AOPA President Phil Boyer continuously works to ensure that AOPA remains the world's best general aviation association now and into the future. As part of that goal, Boyer has promoted Karen Gebhart to executive vice president of Non-Dues Revenue and Andy Cebula to executive vice president of Government Affairs. The promotions are part of a senior management reorganization Boyer announced in 2003. The other two executive vice presidents are Diana Roberts, Operations, and Jeff Myers, Communications.
"Andy joined AOPA just months before the terrorist attacks of 9/11," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Through Andy's guidance and leadership during a very difficult time for general aviation, we have successfully forwarded the concerns of our members on the national, state, and local levels.
"Karen's unique background with AOPA's advertising agency, membership marketing, and the current products and services marketing group make her an excellent choice for this position," said Boyer. "During her 11-year tenure, Karen has held increasingly responsible positions and led departments that generate millions of dollars."
Gebhart joined the AOPA staff in 1994 as vice president of Membership Marketing, where her responsibilities included the development and oversight of direct mail and advertising campaigns to help attract and maintain AOPA members.
In 1996, she was promoted to senior vice president, assuming additional responsibilities in managing the AOPA Membership Assistance department and AOPA's graphics staff.
In 1999, Gebhart took over the Products and Services Division, including AOPA Member Products, Aviation Services, and AOPA Expo.
In her new position, Gebhart leads a division spanning two important areas of continuing growth for AOPA, contributing more than 60 percent of AOPA's income. The first is AOPA Publications advertising, which annually generates more than $14 million in revenue for the association.
Second are the member benefits available through specialized products, services, and discounts for AOPA's members. The non-dues revenues from these programs generate more than $19 million, helping keep AOPA dues low and funding special efforts for the advocacy and advancement of GA.
Gebhart also oversees the annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House, which attracts thousands of aviation enthusiasts and hundreds of airplanes to AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, each year, and AOPA Expo, the association's annual convention and trade show.
Cebula has more than 25 years experience in aviation policy, with service in the FAA and aviation advocacy organizations. He manages AOPA's advocacy efforts on issues affecting GA pilots and aircraft owners. This includes opposing legislation that limits GA pilots' freedom to fly, protecting and preserving airports and access to the nation's airspace, and fighting proposals on Capitol Hill, state capitols, and regulatory agencies that increase the cost of flying and aircraft ownership.
Cebula joined AOPA in 2001 as the senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. Shortly thereafter he also became the head of AOPA's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.
In addition, Cebula manages AOPA's Political Action Committee, 13 regional representatives located across the country, and 1,700 volunteers in the AOPA Airport Support Network.
As part of Cebula's new responsibilities, the Aviation Services department of AOPA now falls under his leadership. The department is staffed by experienced pilots who answer nearly 130,000 technical questions from members each year, and medical specialists who to answer 50,000 questions annually about medical certification issues.
January 10, 2006