Sue Walitsky has joined the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) as the association's first director of public relations. In the newly created position, Walitsky will promote the programs and messages of AOPA and general aviation to appropriate audiences nationwide.
"Sue will be the focal point as AOPA engages our members and the general public with new strategies and programs," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are fortunate to have someone with her extensive experience join the AOPA staff."
Prior to joining AOPA, Walitsky, a private pilot since 1996, was the principal consultant for JERSEYCanyon Communications, which provides media training around the Washington, D.C., area. She also served as the Arizona communications director for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign. Based in Phoenix, Walitsky was the primary media spokesperson and communications lead for the state.
Before her move to Phoenix, Walitsky managed the multimedia, broadcast video, photography, radio, and media training operations for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During the 2002 election cycle, she was director of Broadcast Media for the Democratic National Committee.
Walitsky's deep work experience includes appointments at the State Department and United States Information Agency, where she led both offices and cross-department teams to promote U.S. foreign policy to domestic and international audiences. She also worked at the Pentagon handling a host of public affairs responsibilities for the Secretary of Defense and the USO.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association includes more than 404,000 members or nearly two-thirds of all U.S. pilots and three quarters of general aviation pilots. AOPA has represented the interests of general aviation pilots since 1939, covering all flying except the scheduled airlines and the military.
June 16, 2005