The AOPA Foundation funds the important You Can Fly and AOPA Air Safety Institute programs through generous donations. Together, these initiatives create a stronger and safer aviation community.
Longtime aviator, AOPA leader, and accomplished business executive Matt Desch has accepted the role of chair of the President’s Council within the AOPA Foundation. Members of the President’s Council represent a high level of commitment to aviation philanthropy, with their annual gifts of $10,000 or more.
Desch has been an AOPA member since graduating high school, and has served on AOPA’s Board of Trustees for the past 10 years. He serves as CEO of Iridium, a leading global mobile voice and data satellite communications company. He has led the company since 2009 and served as CEO of the company’s predecessor, Iridium Holdings LLC, from 2006 to 2009. Desch has also served on the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
Esteemed aviation authority, author, and experienced pilot Barry Schiff has been appointed the new chairman of the AOPA Foundation’s Legacy Society (see “Schiff Named Chair,” April 2021 AOPA Pilot). The AOPA Foundation Legacy Society recognizes those who have included a gift to the AOPA Foundation in their estate plans. The gifts help ensure a solid future for general aviation by supporting AOPA’s You Can Fly program and the AOPA Air Safety Institute. These efforts are committed to growing the pilot population and keeping aviators safe in the skies.
A longtime AOPA member, columnist and contributor to AOPA Pilot magazine, and retired TWA captain with more than 28,000 hours logged in more than 360 types of aircraft, Schiff has flown everything from the Lockheed Constellation to the Boeing 747 during his storied career and has received numerous honors for his many contributions to aviation safety.
Aerobatic superstar and AOPA You Can Fly Champion Michael Goulian will chair the AOPA Foundation’s Hat in the Ring Society. Inspired by the rich history of the U.S. Army 94th Aero Squadron, its heroes, and their meet-any-challenge spirit, the AOPA Foundation created the Hat in the Ring Society, a venue for philanthropist-pilots to “throw their hats in the ring” each year with charitable donations between $1,000 and $10,000. An AOPA member since 1990, Goulian served on the AOPA Board of Visitors, and has been a champion of General Aviation while thrilling countless airshow attendees.
The AOPA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is the philanthropic arm of AOPA. Contributions fund programs that membership dues don’t cover including the AOPA Air Safety Institute and You Can Fly program. Our goal is to fund opportunities of growth beyond what AOPA membership dues can accomplish, for the entire GA community.