the world’s leading non-profit dedicated to advancing vertical flight, is pleased to announce its Board of Directors for 2020-2021.

The following members were elected to the Board’s Executive Committee for the one-year term of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021:

  • Chair: Edward Hoskin, VP Engineering, Pratt & Whitney Canada (previously the Board President)

  • President: Dan Schultz, President, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company (previously the Board Secretary/Treasurer)

  • Secretary/Treasurer: Tomasz Krysinski, Vice-President Research & Technology, Airbus Helicopters (new to the Board)*

In addition, Prof. Marilyn Smith of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) has been appointed to the Executive Committee as the VFS Technical Director for a two-year term. Prof. Smith was previously the Deputy Technical Director for Aeromechanics on the VFS Technical Council, as well as the immediate past Director of the U.S. Southern Region. 

VFS members in half of its ten regions elected or re-elected regional directors and vice-presidents for the two-year term of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022. (Those new to the Board are marked with an asterisk.)

Americas Region (Canada, Central America and South America)

  • Vice President: Chantal Boucher, Bell

  • Regional Director: Kenneth Swartz, Aeromedia Communications

U.S. Mideast Region (including the Philadelphia and Erie Chapters, and surrounding areas)

  • Vice President: Dr. Stanley Orr, The Boeing Company

  • Regional Director: William Sunick, Leonardo Helicopters (AgustaWestland Philadelphia Company)*

U.S. Southeast Region (including the Aberdeen, Federal City, Patuxent River, Hampton Roads and Cherry Point Chapters, and surrounding areas)

  • Vice President: Dr. Inderjit Chopra, University of Maryland

  • Regional Director: Dr. Rajneesh Singh, US Army Research Laboratory*

U.S. Southwest Region (including the Southwest Chapter and all surrounding areas)

  • Vice President: Layne Merritt, Elbit Systems of America*

  • Regional Director: Christos Bais, Bell*

U.S. Western Region (including the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Arizona Chapters, and all surrounding areas)

  • Vice President: Dr. Colin Theodore, NASA Ames Research Center

  • Regional Director: Scott Swinsick, The Boeing Company*

The following are currently appointed Directors of the Board:

  • VP Membership: Jon Tatro, consultant

  • VP Washington, DC: John Lindsay, Textron

  • Appointed Director: Robert LaBelle, XTI Aircraft Co.

  • Appointed Director: Thomas Laux, Northrop Grumman

  • Appointed Director: Harry Nahatis, GE Aviation

Non-voting advisors:

  • Civil Helicopter Operations: Gene Munson, The Boeing Company (Ret.)

  • Army Aviation: Randy Robinson, US Army 

  • Vertical Flight Foundation: Edwin P. Birtwell, Birtwell Consulting Services

Other members of the Board of Directors, who will continue to serve until June 30, 2021, are as follows:

Asia-Australia Region (includes all members in Asia and Oceania)

  • Vice President: Prof. Sejong Oh, Pusan National University

  • Regional Director: Samgeeth Rajan, Bell

Europe-Africa Region (members in Europe and Africa)

  • Vice President: Luca Medici, Leonardo Helicopters* (elected this month by special election)

  • Regional Director: Arnaud Le Pape, ONERA

U.S. Midwest Region (members in Dayton and St Louis Chapters)

  • Vice President: Dr. Charlie Svoboda, The Boeing Company

  • Regional Director: Prof. David A. Peters, Washington University in St. Louis

U.S. Northeast Region (members in Stratford, Connecticut Valley and Empire State Chapters)

  • Vice President: Usman Asif, Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company

  • Regional Director: Dr. Michael Ambrose, Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company

U.S. Southern Region (members in Redstone, Atlanta, Jake Fortner and South Florida Chapters)

  • Vice President: Mark J. Jeude, Iron Mountain Solutions, Inc. 

  • Regional Director: Prof. JVR Prasad, Georgia Tech* (appointed to fill the vacancy left by Prof. Marilyn Smith, who was selected as VFS Technical Director)

Founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943, the Vertical Flight Society is the global non-profit society for engineers, scientists and others working on vertical flight technology. For more than 75 years, the Society has led technical, safety, advocacy and other important initiatives, and has been the primary forum for interchange of information on vertical flight technology.

This press release is also available as a pdf.

The Vertical Flight Society
2700 Prosperity Ave, Suite 275, Fairfax, VA 22031 USA
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