DAYTON, OHIO – Ron Kaplan has resigned from the National Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Trustees effective July 31, 2017, citing philosophical differences with the organization’s executive leadership. Kaplan had served the Congressionally-chartered non-profit in various capacities since being recruited to join 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 business.
Over his 19-year career with NAHF, 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.
Further, Kaplan led the 2000 transformation of NAHF’s annual enshrinement ceremony into a broadcast-quality stage and video production widely acclaimed as America’s “Oscar Night of Aviation.” Among the volunteer celebrity-pilot guests and emcees Kaplan was responsible for enlisting to participate include Harrison Ford, Nick Clooney, Dennis Quaid and Ted Williams, among others.
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 CruiseFlight.com, the Bremont Watch Company, Columbus COSI, the Air Force Museum Foundation, and the Aviation Community Foundation.