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The first day of Expo ended with a well-attended Welcome Reception replete with terrific food, generous California wine, and a jazzy three-piece orchestra entertaining the attendees. But the buzz throughout the crowd was one person—AOPA President Phil Boyer.

With Expo 18, it’s now well known that this is Boyer’s last, and what was on the minds of members was “What happens now?” Boyer has been such a force for the association and members are grateful.

“Boy, I hate to see him go, but he deserves it,” said Dorothy Meadows of Hartland, Mich., a private pilot who is attending her sixth Expo with her nonpilot husband Gene. “I like the way he works with the government and the things he accomplishes. He really gets on their tails. And it’s neat, when I read his ‘President’s Position’ in the magazine, he’s talking exactly about what I was thinking!”

Other members offered their comments. “Thank you so much, Phil Boyer,” said EJ Van Horne. “Thank you for keeping user fees from destroying GA like they have done in Europe.”

“He’s a great guy and a wonderful speaker,” offered Rod Pharis.

Florida pilot and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Nelson Rhodes said, “It looks like he turned down the idea of becoming the FAA administrator. He should reconsider—we really need him there.” (At Thursday’s general session, panelists discussing who is on the short list for the next FAA administrator appointee suggested Boyer as a candidate—Boyer said no.)

Arturo Thompson of Arizona gave this bit of advice to Boyer: “Don’t retire. Everyone knows it’s not good for your health.”

Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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