AOPA President Phil Boyer and Art Keefe
May 21, 2004 — Since the beginning, AOPA has been dedicated to improving general aviation safety. In 1950, the association created the AOPA Air Safety Foundation with the exclusive mission of providing safety research and education. These activities are funded by contributions from safety-minded pilots and organizations.
Thursday evening, the Air Safety Foundation's advisory board paid special honor to Art Keefe, who in the past 10 years has significantly increased ASF's funding and endowments, giving the foundation the resources to expand its activities and develop innovative new safety programs, such as interactive online training programs.
Art Keefe joined the Air Safety Foundation in 1995 to direct funding development. For nearly a decade, he has brought innovation and creativity to the foundation's giving programs. Through his efforts, ASF now has a $3 million endowment to help ensure continued funding of safety programs.
Long before there was eBay, Keefe created the ASF Online Auction that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. The popular ASF calendar was another Keefe innovation.
As the vice president for Planned Giving, Keefe created programs and sought out opportunities for significant gifts to the Air Safety Foundation. Some of these individual gifts have exceeded $500,000.
He created the AOPA Life Member and Life Hat in the Ring Society programs. More than 30 Life Hat in the Ring members have made commitments of $25,000 or more (some have contributed more than $100,000) so far.
For Art Keefe's significant contributions to the mission of the Air Safety Foundation, the ASF Board of Visitors (prominent members of the aviation community who volunteer their expertise to help guide ASF programs) made him an Honorary Life Member of the Hat in the Ring Society. Board of Visitor members Michael Lazar, James Robins, Thomas W. Haas, Lessing Stern, Lester T. Mumford, and AOPA contributed more than $35,000 to ASF in Keefe's honor.